Annual General Meeting – 17th June 2011

Chris Spencer accepts Vice President Role

The AGM opened with a welcome to members, grace and lunch

1. Open AGM – State of the nation & review of previous year

An update was provided to members around the involvement of the Bridgwater Industrialists  on various strategic groups and plans for the future of Bridgwater. This includes EDF, Bridgwater Vision, Bridgwater Retail Initiative.   Exploring how the association can encourage new businesses into the town and continue to serve the membership for the next 50 years!

The visits to other businesses, interesting and informative speakers, and the social occasions enjoyed.

2. Treasurers report – Honorary Treasurer

Norman Hucker reported that our finances are in a better shape than that of the country of Greece!

Last year the fee structure was changed as follows.

Membership fees up by aprox. 10% to £220.00

Companies employing over 100           £350.00

New members  £75.00  joining fee (to cover website input plus admin expenses)  plus 10% of annual subs, as appropriate, for each remaining meeting of the year.

This resulted in a surplus of £767.63 on the year.

With the Presidents agreement, from the surpless, at the Charity Summer Ball on Friday 8th July, the association will present a cheque in the sum of £125.00 each to Breakthrough Breast Cancer and CLIC.  Also that we give a raffle prize to the value of £100.00 premium bond on the night.

Smaller companies had asked if they might could pay a reduced subscription.  It was explained that, should any member attend every meeting plus the presidents’ night, the total cost to the Association would amount close to the lower current fee and if charges were further reduced the A.B.I. would in such case be subsidising their dining costs.

With no further comments it was agreed that the  charges remain the same as last year.  Invoices will be issued as appropriate.


3. Election of officers

John Vieth – President for 2011/12

Chris Spencer – Vice President 2011/12 and President 2012/13

Norman Hucker – Honorary Treasurer 2011/12

Wendy White – Honorary Secretary & Webmistress 2011/12

4. Future events

Friday 24/6/11 – Murder Mystery at Dunster

Friday 8/7/11 – Charity Ball – Webbington

Friday 16/9/11 – Visit to Jasun Filtration, folled by Dinner at Bower Green Restaurant

Friday 21/10/11 – Speaker Alan Hurford – Bridgwater Town Clerk

Saturday 19/11/11 – Presidents Dinner (Social occasion with partners) – Walnut Tree – North Petherton

5. Way forward & Projects


Lead organiser – Chris Spencer.

Group business project for Bridgwater – working with education sector, engaging young people and teachers with businesses.


Apprenticeship scheme.

Industrialists opportunity to  share an apprentice, this would be an excellent opportunity for a young person to gain a broad experience of working across a number of companies. The South West Apprenticeship Company (SWAC) provides an alternative way for businesses to take on an apprentice. Through the SWAC model businesses do not directly employ the apprentice, instead SWAC employs the apprentice, and the business becomes the ‘host’ employer. In this case the ‘cluster’ of businesses would be the apprentice’s ‘hosts’. SWAC also specialises in the recruitment of high calibre young people, facilitating the set up of  apprenticeships with a local provider, in this case Bridgwater College, and providing payroll, HR and performance management functions.

To progress this  a meeting will be arranged with any interested parties to establish how an apprenticeship could benefit each business and to establish what ‘job role’ the apprentice would do, there would need to be some comparability to cover all elements of a particular apprenticeship framework such as  Business Administration .  Also to give some consideration to a timetable e.g. how many days in each organisation? Would it be a number of weeks placement in each business or 1 day a week?

SWAC would screen all applicants, conduct assessments to measure potential, and match them to the requirements of the hosts.

Once the apprentice has completed their apprenticeship and if none of ‘hosts’ are able to offer a fulltime or permanent position, then SWAC would provide advice, guidance and support to help that apprentice find employment.

The cost of hosting an apprentice would be as follows: agreed hourly rate x number of hours + £35 per week (SWAC management fee) + VAT. This cost can be shared by the hosts.

Feedback and further suggestions/ideas/volunteers, to help organise events welcome.