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CLEVELAND CHESS ASSOCIATION EGM

1st December 2006

An Extraordinary General Meeting was held at:

Middlesbrough Chess Club, Cedarwood Community Centre, Cypress Road, Marton , Friday, 1st December 2007 at 7.30 p.m.

Attendance:

Bob Rowe, Neil Fulton, Ian Elcoate, D.Gniadel, Tony Kiddle, Steve Cole, Ray Pallister, Peter Ridsdale, Nathan Huntley, Philip Mitcheson, David Smith (Middlesbrough); Mike Creaney, Brian Whitaker (Billingham Synthonia); Frank Boagey, Graham Matthews, David Smith (Hartlepool); Stan Lovell, Alan Hare, David Baillie, Dave Edmunds, Mike Closs (Redcar); Dennis Sawdon (Upper Eskdale); Steve Carter, Bill McGregor, Colin Smith (Peterlee); Joe Richardson (Stokesley); Sean Marsh, Andrew Killick (Elmwood); Gerry Walsh (President, Redcar), Ernie Lazenby (Chair, Middlesbrough), Steve Dauber (Treasurer, Darlington), Phil Semp (Secretary, Stokesley).

 

Apologies for Absence:

Steve Henderson

 

The Chair opened proceedings with an apology to Dennis Sawdon for being abrupt with him at the previous Exec Meeting. He also shook hands with Mike Creaney who had returned as interim grader, having joined the ECF through the MO Scheme

The Chair then suggested that item 1 on the agenda, concerning the role of the Chair and confidence in the current holder, which he had specifically placed on the agenda, be taken last so that the other items could be dealt with expeditiously.

Grader:
Following Mike Creaney's resignation as grader, Steve Henderson agreed to step in. However, Steve has resigned, due to pressure of other work, and Mike has agreed to taker over again as grader, pending the next AGM.

The meeting enthusiastically welcomed Mike back.

"A" Division Trophy:
The present trophy, which started life with a 500 donation, has now been valued at 895 + engraving costs, by A1 Trophies. In view of the fate of some previous trophies and cups, concern was expressed should this "disappear", as the Association would be looking at shelling out about 1000 to replace it. Two resolutions were placed before meeting: i) to keep this trophy in a bank vault in between taking it out and presenting it to the winner on an annual basis ii) to distribute it to the winning team each year to be held in their keeping. It was agreed to keep the trophy in a bank vault.

Ivory Chess Set:
The background to this item is that it was discovered a few weeks ago that the Ivory Chess Set, which a previous AGM had decided to keep in a bank vault, was being kept in the President's house. The current officers were somewhat alarmed at this. The Chair had spent a lot of time, and personal expense, to obtain a written evaluation by Tennants. They had waived the fee for this. They have made an insurance valuation of 7500,with an auction valuation of 3K-5K.Bonham's have concurred with this evaluation. Accordingly, the Chair had come to an agreement to lodge it in the strong room of the solicitor's firm that Philip Mitcheson works for, pending a decision by the Association as to its future storage.

The President was invited to address the meeting. He said that the Set had spent much of its time in the vault at his bank, but he'd withdrawn it many times to bring it to meetings to show people and that, accordingly, it had spent some time in his house. He agreed he should have left it where it was.

Several people expressed the view that it was unwise of the President to remove the Set to his house, but the issue at hand was what to do with it now.

One member suggested that the Set be sold. The Chair pointed out that that decision cannot be taken at this EGM. It would be necessary to canvass the members properly. It was agreed to write to members with a view to inviting them to a meeting, with the sole agenda item being to keep or sell the Ivory Chess Set. In the meantime it was agreed to keep it in Phil Mitcheson's office strong room.


CCA Finances:
The Chair brought several issues to the attention of the meeting. Firstly, concern was expressed that there was only one designated signature, that of the Treasurer, authorised to withdraw funds and make out CCA cheques.

In the event of anything happening to the Treasurer, it would be very difficult to get at the funds. For this reason, and to safeguard against any possible improprieties, it was common practice for organisations like CCA to require at least two signatures from among designated officers. Banks had a standard form for this process. The President pointed out that he has been authorised as a second signatory to the account from the point in time when it was opened with Barclays Bank in September 1994. The basis of the existing mandate is for either to sign. Nevertheless, it was agreed that current practice be changed to authorise any two from the three designated officers.

Also, it was pointed out and that the treasurer had been put in the position of paying out for many bills that were not properly itemised, especially from A1 Trophies. It was agreed that CCA insists that all bills be fully itemised in future before any moneys are paid out.

It was agreed that CCA accounts be audited on an annual basis. Peter Ridsdale, a qualified chartered accountant, agreed to do this on a voluntary basis.

Role of Chairperson and confidence in the current holder:
The Chair opened this agenda item. He said that, until Philip Mitcheson had completed the job on redrafting Rules and Constitution, and this been properly put to the vote, none of the officers have properly defined roles. In the meantime he and the other officers need to do a job to ensure that CCA is conducted on a proper basis and complies with current statutory and other requirements, especially given the legal requirements placed on the officers.

At this point Bob Rowe complained that the Chairman had forbidden him to play chess in the Cleveland League (and authorised the return of his payments) as he was not prepared to sign the ECF "White Form". Both the Chair and the President explained that it was a requirement of ECF to sign the once-in- a-lifetime form. Without this, there could be no ECF membership - which was a current requirement of playing in the League.

A general view was expressed that the officers were doing a necessary job and that the Chair had the confidence of the meeting. However, a number of members said they perceived that the Chair sometimes had an unfortunate manner when dealing with individuals. The League Organiser said he felt that he had been subject to a number of unpleasant exchanges with the Chair in the past few weeks. He announced his resignation as from this meeting.

The Chair said that Steve Henderson had expressed a willingness to take on the League Organiser's job, had Ray resigned at the previous AGM. It was agreed to invite Steve to do it for the rest of the season.

At this point, Steve Dauber said that he personally did not have confidence in the Chair, in view of a previous communication in which it was said that he "could easily be replaced". The meeting terminated soon afterwards.



Postscript:


*The Chairman resigned on Sunday,3rd December 2006

*Steve has declined to take on the League Organiser's job

*The administration re. changing the account signatories has been done, but bank procedure only permits this to be changed at an AGM. In the meantime, the treasurer, and failing him, the President will continue to sign for the cheque account