WINSFORD AND DISTRICT ANGLING ASSOCIATION

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING WEDNESDAY 16th MARCH 2022

 

NOTICE OF MEETING   REPORTS AND STATEMENTS OF ACCOUNTS

Winsford and District Angling Association agenda for the Annual General Meeting

 

Meeting Summary

Due to coronavirus pandemic this is the first formal AGM since 2020, the previous year’s meeting was cancelled due to the imposed restrictions. A copy of the minutes from 2020 is attached for reference however any topics raised during this meeting may not be applicable today. The intention for this year’s meeting is to proceed in the usual manner by addressing each of the points listed on the standard agenda below. Where changes have occurred that are worthy of mention, these shall be included in the appropriate item on the agenda.

Agenda

  1. Chairman’s Opening Address and Apologies

  2. Minutes of previous AGM held 11th March 2020

  3. Secretary’s Report

  4. Financial Statement

  5. Treasurer’s Report

  6. Auditors Report

  7. Fishery Manager’s Report

  8. Match Secretary’s Report

  9. Honoraria and Expenses

  10. Election of Officers

  11. Election and Payment of Bailiffs

  12. Annual Permit Subscriptions

  13. Notices of Motion

  14. Annual Presentations

  15. Any Other Business

 

Minutes to be taken by Secretary G. Bayliss

 

Content of the Annual General Meeting,

1, Chairman's Opening Address and Welcome Including Any Apologies – R. Reid.

2, Minutes from the Previous AGM held 11TH March 2020 Accepted by all

3. Secretary’s Report – G. Bayliss

 

Mr Chairman, Officials and Members

                                                                                           

Committee Meetings, Changes and Attendance

Since the last AGM in 2020 there have been several changes to committee members, the following names are no longer Association Officials.

Fishery Manager         G. Gerhold

GPC member               C. Millington

 

The current committee officials are,

President                     B. Clarke

Chairman                     R. Reid                                                           

Vice Chairman            S. Smith                                

Secretary                     G. Bayliss

Treasurer                     K. Andrew                 

Fishery Manager        R. Ledwards

Match Secretary        S. Flood                                    

 

GPC Member                                     

A. Speed                                          

T. Holland                                        

S. Noden                                

W. Robinson

T Stubbs

A new position was created in January, M. Leathwood has become Angling Development Officer.

 

During the past two years committee meetings became very irregular due to the pandemic,

and ceased to operate in the usual monthly pattern. During this period several open-air meetings occurred at various places such as New Pool, the Ocean, Terminus Pool, Newbridge Pool and National Length carpark. Despite the difficulties, meeting attendance remained positive with a mixture of immediate committee members attending some and the full GPC attending others. It is important to note that social distancing was applied at all these meetings. Since November last year 2021 meetings have started to occur on regular monthly dates returning to the established venue at the Wharton Conservative Club. This included a very well represented bailiffs meeting in December.

 

Working Parties

R. Ledwards has tried to maintain these during the restrictions and several major projects have been started. The inlet stream on Tommy’s Hole has been diverted to allow the continual deposits of sand to be removed each year and pathways around New Pool have been improved by the addition of stone. A second pool has been created at Terminus Pool.

Juniors

This continued to be a quieter section of the Association although with angling being allowed during the restrictions, it did see some interest. With recent developments at a committee level the outlook for juniors is starting to look more positive and if the current planning attracts further interest there could be some significant improvements to mention at next year’s meeting. The main difficulty here is to implement the correct exposure to the intended audience.

 

Secretary’s General Address

Since presenting the last address the world was thrown into some strange times with the coronavirus affecting us on a global scale, the likes of which many had not seen before. This affected all walks of life and put extreme strain onto our NHS system trying to cope with the extraordinary demand placed onto its shoulders. There has been so much uncertainty with what the future will bring and what the long-term effects may be and at the time of writing this seems likely to continue with the outbreak of war in the Ukraine after Russia’s invasion. The memories of standing outside applauding NHS workers each week seems far away but now we have the increased threat of international involvement with the conflict, the consequences of which don’t bear thinking about. At least with the covid situation, after several waves of the virus things appear to be improving which brings much needed relief now life is returning to normal.

 

Despite all the worldly problems, WDAA is still here and continues to provide a quality service to all its members. Things have been difficult to maintain over the past two years but with a bit of thought and planning it is always possible to find the way around potential obstacles. But whatever problems WDAA may have faced in maintaining the Association it pales into insignificance compared the troubles in the Ukraine and our thoughts must go out to all those affected by this tragedy.

 

With the restrictions being imposed, committee meetings ceased for a while until a decision was made to hold open air meetings between a limited number of attendees whilst observing the rules of social distancing. This worked really well and actually for some attendees served as dual purpose meeting / angling sessions. In fact, on one occasion a carp was actually caught by Treasurer Keith Andrew which caused the meeting to be adjourned for a while. This willingness to keep going demonstrates the commitment of WDAA officials when it comes to performing their roles and at this point the customary thank you must be given to all those involved in the running of Association, whether officials or members your assistance is greatly appreciated. This includes those previous officials who were present at the last AGM but have now ceased to be involved, their work set the foundations for others to build on.

 

Change is inevitable within organisations and people will move on for various reasons whether for personal differences or improvements, but their efforts won’t be forgotten. Things move on and new replacements are found to fill the gaps left by others. The current team are dedicated and enthusiastic to improve the facilities of WDAA and this shows by the continued work that they do in their own spare time to keep the Association running.

Every year will see positive and negative effects for the Association, certainly there has been plenty of negative effect on us all recently without any internal contributing factors. Overall though the positives have outweighed the negatives when considering the management of the Association. Significant work has been implemented on developing our waters for the future, particularly on those that remain under-utilised. Two examples come to mind, Tommy’s Hole and Terminus Pool have received significant attention for development. These may be overlooked or dismissed by a large number of members due to their location or type of angling they provide, but the policy of WDAA is to provide a balanced source of angling to accommodate all tastes.

 

During early 2021, a small group of committee members erected a stream deflecting barrier at Tommy’s Hole to allow depositing sand to be removed before building up and causing irreparable damage. This was achieved in all weathers including sub zero conditions with driving hail at times, but the effort is starting to show positive results. Sand can now be removed from the edges of the pool rather than flowing out into the centre and a secluded island has been created for ground nesting water fowl in the breeding season. Terminus Pool at the Winsford end of Whitegate Way now has a lower pool which will be stocked with various fish species.

 

With respect to junior members there is usually little to report upon apart from the annual fish-in on Wyvern Pool which tends to occur during summer. This year we are pleased to report the introduction of an additional team member, Mark Leathwood who has assumed the role of Angling Development Officer building upon the long standing work provided by Tommy Ratcliffe over many years. Mark is a level 2 coach and will be targeting not only juniors but anglers of all ages, although it must be stressed that juniors will form a major part of the target audience. In order to achieve these objectives it will be necessary to comply with

our general duty of care by having a safeguarding policy, performing risk assessments, having suitably trained coaches and sufficient insurance cover. Mark is a level 2 qualified coach so is sufficiently competent to lead these events. An angling development plan has been drawn up which includes a mixture of events for all abilities from beginners to more experienced anglers across a variety of techniques from river fishing to more specialised techniques for particular species such as carp and pike. In addition, a junior match series is planned for the summer months.

 

Whilst on the subject of planning, several committee members attended an on-line training seminar hosted by the Angling Trust which looked at legal duties of angling organisations with regards to health and safety requirements on work parties. Although as a voluntary group we are exempt from many of the legal duties of professional bodies, WDAA does still have a general duty of care for its members on work parties. As a result of this, Fishery management have started to perform risk assessments whilst on site that attendees are required to sign in case any accidents occur. Basic protective equipment is also being offered to workers. Planning is key to success, therefore it is vital to plan work before commencing to avoid potential pitfalls.

A positive that came out of the recent covid situation was a rise in member numbers which undoubtedly came from the allowance of angling and the desire of people to get out into the open air. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues into the future.

 

Every year has it negatives and this period has been no exception. There continue to be problems with litter and human excrement left on the bankside which is just not acceptable and casts a poor impression of the Association especially when in public areas. I do receive the occasional e-mail from members of the public who express their concern over matters such as litter. This problem is not entirely due to anglers, certain waters do act as a meeting ground for people, not only teenagers but adults also who contribute to the litter problem. On the flip side of the coin there are also members of the public who voluntary walk around picking litter because they care for the environment. I have personally thanked any litter picker met when out on our waters. This commitment to maintaining a clean environment should be seen as an example by all our members or others before throwing away that plastic bottle or crisp bag onto the ground.