19th May 2021. This year the National Coastwatch Institution’s Annual General Meeting took place at the historic Blunsdon House Hotel near Swindon.
This AGM was different to the traditional type of meeting with half of the representatives attending via video link with technical support provided on site by Sounds Commercial and online by Cosmic. Despite the novelty of the situation and the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic, the meeting went ahead without any major difficulties.
The meeting was formally opened by Deputy Chairman Ian Whalley who introduced Chairman Lesley Suddes. She welcomed everyone and called for a vote to adopt the minutes of the 2019 AGM and 2020 Special General meetings, as the pandemic had prevented an AGM from being held in 2020. Once the minutes had been accepted, Lesley presented the Chairman’s Annual report, detailing the activities of the charity over the past year before thanking the membership for the extra efforts they have made during the pandemic. This was followed by a presentation from National Treasurer Steve Ashby who formally delivered the NCI statement of accounts for the financial year to September 2020 (which had been circulated previously). Steve then presented the 2021/22 budget which included the Trustees recommendation that the annual capitation fee be set at £26 with a reduction for this year to £13. Steve concluded his presentation with a short briefing on Corporate Criminal Offences and a reminder about the correct usage of restricted funds. Lesley then announced that Chris Aps (Gosport) and Phil Styles (Porthcawl) had been elected to the Board of Trustees and confirmed that David Crozier had been re-elected as a Trustee. The mornings session was rounded off by an address from NCI’s Honorary President Jon Gifford before breaking for lunch.
The afternoon session opened with the presentation of the first Alan Richards Memorial Award. After an introduction by Ian Whalley, Teri Richards presented a pair of binoculars to NCI Cromer, which were accepted by Linda Lawrence on behalf of the station.
Lesley Suddes returned to the podium to announce that Clive Pouncey had been appointed as the new Chairman of the NCI. Lesley then gave a short presentation to the meeting on the ongoing NCI Strategy Project and Clive Pouncey announced that Lesley had been co-opted to work with the Trustees to steer the project to completion. This was followed by a presentation from Clive Pouncey who outlined the proposed changes to the future NCI Management Structure. The meeting then progressed to an open forum where the representatives took part in a question-and-answer session. The meeting concluded with Clive thanking Lesley for her contribution to the NCI as Chairman and presented her with a floral tribute as a token of our thanks.