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Annual General Meeting 2017

National Chairman Jenny Rideout, National Vice-Chairman Jan Collins, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, members of the NEC and Laurence Parkes, Company Secretary, took their places at the platform table. Jenny Rideout opened the proceedings and gave her welcome.

Laurence Parkes, Company Secretary and acting secretary for the day, made the announcements.

Jane Dayus-Hinch took a full roll call and the Federation banners were paraded to music. The National Banner was paraded through the meeting to its place on the platform by former NEC trustee Jan Buck.

The National Chairman welcomed The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Anne Murphy. The Lord Mayor praised the work of the Townswomen movement and drew similarities between Townswomen and the “Women of Steel” statues outside City Hall.
National Vice-Chairman Janice Collins gave a Vote of Thanks to the Lord Mayor before her departure.
The National Chairman introduced the President, Dame Diana Brittan, and Honorary Life National Vice-Presidents and former National Chairmen Margaret Key, Pauline Myers, Sue Smith OBE, Maggie Chilton MBE and Iris Shanahan MBE.
Apologies had been received from Baroness Flather, Dame Jocelyn Barrow DBE, Eileen Bell CBE, Jean Ellerton, Marjory Hall OBE and Pamela Pollock.
Jenny Rideout welcomed guests and business colleagues: Alison Dalrymple and Catherine Fudge from the Membership Management Company, James Firth from Vestra Wealth, Clare Harris and Jane Yettram from Think Publishing and, from Nexus Creative Ltd, Colin Foxall, Robin Dallaway and Abi Yorke.
Also welcomed was officer’s husband, Rod Rideout. Other members of the Trustee Board were then introduced.
Members of staff were introduced: David Brotherton, Rhiannon Batsford, Helen Collins, Donna Treasure, Sharon Gordon and Kelly Jones, together with a temporary staff member, Charlotte Delaney, as Maternity Cover for Jo Egan.
Special mention was made of the Stewards for the day: Shirley Aulton, Chris Barratt, Angela Davies and Stef Shackley. Also receiving thanks were the ladies from Sheffield, who kindly volunteered their time.
Four new Guilds opened in the last year were welcomed and invited to collect Silver Salvers from the Information Desk:
1. New Brighton, Merseyside
2. Whittington Townswomen, Derbyshire
3. Three Spires (A) Townswomen’s Guild, Staffordshire
4. Croydon Afternoon, Greater London

Messages of greetings had been sent to HM The Queen and HRH The Princess Royal. The official responses were read out to the meeting.

Donna Treasure and Sharon Gordon, members of staff, were appointed Returning Officers for the day.

The Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 28 June 2016 in Bournemouth, were proposed to be accepted by the National Chairman. This was seconded by Sheila Baker, former NEC trustee, before being approved unanimously.

The National Chairman proposed the adoption of the Standing Orders as printed in the programme. This was approved by a show of green cards from the floor.
It was then proposed that the Annual Report as printed in the Trustees Report be adopted. This was seconded by June Mortlock from Isle of Wight Federation before being approved unanimously by the meeting.

Honorary National Treasurer, Penny Ryan, presented the Annual Accounts. The format of the Accounts had been revised to reflect best current practice. Due to gains in the value of investments there was a net surplus of £9,000, compared to a £256,000 deficit in the previous year. The presentation was enhanced by charts showing how affiliation fees were spent. It was confirmed that there would be no increase in the affiliation fee for the coming year and that training events for Treasurers were in the pipeline.
It was explained that, due to the size of the charity, an Independent Examination had been carried out, rather than the more expensive audit.
Penny Ryan then moved the adoption of the accounts and the Trustees Report. This was seconded by Ellen Jenkins of Farncombe Morning Guild and approved by a show of voting cards.
The Hon. National Treasurer then proposed that haysmacintyre be reappointed as independent examiners for the year 2017-2018. This was seconded by Ann Dowdeswell of Moreton Afternoon Guild.

The National Vice Chairman Janice Collins introduced the first mandate on “Fracking Regulation”.
“TG urges HM Government to enforce tight regulation and control on those involved in the fracking industry, ensuring adherence, to avoid detrimental impacts upon people’s health and the environment.”
The Motion was proposed by Sandra Scholey of Shropshire and Mid Wales Federation and seconded by Mary Roberts from Wellington Evening Guild.
Kath Wilson of Sheffield Against Fracking spoke for the mandate. Tony Almond of the Health & Safety Executive told us about the current regulations regarding fracking.
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UK Onshore Oil & Gas, spoke in favour of fracking.
There were three speakers from the floor before a vote was taken. The Motion was carried with one against.

Jenny Rideout then invited to the stage Anna Turney, who gave a stimulating and encouraging talk on her life as a Paralympic skier. She had three special words: dream, routine and team. After her talk, Anna held a Q&A session with members of the audience.
Trustee Jenny Thorne gave a Vote of Thanks.
Closure of morning session
The Meeting reconvened at 2.00 pm

Jenny Thorne read the topic on changing the clocks:
“Should the changing of clocks between Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time be abolished?”
Mrs Thorne proposed the topic on behalf of Shropshire and Mid Wales Federation.
There followed a lively debate with many speakers from the floor before a vote was taken and the Motion was lost.

Dame Diana Brittan presented awards as follows:
Townswoman of the year
The award was presented to Kay Simpson of Northern Ireland Federation.
Officers’ Trophy (ABC Award)
The winner of the award for someone who has acted above and beyond the call of duty was Chris Barratt of Sheffield Federation.
Chairman’s Award
The winner of the Chairman’s Award for the unsung hero of a Guild was Sylvia Hannah of Wimborne Evening Guild.
Membership Salver
The Membership Salver for the most new members was awarded to Gornal Wood Morning Guild with 40 new members.
National Crown Green Bowls (2016)
The winners were Mary Farrington and Ellen Lomas from Tottington & District Evening Guild (collected by Kathleen Davenport).
National Scrabble Final (2016)
The winner was Pauline Francis from Great Barr Evening Guild (collected by Pauline Haywood from South Staffordshire Federation).
National Skittles Final (2017)
The trophy was won by Dorset Federation and collected by Brenda Holding on behalf of the team: Elaine Beecroft, Tricia Doggett, Paddy Clements, Pauline Harris, Joan Poole and Sue Trickett.

Jenny Thorne spoke on the “One Sock Show”. There had been 200 entries of single socks, displayed in the Exhibition Hall.

Former National Trustee, Sheila Baker, spoke on Comic Relief. A grand total of £19,716.60 had been raised.
National Chairman Jenny Rideout thanked Sheila for her work on behalf of Comic Relief and then presented her with a Former National Trustee badge.

Jenny Rideout gave an update on the National Memorial Arboretum project. Thanks to the work of past National Chairman Margaret Key, £15,500 had been raised in donations - sufficient to pay for the works and future upkeep - and we are on target for the unveiling on Thursday 5 October 2017.

Laurence Parkes announced details of the National Executive Committee, President and Vice Presidents for the coming year:
Jenny Rideout will continue as the National Chairman
The two National Vice-Chairmen will be:
• Janice Collins
• Jenny Thorne
The Honorary National Treasurer will be Penny Ryan.
Other members of the National Executive Committee are:
• Connie Nunn
• Marilyn Lawton
• Beryl Hales
Jenny Rideout then gave Jenny Thorne her Vice Chairman badge.
Jenny Rideout introduced three new members who were joining the board at the AGM:
• Jane Dayus-Hinch of Staffordshire
• Barbara Cobain of Wirral
• Linda Young of South East Essex

In addition:

• HRH The Princess Royal will continue as Patron
• Dame Diana Brittan will continue as President
Vice – Presidents for the year will be:
• Dame Jocelyn Barrow
• Eileen Bell
• Baroness Flather

A vote of thanks to Jenny Rideout as Chairman was made by Val Barker of Dorset Federation.

Peter Slack entertained the audience with tales of his life as a hill farmer in the Peak District National Park including inter-action with lost ramblers.
Trustee Marilyn Lawton gave a Yorkshire vote of appreciation to Peter Slack.

Peter Slack then read out the randomly chosen winning seat numbers for prizes donated by Hotter Shoes and John Lewis.

The proceedings were drawn to close by the singing of “I am a Small Part of the World” and “Land of Hope and Glory.”
Jenny Rideout announced some diary dates for future events:
Tackling Violence against Women and Girls, Tuesday 10 October 2017, Salvation Army Regent Hall, Oxford St London. Deadline for applications Friday 15 September.
Carol Services all at 2 pm (Members only at £6.00 for Order of Service)
• Ripon, Wednesday 29 November
• Wells, Thursday 7 December
• Coventry, Tuesday 12 December
International Women’s Day Thursday 8 March 2018, at the Mercure Banbury Hotel (£29 Members and £32 for non-members).

The last announcement was that the 2018 AGM would be at The Brighton Dome on Wednesday 13 June 2018. The 2019 AGM would be TG’s 90th Anniversary with a year of events; updates to be included in Townswoman magazine.

Finally, to close the day, there was the singing of Yorkshire’s unofficial anthem: “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at”

The meeting was closed at 4.25 pm



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