Britsoc: The British Society of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Serving the British Expat community since 1920.

British Society AGM Minutes 2012

Annual General Meeting

British Society of Amsterdam

Held at the Doubletree Hotel, Amsterdam

27th November 2012, commencing at 20.00

Present: Stephen Huyton, Ian Cherington, Mike Wardropper, Alison Smith, Mark Ligtenstein, Annette Garnett, Gillian Brooks, Lorna Payne, William Tweddle, Sarah Grace, Nick Nugent, Vincent Calder, Duncan Peacock, John Richardson, Rebecca Hilliard, Wouter van Alderwegen, Fabienne Devoille, Kirsten Pyle


Apologies received from Una Hennigan, Mikaela Lodder, Dave Thomas, John Cameron-Webb



There were no written proxies received. Notice of attendance circulated.



There were no exceptions to the agenda, so it was adopted for the meeting.


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, held on 27th November 2012

There were no objections to the minutes, which were therefore taken as read.


Annual Report from the Chairman.


The Chairman gave a vote of thanks to the Committee, in particular Annette.


Thanks also to Alison and John Richardson for moving the bulletin over to a digital magazine allowing us to increase circulation from around 400 copies to upwards of 4000. It is a superb production, which is responsible for a huge change in the image of the society in the last 6 months.


Thanks were also given to Una as webmaster, who has now moved to France. John R. will take over this role.


Unfortunately we were not able to run the Bonfire night this year due to various factors; our usual location could not host us on November 4th, new stricter regulations from the authorities and large number of volunteers needed.

The Amsterdam Mamas have promised to help us with the event for the following year.


A ball will be held again this year – we are reminded to all buy tickets.


Questions were taken from the floor.


Mark asked a question about the feasibility of using IDEAL for payments. This will be reviewed, once the new website is up and running.


Ian asked whether the additional local authority regulations will give us problems for the following year for Bonfire night. Stephen replied no, we had permission; it was more to do with dates and extra toilets.



Treasurers Report and approval of the accounts for the Year ending 30 June 2012


Abi could not be present, but we would like to register our thanks to her for being Treasurer. She will return to the U.S. next year.


  1. Membership fee income has declined from EUR 7.5K to EUR 6.4K.


  1. Advertising income increased from EUR 9.7K to EUR 11.7K. We have not seen any loss in income due to moving to a digital magazine.


  1. Admin costs decreased significantly from EUR 6.4K to EUR 2.8K, partly as a one-off charge of EUR 1.3K for a website upgrade was included in 2011, and also due to no longer doing additional print runs of the bulletin for marketing purposes.


  1. Income from activities increased from EUR 1.5K to EUR 3K.


  1. In total, there was a profit made for the year of EUR 2K, in comparison to a loss of EUR 3.8K the year before.


  1. Cash balances increased from EUR 29.5K to 32.1K. . The society holds net assets of EUR 28.9K.

Sarah wondered whether it was a worry that membership income is declining. Stephen agreed. A discussion ensued about whether we should continue as a fee-paying organization and the level of the fee to be charged. The topic remains on the table for future discussion.


Mark asked if we were going to have a mission statement for the society. Stephen stated that all would be revealed from the Marketing Committee in one go; our main aim for 2013 is to revamp the communication aspects of the society.


William asked if all the savings from the bulletin going digital were already in the accounts. Stephen said no, not yet. The overall effect is around EUR 10K p.a.


The accounts were approved.


Michael Wardropper and Dudley Keillor were proposed by Duncan to stand as official Auditors, seconded by Ian.



Election of Officers


The election of the following committee members was proposed by Rebecca and  seconded by Nick:


Stephen Huyton – Chairman

William Tweddle – Treasurer

Gillian Brooks – Membership Secretary

Kirsten Pyle – Secretary

John Richardson – Webmaster

Annette Garnett – Events Coordinator

Mikaela Lodder – Committee member

Fabienne Devoille – Committee member

Vincent Calder – Committee member

Andy Simmons – Committee member

Ian Cherington- Committee member

Anne-Marie Toolen –Committee member

Tracey Taylor – Committee member


It was announced that Stephen will be stepping down as Chairman and Ian Cherington will be taking over in June 2013.



Any Other Business

Official thanks were given to Stephen for being Chairman for 10 years.