CHAIRMAN's ADDRESS TO AGM

CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS TO AGM ON 22.8.21

As you may already know, having closed the club on 16th March 2020 due to the Covid Pandemic and subsequent Government Lockdowns we were unable to hold an AGM in April 2020 as is our custom. We did inform Companies House and were told that in common with many other Companies we could postpone this event until a future safe date.

Due to the continuing events we are now able to hold the AGM for 2019/20 year and 2020/21 years together.

This has been a most difficult period of time as we needed to make the club safe for all members and employees, whether we were able to open or not. The club did not open for the summer season of 2020, and although we did open for winter bowls in the autumn of 2020, this only lasted for 6 weeks before we were obliged to close again. During the period that we were open there was a need to ask for volunteers to act as Stewards to ensure all the safety procedures took place. I would like to thank those members who did volunteer, for helping keep us safe during that albeit short season.

The closures automatically had an effect on our income. As you will hear the 2019/20 accounts were boosted by the Government Grant which was administered by the Wiltshire Council. I have to inform you that when you attend the next SGM (which I hope will be late September or early October) you will be informed that even though we were able to furlough staff for periods, the club still needed to be maintained ready for re-opening so you can anticipate that the accounts will not look so rosy.

As far as our paying membership is concerned I can tell you that whilst we had 579 members in 2018/19 this reduced to 552 for the 2019/20 financial period, and further reduced to 336 for the 2020/21 financial period. This large reduction was almost solely due to the pandemic, as members took their own personal decisions on whether they felt safe to return.

As we make plans for resuming winter bowls this year we hope we may return to the previous level of members. To encourage return we will reduce the annual fee by £20 and waive the £5 locker fee for those members who paid for a full season last year. Please bear in mind that this is a one-off reduction, and as we cannot further control our running expenses. This will be reflected in our future accounts.

We, the club members do not know what the future holds, but you can rest assured that we will do all we can through careful management to sustain this club in the manner you expect.

Thank you everyone who has assisted us through this difficult time.

Ron READ Chairman.

Fri 27 August 2021

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