AGM 24 Chairman’s Report

AGM 24 Chairman’s Report


I have to start with the sad news that Barbara Armitage passed away on November 18th after a year living in the Legra care home with dementia and other medical conditions.   Barbara had been a founder member of the Southend Pensioners Campaign Group since it was formed 38 years ago, and had been its Chairman for many years.   Her funeral was held on January 10th.

Another long-serving member of our group, Michael Merriman, died on December 22nd and his funeral will be on January 29th 2024.  

Barbara and Michael had contributed so much to our group, and will be greatly missed.   We send our condolences to their friends and family.

Throughout the year we have been able to welcome many new members, which our Secretary will be reporting on at our AGM.

Our Committee, which has met monthly throughout the year welcomed one new member, Jim Folwell, and Jim was kind enough to step in and chair the August meeting when neither myself nor the Vice-Chairman Issy, Bob or Jean could be present.

Jean has continued as Secretary, keeping the Committee organised by booking meeting rooms at the Balmoral Community Centre, and booking a wide range of interesting speakers for our meetings.   Jean stood down as Minutes Secretary and Jim Folwell offered to take the minutes at our Committee meetings.  

We were concerned that Southend City Borough Council were not answering our letters regarding the condition of the bus station, and our request that there should be a Councillor who would look at the needs of elderly people living in the community.   This lack of response resulted in Bob Howes, our Treasurer, asking a question at the Council meeting on December 14th.

We had had speakers from the Southend City Borough Council about consultation with residents, but as yet we have had no feedback on the action they are going to take from the comments our members made.   Unlike the talk we had had from the London School of Economics, who consulted with us on the needs of our members on their living conditions.   They returned to give us feedback on their research.   They also made a £500 donation to our funds which was much appreciated.  

Our only income is from members’ subscriptions, our monthly raffle, our monthly lunches and the bulk of the money raised by our lottery which is so efficiently run by Margaret Haydon.  

The highlight of our speakers was the Ladybird group who sang and entertained us for an hour with members singing and dancing.  

I would like to thank all our members for attending our monthly meetings and contributing with raffle prizes and for the help with the raffle and providing our refreshments.  

Finally, thanks to Bob Howes, our Treasurer, who, as well as keeping our books in good order, has produced our monthly digest which keeps all members informed of our campaigns and local information and dates.

Jill Allen-King OBE


January 2024