Present                 Apologies

Stewart Coates      George Hill

Iain Coates    

Chris Jackson          

Phil Sandford

Stan Aspinall     

Dave Gilman

Phil Wood

Phil Lowe

John Sandford

Brian Cheetham

Minutes of the last meeting were accepted as an accurate record.

Matters Arising

Presentation Evening

John reported that the earliest evening available at the golf club is 17th October. He intends to confirm this as soon as the steward, who is currently away, returns.


After discussion it was agreed to arrange this for Monday 10th November.


(1) Practice Facilities

Stewart introduced this item which was discussed at the last meeting but remains an important issue for the club – it is our aim to develop practice facilities that do not encroach on the square. This will allow current players access to regular practice and also help with the development of Junior cricket. Stewart has undertaken some research with Bancrofts about the provision of two grass practice strips. The best position seems to be to the right of the existing concrete strip. There are some problems with the project – there is a slight slope approaching the area and the pitches will need a full year to settle. It will therefore be season 2010 before they can be used. The other issue will be the ongoing management and maintenance of the pitches – it would be unfair to ask Stan to take on this responsibility.

The cost quoted is £4300 plus VAT (approx £5000). It was suggested this cost could be reduced a little depending on the loam to be used. In addition to the laying of the pitches we would also need nets/cage. The cost for a permanent 2 bay cage (self-erected) would be £1517 plus VAT (approx £1800). The minimum total cost would therefore be in the region of £6000. The current availability of funds within the club is approx £2000 – this would need to be a contribution to a grant funded project if we are to achieve the installation of nets. It was noted that this is a cheaper option than an all-weather facility.

The management and maintenance issue was discussed. This will be a significant responsibility and we need someone who can learn from Stan and take it on.   

Phil L wondered if we could reduce costs by contributing our own labour – the advice was that the work needs to be undertaken professionally so that we do not have future problems with the strips. It was also suggested we could save on the cost by having a single rather than double day net. Phil W has located someone to advise on the repair of the current cage. It was also noted that Bramhall have a redundant cage that we could consider purchasing. It was agreed that use of a portable cage and one fixed net would be a reasonable approach. Phil L suggested that the spare soil from the excavation could be used to infill the dip in front of the concrete net. Stan advised that the area of the new net would need to be fenced off after the work to prevent any damage.    

Stewart reported that Sportsmatch UK currently have funds (£3 million) to allocate before march 2009 and this is worthy of further investigation. Their remit is to fund grassroots developments and they will match £ for £ on projects.

There was a question about whether the area identified for the nets has drainage problems and is too wet. It was suggested that Bancrofts will advise on this and it is an area that does not flood. There was also discussion about the impact on the house overlooking the area. This was not thought to be a problem – the occupiers are very supportive of the club. Planning permission will not be required for the work.

Financially there is £1000 committed expenditure to finish this season and this should leave approx £2000 available to spend – we would clearly need to raise more.

It was agreed that the situation and suggestions merited further investigation. John S proposed that we  give in principle agreement to the project based on an estimated cost of £7000 subject to grant aid availability. This was carried unanimously.

(2) Management of the Club

Stewart raised the issue of his role within the club – as chair he has been undertaking many tasks he regards as essential but on occasions this has been without reference to the Committee. Examples are the work on the square undertaken by Bancrofts, repairs to the mower and the purchase of the covers. His issue is whether he should continue to authorise such expenditure and action without referring back to the Committee.

Brian C felt that taking on this responsibility was essential to the club and proposed that the chair should be delegated powers to commit finance up to an agreed limit with reference only to the Treasurer to ensure finance was available. This led on to a discussion about the priorities for the club. It has felt to be essential to support Stan with the equipment he required for ground maintenance and this has paid off in terms of the quality of the square. Phil L suggested that we have failed to tackle the improvement required to our practice facilities – historically however practice facilities have not been used and it is only over the last couple of years that this has changed. The limits on our financial position have also prevented a broader improvement programme.

It was agreed that we need to establish an overall club plan – if we are looking at growth where do we want to go and how will we get there? It was agreed that we should detail the strategic objectives for the club at the forthcoming AGM and rank them as priorities. It was noted that if we wish to do more it will clearly cost more and we need to establish how and where we can raise additional funds.

In the interim it was agreed that Stewart needs an agreed budget within which to operate so that essential work can be continued without the delay of referring to Committee. It was proposed that the chair should have the authority, without reference to the Committee but in consultation with the Treasurer, to spend the club’s money on “essential” maintenance work. This was agreed unanimously.

(3) Club Officials for Next Season

Stewart commented that he thought the current Committee was the strongest he remembers and he would hope, subject to the democratic election process at the AGM, to keep this intact or attract other club members to contribute. He wished to establish if anyone wished to step down or change their role? Phil L indicated that he will step down as 1st XI captain for next season subject to the AGM. It was suggested that Andy Twiddel may be interested in taking on this role with Andy Thomas as vice captain.


(4) Finance

Brian C gave an update on finances. Without completing detailed work he estimates that after outstanding income and expenditure are taken into account the balance will be in the region of £4500 to £5000. Brain is happy with the progress the club has made in relation to financial matters – we no longer pay business rates, the electricity and water bills are up to date with readings. He estimates that start up costs for next season will be £1000. Phil W explained that he has further investigated the drain issue and has established that the manhole is the problem and this should mean the remedy will be considerably less than the estimated £500. From the current financial position Brian estimates that with £1500 already committed and £1000 start up for nest season this will leave an available balance of £3000. It was agreed this is a very healthy position. Phil W confirmed that he is currently awaiting confirmation of room availability from Woodford Community Centre and would then organise an auction, probably in October.    

(5) Any Other Business

Agreed Chris J would pursue the online submission of the Club Development plan to the ECB website. Stewart has already registered Phil L with this site for updating purposes.


Date of Next Meeting

To be confirmed.