Minutes for CUHWC AGM, 07/02/2012
Chair: Mr Matthew Graham
Secretary: Mr Mark Jackson
Also present: Andrena Ball, Andrew Williamson, Becky Howard, Bethan Gudgeon, Dave Farrow, Dave Mackenzie, Doug Hull, Helen Phillips, Dr James Hickson, James Ritchie, Jane Patrick, Jo Smith, Joe Hobbs, John Hobbs, Kate Humphris, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Laura Burrows, Lucy Stone, Michael Fordham, Peter Kirkwood, Phil Brown, Rob Halbert, Simon Williams, Tom Ashton, Tom Wright & Vicky Ward.
Apologies for Absence
- David Pettit
- Valerie Ashton
- This report was prepared in a rush.
- Giving a speech in front of a mirror is awkward.
- There are not enough chairs. Musical chairs was suggested, but the suggestion was turned down by (ironically) the chair.
- Usual complement of trips was run. For more information about this year’s trips, look at [l|/trip-book|reports on the CUHWC website].
- Stair did not have a fire alarm go off.
- Swaledale did, which was well managed by Joe H.
- On the Easter vacation trip, a new club staple (the picture game) was introduced.
- All 5 participants on the South Downs day trip enjoyed it very much.
- Ennerdale did not fill up, but we are going again.
- There were some slight problems with the Fort William summer trip, namely an approaching hurricane; it was agreed (by both participants) that it should be cancelled.
- The two Alps trips met with limited success at summitting, but were very much enjoyed.
- We left someone behind in Edale, although fortunately the coach driver was persuaded to return.
- Rydal was nice, but wet. Halloween hilarity was indulged in.
- The navigation course on Caseg Fraith was a success.
- The weather in the Brecon Beacons and Seathwaite was less than good. DJ had a rather wet introduction to British hillwalking.
- The weather for the Bryn Golau trip was rather better than the bunkhouse.
- The ceilidh was highly successful, raising £360 for Mountain Rescue.
- The garden party was saved from being a washout by the fortunate erection of a thing / marquee.
- The club now has a trip leaderboard.
- The club applied for, and received, an £1800 grant from the Societies Syndicate, which covered some travel costs.
- The Proctor's Office requires the accounts to be submitted in a new (provided) format next year. The new format will be submitted along with the old one, since the new format provides an insufficiently detailed breakdown of costs.
Presentation of the accounts by the Junior Treasurer, Doug Hull
- Added sections for profit/loss this financial year to cover deposits paid outside the financial year.
- All this club year's trips are completely accounted for except Seathwaite and Bryn Golau, for which some more money is still expected to come in; also the overnight punting still needs to be paid for - currently Joe Hobbs has paid for us all (!)
- The club still has enough cash. Actually £1500 in the bank despite the accounts saying we have £1000 - this is due to people not cashing cheques (bunkhouses are often slow at this). Some of these cheques are years old and will probably never be cashed, so the two totals will be realigned this summer.
- Made a loss of £700 since last accounting, but £1200 this financial year. This is OK and not unprecedented (lost £1000 two years ago, and £300 last year) but we need to make some profit this year. Non-trivial changes will therefore be needed.
- There was a big loss (£670) on Ennerdale due it not being full and being an expensive bunkhouse. Matthew: Won't book whole bunkhouse next time. Also the trip cost was too low.
- Membership didn't cover BMC affiliation cost due to some people (40 out of 140) still being on course membership and hence not paying membership this year. Course membership will be nearly gone by next year, so the two should balance better in future.
- The squash was supposed to lose, and balanced with Edale to within £1.60.
- Received a double BMC safety grant (£300) which went on the Caseg Fraith navigation and Patterdale scrambling courses. We can get the Andy Gibson Fund involved too but this money should only be used for its intended purpose.
- It was suggested to apply for a larger Societies Syndicate grant next year due to rising fuel costs.
- Jo: In previous years we have applied for 1/3 of travel costs, which was £1800 but will rise in future.
- Dave F: Driver supplement should be included in this.
- Overall we lost £420 on trips.
- Jo: Should we raise membership? £11 is inconvenient, but it needs to cover equipment cost.
- Mark: BMC affiliation is £8.75 per member so we currently have £1.25 per member spare (= £175) to buy equipment every year.
- Matthew: Trips that lost money were already more expensive. We can either have trips breaking even each, or have a fixed trip cost, or go somewhere in between.
- Doug: Choice of trip shouldn't be affected by cost.
- A variation of a few pounds per trip is unlikely to make much difference to people's decisions whether to go or not.
- Matthew: Time's up.
- Doug: Actually, had just finished. To sum up, as long as we make some more money everything will be fine.
Discussion of the accounts
- Michael: The trip cost hasn't gone up over the years; it still cost £30 in 2003. Other costs have gone up though, so there is justification for going up to £35-40 per weekend.
- Jo: That's what the website says anyway. [It actually said £30-40 until it was updated the day after the AGM.]
- Phil: Can we ask the Societies Syndicate for substantially more?
- They do ask for evidence, and they mustn't think we aren't taking them seriously.
- Tom W: Could include projected fuel cost increases (data exists).
- Dr Hickson: They would like to know subscription cost is going up too.
- Dave M: People do say £10 is cheap.
- Matthew: It will increase if the BMC increase affiliation costs.
- Michael: People paid up the last time membership increased (after a minibus crash).
- The excess if we crash the bus(es) was queried and found to be £750.
- Doug: We now have internet banking, although this is mainly for drivers.
- This is currently only approved by the treasurer, although the President should approve it too.
- It is already quite easy for the treasurer to take money off the club, which is why we need a paper trail.
Vote to approve accounts
Andy Gibson Training Fund
- There were 3 applicants this year, one per term.
- Elena was granted £75 towards a winter skills course in the Easter vacation. She has been on one trip since (and was injured on it) but wanted to come on more and has applied for the scrambling course.
- A first aid course was run. Andrew, Dave M, Kate and Michael Draper took part and loved it. The Fund were happy to contribute (£60) towards a joint activity with other clubs. Andrew (soon to be Peter) is working on booking the same thing again.
- Joe received £150 towards an ML training almost-week. He is unquestionably committed (to the club) and it is useful to have MLs so the Fund were happy to pay.
- There aren't far too few applications, but it would be good to have more, maybe more than one per term.
- Andrew is planning to submit an application to help with funding for Patterdale scrambling course.
- Another £1000 was added to the fund this year and it hasn't been got through. The account contains £5-6000 and is gaining interest.
- Jo: Should there be a website page listing courses people can do for £100?
- A couple of members have done training in the last year that they could have applied to the AGTF for, but didn't.
- The turnaround time for getting money is 5 months (Joe H), so one can't rely on getting the money before the course in question.
- The signatories to the fund need to be sorted out. At the moment Doug doesn't know who they are and can't find out without being a signatory, but can't become a signatory without first knowing who the others are!
- Jo: Worth the incoming President phoning James Blake to smooth relations with the AGTF committee (this wasn't done in the 2011-12 committee year).
Proposed by Kerrie Taylor-Jones, seconded by Peter Kirkwood:
To change the weekend trip sign-up procedure so that those who turn up to sign-up early but miss out on a place because the trip is over-subscribed are offered a pre-sign on the next trip.
- Kerrie: We are currently putting off new members. The Bryn Golau trip filled up at 7:20, so a new member could have waited for 40 minutes in the cold with no reward. There is evidence that people have turned up at sign-up, not got a place, not talked to anyone and not come back. Also, new members don't know to turn up early, so the current system favours existing members.
- Bethan: Motion should be restricted to new members to avoid abuse.
- Joe H: Should be an offer, not a right, and exercised at the President's discretion.
- Michael: The President already has the power to do this. If we approve the motion tonight as-is, it is constitutionally binding and the President might be put in a jam with someone demanding a place.
- Peter: We could add turn-up time to the sign-up sheet to let the President know how long people have been waiting.
- Michael: It is clear from the leaderboard that a core of members goes on many/most trips, which can lead to the fringes being pushed out.
- Mark: This is becoming more of a problem. Last year we only had 2 person-fails at signup, whereas this year we had 10 just in the last two trips.
- Andrena: The last two trips were too small and have filled up particularly early, and these are still fresh in the memory.
- Dave M: Trips were bigger last term and still filled up early.
- Michael: We either need to increase supply (bigger bunkhouses, 4 trips per term) or reduce demand (keep putting people off).
- Phil: Are there too many pre-signs?
- Dave M: There has been a move towards minibus drivers over car drivers recently, which has led to more pre-signs as both minibus drivers get a pre-sign. (Is that actually true?)
- Michael: Pre-signs are at the president's discretion
- Matthew: We could merge the president and safety officer pre-sign for small trips, or make one of the drivers the trip leader.
- Matthew: Moving to larger bunkhouses restricts the geographical spread of the club.
- Doug: We could have more, smaller, trips.
- Michael: There has been a 4th trip in the past, run on a whim at a week's notice when a trip filled up very early; it was a success.
- Dave M: Drivers are the big problem, and having more trips would compound the issue.
- Dave F: Drivers need to be booked up early before they can fill their calendars with other engagements.
- Drivers tend to be more keen on trips going to places that they want to go to (this tends not to include Dartmoor).
- Doug: Hiring cars is an idea; the cost is not that much greater than minibus hire.
- Dave M: But it does still increase the trip cost.
- Matthew: It would be great if we could get back on point.
- Vicky: Should we have a new members' quota on trips?
- Dave F: The President can already take whoever they want from the reserve list - can favour new members (or their own friends!)
- Michael: Should be left to the President's discretion.
- Doug: New members currently have no idea when you need to get to sign-up.
- Dave F: People should know how many places there are available at sign-up, maybe by making it available on the website.
- Tom W: If they came to socials, they would find out.
- Jo: The bulletin emails used to advertise when the last place on the previous trip was filled. Simon T suggested listing on the website the times when each of the last year's trips filled up, so people see it isn't always 7:20.
- Simon: People could agree not to turn up before, say, 7:30.
- Mark: Then you would have twenty people getting there all at once and it would become random. Also, getting there at 7:25 would then guarantee you a place, so many would turn up at 7:25 instead, and so on...
- Andrew: By far the easiest way to solve this problem is to book larger trips when larger trips are likely to be required.
After some intricate discussion of what could and could not be done with the motion under the constitution, it was agreed that a vote on the motion would go ahead but that those present would unanimously abstain, thus expressing neither acceptance nor refusal of the motion or its sentiment.
Questions to the Committee
- Jo: What's the policy on crampon allocation? Sarah wanted to borrow them over New Year, but found they had already been allotted to others.
- Matthew: Very informal, like the rest of the club kit. They have only been used in the Alps and Scotland during the 2011-12 committee year.
- Jo and Dave M: There are fewer of them and they are worth more than other items of club kit, so closer tabs should be kept on them.
- Jo: The website should say that current active members get priority, if that is indeed our policy.
- Andrew: For the New Year trip, they were given to arguably more currently active members over Sarah.
- Joe: Should remain at the safety officer's discretion.
- A crampon application form was discussed, but refused.
- Phil: What are the problems with just going to bigger bunkhouses?
- Michael: The archives show that there are enough big bunkhouses for about 18 months' worth of trips. A list was given. Need to be booked early though.
- It was generally felt that people were happy to go to fewer places more often, especially where a wide variety of walks is available. Caseg Fraith was noted as an example.
Election of Officers of the Club to vacant positions
- Doug, Dave F and others expressed how impressed they were with the nomination forms.
- Andrew has been on every trip since joining in October 2010 (20 trips in a row), and will take the club to new (and prominent?) places. A large bunkhouse in the Southern Uplands is being considered, as are new bunkhouses in the Lake District and Snowdonia.
- Bethan opined that this sounded better than going to Cornwall to bag Deweys.
- Mark pointed out that there are no Deweys in Cornwall.
- Phil sought assurance that bagging would not be made compulsory. Assurance was duly granted.
- Helen queried whether it was acceptable to place a 'Mark' (as opposed to a 'mark') on the nomination form. Mark felt that this might be difficult.
- Results of vote: Andrew Williamson 28, RON 1.
- Andrew was duly applauded in as President. RON refused to comment on his 123rd consecutive defeat.
- Doug and John vouched for the absent Laura and her impressive levels of organisation.
- Results of vote: Laura Burrows 28, RON 1.
- Helen and Becky felt they should say something. Something was duly said.
- Lunch will continue in the Stretton Room for now. A swimming social is planned (though Girton may be difficult as pool is currently closed), as well as an increase in the number of formals per term.
- It was generally felt that as far as formals were concerned, no increase was too large.
- Results of vote: Helen Phillips and Becky Howard 28, RON 0.
- Peter plans to run walks aimed at basic navigation in Michaelmas term, an advanced navigation course in Lent, and a first aid course in the autumn.
- James was on a club trip before even matriculating, and doesn't tend to head off at the crack of dawn so will be around to check route cards.
- Michael: What's your view on solo walks?
- James: Experience must be assessed first. Only baggers will want to anyway.
- Peter: Not new members, and other members should be alert, particularly if they're walking in the same area.
- Jo: What if members want to go on valley walks?
- Peter: There must be walks available for everyone, so is willing to drop out of e.g. planned Sunday walk to look after new members.
- James agrees.
- Simon: Being safety officer is not just about first aid courses and looking after kit, but is a general responsibility to ensure that everyone is safe. This means not going off on the earliest walk possible, but making sure everyone has a walk they can go on and be safe on.
- Dave F: How would you describe Crib Goch to a new member?
- James: Not been there, but must make sure experienced members accompany new members where scrambling is involved.
- Peter: Describe it as a rock climb rather than a walk. Emphasise exposure and the use of hands.
- Jo: What's your view on wax factories?
- This was felt to be a frivolous question and was therefore dismissed by the chair.
- Results of vote: Peter Kirkwood 17, James Ritchie 11, RON 0.
- Kerrie is numerate, organised, and is soon to stop college rowing.
- Dave F asked if the club could bet on that.
- Joe H: Can you count to 10?
- Certain members (who were by now quite fatigued from lack of wine and cheese) opined that the standards of questioning had dropped somewhat.
- Michael: How is CUHWC different to EUHWC?
- This was deemed to be a question for the pub, rather than for the AGM, and was thus deferred.
- Results of vote: Kerrie Taylor-Jones 27, RON 0.
- Vicky was duly congratulated on her win. It was duly pointed out to the Chair that the newly appointed treasurer's name was, in fact, Kerrie. Kerrie was duly congratulated on her win.
- Vicky is very enthusiastic, approachable, and has no plans to leave the club. She also knows Irish Gaelic (not that the club tends to go to Ireland).
- Dave: How much time do you have in freshers' week?
- Jo: Please remind everyone when their membership expires.
- Announced results of vote: RON 28, Vicky Ward 0. This was quickly corrected to Vicky Ward 28, RON 0.
- Bethan: Should it be a committee position?
- Matthew: Leave as floating role. There's no need for it to change every year, there's not much for the webmaster to do, but it does require some technical knowledge.
- James volunteered to take over as webmaster after Matthew leaves.
Any Other Business
- Michael pointed out to the Chair that the wording of the Agenda 'Election of Officers of the Club to vacant positions' was wrong, as Officers of the Club includes the Senior Treasurer (definitely not up for election), and the positions only become vacant at the AGM's close.
- Andrew noted the change of wording in preparation for the 2013 AGM.
- Mark had a question for Michael. Michael replied that Mark's biology teacher should have told him that back in Year Ten.
- The club's 25th anniversary is in 2014. Something is happening, and Dave F is the contact for most people present. A dinner in the Lakes is planned, amongst other things.
- Joe H requested a bouncy castle.
- Peter asked if it could have 30 metres' prominence.
- Jo: Stressed the importance of keeping the club website up-to-date. If committee members know of upcoming events that the president hasn't added, they should add them themselves.
- Simon: The current generation of members joined CUHWC because it was a welcoming group of people, easy to join. Now it is far too insular. It's good to see some new members here, but we need to work harder; most of the current membership have already graduated or are in their final year, and with a big exodus expected this summer, there will be far fewer members next year and we will be in trouble. Games played at Seathwaite were a good example of how club members tend to exclude those on trips who are newcomers; we're not just a big group of friends, and we need to build up the next generation.
- Vicky: felt the club was definitely insular at first, and it takes time to get to know people. At first, just felt like everyone was a big group of friends who all knew each other, but wanted that for herself so was inspired to persevere at becoming a member.
- Becky: Important for social secretaries to make an effort and be really welcoming in emails.
- Simon: It's not, and can't be, up to the social secretaries - everyone needs to make an effort to talk to the freshers and not just to their friends.
- Vicky: Good to incorporate freshers into walking groups, as that is an opportunity to spend several hours getting to know them.
- It was revealed that Bethan and Jane had been involuntarily drawing snails.
- Dr Hickson proposed a vote of thanks to the outgoing committee (although some of them are more outgoing than others).
- Following the AGM, it was decided that all but one member of the outgoing committee do not display the characteristic traits of snails.
Cheese and Wine
- In a strange turn of events, this did not receive unanimous approval.
- This was due to one bottle of red wine having gone bad, which resulted in several hillwalkers being unable to fulfil their evening's alcohol quota.
- Future committees are advised to continue with gorgonzola purchase for this event. One incoming committee member also suggests the purchase of Wensleydale with Cranberries, rather than the bland version without fruit.