Held on Monday 10 th April 2006

in the Harnham Memorial Hall.

1). Attendance:   The meeting was opened at 10.30 am. With 110 members present

2). Apologies:   Five apologies were received.

3) Minutes of the 2005 meeting,   having been circulated were accepted and signed as a correct record.

4).   Chairman's Report:     During my first year as Chairman I have been finding my way around but have had the good fortune to have a very supportive committee.   I thank them all for their good work over the year.   In particular I would like to thank Rita Johnston, our Speakers' Secretary, who will be standing down as from today, but she has the programme for the coming year fully mapped out.   My thanks also to the many group leaders who have kept their groups going through the year.   Groups, more than our monthly meetings, are the reason behind U3A.   Our thanks also to those on the coffee rota and the volunteers who get the hall ready for each meeting.

I have attended committee meetings of Salisbury and District U3A and Sarum U3A and found our way of running things every bit as good.   I have attended the Central Southern Regional U3A meeting in October which, while enabling me to compare Spire U3A with others, does not lead me to believe we should change much.

To our credit we have supported the Archaeology Group by providing the financial basis on which they have been able to apply for an Awards For All grant.   A new application for further funding for the dig at the Roman town at Stratford-sub-Castle has recently been applied for.

The Science Forum originally intended as covering all three Salisbury U3As has latterly been run by Spire and supported by an attendance of around 20 from Sarum and Spire at the monthly meetings.

The Committee has investigated a change of venue and, although St Georges has better parking and a room that is not so long and narrow, it only has 75% of this hall's seating capacity so we are not considering a change at present though we may have to consider it if parking restrictions come to Old Blandford Road .

Looking to the future, with our previously increased subscription, we are intending to support groups' monthly meetings with the hire of this or a similar hall, where numbers are too large to be accommodated in a private house.

We are looking into the acquisition of a digital projector to supplement a recently acquired slide projector and a more rigid stand for both.   We are obtaining a secure steel cabinet to house these items and have permission from the Hall Committee to put it in the Committee Room.

Our HQ, the Third Age Trust, has previously had lecture notes and slides available for loan to groups.   A new catalogue of some 150 titles in DVD format for digital projection has been released this year.   Subjects include art, gardens, opera, Shakespeare's plays and history .

A question was raised from the floor about the insurance for this new equipment.   This is covered by our own insurance.

Treasurer's Report:   A statement of accounts was circulated to all present. We have an operating surplus of £559.70.   The Current Account is £252.78 and the Deposit Account is £3150.00.   The Archaeology Group's grant money has been kept separate and this has a balance of £364.17.  

This was received Pat Crossland/ Anne Boutell.   A vote of thanks to the auditors Peter Game/Margaret McKenzie.   A vote of thanks to the treasurer Chris Penfold/Peter Edgington.

Membership:     There are 242 members, the same as last year.

Group Co-ordinator:   There are 30 groups this coming year.

Election of Officers:   Only one place needed to be filled.   Jenny Watmore has agreed to be Speakers Secretary.

The Auditors will remain as Mark Wilson and Ray Smith.

Any Other Business:

1).   Anne Gould raised the question of Hall Hire subsidies as agreed last year when the fees were raised.   The Chairman explained that there had been some questions raised in the Committee concerning this and a decision would be made at the next committee meeting.   There was general discussion as to whether the standard 30p for tea and biscuits should be raised to 40p, and whether groups should make extra charges for their meetings.   It was agreed that this should be left to individual groups to decide.

Mervyn Scammell voiced a hope that this would not lead to a trend to have meetings in the hall instead of private homes as this could destroy the closeness of the latter venue.

2).   The Patchwork and Quilting Group brought plans and samples for the making of a banner we could display at each meeting.   This was received with acclaim so they will embark on the enterprise immediately.

3).   Pat Crossland proposed a vote of thanks to Sheila Read for a really interesting Newsletter.

4)   A special extra thanks to Eileen Forder for organizing the coffee and her rota of volunteers.

The meeting closed at   11.15