Annual General Meeting Minutes Friday 10 November 2017
Present: 23 members. Meeting chaired by Gerry White, Minutes taken by Martin Phillips, Treasurer Mike Hufton.
1. Welcome and Introductions
Gerry White opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.
2. Apologies for absence
Christine Levasseur (Secretary), John and Vicky Horwood, Keith Howkins (Vice Chairman and Membership Secretary).
3. Minutes of the previous AGM on 4/11/16
The Minutes were circulated to members at the meeting.
The Minutes had commenced with news of the passing of Ken Lane. Gerry now reported the death of Ken’s widow Betty a few weeks ago; the group was represented at her funeral. Ken and Betty had been members of the group from the start.
Relating to item 14, the Peak and Northern Footpaths Society sign is still in progress, one year on, and is expected to be erected within the next few weeks.
The Minutes were approved.
4. Annual Report
The Report had been posted on the website prior to the meeting, and was circulated to members at the meeting.
Gerry went through his report, summarising the main points.
He emphasised the loss of the Derbyshire County Council countryside supervisor as a result of cuts, so we currently have no contact point with the Council for our footpath work.
5. Treasurer’s Report
The Report was circulated to members at the meeting.
Mike Hufton went through his Report and the Accounts, saying that we are in a good position financially, with a small net income. Area funding from Head Office had been reduced last year, and was reduced by a further £100 this year. There are now stricter controls on checking that our reserves are not too high, so our grant is likely to be (even) less next year. Expenditure was lower this year, due to a one off cost of £327 for printing the Ecclesbourne Way leaflets last year.
The Accounts had been audited and approved by Roger Torr, to whom Mike expressed his thanks.
The Accounts were approved, proposed by Ruth Hall and seconded by Michael Poyser.
The appointment of Roger Torr as Independent Examiner for next year was approved, proposed by Mike Hufton and seconded by David Davison.
6. Away breaks
Jane Moore gave an account of the breaks. She thanked David Davison for organising the very successful trip to Dunster in May. The recent visit to Llangollen was the first time with Jane and David Moore as organisers.
The next trips will to be Newby Bridge (Cumbria) in May 2018 and Ravenscar (North Yorkshire) in October 2018, the latter is now definite with 28 booked. Jane said that there is a need to be thinking of booking these trips 12 months minimum in advance, and thus Spring 2019 should be in progress before we go to Newby.
Jane hoped that in future more people would be willing to help with leading walks; (at Llangollen she and David had led the main walks on all three days). Gerry suggested a planning meeting before the trips; David Davison suggested approaching participants in advance as they are known several months before.
Martin Phillips asked for thanks to be recorded to Jane and David for Llangollen; David Hawley added that they had visited Llangollen in advance to survey all their walks.
7. Walks programmes
John Topliss and Martin Phillips gave a brief report on the programmes. The next programme from January to June has 21 out of 24 Sundays filled, which is higher than usual, with two new Sunday walks leader.
Gerry thanked John and Martin for their work compiling the programmes.
8. Footpath Secretary, including footpath maintenance
John Morrissey went through his Report, explaining each section.
The loss of the DCC Countryside Officer means that we do not know what will be happening in the future. This has been discussed at Area level, with considerably differing views on what our approach should be. We currently have no clear contact with the Council.
John emphasised the success of the Ecclesbourne Way in the past year, the climax of a four year project, and leading to the launch [in July, not August as in the Report]. He thanked Martin Phillips (and David Davison agreed) for his work in creating the printed leaflets and the website, and for detailed checking of the route and waymarking.
Michael Poyser said that the first half of the year had gone very well for footpath work, including much collaboration with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Nothing had been done since July due to the aforementioned problems with DCC; communication with them is now difficult and very slow, and we will need to be more self sufficient.
David Davison went through his Report.
There was a major revamp of the website recently, with significant changes to its operation, but still with a similar appearance. It is generally easier for users to access now. There are with better links to Walking for Health, this benefits us and them as walkers may migrate either way.
David explained various statistics on usage, as given in the Report.
David also mentioned the increasing use of social media, and he would like someone with appropriate expertise to set up such facilities for the group, to complement the website.
Membership Secretary not present.
11. Social Secretary
Social Secretary post vacant, see item 12.
12. Election of Officers and Committee
Peter Swan, Social Secretary, had left the Committee during the year. We now need a replacement. The main work is booking speakers for Friday evening talks during the Winter, and optionally could be more.
At the last Committee meeting, Christine Levasseur had said that she is willing to continue as Secretary for another year, but not beyond the 2018 AGM. A new Secretary is thus needed. The work mainly involves Minutes and paperwork for Committee meetings and AGM, and dealing with correspondence from Head Office. Gerry thanked Martin Phillips for taking the Minutes at this meeting. Gerry explained that he has been Chairman since 2000, and is now commencing his 18th year. He feels that this has been long enough and it is now time for someone else to take over, and the group would benefit from a younger person. He is, likewise, willing to continue for one more year, but wants a replacement from the next AGM.
The other Committee members were all willing to continue. There were no new nominations.
Gerry suggested re-electing the Committee “en bloc”. This was approved, proposed by John Hastings Thomson and seconded by David Hawley.
The Officers and Committee were thus elected:
President and Footpath Secretary: John Morrissey Vice President: Dick Hall Chairman: Gerry White Vice Chairman and Membership Secretary: Keith Howkins Deputy Chairman and Webmaster: David Davison Secretary: Christine Levasseur Treasurer: Michael Hufton Away Trips Organiser: Jane Moore Walks Co-ordinator: John Topliss Programme Publisher: Martin Phillips Footpath Maintenance: Michael Poyser Social Secretary: Vacant Sue Glithero
13. Any other business
The meeting closed at 8.20 pm.