Minutes of the 65th Annual General Meeting, 25 February 2015

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Fylde Mountaineering Club

Minutes of the 65th Annual General Meeting

25 February, 2015

Held at The Town Hall, Poulton

The following members signed in:

Mike Howe, Rob Lewis, Karen Purves, Dave Hicks, Pete Smith, Matt Reed, Martin Dale, Darren Hartley, David Walker, Chris Bell, Peter Stridgeon, Terry Robinson, Martin Imms, Stephen Clark, Don Nichol, Rebecca Hicks, Christine Fry, Dave Hicks, Tony Hulme, Claire Addy, John Hickman, John Wiseman, June Wiseman, Roy Turner, Barrie Crook, Kevan Ebbrell, Bob Killen, Christine Moylan, Mary Aspin, Derrick Smith, Mark Bowden, Andy Hird, Eddie Hird, Alan Bell, Les Ward,  Alan Lovett, Angela Lovett, Cherry Earle, Pat Bennett, Gillian Llewellyn, Peter Llewellyn, Cherry Earle, Clive Bell

Apologies for absence:

George James, Jenny Tolley, Michael Penn, Barbara Senior,  David Wood, Hal Rzadkiewicz, Andy Dunhill, Chris Packman, Lynn Baines, Iggi Moore, Stuart Sykes, Dave Cundy, Frances Watkins, Dave Ward, Sue Denmark, John Denmark, Derek Wells, Paul Taylor, Caroline Webb, Steve Longworth, Chris Thistlethwaite, Simon Fenna, Joanne Leadbetter, Andy Ingle, Tom Knowles, Dorothy Jowett, Liz Hird, Nils Tremmel

Matters Arising from the Minutes of the 2014 AGM

There were no matters arising and the Minutes were accepted.

Chairman’s Report

Darren gave a warm welcome to members to the 65th AGM of the FMC and thanked everyone for making the effort to attend. He gave particular thanks to Steve Longworth for his excellent communications and for organising the pies and peas for everyone.

Darren reflected on the last year’s events and informed the AGM that the club had carried out safety training using Plas-Y –Brenin courses on self rescue to update meet leaders and those who regularly attend climbing meets. He felt that training on navigation would also be targeted in future and that the successful courses already undertaken would be repeated for further participants.

Darren noted that the year had been hugely successful thanks to the efforts of the meet coordinators, and that there had been successful meets both at home and abroad. He was thankful to Dave and Christine for taking charge of the food at the fell running meet and he felt that an excellent atmosphere had been created at the event. He also wished to give recognition to Steve Longworth for organising an excellent social syllabus. Darren felt that the club dinner at the Skiddaw hotel in Keswick had been first class, with Alan Bell restored to fitness and once more captivating his audience. He stated that after consultation, the next dinner will be at The Villa in Wrea Green and he appealed to the members to support this important event in the club calendar.

Darren stated that membership continues to fluctuate between 160-180. Dave Wood has done good work in recruiting new members and has promoted the club using cards and posters in climbing shops and at walls.

He revealed that the club is in a healthy financial position with a balance of around £15000. He thanked the hut custodians for maintaining the huts.

Darren gave thanks to Caroline for producing unforgettable newsletters; Chris is to be thanked as he is stepping down as Langdale hut custodian. Andy and Liz are also to be thanked for their efforts as hut booking secretaries.

Darren hoped that the next year would be as successful as the last and that Clive would receive every assistance with the new syllabus.

Officers’ Reports

The Secretary’s Report, The Treasurer’s Report, The Booking Secretary’s Report and the Membership Secretary’s Report were accepted by the meeting.

The Stair Hut Custodian’s Report was questioned by Les Ward who wanted to know about the cost of a new roof. Darren asked Andy Hird to address the meeting with regard to current information about this. Andy had asked an international roofing company to provide an estimate and following this first estimate, was now looking at more detailed costings and choices. The roof will cost circa £15000 but there is a choice as to whether to exceed building regulations by providing thicker insulation and therefore reducing fuel costs for the hut. Les asked about lottery grants but Andy informed the meeting that we did not meet the criteria. Chris Bell stated that the new roof would have a 20 year guarantee. Darren stated that the existing roof was nearing the end of its life; Rob Lewis added that we had to choose are moment carefully when making this major financial commitment.

The Social Secretary’s Report, The Newletter Editor’s Report and the What’s On Editor’s Report were all accepted by the meeting.

Motions Which Require a Vote:

Rule Change Proposals: Tenure of Office for Officers and Committee members –Proposed by Dave Wood and seconded by John Wiseman

John explained that the proposed rule changes were intended to make the committee more accessible and to limit the time that officers could stand – therefore The Chairman could stand for five years but then not stand again for five years. Kevan Ebbrell said that this principal could be applied to anyone in the club, but Darren stated that the new role of vice-chair would need to be in place in order to ensure succession. Chris Bell stated that members would not stand against those already in post so if Darren did not have a fixed period of tenure, then nobody would stand for chair. Matt Reed asked what would happen at the end of the fifth year and Claire Addy wanted to know about the succession plan. Dave Hicks assured everyone that the proposed changes were intended to prevent a closed shop and to make the committee accessible to all. Barrie Crook couldn’t remember a chair being in post for more than five years anyway. Rob Lewis said that the idea was to present members with a natural break in succession where they can have the opportunity to volunteer. Darren emphasised that he would be happy to step down after five years. John Hickman wanted clarification about the use of the word ‘ordinarily’ in the proposed rule changes; Rob Lewis explained that it was included to account for circumstances where no new volunteers could be found, thus enabling current post holders to continue. Darren thought that a lot of effort had gone into looking at the rules and that if the changes were rejected, then the subject would not be revisited in the near future. Angela Lovett supported the principle of openness and transparency without worrying about offending a current post holder. Gillian Llewellyn thought that transparency could be achieved by welcoming members to committee meetings and Mary Aspin felt that fewer members were willing to take on positions of responsibility and that we needed to think carefully about making detrimental changes. Matt Reed asked if the proposed rule changes were just for the chair and vice-chair or whether they applied to the whole committee. John Wiseman stated that new committee members will usually start as ordinary committee members before taking up posts as officers. Kevan Ebbrell thought that the rule should apply to all official posts. Darren moved the first three proposals (below) and a vote was taken.

Rule 9.1.1. Any full member may occupy the post of Chair for a maximum period of five years and may not ordinarily stand again as chair for a period of 5 years.

Rule 9.1.2. Following the election of the new Chair, the outgoing Chair will be offered the post of ex officio Committee member for a period of one year.

Rule 9.1.3. Any full member may ordinarily occupy the post of Vice Chair for a maximum period of five years.

The proposals were rejected by the meeting with only three votes in favour.

The fourth proposal was discussed:

Ordinary members of the Committee are elected to hold the post for a  period of two years but are eligible for re election. Two ordinary Committee members shall be elected at each Annual General Meeting. If an ordinary Committee  member resigns after one year the AGM shall elect someone for one year only.

Some members found the wording unclear. Andy Hird wondered if this amendment needed revisiting. Dave Hicks thought that committee members needed time to get up to speed. A vote was taken; five members were in favour, the majority were against and the proposal was rejected.

The fifth proposal was discussed:

Rule 9.2. Any full member may propose or second a proposal of any other full member(s) as candidates in advance of the Annual General Meeting or at the AGM. If the proposed candidate is absent, the proposer shall verify the candidate’s willingness to accept the post if elected or the proposal cannot be accepted.

Rob Lewis stated that it gave members time to reflect and consider whether they wished to be involved. A vote was taken and the motion was carried with only two against.

The sixth proposal was discussed:

Amended Rule 9.5 In the election of Officers and ordinary Committee members a ballot will be taken if there are more candidates than posts available.

Kevan Ebbrell asked for clarification about the practice of giving members four votes to elect committee members. Angela Lovett felt that all we needed to do was to change the rule about officers so that they are elected by paper ballot. John Wiseman asked if the members wanted an open or a secret ballot. The amendment was put to the members and unanimously rejected.

(ii) The Feasibility of installing a woodburning stove at Little Langdale

Dave Hicks reported his findings to the meeting. A heating engineer From Lakestone in Kendal had been engaged to look at Little Langdale and had found no problems with installation and no changes needed. The cost of installation would be £1380 +VAT with a ten year guarantee on the flue. Darren stated that he felt that the installation was feasible and cost effective. There would need to be an initial investment. Existing arrangements are not up to standard so we do need to replace heating. Matt Reed wanted to know if the wood burner would be sufficient as a replacement form of heating, or whether we would need additional heating appliances. He was informed that an electric heater would also need to be fitted. He asked how many days the hut would be occupied annually. Andy Hird informed the meeting that there are currently thirty weekends booked and five weeks totally booked. Les Ward asked if the flue would need lining and Dave Hicks stated that it was stainless steel and would need vacuuming. Matt Reed asked that with an installation cost of approximately £1400 and fuel and maintenance costs could we afford to do this?  Andy Hird noted that there could be a security problem but that we had a place for secure storage. Angela Lovett asked if the mould problem would be affected by the fitting of a wood burner; John Wiseman thought that it would not make any difference. Gillian Llewellyn suggested that a lot of dirt would be created making a lot of work. Darren moved to a vote where twelve members voted in favour of a wood burner being installed but seventeen were against.

(iii) To increase membership fees in line with BMC increases.

Mike Howe presented the background. It has been four years since we raised the fees. We have a healthy bank balance but only about £11,000 is available at present to replace the Stair roof – we do need to increase the balance. We have been increasing fees to outside bodies by 3% a year –If we apply the same increase to subs it comes out at about £5 /head. If we put up fees by this amount it only brings in about £560 / year but will help to accumulate capital. Mike also stated that we didn’t want to put the hut fees up for members as we wanted to encourage the use of the huts. Tony Hulme made the point that BMC fees had risen substantially. The motion was proposed by Dave Hicks and seconded by Mike Howe. There was only one vote against.

The following Officers were elected:

Position Applicant Proposer Seconder
Chairman Darren Hartley Martin Dale Chris Bell
Vice-Chairman Clive Bell Les Ward Matt Reed
Secretary Rob Lewis Dave Hicks Matt Reed
Treasurer Mike Howe Barrie Crook John Wiseman
Booking Secretary Dave Hicks Tony Hulme Rob Lewis
Membership Secretary David Wood Martin Dale Matt Reed
Stair Hut Custodian Andy Dunhill Mike Howe Chris Bell
Langdale Hut Custodian Andy Hird Chris Bell Mark Bowden
Social Secretary Steve Longworth Clive Bell Mike Howe
Newsletter Editor TBC
What’s On Editor John Wiseman Andy Hird Les Ward
Webmaster Dave Ball Dave Hicks Martin Dale
Auditor John Hickman John Wiseman Christine Fry

The following committee members were elected:

Applicant Proposer Seconder
Martin Dale Matt Reed Rob Lewis
Tony Hulme Rob Lewis Clive Bell
Peter Stridgeon Dave Hicks Rob Lewis
Chris Bell Andy Hird Mark Bowden


Future Club Policy:

Barrie Crooks requested that mountain navigation courses should be instigated as part of club policy. Darren stated that he would see what was available and that candidates would be selected initially from walkers who lead meets in mountainous terrain. Barrie felt that we needed to improve navigation standards within the club. John Wiseman mentioned that first aid training also needs to be carried out and Darren stated that this is ongoing.

Les Ward brought up the possibility of having social members. Darren commented that this issue had already been discussed at the last committee meeting and he thought that it might be an issue for discussion at the next AGM.

Claire Addy  asked why we did not get rid of joint membership. Mike Howe stated that some people wouldn’t be in the club unless they were joint members. Andy Hird noted that this applied to families as well.

BMC grants were brought up but the meeting was told that the club does not meet the criteria.

Post AGM

A meeting of the new committee will take place on 23 March, 2015

Minutes are currently unapproved

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