2019 AGM Meeting – Notes
I attended the AGM meeting on 27 January 2020, adjourned from the one held on, I believe, the 19th December 2019. The meeting was poorly attended and just quorate. The salient points I took from the meeting, of interest to me, are listed below. Note: this is my interpretation. We wait, meanwhile, for the full set of minutes to be published by the Trust.
- The Chairperson of the Trust acknowledged that the Trust’s general communication with residents and, in particular, AGM notifications to members, needed to be improved.
- He confirmed that only residents who had registered as members of the Trust were sent out details. This was disputed by the floor as many of the members present had not received any such notifications!
- The general consensus was that residents were not aware they had to register as members of the Trust. Membership was deemed to be in the region of 120 out of a potential 1313. Greater efforts were needed to increase membership and, thereafter, to maintain an accurate record of members. It was suggested that membership forms and future AGM notifications be sent out to all residents registered to pay the Rent Charge, commencing with the Rent Charge demand to be sent out on 1 April 2020.
- There was a lack of trustees at present. Two members were voted in as trustees but there was an urgent need to advertise and recruit more.
- It was suggested that requests/forms for residents/members to volunteer to become trustees would be included with the Rent Charge notifications. I believe the form to volunteer should be accompanied by a letter from the Chairperson explaining the importance of members applying.
- Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 had not been completed or filed with Company House due to ‘anomalies’. Although accounts were to be scrutinised by an independent examiner the lack of accounts and the general sparse overview of income over expenditure presented by the chairperson led to a suggestion from the floor that the accounts should also be audited. This was accepted by the chairperson.
- The chairperson expounded confidence in the new managing agent, Rendall and Rittner www.rendallandrittner.co.uk, who were to manage the Island under the direction of the trustees. The managing agent was also mandated to collect and manage Rent Charge funds on behalf of the Trust in a separate client’s account. Assurances were given that the Rent Charge demand due on 1 April 2020 would be sent out on time.
- A request for members to approve the 2018 AGM minutes was rejected on the grounds that few of the members attending had received a copy and none were available for viewing at the meeting! The chairperson sought to address this oversight.
- The issue of crime on the Island was raised. I consider this not to be a core responsibility of the Trust but the police and voiced such at the meeting. The Trust did advise, however, that a representative attends Community Action Partnership in Enfield (CAPE) meetings. All/any residents can also attend the Enfield Lock Ward Forum meetings held in the Ordnance Road Library where policing and anti-social behaviour issues are discussed by Ward Councilors and local police. Details/dates of meetings can be obtained from the Enfield Council website.
- A resident raised an issue in respect of a home improvement. A general discussion then ensued concerning permission for such. This is/has always been a misunderstood/contentious issue and centers around the Island’s Restrictive Covenants. Details of such are provided on this website.
- A question was asked concerning the Trust’s 2 investment properties to try and ascertain if they were still generating income for the Trust. Are they still in existence, are they currently occupied, have there been any void periods or any problems with tenants or failures to collect rent over the past 2 years? The chairperson did not know and promised to investigate.
The lack of attendance at the AGMs was disappointing. The promised, more effective, means of communicating with residents should help to improve matters. The appointment of a new managing agent is encouraging and will, hopefully, lead to more information being made available to residents and give them greater transparency on the dealing of the trustees throughout the year.