Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Yarpole Community Shop Association Ltd.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 7pm at St. Leonard’s Church, Yarpole.

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Apologies recorded prior to the meeting: C. Greer, Paul & Gill Humphrey, Mrs G Craddock, Mrs P Hildred, Mrs L McKinley, Mr & Mrs D. Minton, Mr & Mrs Packer, Mrs F. Reynolds, Mr & Mrs Seaman and Mrs S. Spencer.

Apologies given at meeting: 20

Attendance at Meeting: 45

Approval of minutes of 2018 AGM - Approved by Sue Russell and seconded by Anne Greer.

Matters arising: None

Chairman's Report: the Chairman outlined the shop's mission statement. During the last year there have been many changes, with the retirement of the Postmaster, Chris Smith in November 2018, and resignation of the Stock Manager in December 2018. Staff replacement procedures were put into place and two exceptional new appointees now run the shop and Post Office.There is no external Project Funding this year, but all the funds allocated last year have been well spent and the benefits felt in the village. Funding this year has been internal, meeting the costs of changeover of staff and setting up the new Post Office arrangements. Also, in buying shares in the Bell Inn, and providing a loan towards the purchase of the pub premises.Greater new product development will be ensured, through the efforts of Rowena and Claire, as well as the expansion of the range of Post Office services.

  1. The shop hopes to explore greater synergies with the new tenants of the Bell Inn.
  2. In the future a new EPOS system will be needed as the present arrangement is out of date, with a new system offering more facilities.
  3. A major volunteer initiative was launched during the year and the response was very encouraging. Buddies and newspaper sorters are working well, but there is no room to be complacent and more volunteers in all categories would be very welcome.

Presentation of the Financial Accounts - D.C: Summaries of the accounts were made available to the shareholders present. 2018 was a challenging year, with the loss of two large account holders, and the costs in setting up the new Post Office arrangements. The shop had absorbed some of the increased costs of goods purchased and as a result of all this, the shop has moved from a surplus after tax in the previous year, to a loss in the current financial year of -£2729. When adjusted for exceptional costs of Post Office set-up and staff changeovers the like-for-like figure showed a loss closer to £800. The balance sheet was discussed, pointing out that the stock level figure at the end of the year was higher than for the previous year. All the variations between 2017 and 2018 were explained. Sales were down 7.3% in 2018 and transactions were down, as was the total spend per transaction. Margins were also slightly down, due to the shop absorbing some costs, as mentioned earlier. There were considerable charges in setting up the Post Office, cleaning costs had risen, and it was noted that the shop bears the cost of the telephone and broadband for the whole Church building. A chart was then shown showing a summary of the last 5 years’ trends and also a pie chart showing the breakdown of spending on all the categories of goods sold, with newspapers and magazines being the largest slice.Challenges - we need more volunteers; we need to source new products; streamline the EPOS system; find an alternative supplier to replace Court Farm and to try and build sales in both the Shop and the Post Office 

The accounts were accepted by the attending shareholders, proposed by Audrey Bott and seconded by Viv. Mitchell.

This year - 2019 - the first 14 weeks were flat, but weeks 14 - 22 have seen an increase in sales over the same period in 2018. Overall sales were improving, and the Post Office is covering its costs.

Appointment of Auditors: DC said the shop had been well served by the auditors Kendall Wadley since the shop was started. They were very efficient and reasonably priced, and he recommended that they be asked to continue as our accountants for the forthcoming financial year. This was agreed by all the shareholders present.

Election of Shop Management Board: as required in the Rules of the Association, the present Board members have stood down. Two current members are not seeking re-election, but the following stood again - Andrew Praill, David Cheshire, Alex Jenkins, Mary Edwards and Jon Pitt. There has been one new nomination as Craig Marden has agreed to stand for election as a Board member, leaving two vacancies at present. An en bloc vote was taken to accept these six people to the Board. Thanks and gifts were given to the two retiring Board Members.Andrew Praill then thanked all the shop volunteers, buddies, our new staff members Rowena and Claire, the shop board members, the shareholders old and new and all the loyal shop customers.The meeting closed at 7.45 p.m.

Angela Barnett has agreed to be co-opted onto the Board and she will attend when she is able.

Thanks and gifts were given to the two retiring Board Members.

Andrew Praill then thanked all the shop volunteers, buddies, our new staff members Rowena and Claire, the shop board members, the shareholders old and new and all the loyal shop customers.

The meeting closed at 7.45 p.m.