Fifty-one club members attended. There were six apologies for absence
A minute’s silence was observed for those members who had passed away during the past 12 months , John Eden, Alice Hind, Freda Hill, Mary Richardson
John Mackay welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a summary of what he felt had been another successful year for the club. Attendance on coach walks had increased and the Friday evening socials have continued to go from strength to strength. The club is now affiliated to the Holiday Fellowship, which will bring financial benefits. Although the grant from the Local Authority had been withdrawn the club is in a healthy position financially. He thanked all the walk leaders and also Graham and Barbara Bell for organizing the club holidays. The chair also thanked the support of the committee.
Minutes Of 2017 AGM
Minutes were agreed and approved by the members.
Reports from the Club Committee
Treasurer:Barbara Eden presented the accounts for the year. She pointed out a small loss for the year of £350 but this was set against one-off costs of approximately £700 and also the loss of the Council grant without which the club would have made a substantial surplus.
She gave the following annual projection: Income from subs, Freetime and other sources is likely to be around £2000.
Expenditure including Postage and printing, website costs, donations to outside bodies totals £945. The Sunday coaches are usually subsidised by approx. £500. This would give a total expenditure of £1450.
Currently the club has a balance of £6200.
Membership Secretary;Stephen Parker reported an overall increase in the numbers of members. He reminded members about payment of fees, which can be made online. He also said the committee was going to propose an increase to the one–off joining fee for or new members with a reduction in the annual fee.
Walk Secretary; John Mackay made a request for more walk leaders to come forward. There were only 18 regular leaders from a club membership of 180. He also announced that there would be two coach rambles planned for Peebles and Kirkby Stephen. He also said that the committee felt that the annual coach trip, which hadn’t taken place for two years, should be dropped from the programme. After a brief discussion this was agreed by a majority vote. There was a further discussion, with contributions from several members, about a proposal to offer a Wednesday “A” walk every month during the spring/ summer programme. Some members felt that while welcoming the offer they didn’t feel they been consulted about this and the Wednesday walks were already well attended. The committee noted this.
John also made a proposal that the printed copy of the programme should only be sent out if requested by members due to cost of production and distribution. There was general discussion and contributions from several members against the proposal. it was accepted that the website is the main source of information for many members but there was a significant number who still felt the printed version was useful and appreciated by members. It was agreed to keep the printed version.
Social Secretary: Christina O’Gara and Ian Rowley fed back on the autumn/winter social programme, which had been well attended, attracting 30 or more members on most occasions. Ian also reported that at the recent talk by the Air Ambulance a collection by members attending had raised £140 for the charity. Moira Merrick and Christina O’Gara will be coordinating the 2018-19 programee and a request was made for offers from speakers or ideas for the evenings.
Safety Officer: Frank Grant reported that the club continued to have an excellent safety record but he had personally observed three occasions when, in his opinion, walks had not been managed in accordance with the best practice advice and guidance. In particular he reminded all walk leaders (and walkers) of the importance of keeping the group together and ensuring clear lines of communication were in place for all walks. Frank also gave an update on the changes that are coming into place regarding the role of the RAF rescue service. It was not clear as to the implications of this at the moment.
Webmaster: John Mackay reported the website continues to get 500 or more viewings every week – not just from club members. He also reminded members of the procedure for making online payments. There was general approval from the floor and appreciation of the amount of work that goes into keeping the website up to date.
Donations and Subscriptions
It was agreed to continue to make donations to the Air Ambulance, Mountain Rescue and Fix the fells Coach fees will stay as £6.00 and car Walks £5.00. There was a discussion about the proposal to reduce membership fees to £5. per year. The chair felt that this would reduce the surplus and benefited all members including Wednesday walkers. A lively debate followed with more speakers from the floor contributing. A vote followed with a majority in favour of keeping fees at the current level.
The Chair’s proposal to increase the level of donations to outside bodies was then approved by a majority vote. A further £500.
The outgoing president David Hall was thanked for his support and in return he thanked the club for the honour of filling the role for the previous three years. It was proposed by the Chair that Graham Bell should be invited to fill the post for the next three years this was approved by the members and Graham accepted the nomination.
Election for positions on the committee
Mike Coates resigned from the committee. All the other existing members had offered to stand again. There had been one nomination for the committee from Lorna Barkley that, along with the continuation of the existing committee members, was approved by the meeting.
A point of order was raised by Graham Bell about the procedure for nominations. In the past nominations had been accepted on the night of the AGM. The Chair replied that the committee felt advance notice was more appropriate so that members were not “put on the spot”. Also it was felt that the club’s constitution needed revising, partly at least to keep it in line with the requirements for the club to operate as a charity. This would be discussed by the committee and proposals for an updated constitution would be posted on the website in the near future and there would be an opportunity for club members to agree a new constitution.
Any Other Business
Two items were raised by club members; the first was a request from Roger Tringham that club sends a letter of support, on behalf of all the members, for the re opening of the Waverley Viaduct as a public right of way. He outlined the plans for the re opening and the time scales and also invited members individually to give their support by going online at the councils website. This request was agreed by a unanimous vote.
The second item was a request from Peter Flynn asking for clarification about the recent combining of a and b coach walks from Annan. The chair explained how this had come about and that the two walk leaders – himself and Christine O Gara - had made the decision together.
It was discussed and agreed that on the rare occasions this happened it was beholden on the walk leaders to make sure that the walk was managed to accommodate the capabilities of all those undertaking the walk.
There was further discussion about the need for walk leaders to be clear about the walk levels and descriptions and a suggestion that the club might consider adopting the Ramblers Association walk level descriptors.