Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, 12th April, 2011 at 6:30, Grange Rochester Hotel, Vincent Sq.



  1. Welcome
  2. A word from Rev. Philip Welsh
  3. Minutes of the 2010 AGM, matters arising
  4. Chairman’s report on 2010
  5. Treasurer’s report, adoption of 2010 accounts and 2011 fees
  6. Tennis Secretary’s report
  7. WCC update by Cllr. Danny Chalkley
  8. Election of Chairman and Executive Committee
  9. Any other business
  10. Executive Committee elections
  11. The following members are nominated for re-election. Members wishing to serve on the Committee are requested to identify themselves.
  12. Mary Maxwell  Tennis Secretary
  13. Jonathan Cole Treasurer
  14. Anthony Taylor  History & Heritage


Annual General Meeting
29th. April 2010, Grange Rochester Hotel, Vincent Sq., London SW1

DRAFT Minutes

  • 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 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.

  • Tennis Section

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.

  • Any other business

The meeting closed with thanks to Mr Matharu and the staff of Grange Rochester Hotel for their generous hospitality.

Stephen McClelland,

VSRA Chairman



AGM 12 April 2011

Chairman’s Report for 2010

The year was dominated by celebrations to mark the bicentenary of Vincent Square:

  • Wesminster City Council installed two benches (at the end of Hatherley Street and on the Square outside Kingsway College) and planted trees (on Hatherley, Rutherford and Elverton Streets).
  • An extended Summer Party was held on Sunday, 27 June. This started with a fun “Residents versus Westminster School” cricket match, which, despite valiant play by the Residents, was lost to the School. A return match is in order! The Party enjoyed music performed by pupils and residents, and refreshments provided by Grange Rochester Hotel. The raffle raised money for the local Cardinal Hume Centre homeless charity and a cricket-themed auction raised money for The Lord’s Taverners sports charity. Once more, we are indebted to those residents, organisations and businesses, who provided prizes and helped make the day a success.
  • On the afternoon of Tuesday 9 November, the plaque of Dean William Vincent was unveiled on the corner of 56 Vincent Square. In bitterly cold wind, the Dean of Westminster, Dr. John Hall, the Head Master of Westminster School, Dr. Stephen Spurr, and the Lord Mayor locum tenens of Westminster City, Cllr. Jan Prendergast, unveiled the plaque by sculptor Karen Newman ARBS. After speeches, we enjoyed tea and birthday cake provided with great professionalism by the students of Kingsway College.
  • After the plaque unveiling, the day ended at Westminster Abbey with Evensong, a reception in the Jerusalem Chamber, hosted by the Dean, and a special Dean Vincent tour. A sublime end to the day and year of bicentenary celebrations!

I hope the man who gave his name to our Square would feel proud of the VSRA’s efforts to mark his legacy. As I said at the plaque unveiling, sharing our history makes one appreciate better the community we have. My thanks go to the many whose generosity, in time, ideas and money, made the bicentenary celebrations possible; in particular, Jonathan Cole, Jonathan Katz, Anthony Taylor, David Taylor and Philip Welsh.

Many of the ideas to enhance the amenities of the Square - more benches, more trees and flowers, more appropriate garden railings, designating Osbert Street a play street, erecting a notice of the history of the Square, more Green/Blue Plaques, etc. - were not realised in 2010 but remain on the drawing board. We should aim to continue to improve the Square. The austerity imposed on Westminster City Council means that financial support is unlikely to come from there soon; nontheless, with community effort there is no reason why some of these and other ideas cannot be realised.

Membership, Finance and Tennis

Over 75 households joined the VSRA in 2010. While not a record number, a significant proportion were new members, which is good news as they are the most difficult category to attract because of the high turnover of tenants. Higher fees for both membership and the tennis section in 2010 did not seem to deter anyone unduly.

The VSRA continues to be liquid and holds prudent levels of reserves. The bicentenary plaque did drawdown some reserves and the sculptor is seeking reimbursement of some costs that VSRA are not obliged to meet; in consequence, I have decided to keep the plaque appeal open for a little longer and encourage further donations.

The 2010 AGM decided to open the tennis section to corporate members. This seems to be working well. The tennis section did not cover its costs in 2010 but the loss was much less than in 2009.


This is my last Chairman’s Report. I have thoroughly enjoyed the role of chairman but do not intend to seek re-election in 2011. I shall work with whomsoever you elect to succeed me in order to ensure a smooth transition.

It was a privilege to have had your support over the years. I have met a large number of interesting people on and off the Square in this capacity. I believe that the VSRA plays a vital role and can grow stronger as an organisation in the service of its members.

Stephen McClelland
VSRA Chairman
29 March 2011




















































Cash at bank







Bank error-recoverable






























2011 subs in advance







2011 tennis fob deposits






2011 tennis sub







Admin expenses






















Net assets
















Represented by:















Accumulated funds







Deficit for the year



( 5,628)


( 1,299)








































































Tennis Section














( 3,474)



( 1,720)





Paid to Westminster School






























Bi centenary plaque











Donations received


( 12,714)








Cost of plaque










Planning application










Unveiling ceremony,tour of









abbey and other expenses






























Subscription income




( 1,865)



( 630)














Other expenses






















Website hosting




















Summer party































Interest income




( 5)



( 42)














Excess of expenditure over income









































An amount of 584 has been claimed by the sculptor of the plaque. This is over and above the contractual amount and it has been agreed that it will only be paid by VSRA if sufficient aditional donations are received to cover the amount. As a result of this agreement the amount has not been reflected in these accounts.