26 May 2001

The Chairman of Trustees, Dr Jennifer Gunning, opened the meeting by reporting that a new lease was under negotiation with the existing tenants, B&NES Training Services, at an annual rent of £65,000 for the period Jan 2002 2005. As part of the new lease, the Institution will be able to use the Pink room during one day a month, in addition to the current arrangement. Victor Suchar congratulated the Trustees on this decision.

Rodney Tye, Chairman of the Finance sub-committee, presented draft accounts for 2000-01. There is a deficit of £5,800, well within budget. In June it is expected that a sum of £20,000 will be able to be written out of the accounts reducing the deficit to £15,597 in the balance sheet. He reported that we had had to spend £5,000 on the heating system for the Moore Room but that the rents of both tenants were being paid regularly. The overdraft has been renewed at £50,000 until May 2002 but we seldom get overdrawn.

A discussion took place on the amount of subscriptions and charges for entry to lectures and discussion groups. John Coates stated that the subscriptions produced £7,000 p.a. and the present charges £3,700 p.a. (compared with £1000 for donations last year). It was agreed to retain the present charges, but that organisers of events should attempt to gain sponsorship.

The programme of events was reviewed. It was proposed that we should work closely with the Bath Festivals organisation in running and publicising events. Information about forthcoming lectures was announced. It was recommended that we co-operate with cities with whom we are twinned, and encourage foreign language societies to meet at BRLSI. Michael Knowles offered to organise a lecture on twinning.

Rob Randall outlined the work done on the collections since 1996 and described the present state of the cataloguing and conservation. Jane Coates reported on the progress with the archive.

A request for a `short name' for the Institution produced four suggestions Brylsi, The Athenaeum, The Institution and The RLSI, but it was agreed unanimously that none of these should be adopted.

To encourage other local societies to use the BRLSI building for their meetings, Jean Brushfield reported that a list of such organisations was being assembled in co-operation with the Bath Chronicle, the Library, and Council of Voluntary services. It was suggested the Friends of Bath Festival and the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery might be approached.

Under A.O.B., Victor Suchar gave notice that, at the AGM, he proposed to raise the question of
whether the Board of Trustees should be a supervisory or executive Board and asked the Trustees to consider the matter in preparation for a discussion then.

Michael Knowles proposed a vote of thanks to Bob Draper for all the work he had done on behalf of the Institution over the past six years. This was carried with acclamation.