2016 – AGM

Minutes of the AGM 2016

At Kerala House on Sunday 6 November 2016 – 3.30pm

75 Members attended the AGM
Chairperson : Mr Raveendran Nair
Company Secretary : Sudheeran Vasudevan
Finance Officer: Puhskas Vasu

1. Welcome and introduction: Chair person, Mr Raveendran Nair welcomed members to the AGM for services in 2015 and the Company Secretary Sudheeran Vasudevan outlined the agenda for the meeting.

2. Condolences: AGM paid the customary silence in memory of community members who passed away during 2015 and 2016

3. The minutes of the AGM 2015: Sudheeran Vasudevan presented the minutes of AGM 2015 to the members. Regarding the resolutions moved by Sreejith Sreedharan, it was clarified that at the reconvened AGM Sreejith Sreedharan withdrew these resolutions following significant objections raised against his proposed changes. This was accepted and agreed that the minutes be revised to reflect this. Since there were no other matters arising the minutes was proposed for acceptance by Nihas Rawther seconded by Sreejith Sreedharan.

4. Annual Report 2015

Swayamprabha Purushothaman said that the decision to publish AGM reports online only has made it difficult for elderly members to access them. It will be better to send them printed copies by post as most of the elderly members are not familiar with online media publication. The concern was discussed and members asked the Board to consider the issue and reinstate the paper version for AGM reports and other publications for all members regardless of age, who have expressed an interest for paper copies.

Sudheeran presented the current MAUK board structure and the major activities/events through out the year 2015 (weekly, monthly and annually).

The main points raised during the discussion of AGM report

Among the successful events and activities, it has mentioned that despite the steady decrease in number of members recently, there was no membership campaign to turn this around. Thomas Daniel pointed out that the membership is a key factor for the organisation’s success and it must be given high importance by the board when planning the activities. The AGM instructed the board to give increasing the membership a top priority for next year and to include in the campaign to amend the membership fees those are still in old rates (£12) to £20 through standing order amendment.

Balamurali Nair raised that at the Onam celebrations 2015 “Girija Nair Memorial Award” volunteer of the year award was not given as this was introduced in memory of Girija Nair who was the founder of 60+ sisters club. The secretary responded that the award was not given as no recommendations came forward. The new board will take this into consideration and ensure the
nominations are invited and a suitable person awarded every year without a miss.

Sreekumar Kunjuraman asked why one of the Directors – Suprabha Paineveedu was terminated from the MAUK Board. The secretary explained that further to the status check of Directors who are on work permit visa, it was univocally stated by the Home Office Business Help Desk that Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrants are not allowed to do voluntary work. The confirmation email was read out at the AGM.

Members raised their concerns about the delay in Drama performance and 25th anniversary celebrations of Drishyakala. The secretary explained that lack of availability of some of the key actors and participants, especially due to change of their jobs have affected weekend rehearsals. The Board was asked to give the drama activity top priority, second only to membership campaign and ensure that the first stage performance takes place before March 2017.

In terms of the Music Classes, the secretary revealed that there are some students who cannot continue their classes because of financial hardship. Ajith Lekshmanan inquired about introducing scholarship schemes to deserving students (fee reduction). Thomas Daniel suggested that the Board find suitable sponsors to fund deserving students fees in the music and dance classes.

There were no other issues and the Annual report 2015 was proposed for approval by Mrs Sindhu Murali and seconded by Mrs Swayamprabha Purushothaman.

5. The Annual Accounts was presented to the AGM by Financial Officer Pushkas Vasu

The following matters were clarified:

  • Ajith Lekshmanan asked about the outstanding income on music class. It is due to the ongoing payment in arrears method used to collect fees. The receipts are monitored regularly and the parents and students are asked to clear them if the fees are overdue.
  • Nash Rawther queried the expense against Life membership. Pushkas explained that it is for the legal court case related to the Life membership of Prakash Raghavan. MAUK lost the court case brought against the association for breach of contract for not including Prakash Raghavan’s name in the list of donors displayed at Kerala House. Prakash was one of the
    additional 10 life memberships granted after the original display board was produced. There was a delay in getting the display board changed to include all 60 life members. They were not happy with our response and the speed in which responded. Therefore we had to refund the money with additional court charge. In addition we also have to pay legal costs, which will be shown in next year’s accounts.
  • To Balamurali’s question about the expense shown under Kerala Carnival 2014, it was explained that the delayed payment related to the 2014 event but it was discovered and paid only in 2015.
  • Balamurali also requested that separate individual accounts be maintained for each classes and chenda performances to give a better analysis of performance. This was agreed to be shown in future annual accounts.

After discussions, the annual accounts was proposed for adoption by Edwin Thomas and it was
seconded by Nash Rawther.

Sreejith proposed that a performance management system be implemented for MAUK directors to report to members on the directors performance. The monitoring information will be made available to members every four months. This was accepted by the AGM and the Director Board was asked to introduce it.

Sugathan Thekkeppura enquired why MAUK did not associate with UUKMA to do any activities or events. There were different opinions expressed on the matter and AGM directed the Board to discuss at their meeting and make a decision. However, the majority of the members present were of the opinion that MAUK should be independent and should not join any umbrella bodies.

6. Election of Directors:

Chair Mr R Nair explained that the following director’s term ends in 2015:

  • Aji Gangadharan, Jain Lal Soman, Jaison George, Lalitha Pillai, Sree Valsalan Pillai and
    Sambasivan Raman.
  • Suprapha Painiveedu’s term was terminated due to eligibility
  • Silpa Pillai is resigned due to personal reasons.

Nominations were from the following members:

  1.  Aji Gangadharan
  2.  JainLal Soman
  3.  Jaison George
  4. Lalitha Pillai
  5.  Sambasivan Raman
  6. Ajith Lakhshmanan
  7. KG Nair
  8.  Nihar Rawther
  9. Sreejith Sreedharan
  10. Sreekumar
  11. Tony Cherian

Four members present at the AGM raised concerns about the application from Sreejith Sreedharan who has resigned from the Board previously due to having taken out an IVA.  The legal, financial and moral aspects of Sreejith’s nominations were discussed at length. However, the above four members who argued against Sreejith’s nomination could not substantiate their claims nor
convince the rest of the 71 members present to reject Sreejith’s nomination.

Since there were 11 application for 8 vacancies as Director board members and there were no
withdrawal of nominations, the AGM agreed to go for a secret ballot.

Following the secret ballot, the following 8 members were declared elected to the Board:

  1. Nihas Rawther (56 votes)
  2. Sambasivan Raman (55 votes)
  3. Aji Gangadharan (54 votes)
  4. Sreekumar (53 votes)
  5. Jaison George (51 votes)
  6. Sreejith Sreedharan (50 votes)
  7. Jainlal Soman (49 votes)
  8. KG Nair (45 votes)

7. Resolutions

The following resolutions 1 to 16 were received from Balamurali Nair, Nash Rawther and Edwin Rajan and 17 & 18 from Board were submitted to AGM for approval:

1. Resolutions must be added to the constitution within 30 days of the AGM and sent to the Charity commission for information/approval.
This was passed with an amendment from 30 days to 60 days after the AGM.

2. Directors appointed must be registered with company house within 14 days of the appointment of the AGM and retired directors must be removed within 14 days from company house records.
This process is already a requirement as per constitution and do not need a resolution

3. Members are requested to apply for director roles (submit nominations) 45 days before the AGM date. This will allow the Board to make the various checks such as Criminal, Visa status, financial background checks etc.
After further discussion the resolution is passed with the amendment from 45 day to 21 days to apply
for director role and 40 days for annual report before the AGM

4. A director who had to leave the association for not meeting the criteria set out by the statutes, charity commission or MAUK constitution for being a director, shall not be eligible to apply to be director for five years, following the date of dismissal or resignation even if the said criteria are now fully met. This is to prevent directors from not disclosing full details to get into the board and exposing MAUK and its eligible trustees into risk of fines and damaging the association’s reputation.
This was discussed and concluded safeguarding MAUK’s reputation is very important. Therefore the
proposal was approved.

5. Members to be given the option to vote for directors and resolutions via ballot (e media or post) and this to reach the secretary 7 days before the AGM.
Majority mentioned that members would like to ballot should attend the AGM and the mechanism
will be a complex one. This was put to vote of showing hand (50 against/ 3 for / 1 abstain/ else no
response) and based on the vote it was rejected.

6. Life membership of 70 members is to be extended to married couples and MAUK membership records to show details of both members.
This was passed with the addition to civil partnership

7. Any project that has an Income or expenditure of over £5000 to be financially audited by an independent person (not a director) within 30 days of the completion of the project.
It is a good practice to introduce and approved by the AGM

8. Directors/volunteers/users are not allowed to consume alcohol/drugs at MAUK premises. Alcohol can be consumed ONLY for MAUK board approved events or private hire. Failure to comply will lead to dismissal from the board (for directors) and users/volunteers barred from MAUK premises.
It was passed with the amendment of “drug to intoxicative drugs”

9. Directors who are visibly under the influence of alcohol at MAUK functions attended by members/public, should be dismissed and banned from holding any volunteer or Directorial position for a minimum of 5 years.
Even though the code of conduct includes this clause and it is better to add this to the constitution.
This was passed by AGM

10. Directors/volunteers hours contributed for MAUK activities must be published on the MAUK  website at the end of every calendar month.
This was discussed and was approved except decided not to publish in the website. It is the Board’s
responsibility to make it available upon request from members.

11. AGM minutes, including the new directors details to be published on the MAUK website and members informed by Email within 60 days of the previous AGM.
Approved, except a draft format will be available on the site within 60 days after AGM

12. If any director is found and declared to have benefited in kind/financially in dealing with any MAUK activity will face disciplinary action including dismissal and barred from involvement in any capacity (as volunteer or Director) for a minimum of 5 years.
It was approved by AGM

13. MAUK Premises – People using MAUK premises for more than 5 minutes must sign in and sign out. This will include directors and volunteers. This log book will be available for checks.
This process is part of the daily operation of Kerala House and was tried before. For the benefit and
the accountability of the usage it was agreed to reinstate the log book and review whether it will
produce the desired result. The resolution was therefore rejected.

14. Criminal checks – Any Director or Volunteer who comes into contact to Children, Elderly or vulnerable people must be checked. If they cannot be checked, their roles need to limited to back office roles – but must exclude them from having access to personal information.
This was passed

15. Members and volunteers to be emailed of activities and request for support of the activities/projects at least 2 weeks before the first subcommittee meeting. Request to be updated on the website as well.
It is a good practice to keep the volunteers informed and approved by AGM

16. The members of the various groups/sub-committees need to be MAUK members or will take membership within one year of joining the group. They cannot join any other group/sub committee if the membership has not been taken.
This was agreed and approved to implement it as it will be good to have volunteers as members of MAUK

17. Members of the Malayalee Association of the UK to apply and work for Director role must have legal eligibility status of two years to work for a charity
It was approved and will protect and safeguard MAUK

18. For monthly board meetings, directors must not give no more than three continuous apologies for absence and no more than four in one calendar year.
It is a good way forward for Directors as they are pledged to work for MAUK and they are responsible to find the time and effort for the role. It was approved.

Since no matters were notified by members before the deadline for discussion under Any Other
Business, the Company Secretary Sudheeran Vasudevan closed the meeting by thanking all the
members who attended and supported the AGM. The meeting finished at 8.45pm.

Top Priorities for 2016 -2017
  • Membership campaign to increase numbers and ensure all pay correct fees of £20.
  • Drama performance by March 2017
  • Revise constitution to incorporate resolutions agreed and submit to Charity Commission for approval

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