The Ramblers Association, East Surrey Walkers Group
35th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES
1.45pm Saturday 4th November 2017, St Andrew’s Church Hall, Limpsfield Chart
Chairman’s Welcome: Arthur Darby welcomed 57 members to the AGM and thanked Nick for leading the walk. He also thanked Pamela Cunniffe and the social team for the delicious ploughman’s lunch.
Apologies for Absence: Julie Atkinson, Keith Chesson, Liz Whittaker, John Nathan, Robert Coupland, Dan & Denise Birkett, Lisa Dunning, Brian Smith, John & Wendy Ward.
Minutes of 2016 AGM held on 22nd October 2016 at 1.45pm were agreed and signed.
Matters Arising: Most to be covered off during the AGM but Arthur replied to 3 queries raised at last year’s AGM.
i) Robert Coupland asked that Ramblers resist Network’s Rail goal of reducing level crossings. Arthur responded that there has been a lot of input to this debate by the Ramblers. Closing paths over railways diverts walkers along roads and is a more dangerous option for walkers. This is an ongoing topic.
ii) John Nathan had requested the purchase of a power auger for Ken’s Krew to assist in their maintenance work but SCC were inflexible and refused on health and safety grounds.
iii) Tony Pearson felt that when the quarterly newsletter / walks programme email was stopped, we lost some communication with members. He asked for the Committee to look at this again. Arthur responded that the walks programme is already an issue to publish in time. Helen Whiteley pointed out that we always have links from our Notice Board to any new articles published on our website. A show of hands for those in favour showed 5 people were in favour. This has been left with the new Committee to look at. It would require a volunteer to take this on and no-one was forthcoming.
Arthur reported a successful year on all fronts. 28% more walks have been provided in 2017 with an average of 15.9 members per walk. This is as many walks in a week as any group in Surrey. The trend for increased membership has continued and ESW are now a middle sized group within Surrey Ramblers.
There is a big challenge on footpath maintenance with the lack of SCC budget.
Arthur also thanked all the people who help behind the scenes.
Arthur reported on this in Julie Atkinson’s absence. The financial situation is broadly the same as last year, with various restrictions from the Rambler’s Association in place.
ESW has been able to fund 4 kissing gates this year and there is money in the pot for a further 3 going forward.
Julie has taken over the main fund and consolidated into that the social fund and UK holiday monies. Most social functions make a profit however the decision has been made to subsidise the Walking Wounded get togethers and a contribution to the New Year’s Lunch.
Membership Secretary’s Report
Helen Whiteley introduced Pauline Guy as the prospective Membership Secretary going forward and thanked her for her work as Membership Administrator. This year has seen 85 new members join. ESW now has 442 members compared to 300 members in 2013.
Helen read out the list of walk’s leaders who have introduced new members during 2017. The top 3 spots went to Nigel Poulter – 8 new members, Fay & Ron Revell – 9 new members and Tony Pearson – 14 new members. Thank you gifts were presented.
ESW have won the Surrey Recruitment cup for the year.
Walks Co-ordinator Report
Nigel Poulter reported on this in Liz Whittaker’s absence. Walks have increased during 2017 but more walk leaders are always needed.
Tony Pearson asked for the Committee to look into 1st Aid courses for members. The Ramblers Association do provide workshops at their roadshows and Noel Cunniffe had details and 1st Aid packs recommended. This to be taken forward by the Committee.
The Q3 random draw for Walk’s Leader prize was held and won by Helen Whiteley and Antoinette Pearson.
Publicity Officer’s Report
In Keith Chesson’s absence Arthur reported on this. He felt Keith’s most memorable achievement was the boot’s logo for ESW. Keith also sent out a new article each month/quarter to approximately 20 different publications. Arthur thanked Keith for all his hard work. Tony Pearson deals with Social Media.
Social Secretary’s Report
Pamela Cunniffe reported that 2017 had been a very successful year. A good combination of interesting walks and social events make for a very social group.
Pamela thanked John and Di Nathan for the use of their garden for the cream tea and Rosie Bailey for the use of her garden for the BBQ. Pamela also thanked her team for their support, Anne Jagelman, Fran Edwards, Angie Horrigan and their partners who all helped out.
Finally Pamela appealed for additional members to help the social team which will ease the transition when the existing team stand down in a year’s time.
Footpath Secretary’s Report
Tony Pearson reported on behalf of himself and the other Footpath Secretaries, Richard Mascall and Benedict Southworth. In 2 years the SCC maintenance budget has dropped by 75%. SCC will have to rely on volunteers more and more. Tony also pointed out that this is not a job purely for men. More path wardens and path inspectors are needed. However 3 footpaths have re-opened following a vigorous campaign by Ramblers.
Barbara Bulman reported on the work of this group. They meet one morning a month but not so much work is coming their way from SCC now. Anyone interested in helping the group clear vegetation should contact Barbara.
Barbara also reported on her position as Welfare Officer. Please let her know of any members who are unwell and unable to attend walks.
Report on Surrey Area.
Arthur reported that Vanessa Griffiths has now been Ramblers National Chief Executive for about a year. She is working hard to improve communication between Central office and Areas and Groups.
Barbara Bulman queried her suggestion for ‘donate a gate’. Area has not taken this forward so Tony Pearson has now taken this on. Hopefully this scheme will be in operation by next year.
The annual Surrey Area AGM is to be held in Bletchingley and Arthur encouraged members to attend.
Election of Officers
Arthur Darby as Chair, Keith Chesson as Publicity Officer and Liz Whittaker as Walks CoCoordinator have all served for 3 years and are standing down. Helen Whiteley is standing down as Membership Secretary to apply for the post of Walks Co-ordinator so 4 Committee roles are vacant. Judy Brua has offered to stand as Chair.
Proposed by: Seconded:
Election of Chair Judy Brua Barbara Bulman Rosie Bailey
Election of Walks Co-ordinator Helen Whiteley Nigel Poulter Noel Cunniffe
Election of Membership Secretary Pauline Guy Amanda Whiteley Rehana Uddin
Election of Publicity Officer Mike Osborne Amanda Whiteley Rosie Bailey
En bloc nomination: Proposed by Judy Brua Seconded by Pat Thorne
Secretary Helen McDonnell 2015-2018
Treasurer Julie Atkinson 2016-2019
Social Secretary Pamela Cunniffe 2015-2018
Social Committee: Fran Edwards, Angie Horrigan, Anne Jagelman,
Non-Committee Administrative Roles
Footpath Secretaries Tony Pearson, Richard Maskell, Benedict Southworth
Ken’s Krew Working Party Barbara Bulman
Walks Administrator Nigel Poulter
Webmaster Brian Smith
Assistant Webmaster Adam Wilson
Website Content Editor Helen Whiteley
Welfare Officer Barbara Bulman
Arthur also recognized 2 individuals who have contributed so much over a long period of time.
Tony Pearson who has filled the role of Chairman, Footpath Secretary, Ken’s Krew, Trainer on Leader’s training courses, leads walks, ambles, fast fitness walks and holidays.
John Nathan who was Chairman for 5 years, Area Chairman for 3 years, has pursued governance for 5 years to get one member one vote within the Ramblers at National Level (still ongoing),Trainer on training courses, organized holidays, mentored others.
Gifts were presented by Arthur, John’s being accepted in his absence by his wife Di Nathan.
Arthur then handed over to Judy Brua who introduced herself and expressed her enthusiasm for the tasks ahead. She also thanked Arthur for his 3 years of chairmanship.
Renn Grey, as a non-member, commented favourably on the number and variety of walks outlined on the walks schedule.
Stuart Pickford expressed appreciation of the dedication of the Committee on behalf of the ordinary members.
Appreciation was shown for Liz Whittaker and Keith Chesson in their absence.
Meeting finished at 3pm