Minutes of 2019 AGM

The Irregulars LDWA AGM

Sunday 3rd March 2019

The Irregulars LDWA AGM was held at the Leggers Inn, Dewsbury on Sunday 3rd March 2019.

The meeting was declared open at 14.45 hours, there were no non-members present.

Members of the Committee present were: Nick Ford, (Chair) Jeff Coulson, (Treasurer), Dave Motloch, (Walks Co-ordinator) and Dave Sharp, (Secretary) 

Members of the group present were: Alan Tinker, Dave Wolsey, Lesley Wolsey, Pat Coulson, Malcolm Bird, Frank Tonge, Jayne Astbury, Sid Upton, John Mosley, Gail Moseley, Jenny Lockwood, Barry Lockwood Taylor, Brian Winn, Ann Winn, Christine Stratton, Peter Wood, Mick Abbott, Andy Mohan-Smith, Simon Leck, Geoff Wright ,Rita Wright, Chris Haley, Andrea Hutchinson  ,Mike Warner, Peter Bruniges, John Williams, Raj Joshi,  Grahame Fry, Phil Peacock, Mick Abbott, Sara Dyer, Peter Reilly, Sue England, Stephen Walker, Melvyn Walker, Sharon Whitworth, John Whitworth, Frank Jennings, Peter Gardner, Andrea Hutchinson

Apologies For Absence: Reg Taylor, Ron Richardson, Mike Phelan, Nigel Stephenson, Colin Pettit, Michael Coley, Patricia Hesford , Anne Robinson, Helen Buskey, Ian Vickridge, Jean Bobker, Hilary Scott, Roy Turner, Pam Baird, Chris Johnson, Patrick Loveday ,Marcus Rogers, Colin Mason, Hazel Storouk, Michael Askey, Jenifer Shepherd, Arthur Read, Brian Campbell, Maggie Hayley

1.Previous AGM Minutes

The minutes of the AGM held on Sunday 4thth March 2018 were accepted as a correct record.

Proposer: Malcolm Bird, Seconder: Pat Coulson

2.Chairman’s Report

There were no matters arising from the Chairman’s Report

3.Secretary’s Report

There were no matters arising from the Secretary’s Report

4.Treasurer’s Report

 Thanks, were given by Jeff Coulson, Treasurer, to the auditor Dave Sheldon for his role regarding the audit process. The Treasurer, then went on to make a proposal that with effect the group cease to take the £1 walk fee in view of the group’s healthy financial situation. Income had been generated from running challenge events, plus the taking of fees from both walking and annual subscriptions. At this juncture the group has approximately £7,000 in reserve, which was seen to be very adequate for any likely needs. The Treasurer advised that this situation be reviewed annually to ascertain whether the walk fee would need to be re-introduced. After a thorough discussion there was a clear majority in favour of the proposal.  It was also agreed that individuals would continue to pay £1 for catch up walks.

John Williams Seconder

5.Social Walks Coordinator’s Report

There were no matters arising from the Social Walks Coordinator’s report.

All reports were accepted into the records as read.

6.Election of Officers

All Officer posts were unopposed and in view of this re-elected.

Non-Committee roles within the group are:

Magazine Editor: Pat Coulson

IVV Representative: Chris Stratton

Statistician: Tony Ford

Badge Archivist: Andy Mohun-Smith

The meeting was declared closed at 15.30hours.

Management Meeting Sunday 4th March 2019 (held following the AGM)

1.Subscription Fees for 2019/20

It was proposed and unanimously agreed that the membership fees be unchanged for 2019/20 at £10 for individuals and £15 for couples. Jeff Coulson (Treasurer) felt the group’s financial position was most robust.

2.Proposal to discontinue affiliating to The British Walking Federation (BWF)

Nick Ford opened a discussion regarding the group considering discontinuing affiliating to the BWF. Chris Stratton, who is our representative, spoke further to this matter. In short, she explained that we currently operate three walks which are placed on the Irregulars website for access. However, there has been very little take up of these walks and we have received only £9 income from them. Membership costs stand at £50 per annum.

 It was agreed following debate that we discontinue affiliation to the BWF and that consequently Christine Stratton will step down in her duties as IVV representative.

Proposer N Ford, Seconder, A M -Smith, Christine Stratton was thanked for her input as IVV rep.

3.Proposal to affiliate to The Peak and Northern Footpath Society (PNFS)

Nick Ford talked to his proposal that we affiliate to the PNFS. He outlined the range of activities that this registered charity undertakes i.e. promoting rights of access, signposting/replacing bridges, working with local authorities on diversion/closure plans etc. It is Britain’s oldest surviving regional footpath society. The group operates in many of the areas the Irregulars walk, including Lancashire, West and South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The PFNS receives its main income from subscriptions and bequests. It has approximately 1,100 members but around 100 affiliated groups. It is felt to have much influence regarding access and footpath concerns. The LDWA has been encouraging groups to affiliate and we apparently would be the first group to do so, if agreed. Discussion took place as to whether their role duplicated the work of other national footpath groups eg The Ramblers. Jeff Coulson felt there would be more synergy between such groups rather than duplication. The cost involved is £22.50 per annum.

Following discussion there was agreement that we affiliate with the PNFS.  Seconder: Raj Joshi

4.Proposal to give 4 donations of £250 to the Mountain Rescue Groups (MRGs) in the areas we walk in most. These donations to be paid at the end of each financial year.

Alan Tinker made an initial proposal as above. This topic generated much discussion. There appeared to be widespread agreement to the notion of financially supporting MRGs and an appreciation of the critical safety role they played for walkers and others on the fells. It was acknowledged that MRGs had some prior involvement with the group and we could require their services in the future. However, concerns revolved around the affordability of such a sum, especially given the decision made prior in the meeting to temporarily cease walk fees (and hence less income would be coming into the group). Also, whether the donation should be a ”one off” or recurrent and whether a precedent had been set (and MRGs would expect similar donations from us yearly). Additionally, members questioned which MRGs would be selected (in view of their significant numbers), whether some rescue teams were better placed financially, and which teams were most in need. Jeff Coulson suggested that we reduce the amount initially to £125 to each group and decide later in the year (following Challenge Event receipts) whether to give an equal amount, once our financial situation was clearer. Mick Abbott also mentioned he has a substantial financial commitment in terms of tee shirts to purchase. After deliberation the original proposal by Alan Tinker and Brian Winn (seconder) was not carried.

However, the proposal was then modified and the following subsequently agreed:

that we endeavour each year (decision to be taken at the AGM) to donate £1,000 between four different MRGs and that this is dependent on the group’s financial situation”

Proposer, Raj Joshi, Seconder, Sara Dyer

Members were asked to email the secretary Dave Sharp, regarding which MRTs they felt were most in need before the end of March 2019.

5.Annual Challenge Events.

Nick Ford, Chair, briefly updated the group on the forthcoming challenge events (Marsden Moor Meander and AFoot In Two Dales). Nick Ford thanked everyone involved in volunteering and organising these and our other events (The Regular Irregular & Hangover Hike). The uptake for the Marsden Moor Meander had been rather disappointing to date. The route description for the AFoot In Two Dales had been “tweaked” to reflect participants feedback. It was noted that the checkpoint facilities were much improved since last year i.e. fewer outside checkpoints and more utilisation of village halls.

6.Proposal that The Irregulars bids to the LDWA to organise the annual 100-mile event.

Reg Shah -Tayler submitted an outline proposal shared with members, in his absence by Nick Ford, that argued that the group should bid to the LDWA for the 100 event, to be held within the Yorkshire Wolds area. It was noted that the next available opportunity would be either 2025 or 2026 because prior dates had been granted to other groups. Discussion soon focused on the ageing membership of The Irregulars (in common with other groups) and the length of time which would elapse before the event. Also, the volume of work which would be generated in the process.  Raj Joshi said that the LDWA were now offering centralised support regarding the operation of these events and this would be in all key areas. However, some members felt that the operational and planning burden would still fall upon local groups. Raj Joshi also confirmed that usually more than one group would be co involved in hosting the 100. John Mosley, was seconder to the proposal but the motion was not carried

7.Date and Time of next meeting Sun 8th March 2020