Notes on North West Region of U3A’s AGM & Conference 4 June 2019 County Hall, Preston

The AGM took 30 minutes. 30 of 98 U3A Groups attended. Quorate as only 10% of groups need to be present. Oral reports from Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Region had held a Health and Wellbeing Conference in October ’17.
Future 2019 Events. 16 July Committee Forum Workshop, 27-30 August Summer School. Residential places fully booked. 5 September The Big Sing at Friends Meeting House, Liverpool.
Unfortunately Gillian Russell N W Regional Trustee on National Committee was unwell and in her absence her report was read out. She continues for another year.
Following unopposed elections incoming officers are:
Chair: Mo Eccles, Upholland & District, Treasurer: Alan Hough also UH &D continues as do the Secretary: Angela Bond, Becconsall and 2 members. The retiring Chair, Neil Stevenson is also a member of UH&D.

After Lunch Entertainment: Sid Calderbank “A Lancashire Garland” Dialect poems and songs.

Morning Breakout Sessions. Unfortunately Finance Matters was cancelled.

Session A “Interest Group Matters” started with a Powerpoint Presentation. Copy available. I learnt the significance of Groups’ Co-ordinator and the “Rule of Thumb that U3A’s need 1 interest group for every 10 members. Large clubs clearly have co-ordination concerns eg 9 walking groups etc. Group discussion and feedback about “Problems”. Many U3A’s have waiting lists for interest groups. Do not charge for meeting in members homes or in places where no room hire costs incurred. Cross subsidise interest/activity groups.Wide variety of practices.

Session B “The New Model Constitution” was lead by Sam Maunger, CEO, Third Age Trust. I assume Sam is short for Samantha. A copy of the 16 page document had been circulated as an e mail attachment the day before. Printed copies with introduction in booklet form were handed out and collected in after the 45 minute session. A power point presentation also used to gallop through the document. Insufficient time for questions but they can be sent to SM at HO! All should seek HO advice before entering into property leases for this constitution gives insufficient protection to trustees!

The new model constitution is a response to changes in Charity Law and has been produced with input from Charities Commission. Although longer it seeks to be both legally compliant and be clearer. It has been trialled by some U3A’s who like it! It is in 2 parts Part 1 covers the purposes of the charity and how its money and other property can be used etc. Part 2 sets out administrative provisions etc...There are accompanying notes. It places emphasis on the charity having trustees.

It contains transitional arrangements from existing constitution to the new constitution, Number of trustees between 5 and 15, Annual election at AGM of up to 12 trustees. All trustees, including officers, elected annually at AGM but can be re-elected with limit of 9 years maximum or 3 years continuous service in any specific officer position without an interval of at least 1 year.

We need to circulate and consider implementing the new constitution in the Autumn?!

In passing we learnt that the distinction between General and Social accounts no longer applies and when all turnover exceeds £5k registration with Charity Commissioners is necessary. Alan Hough was particularly helpful in over lunch chat. He is ending more information. AH considers the annual financial reports to the CC can be easily completed.

We need to review our finance practices.

DWC 5 June 2019