This year has gone by so quickly and the Christmas holiday period is almost upon us. This is a good time to review our activities and to look forward to 2018.
Toby Denne has taken over the Treasurer role from Nick Stockbridge. The formal appointment being subject to confirmation at the AGM next April. I want to thank Nick on behalf of the Club for all of his hard work in putting our accounts into good shape and for dealing with some difficult issues that have arisen during his time as Treasurer. We now have a sound operating base from which we can reduce our overall expenditure going forward.
This year we budgeted to achieve a very small surplus and the latest view is that we will break even for the year. This is in spite of a large number of cost pressures which I highlighted last year. Some of these pressures are continuing especially inflation which is currently above 3%. The Committee have therefore decided to increase the Full Gents subscription by £100 for next year. This increase along with other identified cost saving measures will allow us to target a larger surplus in 2018 which will start to build reserves at the Club which are badly needed.
We have welcomed 12 new members to the Club which is above the target for the year. Finding new members remains our biggest challenge and I would encourage all of our members, especially the newer members, to bring forward candidates who want to join our great Club.
On the VAT issue we are still waiting to receive the final part of our VAT rebate. Efforts are currently underway to resolve this situation. The money received last year is still in our reserves as we look at various improvements needed at the Club.
The golf course has been in great condition this year and has drawn much praise from members and visitors.
Martin Fitzpatrick has taken over as Chairman of the Green Committee from Steve Piercy. I want to thank Steve on behalf of the Club for his hard work over a number of years especially in driving the delivery of the Master Plan for the course. This work is now largely complete with the bunker work on the 1st hole currently underway and the 1st and 10th tees having been levelled and re-turfed. We can now look forward to a period of consolidation over the coming years.
The major problem during the year has been the Club Steward situation. We did appoint a new Steward after a very detailed and thorough recruitment process but we finished up with a Steward that just didn’t work for the Club. We are currently trying to recruit a new Steward and we hope to be more successful this time I would like to thank all of our members for bearing with us during this difficult period.
Next year will be a special year as it marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Club.
Work is well underway in preparing for the celebrations and members have now received information on the planned activities during June next year. I hope that all of our members will take part in all or some of the events especially the formal dinner on Friday 8th June which promises to be a memorable evening.
Thank you for your support and courtesy during the year. I am looking forward to another wonderful year at Blackwell in 2018. In the meantime may I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year
With all best wishes