Minutes of Annual General Meeting – 7 February 2014 at Eaton Golf Club
Steve Andrews, Hugh & Alice Bray, Kay Boyce, Brian Clark & Valerie McWilliams, Howard Cruse & Mary Gaynor, Miriam Dolphin, Ian & Wendy England, Paula & Ian Ford, David & Fiona Grimes, Dave & Kate Hosker, Colin Jones & Wendy Scott, John & Carol Law, Chris Lowe & Di Patterson, Mark Manton, Alan & Moira Murdoch, Ian & Bev Newmarch, Dave Norwood, Sue Norwood, Ken & Mary Pratt, Sheila Powell, Pete & Shirley Ryan, Ruth Scudamore, Ed & Carolyn Smyth, John Trimble, Martin & Gill Tunnicliffe, Alan Weaver, James & Toots Williamson, Pauline Ziman
Sarah Andrew, Dennis & Margaret Barwise, Russ & Jane Butcher, Stephen & Nicola Doubt, Mick Green & Alison Williams, Jan Gidman, Jane Hardy, Jill Houlbrook, Richard Neal, Robert & Zandra Neeld, Steve Moorcroft & Carolanne Ashton, Taj Pinder, Ken & Fran Waldie, John Whiteoak, Bob & Bridge Wilkinson
1. Club business
Howard Cruse welcomed everyone to the 2014 AGM, particularly new members who had joined last year.
a) Approval of the AGM Minutes 2012
Proposed: Ian Ford Seconded: Ruth Scudamore Vote: Approved
b) Annual Report and presentation of 2013 Survey
Howard Cruse reported on maintaining membership (currently 88), Steve Andrews and himself joining the Committee, a vacancy arsing on the committee on 7 April when John Trimble will retire, good feedback on the 2013 holidays including Mayrhofen, Whitby and Derwentwater, completion of Cambrian Way Challenge with thanks to James Williamson for the organisation, the increased number of walks but a reduced number of walkers, updating the Risk Assessment, with particular reference to the need to improve road discipline, new walk leaders (Jan Gidman and Ken Prat who had undertaken their training and Wendy Scott and Stephen Doubt who would be undertaking the training in the spring), the retirement of Hugh Bray with thanks for his role as webmaster to be taken over by James Williamson who is now working on redevelopment of the website and the survey of members.
Howard presented the key findings of the survey showing very high levels of satisfaction with the mix and frequency of walks, charity walks, and safety and on walks, holidays, spring/autumn breaks and social events. He noted that most common comments were regarding club financing (see below), requests for slower paced walks, the summer party was missed, high costs and onerous distance to weekend breaks/holidays and room for improvement on safety on walks.
John Trimble presented the key findings and surprising results relating to the question of how the club should be financed. Whilst this showed that 75% of members felt we should stay as we are (through walk fees) it generated the highest level of disagreement (25%) who thought it should change (eg through annual subscription). The surprising facts were:
2013 AGM subsidy: 25 people: Total £105
84 Different Walkers in 2013
25% walked once 39% walked once or twice
51% did 3 or fewer 76% did 6 or fewer walks
The rest would leave a club of only 20 people
The conclusion drawn is that the club has operated on inclusiveness and simplicity, moving to an annual fee may change this if infrequent walkers decided to stop, it would take time to introduce but it would also be more risky to balance books as unknown numbers could result in a fee of between £19 and £40. The proposal therefore was to stay as we are to stay as we are.
c) Audit and Financial Report
John Trimble presented a Financial Report and Income and Expenditure for the year 1 January – 31 December (Financial Report attached Appendix 1). Proposed: Organising Committee Approved: All members present.
d) Projected Budget & Walk Fees
John Trimble presented the 2014 Budget in a healthy position with balance of £2896 and a projected net surplus of £383. Over the last two years our objective has been to reduce the surplus which has increased again. One slight change to reduce the weekend walking fee from £6 to £5 was therefore proposed to fees for 2014 which would be as follows:
- Membership Fee: £20 (for life membership)
- Daily Walk Fee (including Wainwrights) £2
- Weekend Walk Fee £5 (per weekend)
- Charity Walk Fee: Minimum £5 with the amount at members’ discretion
For members unable to walk donations will be added
to fees collected.
- Walk Leader Out of Pocket Expense £20 per day of walking
Proposed: Mark Manton Seconded: Valerie McWilliams Approved: All members present
d) Approval of Officers of the Committee
Howard Cruse presented five nominations for the following year noting John Trimble’s retirement on 7 April:
Steve Andrews (Walk Leader Officer)
Howard Cruse (Chair)
Nicola Doubt (Treasurer)
John Trimble (Treasurer to retire on 14 April)
Toots Williamson (Secretary)
Proposed: Miriam Dolphin Seconded: Carol Law Approved: All members present
e) Election of Auditor
Nomination: Kate Hosker
Proposed: Mary Gaynor Seconded: Caroline Smyth Approved: All members present
2. Walk Programme & Special Events
Steve Andrews presented Walk Statistics showing that during 2013 there were more walks but noted there were fewer walkers:
- 33 walks had been programmed (rising from 27 in 2012) but the average number of walkers has reduced from an average of 15.5 to 10.2.
- In response to the survey he also confirmed that consideration is being given to the practicalities of harder walks at a slower pace and hope to trial it this year
- Walk Leaders would also give specific directions to improve of pedestrian safety when walks need to include roads
Steve Andrews presented the planned dates for the 2014 Wainwrights. Currently 20 members are booked for Patterdale in May and a Green Walk will possibly be provided each day. He highlighted that accommodation in July may be a struggle to find and advised members is to book as soon as possible.
Toots Williamson presented the following special events:
Spring Walking Weekend – Selworthy – April
21 members have booked but members may request to be added to the Reserve List.
Pyrenees 22-29 June
8 members have booked on the holiday with some also taking the option of a stopover in Barcelona. There is still some accommodation available so if members are interested.
Dolgellau – 10-13 October
40 members have booked Booking but members may request to be added to the Reserve List.
2015 – Walking Weekends
The favoured response to two options for spring was Church Stretton, Shropshire (18 members indicated interest) and the response to Coniston in September, so that it can also link into the programme for the Wainwrights, was very popular (38 members indicated interest). Details to follow.
3 Launch of Website
James Williamson presented the proposals to move our website into the modern era providing access from desk & laptops, tablets and smart phones. The new site will continue with the existing information of About Us, Walkers’ Handbook, Leader Resources, Photo Gallery, the Walk Programme and the Walk Brief .New features include a ‘Contact us’ form for outsiders, Newsflash, Walk Briefs with a link to book a walk and a google map for the approximate start point of the walk and a Secure Members area (secured with individual passwords) containing lists of Committee, Members, Walk Leaders and a Member Forum – allowing members to post messages. The site is undergoing a final Committee review before being made available. More details to follow.
Howard Cruse took the opportunity of thanking the Walk Leaders, Sue Norwood for providing First Aid Training, the Committee, Eaton Golf Club including Carol and catering staff and bar staff and all the staff and all of the members for supporting the club.