Report of the 2023 Annual General Meeting for the Henry Jenkins Community Pub

The HJCP held their AGM on the 9th October in the Mechanics Institute Main Hall with a healthy number of members attending.

Richard Sadler (chair) reviewed the year in general and looked to the future where the award of the LevellingUp grant of £330,000 and the start of discussions with North Yorkshire Council will change the landscape of the ongoing campaign to Save the Henry Jenkins. He also stated that a proper Public Meeting would be organised in the near future for all residents within the parish so that everything relating to the campaign, past, present and future could be openly and comprehensively discussed.

Sarah Haslam (secretary) gave a brief account of a fairly quiet year. Much of the administrative work was countering Planning Applications and preparing for the COF application. Membership remained stable but a fresh recruitment push would be prepared, now that the COF fund had been awarded. This does require some ‘matched-funding’ and the time when members would be asked redeem their share pledges looms on the horizon.

Andy Taylor (treasurer) reported a quiet year, with no income and little expenditure. Much of his work entailed working on the constantly evolving Business Plan. He was principally responsible for the COF application and was delighted that the government had endorsed his vision that the pub could indeed be returned into community use.

Mark Owen (legal) gave a brief address. Relating mainly to the current planning application of the henry Jenkins and the need to oppose and defeat it.

Carol Wilkinson, from the Travellers Rest pub, Skeeby, was the guest speaker. She was a principal in their community group which fought for over 15 years to purchase and refurbish their local. Their story was not dissimilar to the struggle for the Henry Jenkins. A recalcitrant owner; constant purchase bids refused; pub falling into complete disrepair. Eventually, Richmondshire Council agreed to open the Compulsory Purchase Order process and this led finally led to an agreement between owner and community group. A shortfall of £50,000 between the selling price and what the group could afford was paid by a generous grant from the council.
The Travellers Rest opened as a fantastic community pub earlier this year and provides a guiding light for us to follow in their footsteps with our own Henry Jenkins.

A lively Q&A session followed where various elements of their campaign were examined in relation to our own situation.

Jane Aksut & Richard Hughes then gave some short inspirational speeches, concentrating mainly on the support given to the campaign by local professional business advisors such as David Kerfoot who feel that the new Henry Jenkins would regenerate the local economy and bring many financial and social benefits to the whole parish.

Dave Robinson then spoke of the lows and highs of the campaign and how more effort than ever before was required at this point in time. He appealed for people with organisational, management and/or artistic skills to join the management team to give it more strength in depth And also for volunteers who might be willing to donate an hour or two to help with other occasional general tasks on an occasional basis..

Finally, as was required by the constitution, the entire committee resigned and then volunteered themselves up for re-election. All committee members, except for Sarah Haslam, who did not wish to stand this time around, were unanimously re-elected by a show of hands in the room.

A special vote of thanks to Sarah was then proposed for her fantastic work over the years, and an appeal issued for anyone interested in becoming secretary of the society to put their name forward as soon as possible.

The meeting opened at 19.15 and was concluded at 20.35.