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Summarised Report of The Budgerigar Society General Council meeting held on 11th May 2023 and continued 22nd June 2023.

July 13, 2023

Summarised Report of The Budgerigar Society General Council meeting held on 11th May 2023 at 7:15pm via Zoom and continued 22nd June 2023 at 7:15pm also via Zoom

Apologies for Absence 11th May 2023 – Richard Miller and Terry Tuxford – on holiday. 22nd June 2023 – Richard Miller, Simon Devaney, Ghalib Al-Nasser and Janice Al-Nasser – previous engagement.

Minutes of Finance sub-group meeting held on 25 April 2023 – The Chairman advised this was a root and branch review of all matters financial following the 2022 Annual Accounts. The minutes are detailed, and it was unanimously agreed that each item be reviewed individually.

Expenditure Items

The Budgerigar Magazine – The Chairman expressed his gratitude to the Society Editor who had estimated that by going back to the pre-covid design of the Budgerigar magazine and using an alternative posting service, the Society could save around £12.5K per year.

Other magazine savings options were examined including selling the magazine to non-members, issuing as a pdf (particularly overseas members), reducing the number of issues per year. It was unanimously agreed to adopt the Editors savings strategy and to review the other options in the future.

It was also noted that advertising revenue from the magazine is a welcome income. A 12-month advert in the Breeders Directory (6 editions) offers great value at £40.

Meeting expenses – The Society Administrator advised that the cost of the one-day face-to-face GC meeting held at Lincoln was more than £2k which included the venue hire. There were no expenses claimed by 3 councillors.

Zoom meetings cost around £880 per year.

It was therefore agreed that the GC would continue to hold meetings via zoom with a face-to-face meeting after the GC Election at the Society AGM weekend in 2024. The need for future face-to face meeting would then be reviewed.

Club Show Venue – the hire charges for the Dome this year is around £12K. It was agreed that we could no longer afford to hold the show at such a cost in the future. It is also not possible to cancel the Friday booking this year and set the hall up on the Saturday morning. However, we negotiated a 50% discount from the Dome for the Friday hire.

It was, unanimously agreed that Councillors and the Club Show Committee should start looking in their local areas for a venue that would suit the Society’s needs in the future, with the intent of moving the Club Show in 2024.

It was also agreed that the Club Show should be held no further north than a line from Doncaster to Blackpool and no further than 100 miles south of this. Ideally the venue would have ample parking, be near to hotels and have a kitchen/café facility and a facility to store staging. The size of the hall required is approximately 2,500 square meters.

Club Show Catalogue – The advertising income from last year’s catalogue was poor in comparison to 2019 and members and traders are encouraged to advertise in the Club Show Catalogue.

Club Show Awards – the GC agreed to stop the class rosettes for 2nd and 3rd places and the card awards for 4th through to 7th. The crystal awards and other awards will be reviewed after this year’s show.

It was also agreed to have a re-cycle box for members who ordinarily discard their winning rosettes.

Calendar – The cost of the calendar is £600 per year. After discussion it was agreed that the Society Administrator would try and get a sponsor for the 2024 calendar, and if not, the calendar will be withdrawn.

Bank and Card Charges and Interest – it was agreed that further investigation is required with regards to the current card charges to see if these can be reduced and if we can achieve higher building society interest by moving accounts.

Accountancy Fees – it was agreed that a member who is a retired accountant would be approached. The Vice Chairman will also check out why we pay corporation tax on the property rental income as we are not a limited company and whether charitable status can be obtained. Six month interim accounts are also to be investigated.

Seed Agents – this is a good source of income for clubs, members and for the Society, however, there are not enough agents across the UK. It was agreed to put an article in The Budgerigar explaining the merits of becoming an agent.

2025 Convention – It is estimated that the 2025 Convention in Blackpool will cost the Society £12K before income is received.

Spring Event – the GC agreed that we do not repeat this venture and that an add on to the AGM is much more cost effective.

Convention – the GC agreed that we if we are to hold future conventions, they should be every 10 years, rather than the current practice of every 5 years.

Property Rates – The GC were advised that the Society only pay a minimal admin charge of £3 per month for rates to Northampton Borough Council.

Manned BS Office & Affordability – if membership numbers continue to reduce and other roles in the Society become available, to save money, adding these to the role of the Society Administrator will be considered.

WBO Research provision – The GC agreed that the Society withdraw the offer of £10k to the WBO research programme.

Judges Handbook – The Society Administrator advised that the initial uptake of this book was very good especially from overseas members and non-members, with approx. 70 being sold so far.

Product Price, Mark Up and Postage Review – it was agreed that the Society Administrator undertake this task ensuring the new postage rates are applied and product cost increased where they are justified.

Judges Training Scheme Fee – the GC agreed that the potential income from this source is minimal, especially as we are trying to attract new judges. It was therefore agreed that we continue to not charge members who apply to join the Judges Training Scheme.

Subscription by Direct Debit – the GC agreed that this should be investigated by the Finance Sub-Group including offering a 6 monthly payment scheme. Consideration also of making the membership year from date of joining rather than 1st January as at present.

Increase Sponsorships – the Chairman thanked the Society Administrator for quickly replacing the long-standing Bird Care Company sponsorship with Just Supplements. He will also continue to explore any further sponsorship opportunities.

This meeting closed at 21:48hrs

GC Meeting Held on 22nd June 2023 at 7:15pm via zoom.

Chairman’s Welcome – The Chairman began the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for their attendance this evening. He said, we have a heavy Agenda but we will meet this challenge. The Chairman also added that it was good to see Terry Tuxford in attendance after his major health scare. We are all delighted that your health is improving, and we understand that you have had to cut back on your budgerigar commitments, however I am really pleased that you are continuing with your editor duties on “The Budgerigar”, which is very much appreciated. On behalf of all your colleagues on the GC, I wish you a speedy recovery back to full fitness.

Terry thanked everyone for their kind wishes.

Club Show – It was agreed that the Club Show will be held at the Dome this year as it is too late to pull out of our contract. However, a Sub-group will be formed to look at suitable venues for the Club Show in 2024. The aim will be to decide upon the new venue before this year’s event to allow members who would normally book their hotels on departure to be aware if the show is to move from the Doncaster area. The Sub-group will consist of Grant Findlay (Chair), Richard Miller, Adrian Richards, Pete Smith and Chris Snell.

2025 Combined Convention and Club Show – this matter is still up for consideration as is all cost saving ideas.

Minutes of Finance Sub-group meeting held on 25 April 2023 Continued

Northampton Property –– following discussion it was unanimously agreed that the property be retained for now and to investigate if the ground floor can be let, initially asking the existing tenant if they want the additional space or if they know anyone who may be interested.

Patronage Review – The Patronage Administrator explained that everything is going according to plan, and he had issued an additional form in the patronage packs for any long tail/flight disqualified birds. The information to be recorded is ring number, colour, variety, sex and exhibitor, with the form being returned to him.

If a bird is disqualified three times, he will send the details to the GC for a decision to be made on whether the bird can be shown in the future. It was suggested that the name of the judge also be recorded, and that the three disqualified birds be under three separate judges to avoid a particular judge being biased against a particular bird. It was agreed that the GC would take into consideration the judges involved, if faced with any birds meeting the three times disqualified criteria.

After further discussion it was unanimously agreed the Society increase the cost of all patronage levels excluding Area Societies to £10.00 per show from 2024. This will replace the current cost of four first class stamps (around £5 in 2024). This will go a small way towards the costs without asking members for more money.

It was also agreed unanimously that the Premier Exhibitor scheme be dropped as the trial had not yielded the interest as anticipated.

Colour Budgerigar Patronage at the Club Show – A letter has been received requesting an increase to the Colour Budgerigar patronage at the Club Show.

After discussion it was agreed to increase the Colour Budgerigar patronage at the Club Show to 10 CC’s for Any Age classes and 10 for the Young Bird classes making this the same classification as the National Specialist & Rare Variety Show. However, at the Club Show each CC will be worth 10 points.

It was agreed that the Shows Sub-group look into the provision of BS awards for Best Colour Budgerigar in Show; Best Young Bird and the Opposite Sexes.

Colour Budgerigar Patronage Offer to CC shows in 2024 – The Patronage Administrator advised that he is proposing four levels of Colour Budgerigar patronage:-

BS Club Show with 20 classes (10 AA & 10 YB) with CC’s pre-graded at 10 points.

BS National S&RV Show with 20 classes (10 AA & 10 YB) with CC’s pre-graded at 7 points.

Specialist Colour Budgerigar Patronage – 20 classes (10 AA & 10 YB), with 20 CC’s pre-graded at 7 points for Area Shows; 5 points for Platinum Shows and 3 points for all other shows.

Normal Colour Budgerigar Patronage – 20 classes (10 AA & 10 YB) with 10 CC’s no pre-graded points.

Pre-Show Walk Through

In a previous Summary of GC Minutes, it advised that the Society was planning to trial a system at the year’s Club Show that had been introduced in Germany. This involved the judges on the day being escorted around the Show Hall by one of the show officials, for the purpose of informing the judges of what the show organisers believe to be the minimum and maximum criteria that the birds should be judged against with regards to long tails and long flights.

Having listened to feedback from members the General Council has reversed this decision with a vote of 6 for and 4 against.

Judges Training Scheme – The Chairman advised that the Judges Training Scheme organiser had written in suggesting that the new rule allowing Novices onto the Scheme should take effect from the 2024 show season. He explained that there had been several applications but as the cut-off date of 31st January 2023 had passed all applicants were advised that they could not start until 2024. This was agreed.

It was noted that there is no mention of Intermediates joining the scheme and it was agreed that this be considered at a future meeting.

AGM Arrangements for Bugbrooke on 21 April 2024 – What is planned to follow the AGM will be a novice and junior day with a show; meet the new General Council; a sales day; plus a popular speaker who is still to be announced.

Rule Book – The Society Editor advised that he had completed the update to include the recent approved rule changes. This will be added to the website in due course.

Members Renewals – The Society Administrator advised that he had had returns from all ten Areas and this endeavour had gained a further 15 membership renewals.

Society Power Point Presentation – The Society Editor advised that he had completed the update which was now available for use by the GC at Club meetings etc.

Letter from R Elorfi – a letter has been received from junior Rayhan Elorfi regarding a temporary standard for Blackfaces and Blackwings. It was unanimously agreed that this matter be referred to the Colour Standards Sub-group.

Date of the next meeting – 3rd August 2023 via zoom

Close of Meeting – The Chairman thanked everyone for their contributions. He wished everyone a very successful start to the show season.

Meeting closed at 21:30 p.m.

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