AGM minutes 26th October 2018
MINUTES OF THE 36th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE PENRITH RAMBLERS ASSOCIATION HELD ON FRIDAY 26th OCTOBER 2018
There were 36 present including Officers, committee and ordinary members, and the Guest Speaker, Diane Simcoe, Ramblers Area Support Officer – Northern England.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Janet Arnison, Mike Eden, Heather Edwards, Eileen Holland, John Latcham, Margaret Lightburn, Sheila Stuart, Kathy Taylor, Janet Upton.
2. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON 27.10.2017.
The minutes were agreed as a correct record by all.
3. MATTERS ARISING: None
4. CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS
Another generally successful year for Penrith Ramblers. Our pattern of walk programmes has remained similar to previous years with 6 or more being arranged for our main walking day – Wednesday. On that day the main groups are Strollers, C, B/C, B, B+ and A.
Committee decided that during the ‘Greenwich Meantime’ weeks (November through to March) we would not now organise B/C walks. This was to avoid the risk of walks becoming duplicated at the same standard.
The Strollers Group has built itself up to quite large numbers of participants. This, however, has given rise to a couple of issues which have needed addressing. The first concerns numbers, when nearly 30 walkers have turned up on some occasions. Whilst one of our leaders has craved the chance to lead as large a group as he can, this enthusiasm for very large groups of walkers is not shared by those patiently waiting their turn at difficult stiles.
The second concerns the standard of the walks where those who’ve been walking with Strollers for two or so years wish to undertake half day walks at the higher end of the Strollers scale. To address this we’ve started up a ‘Strolling 2’ group with less ambitious walks of not more than 4 miles in length. This has eased matters but the success of the arrangement will need assessing after about a year.
Our Summer Sunday programme has commenced a 3 year sojourn along the Lake District Boundary Walk. In year one (June & July 2018) we walked anti-clockwise around the boundary from Pooley Bridge to Kirkland, near Ennerdale. The second year’s walks, now being planned, will take in west and south Cumbria, including the coast near Bootle, to finish at Lowick south of Coniston Water.
Weather has, as usual, had quite an influence on our walks, with several changes taking place. The ’Beast from the East’ affected some as did the long dry hot summer weather. All in all, though, leaders were very sensitive about the climatic difficulties and avoided providing excessively difficult walks in inappropriate conditions.
Our group continues to buck the trend in terms of membership numbers. It has to be said that if somebody wishes to walk with Penrith Ramblers they’ll soon be encouraged to join the organisation. It is though important to be sure everything is suitable for a potential new member and the idea of experiencing three or so walks as a taster is well worthwhile.
As usual you’ll be able to listen to the individual officers reports and appreciate the remarkable voluntary dedication to the cause which is really over and above the actual walking they all enjoy. This additional activity all goes on unsung, even though on occasions passions run high. As with any largely voluntary organisation there are always vacancies for more help so if you feel you’d like to give a little more back to help oil the wheels of the group then please have a word – there may be something available just for you! The reports will be available in printed form in the AGM minutes which this year will be circulated a week or two after this meeting and placed onto our web site.
I must now go on in no particular order to offer the thanks of the group to:
all those who’ve prepared, recce’d and led walks for the group;
to those who’ve co-ordinated the walks programmes;
to our Hon. Secretary for her unstinting dedication to the task;
to our Hon. Treasurer for keeping our finances in order;
to our website manager who has still been gradually re-shaping the website for our use;
to the Footpath Secretary for all his work in addressing problems and issues that arise;
to the Countryside Secretary who keeps an eye on broader issues affecting footpaths and adds his sparkle at the back of the Strollers;
to our joint social secretaries who have been enthusiastically developing our social programme;
to our Newsletter editor for keeping the news sheets going
to our Membership Secretary who’s managed all our membership issues and helped build up our numbers;
to those on Area Council, the chalet committee and the auditor.
And then to our many walkers who’ve been so faithful and welcoming all through the year.
And that’s it as we look forward to the 2019 walking year. Well not quite.
I’d just like to say that this will be my last report to you as Chairman. I seem to have been at this role for 10 years and for the most part it’s been very enjoyable. To say there’s not a lot to it would be a little disingenuous. It’s been a role that one can take on to make of it, within reason, what one wants – the more you do the more you get out of it provided you don’t cause too much mayhem.
For me it’s been more of a ‘hands on’ role and I hope I’ve been able to spark a few things going. But it’s now time to move on both for the group and the individual. I have an inkling of who the next Chair or Chairperson may be, but I may be wrong. Whoever it is I wish them well as I will do when the baton is passed over after the election later in the meeting. This time Thelma says she’ll keep a seat for me to sit on for more than 5 seconds!
But I must finally say thankyou to yourselves and the group for the honour of chairing this very enthusiastic and friendly organisation.
26th October 2018
5. OFFICERS REPORTS
a. Web Site None offered
b. Programme Secretary
2018 has seen another year of varied and interesting led walks, 5 weekly walks offering different grades (A, B+, B, C and Strollers) each Wednesday and one walk on each Saturday. Strollers walks have frequently attracted over 20 people and in September a second walk for Strollers was introduced on the programme to reduce the numbers walking on any one group.
In addition during the summer months there has been a series of Thursday evening walks, an occasional B/C walk on Wednesdays and also a special series of Lake District Boundary Walks on Sundays in the summer.
A special memorial walk in memory of Sue Millar was held on 6 April and 45 people attended.
The Treasurer submitted the Annual Accounts, which will shortly be audited by Roger Burgin. Copies were available for all who wished to see them. The Accounts were approved nem.com. proposed by David Dixon, seconded by Neil Beatham.
The Treasurer also submitted the following report and added that he would encourage all members in future to pay for events by bank transfer rather than by cheque.
1. Charitable Income shows a surplus of £190 of which £48 was a b/fwd from 2016/2017. Postage at £112 is much reduced on the previous year £219.
2. Self Financing and non-charitable.
The surplus of £1,142 includes some advance payments by members- Christmas lunch 2018 - £86
HF Holidays - Dolgellau in September 2019 - £300
Commission ex Rowley Estates - £140
Ramblers Worldwide Holidays Walking Partnership Rewards -£380
Members should note that social events are all self funding thanks to the accuracy of the work put in by the organisers.
3. Car Parking
Thanks go to the various "collectors" who arranged for members to pay £5 per head.
4. Book Sales
A further 52 books have been sold in year for £366.
The accounts as presented have not yet been audited.
Treasurer's Financial Report -- 12 months ended 30th September , 2018
Opening balance on Administration as at 1st October, 2017 47.57
Funding from Area - 2017/18 allowance 448.00
Training costs refunded by Area 300.00 **
Room Hire for committee meetings 74.00
Training cost -- by A Conway 240.00 **
Hire of room in Mungrisedale for training 110.00 **
Friends of The Lake District - donation 50.00
Postage and stationery 112.00
Travel - Footpath Secretary -
Website and domain fees 19.18
excess of income over expenditure 190.39 C = A-B
2.Non Charitable -- Self Financing Activities -- Social
Social Fund account - balance b/fwd as at 1st October, 2017 48.98
Roundthorn Country House - Christmas Lunch 2017 215.95
Roundthorn Country House - Christmas Lunch 2018 advance bookings 86.00
Garden of Cosmic Speculation - bookings 1,630.00
Lake District Boundary walks - bookings 1280.00
Visit to Hutton in the Forest - bookings 248.00
HF Holidays - Whitby - bookings 6,618.00
HF Holidays - Malhamdale - May 2019 - advance bookings 2250.00
HF Holidays - re Spain - bookings 17117.08
HF Holidays -re Dolgellau in September 2019 - advance bookings 300.00
Commission ex Rowley Estates 140.00
Ramblers Worldwide Holidays Walking Partnership Rewards 380.00
Roundthorn Country House - Christmas Lunch 2017 115.95
(note that a deposit of £100 had already been paid out in 2016/2017)
Garden of Cosmic Speculation paid to Alba Travel Ltd. 670.00
Garden of Cosmic Speculation paid to Maggies Cancer Caring Centre 910.00
Lake District Boundary walks - coach hire 1,290.00
Visit to Hutton in the Forest -entry fee 248.00
Coach hire re HF holiday - Whitby 240.00
HF holidays re Whitby 6,331.15
HF Holidays - deposit paid re Malhamdale - May 2019 2,250.00
HF Holidays - re Spain 17,117.00
excess of income over expenditure 1,141.91 F=D +E
3. Other Non Charitable -- Self Financing Activities
Parking - Penrith Rugby Club - surplus b/fwd as at 1st October , 2017 143.50 G
116 member's payments at £5.00 per head 580.00
Parking - paid to Penrith Rugby Club for 2017/2018 500.00 H
excess of income over expenditure 223.50 I= G-H
4. Book Sales opening balance as at 1st October , 2017 5,050.93 J
(held for future add sales to date 2017/18 366.40 K
Publications) cumulative sales income 5,417.33 L = J+K
1-4 OVERALL TOTAL agreed to 30th September 2018 bank balance 6,973.13 C+F+I+L
Having carried out procedures in accordance with the Area and Group Examination Guidelines,
I consider the Penrith Group accounts to give a fair representation of the Group's financial
activities for the year to 30th September 2018
Roger Burgin Michael Coen
Hon. Auditor Hon. Treasurer
d. Footpath Secretary
Changes to Rights of Way: In the past year we have been consulted about six proposed changes to rights of way. The Lake District National Park Authority consulted us on two, one to move the path away from a house in Matterdale, the other to avoid an eroded river bank near Mungrisdale, both acceptable. Cumbria County Council consulted us on three changes. Two are minor changes to move away from houses at Shap and Stainton. The other, at Kirkby Thore, is to avoid a farmyard. We have not objected, but we are hoping to get a new footpath across Trout Beck so that walkers following the River Eden will not need to go out to the A66. The final proposal was from the Yorkshire Dales NPA, to move the path out of a farmyard, which was acceptable.
After consultation, proposals are publicly advertised by the making of an order. Six orders have been made in the past year, four by Cumbria CC and one each by the NPAs, all as agreed. Previously I have mentioned an order made by Eden District Council to divert a path crossing the Settle-Carlisle railway at Appleby, to which we objected. Following the inquiry in November 2016, the Inspector decided not to confirm the order. Network Rail applied for judicial review and the High Court judge quashed the Inspector’s decision. The Secretary of State appealed, and the Court of Appeal, in a judgement issued last month, dismissed the appeal by 2 to 1. Unless the Secretary of State takes the case to the Supreme Court, there will have to be another inquiry. Meanwhile the adjacent housing development is nearly complete and the path remains open.
Modification Orders: The Definitive Map is the public record of rights of way, and when there is evidence that it is wrong it is changed by modification orders. The Lake District National Park Authority have consulted us on one proposal, about the status of the track from Roehead to Askham over Moor Divock. We were happy with the proposed change to restricted bridleway. Cumbria CC consulted us on a proposal to add several short paths in Hartley village, which we welcomed. There have been four orders in the last year all made by the Lake District NPA to upgrade or add restricted byways. We had no objections to any of them.
Obstructions: I have reported several problems to Cumbria County Council, Lake District NPA and the Yorkshire Dales NPA. The Yorkshire Dales NPA respond quickly and are often clearing problems. The Lake District NPA also say work will be done soon. Cumbria CC just add the problems to their list, and say work will be done when possible.
Ease of use survey: We are now helping the Lake District National Park with a sample footpath survey (5% random sample of rights of way, half in May and half in November). We surveyed ten paths last November, with five passing the test, and twelve paths in May with nine passing.
Warcop: I represent the Group on the Warcop Access Working Group, which looks at access to the Warcop Training Area. I went to a meeting in June. The MoD wish to divert the two footpaths that pass through the impact area, and we can expect to receive proposals soon. The scheduled access days for 2019 are available. In 2017 52 permits were issued to visit Mickle Fell, an increase on previous years.
e. Countryside Secretary
I have reviewed relevant planning applications often in consultation with Alan Duval. I have also looked at a number of quarry continuation requests to which I made no comment. I did not comment on the Thirlmere Zip Wire proposal as this was handled by Area. I reviewed Lowther's tree planting proposals and decided on balance they were positive.
I worked with others to formulate our comments/objections to the Penrith Masterplan including the Beacon.
A proposal by the Coal Authority to clean up the R. Nent at the disused mine at Nenthead has now been approved and will involve a temporary path closure near the river while a small outfall pipe is installed.
f. Social Secretaries
The Christmas Lunch at the Roundthorn, for 69 people in December 2017, received extremely positive feedback so the same venue has been booked for Thursday 13 December 2018. There is still plenty of time (up to 22 November) to reserve a place.
SPRING SHORT BREAKS
Forty people attended the Whitby weekend which was very successful, thanks to Graham Allen who stepped in to lead extra walks when other leaders fell by the wayside. Penrith Ramblers had sole occupancy of the HF House which enabled us to devise our entertainment and socialise across the group. The weather was perfect, sunny but not too hot.
The HF house at Malhamdale has been booked for 17 to 20 May 2019 using our own leaders. Thirty people have booked for the weekend and Graham Allan has agreed to co-ordinate the walks again.
Garden of Cosmic Speculation
This trip was one of the most successful to date with 90 people enjoying a wonderful day out to a most unusual garden. The warm sunny weather was the icing on the cake.
Hutton in the Forest
Another successful event took place in good weather on Thursday 19th July. Thirty one people attended and there was a short walk, and guided tours around the gardens and the house.
Planning will start shortly for next year’s events. Suggestions so far include Dumfries House and interest visits in west Cumbria linked to the Sunday walks. Additional suggestions are welcome.
A very enjoyable HF holiday was arranged for a group of 17 ramblers in October in Capileira, Spain. The area was high in the mountains and the walking was exhilarating, with excellent HF leaders. On this occasion the administration by HF left much to be desired and involved Kathy in much extra work and hassle.
HOLIDAY IN WALES IN SEPTEMBER 2019
A self guided holiday has been booked for 21 Penrith ramblers from 23 to 27 September in the HF house in Dolgellau.
g. Membership Secretary
As at the 30th Sept we have 367 members, down 1 on last year but we are still 27 up on this time in 2014. We are doing better than the national average within Ramblers or indeed the Lake District Area.
Since the last AGM another job as fallen within the remit of the Membership Sec – administering GDPR – within the group.
The new regulations came into force in May and have impacted on us noticeably. As far as our members are concerned the main impact has been their need to reconfirm the way in which they require Ramblers – both Nationally & locally to communicate with them. We as a group did a lot of work over the last few years to encourage members to provide their email addresses and to accept Walk programmes, Newsletters and the like by email.
By May this year all but 70 members were being dealt with by email. With the introduction of the new regulations in May members had to reconfirm that they were happy to continue with the email method of contact. Unfortunately more than half the 290 email recipients failed to reconfirm the preference. I have sent out several reminders to members and have gradually reduced their numbers to 70.
We have also had to get consent forms from walk leaders and other volunteers and this has been a major task. We cannot put phone numbers on the walk programme or our website without consent. We now have 91 registered walk leaders.
6. ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
Officer Name Nominated by Seconded by
Chairman Neil Beatham David Dixon Sue Marshall
Hon. Secretary Sue Marshall David Dixon Denise Edwards
Hon. Treasurer Michael Coen Mary Teasdale Maureen Winder
Programme Secretary Janet Arnison Mary Teasdale Maureen Winder
Footpath Secretary Alan Duval Martin Hodgson Sue Marshall
Countryside Secretary Charlie Shepherd Martin Hodgson Ann Charlton
Social Secretaries Jean Bradshaw Roger Pickett Penny Harrison
Kathy Taylor Roger Pickett Sue Marshall
Membership Secretary David Dixon Mary Teasdale Maureen Winder
All the above were elected Nem. Con.
7. ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Member name Nominated by Seconded by
Harry Upton Frances Bell Patricia Walter
Janet Upton Frances Bell Ruth Meer
Martin Hodgson Malcolm Taylor Rachel Ritchie
Mike Eden David Dixon Malcolm Taylor
Michael Edwards David Dixon Ruth Meer
All the above were elected Nem. Con.
8. ELECTION OF AREA COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES (2)
Area Council Representative Nominated by Seconded by
Alan Duval Sue Marshall Martin Hodgson
Charlie Shepherd Margaret Lightburn Andrew Chatfield
Both the above were elected Nem. Con.
9. ELECTION OF REPRESENTATIVE ON CHALET COMMITTEE
Representative Nominated by Seconded by
Roger Burgin Les Charlton Ann Charlton
Elected Nem. Con.
10. ELECTION OF HONORARY AUDITOR
NAME Nominated by Seconded by
Roger Burgin Roger Pickett Penny Harrison
Elected Nem. Con.
No motions were received.
12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
13. DATE OF NEXT A.G.M.
This was given as Friday 25th October 2019
The meeting closed at 9.12 pm.
• Posted: 29 Oct 2018