Present (at Fram Farmers):

Richard Harrison (Chair / RichWords)

Jacqueline Ward (FBA Administrator)

Dan Wood  (Sectretary & Treasurer / Framlingham College)

Andrew Kerry (Committee Member / East of England CoOp)

Jenny Stockman (Committee Member / The Technology Centre / Suffolk Coast Business / Fresh Aspirations Forum)

 

John Ashley-Smith (Town Council / Suffolk Punch Construction)

James Tanner (Town Council / Hollins)

Eileen Coe (Town Council)

Richard Whitaker; Mark Howard (The Round House)

David Bathie  (East of England CoOp)

Elizabeth Jones (The Railway Inn)

Lindsay Want-Beal (Xtrahead)

Robert Norman (Robert Norman Construction)

Ingrid Simpson; Jo Simpson (Simpsons Sweet Shop)

Ellis Barker (EADT)

Mia Pascoe; Alysha Stockman (Fresh Aspirations Forum)

Alex Menhams (Guest Speaker, The Ideas Centre)

Apologies:

Andrew Niekirk (Vice Chair / EagleMedia)

Kelvin Gibbs (Committee Member / Charnwood Milling)

Simon Tinkler (Committee Member / Ernest Doe)

Stephen Burroughs (Suffolk County Council)

Christopher Hudson (Suffolk Coastal District Council)

Paul Rous (Suffolk Coastal District Council)

Bill Bulstrode; Karen Haynes (Bulstrodes)

Fiona Mealing (Green Apple Nutrition)

Jane Bloomfield (Blue Sky Assessing & Consultancy)

Sheila Pipe (Callendars)

Colin Farrand (Succeed in Spain)

Richard Anscombe (Fram Farmers)

Barry Jones (The Railway Inn)

Dave Mangan  (Liability and General Insurance Brokers)

 

  1. REVIEW OF THE YEAR

Slides 1-5

Richard Harrison welcomed those present and introduced himself.

He thanked everyone who’d helped produce the AGM, particularly Richard Anscombe & Fram Farmers for providing the venue and being so helpful. He also thanked Sheila Pipe of Callendars for the lovely table decoration, East of England Co-op for their contributions of food and drink, and Barry and Liz Jones of The Railway Inn for the buffet.

Richard then presented a Review of the Year. Please see the FBA AGM 2015_Slides, in conjunction with these Notes:

Slide 6

One of the aims for this year has been to professionalise FBA to some extent, to help it  work more efficiently and to represent more effectively the 100+ members that we now have. To this end, we’ve created and shared three key documents: a Business Plan, Marketing Plan and Brand Guidelines.

If you’d like to see them, they’re available upon request – please email chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk

We’ve also formalised the boundaries of our geographical reach [see Slide 10].

Other activities from the past year include setting up car parking facilities for members in two locations: here at Fram Farmers, where members can park for free on Saturdays; and at the Sports Club on Badingham Road, where members can park for a small fee on Mondays to Fridays.

The idea is that members parking in these places will free up spaces in the town centre, reducing congestion and helping – we hope – to increase footfall. However, it’s fair to say that we’d like even more members to take advantage of these facilities, so for more information please contact our Administrator Jacqueline Ward via admin@framlinghambusiness.co.uk

Slide 7

The aim of the Marketing Plan that we’ve created is to raise awareness of our existence and activities through our website, PR, events, ads and campaigns.

We’ve re-vamped the website this year. This slide is a static screenshot of Home page, which includes a constantly revolving carousel of member names and logos (where members have supplied logos).

The image area above the members’ carousel also revolves and changes, allowing us to highlight news and member offers and to promote the events that we organise and take part in. These events create opportunities for members to promote themselves through sponsorship and advertising, as well as to gain exposure to visitors coming to Fram for the event in question.

Slides 8 and 9

We aim to achieve media coverage for our activities too, and have been successful in getting column inches with the East Anglian Daily Times and other Archant Group publications, as well as on BBC Radio Suffolk… and, with a regular column, in local newsletter “Framfare”.

Slide 10

This year, we formally defined our geographical boundary, essentially representing the spread of locations occupied by our membership at the start of 2015.

There’s still room for us to expand by recruiting new members from some of the villages and small towns not marked. Also, we occasionally accept membership from businesses outside of this catchment if they trade extensively within Fram or the surrounding area.

Slide 11

We’ve maintained our membership of Suffolk Coast Business (SCB), the umbrella organisation for the business associations of Framlingham, Leiston, Saxmundham and Aldeburgh.

By bringing these Associations together, SCB can command a “seat at the table” with larger organisations such as Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk County Council and similar bodies. That means that members, and their Associations, also have more of a say than they would do individually.

SCB also organises a business event each year for the benefit of all members across all four Associations, and this year – for the first time – it took the format of a conference with keynote speakers, networking, and workshops. I attended and it was a great success and the format will be repeated next year, so please do take advantage of this opportunity in 2016.

SCB is also a source of funding for FBA, helping to pay for our part-time Administrator.

The Suffolk Coast (DMO) is the organisation responsible for promoting tourism to the region. We’ve recently joined and it gives individual members – and FBA as a whole – an opportunity to promote our events, services etc… anything that visitors to the area may be interested in.

Given the number of tourists that FBA’s SausageFest brings to the town and region each year, the DMO has given us a grant of £1000 towards the running coasts of this year’s event.

Slide 12

I’m going to cover items 5, 6 and 7 in a moment. We’ve appointed a new Administrator in the past few weeks – Jacqueline Ward – who’s been working very hard on organising this event and generally staying on top of things. Jacqueline’s replaced Liz Jones, who gave up the role to focus on running The Railway Inn.

Slide 13

Following a suggestion from Town Councillor John Ashley Smith, FBA created and distributed this sign to members with suitable facilities. It builds on the good reputation that Fram already has for being a friendly place, and makes a particular promise to the general public.

Feedback from members – The Lemon Tree, for example – is that the public has responded very positively and that businesses are benefitting because the people who do come in end up buying something anyway!

Slide 14

FBA was a Finalist in this year’s Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Business and Community Awards, in the “Encouraging Tourism” category. This was recognition of the events we organise – SausageFest in particular.

Slide 15

  1. FBA ACCOUNTS

Dan Wood, FBA Treasurer, presented the following report on the year-to-date accounts and current bank balances. The FBA’s financial year ends 31st August 2015 and Dan will be putting together a full year balance sheet for circulation at the September monthly meeting (Monday 21st  – venue to be confirmed).

For your information, here are the accounts for Year End August 2014

Report

So far,  2014/15 has been a very similar year financially to last year. Membership income is virtually the same at £5040.00, compared to £4938.00 last year.

Grants received from Suffolk County Council for various events through the year enabled us to generate a surplus. This allowed us to donate £500.00 each to Castle Radio, Framlingham Sports Club and FAYAP youth and arts centre.

Expenditure was generally as expected with insurance at just under £1000, membership of Suffolk Coast Business £500, admin costs at £700, website build and updating £1300, with advertising and print costs at £350 for the year to date.

The balance of the current account is £1,282.64 and the savings account balance is £9,031.96, giving a combined total of £10,314.60

With minimal expenditure expected for the next month or so, the year-end balance should remain at around the £10,000 mark.

Slides 16 and 17

  1. RETIREMENT/ELECTION of COMMITTEE

The following members of the committee stood down and were re-elected – Jenny Stockman, Kelvin Gibbs, Andrew Niekirk, Dan Wood, Simon Tinkler.

Andrew Kerry (from East of England Co-op) did not stand for re-election so there is a vacancy on the Committee and Richard invited anyone interested to get in touch (chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk). However, the Committee can continue with its business without a replacement.

Richard Harrison gave notice of his intention to stand down from the role of Chair after the Fab Fram Christmas event on December 4th 2015 (just over a year since he took office).

Slide 18

  1. SUBSCRIPTIONS

The FBA membership fee is to remain at the current good value amount of £52.

The cost of the individual Christmas trees for relevant members will also remain the same – £10 for each tree. FBA has applied for a grant from the Town Council to help cover the full cost of the trees.

Members who do not have a tree for display on their premises will not be charged this fee, of course, and will receive an invoice for £52 as normal.

Slides 19-21

  1. FORTHCOMING EVENTS

Heritage Open Day – Saturday 12th September

FBA members aboutfram organised the event on our behalf last year, and Kathy and Sarah have kindly agreed to do so again this time around. They don’t intend to change the winning formula too much, although there will be a nod towards the Magna Carta this year due to the anniversary.  For more info, please contact info@aboutfram.com

Sausagefest – Saturday 10th October

About a month after Heritage Open Day, it’ll be SausageFest time! This event is also in good hands, as Jenny Stockman is organising once again. Get in touch for more info: jenny@t-centre.co.uk

Fab Fram Christmas – Friday 4th to Sunday 6th December

The night of the 4th combines the Christmas Tree Lights-on ceremony with the late-night shopping plus market stalls, Santa’s Grotto, horse and cart rides and family entertainment.

We’ve liaised with St Michael’s Church and the Town Council to make it a bumper weekend of Christmas festivities, with the Christmas Tree Festival at St Michael’s on Saturday 5th December and the Council’s Christmas Charity Market on Sunday 6th December.

For more info and/or to get involved, contact Richard Harrison via chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk

Slides 22 – 23

Richard Harrison gave public thanks to Bill Bulstrode who has decided to close his shop after 45 years. Bill was commended for his contribution to the FBA and to the community, especially for his part in organising memorable events such as those celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics. Richard also thanked Karen Haynes for her dedication and hard work for the community and FBA during her 23 years at Bulstrodes.

Slide 24

 6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Robert Norman commented that he’d found FBA’s website a little slow and Lindsay Want-Beal and Jenny Stockman agreed they’d had similar issues. Richard Whitaker commented that he’d not experienced any slow speeds.

Richard Harrison thanked members for their feedback and agreed to get the web hosting/technical back-up company to do some research into the issue.

Richard H then presented Liz Jones with a bouquet and gift card, as a token of thanks for all of her hard work as FBA Administrator.

Slide 25

  1. GUEST PRESENTATION

Richard introduced Alex Menhams from The Ideas Centre, who presented ‘Think Again! The Strategic Value of Creativity’.

We have not attached the slides here since they include elements that require explanation and interaction from the audience. The Ideas Centre runs regular “open” workshops (in Ipswich and elsewhere) that introduce the concept of creative thinking in the workplace and the value it can add to any business.

For more information, please go to www.ideascentregroup.com or contact Alex: a.menhams@ideascentregroup.com

 

Attendees were invited to complete the AGM-2015-Questionnaire, so thanks to those who did so.

We’re accepting responses to the Questionnaire until 12 noon on Friday, 18th September and intend to discuss the points raised at the next monthly meeting on Monday, 21st September @ 5.30pm (venue to be confirmed).

The AGM concluded with the Summer Social (drinks and light-bites).