2018 Annual General Meeting
Date: 10 May 2018
Location: East Rudham Village Hall
- Apologies for Absence
- Safeguarding and passenger “no show” – Sgt Jason Smith, Norfolk Constabulary
- Approval of Minutes of 2017 AGM
- Matters Arising from 2017 AGM
- Election of Management Committee 2018
- Treasurers Financial Report Ending 31 March 2018
- Chairman’s Report 2018
- Presentation by Sean Asplin, Passenger Transport Manager, Norfolk County Council
- Any Other Business
The Chairman opened the meeting at 19:30 and welcomed all attendees. Apologies for absence were received from those persons set out below.
Malcolm Tibble (Chairman)
Tony Dessent (Treasuerer)
Stephen Brettell (Committee Member)
David Butterworth (Committee Member)
Neil Steed (Committee Member)
John Horsfield – East Rudham Parish Council
Linda Steed – Harpley Parish Council
Sean Asplin – Norfolk County Council
Sgt Jason Smith – Norfolk Constabulary
Community Car Volunteer Scheme Members and Supporters
Valerie Robson, Catherine Rothwell, Fred Rothwell, Mike Jackson, Pam Jackson,
Sheila Swale, Peter Lawton, Linda Swallow, Graham Swallow, Neil Steed, Lindsey Tibble, Brenda Cox, Susan Carlisle, Barbara Nadel, Charlie Austin, Bob Gale, Sue Dessent.
Sir Henry Bellingham (MP)
Ruth Harris (Gt. Massingham & Docking Surgeries)
Cllr Tim Tilbrook ((Borough Councillor)
Community Car Volunteer Drivers
Nicky Warren, Maggie Prue, Arthur Allen, Peter Easby, Tim Chaloner, Maureen O’Hara, Christine Howlett, Derrick Howlett, Maria Gaskill, Sylvia Playford, Sue Donnelly, Ann Bowen, Michael Nicholson, Estelle Bray, Lucy West, Chrissie Warnes.
Safeguarding and passenger “no show” – A Police Perspective
Sgt Jason Smith provided an insight into the actions that the police service would take on receiving a request for a welfare check in the unlikely event of a passenger “no show”. The service is, in common with all pubic bodies, under considerable financial pressure and as the point of last resort would expect a range of checks to be carried out before involving them.
He stressed that the driver had access to more information about the situation than anybody else and covered the sort of actions that the driver could take to increase the level of information. These included but were not exhaustive; phoning the passenger, looking through windows, speaking to neighbours, phoning next of kin or supplied emergency contact, phoning surgeries, hospital and, exercising due caution, shouting through the letterbox and gently trying the front door.
He cautioned against entering the house unless there was an obvious casualty as even police officers are sometimes accused of taking property by either forgetful passengers or next of kin and there could be danger in the form of a savage dog or a gas leak/electrical fault.
There was some discussion about data protection in view of the imminent imposition of GDPR. We should seriously consider how much personal information should be given to drivers to help them decide the likelihood of a passenger being in danger and how the scheme can back up the driver given that the office is not manned all the time.
The committee has deliberated this topic at great lengths and now has a better understanding of how to present its policy following the presentation and members’ feedback. Sgt Smith agreed to comment upon any new guidance prior to circulation to drivers.
Approval of Previous Minutes
Minutes of 2017 AGM were available. Minor amendments to the list of attendees were required.
A motion to approve the minutes was proposed by Graham Swallow and seconded by Sheila Swale so the minutes were signed by the chairman.
Election of the Management Committee
The chairman thanked the present committee for their hard work and support during the past 12 months. All confirmed their willingness to serve on the committee for the next year. Charlie Austin proposed and Mike Jackson seconded the motion that Malcolm Tibble (Chairman), Christine Howlett, Tony Dessent, (Treasurer), David Butterworth, Stephen Bretell and Neil Steed be re-elected. Motion carried unanimously.
Although a call was made for volunteers to serve on the committee, no additional nominations were received.
Tony Dessent indicated that, having served 7 years as treasurer, he would like to use this year to hand over to a successor. A further call was made for a volunteer.
Tony Dessent presented his Annual Financial Report for the year ending 31 March, 2018. His report is to be found as an attachment to the minutes.
Whilst the scheme remains viable, dead miles have increased partly as a result of increased passenger numbers and the committee recognizes the need to look very closely at this slightly worrying trend.
The chairman thanked Tony for his clear presentation of the accounts.
Chairman’s Report AGM 2018
This report covers the 12 months ending 31 March 2018.
This has been a period of change – mostly for the better. One thing appears constant and that is the inexorable annual rise in passenger demand.
This is extremely heartening but it does bring in its wake several challenges. These include driver numbers, increasing dead miles cost and huge pressure on our coordinators.
We manage to keep about 50 drivers on the books. We seem to recruit one for every one that drops out but there are areas where new blood is urgently needed. A new leaflet is being printed as we speak and we will be looking at those areas where a recruitment drive is most urgent.
The increase in dead miles is an inevitable consequence of doing more trips. Demand is rising, as we shall see later, so we are victims of our own success. We are fortunate in that some of our drivers do not claim dead miles thus making an additional contribution to the scheme finances.
Some of the significant activities of the last year.
- Trip Statistics.
o In 2016, we carried out 5010 trips and that was a record year. At year end 2017, that number was 5922 – an increase of over 16%.
o In the first 3 months of 2018, we carried out 2061 trips and if we extrapolate that figure we estimate the yearly total will be over 6500.
o To each and every member of the scheme, both drivers and office staff, I say a huge thank you.
o In past years we have broken down the trip statistics to show the mix of journey purposes. In this last year we have, at county request, reported in a different format and this does not capture the data in the same way. NCC can do this analysis and they provided the following breakdown for 2017:
GP visits 20%
Medical (other) 9%
We know that some CT schemes have eligibility criteria and restrict their activity to medical needs. I am not a specialist but I am certain that a trip to the hairdresser, for instance, is a major factor in many people’s lives so I believe we have a duty to take on all reasonable requests for as long as possible.
o The website was overhauled completely with a new logo and pictures demonstrating the wide geographic area that we cover. Taking advantage of website technology advances, we now have much increased capability to make changes ourselves rather than asking the developer to do it. Committee meeting minutes are regularly posted on the website. Statistics show that the website continues to attract visitors.
- Office Coordinators
o At the end of March, we said goodbye to Angie Durrant and Chrissie Warnes who retired from their roles as Office Coordinators after some 8 and 10 years respectively. Both ladies had developed an incredible knack of finding drivers to carry out over 98% of trip requests and displayed great empathy with both passengers and drivers. They will be missed and it is a measure of the high regard in which they were held that some 20 people recently attended their farewell lunch.
We firmly believe that the 2 new recruits, Barbara Nadel and Lucy West, will rapidly pick up the reins. In fact, both of them “went solo” at the end of April.
Linda Swallow will also retire at the end of June and will act as mentor to Barbara and Lucy to ensure we continue to give the excellent service we have grown accustomed to.
o In January, Norfolk County Council issued an Application for Grant Award to cover the 3 years from 1 April 2018.
The committee worked diligently to prepare a response that reflected our growth and our commitment to provide a cost-effective community service. We submitted our application on time and I am pleased to report that our request for additional funding was largely agreed despite the serious pressure on budgets within the Council.
We are grateful for the support we receive from Sean Asplin at County Hall.
o Our other major funder, Kings Lynn Borough Council, faces similar pressure and wrote to all parish councils requesting details of the support they give to community transport schemes. We are delighted that most of our funding parish councils responded and gave highly favourable comments about our scheme. A decision on future funding is expected next month and this was discussed at the last council meeting but minutes have not yet been published.
o Donations from parish councils and the Docking and Massingham Surgery remain another important source of funding.
o More detail is contained in the treasurer’s report. In essence, our income and expenditure, are usually roughly aligned but the past year has indicated that we must exercise tight control over spending in future as pressure increases on the bottom line. Dead miles are a concern but they are a natural consequence of our growing operation.
o I mention later the computer system that should enable us to reduce some costs.
- Data Protection
o General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force throughout Europe this month.
There is still some uncertainty about how they will be applied – even Lloyds Bank recently sent me a letter expressing their understanding of them. In light of the Facebook revelations, misuse of data is widespread so we have to take reasonable care of personal information we hold.
The data we keep is relatively low level and our resources are minimal so the measures we have adopted reflect these aspects. We have a draft written data protection policy and next week I will attend a briefing on the impact of GDPR on voluntary organisations.
- DBS Checking
o An incident involving a driver brought to our attention the fact that DBS checks are similar to an MOT on your car – valid only at the time of issue.
NCC has a policy which requires DBS renewal every 3 years and we will have to fall in line with this policy. Renewal action will start shortly.
- Donation of a Car
o In March we were contacted by a very kind gentleman in East Rudham to say that he was unable to give his time but he would like to offer his car to the scheme rather than get a miserable sum from the trade.
o I collected the car, an immaculate Audi A4 which he had had from new in 2003. The car was offered to all members of the scheme and has recently raised £875 for the scheme.
o Tony Dessent, treasurer, will be writing a letter of thanks to the donor.
- Office Computerisation
o We are at an early stage in computerising the office. At present, we use a paper diary system which has served us well for many years. With the increasing demand we found that the staff were obliged to remain after hours in order to complete the data recording required by our funders and this resulted in higher staff costs.
Bob Panrucker, a recent driver recruit, is an experienced IT consultant and has volunteered to install the necessary software, create screens somewhat similar to a taxi operation and guide the coordinators through the introduction of this process. With his expert help and a ready willingness on the part of our 3 coordinators, we can be sure of a slicker, less time-consuming system.
In time, we will roll tasks such as dead miles recording into the system to further reduce repetitive inputting.
Drivers will not be forced into the computer age. That remains a choice available to each driver and I recognise that some wish to use paper. Others have embraced electronic communications and, particularly those living away from the office in Massingham, appreciate not having to visit the office or mail their paperwork.
My grateful thanks go to the Committee Members who have helped me through the past year: our Treasurer Tony Dessent, Dave Butterworth, Christine Howlett, Stephen Brettell and Neil Steed (who we co-opted onto the committee during the year). Thank you all for agreeing to stand for another year. Tony has acted as treasurer for 7 years and would like to stand down as treasurer but has kindly agreed to stay on while we train up his successor.
I have largely been Secretary and Chairman for the last 2 years and it is quite onerous acting in both capacities. My thanks go to Dave Butterworth who has acted as notetaker during meetings.
I must also thank Alex Burtt who has prepared the buffet for this evening.
QEH provide parking permits for all our drivers which, although not showing in our bottom line, is very welcome.
That concludes my report and I will take questions before asking our invited guest from Norfolk County Council, Mr. Sean Asplin, Passenger Transport Manager to give us a short presentation.
Presentation by Mr. Sean Asplin, Passenger Transport Manager, Norfolk County Council
Sean outlined the severe budget constraints suffered by his department. From a high of over £6 million a few years ago, it now stands nearer to £2.5 million. This amount must fund the entire passenger transport commitments including buses, taxis, Kickstart and community transport (CT).
He stressed the vital role that CT continues to play in ensuring that people in some of the most rural areas in the county can access links to the services that urban dwellers take for granted.
Our scheme is recognized as thoroughly deserving of the grant that the county makes. We can, therefore, count on this level of support for the next 3 years.
Any Other Business
John Horsfield, representing East Rudham PC and also a driver, asked whether the committee had in mind any ways of recruiting new drivers to help reduce the dead miles cost as the campaign of a year or so ago produced only a relatively small number of recruits.
In response, it was pointed out that the last campaign was a blanket approach across the area. For the upcoming campaign, we will attempt to identify the areas where the need for drivers is most pressing and target these areas. The most obvious imbalance is Docking but further analysis is needed and will be undertaken.
There was some discussion about charging passengers for dead miles. The Committee will look at a range of possible options if the increase in dead miles continues over the next year.
Lindsey Tibble (LT) cited a recent trip she did where the passenger had a large walking frame which only just fitted into the boot of a Volvo V60 estate car. The card in the office did not contain this fact so a driver in a smaller car might have been unable to take the lady. LT suggested we encourage feedback from drivers who encounter similar difficulties so that the cards can be updated. MT will circulate to all drivers.
(Signature & Date)
Great Massingham Area Community Car Scheme
Annual Finance Report for the 12 Month Period Ending 31stMarch 2018
The scheme continues to be well supported in terms of funding with total receipts roughly in line with last year once late donations are taken into account. We have found this year that our normal donors may require a formal request from the scheme in order to release donations and this will be implemented over the next year. In addition, for perhaps the first time, our outgoings have exceeded our income by a significant amount (overall drop in our resources of £2632.81). This has been managed by drawing on our reserves which are still standing at a healthy level.
The separate Accounts Summary Sheet enables a comparison with income and expenditure last year with “gains” and “losses” highlighted. The key points arising are as follows:
- Our main funders NCC and KL&WN Borough Council have continued to provide the same level of financial support to the scheme and there will be a modest increase from NCC in the future.
- 8 of the 9 Parish Councils which have historically supported the scheme have donated this year although one of these was a late donation from the previous year
- We have continued to receive substantial donations from the surgery at Great Massingham/Docking (now received and to be entered in the new financial year),from the Sandringham Flower Show and the quiz held at Weasenham
We have received fewer donations from passengers this year and we are looking further at this area. In contrast driver donations have increased.
- Fund Raising has increased but “Dead Miles” payments have increased substantially. This is probably due in large part to our increased number of trips over the past 12 months. We are now considering a targeted approach to recruiting new drivers in those geographical areas where dead miles costs are high.
- Staff costs have increased this year partly as a result of increased hours and to a modest pay increase to maintain a link to the “living wage”.
- Sundry costs have increased by £290 and this is mainly linked to the costs incurred in revamping our website.
In conclusion the scheme’s finances remain in reasonable shape but have had to rely, over the last year, on drawing upon some of our reserves. During 18/19 we will need to take a proactive approach to maximising timely donations along with finding ways of reducing our dead miles payments .
We are again grateful to Roger Gillett for carrying out an external audit of the accounts. Roger has confirmed for the 17/18 period that a “true and accurate record of transactions has been maintained”.
Treasurer (May 2018)
|Annual Accounts Summary 2018|
|Norfolk County Council||5 790.00||4 632.00||4 632.00|
|King’s Lynn & West Norfolk District Council||2 080.00||2 080.00||2 080.00|
|Parish Council Donations|
|Harpley||200.00||Was late payment for 2017|
|Tattersett||100.00||Gain of £100|
|Weasenham||200.00||200.00||Loss of £200|
|Passengers||722.06||577.59||353.65||Loss of £223.94|
|Drivers||412.69||330.15||453.66||Gain of £123.51|
|Great Massingham Surgery||1 000.00||500.00||Loss of £500|
|Sandringham Flower Show||500.00||500.00||500.00|
|Weasenham quiz/ other||1 285.50||1 028.40||1 123.50||Gain of £95.1|
|Fund Raising||60.00||60.00||371.00||Gain of £311|
|Account Transfer||2 000.00|
|Deposit Account Interest||60.57||48.45||23.04|
|TOTAL RECEIPTS||£ 13 710.82||11 256.59||£ 13 186.85|
|Office Staff||8 671.06||6 936.80||7 789.08||Loss of £852.28|
|Telephone/Internet||1 082.20||865.70||679.55||Gain of £186.15|
|Dead Miles/Parking||2 712.85||2 170.20||3 261.52||Loss of £1091.32|
|Sundry||519.94||415.00||1 102.19||Loss of £290|
|Stationery and Office Sundries||111.94||89.55||72.17|
|TOTAL PAYMENTS||£ 14 804.00||11 905.01||£ 13 819.66|
|DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INCOME AND EXP.||(1 093.18)||( 632.81)|
|At 31st Mach 2017||increase (decrease) in period||At 31st March 2018|
|Current Account||1 145.73||( 618.80)||526.93|
|Deposit Account||16 398.42||(1 976.96)||14 421.46|
|Petty Cash||173.64||( 37.05)||136.59|
|£ 17 717.79||£(2 632.81)||£ 15 084.98|