Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
held on Tuesday 27 June 2017
at The Brunswick Room,
Cornerstone Community Centre, Church Road, Hove, BN3 2FL
Welcome and Apologies
Those present were welcomed by Vaughan Rees, the Chairman, to the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Brighton and Hove Arts Council (BHAC). Apologises have been received from Trustee Milla Hills, co-opted Executive Committee member Chris Dunne, and a number of others within the wider membership of BHAC.
Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 June 2016
The Minutes of the previous AGM had been circulated prior to this meeting. Having been duly proposed and seconded, the Minutes were agreed as being a correct record of those proceedings.
There were no matters arising from those Minutes that would not be dealt with elsewhere on the agenda.
The Annual Report of the Trustees 2016/17
The Report and independently-examined Accounts had, in accordance with the Constitution, been circulated 28 days in advance of the AGM.
On the assumption that those comprehensive documents had been read and digested, Mr Rees said that he would confine his comments to one or two key features. The first and most obvious was a restating of the original Objects of the charity, and which continue to apply, namely: the support and promotion of the not-for-profit Arts community in Brighton, Hove and beyond. Mr Rees was pleased to note that membership remained pretty constant at one of the highest levels in the history of BHAC. That said,the need to recruit new members and to communicate with them more effectively continued to be to be the number one priority.
The full range of BHAC services was maintained during the year under review, including the quarterly publication of both the Arts Diary, thanks to the outstanding dedication of Milla Hills, and ArtsLink, the members’ newsletter, under the new and highly skilled editorship of Jennifer Le Roux. The BHAC website continues to develop in terms both of format and content, a successful joint effort on the part of Daphne Groves and Chris Dunne.
As ever the highlights of the year were the Drama Awards, again co-ordinated and directed so efficiently by Kate Armes, and the Spring Art Exhibition, for so long organised with great flair and good humour by Tina Stiles-O’Brien, ably assisted by John Hird. (See also below.) At the same time Jason Squire and Kevin Rance have been beavering away in the planning of the 2017 Poetry Competition and Festival, a new departure for BHAC and one that will feature Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, in the culminating event in November. Mr Rees wished to record his warm thanks to this small band of individuals, along with Andrew Graham-Bevan, our Hon. Treasurer, and Caroline Tyler, our Hon. Secretary – without the huge amount of time and effort that they voluntarily devote to the work of BHAC the charity would simply cease to function.
In all, for BHAC the year proved to be as hectic, productive and successful as ever, and the outlook for 2017/18 and beyond – subject, as ever, to the continued support of members and external partners – is both bright and exciting.
Balance Sheet and Accounts.
The accounts were presented by Andrew Granger-Bevan.
On behalf of BHAC Mr Rees extended his sincere thanks to Mr Granger-Bevan for his impeccable management of BHAC finances. The stewardship of the charity’s assets could not be in better hands.
Report and Accounts: Formal Adoption
There being no questions from ‘the floor’ on either document, and having been duly proposed and seconded, the 2016/17 Report and Accounts were formally adopted.
Contribution to the Arts Award
On behalf of the Executive Committee, it gave Mr Rees the greatest pleasure to present this annual award to Mr John Hird, in recognition not only of his outstanding record of service as a longstanding Trustee and former Chairman of BHAC but also for his support for, and close involvement in, the Arts community in Brighton and Hove much more generally. As a Sponsor of the Brighton Festival , chairman of Dupont Arts and as a member of numerous Arts organisations, Mr Hird is both a ‘visionary’ and at the same time a man of detailed action (‘he rolls up his sleeves and gets things done”!). Above all he is an exemplary advocate of the value and relevance of the Arts in society.
Election of Officers and Committee Members:
Mr Rees reported that notwithstanding strenuous efforts of himself and others it had not yet been possible to identify a suitable candidate to succeed him as Chairman, his three year term of office having been completed at this current AGM. He had therefore agreed to be nominated as Vice Chairman and in that role continue to undertake the duties of Chairman pro tem. Having been proposed by Mr Granger-Bevan and seconded by Mr Hird, Mr Rees was duly elected.
The following members, having been proposed and seconded, were elected/re-elected as Trustees of BHAC.
Vice Chairman: Mr Francis Vaughan Rees OBE
Secretary: Ms Caroline Patricia Jane Tyler
Treasurer: Mr Andrew Granger-Bevan
Committee: Ms Kate Armes
Ms Milla Hills
Mr John Hird
Mr Kevin Rance
Mr Jason Patrick Squire
It was reported with much sadness that Tina Stiles-OBrien had decided not to stand for further re-election. Tina has made an exceptional contribution to the work of the Arts Council over many years as the lead Trustee on the Visual Arts and, understandably, now wishes to be able to devote more time painting, the pursuit that she enjoys most. Mr Rees commented that Tina really would be greatly missed.
Appointment of Honorary Legal Advisor
Mr Glynn Adams of Green Wright Chalton Annis has kindly agreed to serve again in this capacity and having been duly proposed and seconded was reappointed.
Appointment of Independent Examiner
Mr Bob Ryder has kindly agreed to continue to serve in this capacity and, having been duly proposed and seconded, was reappointed.
To Note the Equal Opportunities Policy:
The policy was not simply ‘noted’ but was explicitly re-endorsed as continuing to apply to the affairs of BHAC.
Consideration of any motion received within the required timescale:
No such motions had been received.
Any Other Business
Mr Rees: ‘Stepping Down’
In a brief valedictory statement, Mr Rees said that it had been both an honour and real pleasure to have led BHAC over the previous three years. He had been involved with other charitable organisations at national and local level but had not come across such enthusiastic, dedicated and indeed effective volunteers as those who formed the small BHAC Executive Committee. BHAC was now as active as it had ever been, as indeed was the value of the contribution that it made to the life of the community. Importantly the charity’s financial position was rather stronger now than it had ever been and the whole visual personality of BHAC had been revitalised beyond recognition. The ’succession’ was unfinished business on which he continued to work. That apart, Mr Rees said that he hoped to maintain his wider association with BHAC, to which he extended every good wish for its future success.
In proposing a vote of thanks, Mr Hird noted the very significant time and effort that Mr Rees had devoted to BHAC business. He described him as a highly effective Chairman who had been a great ambassador for BHAC and the Arts more generally.
There being no further business Mr Rees called the meeting to a close at 8.30pm.