AGM Minutes and Plant Sale results.

AGM Minutes

Held – 27 April 2022 Location – Thomas Field Church Hall

Jenny Birks, Glenda Cooper, Chris Mawhood, Josie Jeffrey, David and Anne Heard, Barbara Sheard, Sandra Walsham, Sue Godar, Carolyn Wise, Valerie and Jeremy Neve Foster, Lyn Hyde, David and Pat Seymour, Trevor Fernandez, June Abraham, Alastair and Alison Greene, Stuart and Linda Buchanan-Barrow.

The meeting welcomed the guest speakers, Julia Bolton and Amy Moffatt from Horatio’s Garden.

  1. Apologies for absence
    1.1. Phil Bunting, Tim Cooper, Lin Underwood, Rachel Heaphy, Janet Stinton, Mandy Haynes.
  2. Adoption of the minutes for the AGM dated 2020
    2.1. The minutes were adopted unanimously.
  3. Election of committee members and proposals from the floor.
    3.1. There were no proposals from the floor so the existing committee was re-elected:
    Stuart Buchanan-Barrow – Treasurer, Alastair Greene – Membership
    Lin Underwood – Store Manager, Janet Stinton, June Abraham. We need three more people to join the Committee, urgently.
  4. Membership
    4.1. Alastair stated that there were 196 members most of whom had renewed their membership by direct debit payment on April 1st. Those that had not renewed yet for the current year’s membership were encouraged to so by either direct debit or online payment or cash to a Committee member.
    4.2. The meeting attendees were reminded of the RHS discount card which entitled two members to a 30% discount to any of their venues and also to the group discount for approximately 55 members in one visit.

5 Overview of the accounts for the year 2021
5.1. Stuart stated that the VPA was financially holding its own despite the restrictions caused by Covid.
5.2. He reported that the profit last year was almost exactly the same as the year before.
5.3. With regards to the shows he said that it was important to note that if a schedule was printed, this incurred a cost of about £400 which meant that the event was almost sure to make a loss, something the committee were keen to avoid.
5.4. June stated however that Ashridge Management College had been approached with a view to them assisting in this matter.
5.5. Stuart highlighted that the income from membership subscriptions was down by £83 but that the Harvest Supper had made a profit of £461.
5.6. It was also recorded that the 2021 plant sale had made a superb profit of £837 and the meeting was reminded that this year’s event was to be held on 22 May and that donations of plants etc would be gratefully received.

  1. Garden Store
    6.1. In her absence, Lin’s report on the store was read aloud in full. (copy attached) and it was noted that the turnover was down 3.4% with 70% of all sale being made via the Sum-Up card payment system.
    6.2. The meeting gave a unanimous and hearty vote of thanks to Lin for all her magnificent efforts in running the store. It is greatly appreciated and would not be possible without her commitment.
  2. Replacement of the store roof
    7.1. June recorded that the store had been re-roofed over the Easter weekend and that it looked superb.
    7.2. It was recorded that grants had been made from both the Parish Council and Dacorum Borough Council, such that the VPA funded 66% of the cost and grants covered the remaining 34%.
    7.3. Alastair also stated that Andrew Sheaf had offered to match any profits made by the forthcoming plant sale up to the limit of £500, and thanks were given to Andrew for this extremely generous gift.
    7.4. Electrical works were still to be finalised and an order placed. The overall total cost for the project was likely to be in the region of £8,500.
    7.5. Redecoration works were also needed and a working party had been arranged for 11 May with all helpers welcome. [after meeting Addendum: this was postponed due to non-availability of volunteers.]
  3. Shows and events
    8.1 The meeting was informed that Sue Godar was once again leading the organisation for the plant sale, with a request for plants etc.
    8.2. The Harvest Supper was a success despite the restricted numbers. The style of the event was well established and the menu was greatly appreciated along with the quiz presentation by Shaun McCarthy.
    8.3. The revised format for the Winter Show was generally well received and the committee have received various feedback comments about future shows which they will review as necessary, including suggestions regarding the rules and sustainability.

9 Communications
9.1. The meeting was reminded of the various ways the VPA communicates.
These are via its web site and newsletters, Instagram, Facebook and the Gad Soc emailed news items.

  1. AOB.
    10.1. There was no other business so the meeting moved to a presentation by Amy Moffatt on Horatio’s Garden, Stoke Mandeville Hospital which was truly interesting and well received.

Refreshments were served to welcome guests and again during the interval.

May Plant sale

Our annual Plant Sale was a great morning on the Village Hall car park, the sky’s above being extremely kind to us all.

We are very grateful for all the donations sent to us. Although possibly less visitors than previous years, a steady flow of people prevailed.

There was hustle and bustle from about 8am organising of tables for the various sections and lots of price marking up with coloured sticks. Many thanks to Sue Godar for taking the lead on this which is so very much appreciated, together with several other volunteers to get organised, both at the beginning and end clearing up.

The total money raised was £572.92 and we have been very fortunate that Andrew Sheaf supporter and former Committee member of the VPA offered a matched donation of £500. For this we are immensely grateful. These monies will allow us to complete the roof and electrical installation replacement that are urgently needed in the store.

There was an appeal for a Ukraine Charity and sunflowers were being sold in order to raise funds. Again our VPA friends were very generous and £116 was raised.

The plants that were not sold were taken in readiness for the NGS open gardens and plant sale at Ashridge House on 14, 15 and 16 June.

Thank you again for your support.