Union 1908 23/24 AGM meeting notes.

Union 1908 23/24 AGM meeting notes.

Unfortunately, due to noise levels (and lack of an incumbent secretary), meeting minutes were not possible for the Union AGM – below are compiled notes. If you were in attendance and feel that a point has been missed, or an issue has been misrepresent, email matthew@commonandco.co.uk

Union 1908 23/24 AGM
Thursday 27 July, The Beagle.

The meeting was chaired by Matthew Durrant, and began with a brief history of the Union, including some of its recent successes and failings. It was acknowledged that the group had previously lacked any structure, which meant that at key points in previous seasons the Union was unable to act in a way in which best represented and protected its membership, with this being the primary reason an infrastructure had to be implemented. This was followed by an overview of current finances by Michael Coates. This can be viewed below, along with his notes.

Voting then was undertaken for roles on the committee. There were no applications from absent members. Matthew Durrant was elected to the position of chair for 2023/24 without opposition, Michael Coates was also unopposed for the position of treasurer for the season, with a call-out for possible help for the role due to issues around potential loss of access to accounts should Michael be unavailable, and to encourage transparency. Connor Lunn has since volunteered to help in this role. Simon Miller was elected to the position of secretary, and has since proposed a job-share of the role with Simon Archer. There were no applicants on the floor for the position of vice-chair, and this will now be put to the group for consideration alongside other roles to fill out the committee.

Potential fundraising and charity initiatives for the season were discussed, but it was decided that both needed a wider debate, and there was a resolution for a charity lead/community outreach lead position on the committee to head up this, rather than a decision be made on the night.

There was a wide-ranging discussion on potential ways in which the Union could work with the club, and whether any relationship was worth pursuing. Minor iossues with the running of West were raised, mainly around lack of supporter outreach on major decisions such as ticket price increases. A motion was passed that the Union should work towards having a formal relationship with the club, though the specifics of this were not decided. Members raised potential issues that could arise if the Union was working towards having a representative on the committee such as conflicts of interest, and potential lack of willingness or ability to accommodate a request by the club. By the next meeting, a proposal and potential pathway to ongoing discourse with the club will be agreed to be signed off by the membership.

Questions from any absent members were raised. The issue of the Union potentially subsidising admission fees for those who may not be able to afford to attend given price increases. There was support for doing so as much as possible within the financial constraints the Union is under, but that the first port of call should be raising this with the club to see what they may be able to offer. A question about plans for any financial surplus the Union may have had already been addressed by the treasurer, but reiterated that the Union will always attempt to keep less than £2,000 in the account to ensure that funds are being invested in the community, while also having enough on hand to fund coach travel or any emergencies.

Any Other Business had several questions, with issues around next steps following this meeting being prime among them – this is dealt with below. The issue of lack of diversity in the room, both in gender mix and ethnicity was raised and acknowledged as correct, with outreach to the wider West community to grow membership and better represent the demographic split we’d like to see at the club.

Next steps are for the skeleton committee to form their own working group, and for the secretary job split to be formalised. The chair will draw up potential roles on the committee, which will then be put to the group to fill – including the absent vice-chair role – and be voted on by members. There will be at least 1 quarterly meeting for issues to be raised and updates given to members, with potentially the need for an extraordinary meeting before then to vote in other committee members. The outline of potential roles will be put to the group ahead of the FA Cup fixture against Vauxhall Motors (5th August), and a date for the extraordinary meeting will be formalised and announced the following week, with a view to the next quarterly meeting being held in October with each position filled.

Treasurer’s notes –

Non-revenue generating activities:
Coaches – to keep prices affordable these are at cost based on 75% occupancy, with additional sponsorship from The Beagle to help further subsidise.

Revenue generating activities:
Membership subs – 100 members equals roughly £450 each year after PayPal fees. We have been around this level for the past 2 seasons.
Merchandise – To keep these affordable to members the margin is low but generally profit is made. All time figures show just over £800 was spent on producing merch with £1,400 in revenue from sales.
West Rhythm Club – Union 1908 receive £150 for each night from The Beagle. £125 payment was from night of the Dutch Uncles album launch, in which we took a £25 commission for attaching our name to the event, and passed on the remainder of the fee to the band for expenses.

Notable expenses:
Solidarity payment to Callum Graham and donations of over £2,400 so far have been made to various charities with just over £1,300 raised from Union members and the rest made up from our revenue generating activities.
£700 – Sponsorship of a player last year and the U9 Girls team

Balance: £1,345.00
This is a reserve that enables us to create merch, buy materials for flags to enhance the match-day experience, produce flyers to promote the Union and book coaches in advance. It also allows us to make any urgent donations should the need arise. Any reserve fluctuates throughout the year but should it exceeds £2,000 the Union aims to support charitable endeavours with it rather than simply holding it in a bank account.

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