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Meeting Minutes 24/01/2020

Minutes of the APICS Extraordinary Meeting

held on Friday 24th January 2020

at the Best Western Hotel, Tiverton, Devon

The meeting started at 10am with a presentation by Morley Sage chairman of the Stove Industry Alliance. The results of the survey, in which APICS members and customers participated, were revealed and explained. All members will be sent details separately.

After a tea/coffee break, Nick Kennedy and James Taylor presented a new digital sweeping certificate, operated on a phone app, designed to speed up and automate the issuing of certificates. This includes a facility for dictating any comments required. This would be especially good for those with large fingers, or poor spelling abilities.

The meeting broke for lunch and resumed at 2.00pm

General Meeting

54 people attended the meeting, 38 members, 3 probationary members, 2 honorary members, 11 guests.

35 Apologies were received before the meeting.

The Minutes of the last meeting were circulated prior to this meeting.  There were No Matters Arising.

Chairman’s Report.  We have 4 new members since the AGM, and one retirement, Richard Northam, leaving us with 113 members.   We have 15 new probationary members, giving a total of 58, 15 of whom are currently in the process of being assessed.

To encourage those we have trained to take up membership the committee has agreed to lower the assessment fees from £500 to £300.  There will also be a 25% reduction of the normal subscription in the second year, with a full sub for subsequent years.  The committee also agreed that where there are family members joining, or companies with two or more sweeps they should, in future, have the same assessment fee (£300) and a 25% reduction of the normal subscription as long as the bookings were done by one person.

This was put to a vote and the meeting was in favour.

Some trainee sweeps did not pay for their work experience during the assessment procedure; to prevent those of our sweeps who conduct work experience losing out we have arranged that the trainee sweeps pay the full amount of £800 to APICS for their training and we pay the sweeps concerned on production of an invoice.

The Chairman and Peter Harris (vice chairman) met up with Sam Hamer at Stove Industry Supplies in Blackpool to inspect the new HETAS training facilities, which were found to be excellent.  These will be offered to approved chimney sweep associations when not in use by HETAS.  It remains to be seen if we get any applicants from that part of the country.

The Chairman had had a communication from Hull City Council to the effect that sweeps everywhere should know if they live in a smoke control zone and where these zones are. Suitable advice should be given to customers found to be ignoring or unaware of the regulations.

The Chairman said that we do not have a large enough membership to run courses on  all the subjects of interest to our members, so he would be collating and putting on the website venues for the various courses available round the country.

The committee have arranged (RAMS) Risk Assessment Method Statement with a company called C2Safety. We will pay an annual retainer, giving all members access to generic RAMS’s forms on request. If any sweep requires a specific, more in depth risk assessment, they will be available at a reduced cost and could involve an onsite inspection, if required.

Sarah Weare 01278 671 995 or [email protected] is the APICS contact at C2Safety.

Treasurer’s Report.  An interim report shows that our income is down by £3000 at the end of December; however there are still subscriptions to come throughout the rest of the financial year.  We have £40,530 in the bank account.  This is down from last year, but we are paying for the web site and media management.  We have paid out £1138.00 in refunds to members taking qualifying training courses.

The Chairman thanked Tony Cordon for his work as Treasurer.

Web Site.    The site is up and running.  Members were asked to check all their own details.  Any new photos should be taken out-of-doors, daylight is always best, with greenery in the background, if possible.  Any alterations to the site have to be notified through the Chairman, to avoid danger of hacking.

CITB.  Tom Welch had brought Construction Industry Training Board literature for members to look through.  Anyone doing chimney repairs may be considered as belonging to the construction industry and even small businesses could possibly obtain grants.

Facebook.  Not a lot can be done about adverse reviews on Facebook, we can only hope that good reviews outweigh the bad.  One attendee expressed the view that one should always respond positively to bad reviews.

Steering Committee Meetings.  There will be a committee meeting the day before the AGM on 18th June, and two others on 4th April and 19th September.  The Chairman said that suggestions for discussion from members are always welcome and should be e-mailed to him.

Any Other Business.

The Chairman has obtained catalogues and samples from a firm called “Stitch-to-Print”, who would stitch and/or print logos on t-shirts, shirts, fleeces and jackets.  They are based in Exeter. 01392 347 257 or [email protected]

Date and Venue of AGM.

After discussion it was agreed to hold the AGM on Friday 19th June 2020 at this Tiverton venue, which has proved to be very suitable in all ways.  It was agreed that the trade stands would be in the same room as the meeting – there is plenty of space to accommodate them – and that we would get a professional photographer to come to take photos of the meeting and possibly members with poor web site pictures. 

The meeting finished at 3.00pm

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