Minutes of 2019 AGM, 13 February 2019

Minutes of LDWA London Group Annual General Meeting 2019

18:30 Wednesday 13th February 2019

King and Queen pub, 1 Foley Street London W1W 6DL

Chair: Peter Alymer

Present: Pete Colley, Cathy Phillips, Jeff Golland, Gordon Parker, Julie Welch, Marie Heracleous, Keith Lane Gavin Fuller, Dave Williams, Colin Saunders, Christopher Headley, Jean O’Reilly, Ian Watson, George Johns, Barry Arnold, Marcus Duyzend, Isabel Sanchez, Lornica Vanclay, Charlotte Minchel, Ali Pretty, Ron Williamson, Ian Fairweather

Apologies for absence: Adam Dawson, Susan Cannell, Lois Elliott, Steve Plested, Douglas Robinson, Susanne Waldschmidt, Gail and John Elrick, Elizabeth Tudor, Peter Russell, Peter Jull, Nigel Barraclough, Marita Sanders, Paul Tilley, Paul Lawrence.

1. Minutes and Matters Arising from 2018 AGM: LDWAL18-17

Minutes agreed. Matters arising were covered by the agenda.

2. Secretaries’ and Treasurer’s report and accounts: LDWAL19-5,6,7

Jeff reported on trends in membership numbers. London Group was flat in contrast to some neighbouring groups like Surrey and Essex & Herts where numbers were rising. There was a question about where members lived and whether this explained trends in membership numbers of different local groups.

Committee agreed to investigate whether an analysis was possible.

Pete presented the accounts. There was £6,764 in the bank at year end but £2,373 of that related to income of the 2019 Capital Challenge, so the underlying cash balance was more like £4,500. Treasurer asked for ideas on how to spend it. Meeting agreed to pay some expenses of members helping with 100s.

Ron Williamson was thanked for being the independent examiner of the accounts.

Ron’s role for 2020 was approved by Dave Williams and seconded by Gavin Fuller.

Julie Welch accepted the accounts and Cathy Phillips seconded.

3. Walk Secretary’s report: LDWAL19-8

Marie introduced her report. It had been a very successful year of social walks at weekends with many mid-week walks also. Attendance ranged from 3 to 31. Saturday was more popular than Sunday due to better public transport.

More joint walks with Kent and Surrey were planned, which was a useful way to improve awareness of the London Group.

Marie, supported by the meeting, thanked walk leaders for the number and variety of walks on offer. Ron was singled out for the many mid-week pop-ups he had led. Marie’s report was accepted

Discussion of the walk’s programme focused on the long lead time for notice of walks listed in Strider. This issue was also raised by responders to the members’ survey. It can deter leaders offering walks as they need to know what they will be doing on weekends well into the future. The meeting felt that it was not a problem if walks were not listed in Strider. Most members used the web-site, or weekly emails, for news of upcoming walks, and it is always advisable to check the web-site for any late changes to walks described in Strider. But the meeting noted that Strider was useful for quickly checking what other groups were doing on a particular weekend.

The committee was asked to check with LDWA HQ whether anything could be done to reduce the Strider publication lead time and begin a debate on whether local group walks needed to be in Strider.

4. Capital Challenge report: LDWAL19-9

Gordon presented a report on the 2018 Capital Challenge. Meeting agreed it was a great success.

The 2019 Capital Challenge was already a sell out with 43 on the waiting list. A 10% drop out rate would be assumed to accommodate some of the waiting list. The usual starting point was not available this year but Pete, Douglas and Jean had managed to negotiate a new one – St John’s church near Waterloo.

5. Founders’ Challenge report LDWAL19-10

Gordon presented a report on the 2018 event. Everybody participating really enjoyed the day. Julie would write report for Strider. Gavin volunteered to provide photos.

The turnout of 143 was a little disappointing with only 13 from London group. There was a need for it to be refreshed with a new start more accessible by public transport.

6. Challenge events: the future LDWAL19-11


The 2019 walk would start about 1 mile from Guildford station. It would follow much of the old route, visiting iconic LDWA places, but in the opposite direction. There would be a long route of 30 miles and a short route of 20 miles.

Helpers are needed to develop the route description.


Two new routes were being developed. One went west, and the other east, from the usual start then south of the river ending up in Penge. Check points still need to be sorted. 4 pop-up walks were planned to check the routes.

The meeting shared Gordon’s expressed excitement about how the Capital Challenge was evolving, and thanked Jean, Susanne, Douglas and others for developing the new routes. .

Challenge event coordinator

The meeting thanked Gordon for his four years as challenge event coordinator. In future Marie will report to the committee on challenge walk planning.

7. Webmaster’s report LDWAL19-12

Keith presented his report which contained a wide variety of statistics on the use of the website. Views and users were down on the last year. The weekly email update might be affecting web site use, but the meeting did not regard that as a problem.

Data protection issues need to be considered as anybody can access the web-site. For example there could be a problem putting photos on a public web-site. Julie would consult her son who knows about DP.

Facebook: half of primary members were now on London Group Facebook but recruitment was not surprisingly slowing down after the initial surge. There was some discussion about using the Facebook event facility to promote walks and membership.

Twitter: most members not on Twitter. Julie advised that Twitter could be effective for posting news of events.

The committee agreed to think more about using Facebook to promote membership, and developing a communications strategy.

8. London Living Streets

Colin presented this item. London Living Streets began in 1929 as the Pedestrians’ Association. It has campaigned for zebra crossings and speed limits, for example. Current issues include: 20mph zones; clean air; car free days; and Oxford Street pedestrianisation. Membership is free. Colin presented information on LDWA at their November meeting. www.londonlivingstreets.com

9. Members’ survey results: LDWAL19-13

Pete and Keith presented. The low response rate meant its findings were not sufficient to determine policy but it was a useful guide for the committee. The survey did a good job in that respect. Pete thanked contributors.

Many long serving members could not remember how they found out about LDWA as it was so long ago, but unlikely to be social media or the internet.

Social walks and making friends were important to many responders. For some responders social events were important, but there had been no volunteers to organise such events. The meeting noted that there was a need to define what a LDWA social event is.

Ian Fairweather volunteered to be co-opted onto the committee to cover social events. The meeting agreed such an arrangement.

The committee agreed to discuss how the question of social events might be taken forward.

10. Walk register for insurance purposes LDWAL19-14

Chris Headley presented the issue. Chris is the LDWA national committee person for environmental issues, data protection (DP) and risk management. A DP professional would be taking over that role in three weeks time to develop the LDWA DP policy so that the LDWA stays on the right side of the law and not put walk leaders in difficult situations.

Putting photographs on line was an example of a DP issue. By entering a challenge event you accept the fact that photos might be taken; but not so for social walks. The meeting agreed that photos should be removed from the web site if anybody objects, which is the current policy.

A register of walkers on each social walk is needed for insurance purposes. LDWA HQ is looking for an insurance company that does not need a register to be kept but has not yet found one. Taking registers needs to begin and Chris will be sending details about what to do with completed registers.

Pete noted that we need to make it clear to HQ that we see it as a problem and there is a need for flexibility.

Marie would need to explain the new requirement to walk leaders.

11. Data protection officer

Not discussed as a separate issue.

12. Committee appointments

The following appointments were approved by the meeting

Position Candidate Proposer Seconder
Chair Ali Pretty Melissa Butcher Gordon Parker
Treasurer Pete Colley Marie Heracleous Jeff Golland
Secretary Cathy Phillips Pete Colley Marie Heracleous
Secretary Jeff Golland Pete Colley Marie Heracleous
Walk secretary Marie Heracleous Pete Colley Jeff Golland
Newsletter editor Julie Welch Pete Colley Marie Heracleous
Web-master Gavin Fuller  Keith Lane Cathy Phillips

Ali took the chair.

13. AOB

Mayor’s role

No money was going into walking to develop the LOOP and other routes. The meeting noted that Peter had tried to contact Will Norman – the mayor’s walking champion – but had had no response. The chair of London Living Streets has regular meetings with Will Norman so that route might present an opportunity to press issues of concern for the LDWA. The proposed London National Park City http://www.nationalparkcity.london/ was also a development that LDWA needed to keep an eye on.

The committee agreed to pursue these initiatives at its next meeting.


Lornica thanked the committee, past and present, for keeping things running smoothly.

Meeting ended 20:30