Rackenford Village Shop Company 04534624 Minutes of the Fifth Annual General Meeting held at The Stag at 8pm on Wednesday May 28 2008 Present Michael Lane, chairman, Sarah Child, secretary, Brian Morrison, treasurer, Graham Fennell, chairman of the Rackenford Community Shop (RCS), Janet Cox, joint treasurer RCS, Brian Peace, director, Graham Lamb, director, and 20 life members Apologies Franz Taxis, Georgie Blake, Penny Coleman, Helen Hyland 1.Minutes of the Fourth AGM of 2007 were agreed, with the correction that it was not the Village Day Committee but the Beer Festival Committee who had organised the event of last summer which was partly in aid of the Shop. 2. Chairmen’s reports for 2007/08. Michael Lane reported on behalf of the RVS. He said that the decision to run the Shop by volunteers from October 1 had been magnificently supported by Rackenford. A total of nearly £5000 had been lent for stock and he congratulated Graham Fennell, Georgie Blake and Sylvia Muchmore in particular for starting off the system to such good effect. The burglaries had been a financial setback, but other progress had been the purchase of the land behind the Shop from Fred and Joan Phillips and the receipt of a grant from Leader Plus which had enabled the window to be put in the store room. This could now be used comfortably as an office and Tea and Talk had been started by Penny Coleman. (His full report is on record). Graham Fennell reported on behalf of the RCS that there were now 25 volunteers, not all working behind the counter but carrying out a wide range of work. Penny Coleman had started off the newspaper ordering, which had now been taken over by Carolyn Cranch and is a key activity, and Mary Paxton was looking after cash flow and had helped to set up the computer systems. He estimated that 2,500 hours of volunteer time had been put in over the first six months. At the minimum wage rate that was worth £35,000. The Shop receives 90 customers on a busy day which can mean turnover of £300; the Wednesday half day is more like £170. The average spend is £2.45, since customers include a lot of children buying sweets. Alcohol sales are doing well, but we shall need a new licensee. The volunteers had managed to keep the Shop open for all the hours advertised, and had now added Friday afternoons. 3. Treasurers’ reports for 2007 Brian Morrison reported on behalf of the RVS that 2007 had seen little change in the accounts (now in course of preparation by William Withers & Co). The RVS bank balance at the beginning of the year had been £4545 and at the end £3114. Income had been mainly from rent and donations, and main items of expenditure £1200 for the extra land and fencing it and £1505 to take over Robin’s stock. Loans of £3,800 had been received towards stock purchase ( this includes £1000 paid directly to the RCS) and the RVS had provided £1,000 towards the stock. The situation had changed very fast in the first quarter of this year, however, since we had had to meet the insurance company’s security requirements following the second break in. Despite a DCC grant and a generous donation, these unexpected costs of about £4000 had reduced the bank balance to £654. Janet Cox reported on the results for the Shop to December 31. Takings were £8173, with £4325 spent on stock that was sold and £1351 running costs. Stock at 31 December was valued at £4749, ie an increase in value of £3244. The average daily takings had risen steadily, from £146 in November and £175 in December to £204 in March and £224 in April. Takings for the first quarter of 2008 were £18174. 4. The future organisation of the company. Sarah Child said that when the volunteer system had started we had not had time to take advice as to whether we should run the trading business as a separate company. The RCS had been set up provisionally as a committee-run group with a separate bank account. We had now learnt that there were no tax advantages in operating separately, but on the other hand extra costs. The RVS board meetings had become very long as we tried to cover such a wide range of activities. She had drafted a resolution (attached) which would mean that there was one registered company, the RVS, which would have sub committees to deal with Finance (including the building), the Shop (trading and volunteers), Marketing and fund raising, and Tea and Talk. Each of these should be chaired by a board member, but non members could be co-opted on to any of them apart from Finance so as to make use of all local resources. An extra provision was that no expenditure above £30 (except for stock purchases) should be decided except in the Finance Committee or with the approval of the Company Treasurer. In discussion Carolyn Cranch pointed out that the Rackenford Community Shop was a more explicit and attractive name than the RVS, which might apply to a privately run business. It was agreed that the RCS is the best name, and it can be used by the Shop and for marketing purposes, but there is no need to re-register the company. There would continue to be at least two bank accounts; the one for trading purposes is already in the name of the RCS. The £30 limit was queried but it was agreed that the Finance Committee can raise the amount if it proves too restrictive. The resolution was proposed by Brian Peace and seconded by Brian Muchmore, and carried unanimously. 5. The future of the Post Office. The Royal Mail decision to close the branch but supply two sessions of outreach in the Shop was discussed. It was agreed that the RVS should protest on the grounds of the disadvantage to the community and the possible effect on the Shop. A major concern was the availability of cash. The Shop would plan to replace the Post Office ATM with one of its own, but would still have the problem of not being able to bank daily through the PO. The system of parcel collection will be queried to see to what extent parcels could be serviced by the Shop. 6. Shop matters. Georgie Blake was unable to attend through illness, but had sent a note making points which Graham mainly covered in his report. She also asked for the meeting’s attention to be drawn to the need for more volunteers especially for holidays and sickness cover, and for volunteers for a Wednesday cleaning session. She was working on welcome baskets for newcomers to the village, reusable bags, the ordering system and EPOS options. A vote of thanks to Georgie was proposed together with best wishes for her rapid recovery. Jane Lewis offered to organise the cleaning team. 7. Tea and Talk. Penny Coleman was also ill, but the Tea and Talk progress was outlined in the previous reports. Penny had already organised two outings and coffee on Wednesday mornings was now regular. In discussion it was hoped that coffee and tea would be available any morning if somebody was around to make it, and Sarah said that this seemed to be developing. 8. Elections to the board for 2008/09. According to the company’s articles the three most longstanding directors were due to stand down although they could be re-elected if willing. These were Brian Peace, Brian Morrison and Franz Taxis. Both Brian Peace and Franz Taxis had said that they were happy to be replaced by new directors if any were proposed. There was one vacancy in any event in the maximum of ten. Brian Morrison was proposed for re- election by Michael Lane, seconded by Sylvie Muchmore. Graham Fennell was proposed by Sylvie Muchmore, seconded by Andrew Shovelton, Jane Lewis by Brian Peace, seconded by David Cocks, and Sylvie Muchmore by Mary Paxton, seconded by Beryl Coleman. These were all elected unanimously, so that Brian Peace and Franz Taxis retire. These two were thanked for all their work over the last five years. 9. Any other business. Sylvie Muchmore reminded the meeting of the fund raising event at Worthy Folly on July 12, courtesy of Sheila and Jackie Livesey-Van Dorst. Raffle contributions and help on the day are still needed. A talent competition and a quiz night are also planned for the autumn.
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