Puddleducks AGM 14th October 2016 at 20:00


Attendees: Steve Mark, Janice Mark, Elaine Kong, Kat Gant, Sarah Headland, Rachel Cushing, Jo Doughty, Sarah Webster, Kim Turney, Janice Howard, Louise Gaskin, Amy Snowling, Alex Ottley, Joy Wilkinson, Laura Alexander-Sinclair, Marie Parry, Katherine Rowlandson, Amy Browne, Chris Rands, Claire Brooks, Michael Waddington, Kate Saunders, Kate Farrow, Jessica Woods, Suzy Watson.

Apologies: Saskia Gent, Nick Headland, Tom Haddon




The minutes of the last AGM held on Friday 16th October 2015 were agreed and signed.



Vote in the adoption of a new model Constitution.


The committee were all in agreement with the adoption of a new model constitution.


Chair report


Sarah Haddon thanked all the Puddleducks staff for their continuous hard work this year as well as committee staff and Suzy Watson for keeping our finances on track for the last 4 years. Ofsted have now completed their inspection; we await the results. Sarah will be standing down as Chair.


Treasurer’s report


Suzy Watson reported that the playgroup had made a loss of £2,253 in the year to 31 August 2016 which compares to a profit of £28,274 in the previous year. There has been a decrease in income received in the year from the day to day running of the preschool of £9,607 which is mainly due to the cuts in government funding.

The most significant expenditure continues to be the investment made in high quality staff. Staff salaries accounted for 83% of expenditure this year compared to 78% last year. Salaries for all staff were increased twice during the year in line with the increase in the national minimum wage and the new living wage requirements.

During the year, existing reserves have been used to fund significant investment in new equipment and toys for the group, the new online learning journal system and related computer equipment and the continued provision of free healthy snacks for all children. Thanks to the efforts of the fundraising team, we were also able to fund the group outing to see The Gruffalo’s Child and several drama workshops in group during the year. As a result, the balance on the fundraising account has decreased by £5,313 this year leaving a balance of £3,853.

Over the coming year, the Committee intends to replenish the fundraising account with its fundraising efforts in order to be able to fund further extracurricular activities for all children.

At the end of the year, after accrued expenses, reserves stand at a healthy £66,914, however, the Committee would like to maintain the contingency funds established in prior years to fund redundancy liabilities in the unlikely event that the preschool has to close, the general reserve equal to one term’s outgoings and the designated fund, which is accumulating over time, to cover the potential cost of moving premises should the need arise in the future.


To conclude, it has been, at times, a difficult year for Puddleducks with increasing overheads across the board. As a result of the cuts to income and general increase in overheads, the Committee made the difficult decision to increase fees for the new academic year. The incoming Committee will agree budgets for the coming year and continue to closely monitor costs to ensure that any further losses are kept to a minimum going forward.

Suzy will be standing down as Treasurer.

Lead Practitioners report


38 children performed the nativity at Christmas with great success. Children visited the church for their Christmas service. Many ‘stay and play’ sessions were put on for parents and children to enjoy. Lots of vegetables were grown in the garden this year such as peas, sweetcorn, pears and pumpkins which will be ready to pick soon. Tapestry went live in January. 36 pre-school children visited the playhouse to see The Gruffalo’s Child. Jo from The Little People Company has been and carried out many drama sessions. The fundraising team has made all the days out and drama sessions possible. Special thanks was given to Jo and the fundraising team.


Arrangement for verification of accounts


Suzy Watson will arrange for the accounts to be signed off by the Independent Examiner and passed to the new Treasurer for submission to the Charities Commission.


Monkey club playgroup


Sarah Haddon explained to everyone that unfortunately Monkey Club can no longer run unless someone from the community steps forward to run the group.


Appointments of the new Committee


It was confirmed that the following committee members are stepping down from their committee roles:


Sarah Haddon – Chair

Janice Mark – Vice Chair

Suzy Watson – Treasurer

Saskia Gent – Communications


Sarah Haddon and Janice Mark will be staying on the committee as associate members.


Sarah Haddon proposed that the following committee members should continue in their current roles:


Jo Doughty – Fundraising – seconded by Rachel Cushing

Elaine Kong – Education – seconded by Janice Mark

Steve Mark – IT and Maintenance – seconded by Janice Mark


The following new committee appointments were made:


Treasurer - Amy Snowling – Sarah Haddon proposed, seconded by Janice Mark

Communications – Kat Gant & Srah Headland – Sarah Haddon proposed, Amy Snowling seconded


New general members appointed were as follows:


  • Alex Ottley

  • Katherine Rowlandson

  • Amy Browne

  • Jessica Woods


Nobody stood in to fill the Chair position, therefore a further AGM meeting has been scheduled for November 4th.



Action DBS and EY2’s for new committee members


All new committee members will need to apply for their DBS followed by EY2. Information will be given out at the next committee meeting on Wednesday.



Propose Committee meeting dates



The next committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 19th October in the jubilee committee room at 19:30. The next AGM meeting will be held on the 4th November at the worlds end pub at 20:00.