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EAB's 35th Annual General Meeting was held on 22nd April 2012 at St Andrews and St Georges West, Edinburgh.
The minutes of the previous AGM, the Trustees' Report [for year ending October 2011] and Financial Report were presented.
The proposals to receive the minutes of the previous AGB, to receive the Trustee's report, to receive the financial report, and to agree that the subscription rates for the next financial year shall remain unchanged were approved. However, Claire Hunter warned next year the Supporters' subscription rate (currently £10) would probably need to rise, simply to cover the increased mailing costs of quarterly issues of EAB Update (following recent significant price rises by the Royal Mail); any Members or Supporters willing to receive EAB Update online (and so save EAB the postage costs) were invited to contact the EAB office.
The (re)appointment of the independent examiner (of the accounts) was discussed; Hon Treasurer Clare Hunter explained that the performance of the current examiners Kingston Smith had been far from satisfactory; a proposal was approved for ManCom to select a suitable independent examiner.
The votes for the ManCom* were counted by Hilary Chapman and Harry Barron.
[* ManCom= Management Committee, and Trustees of the Association]
Edmund Grimley Evans, Clare Hunter, Tim Owen, Hugh ("Hju") Reid, Ed Robertson, Michael Seaton and John Wells were elected as trustees.
|NAME OF CANDIDATE||FOR||AGAINST||ABSTAIN|
|Edmund Grimley Evans||62||2||5|
John Wells was elected as president of the association.
|NAME OF CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT||VOTES|
Tim Owen announced planned future events (still provisional at this stage); the 2013 British Congress in Ramsgate, the 2014 British Congress in Yorkshire, and a Drondo (discussion circle) event in November 2012 in Liverpool.
The winners of the 2011 writing and photo competition were announced:
Voting in the ManCom election; new trustee Hugh ("Hju") Reid; Competition winner Jack Warren.
1: John Wells opened the meeting with a commemoration of the members who have passed away since the last AGM. A few moments' silence was observed in respect of those known to have passed away and David Kelso.
2: Apologies were received from Brian O'Sullivan, Marjorie Boulton, Derek Tatton and Stephen Thompson. 40 members, 1 supporter, and 5 observers were present.
3: The minutes of the previous AGM from Eastbourne were received and approved, with two abstentions.
4: The Trustees' Annual Report for the year ending October 31st 2011 and published in Update was received. John Wells summarised it paragraph by paragraph.
4.1: Terry Page queried why there was a paragraph headed "public benefit" and, in particular, why it contained the sentence "EAB does not exclude anyone for any reason". Clare Hunter explained that the Charities Act 2006 necessitated the inclusion of acknowledgment that we meet the requirement about public benefit and that we declare whether or not we discriminate about who can apply for membership.
4.2: Elizabeth Stanley asked that the meeting acknowledge that the Springboard project had been praised in a European report, a particularly outstanding event in her view because the UK's approach to languages is never lauded.
4.3: Helen Fantom expressed her thanks to Marteno Minih for his steering of the Language Show in London.
4.4: Sally Philips expressed that she didn't think the translation of the 2011 congress title in the Trustees' Annual Report ("Lighthouse, Lights and Luminaries") was quite accurate but was unable to provide a closer interpretation.
4.5: Ed Robertson explained that the Wednesday following the congress would see Professor Wim Jansen holding the Buchanan Lecture at the University of Liverpool.
4.6: Michael Sims explained that people known to him had said that they wouldn't join EAB because the membership form was in English.
4.7: The meeting voted unanimously to approve the Trustees' Annual Report.
5: The financial report was received with spontaneous applause for Clare Hunter, who proceeded to read through the simplified version of the accounts. She underlined that we had moved to a system of "cash accounting" and that several late invoices from Stoke-on-Trent City Council meant that figures for 2009/10 were paid in 2010/2011's accounts. She spoke about the frustrating problems posed by the independent examiner's late delivery of the accounts compounded by repeated mistakes therein. Joyce Bunting confirmed that investments were yielding returns of about 4% but that inflation was eroding them. The meeting unanimously approved the financial report.
6: The decision on whether to re-appoint the independent examiner was held. Helen Fantom proposed that the management team find a new examiner, seconded by Sally Philips. This proposal was carried unanimously.
7: The issue to keep subscription rates unchanged was discussed. Clare Hunter indicated that change may come in the supporter category because supporters pay £10 and receive £11's worth of publications. Miland Joshi suggested two rates for supporters; one for online access to the periodicals, one for printed. One person voted against the proposal, one abstained; everyone else approved the motion to keep the subscription rates the same.
8: Bill Chapman and Harry Barron were nominated and approved as vote-counters.
9: Other business
9.1: Tim Owen recapped the back-story to the closure of Wedgwood Memorial College, reiterating that the closure meant that the Butler Library and three bedrooms reverted exclusively to EAB. Arturo Prent expressed his hope that the Management Committee would see whether Stoke-on- Trent City Council might like to buy out the contract. Tim Owen responded that he'd written a letter to the members accompanying Update 56 which stated that the legal advice was to engage in talks with SoT to see what might be on offer and so this was underway. He added that financial compensation was out of the question because the lease represents millions of pounds in savings into the future compared to market prices and SoT has faced successive budget cuts that it simply can't meet.
9.2: Tim Owen gave a short explanation as to why the association is one of 11 who hadn't paid a subscription to EEU this year. He underlined that he was glad that Seán Ó Riain, EEU president, was in attendance and that EAB would encourage its members to attend the EEU Congress in Galway.
9.3: Tim Owen explained that he had engaged in conversation with Stefan MacGill of ILEI about the absence of an EAB representative. Elizabeth Stanley volunteered for the role.
9.4: Jack Warren stated that he hopes the closure of Wedgwood Memorial College won't put an end to EAB's programme of residential courses. Tim Owen responded that alternatives were being investigated and that he was set to run a Drondo course in Liverpool in November alongside sister charities' courses.
9.5: Arturo Prent queried whether the voting instructions might indicate whether a limit for the number of candidates for whom one may vote exists.
9.6: Helen Fantom proposed a gesture of thanks to the Management Committee for its work over the previous year. This was accepted by acclaim.
The results for the election of the Management Committee were:
|NAME OF CANDIDATE||FOR||AGAINST||ABSTAIN|
|Edmund Grimley Evans||62||2||5|
Edmund Grimley Evans, Clare Hunter, Tim Owen, Hugh Reid, Ed Robertson, Michael Seaton and John Wells were duly elected.
As EAB President candidates, Ian Fantom received 2 votes and John Wells received 66 votes. John Wells was thus elected as President.
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