The audited Balance Sheet for the year shows the combined income and expenditure of the No1 and No 2 current accounts.
Traditionally the No 2 account was used for the production costs and sales income of the Society's journal. However, income and expenditure strayed between the accounts for a variety of reasons eg, grants appropriate to one account were paid into the other one and expenses sometimes wrongly attributed. In addition, it was from time to time necessary to transfer funds from one to the other eg, to pay printing costs ahead of sales receipts. Accordingly the Executive Committee has agreed to a single current account which will be used for all transactions. This will simplify the accounting processes and reduce overheads. Appropriate categorisation will ensure that all costs and income are properly captured and recorded.
Financial Code of Practice
The Executive Committee had agreed a Financial Code of Practice to formalise the processes of budgetary control and financial reporting, maintenance of records, specifying the role and responsibilities of the Treasurer, introducing dual signatures for cheques, reconciliation of bank statements, and account preparation and audit.
Gift Aid is a scheme by which a charity can reclaim from the Inland Revenue the basic tax on money paid to it by way of subscriptions or gifts. It increases the value of the basic £10 subscription to £12.82. The Executive Committee introduced the scheme for the Society in the current year and all members were invited to participate. To date 96 members have signed the Gift Aid Declaration and a claim for £331.35 has been submitted to the Inland Revenue. If approved the monies should be paid by the end of January 2005. The scheme costs members nothing and all those who pay tax are invited to sign up. Declarations remain in force until the individual tells us otherwise or their membership lapses, whichever occurs first.
The Society is grateful to Down District Council for their continuing support of the Society's activities. In the financial year the Council provided two grants - £300 in support of the production of Lecale Review, and £100 for the St. Patrick's Festival Lecture. The Society is also grateful to the Federation of Ulster Local Studies for a grant of £700 to assist with the design of the revamped Society Journal, Lecale Review.
The Executive Committee's plans for revitalising the Society included a major drive to increase membership. The new membership approach included a Family membership category, and the provision of a free copy of the journal to every member household. The campaign was in three major phases culminating in a personal invitation from the Chairman. By the end of the year the membership stood at 243, of which 153 were in 67 family memberships, 84 individual members and 6 honorary members. This compares with 83 members in the previous year. The increased membership is reflected in the subscription income - from £607.50 in 2002 - 2003 to £1847.00 in 2003 - 04.
A new initiative undertaken by the Executive Committee during the year was the design and launch of a new web site "http://www.lecalehistory.co.uk/". The purpose of the site, one of a small but growing number of sites devoted to local history in Northern Ireland, is to publicise the work of the Society, demonstrate the range and depth of its research and activities, invite membership locally and internationally and help to sell the journal. The costs shown cover the domain name, 100mb of web space and email address for one year.
The cost of 500 copies of the redesigned journal was £1890 (including £300 design costs). 154 copies were distributed free to members. To date approximately £1000 has been raised from sales plus over £400 from back copes of Lecale Miscellany as a result of a sales drive to reduce stock.
At the time of writing the stock of journals is -
Lecale Miscellany: 192 (Nos 1, 6, 10, 12, 13, 20)
Lecale Review: 96 (excluding those unsold in shops)
Total discounted value: £1017.60
1 May 2004