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AGM 2003 Report

(from EAB Update 22, Jul-Sep 2003)

The Annual General Meeting of EAB took place on 24 May in the presence of around forty-five of the members attending the British Esperanto Congress in Glasgow. After remembering members who had died during the previous year with a minute's silence, apologies were registered from Grahame Leon-Smith, Frank Spilsbury and Terry Page.

The Honorary Treasurer, Joyce Bunting, presented a summary of the financial position, and David Kelso, Director of Development, presented a summary of achievements and plans.

All current Management Committee members were re-elected, except Frank Spilsbury. David Tatton is a new member.

Discussion on the constitution produced varying views. It was stated that members need to feel they own their association. Embarrassment was expressed at having to vote in public, a secret ballot being thought a better option, and some members wished to vote directly for officers. Postal balloting also received support, although there was also opinion against a wholly postal voting system. It was noted that the members of the Scottish association vote on an annual, rotating basis, having past, present and future presidents. Some thought this interesting, although service might not be limited to just one year. However, it was pointed out that voting for named candidates for the post of treasurer, for instance, has legal implications for the whole committee, and the committee need flexibility to respond to circumstances. The secretary's job was also seen as a post requiring special knowledge. A preference might be indicated. What, it was asked, if a candidate has a skill solely for a single function? It was emphasised that, as a small organisation, we need a simple election system, and support was voiced for short published summaries of intentions by candidates.

The President took straw polls. No one opposed a secret ballot. There seemed to be an overwhelming majority in support of directly electing the president, and some think other officers should be directly elected as well.

The Constitutional Committee is to propose a new constitution, taking the views expressed into account.

The annual subscription was also discussed. The meeting had approved no changes for next year. Some members think it is set at about the right level, although others think the ordinary subscription should increase to reflect true support and value.

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