FOTA Friends of the Theatre Association
Minutes of the AGM held May 14th 2008.
The meeting was called to order on the second call at 7.30 p.m. The President thanked the 20 members for attending.
Board Members present: President David Radford, Treasurer Arthur Hill, Secretary Graham Cherry, Jaquie Brierley, Gina Foster, Lynn Halliday, Pauline Naylor, Pat Suart, Norma Wilson and Helen Young.
Apologies were received from Y.Peake, Mr and Mrs Pollard, Ted Schepers.
Minutes of the AGM held May 22nd 2007 were taken as read and there were no matters arising.
Presidents Report was read by David Radford. Copies were available for members present. He concluded by highlighting the observation that whilst the trips and the lunches had shown profits for the Association’s funds the ageing of the membership had resulted in two normally profitable events being cancelled because of the physical demands.
Acceptance of the report was proposed by Mr Harding and seconded by Mr Suart.
Copies of the report were given to members. The Treasurer made the following observations:
Income from raffles had doubled
The evening dinner had been a great success and he hoped for more
There had been the same number of trips as last year but profit had doubled.
This year there had been four events whereas the previous year there had been seven so income from events was down.
Revenue from the cards had increased by one third.
The major expenditure item had been the hard wired system at 3,748.90 euros but overall expenditure had gone down.
Current Assets totaled 17,352.60 euros
The working profit for this year was 8,616.23 euros and this compared with 5995.445 euros for last year.
The acceptance of the report was proposed by Mrs Harding and seconded by Mrs Akers.
The President commented that the figures for the coming year for profits from recycled cards would be down because stocks of blanks were low.
It was hoped to expand sales of books on the desk, an experiment currently showing success.
Election of Officers:
The post of President was vacant.
The sole nomination was David Radford. He was proposed by Mrs Harding and seconded by Mr Chalkley. He was elected unanimously for a two year term.
The retiring members of the Committee were AH. GF. JB. PN.
They were re elected unopposed and unanimously.
The President informed the meeting that Helen Tomlinson was prepared to join the committee. She was proposed by Doreen Slater and seconded by Ana Atteck.
Any Other Business:
Ana Atteck asked how funds were transferred to SALVA. It was explained that SALVA request items and then the FOTA Committee will approve the expenditure or not. Indeed last year it was decided not to fund some items on SALVA’s wishlist.
This produced a number of comments:
Gina Foster, as President of SALVA, said that bringing the building up to standards had been very expensive. At one point the authorities had closed the building for Fire Precaution work to take place and shows had been cancelled. The electrical surge had cost 100,000 euros to put right. Although audiences and cast see a ‘profitable’ show, costs had rocketed and were now running at 200,000 euros a year. Income was on target to meet this but a stringent watch had to be kept on the finances. Currently SALVA have 30,000 euros in reserve and the summer to see through.
The wishlist from SALVA this year would include items not normally within FOTA’s remit. Among them are:
Replacing the floor at the front of the stage
4 monitor speakers
new tools for the resident stage manager
recovering legs and flats
motor for the motorised lights
painting the Chekhov Room
D Slater thought the lighting in the Chekhov should be improved.
The opinion was expressed by a number of those present that the Sound Headsets paid for by FOTA were not fit for purpose. There were real problems with the lack of flexibility and trailing wires when working backstage on big musicals. Gina Foster (for SALVA) said they would be modified with longer leads this summer and Eddie Barnett (SALVA) confirmed this and said that the alternative of leadless headsets would have cost 25,000 euros. Concerns about backstage safety of cast and crew continued to be expressed.
Lynn Barnett, as a representative of SALVA, thanked FOTA for agreeing to the wishlist. She amplified the information concerning expenditure on the theatre by adding that the whole of the electrical work cost 220,000 euros. With the theatre subject to instant inspection there was no option but to keep things up to date. She confirmed that the theatre was re building its reserves.
Peter Owen asked whether air conditioning was planned. It was explained that noise, electrical interference to the sound system and the structure of the building all make anything other than the present arrangement impossible. A recent estimate, which failed to meet some of these problems, was for 42,000 euros. Even if the technical problems were overcome the cost would be prohibitive.
B Suart put on record his appreciation of the work done and funds raised by FOTA
The business meeting concluded with a presentation to Gina Foster to mark her period as President of FOTA.
The business meeting was followed by a demonstration of the potential of the sound system which was greatly appreciated.