VINCENT SQUARE RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Annual General Meeting
29th. April 2010, Grange Rochester Hotel, Vincent Sq., London SW1
- Minutes of 2009 AGM and matters arising
The minutes of the 2009 AGM were adopted as a true record. Westminster City Council’s conservation area audit had been adopted in February 2010 and printed copies were available from the Council. The Chairman encouraged property-owners to make improvements identified in the audit, such as installing appropriate railings.
- Chairman’s report on 2009
The Chairman reported that preparations for the bicentenary of Vincent Square in 2010 dominated the year. An “action group” of residents met in July, September and November.
In addition to the commemorative wall plaque, cricket match and Abbey tour (covered later in the agenda), progress was made in partnership with the Council to install two benches (in Hatherley Street and outside Kingsway College), plant trees in Rutherford, Elverton and Hatherley Streets, and convert Osbert Street into a playstreet (postponed due to possible roadworks). Planned is a sign with history of the Square. WCC has been asked if an engraved nameplate can be fastened onto the benches with the words “Vincent Square Bicentenary 2010”, at VSRA’s expense. The Chairman thanked WCC officials, Ward councillors and residents for their hard work in realising the project. In discussion, the trees and benches were welcomed improvement to the Square, though final judgement on the benches should wait.
The Summer Party raised £407 for The Passage charity. The Chairman thanked those who donated prizes, the Rochester Hotel for refreshments and Westminster School for the venue.
- Treasurer’s report, 2009 accounts and appointment of new Treasurer
The Treasurer, Cedric Fan, presented the 2009 accounts, which were adopted on a “no objection” basis after a week. An excess of expenditure over income of £1,299 reduced the assets of the VSRA to £11,304 at the end of 2009. Main expenditures in 2009 were £3,220 for tennis and £263 for insurance. Membership income had fallen by £530 compared to 2008.
For 2010, it was agreed to raise the household membership fee to £20 - the first increase since 1988 - plus £100 for joining the Tennis Section. Tennis section fees were set in relation to the charge made by Westminster School for access to the courts and, since 2009, that charge was up significantly because of the extra hours available.
The AGM was informed that Cedric was unable to continue as Treasurer. On behalf of the VSRA, the Chairman thanked Cedric for his excellent stewardship of the VSRA’s finances during the previous years and asked that its appreciation be recorded in the minutes.
- Bicentenary of Vincent Square in 2010
Three activities were being organised to mark the bicentenary. Residents were advised to look at the website www.VincentSquare.org.uk during the course of the year:
i) Commemorative wall plaque. The sculptress, Karen Newman, displayed a maquette and spoke about her approach to the commission and interpretation of Dean Vincent. The Chairman thanked donors - including the Council’s Ward Budget and residents directly and indirectly from VSRA’s funds – but said £5,500 was still needed. Moretons Estate Agency were providing a guarantee and would donate a portion of their fees from new business generated from residents. In discussion, an unveiling ceremony with the Dean and Lord Mayor was suggested. The Chairman thanked Anthony Taylor for all his work on the plaque.
ii) Cricket match and Summer Party. On 27 June, an afternoon cricket match between residents and Westminster School would be followed by the VSRA Summer Party in the pavilion. Steven Zielinski and Ed Matthews were organising the VSRA team and would inquire whether a practice in the nets would be possible.
iii) Westminster Abbey tour. On 9 November, a customised tour of Westminster Abbey, with a special focus on Dean Vincent, would be followed by a reception in the Jerusalem chamber. Philip Welsh explained that places had to be limited to 50 people.
The Secretary of the Tennis Section, Mary Maxwell, reported that tennis fees and numbers of players had left the section with an unsustainable deficit in 2009 due to the higher cost of the extra hours of access to the courts. The fees would rise to £100 in 2010 as a result. It was still unclear whether all the extra hours were needed. Depending on uptake in 2010, the tennis section fee might need to be raised further or the hours of access reduced in subsequent years.
The AGM was asked about corporate tennis membership. Previously, only households had been able to join the tennis section but an organisation on the Square had made a request. After discussing the need to avoid discrimination between different types of members, while controlling numbers having access to the courts, the AGM agreed the following minute: “Membership of the VSRA tennis section is open to corporate members for the benefit of their current directors and employees (not its customers, clients, agency staff or sub-contractors or others having a business relationship with the corporate member). The VSRA tennis secretary has authority to vary the rules, charges and timing of play for corporate tennis members compared to household tennis members, in consultation with the Chairman and Treasurer.”
Mary was thanked for her stewardship of the Tennis Section.
- Election of Executive Committee
The following members were (re-)elected:
Jonathan Cole Treasurer Stephen McClelland Chairman
Mary Maxwell Tennis Section Malcolm Neate
Anthony Taylor History & Heritage
Steven Zielinski stood down from the Executive and thanks were recorded for his service. Thanks were also recorded for the work of Felicity Bullock in keeping the VSRA website functioning as a key means of communication and archive.
The meeting closed with thanks to Mr Matharu and the staff of Grange Rochester Hotel for their generous hospitality.