Minutes of the OGA held 21st January 2023

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The Annual General Meeting (OGA) of members was convened on January 21st 2023 at Venta La Vega, Ronda.

At the first call at 12.30 36 members were present representing  7% of the total membership. There not being sufficient members present the second call was convened at 13.00.

Board members present: Peter Jones; John Brooks: Pieter Verheij: Janet Dixon: Frank Hair: David Pope.

Written notice of the meeting was sent in December by email to all members at their registered address.

  1. Approval of the Minutes of the Meeting on 20th August 2022

The Minutes were circulated and approved unanimously.

  1. Approval of the 2022 Accounts

Treasurer Janet Dixon presented the ABS Financial Statement for 2022.

It was an excellent year. We received 14079 euros in income, with 72% being membership fees, 14% from direct fundraising and 14% from advertising.

We exceeded our budgeted revenue from Life and Annual memberships by 1551 euros, and from advertising by 534 euros.

Our Promotions Officer was responsible for raising 1051 euros in micro-donations.

So overall income exceeded that of budget by 3679 euros.

Expenditure was 9582 euros, with the magazine taking 72% but that included printing costs for the January edition.  Other costs covered banking, insurance, auditing fees and network running costs.

Thus we had a surplus of 4496 euros which was added to the reserves.

From these reserves we donated 3000 euros to Conservation projects.

The Society  held 16782 euros at year end, an increase of 1496 euros, so overall we had 2476 euros more than budgeted.

Our net worth is 16782 euros and we are in a sound financial position.

The accounts for 2022 were unanimously approved by the members.

  1. Approval of the 2023 Budget

In our plan for 2023 we have to be cautious as we are facing rising costs, however we are forecasting a small increase in our membership income to 9000 euros, and advertising income has been set at 1500 euros.

Fundraising and Direct Giving has been set at 1500 euros.

Production and distribution of the magazine has been forecast at 7500 euros and other costs, including bank charges, accountancy fees, and the possible production of a leaflet to promote the Society have all been taken into account.

On these assumptions we should return a small surplus of 1610 euros, and if the projects are approved we can safely  set aside 4000 euros for conservation projects.

The members gave their unanimous approval for the 2023 Budget.

  1. Membership Report

Peter Verheij gave the membership report which was very encouraging. As of 1/1/22 we had 437 members. During the year we increased our membership by 76 new members although we lost 46, giving a net increase of 30. So at the 31/12/2022 we had 467 members.

This was very encouraging as we expected the pandemic to negatively affect our numbers.

  1. Conservation Report.

Peter Jones informed the members of our Conservation Projects. Our main and longest running is the Montagu’s Harrier where we provide funds to Tumbabuey , a local conservation group. This received 2000 euros. This is a key project because the population is in decline due to changes in farming practises. Our donation helps buy crops and ensure the wheat fields where they nest are not cropped until the fledglings have flown.

Our next longest is Project Alba  which is a Barn Owl population restoration  project. Here we gave 500 euros for the building of Barn Owl boxes and their installation around Andalucia.

The above two projects were funded from our main budget but the Swift Project received its 500 euros from micro-donations raised at field meetings, and the ABS Ramblers. This project was also to provide nest boxes and is run by Sociedad Gaditana de Historia Natural (SGHN).

Thus around one third of our total budget is spent on nature conservation.

Peter Jones informed the members of our projects for 2023. Our support for the Harriers and Barn Owl will continue with funds coming from our budget.

Micro-donations will fund Lesser Kestrel population restoration, 500 euros to Tumbabuey,  Little Swift conservation, 500 euros to SGHN, although funds will not be released until the committee has clear and well defined plans from the groups we are supporting.

The members were then asked if they would support a project to provide food to the Seabird Rescue Group Malaga. Many sick birds are found on our shores and need veterinary support, which is provided by the group, but they need assistance to buy food for the birds as often they take weeks to recover.

It was pointed out that this could be construed as Bird Welfare rather than Bird Conservation and the members must take that into consideration.

However there was unanimous support from the members and therefore this project will be discussed at the next committee meeting.

  1. AOB
  2. The Chairman informed the members that we are looking for a Secretary and Membership Secretary and requested that anyone interested in supporting our Society to contact any member of the Board so that the role can be explained in detail.
  3. To reduce paper wastage Members were asked in the future to bring the financial, membership and conservation reports which they can print out from our website.
  4. Peter Jones presented the binoculars donated by Opticron and supplied by Oryx, to the winner of our bird identity quiz, Jonny Maitland.

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 14.00.

            John Brooks                        Peter Verheij

             Chairman                              Secretary

Documents produced for the meetings of the EGA and OGA can be viewed by following the links below:

General Assembly to be held on January 21st 2023

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