The evening began with a presentation of a cheque by two special club representatives, Lindsay Fitzpatrick and Pryanka Malhotra, to Paul Ricketts, the local representative of the Samaritans. The cheque was for over £2600, money which was raised by the club on the recent fun Sports Day organised by Matt Bamford. Lindsay and Pryanka gave a highly enthusiastic and professional presentation of the fun they and other kids have at Brondesbury and how proud the club is to honour the memory of Robin Francis by making this contribution to the Samaritans.
Paul then spoke eloquently about the importance of the work they do in helping people in desperate need and thanked the club for this contribution to enable them to continue in their important work.
The formal part of the evening then began. I delivered the overall section summary, which you can find here.
Martyn Webb, our Club Treasurer, delivered an overview of the club's financial position, using the following draft accounts.
Because Marina was unfortunately ill, Angus delivered the Head Coach's report of the season, which can be found here.
I then reported on the project to build a new court on the bowling green. The requirement for the new court is because of the success of the coaching programme and its unmet need for more capacity. The planning application came before the committee (of councillors) for the second time and, despite the planning officer's recommendation to approve, they refused it by a majority of 4-3. The club will be appealing this decision which will in due course be heard by a Planning Inspector.
One consequence of the delay in getting approval is that we are now likely to be unable to access the LTA's loan facility as this now depends on us installing a court booking facility, which we will not do. The loan would be 50%, interest-free, and for 10 years. The cost of the new court, given the extra car parking spaces needed next to court 1, means the total cost is likely to be roughly £150k. This could, just, be affordable with club funds but would mean that the project to build a toilets facility at the pavilion, estimated at £60k, would have to wait for more funds to accumulate.
Discussion then took place amongst the attendees. Mike Bentley, Club President, for example, expressed his long-held view that we should implement a court-booking system. The Tennis committee, however, is committed to the current policy and believes it commands widespread support.