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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 15th May 2003, at the Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall, London.

Present:  the President Prof. A. R. Michell, Prof. J. Bleby, Mr. R. Ewbank, Dr. M. Kerr, Mr. K. Meldrum, Mr. A. Muckle, Mr. M. Nelson, Mr. J. Oliver, Mr. B. Pooley, Mr. A. Porter, Mr. H. Robinson, Mr. G. Tribe, Mr. C. Woodham.

Apologies for Absence had been received from 21 Fellows.

Minutes of the AGM held on 16th May 2002 had been circulated and were approved, subject to the comment from a number of Fellows that the wording perhaps understated the level of concern that was expressed at the time concerning the situation then pertaining in the BVA.

Matters arising from the minutes not covered elsewhere:  none.

President's report:  Prof. Michell remarked on the good attendance at meetings throughout the year, something not easy to achieve at the present time, but helped by our good fortune in managing to attract such high-quality speakers.  It was gratifying to observe a few younger faces in attendance.  He observed that the CVS may well be a dining club, but it is also an influential, relentless, effective and constructive organisation.  He commended the way the BVA represent ative had beavered away at the boil that needed to be excised.  There were certainly encouraging signs of progress.  It is essential that the views of the profession are heard, and for this we need an active, vigorous and effective BVA.  This seems to have been achieved in the nick of time, largely due to the Central and to John Bleby.  The President concluded by expressing his thanks to the Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer.

Secretary's report:  Dr. Kerr submitted a written report, summarising the programme of the year and taking a somewhat humorous look at some of the events which didn't go entirely according to plan.

Treasurer's report:  Mr. Tribe circulated the audited accounts and a written report detailing total assets of £6,161.61 (£489.23 in the current account and £5,672.38 in the Capital Reserve Account).  Continued solvency was due to the annual membership subscriptions offsetting the small shortfall incurred on each meeting.  The accounts were formally adopted by the meeting.

AWF Representative:  Mr. Ewbank reported that the AWF was currently in some disarray as a result of the recent complications within the BVA.  However, things were now beginning to be sorted out, and he was optimistic that the coming year would see a great improvement in the situation.

BVA Representative:  Prof. Bleby also submitted a written report.  He recounted the by-now-infamous tale of the resignation of Mr. Jim Baird only hours before the BVA's AGM at Stratford in October.  In the event the vote of no confidence was not put to the meeting because Mr. P. Jinman read a prepared statement announcing the departure.  However, there was no doubt that it had been the threat of the no-confidence vote which achieved the desired result.  The feeling now was that it is time to move on, and there is nothing to be gained by carrying out a witch-hunt.

The Competition Commission had also occupied a great deal of thought, with many members outraged by the cavalier way the government had treated the profession.  However, it may be that in practice the implementation of the legislation will have relatively little impact.  Prof. Bleby promised to keep a sharp eye on the reorganised BVA, and thanked the Society for its support during the difficult times.

Election of officers:  The following were elected to Council for the 2003-04 session:

Senior Vice-president
Junior Vice-president
Hon. Secretary
Hon. Treasurer
BVA representative
AWF representative
Hon. auditors
Mr. A. P. Muckle
Prof. A. R. Michell
Mr. B. D. Hoskin
Dr. M. G. Kerr
Mr. G. W. Tribe
Prof. J. Bleby
Mr. R. Ewbank
Mr. A. M. R. Nelson
Mr. A. P. Muckle
Ordinary members Mr. L. W. Gibson
Mr. H. Hellig
Mr. C. R. Herbert
Mr. P. R. Manning
Mr. K. C. Meldrum
Mr. J. J. Oliver
Mr. A. R. Porter
Mr. H. C. Robinson
Lord Soulsby

Any other business:  Mr. Meldrum expressed the hope that the CVS should have an officer in the new BVA team, and considered how this might be accomplished. It was the feeling of the meeting that the "parachuting in" of officebearers to BVA Council was undesirable, and that candidates should have served some time on Council before being put forward for office.

Date, time and place of next meeting:  May 2004, details to be arranged.

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