21st July 2021 – Annual General Meeting held by Zoom as remote conferencing meeting.
The 43rd and final Annual General Meeting of The Friends of Whitehall Charity.
Paul Gibbins, Chairman of The Friends of Whitehall, written report was distributed to all Friends prior to the meeting.
Chairman’s Report for 2020 -2021
‘’The past year has been the most significant for both the Friends of Whitehall Charity and its members since the formation of the Friends in 1978. Coronavirus restrictions led officers to decide to curtail the holding of events and, after considerable debate and deliberation, members agreed at the virtual 2020 AGM that if no nominations for the three key officer posts, due to become vacant in 2021 for reasons of retirement, were received by 1st December 2020, measures would be taken for an orderly winding up of The Friends of Whitehall Charity.
No nominations were received and so our treasurer has started to deal with the financial aspects of closing the charity which will include the disbursement of any remaining funds.
As the house has recently been completely refurbished by the Council, and the garden replanted by The Friends, there is limited scope for expenditure of long-term benefit to Whitehall and its visitors that would be appropriate to the closing of the charity after 43 years. However, there is a need for new railings around the listed well which would fulfil these objectives and this is being developed with skilled artist blacksmiths.
I have to thank all the committee members for their hard work and enthusiasm organizing fund raising events over past years and in particular the sterling work of our secretary Jenny Lugton and our treasurer Adam Bailey especially during recent restrictive times. I am grateful that they have agreed to serve on the interim committee until completion of the formalities of winding up the charity and beyond that as Adam has agreed to retain the financial records to meet Charity Commission rules.
I would also like to thank the staff of Sutton Council’s Heritage department for their assistance and offers of help as we move towards closure of The Friends.
As this is the last AGM of The Friends of Whitehall I feel it is important to applaud the foresight of all those who campaigned in the 1970’s to have the dilapidated Whitehall house restored and opened to the public, and also to recognise the inspiration and values of the founding members of ‘The Friends’ that encouraged so many people to devote immeasurable time, energy and enthusiasm in so many different ways to the success of Whitehall over more than 40 Years.
A party to celebrate the valuable contribution of The Friends to Whitehall is planned in September which I hope many members will be able to attend, and a start has been made on the writing of a ‘History of The Friends’ for which I welcome members’ anecdotes and memories. New railings around the well will provide a permanent reminder of The Friends’ significant involvement with Whitehall.”
At the AGM the following proposals were adopted:
THAT A ‘SKELETON’ INTERIM FRIENDS COMMITTEE BE APPOINTED AND AUTHORISED TO PROGRESS AND COMPLETE THE ORDERLY WINDING-UP OF THE FRIENDS OF WHITEHALL CHARITY.
IT IS PROPOSED TO APPOINT PAUL GIBBINS, VALARY MURPHY, ADAM BAILEY AND JENNY LUGTON TO FORM AN INTERIM FRIENDS COMMITTEE TO PROGRESS THE WINDING UP OF THE FRIENDS OF WHITEHALL CHARITY’.
Annual General Meeting 2020
The Friends Annual General Meeting was held as a zoom conference meeting on 29th July 2020.
Twenty- three Friends attended the first online Annual General Meeting held by The Friends of Whitehall.
The meeting covered a wide variety of topics and much lively discussion took place. Minutes of the meeting will be sent to all Friends in due course.
At the meeting three key members of the executive committee, the Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary announced they would be standing down at the Annual General Meeting in July 2021.
If anyone would like to consider filing one of these posts, please use the ‘Contact us’ page to discuss the positions with the executive committee.
As a first venture into online technology, the meeting proved very successful in spite of one or two initial glitches.
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The Covid restrictions continue to curtail Friends activities.
The Heritage Service has opened Whitehall with limited opening hours and a one way system to view the house.
The Freedom Caffe at Whitehall has extended it’s opening times. It is *currently open 10 am – 5 pm, Wednesday’s to Sundays. Pop in to enjoy a cup of coffee and some interesting snacks.
*As at 3rd September 2020