Report from the Annual General Meeting







Held on Tuesday 27th September 2016 at the Mechanics Institute, Manchester

  1. Welcome to all present. 66 people attended
  2. Apologies: Michael Mansfield, Andy Burnham MP, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Sara Harrity (AB Charitable Trust), Graham Brady MP, Jeff Smith MP, Julie Ward MEP, John Hendy, Dawn Edge, Andy Walsh, Tom Togher (Salford CAB), Paul Roebuck (University of Law), Tom Griffiths, Steve and Rosemary Williams, Sumita Gupta, Pat Cassidy (Kenworthys Chambers), Abdu Rahim al Malahi, James Moss (DLA Piper)
  3. Opening Remarks from Robert Lizar and Erinma Bell, Patrons and long term involvement in the Moss Side community. Both expressed their thrill and inspiration at the development of the law centre and called for the continued campaigning and fighting against cuts which would be needed.
  4. Minutes of the 2015 AGM were approved. The Annual Report for 2016 was presented by John Nicholson (Chair) who informed the meeting of the generous £25,000 grant notified (first instalment received at the meeting) from the AB Charitable Trust, to help fund the first Supervising Solicitor post for the law centre. Norma Turner, Volunteer Office Manager, described the establishment of the offices at 159 Princess Road and the excellent work of the core volunteers. Community involvement in campaigns and volunteering would be essential for development and the Volunteer Form was circulated to all present in order to encourage everyone’s skills and abilities to be brought into assisting the organisation.
  5. The Financial Accounts for 2015-16 were presented by Ian Wait (Treasurer) and approved by the meeting. Encouragement to fill in Standing Order forms was highlighted as the centre would have to rely on a lot of money from a lot of different people and groups, as well as any funding bids made to the charitable trusts, lawyers firms, trade unions and so on. Suggestions were made for further assistance financially.
  6. Formal Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment to the Objects was presented by Paul im Thurn (Company Secretary) and approved unanimously. This was in order that the amendment could be submitted as a Special Resolution to Companies House so that it could then be forwarded to the Charity Commission in order to obtain charitable status.
  7. Resolution on Membership Subscriptions. This was presented by John Nicholson (Chair) and the categories of individual member and affiliated organisation member were explained. Suggestions were made on the wording (“waged” and “unwaged” not necessarily the best words) and the resolution was then passed unanimously. All present were encouraged to complete the new Membership form and to donate (or indicate that they would be doing so through their bank accounts), so that a new membership could be constituted as soon as possible.
  8. Directors. The resignation of George Brown was noted and he was thanked for his hard work on behalf of the developing law centre over the previous two years; likewise his support for the former South Manchester Law Centre in its campaign to survive from 2010-14. The meeting then approved the re-election of Paul im Thurn and Sukhdeep Singh (who retired, by rota, and were re-standing) and the election of Ian Wait (who had been co-opted during the year, and was now standing), as well as the election of a new nomination, Mala Wainwright. These will all serve three years and the next third of the Directors will retire at the next AGM.
  9. No Other Business had been notified to the Chair and the meeting closed at 7.45pm.