The Chairman welcomed 45 members of the Club to the 2014 AGM at The White Swan Arundel. He said that unfortunately the previous Chairman has suffered a number of strokes over the last couple of months and was currently in hospital recuperating. Also Mick Harmsworth a previous Membership Secretary and Committee member had heart surgery earlier this year but was well on the road to recovery.
He mentioned the work carried out by ARRT at Shopham and Fittleworth which should improve the environment for spawning and juvenile fish. He mentioned the importance of getting youngsters into angling and congratulated Richard Burbidge for an excellently organised junior taster day, which will be repeated next year. He went on to talk about our KHV incident at Hurston and said that we would hear more about this in subsequent reports.
Finally he paid tribute to two long serving officers of the club who have decided to retire from their positions Nelson Keet our Fishery Manager for many years will be sorely missed his dedication to our fisheries and in particular Stemps & Cart is legendary
Phil Tubb who has looked after our budgets and finances for many years and has been instrumental in setting up the club’s current accounting system. Phil will probably continue in the background for a while whilst the new incumbent finds their feet.
The Membership Secretary reported a static membership at 687 for the 2013/14 season with a slight increase in adult members. The current season is likely to show a drop with membership currently standing at 642. Angling a a whole is suffering from reduced numbers so it is important that we target youngsters as they will be the adult members of the future. The Membership Secretary thanked all the outlets who had sold memberships on behalf of the club; Aldwick Angling, Havant Angling, Handsfords, Tropikoi and of course Arun Angling
The Secretary on behalf of the Treasurer presented the accounts for the 2013/14 season and these were formally adopted. The Treasurer’s prediction of the financial situation by the end of this year shows that the club should just about break even. We were hoping for a slight excess of income over expenditure but had not factored in the costs of KHV which are currently about £150 per month. The Treasurer proposed that subscriptions should be raised by £4 for all categories of angling membership apart for juniors where the rise would be £2. There was one proposal from the floor that subscriptions should remain unchanged but this was defeated by a majority vote and the Treasurer’s proposal for the new subscription levels was ratified.
The Secretary said that we now had e-mailers up and running and these were reaching around 65% of the membership if you are not receiving these and have an e-mail address please let the club know and we will put you on the mailing list . Our new catch books are really important in helping the fishery management team and committee accurately access our fisheries and urged all members to fill them in. He also mentioned canpaid tribute to the work of Nigel Chapman the outgoing chairman and Mick Greenway who has the dual task of Match Secretary and Bailiffs representative.
Bailiffs and Fishery Management
Bailiffs and Fishery Management were represented by Mick Greenway who said that a lot of work had been done by the team over the last year particularly at Hurston. If members have any suggestions as to how fisheries can be improved than please contact any bailiff or member of the committee, all suggestions will be considered. He thanked Keith Hughes and Mike Kitchener in particular for all the work they had done at Hurston. He mentioned that it is totally unacceptable for members to alter platform by drilling holes in them or prising up boards, this had been found in a number of swims at Stemps & Cart.
He thanked the outgoing Fishery Manager for all his work and hoped that he would still be around to allow the team to call upon his extensive knowledge. He then passed over to Keith Hughes (Pond Warden – Hurston) to give an update. Keith Hughes said that he was pleased to announce that Hurston would re-open on 1st December and stressed that members but heed the biosecurity rules and use the dip and spray as instructed. He said that he is starting to plan the future of Hurston and would welcome members input.
The Match Secretary reported a successful match season with highlights of good bream weights from Petworth Park. The best weights of the season came from the a couple of away venues – Bernies lake at Ashington and Nyewood. Vince Herringshaw had had a particularly successful match season.
The following were elected to serve the club
Chairman: Roger Poole
Vice Chairman: Ray Huskisson
Treasurer: Martin Cornish
Secretary: Steve Simmonds
Membership Secretary: Tim Nudds
Fishery Manager: Mike Kitchener
Match Secretary: Mick Greenway
Trevor Horton and Mick Harmsworth had stepped down from the committee during the past year
Ray Newnham, Richard Burbidge and Keith Hughes all remain on the committee for a further year
Martyn Cullern who was co-opted top the committee midterm was ratified and will serve a two year term
Phil Tubb and Nelson Keet were elected to the committee to serve a two year term
Items For Discussion
There was one item for discussion, Colin Bridger asked what the situation with canoes was.
The Secretary explained that we have had two meeting with the canoe bodies and have reached an impasse as they are demanding 24/7 access.
There are two issues
- Access to the river – This is limited to one legal site on the Rother
- Status of a canoe once on the river – There are varying views with regard to this.
Further meetings are in the pipeline and the committee will make every effort to protect our fisheries and angling.