Minutes of Special General Meeting 3rd November 2021

Introduction and welcome by Russell Brooks standing in for Ken Rowland.

Apologies: Ken Rowland, Wendy Marler, Martyn Wolfe, Tricia Narracott-Wales, Michael Peterson, Alison Larkin, Ann-Marie Wilson, Barbara Gough and Rachel Douglas

Resolution 1:  Amend Clause 1 of the Constitution - delete “for the High Barnet and Underhill Wards (formerly Hadley and Arkley Wards)”.

Resolution 2:  Amend clause 2 of the Constitution - delete “of the High Barnet and Underhill Wards of the London Borough of Barnet (“The Designated Area”),” and substitute “in High Barnet and the surrounding area”.

These two resolutions are proposed as a consequence of ward changes that will come into effect in May 2022.  The eastern portion of High Barnet ward and the northern half of Oakleigh ward will be merged to form a new ward called Barnet Vale.  The Committee proposes that rather than adjust the constitution to fit the new wards we cease to define our operational area by rigid ward boundaries and instead adopt a more flexible approach, whilst identifying High Barnet as the focal point of our activities.

Resolution 1 & 2 proposed by Tim Sims and seconded by Janet Littlewood Carried by meeting

Resolution 3:  Insert new clause between clauses 4 and 5 “At the discretion of the Committee the Association may make financial donations to local organisations”.

The committee has occasionally agreed to make donations to local organisations, e.g. most recently The Medieval Festival. But there is no formal authority in the Constitution permitting such donations.  This new clause is to correct this omission.

Resolution 3 proposed by Tim Sims and seconded by Barry Henderson, carried with one abstention.

Resolution 4:  Amend Clause 6 of the Constitution - delete “Individual” and insert “Household”, delete “the designated area” and insert “High Barnet or the surrounding area”. 

We currently operate three forms of membership – Individual charging £4, a family concession charging £6, and Corporate charging £6.  But the cost of servicing all addresses is exactly the same.  To simplify matters and to reflect the reality of servicing costs, the Committee proposes that in future a single form of membership irrespective of how many people are in a household should apply.  Corporate membership will be retained.

Resolution 4 proposed by Janet Littlewood and seconded by Melvyn Sears carried with one abstention.

Resolution 5:  Delete Clause 7 of the Constitution.

A consequence of abandoning a designated area as proposed by Resolutions 1 and 2, any member will be able to vote at General Meetings irrespective of where they live.

Resolution 5 Proposed by Tim Simms and seconded by Janet Littlewood Carried

Resolution 6:  The Committee proposes that for all new members the annual subscription shall be £7 from 1 November 2021. 

Resolution 7:  For existing members paying £6 the subscription shall be increased to £7 on first renewal after 31 October 2021.

Resolution 8:  Existing members paying £4 will be allowed a concessionary rate with the subscription increased to £5 on first renewal after 31 October 2021.

Resolutions 6,7 and 8 propose to increase subscription rates.  We have not increased subscriptions since 2011, whilst printing and postage costs have continued to rise.  For new members joining from 1st November the subscription will be £7 for all households.  For existing family members £7 will apply on first renewal after 31 October.  For existing individual members paying £4 the concessionary subscription of £5 will apply on first renewal after 31 October.  Thus the increase for all existing members will be £1.

Resolutions 6, 7 & 8 proposed by Tim Sims and seconded by Angela Ratcliffe

Resolution 9:  Amend clause 10 of the Constitution – delete in line 2 “seven” 2 and insert “nine”

As our areas of activity have expanded we have found that limiting the size of the committee to ten has been somewhat restrictive.  This change proposes increasing the size of the committee to twelve.

Resolution 9 proposed by Janet Littlewood and seconded by Tim Sims carried.

Gordon Massey Planning Policy Officer then gave the meeting a brief outline of the situation re planning, at the moment, and how the situation has changed over the last 15 years and the differences the Residents Association has made.

Questions after Gordon Massey’s report:

  1. Could we give an update on the Spires? Gordon explained that: the new owners want to fill the empty shops as soon as possible but do not have plans to build any residential property on the site.
  2. Could we give an update on the old market site? Gordon explained that the site is now under unconditional offer, it is  not known who is buying it, but there is the existing planning for hotel so it could become residential.
  3. What would happen if the Borough does not achieve it’s target of 35,000 new homes in next 15 years? Gordon explained that there would be financial penalties.

Meeting ended at 20.43 and on my head count there were 26 people.