Friends of the Charles Parker Archive: AGM 2017

Minutes of AGM held Thursday 19th October 2017 at The Library of Birmingham 

The meeting commenced at 3.35p.m.

  1. Present: Mary Kalemkerian; (Chairman), Pam Bishop, Andy Cartwright, Simon Elmes, Helen Lloyd, Mark Newman; Hon Treasurer, Ian Parr; Hon Sec.
    Friends:  Joy Ashworth, Patrick Costello, Maureen Davis, Graham Langley, Steve May, Eileen Whiting, Robert Whitworth
    Apologies:  Peter Cox, Jimmy Ewing, Alan Hall, Phil Maguire, Sara Parker
    Friends;  Lionel Balls, Ken Hall, Malcolm Imhoff, Fiona Tait,  Paul Wilson

 2. Chairman’s Welcome and Opening Remarks
The Chairman welcomed Friends and Trustees present.  She introduced Mark Newman the Trust’s Hon Treasurer who had taken over from Matthew Parker and referred the meeting to her remarks at the previous AGM regarding Mathew’s contribution to the Trust.  Mary introduced each of the Trustees and then went on to make a presentation to Pam Bishop in honour of her service to the Trust since its inception.

3. Approval of minutes of the last meeting: Friends AGM held 20th October 2016
The minutes were approved following a proposal by Helen Lloyd, seconded by Andy Cartwright.
The Secretary informed the meeting that matters arising were covered by the agenda.  See Item 5.

4. Review of Annual Report and Trust activities
4.1  Chairman’s Report
Mary Kalemkerian introduced the latest Annual Report.  She explained that in accordance with the note sent out to all Friends and contacts earlier in the year by the Secretary the Annual Report this year was in the form presented to the meeting today.  This will be attached to the minutes. The intention is that the new magazine Actuality will supplement the Report but not replace it.  Key items will be retained in Actuality and the Report will be presented annually to Trustees and Friends as at the present AGM for Friends and as earlier in the day to Trustees.

Mary then went on to present her Report as Chairman.  She expressed pleasure at the continued success of Charles Parker Day and the Prize, which Andy Cartwright and Simon Elmes would expand on later.  However, she thanked all Trustees for their involvement and support but especially Andy for his organisation of CP Day.

She then invited the Trust Honorary Treasurer, Mark Newman and Honorary Secretary, Ian Parr to present their reports.

4.2  Honorary Treasurer’s Report
Mark Newman introduced himself to the meeting explaining that he was employed by the BBC at The Mailbox as a producer.  He then went to on to present the Annual Financial Report thanking Matthew Parker the previous Treasurer for his introduction to the procedures and responsibilities through previous reports and Pam Bishop who had assisted the preparation of this Report.

He explained that consideration had been given to moving the Trust account away from Barclays on the grounds of their corporate behaviour and lack of capability for electronic banking.  However, the latter has improved and the question of moving for social reasons begs the question of which alternative bank we might use given the ownership of banking in the UK.

He then went on to say he will try to move towards subscriptions to Friends through direct debit and enquired of the meeting if there were any objections.  None were raised.

4.3  Honorary Secretary’s Report
Ian Parr described the background to developments in the way the Trust communicates with Friends, fulfils its wider obligations as a charity and fulfils its responsibilities in accordance with the original objectives, explaining this was the reason for the Chairman’s description of the changes she had described earlier.  Helen Lloyd, he said, would also be more involved as the Trustee responsible communications with Friends.

He said that one of the issues with which Trustees had been grappling was the question of the means by which the Annual Report, agendas for the AGM, Actuality etc were accessed.  Questions of postage costs and the practicality and timing of publication amongst others all bore upon the need to address how Friends are able to have a say and be informed.

A number of Friends commented.  There was general acceptance of the use of emails and Twitter, particularly as a trigger to refer people to the Trust website.  Although there remained a preference for a hard copy of the Report whilst accepting the necessity for on-line access.

4.4  Social Media etc Report
The Chairman invited Pam Bishop to explain the report in relation to social media and the Trust website.   Pam took the meeting through her statistics and those provided by Jimmy Ewing.  There was satisfaction expressed at the improvement in website activity since the site was launched.

Jimmy Ewing’s graphs and charts Pam explained illustrated the use of the pages for the CP Prize website.  “Bounce” is the action of someone who immediately leaves the page after viewing it and who does not do anything.  The figures show the bounce rate halving over the period and activity peaking at times leading up to and following on from CP Day and CP Prize registration opening.

It is intended, and Trustees have agreed, that assistance with the social media management of the site will be obtained for next year.  The pages will have added colour and generally be refreshed and video content added.  A YouTube account will be set up to provide the site with interview capability and potential for an annual podcast.  Although the core audience for the site is likely to be those looking to enter for the CP Prize, it could also be an adjunct to Actuality.

4.5  Discussion on the Annual Report
The Chairman thanked Mark, Ian and Pam for their presentations and asked the meeting for their views on the Trust proposals.  In particular, she wanted to know of the meeting’s response to present and proposed changes.

She explained that a key element was the need to make Actuality available for Charles Parker Day and since it needed to contain key elements of the Annual Report that it made sense for the Trust Annual General Meetings to be held soon after CP Day.  Trustees had agreed the AGMs be held in May with CP Day on 23rd March.

There was considerable discussion on the proposed arrangements which were generally welcomed.  Although it was recognised that there would be a considerable gap in the Trust activities from May until the following year.  This drew further debate on possible events.

The Secretary said he would make the necessary arrangements for the next AGM to be either 24th or 17th May 2018.

Secretary’s Note! Following the meeting it was confirmed with the Library that the AGM would be held in the Heritage Learning Room on Thursday 17th May 2018 at 3.30p.m. as previous recent AGMs.        

5. Matters arising from the Minutes
5.1 The Chairman explained that Trustees continued to be involved in the project run by Rural Media and that were reported on by Damian Le Bas at the previous AGM.  It was hoped to have a full report in the next issue of Actuality.

5.2  The Secretary reported that Christopher Hill from BCU had proposed a research project into programmes Dilip Hiro made and Charles Parker produced.  He had no further information beyond the submission of the project for funding.  He would ensure further information when available found its way into Actuality.  In the mean-time he asked if anyone present had particular knowledge about the programmes.  He said he would pass on any information.

6. Charles Parker Day and Charles Parker Prize 2017
The Chairman invited Andy Cartwright and Simon Elmes to review Charles Parker Day and the Prize held this year at Hallam University, Sheffield.

Andy Cartwright spoke about the CP Day event.  He said it was generally agreed that the Day had been a success and Trustees had formally recorded their gratitude to Sheffield Hallam University for the excellent facilities and support.  He thought the timing worked well although not all students returned after lunch.  It has now been decided that in future nominations for the CP Prize should be made before lunch and winners named afterwards and awards at the end of the Day as a grand finale.

He thought Sean Street’s opening contribution set the scene well.  Improvements in timing and more incisive contributions may come through reducing the number of panels.  In future we may ask speakers to describe how they make or have made their programmes.

Simon Elmes, who chaired the CP Prize judging committee said that this year the standard had been exceptionally high, that it was encouraging to see the range of work offered by students and the geographical spread.  It was therefore noteable that all six shortlisted programme makers were female.  He said he and Andy had recognised the need for continuous improvement in the process.  Part of this will include them meeting to discuss judges and the numbers required.  It was also their intention that the panel should include a previous winner.  Further possible developments include a workshop for prospective entrants.  It has been discussed by Trustees and further consideration of the proposal will be given to it with possible implementation in 2018.

Plans for placements and prizes are still thought appropriate. However, if we move towards increased and earlier publicity it will be necessary to confirm these much sooner than in the past.  We are aware that if the plan to call for earlier submissions is enacted then publicity for the CP Prize also needs to be brought forward.  Simon summarised his presentation by saying that we are seeing steady, although irregular, improvement in student entries for the Prize and in the quality of programmes offered.  The Trust needs to respond and develop further the way we run the Prize competition.  Some of the ideas he’d highlighted are part of this process.

7. Charles Parker Day 2018 and 2019
Andy Cartwright stated that CP Day would be Friday 23rd March 2018 at The British Library Theatre.  The theme of the Day will be “Beyond the Ballads”.  Much progress had been made and full information including registration details will be on the Trust website early in the New Year.  The 2019 Charles Parker Day will be in Bournemouth commemorating the centenary of Charles Parker’s birth. 

8. Date, timing and location of next Friends AGM
Drawing the meeting to a close the Chairman expressed her thanks to everyone for a stimulating meeting and she looked forward to seeing everyone at Charles Parker Day in London at the British Library Theatre on 23rd March 2018.   She announced that the next Friends AGM would be notified to Friends as soon as the Secretary had obtained suitable facilities.   

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 5.05pm

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