Following the previous post on 22nd March concerning the postponement of the 2020 Annual General Meeting, much has happened as regards the coronavirus pandemic and the Government’s response to it. With the lockdown in its early stages, it was unclear how the crisis would develop and it was thought that the meeting might be able to take place in September before the commencement of the 2020-21 session. Since then, the country has endured social distancing, self-isolation, the closure of bars, hotels, restaurants, many businesses, community venues and most shops, and the resulting furloughing of millions of employees.
It is now apparent that social distancing, especially for vulnerable people, might well last until the end of the year and beyond; but even if eased in the autumn, it is likely that many of the Society's members will be wary of sitting shoulder to shoulder in a meeting. Obviously this is the same concern that will apply to churches, theatres, cinemas and concert venues, etc. Consequently, it is now clear that the postponed AGM and a normal programme cannot take place in the autumn.
To address this rapidly changing situation and yet remain as flexible as possible, the Society's committee has decided to adopt the following approach:
1. The postponed 2020 AGM will be further postponed until next spring and will be held jointly with the 2021 AGM in the spring. At this meeting, the accounts for 2019-20 and 2020-21 will be presented for approval, and the elections which would have been held this April will be combined with those due to be held next April.
2. As definite plans cannot be made for the winter's programme, membership renewal will not take place this summer, and the 2019-20 membership will hence be extended until next summer.
3. Depending on progress with the return to the ‘new normal', meetings will be held next spring in advance of April's AGM if and when possible - perhaps one each in February and March 2021 - although even these meetings may well require an element of social distancing thus restricting the number of attendees.
As these updated proposals may themselves have to be modified over the coming weeks, please check here to stay informed.