Communication to Members
The Future of the Bournemouth Civic Society
AGM 1st September and Follow on Meeting 22nd September 2023
Members will be aware from the communications issued since last year’s Annual General Meeting that Bournemouth Civic Society has been in real peril due to lack of new committee members and officers.
Despite calls for help and new members made in our newsletters circulated in Autumn 2022 and New Year 2023, our urgent appeal to members and supporters sent in March this year, a full page feature in The Echo in April, plus subsequent calls for help issued to members and supporters in May and June, we have not been able to find new committee members or officers
In all our communications we have been honest that the Society can only continue to flourish, remain viable and exist if it has an active Committee.
However despite all the efforts to seek and recruit new committee members and officers we have not been able to find sufficient and so are not able to recommend to AGM a quorate committee for the ensuing year.
The facts are simple and are set out in the monthly committee meeting minutes which you can view on our website at www.bournemouthcivicsociety.org.uk.
In essence and as discussed at our June committee meeting, the facts are:
Currently the Committee is lacking the following Officers: Secretary, Minutes Secretary and Newsletter Editor
The current Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer, Website Officer and two, possibly three, committee members without portfolio will be standing down at the AGM.
There have been a few expressions of interest to help, one as Newsletter Editor from an existing member, but all the others have not followed through having been contacted and none of these have joined the Society.
It was agreed earlier this year and currently remains imperative that any new committee members and officers need to attend a number of meetings to familiarise themselves with roles and responsibilities and then be nominated by the existing committee at the AGM rather than join and take on roles without any induction.
It remains the case that that without new Committee members the Society will have to close and then its remaining funds transferred to another local charity with similar aims and objectives (all to be in accordance with the Charity Commission).
The Constitution requires for the Committee to be quorate that it has 6 members of which two are officers.
The winding up process as per the Constitution requires a special meeting where winding up is given notice on the agenda and where two thirds vote in favour of winding up followed by a second meeting 14 days later where a simple majority vote in favour of winding up.
It was agreed that should the Society retrench rather than wind up the core activities were the monthly comments on planning applications, general liaison on planning, heritage, environment and development issues, Newsletter and Website – all though needed officers to lead on these matters.
As insufficient offers of help/new committee members have been received it will not be possible to fill the soon to be vacant committee member and officer roles with a quorate committee of 6 members including two officers.
There is a possibility that two current officer roles (Membership Secretary and Built Environment Officer) together with two or three of the current without portfolio committee members may retain in position, but this is insufficient for the quorum. There might be a new Newsletter Editor coming forward.
As an organisation and a registered charity, the BCS must have a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Web Master, along with the other three officer roles noted above but there have been no volunteers to take these roles on.
Therefore the existing committee of eleven members agreed at the June meeting, with nine in favour, one abstaining and on voting against, the following resolution:
With great regret it is agreed to recommend to the members that the Bournemouth Civic Society begin the winding up process and make arrangements for same via the AGM and the follow on meeting, both to be arranged for in September.
The current committee also agree to recommend to the members at the AGM that the Society’s funds, once all dues are settled, be transferred as a donation to the Russell Cotes Museum. Conversations would take place with the museum to see if they could create a local history room. This having been proposed and seconded, was agreed with nine voting in favour, one abstention and one against.
Consequent on the AGM agreeing the recommendation the Charity Commission be advised that the BCS is winding down.
And the Society’s historic records be passed to Bournemouth Libraries Heritage Section.
You will see accompanying this communication the AGM Calling Notice setting out the order of business that includes this winding up recommendation.
None of the Committee take any pleasure in recommending this course of action since they are all committed to everything the Civic Society stands for and that it has achieved over its fifty year history, but are mindful of the absolute fact that with insufficient new committee members or officers coming forward it simply cannot continue. Like so many other voluntary groups, indeed like other Civic Societies, it is likely to close due to lack of volunteers. We hope to see you at the AGM on 1st September at 7pm and if the above recommendation is agreed also on 22nd September at the same time.
If you wish to give apologies or have any comments please email: email@example.com
Ken Mantock FRSA