Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Runnymede Civic Offices on Tuesday 5th July 2016 at 10.00am
Keith Bendall (Englefield Green ), Colin Brown (New Haw), Sue Keith (Chertsey), Sandy Stephens (Ottershaw), Shirley Griggs (Virginia Water).Brian Hunt ( Chertsey ), Steve Hodgkinson( Egham)
Sgt. Ali Dunlop North Surrey Division Community Safety Team
Angela Pretlove, Heather Howell, Mike Booker. ( NHW coordinators)
Vic Smith N.Surrey police, Shazia Sarwar RBC Community Safety Officer, 19 NHW coordinators
Welcome by the Chairman
Minutes of the last meeting
Chairman’s report on activities
Election of officers and members of the Steering Group
The Chairman welcomed Sgt. Ali Dunlop to the meeting. The 3 coordinators were also welcomed, and thanked for attending.
The minutes were agreed as a correct record of last year’s AGM. Proposed by Heather Howell from the floor and Harry Purchase by email. There were 12 other email responses in agreement and no dissention from the floor.
See report in full below.
The Chairman briefly elaborated on the Communication section in his report, stating it is essential that there is quality, timely, two-way communication for RNHW to be as effective as it can and should be.
He asked those present to encourage other co-ordinators they know to be responsive to and supportive of their Steering Group.
The Chairman concluded by saying that we (Steering Group) do all we can to make Runnymede even safer than it is already, but we cannot do it alone.
Please bear in mind that we are only as good as our members allow us to be.
See report in full below.
It is hoped all communications to coordinators can be done by email in future to save on postage costs. Postage was one of the main costs in the year, after the cost of running the conference.
The Treasurer reiterated the Chairman’s comments about the low level of response from coordinators to both emailed and posted newsletters. He asked for the following to be included in the minutes, namely that the Steering Group members all work on a voluntary basis, and are discouraged to continue without better support from coordinators.
The current members are all willing to remain on the Steering Group. There were no other nominations or offers to volunteer, so the Group will remain as:
The re-election of the present members of the Steering Group, and the newly co-opted new member Steve Hodgkinson was proposed by Heather Howell from the floor and by Harriet Coleman by email. There were 12 other email responses in agreement and no dissention from the floor.
Coordinators attending all said the lack of support to members of voluntary groups across the board is always poor, and the SG should try to concentrate on getting the job done as they thought best, and not get too depressed by the lack of support and feedback.
Sgt. Ali Dunlop said social media was the way forward in getting better two-way communication going, and already Vic Smith has quite a lot of interest in his Twitter account for NHW in Spelthorne. All members of the Steering Group felt unsure of taking this on and felt that this was a task for a new younger member of the group if one could be found.
The meeting closed at 10.45 am.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON ACTIVITIES
Maintaining the NhWatch Database – This activity is without doubt the most important function of the Steering Group as without an accurate list of active watches and the residents who coordinate them we cannot effectively communicate. Your support in keeping us informed of any changes to your contact information would be much appreciated. We currently have 125 Watches registered on our database for Runnymede.
Website & Social Networking - The Steering Group attempts to maintain a website containing useful information for watch members and coordinators. However we urgently need to develop this valuable resource with the addition of social media channels. We continue to seek the services of a person who has the knowledge to progress this project.
Annual Conference & AGM – This is clearly our most important event of the year and was held on Tuesday, 6th October in 2015. The feedback received following the meeting indicates the Conference is appreciated and we will attempt to reflect your comments in arrangements for this year’s conference. One major change will be to conduct the AGM during a regular Steering Group meeting giving us some additional time at the conference for items you have asked us to cover.
Support from Surrey Police - The support we continue to receive from Surrey Police through the involvement of the Crime Reduction Advisors (CRAs) in our meetings and activities is outstanding and truly essential to our credibility. Our thanks are extended to the current CRA, Vic Smith, who has regularly attended our meetings throughout 2015/16, providing guidance and insight. We also extend our thanks to Sgt. Ali Dunlop of the Community Safety Team, Northern Division.
Communication - Our policy of maintaining contact with our coordinators primarily via e-mail will remain as it provides quick, zero cost distribution of notices and information. As well as the email contact to alert coordinators to criminal activity in their area contact is also made by telephone via the NhWatch Desk. We would like to extend the telephone activity, which is currently limited to Mondays due to volunteer availability, so if you can spare some time please get in touch. Your support in maintaining the accuracy of the contact database, which is essential to this activity, is again requested.
We do conduct occasional mail shots to distribute printed material. In February this year we sent out a newsletter to over 170 coordinators and deputies, with single copies of leaflets; Scams, Stay Safe, and one of the new NHW roundels for windows to see how many were wanted for distribution to Watch members. We were very disappointed that less than 30 of the letters stimulated a response and only a few of the respondents requested copies to give to people in their Watch.
Advertising - A pop-up banner was designed and purchased during the year to advertise the existence of Neighbourhood Watch around the Borough. The banner has been positioned in the foyer of the Runnymede Council Offices and then Egham library, together with accompanying literature. It will be moved to other locations on a regular basis.
The Steering Group has relied solely upon grants from public bodies to fund its activities. The financial statement for the Group is included below and reports on a 15 month period reflecting our decision to move accounting to a fiscal year end of March.
It can be seen that the main expenditure remains the Annual Conference. There was no grant income in 2015 and the Group recognises that further grant applications will need to be progress in 2016/17 to establish financial viability going forward.
Banking arrangements were changed in February 2016 to a Community Directplus Account with the Co-Operative Bank to allow us additional banking facilities such as BAC payments.