Minutes of 2017 AGM, 9 March 2017

Minutes of LDWA London Annual General Meeting 2017

Held Thursday 9 March, 2017



Keith Lane, Paul Tilley, Lonica Vanclay, Gordon Parker, Peter Aylmer (Chair), Ron Williamson, Marita Sanders, Dave Williams, Susanne Waldschmidt, Alan Knight, Paul Lawrence, Roderick Smith, Mary Smith, Adam Dawson, Douglas Robinson, Chris Ketteringham, Pete Colley, Dick Bowman, Emma Maccormick, Susan Cannell, Gail Elrick 


Nigel Barraclough, Godfrey O’Callaghan, Lois Elliott, Steve Plested, John Pestle, Colin Saunders, Tina Davis, Chris Hedley, Peter Charlton, Clare Kirkbride, Sue Kahn. 

1. Minutes of last meeting

PA welcomed everyone and explained that matters arising would be picked up under other agenda items.

SW said that under Challenge Walks, she had not said that she would like 20-30 volunteers, just 15. Subject to this change, the minutes were approved. 

2. Secretary’s report

DR said that the number of primary members was now 464 – down from 467 last February. Of these, 199 were female and 242 were male – the gender of the others was unknown. There were now 822 total members.

There were no questions. 

3. Treasurer’s report.

RS tabled the accounts which had been circulated to members beforehand. In summary, expenditure exceeded income by £42 but the group still has £3676 in the bank. RS had asked if there was any guidance from National about what was a reasonable amount for groups to have in reserve but there isn’t any and it is up to each individual group to decide.

RS forecast a small surplus in 2017

There were no questions about the accounts and they were approved. 

4. Expenses Policy

RS introduced the paper which had been circulated to members beforehand. The committee was recommending that the group has an agreed policy on what expenses would be paid to members for costs incurred in supporting the group’s activities. It was putting this to the AGM for approval.

LV pointed out that if all the marshals on the Founders claimed the max amount of £40 that would wipe out any surplus from the event. In discussion it was agreed that this was unlikely but, in the event of significant amount of expenses being claimed, then we would need to review the entry fees for the event.

The expenses policy was approved.  

5. Walk secretary’s report

AD tabled his report which had been circulated to members beforehand. In summary, it had been another successful year with a total of 95 walks, attracting over 1400 people. There had been 37 walk leaders, including some who were leading for the first time. Attendance on walks varied from 33 to 3 with 14 being the average. All walks had reports which had been put on the website. Walks had been geographically spread in and around London. He expressed his thanks to all the walk leaders.

There had also been 4 weekends away – Lake District (twice), Derbyshire and Curry and Comets.

Looking ahead, there was almost a full programme of walks till November. There were also 2 themes which would provide and focus for some walks in 2017 – Silk River (see later) and the London Countryway where DB would lead a series of walks round the route.

An issue which the new committee might look at is whether leaders should take the names of people on the walks. This is done by some groups.

LV asked about the balance between Saturday and Sunday walks as there seemed to be an increasing number on Saturdays. AD acknowledged this but recognised that this was very much up to walk leaders and also many members preferred Saturday as public transport was much better.

PA thanked AD for all his work in this key role.  The walks secretary report was approved. 

6. Social events.

DR reported that, despite not having a social secretary, there had been 3 social events in 2016: 

  • Thank you meal for supporters
  • New Year dinner, (strictly speaking this was in 2017!)
  • Photo competition. 

PA said that we would always welcome more ideas for social events and that there was still a vacancy for a social secretary. PT pointed out that the SS didn’t actually have to organise events just encourage others to do so.

PA said that he might possibly do a talk later in 2017 about writing a Cicerone Guide. 

7. Webmaster’s report

KL tabled some stats on website use, based on February 2017. In summary, there had been 462 users, largely using a PC or tablet, and they had spent from less than 10 seconds to over 30 minutes on the site. The 2 most popular subjects looked at were Walks Programme and Latest News.

KL also tabled some stats on the Group Facebook page. There were now 130 members. It seemed to be mostly used for sharing photographs and walk reports some of which also go on the website. He thought that there was an issue with duplication between what was on the website and the Facebook page.

He was also conscious that there was an issue over photographs being taken on walks which included faces of members. Some members did not like their picture being put into the public domain and FB was a help here as it is a closed group and not accessible to the public. 

8. First Aid Course

KL reported that 13 members had attended this. A survey afterwards had been largely positive. The committee will need to consider whether to run another course. 

9. Founders report.

GP reported that it had been another successful event in 2016. There were 137 starters and it had made a surplus of approx. £300. Food was well received and no complaints about the route and route description. He noted that the long walk had been changed back to the route of a few years ago to avoid too much walking along the NDW.

PACER had worked well although there was still a paper backup.

He expressed his thanks to Godfrey O’Callaghan for the design on the commemorative water bottles which had been well received.

He also expressed his thanks to the marshals, both from London and elsewhere, without whose support the event would not take place. He hoped that we would have some gazebos available for the 2017 walk to avoid marshals getting wet at some of the check-points.

The walk in 2017 will be on Saturday 7 October.

There were no questions and GP was thanked for all the work that has gone into this. 

10. Capital Challenge

GP reported that the inaugural walk will take place on Saturday 1 April. The marshals walk had taken place on 4 March and 15 completed it. There had been positive responses about the route.

As of today, 107 had entered and paid. Most were from the SE England but some were from further afield such as Yorkshire and one even from Germany. Godfrey had designed a lovely certificate for all finishers.

He was grateful for all the support that he had received in developing this event.

In discussion, GE said that National was pleased to see a new challenge walk being developed.

There were no questions and GP was thanked for taking the lead on this and getting it off the ground. 

11. Other Challenge walks

SW reported that so far she has only 6 volunteers to help with the North Yorks 100. London will be handling baggage at the breakfast checkpoint and this will be open for a long time. She would like to have another 6, if possible so that they can work in shifts.

It was suggested that walk leaders might raise this at upcoming walks. AD will ask them to do so. Action: AD

DR reminded the meeting that London has agreed to run CP 2 in 2018 in Kent. A call for volunteers will be made later after the 2018 100. 

12. Silk River Project

PA brought the meeting up to date on this cultural link with India. It was based on the connections between the Thames in London and the Hooghly River in Kolkata, both being centre of silk design and manufacture.

Silk flags are being designed and these will be carried along the banks of the rivers in a series of walks. In London, the walks will start at Kew Gardens and finish in Southend. They will take place on 15 – 24 September and lengths will vary from 5 miles to 24 miles. Each day more flags will be carried, starting with 2 in Kew and finishing with more than 20 in Southend.i

London members will be encouraged to join the walks and help lead some of them.

In December, there will be the equivalent event in Kolkata.

PA plans to produce an article for the autumn Strider.

Following a question about the fact that some of the walks will be outside London, he confirmed that Essex & Herts group are on board and GP was contacting Kent to make sure that they were also involved. 

13. Motions from Members

DR reported that none had been received. 

14. Election of committee  

    • Chair: PA confirmed that he was willing to continue. This was proposed by RS and seconded by DW. It was unanimously approved.
    • Walk Secretary: Adam Dawson confirmed that he was willing to continue. This was proposed by RS and seconded by SW. It was unanimously approved.
    • Founders organiser: GP said that he was willing to continue. This was proposed by RS and seconded by DR. It was unanimously approved.
    • Webmaster: KL said that he was willing to continue. This was proposed by RS and seconded by DW. It was unanimously approved.
    • Treasurer: RS confirmed that he was standing down after 3 years. Pete Colley said that he was willing to stand. This was proposed by RS and seconded by DR. It was unanimously approved.
    • Secretary: DR confirmed that he was standing down after 3 years. There were no applications for the role and it remains vacant.

Following a question about whether committee meetings would be quorate without a Secretary, DR confirmed that the Constitution allows meetings to be quorate if only 2 of the 3 office holders are present, viz Chair Treasurer or Secretary.

Members thanked the committee for all its work with special thanks to RS and DR for their many years of selfless and devoted work for the group. 

15. AOB

SC raised the issue of group T shirts and whether we need more. In discussion, it was noted that London often looked the poor relation at major challenge events when compared to other groups who had much better sweat shirts/T shirts etc. It was agreed that the committee might look at this again.                                   Action: Committee

Douglas Robinson

March 2017