Wednesday 29 August 2007

We can't manage this in an hour

I can't put down the agenda for last night's meeting as it wouldn't be appropriate, but here's the one I'll chair next Tuesday morning. We'll start with coffee, so the meeting will get under way about 10.15. The time limit, as far as I'm concerned, is 12.30.

1 Apologies for absence
2 Minutes of the last meeting
3 Matters arising mostly covered in agenda
4 Dates of future meetings for the next year. I tried to get this sorted back in June, but no one else had a diary
5 Reports
a) Treasurer not much to talk about this time, just how much money is in the bank
b) Programme Secretary a big item this month as we'll be deciding on the lecturers Sept 08-June 09
c) *Lecture Theatre* Liaison
• Gratuity
d) Visits Secretary 3 of these in a period of 6 weeks plus one booked for the spring and another to be decided upon
e) UK & Overseas Visits Secretary try to make this brief this time, discuss fully next month
f) Membership Secretary this may take a while, as memberships are renewed over the summer
• Signing in sheets
• Questionnaires
• New members
g) Study Days Secretary we're trying a new venue, so she'll want to talk about the arrangements
h) Young *name of national society* hold over
i) Newsletter hold over
6 Jobs for next lecture meeting
7 Administration
a New members coffee morning date to be decided and who will look after arrangements
b Societies’ Bulletin, August 2007
c Area Meeting, October 2007 information needed to be sent to that
d *National Society* AGM May 2008
e Annual Directory Meeting 2008
8 Correspondence
9 Any other business
10 Date of next meeting

1,2,3,4, in total - 15 minutes
5a 2 minutes
5b 30 minutes
5c 3 minutes
5d 15 minutes
5e 5 minutes
5f 15 minutes
5g 10 minutes
6 3 minutes
7, in total 15 minutes
8,9,10, in total 5 minutes

I wasn't adding this up as I went along, but it comes to 1 hour 57 minutes, though we'll do well if we finish in 2 hours. I've made notes to go with the agenda (not the ones in italics here) and sent them out, as well as relevant papers. Next year's programme has been discussed by 3 of us in some depth, but everyone should have a chance for some input.

We have a similar agenda every month, although different matters are focused on each time. There are ten meetings per year, September to June. There are also ten lectures, on various aspects of the arts, also September to June, as well as visits etc. This will be my third and last year as chairman.


Anonymous said...

The local housing forum was chaired extremely well by an ex-Trade Union activist who had strict rules eg no one can speak more than once on an agenda item (except for the housing manager, and then only in response to a question or for clarification). He finished the meeting after two hours, to everybody's gratitude. Especially mine when I heard of one in another neighbourhood that could last four, five or even six hours.

Z said...

I used to go to Lowestoft Borough Council meetings in the early 70s, because my mother was a councillor. The rule was that anyone could not speak on an item for more than a certain time - 2 minutes I think. The Town Clerk used a stopwatch and the Mayor was strict, also on points of order.

Again, a monthly meeting, when the results of all the committee meetings came for discussion/ratification/information. There were plenty of people who liked the sound of their own voices, but they were giving their time and had voters to represent.