Trust Annual Report 2010

 

THE CITY OF WINCHESTER TRUST LIMITED REPORT OF THE COUNCIL AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2010

 

Chairman's Report

 

This annual report comments on projects and activities for which budgetary provision was made during the financial year. Inevitably there are some items which did not reach completion and will be carried forward. The report contains the necessary statutory disclosures.

 

Projects

 

The considerable work on the publication “Winchester Heart of a City” culminated in its launch by our President at a ceremony at the Discovery Centre on 6th November 2009. Judge Clark congratulated warmly all those who had laboured on the book’s creation with special mention for Andrew Rutter upon whose studies the book is based and for Keith Leaman who led the editorial team. Published by P & G Wells Ltd with a print of 1,000 copies, sales were expected to be steady. It is a measure of the quality of the work that sales proved to be rapid so that by the end of the financial year under report over 700 copies had been sold.

 

The Landscape Group began to plan its campaign to update the earlier tree survey but was hampered by the long period of severe weather and by the small number of enthusiasts recruited to this great task. Their determination to continue once weather improved will bear fruit in time. It is a mammoth task.

 

The Policy Group became heavily engaged in consideration of the plans to develop Barton Farm. While opposing the plans entirely as being premature and detrimental to the character of Winchester, we decided to join in the large consultation process established by the developers, Cala Homes. That process engaged members of the Policy Group, but the resulting planning application, while still strongly opposed by the Trust ,was seen as an improvement upon the first application.

 

Silver Hill. This development, so important for the future of this moribund part of the city, itself followed suit during the year when the developer was put into administration by its banker. We are hopeful that the development, which took many years from inception to the grant of planning permission, will not vanish and the Trust is ready to consider a future revival.

 

The Trust continues to maintain a close interest in the future of Bushfield Down.

 

The Policy Group commented in depth on important issues in the draft Local Development Framework. The final document is yet to be published.

 

Trust Design Awards 2010. Preparations for another competition for Trust awards began under the experienced hands of Chris Higgins. It is intended that judging will take place in the autumn of 2010 and that members will be able to consider those shortlisted at the Annual General Meeting in September.

 

Activities

 

I reported last year that the Planning Appraisal Group had seen a reduction of applications which was seen to reflect the changed economic situation. That position began to reverse. The considerable number of applications to extend houses suggested that many prefer to do that instead of incurring the expense, especially of stamp duty, of a move to a larger house.

 

Civic Voice. Following the demise of the Civic Trust, out Trust has been supportive of the formation of a successor national organisation, Civic Voice, which has been formed and launched during the year with energy and backed by some 250 local civic societies. Civic Voice will concentrate much more on the needs of local societies by whom it is funded, and intends to be a strong representative at national level. The founding of Civic Voice has been welcomed on all fronts.

 

Summer Walks gained excellent support from members and non members to the extent that some were overloaded for the speakers. This is a measure of the quality of the speakers and their choice of subjects. The Trust is most grateful to those who lead the walks. They give much pleasure to those who attend.

 

TrustNews continued to go from strength to strength under the leadership of David Marklew, assisted by Matthew Huntley, who reads the proofs and Alan Waters, who arranges the layout and prints the copies. There the process would stop but for those who stuff the envelopes and the ever helpful staff at Kings Worthy Post Office, who stamp and post the envelopes so speedily.

 

The Trust website (www.cityofwinchestertrust.co.uk) continued to develop and is a delight to view. Members who have not done so are urged to try it. There is so much to learn there. None of this would be possible without the work of Barrie Brinkman and of Nick Hirst, our archivist, who feeds archive material to Barrie.

 

Sales of Christmas cards in the Charity Card shop maintained a healthy demand. A card by Tricia Spink of Cathedral windows and stonework was delightful, as was a colourful card from a watercolour by Colin Stansfield Smith of Skating in the Inner Close. Sales are managed by Jo Gordon Watson as was a book sale in St Maurice’s Covert and we are grateful to her for that and the other support she gives.

 

Plans for the future

 

  • To continue to work with Hampshire County Council and Winchester District Council on the development of the Winchester Access Plan, on the replanning of The Square and Market Street and future planning of street lighting within the city.

     

  • To continue to recruit new members and to hold introductory meetings for them.

     

  • To continue the Chippindale Project by liaison with local schools.

     

  • To monitor proposals affecting the landscape and infrastructure of the city.

     

  • To hold a meeting in 2010 of Civic Societies in Hampshire and adjoining counties to discuss matters of common interest.

     

  • To hold a Design Awards competition in 2010 for new or refurbished buildings in the City of Winchester.

     

 

Public Benefit

 

In setting objectives for the year, the Trust Council has given careful consideration to the Charity Commission’s general guidance on public benefit and are mindful of the need to report on how its aims have been achieved during the year. The Trust was founded in 1957 for the purposes and objects set out later in this report and continues to carry out its work in serving the public interest.

 

Appreciations

 

The Trust depends on its members for its activities. What can be done is governed by the number who involve themselves and their available time but I do not overlook the presence of members who cannot help, but by being members add strength to our standing with other organisations which we seek to influence. When we can say that we represent some 700 members, that adds weight to our persuasion. In particular , we depend on the Planning Appraisal Group and its members, led by Shione Carden. Week after week they consider all planning applications in the city and write their comments to the City Council. In addition, they attend presentations by applicants, usually in evenings. Warmest thanks to them all. The Policy Group, led by Patrick Davies, has been equally devoted to its activities.

 

As Chairman, I could not exist without the unstinting help of Michael Carden and Robin Merton, Vice Chairmen, and of Peter Radcliffe, our Treasurer. Finally, Vicky Feldwick, our Secretary, who is always calm and contributes fresh ideas on many fronts.

 

The Hon Sir Peter Ramsbotham GCMG,GCVO,DL

 

Members will be aware of the sad death of Peter Ramsbotham on 9th April 2010. As our President for some 20 years, he maintained a close interest in the activities of the Trust and was a great support to the Chairmen over the years. His interest brought him, from time to time, to meetings of the Trust Council when his great experience gave us new ideas when dealing with difficult issues. With Lady Ramsbotham, Sir Peter entertained members on occasions in their notable garden while he conversed with all his guests. Ill health caused him to retire as President in 2007 but he then became our Patron which maintained his connection and his interest. He will be much missed.

 

Governing Document

 

The City of Winchester Trust Ltd. (the Trust) was founded in 1957 and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1958. As such it has no share capital. The liability of individual members is limited to a sum not exceeding five pence.

 

It is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association, which was last amended in 2000. The Trust is registered as Company number 00609812 and Charity Number 251798.

 

Organisational Structure

 

The Council has responsibility for the management and control of the Trust. However certain financial functions are delegated to the Finance and Resources Committee, and other panels and groups are formed and their leaders appointed by Council for specific purposes, projects and continuing activities. Council members are elected for three years at the Annual General Meeting but may stand for re-election at the end of their term.

 

Council members act as trustees of the charity and directors of the company limited by guarantee.

 

The Objects of the Trust

 

The Trust’s objects are fully described in the Memorandum of Association. They can be summarised as follows:

 

To seek to conserve the character of the City of Winchester and its surrounding area by:

 

  • Preserving and protecting its buildings, spaces and artefacts;

     

  • Sponsoring and encouraging new building, redevelopment, landscaping and conservation in accordance with the highest architectural standards;

     

  • Promoting awareness of the above.

     

 

Investment Powers and Policies

 

The investment powers of the Council are given by the Memorandum and Articles of Association.

 

Property investment is either used for charitable purposes or to produce income to fulfil those charitable purposes. This means that the Heritage Centre is used for the operation of the Trust, and the two small flats are let to provide income for the Trust because membership subscriptions alone would not generate enough income to enable the Trust to carry out all its projects and activities.

 

Monetary investments are invested in listed investments. The policy applicable to equity-based investment is designed to produce income while seeking capital growth and longer-term security for the Trust’s investments. The policy applicable to fixed interest and variable interest investment is to produce maximum income whilst aiming for protection of capital. Monetary investments are managed by an independent advisor within policies set out by the Council.

 

Property Revaluation Policy

 

The Trust adopts the policy ofrevaluing its property every five years, commencing 31 March 2003.

 

Reserves Policy

 

The annual accounts show the assets and liabilities attributable to the funds by type and which are approved by the Council. The Council plans its expenditure within available resources whilst maintaining reserves which gives the Trust flexibility to achieve its aims.

 

Risk Management

 

The Council has reviewed the major risks to which the Trust is exposed, as identified by the Council, and is satisfied that systems are in place to mitigate those risks.

 

Council Responsibilities

 

It is a requirement of company law for the Council to prepare financial statements for each accounting period. They must give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Trust and of the surplus or deficit for that period. The Council must:

 

  • Prepare the financial statements on the basis that the Trust is a going concern;

     

  • Select appropriate accounting policies and apply them consistently;

     

  • Make judgements and estimates that are prudent and reasonable;

     

  • Disclose whether any material departures have been made from these policies.

     

 

The Council is responsible for keeping proper accounting records which should be able to disclose at any time the financial position of the Company and enable the Council to ensure compliance with the Companies Act 2006. The Council is also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Trust and for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other financial irregularities.

 

Independent Examiners

 

Butler & Co. have been appointed as Independent Examiners and will be proposed for re-appointment.

 

Small Company Status

 

This Report has been prepared in accordance with the special provisions of Part 15 of the Companies Act, 2006 relating to Small Companies.

 

On behalf of the Council

 

signed I A D Patton

Chairman

6th July 2010