The Chairman welcomed 28 members of the club to the 2022 AGM held at The Chichester Park Hotel on 30th June 2022.There were 28 members of the club present at the meeting and apologies had been received from a further four members.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th November 2021 were reviewed and approved. There were two matters arising from these minutes
- All changes to the Constitution and Rules that were agreed at the last AGM have been implemented
- The club has investigated insuring our fish stocks following a change in the policy provided by the Angling Trust whereby fish stocks are no longer covered by the policy. It was found that as an absolute minimum cost would be £3000 per water. The committee felt that this was too expensive so have decided not to pursue.
The Chairman reported that as per the last AGM we have successfully moved our AGM from winter to summer. He thanked all the club officers, committee members, bailiffs and volunteers for their hard work as well as those that turn out for work parties. He noted that it was good to see a few new faces at the work parties but attendance could be better and the committee were looking at potential ways to improve this.
The Chairman also mentioned Health & Safety and thanked Paul Beard who has been driving this on behalf of the committee and read the following statement “The club recognises its legal and moral responsibilities when it comes to Health and Safety
.In practical terms this means that we are improving how we operate.
. Working parties are managed better.
. Information about our equipment and regular maintenance.
. Training and PPE where necessary.
. We are also building a list of vetted approved Contractors.
The outcome being improved safety for our volunteers, our insurance is validated and therefore the club’s integrity is protected.”
The perennial question of restocking the Rother has again been raised by members and on your behalf the club made another approach to the EA. The EA remain adamant that they will only ever re-stock a river in the event of a major fish kill caused by a pollution incident or similar, this is the national policy. They take the view, and remember they are the overriding authority, that a good, clean river should be able to support its fish population and to that end, their efforts, linked to landowners, farmers, water companies angling trusts, and fishing clubs working together should allow this to happen naturally. I can assure you that following visits to some of the major improvements currently in progress further upstream it is having a beneficial impact downstream and the work will continue right through our stretch of the Rother. We as a club have offered our practical help on the more viable projects being undertaken. As an example it’s been suggested the E.A. may be able to gravel wash our two Riffles, install water flow directors, and even some gravel beds with the aim to speed up the flow and perhaps remove more silt…these are improvements that will help us, so fingers crossed the money can be found, and we will play our part.
The Chairman mentioned so upcoming events;
Firstly, the two Barbel ‘Teach ins’ on 7th and 13th July organised by Peter Foster, the places were very quickly snapped up and we know those that have a place are looking forward to them.
You will know Peter Foster has organised two Barbel Teach-in’s” the first on the 7th July and again on the 13th, both were quickly taken up so I’m sure Peter will be asked to do more. We may also then consider other species such as Pike, another fish that many anglers would welcome some good advice on how best to both catch and handle them.
Secondly the Social and BBQ at Coultershaw on the 29th July. We look forward to welcoming club members to the event.
Finally the Chairman paid tribute to the Communications Team who produce ‘The Sussex Angler’ each year as well as the monthly Newsletters which keep us updated. More immediately they also make sure that the website and our facebook page keep members informed on a day to day basis.
The Membership Secretary reported that in line with the rest of the country, angling has had a surge in popularity over the pandemic years and this has resulted in significant increases in membership numbers. Prior to the pandemic our membership was steady in the area of 550 – 600 members. Since then we have seen a steady increase with 775 members for the 2020/21 season to 846 for the 2021/22 season and the in the current season we stand at around 870 at this date with a few members still joining.
Initially there was concern that this could overload our waters, but from personal experience he has found this not to be the case having fished both Petworth Park and Fittleworth at what would be considered popular times and found very few other anglers. Some waters can get busy but that can happen with 100 or 1000 members. He reported that the new systems put in place for obtaining memberships; Postal applications via the PO Box and payment by Bacs etc have all worked very well and have streamlined the process for obtaing membership for both existing and new members.
The Treasurer presented the accounts for the 2021 – 2022 season which were approved. He highlighted some significant expenditure on our still waters and said that the following reserves have been put aside.
£3500 for fish stock
£10,000 towards desiltation of Cart Pond.
The Treasurer paid tribute to Phil Tubb who prepares all the accounts in the background.
The Secretary apologised for the late change of venue, unfortunately the venue originally booked had become unavailable at fairly short notice.
He reiterated the points made by the Membership Secretary with regard to the new systems put in place for obtaining membership and reminded members of the importance of following the guidance on the forms with regard to SAE’s and postage, this ensures that we get your membership back to you with the minimum delay.
As with memberships we have taken guest tickets out of the tackle shops and these are available from the Secretary either by phone or e-mail, please give us 3 – 4 days to process.
If members want a change of scene, don’t forget that we have exchange books details in your handbook.
Your committee are always on the lookout for new waters, if you see or hear of anything please let us know.
Election of Officers
The Vice Chairman / Secretary took the chair for the election of;
Chairman: The incumbent Roger Poole has indicated that he is willing to re-stand. There were no other nominations. The Vice Chairman asked for a proposer and seconder. It was proposed by Martin Cornish and seconded by Tim Nudds that Roger Poole be elected as Chairman – unanimous for
The Chairman took the chair for the election of;
Vice Chairman: incumbent Steve Simmonds
Treasurer: Incumbent Martin Cornish
Secretary: Incumbent Steve Simmonds
Membership Secretary: Incumbent Tim Nudds
Match Secretary: Incumbent Keith Hughes
Bailiff’s Representative: Incumbent Mick Greenway
The Chairman explained that all the incumbents have indicated that they are prepared to re-stand. He asked if there were any nominations for any of the positions. There were none, so the Chairman asked for a proposer and seconder that the above be elected en bloc.
It was proposed by Chris Exall and seconded by Les Goddard that the officers listed above be elected en bloc. The Chairman asked for a show of hands – Unanimous for.
Chris Exall, Paul Beard, Peter Foster, Barry Goodhew and Steve Penticost are all one year into a two year term, therefore we have a full complement of committee members.
This concludes the election of the officers and committee.
Finally there was a general appeal that members fill in the catch books as this helps with fishery management planning.