A larger than usual turnout of members for the formalities of the Guild’s national annual meeting approved the financial and activity reports that can be downloaded using the links below.
In his chairman’s report, Nick Bond highlighted the introduction of two new occasions for Guild members to socialise – the Bangers & Beer reception at the Cereals Event and the Awards presentation at AgriLIVE Smithfield
“It is our aim to continue to develop Guild get-togethers at these and other events in the future,” he emphasises.
Guild chairman Nick Bond
Guild treasurer Tim Price explained the background to the decision to increase the annual members’ subscription for 2010, which he says has been received with no adverse comment or reaction other than in just one or two cases.
“The Guild made a loss last year, in line with forecasts, owing to some exceptional items of expenditure,” he says. “While we have sufficient reserves to cover last year’s shortfall, it’s important that we remain in a positive financial position to continue providing and developing the services and activities that members want.”
Guild treasurer Tim Price
The Council report, compiled by general secretary Don Gomery, contains an exhaustive review of Guild management and the activities in which members have participated.
Read the reports in full here:
During the course of the meeting, the chairman, chaplain (Canon David Meara) and auditor were all re-elected, along with those members of the management Council whose three-year term had expired and who wished to serve for a further term.
Freelance journalist and eastern region organiser Louise Impey was also elected to the Guild Council.
In addition, a resolution reducing the number of Council places from 17 to 11 – to help reduce travel costs related to Council meetings – was passed by members present.
From the floor, members enquired about the health of the Guild’s Charitable Trust (see separate News story) and the status of the Horticultural Writing Awards for news and features.
“They were deferred last year due to a lack of entries,” explained Nick Bond. “We will try again to resurrect these awards, which are open to everyone writing about commercial horticulture, including journalists who are not members of the Guild.”
At the preceding Midlands Guild annual meeting, freelance communications specialist Julie Mate took over the chair from Rachel Queenborough, promising to continue to stage meetings of both interest and value to Guild members.
“Planned topics include workshops on ‘new media’ communications and photography, another ‘meet the editor’ event and a farm visit,” said Julie. “Regional Guild groups like ours in the Midlands have great value as a social network, especially for the growing numbers of us who work alone.”
Guild Midlands chairman Julie Mate
Helen Brothwell was elected vice-chairman; Liz Snaith continues as Midlands secretary.
Before the meeting, Guild member Paul Lay and Caroline Button, his colleague in the marketing communications department at AGCO, received the thanks of the Guild for sponsoring and helping to stage the Midlands and National annual meetings, and the farming politicians’ conference that followed.