Dear Members of the HCA Committee
I hope this finds you all well despite the issues we continue to face in our personal lives, with family
and friends and within our wider community. It has not been an easy year and the HCA has also been
affected in terms of restrictions on its ability to function as normal and to convene face to face
meetings. We have tried to keep you up to date on key issues by email and wider community fliers,
not least because we are aware that a number of our members are less familiar with online media
and the concept of virtual meetings on a computer screen.
We are now, however, at that time of year when we need to be thinking about the annual AGM
which has normally been held at the end of November. We have discussed this as Trustees and
waited to see if there was likely to be a possibility for us to convene a physical meeting in the hall.
Unfortunately, at this point, current government guidelines do not permit this and it is our view that
it’s unlikely that restrictions will ease in the next few weeks to allow a physical meeting in November.
The purpose of the AGM is to receive the Annual Report, approve the Accounts, appoint Executive
Officers (Trustees) and elect Committee Members. Bearing that in mind, I can confirm that:
- the Annual Trustees’ Report to September will not be significantly different from the email
briefing issued on behalf of Dennis on 1st October
- the HCA statutory accounts are unlikely to be available and signed off before January
- the main issue to be considered is the formal matter of electing office bearers
We have considered the possibility of trying to hold an online AGM using Skype, Zoom, Teams, etc
and concluded that:
- it is unlikely we would get a fair representation of Members using online technology
- an online nomination/election discussion is not straightforward, especially if voting is required
We have also consulted with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) which has confirmed
that we can choose to defer the AGM.
All things considered, it is the recommendation of Trustees that, in order to have a fair and inclusive
election process, we allow members of the community the chance to have a face to face meeting,
and that the AGM be deferred until it is possible to do so. In doing so, we propose:
- to convene an online Committee meeting on Thursday 26 November for those who would like
to join, in order to catch up on routine business and further discuss the AGM process,
- that in the event the possibility of a physical AGM continues to look unlikely, to hold the AGM
online with nominations of office bearers submitted in advance and an electronic voting
mechanism if required,
- that in the meantime, current office bearers (Trustees and Committee Convenors) continue
temporarily in their existing roles.
We trust you understand our thinking and we appreciate your support. If you have any questions or
queries about the above, please get in touch and we will discuss at the online meeting in November.
HCA Acting Chair