Members will be fully aware of the issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have resulted in restrictive measures affecting every part of the UK. These restrictions have had a significant impact on literary societies, resulting in many cancellations, and the SSF committee has had to give considerable thought as to how to handle the constitutional requirement for an AGM. We felt that, even if we attempted to hold an online AGM, through Zoom or some other conferencing software, we might well not be able to achieve a quorum. After taking advice from the Charities Commission, we have decided not to hold an AGM, either live or online, this year. At our next AGM, we will ask the membership to ratify this decision. The existing committee members (apart from the Editor) have expressed their willingness to continue in post, but we are able to co-opt additional members if anyone else is interested in joining us before 2021.
Under the terms of the constitution, it is open to members to request an Extraordinary General Meeting prior to next year’s AGM if they are unhappy with this decision or if they have specific business that needs to be discussed urgently.
The cancellation of the AGM does not mean that there will not be any meeting in the autumn. We don’t have any special knowledge of how things will develop in the coming months, and we are simply unable to say whether the joint SSF/WOA meeting in London that was postponed in the spring can be rescheduled. Even if it can, it might have to be at a different venue.
We trust that our members will be satisfied with this explanation. We undertake to inform everyone promptly of any future changes to our plans.