1 Welcome by Chair John Wyatt
2 Apologies: Councillor Murad Gassanly, Justin Hood, Garry Clayton.
3 Welcome to guests – John Wyatt welcomed Martin Thomas and Ella Warner, from Tax Assist, and Councillor Andrea Mann.
4 Minutes of 2018 AGM were accepted.
The issue of parking on the estate was raised. John said the TMO was now enforced, but it has not been well thought through. Residents raised various problems, eg elderly residents who want relatives to visit on weekends for help with care but who are unable to get permits.
A resident said that Westminster City Council has set up a ‘report it’ section of their website. Problems should be logged there.
Andrea M offered to arrange a walk round the estate so residents can point out problems. She encouraged residents to email her with details of any problems.
5 Chair’s Report.
John explained the proposed new constitution. The changes have been recommended by WCC because of changes in charity law. The trustees proposed will only be in office for a year, while the new Charity Incorporated Organisation status is adopted. He proposed a slightly different management structure, in which people would be able to focus on their specific areas of interest, such as
- gardens and green spaces/environmental
- regeneration and major works
- the management of the Adult and Social club will be one of these groups, with one set of accounts instead of two as at present.
Each of these separate groups must contain a trustee, and they will be expected to send written accounts prior to RA meetings, which will now be every other month, instead of monthly as at present.
It was proposed that the maximum number of trustees be raised from 8 to 10 – and it was agreed to change the constitution accordingly.
A resident asked how trustees were chosen and what their commitment was. John said they needed to be actively involved in the work of the RA, prepared to give approx 5 hours per month of their time.
John thanked those who have resigned from the RA in the past few months for the work they had put in.
6 Call for Volunteers.
A few residents said they had sent in application forms to join the RA but these appeared to have gone missing. John apologised on behalf of the committee and said this was probably due to pressure of work, especially since the recent resignations.
7 Financial Report and Accounts
Martin of TaxAssist said he has been working with the RA for three years and since 1 April 2019 the RA has been using QuickBooks which will streamline the process.
Several questions were asked about apparent anomalies in the accounts from 2018 and 2019 but these were all due to the change in the way the accounts were presented and the amalgamation of the Adult and Social Club accounts with those of the RA. In future it will be more straightforward to read.
The accounts were approved on a show of hands.
The full accounts will be posted on the CGRA website.
8 Election of Financial examiners.
Ron Gorman proposed Tax Assist continue as the CGRA accountants.
Iris Warwick seconded.
Tax Assist were duly appointed for another year.
Ron Gorman has been using FOIs to try to get break-down of the expenditure which has risen alarmingly, with high fees for ‘consultants’. Also the Churchill Hall is sent bills with no meter readings given. He was thanked for his persistence.
9 Change in Charitable Status
This had already been explained under Chair’s Report and was agreed by the residents.
10 Proposed new constitution.
This was also agreed, subject to change from maximum of 8 to 10 trustees, as discussed earlier.
11 Election of Founding Trustees.
As proposed, John Wyatt, Vivian Fieldhouse, Dick Cole, Iris Warwick, Sara Bishop and Jo Hines were elected, as well as new member of the RA Nacira Lebnaoui who was welcomed. The trustees can co-opt up to three more during the year, but all will be up for re-election at the 2020 AGM.
12 Election of RA Committee
The present committee was re-elected, with the addition of Nacira Lebnaoui.
13 Any Other Business:
The Chair was asked about the work of the RA. He gave some examples:
- Hall made available to our neighbours following the gas leak on Lupus Street.
- RA is making every effort to accommodate groups such as ETAT who are temporarily homeless because of building/repair work in Thames Bank and the Youth Club.
- Open Age can no longer afford the rents required by WCC and the RA is exploring ways to help in spite of our contractual obligation to charge for room hire.
- Thanks to combined efforts of WCC and BoxEngland, the boxing training for young people has been restarted.
Darwin House and the Balmoral:
- A resident of Darwin House said all residents are in favour of moving into proposed new purpose built block.
- A resident explained that the current petition is about modifying Darwin House, and the residents’ views were respected.
- Councillor Mann said she was interested to hear the views of all residents. She emphasised the difference between affordable and social housing. There is a 4000 waiting list in Westminster for social housing.
John Wyatt was thanked for his work and the meeting closed.