Newsletter & AGM 2023
Minutes of the SOTAS 2023 Annual General Meeting.
9th November 2023
37 Members present
1. Apologies - Nil
2. Minutes of the 2022 AGM - The Secretary read out the minutes of the previous years AGM and these were accepted.
3. Any matters arising - There were no matters arising from the minutes.
4 . John Davey gave his report stating the he was stepping down as Chairman after 30 years of service to the Society. His full report is set out below.
" Good evening and welcome to the AGM. Well tonight it's a bit like out with the old and in with the new. Most of you will know I've been the Chairman for a long time. After 30 years, age catches up with you which is why tonight, I will be stepping down as Chairman and Trustee.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have worked with me during that time, in no particular order Albert Perkins who was secretary at the time I was appointed. During the time I worked with Albert, he was my rock and the most professional person to work with; alongside Mick Hann, Geoffrey Beckett, Brian Banks, Tony Burt, Roy Bailey, Kev Grocott and Andy Freeman, who all served in senior posts. Gerry Brooks, Ray Lightfoot and of course Arthur Simcox, Tom Dean, plus my mate Richard Duka. If I've missed anyone out, then please accept my apologies.
It is important to look to the future. We have been working for a long time to put together a team to take over the management of our great society, something I've enjoyed doing. We will be bringing in young people with the skills required to do the various jobs. We've established this over the last five years, and I am pleased to this to you tonight. From the agenda you will see the people for election to these important roles, please give them your support. From the balance sheet you will see the society is in a very healthy position, a lot different from when I became chairman 30 years ago when we had serious financial problems. One final thing I will recite tonight, is something I said at the 1993 AGM in my address as the new Chairman. I said that " I would like to offer my thanks to the outgoing Chairman for his work for the society over many years". My style would be very different to that of Dennis and I wished to make monthly meetings more informative for the members. I believed in teamwork and impressed on all present, that they were all anglers, I said that we must stop these damaging splits which occurred when members took on the role of just carp anglers, pike anglers, match anglers or pleasure anglers. We were one society and he wished to see it run for the mutual benefit of all, not just for one group as opposed to some other group.
I stand by those words thirty years later. I would like members to show their support by a round of applause for Mick Hann and Geoff Beckett and Albert Perkins, who will also be retiring from their senior positions. Well, what will I be doing in the future? I intend to be working with our wonderful SOTAS Academy, producing anglers for the future. We have some excellent young anglers, and they are certainly getting the name Stoke-On-Trent Angling Society recognised in the angling world. On the Global Canal championships in October, we won the cadets section and also the young juniors. In September, we took 42 young anglers to the canal championships - the largest group to ever attend. I would like to thank the society, and all involved for supporting the Academy.
I would like to wish you all the best for the future and thanks for taking the time to listen. John Davey
5. Treasurer's Report and Statement of Accounts.
Mick Hann reported that this was his 11th and final year as the Treasurer of the society since he was also stepping down from tonight. He presented the Statement of Accounts and commented that the 2023 income from subscriptions was 9.000 less than 2022 and he said that the reason for this was explained in the note to the accounts. He added that this outstanding debt will be settled in due course. He commented that there was a considerable increase in the purchase of equipment which included security fencing at Astbury and the purchase of fishery management equipment ( trailer, net and wet suits). He added that the latter items represent an investment for the future. He concluded that when the payment of the outstanding debt was received, this amount, together with the combined value of bank balances and the Trust Fund represents a healthy financial position for the society.
The report was accepted.
6. Auditor's Report and Reappointment of Auditor.
The Auditor certified that the income and expenditure accounts for the year ended 31st of October 2023 have been prepared from the books, accounts and vouchers supplied and from the information and explanations given to him. John Davey read out a letter dated 1st November 2023 for Dave Malkin outlining the reasons why he did not wish to re-appointed as the Auditor. The society will now be seeking to appoint a new external Auditor.
7. Amendments to the Society's Constitution.
There were several changes to the Constitution mainly arising from the new management structure. The changes to the Constitution were approved:
10a The Senior Officials of the Society shall be the Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Fishery Manger, Health and Safety Officer and Astbury Manager.
11 The management of the Society shall be entrusted to a Committee consisting of the 6 Senior Officials, Match Secretary and Assistant Match Secretary and not more than 12 elected Committee members. Additionally, the Society may appoint the following Non - Executive Officers: A President and up to 4 Vice Presidents.
13 Meetings: The following meetings will be held:
A monthly meeting open to all members will be held on the 2nd Thursday of each of the following months - October, December and January with an Annual General Meeting held on the 2nd Thursday in November at 8pm at headquarters.
24 The Treasurer shall have overall responsibility for the sale of membership tickets.
8. Election of Officers
Chairman - Kevin Grocott
Treasurer - Andrew Riley
Committee - Jason Walters, Dave Rowe, Andrew Scarsbrook
The above nominations were unanimously agreed.
9. Chairman's Vision - Kevin Grocott
The new Chairman, Kevin Grocott, began by thanking John Davey for all his hard work. Moving forward, he summarised his vision for the society as follows:
- The need to continue improving the Society waters.
- To investigate purchasing waters rather than renting when the opportunity arises.
- Astbury will continue as a specialist carp water, but money will continue to be spent on other waters.
- Completely supporting the work of the SOTAS Academy in bringing new junior anglers into the Society.
- Promote ALL aspects of the sport, the society exists for everybody and is not a carp club or pike club etc.
He concluded by saying that John has left the Society in a really good position.
10. Election of Non-Executive Officers.
John Davey read out a letter he had received from Albert Perkins to state he was stepping down from the role of President of the Society.
President - John Davey
Vice Presidents - Albert Perkins, Mick Hann, Geoff Beckett.
The above nominations were unanimously agreed.
11. Election of Trustees
Trustee 1 - Kevin Grocott
Trustee 2 - Andrew Riley
Trustee 3 - Rob Bryne
Trustee 4 - Roger Watts
12. Amendments to Society Rules.
There have been several changes to the Society rules since the 2023 Membership book was printed and the members were requested to agree to the following changes:
Rule 29 - Radio controlled bait boats are not allowed on any of the Society waters other than where specific permission is given in the additional rules for a particular water, and the boat is operated to the conditions and restrictions placed upon it for that water.
Rule 35 - Where dogs are allowed on Society waters they must be under the owners control
Rule 37 - No surface / floating baits of any kind are allowed on any still water.
Rule 39 - No spinning for predatory fish from the 1st of April to the 30th of September on Society waters apart from Rudyard Lake.
Rule 40 - No Bloodworm or Joker allowed on any of our Society waters.
Water Specific Rules - Stanley Reservoir.
Rule 3 - Members are only allowed on the water during the period dawn till dusk. Those parking at Stanley Head MUST adhere to site rules of no access before 7am and all anglers must be off the site half and hour after dusk (9pm in summer months)
Water Specific Rules - Stocia Pool
Rule 3 - Night fishing - Only 3 anglers allowed to night fish on the water at any one time.
The above changes were unanimously agreed.
13. Subscriptions 2024
Astbury Premium Carp Ticket - £205 no change.
Senior Members - £65 no change.
Lady Members - changed from £45 to £65.
Senior Citizens and Disabled Members - £40 no change.
Juvenile Members - £1 no change.
Canal Only / Non - Fishing Permit - £10 no change.
River Night Permit - £25 no change.
Stanley Head swipe card - £10 no change
Stanley Head Sticker - £20 to £10 (the £10 car parking charge relates to access via Stanley Head only - there will be no charge for carparking at the Sailing Club access via Puddy Lane).
The proposed subscriptions for 2024 were passed unanimously by the members present.
14. Approval of 2024 Match and Academy Calendars.
The proposed match calendars and Academy events were agreed unanimously.
There was a presentation to John Davey and Mick Hann to thank them for their hard work and many years service to the Society.
The AGM closed at 8:50pm and an explanation the followed in reference to the reasons for the new 2024 membership ticket, the importance of members accessing the Society website including the new members private access area.