AGM minutes 2016


South and East Museum Federation


Minutes of the 2016 Annual General Meeting

Friday 22nd July 2016


British Schools Museum 

The meeting opened at 1.05pm.



Sally Ackroyd, Sarah Carrington, Liz Davies, Lauren Ephithite, Alison Giles, William Heppa, David Juler, Mark Mniszko, Barbara Mniszko, Emily Shepperson, Andrew Farrell, Kate Johnston, Laura Hill, Sarah Russell, Joe Sutch, Tabitha Runacres, Leah Mellors, Jenna Ingamells, Cathy Simpson, Sarah Menery, Jamie Everitt, Ros Allwood


  1. Apologies for absence 

Sarah Priestley, Unity Coombes, Anne Lutyens-Stubbs, Oliver Green, Neil Herrington, Bridget Yates, Liz Davies, Ruth Gillen


  1. Minutes of the 2015 AGM 

These were accepted as a correct record by attendees, proposed by Sally Ackroyd and seconded by Sarah Carrington


  1. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising


  1. President’s Report

Sally Ackroyd read her report, which is included at the end of these minutes.


  1. Treasurer’s report

Sarah Carrington provided the Treasurer’s report, which is also at the end of the minutes.

The meeting was asked if anyone would like to be able to pay in other ways to those available – everyone was satisfied with the current methods.

It was pointed out that £2000, our current surplus, is enough to survive for two years and is therefore a sensible buffer.


  1. Committee vacancies – Election of Committee for 2016–17


There was only one applicant for the post of Vice-President. Lauren Ephithite was elected unopposed, proposed by Sally Ackroyd and seconded by Sarah Russell

Laura Hill was co-opted onto the committee to improve the representation of the BOB area

As there were three applicants for the remaining place, Tabitha Runacres, Jenna Ingamells and Leah Mellors were asked to introduce themselves and the meeting voted. The winner of the vote was Jenna, who was elected to the committee proposed by Alison Giles and seconded by Sally Ackroyd. Tabitha and Leah were thanked for their willingness to join.



  1. Membership categories


The proposed new affiliate membership category was introduced and discussed (see proposal below these minutes). The necessary constitutional changes were proposed by Sarah Russell and seconded by Sarah Carrington, and the proposal was approved.


  1. Coming year’s events 


13 October Windsor and Eton

21 March Watford Museum

10 May IWM Duxford

5 July (AGM) Kings Lynn


Suggestons for study days: Long Shop Museum


Study trip: 25th-28th January in Amsterdam. Lauren Ephithite and Emily Shepperson are organising the trip and gave a powerpoint presentation to show what might be part of the trip.



  1. AOB

Sally Ackroyd was thanked for all of the work she has done and is doing as President of the SEMFed.


The meeting closed at 2pm.


President’s Report 2015–2016 year

Friday 22 July 2016

British Schools Museum, Hitchin 


What we have been up to in the past year and where we hope it is going to take us in the coming year


Since the last AGM in Oxford last July we have run events for members in four of our nine member counties at

  • Saffron Walden
  • Bletchley
  • Ipswich

Thank you very much to the museums who hosted us both for their staff time, and of course for supporting the Fed by enabling us to visit.


And of course our Study Trip this year was to Rome – delighted to have so many people come along (We had to close the bookings at 20 so that we would not be too big a group for the behind the scenes tours)

Again, this organisational feat is only made possible by the hard work of the trip organisers, but also of course by the good will and support of our colleagues in the museums we visit.


We had several members join us for their first study trip, some of whom had help towards the cost of the trip from The Martin Howe travel bursary. We normally give out one of these bursaries per year, but in 2016 we were exceptionally lucky to be able to offer four of these, due to a very generous donation.


Advocacy and Marketing

The committee has been conscious of the need to think about advocacy and marketing this year and is working to steadily increase our profile.


Most of the current committee are fairly new to the Federation themselves, so one of our tasks this year was to develop a basic advocacy and marketing plan, agreeing  patterns of working and setting those down so that we enable some continuity for the group in the future. We now have a working document for both old and new committee members to refer to help us to maintain our momentum in the next few years.


Also, thinking about using what we already do and increasing its impact — we normally ask for the Martin Howe Bursary recipient to write up their trip, so this year as there were four of them they did a joint report, but then we asked each of them to circulate the report in new places so that we could use it as a publicity opportunity.

So, the new places we publicised the study trip report this year were:

  • Norfolk Museums newsletter
  • Social History Curators Group email list
  • Rural Museums network email list
  • AMA East Support Group
  • Museums Norfolk group (for the Independents in the County)
  • Association of Suffolk Museums newsletter
  • Hertfordshire Association of Museums newsletter
  • Bedfordshire Museums newsletter

Taking that list as a starting point maybe we can think about sending the next study trip report out even further afield.


As part of thinking about our visible presence we decided to invest in some hard copy publicity for the group – so have produced the new leaflets and postcards.

Please feel free to take a few and give them to anyone you think might be interested in finding out more about us!

Special thanks at this point to Mark Mnizsko – from Cambridge Design Studio (  who is one of our members. He kindly worked with committee members on producing these as a favour for the group.


Thinking more broadly about advocacy, as we discussed at the last AGM, we have looked at an alternative for the old ‘Institutional’ category of membership.

We will come back to this later in the agenda, but in essence we have come up with a plan to enable museum organisations to become ‘Affiliated’ to the Fed, and so we hope increase the advocacy opportunities for us.


Regional working

As you know, our organisation (stemming back to 1937) was formed as a mutually supportive group of museum people, long before the concept of local government Regions. So, our boundaries cover all of what is now the ‘Eastern Region’, and also the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire area of the South East Region.

As a group we would like to work to complement the work that is now done for museum development in those two regions, and so we are very pleased to have representatives here with us today:

Sarah Menary from BOB and Jamie Everitt from the Eastern Region.


Also, very pleased to say that Jamie, or someone from the Eastern Region development  team will be coming to all Fed event days in the coming year so that they can participate in the committee meeting.

So, using this year as a trial you can come along to all the Fed Study Day events knowing you will have a chance to speak to someone about your museum development plans and thoughts or ask a question in person.


(We keep a committee place available for Sarah or someone else to represent the BOB region  when they can but at the moment that is not filled on a regular basis.)



We will be coming onto committee vacancies later, but for the moment I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the running of the group by serving on the committee, and of course doing the work in between meetings.

This ranges from work on Study Days and the Study trip, to websites, booking systems, membership renewals, balancing of the books, publicity, organisational development and advocacy.

So, this year there are one or two people finishing their term on the committee –

To whom we owe a vote of thanks.


Sarah Priestley from Watford – who unfortunately was never able to take up her role on the committee, but she will be helping to host a Study Day in the new programme, and we hope will come back to the committee in future years.


Josh Tidy from Letchworth

Thank you to Josh, who was the out-going Vice President for the past year.  Unfortunately Josh has not been able to participate in this his final year with us due to other commitments, but prior to this year, during his time as President he worked hard to keep the group going in a difficult period, and at one time he was not only President, but also acting Secretary and acting Treasurer for the group at a time when others were not offering to take up the committee posts – so thank you Josh-


I will end on that note of thanks, with just a final reference to our new publicity materials.  Please enjoy your membership of the group and make the most of its unique opportunities to meet up with a group of museum people from such a wide range of areas of working, for what we hope will continue to be inspiring and thought provoking Study events throughout the year.



Sally Ackroyd

SEMFed President  July 2016


South and East Museums Federation

Treasurer’s report – Sarah Carrington

Friday 22 July 2016

British Schools Museum, Hitchin 




  1. Present accounts
Income Expenditure
Subscriptions  £     720.00 AGM 2015  £     353.00
Bank Interest  £          1.19 Saffron Walden Study Day  £     140.00
AGM Oxford  £     202.50 Bletchley Park Study Day  £        66.00
Saffron Walden Study Day  £     142.50 Ipswich Study Day  £     173.75
Bletchley Park Study Day  £        85.05 Internet charges  £        54.98
Ipswich Study Day  £     146.45 Bursary  £     800.00
Donation  £     600.00 Travel  £        25.00
Printing  £        71.94
Committee costs  £        14.60
 £  1,897.69  £  1,699.27
Bank Balance B/F  £  1,876.91 Income  £  1,897.69
Bank Balance 19 June 2016  £  2,075.33 Expenditure  £  1,699.27
 £     198.42  £     198.42
Prepared by
Sarah Carrington
Treasurer 19 June 2016


  1. Overall,
  • Income and expenditure last year — net surplus of £198
  • About to spend this surplus on the new marketing materials (fliers and postcards) that you can see.
  • Leaving an ongoing balance of approximately £2000.


  1. Martin Howe travel bursary 
    • As you may know, initially this was funded from a donation from Martin Howe’s family, but for many years has been funded from general income.
    • In 2016 we were very fortunate to give four bursaries for the study trip due to the donation to extend this funding.
    • In 2017, looking at our healthy budget we  will be offering two bursaries from SEMFed funds to continue this tradition of encouraging new people to benefit from the Study Trip


  1. Coming year’s finances:
  • As you may know, the Fed is financed solely by membership subscriptions. So, I will be chasing any outstanding subs today, and in the next month or so…
  • If paying members stay at the same level as last year (mid 70s) we will be in a similarly stable position, and able to 
    • Keep study day costs to a minimum for people attending
    • Finance at least one, or possibly two further Martin Howe bursaries
    • Cover other expenses, such as marketing and committee costs.



  • We are aware however, that costs such as website hosting, ticketing charges (Eventbrite costs) have risen this year. Also, we are currently trialling a contribution to committee members’ travel costs where their organisation will not cover the costs. This is likely to rise this year.  These expected increases to costs may be covered  by our annual income, but if not, we will be able to use the reserve monies to cover these costs.


So, All is well! – but we are taking great care to spend the valued membership’s money wisely!



















Affiliate Membership proposal  2016


We should like to develop a mechanism for a supportive link with institutions around the region which may lead to further joint working opportunities in the future.


It would be for museum or gallery institutions that would like to support us as a development organisation for their staff.


Our aims for an Affiliate member would be that it supports our organisation by:

  • Encouraging staff to join and attend events.
  • Displaying our publicity materials in their workplaces,
  • Receiving and circulating our ‘Affiliate’ mailings which it then distributes internally.
  • Being supportive of hosting a study day occasionally



Affiliate Member benefits:

  • An easily achievable staff and volunteer development opportunity
  • An opportunity to support the sector
  • A presence on the SEMFed website and links with associated Social Media

Membership of the scheme would be free.


Changes required to constitution to accommodate this:




This shall be Personal, Honorary and Affiliate:


  • Personal membership: any persons with an interest in museums and art galleries and interested in the objects of the Museums Association in the area of the Federation. They shall each have one vote


  • Honorary membership: may be granted at the discretion of the Committee in recognition of service to the Federation or its aims. They shall have free life membership or membership for a limited period as decided by the Committee.. They shall each have one vote.


  • Affiliation to the Federation may be given at the discretion of the Committee to museum and gallery related organisations who wish to support and maintain contact with the Federation. Affiliation to the Federation will be free. Affiliate members will not have a vote. (Individual staff or volunteers within their organisations will be welcomed as Personal Members on payment of an annual subscription).