Committee Meeting Minutes 29th April 2008

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Minutes of the FMC Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 29th of April 2008Held at the Conservative Club, Kirkham 

Present. Clive Bell, Chris Thistlethwaite, Chris Bell, Martin Dale, Andy Hird, Tony Mitchell, Sue Denmark, Adam Dunderdale, Kevan Ebbrell.

Apologies. Andy Dunhill, Darren Hartley, Jennie Tolley, Mike Howe.

 Chairman’s Address.

Clive opened the meeting by announcing that the 2008/9 Syllabus and the Evening Climbing and Walk Programmes had been posted to the membership. He thanked everyone for their involvement and help.

 Matters arising from and acceptance of the minutes of the previous meeting.

The minutes of the meeting held on 03/03/08 were accepted, there were no matters arising.

 Secretary’s Report. 

Kev reported that the issues raised by Chester Mountaineering Club regarding hut swaps had been successfully resolved and that the recent issue of What’s On had contained a message to club members regarding the need to adhere to the agreements relating to hut swaps as follows:-

1. Dates for hut swaps are arranged through discussion between Chris
Thistlethwaite (FMC) and Rich Fahy (CMC) and then confirmed back to the
clubs and printed in our annual meets list.
2. During a hut swap, the Chester hut is for the sole use of FMC – this
was modified recently since Chester now have just one hut, such that their
member’s dorm at the hut would still be reserved for CMC members.
3. Fees from hut swaps go to the occupying club. Therefore, anyone
staying at the Chester hut during a hut swap pays their hut fees to FMC and fees go to CMC for anyone staying at the FMC hut.
4. During a hut swap, any FMC member wishing to use Stair or Little Langdale (which ever is CMC’s during the swap) must first check with CMC whether there are spaces available and any hut fees they incur will be paid to CMC and vice versa for CMC members when FMC has their hut on a swap – we don’t want to make it so that FMC & CMC members never meet each other, but we don’t want to arrive at one of the huts during a hut swap and find it already full of the owner clubs members.
5. At times other than hut swap weekends, FMC members wishing to use the
Chester hut must first check availability with CMC and then pay their hut fees to CMC promptly and vice versa for CMC members.
6. Chris & Rich (or whoever holds these respective posts at FMC/CMC) or the meet co-ordinator will confirm the date of the hut swap prior to the swap. Unless this date has been confirmed, we will assume that the swap is not going ahead (hopefully this will stop any mix ups over dates).


Following the letter from John Cooper of his intent to stand down as a Trustee of Stair, Kev informed the committee that he had written to all the trustees requesting confirmation of their willingness to remain as trustees and to John Cooper requesting him to formally resign so that the committee could proceed with the appointment of a replacement for John. All trustees had responded stating they wished to remain as trustees and John had formally resigned. Following a discussion on suitable candidates Sue Denmark proposed Chris Bell as a trustee for the Stair Hut and Tony Mitchell seconded the proposal. The committee by unanimous vote elected Chis Bell as trustee for Stair. The trustees therefore are as follows:-

Stair – Andy Dunhill, Martin Dale, Alan Bell, Chris Bell.

Little Langdale – John Wiseman, Dave Earle, George Parker, Peter Ray.

In addition to a letter of thanks sent to John Cooper by the secretary the committee wished that thanks to John for his time as trustee be recorded in the meeting minutes.


It had come to light last year that some committee minutes had been posted on the clubs website but that no authority for such from the committee could be ascertained. Kev requested the committee make a decision on the matter and after some debate the committee resolved that the minutes should be posted on the website. Kev will contact Dave Ball on the matter and ask for assurance on the security aspect of access to the minutes etc. 


Booking Secretary’s Report.

Chris reported that bookings were going well and that there were only two free weekends available in 2008 and that the huts were 4/5ths booked up for 2009.


The committee as requested at the 2008 AGM conducted a review of hut fees for outside bookings and this resulted in the following fees being set with immediate effect for new bookings. Little Langdale – £100 per night weekend, £90 per night mid week. Stair – £125 per night weekend, £120 per night mid week.


Treasurer’s Report.

Mike was unable to attend the meeting and reported the following matters by email.
Current bank balances
Premium  £21122.03
Current  £3268
Not sure about Langdale and Stair accounts as they are maintained separately by the hut custodians.

Known future commitments
Langdale septic tank £950
Stair porch £12k ??
Other items:
We have new cheque signatories Me, Clive and Andy
Cheques have been sent to past and present committee members not able to attend the meal.
Annual charges have been increased for water and rates. Liz is trying to sort out Stair electricity bill with Eon.
I think we should have a record of major assets even if values are written off e.g. laptop, projector, printer, gear etc. Maybe we should also decide which kit needs replacing?

I have spoken to Preston tax office about Corporation tax, we last paid Jan 2001, with last reminder Dec 2001

The Club has “dormancy” since 2002. There is no liability for corporation tax if non profit (i.e. income for lettings spent on building maintenance and expenses) and bank interest (gross) is less than £500 (i.e. corporation tax of 20% less than £100 is waived) – highest interest in last 3 years (2007) was £433. Treasurer address changed to M Howe.

It is clubs responsibility to report if this figure is exceeded. Since there is substantial expenditure planned  this year this should not occur. 

After the last meeting I contacted BMC about insurance whilst the work was being done at Stair and passed information to Andy/Chris.
I have just had a bill for emptying the septic tank at Stair (£471 !!) with a recommendation that the soakaway is contaminated and needs refurbishment. Perhaps our resident experts can give this some thought?


A discussion took place regarding the septic tank, this resulted in that Kev would pass on the information to Andy Dunhill for him to take appropriate action.


Membership Secretary’s Report.

Martin presented membership applications for four new Introductory Members.

Kate Woodrow, Craig Naylor, Danial Tolley and Mikala Tolley. All four applicants were accepted by the committee. It was further agreed that Martin make appropriate fee refunds to all four given that we are well into our membership year.


Martin advised that several full membership forms had been sent out to individuals who had completed their introductory year but that to date none had been returned.


Langdale Hut Custodian’s Report.

Chris reported the following matters: –

Ø      The solicitors have been instructed to complete the registration of Little Langdale with the Land Registry.

Ø      The standard of work on the staircase was unsatisfactory and Chris had advised the contractor that if it was not completed to a satisfactory standard by the working weekend on the 16th/17th of May a refund will be required.

Ø      The Bin Store in the car park and the gas bottles will be removed during the May working weekend

Ø      A discussion on the Jack Jowett memorial bench resulted in the acknowledgement that it will have to be bespoke. Clive offered to take on the task of design and construction.

Ø      Dorothy Jowett has hung a picture of Jack in the hut and all who had seen it commented on what a good picture it was.

Ø      Chris reported that he had received a letter from the leader of a group who had used the hut stating that one of the group had been diagnosed by a doctor as having scabies and that it could have been contacted from the pillows/sheets/blankets in the hut. Chris advised that as a precaution all pillows/sheets/blankets will be disposed of and new more hygienic replacements procured. He would also contact Andy regarding replacements for Stair.


Stair Hut Custodian’s Report.

Andy was not at the meeting and reported the following matters by email.

I was at Stair at Easter & there were no real problems although the outside lights may need a looking at. Chris T has had a brief look but I’ll check next time I’m up.

A suggestion has been made that now we’ve tidied up the trees on the north boundary there is a good view so perhaps we could build a path down to the area & put a seat. Seems like a good idea to me unless the Committee has any problem with this? (The committee had no problem with this- Sec: ).

Chris Bell reported that he had received a preliminary estimate on a pitched roof for Stair by one of his companies Quantity Surveyors and that it was something in the region of £50,000 + VAT. The committee agreed that a detailed report be compiled and presented to the next AGM. Chris and Andy Hird agreed to compile the report. It also emerged that a club member had shown interest in putting a price in for the porch extension and that it would be submitted for consideration in the next couple of weeks. Also a Health & Safety Plan had been created and that West Coat Surveys of Workington would be carrying out an Asbestos survey at a cost of approx £300.

 News Letter Editor Report.

Tony reported that his employers insurance company had paid out to cover losses resulting from the theft of a company vehicle that contained his Laptop and the clubs News Letter. He requested that if anyone had any articles or other material for the next News Letter would they let him have it a.s.a.p.

 What’s On Editor’s Report.

Mike Howe has published the April edition of What’s On. It was hoped that John Wiseman would continue with his excellent work as What’s On Editor upon his return from New Zealand. Our thanks to Mike for his efforts in John’s absence. 

 Social Secretary’s Report.

There is currently no Social Secretary therefore the committee resolved that the Social Secretary’s duties will be shared by the committee. Sue Denmark offered to book guest speakers etc but stated that she would need guidance on likely candidates. Kev agreed to book the room at the Wyre Hotel. More time will be devoted to this matter at a later meeting.

Post Meeting Note – The room at the River Wyre Hotel has been booked for the following dates, all Wednesdays:- October 8th, November 12th, December 10th, January 14th, February 11th,, (AGM  February 25th), March 11th. Any Other Business. 

Ø      As the committee was one down as a result of there not being a Social Secretary and that the club was remise in not elevating the What’s On Editor role to that of a club official, Kev proposed that John Wiseman be co-opted onto the committee. Tony seconded the proposal and the committee unanimously agreed. Clive will contact John regarding this matter.

Ø      Sue raised the issue of the BMC no longer being accredited to issue CRB’s. A discussion took place on the principles of accepting enhanced CRB’s from organisations such as Lancashire County Council and whether the committee would be willing to accept such from members holding them. The committee generally agreed that they would look favourably on accepting enhanced CRB’s but it would be on an individual basis and would need careful monitoring. Sue volunteered to find out which members fit the bill and also to write to the BMC on the matter as it was thought that they were not serving clubs and members particularly well on the matter of child protection.

Ø      Tony reported that he had attended the first meeting of the Clubs Forum at which general concern was expressed at the lack of guidance from the BMC on child protection and health & safety matters. The Forum resolved that the BMC would be contacted and requested to get some expertise on the matters so that they could offer legally sound advice.

Tony also reported that members of the Climbers Club had expressed a desire to enter into a hut swap agreement with the FMC. After some discussion it was agreed by the committee that we would not be entering into any such agreements with the Climbers Club.

Ø      Clive raised the matter of the recent increase in club subscriptions at the BMC AGM and that recent lobbying of club members had failed to gain much support in voting against the increase. It was obviously many thought the BMC was correct in increasing fees and as the decision had been made there was no point in labouring on the matter. Tony reported that this matter had been discussed at the Clubs Forum were there had been talk of creating two tier membership (Walkers/Climbers) in clubs.

Ø      Adam suggested that Walking/Climbing magazines should be pressing the BMC through articles to provide more information on CRB’s, junior members etc. Adam agreed to write to several magazines on the matter.

Ø      Andy reported that he had procured four sets of gear for juniors. A set comprising of Harness, Helmet and Carry Bag was shown to the committee. Andy stated that he is creating a loan and maintenance system, details will be published in the next News Letter.

 Next Meeting.  Monday 23rd of June 2008, 20.00 hours at the Conservative                          Club, Kirkham. 

Minutes compiled by Kevan Ebbrell.

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