Minutes of the 39th Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 1st July 2017 at the premises of the
British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk, UK
Members Present, AbdulRahman Alenezi, Dawn Balmer, John Bartley, Pat Bartley, Mike Blair, Bernard Bracken, Sal Cooke, Elaine Cowan, Peter Cowan, Paul Donald, Andrew Grieve, Richard Hoath, Mike Jennings, Johannes Kamp, Andrew Lassey, Tim Loseby, Irene Losbly, Brian Meadows, Stephen Menzie, Nick Moran, James Parry, Yoav Perlman, Julia Porter, Richard Porter, Dora Querido, Beverley Randall, Geoff Randall, Judith Ross, Irene Sabiniarz, Rob Sheldon, Paul Stancliffe, Effie Warr, John Warr,.
Apologies for absence had been received from: Ian Harrison, Stephen Menzie, Tomas Haraldsson, Doug Radford, Geoff and Hilary Welch
Minutes of the 38th Annual General Meeting held on 4th July 2016
Acceptance was proposed by Mike Blair, seconded by Dora Querido and carried unanimously. Rob Sheldon signed them as a true record of the meeting.
The bank question posed by Linda Wintle last year re the ethical policy of the bank. We reviewed the ethical policy of Lloyds Bank and agreed that our current arrangements met the practicalities of benefitting from its expertise in often complex international transactions while not using any of its investment products
Chairman’s overview of 2016 had been included as a letter in the Spring issue of Sandgrouse (39:1) as well as a part of the Summer Meeting programme flyer. The Chairman thanked all OSME council members and supporters for their help during 2016. The key points from 2016 summarised as:
Conservation and Research Fund is now called Conservation Fund to reflect the increasing amount of educational and capacity building work we are supporting across the region. Last year was a record breaking year with expenditure of £14000 on 7 projects. The OSME Conservation Fund Committee were thanked for independently reviewing all applications and making recommendations to Council. The Committee is chaired by Maxim Koshkin and is made up of Richard Porter, Sharif Jbour, Mick Green and Nabegh Ghazal Asswad..
We continue to promote our work on social media with 2800 followers on Twitter and 1300 likes on Facebook. We continue to add new information to the website with regular guest blogs and also run an OSME discussion group
In 2016 we published 2 issues of our journal Sandgrouse. Peter Cowan and the editorial team were congratulated for continuing to produce a high quality journal with papers and input from across the OSME region. Back issues continue to be made available on the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Key events for OSME in 2016 were the annual Summer meeting and AGM, as well as Birdfair. At Birdfair Yoav Pearlman represented OSME in the Birdbrain quiz and came joint 1st winning £750 for the Conservation Fund. Many thanks to everyone who visited the OSME stand and to all Council members for helping with Birdfair arrangements.
OSME participated in 2 other events in 2016. Tomas Haraldsson ran a bird migration camp in Azerbaijan and Rob Sheldon attended the Batumi Bird Festival in Georgia.
OSME is a registered charity and needs to comply with various legislation. Council has done an excellent job with the overall governance of OSME and continue to maintain a risk register to ensure compliance and a positive future for the Society.
There were various organisations who helped OSME in a variety of ways throughout the year. The Chairman acknowledged all their support as well as that of OSME members and donors.
Question from the floor Peter Cowan re social media – many birders are introverts how do we contact them? Chairman we use a wide-range of ways to engage with birders, from social media, Sandgrouse, attendance at Birdfair as well as the Summer Meeting and AGM
Presentation and adoption of the Accounts for 2015/Appointment of Accounts Examiner for 2017
A leaflet with the summarised accounts for 2016 was distributed at the meeting and the contents, with additional detail, were described in a graphical presentation by Chris Hughes Joint Treasurer. He drew attention to the following:
2016 saw a record income and expenditure and we expect the same for 2017. Our key income line is subscriptions, there are signs that there is a slow decline in memberships like all other small charities. We will not be putting our subs up. 2016 record conservation spend will be beaten in 2017 as we continue to attract new external funders
Sandgrouse printing costs are going down due to new printing techniques but matched though by the increase in postage costs!
OSME should end 2017 with a spendable £19,200 in the bank and our agreed reserve of £12,000 pounds.
50th anniversary plans are almost fully funded but donations would still be very welcome. We received a £5000 legacy donation which will go towards a special edition of Sandgrouse in 2018.
On Conservation funds, we spent £12.4 k in the formative years from 1983 to 2000. From 2001 there has been a significant upward trend. 2001 to 2016 it reached 94.6 k and we passed the 100k mark during 2017 anticipating ending the year on £115k.The money has gone to 21 individual countries as well as projects across our region, we will be making efforts to find projects in the remaining 6 countries in the OSME region in which no specific funds have been spent.
Thank you to John Warr for his work on the accounts and Mike Jennings who examines them and has agreed to be our financial examiner for 2017. Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Sal Cooke, seconded by Dawn Balmer. Acceptance that Mike Jennings continues as Accounts Examiner for 2017 was proposed by Dora Querido, seconded by Richard Porter and carried unanimously
Election of officers: two people come to their end of their terms many thanks Sal Cooke and Phil Cannings. Two nominations for council Paul Stancliffe, who has redesigned the membership forms and more branding items. And Mike Blair who has been co-opted and previously on council for 5 years would like to join council again. Proposed by Nick Moran seconded by Brian Meadows
Vice-Presidents: Dan Alon and Dr Akram Eissa Darwish came to the end of their Vice-Presidency. There were no nominations.
The publications of the Ornithological Society of Turkey have been digitised and are now available on Biodiversity Heritage Library, i.e. the fifteen OST Bulletins (1968-1977) and the four Bird Reports (1966-1975). Special thanks to John and Effie who made this possible.
There being no other business, the Meeting was closed at 14.40.