VIEWS: 75 PAGES: 15 POSTED ON: 4/4/2011
South Birmingham Ramblers Draft minutes of the 18th Annual General Meeting held at Oddingley Hall Thursday 18th November 2010 Present Eleanor Thorne, Roy Millard, Viv Millard, Moira O’Sullivan, Len Pates, Val Balmond, Steve Fletcher, Chris Armstrong, Liz Walkling, John Russell, Chris Field, John Gaunt, Judy Witton, Stan Witton, Christine Merryman, Tricia Murray, Jenny Corless, Isobel Pettitt, Margaret Harris, Dennis Hodges, Mary Parsons, Keith Payton, Ray Pollard, Bob Armstrong, Nancy Phang, Yuan Phang, Lesley Wilkinson, Ian Wilkinson, Peter Broadhead, John Gaunt, Carole McNeary, Janet Steele, Liz Blakey, Dennis Webb, Larry Moody, Jean Perring, John Bowen, Pam Morris, Dave Morris, Sheila Lennon, Jean Godfrey, Sam Dear, Bob Sutton, Jenny Shardlow, Dorothy Hargest, Peter Rookes, Jean Rookes Apologies John Chapman, Jackie Spearpoint, Sue Loose, Jean Holliday, Carol Miller, Margaret Clewett, Gary Rootham, Anne Rootham, Diane Sutton, Mike Sutton. Eleanor described the format of the evening. After the reading of the minutes from 2009 there would be reports from the committee members, followed by the election of the new committee, any other business, then refreshments, and finally a DVD made by Mike Sutton of our holiday in Lynton in 2008. Ian Wilkinson and his wife Lesley were present at our meeting. Ian is the Warwickshire Area Secretary. Minutes from AGM of 2009 These were read and approved as a true record – proposed by Roy Millard and seconded by John Gaunt. Matters arising Eleanor described how short walks on Tuesdays or Thursdays had not alleviated the large numbers on Wednesdays, but had instead brought us new members and encouraged previously non-walking members to walk again! New walks leaders had been mentored and encouraged by more experienced leaders. Chairman’s Report Eleanor was pleased to report that South Birmingham Ramblers had had a very successful year. There has been an increase in membership and an extended programme of walks. She thanked Gary for the enhanced website with its downloadable programmes and full information. She explained that it was instrumental in recruiting new members. She thanked all the committee for their hard work over the year. As 2010 was the 75th anniversary of the Ramblers we had walked the first stage of St Kenelm’s way as our Baton Walk. Other themed walks have been incorporated into our programme, the parliamentary walk around central Birmingham, the battle of Edge Hill walk on its anniversary, the Christmas Mince Pie walk and the Spring bluebell walk, and very soon the samosa walk. She thanked all those who have organised the themed walks, including Liz for organising this year’s linear walk and Don Hazzard, whose invaluable historical descriptions have enhanced walks. She described the liaison with the Get Walking, Keep Walking campaign, which has helped this group to walk in the countryside, and which will continue next year. This year we had our first newsletter which was well received, and so we are planning to produce one next year in July. She asked for contributions to this newsletter, from jokes to poems, recipes and walking experiences. She thanked Len and Val for the invaluable work they have done in organising our social events this year. She reminded members that there should always be a backmarker on a walk and that it spreads the load if we take it in turns to back mark. Eleanor talked about the Ramblers’ campaign work in keeping open foot paths and repairing styles and the Dead-end campaign which is highlighting the threat to public footpaths due to local authority cutbacks. We will be discussing how we can take part in this important work this year and asked for ideas and support from the membership. It is hoped that working parties can be arranged for later in the year and asked for members to join these. She also asked those who were interested making up the working party at Kings Norton Nature Reserve on November 27th, to give their name to Jean Perring. She thanked all members present for their careful attention to her report. Secretary’s Report Liz mentioned the statistics that Viv has pulled out of the walk registers that have been running since January. See Appendix 1 These registers and other information that walk leaders may need is now available on the website and can be down loaded if necessary. Keith has offered to run a map reading and navigation course for members and information can be found in future programmes. There are now 80 names on the e-mail list. She forwards all e-mails sent by members and some of those sent by outside agencies if they are relevant to walking. She will ask Gary to post the minutes for this meeting on the website so that they are available for everyone to read. Treasurers’ Report and Statement of Accounts. Moira explained that South Birmingham Ramblers have 2 bank accounts, one is the Main ( or charity) Account and the other is the Self-funded ( or Social ) Account. The Main Account is used to support the Ramblers core charitable objectives of promoting walking, preserving footpaths, protection of the countryside, access and freedom to roam. In our group most of the money we receive from the Ramblers is used to produce our programme and send it out. Last year we received £400 from the Ramblers, but since we have used up most of our reserves and the group is growing we have asked for £600 this year. The Self-funded Account is used to run our social activities, some of which have made a small profit which has been used to subsidise other activities. The full Treasurer’s report can be found in Appendix 2. She thanked John Russell for examining the accounts. Membership Secretary’s Report Jackie wrote that our membership stood at 234 at the beginning of September, though the Ramblers database is still not completely settled. Subscription rates have increased from the beginning of October coupled with a £10 reduction for new members who pay by direct debit. She is stepping down from the job as she is walking less at the moment because of her fractured arm. She wished her successor well. Wednesday Walks Secretary’s Report Steve thanked John who had helped with the Wednesday programme for the latter part of the year. He thanked the walk leaders and especially the new leaders, as although the first walk can seem very daunting it is also very rewarding. The charts derived from Viv’s statistical analysis of all the walks registers showed that Wednesday walks were still the most popular walk of the week. See Appendix 3. He felt that walks secretaries needed to co- ordinate walks to ensure that walks in the same area were well spread over the programme. The facebook site has meant that it has been easy for us to share photographs and it is regularly used by members. Sunday Walks Secretary’s Report Sue wrote that as she would be flying to the Maldives during the AGM she would not be able to join us! Sunday walks have been well attended with numbers up on last year. Saturday walks have not been so well attended but this is to be expected as they are more challenging and further from Birmingham. She thanked walk leaders for the amazing walks that have been planned this year. She particularly liked Patrick’s walk in the Berwyns. Footpaths’ Secretary’s Report John reported that 68 problems with footpaths had been raised this year, with Worcestershire (where we walk most of all) having 52 of these. The most significant reason being damage to styles, but obstruction of paths came a close second. He described how planning applications can adversely affect public footpaths, but described 3 incidents where our intervention had supported objections to planning applications. He gave a very important description about how we should proceed if we are aware of a foot path problem and described how the group could deal with a future where Councils’ Footpaths maintenance resources would be severely reduced. This can all be found in Appendix 4 Social Secretary’s Report Len gave thanks to everyone who had helped in our social events and said we had had some very good ones. Publicity Officer’s Report Roy told us about the Ramblers’ Media and Publicity workshop that he had been on. He has put up posters in local libraries and the Lickey and Waseley Country Parks, and the Ramblers leaflets have been left in libraries. He has made a name board which has been displayed at our events. His main job has been putting together the quarterly programme ready for publication, which is now quite a task since we have so many more walks and social events. He said that he has enjoyed his time as a committee member but feels that he should step aside now. See Appendix 5 Area Representative’s Report Viv gave us a detailed report about the activities that connect us to the Area and Ramblers as whole. These included the Festival of Winter Walks between the 26th December and 3rd January where walks are open to the public, the ongoing campaign for Coastal Access and the important campaign to ensure that rights of way and access are not lost in government cuts. She described the anniversary picnic where 234 walkers attended and a newly set up group for walkers in their 40’s and 50’s. She reminded us of the High Speed Rail consultations with landowners that are being dealt with by Head Office and the Ramblers financial situation. The Area AGM is being held in Coventry Central Hall this year on Saturday 5th February, 10am for a 10:30 am start. All are invited, and there is a lunch and afternoon walks. She reminded us that although any one can go walking, it is the Ramblers who help maintain the footpaths that are so important in helping us enjoy our walks! All members can attend Area meetings, so if you wish to attend, please let her know. Her full report can be seen in Appendix 6 Election of Officers. Chair: Eleanor Thorne was nominated. Proposed by Larry Moody and seconded by Val Balmond. Secretary: Liz Walkling was nominated. Proposed by Steve Fletcher. Seconded by Viv Millard. Treasurer: Moira O’Sullivan was nominated. Proposed by Viv Millard. Seconded by Larry Moody. Proposals from the floor. Roy Millard proposed that we create the position of Short Walks Secretary. Duties will be to put together a programme of walks that are no more than 5 miles long. These walks will be on days advised by the committee and will include evening walks in the summer. This was seconded by Ray Pollard and accepted by the membership. Roy Millard proposed that the name of the Sunday Walks Secretary should be changed to Weekend Walks Secretary now that our Summer programme included walks on Saturdays. Duties would be to put together a programme of walks, on days advised by the committee, to give us a more varied programme of lengths and locations. This was seconded by Ray Pollard and accepted by the membership. The election of officers continued. Wednesday Walks Secretary: John Gaunt was nominated. Proposed by Steve Fletcher. Seconded by Dave Morris. Weekend Walks Secretary: Sue Loose was nominated. Proposed by Larry Moody. Seconded by Len Pates. Short Walks Secretary: John Gaunt was nominated. Proposed by Steve Fletcher. Seconded by Yuan Phang. Footpaths Secretary: Chris Field was nominated. Proposed by John Gaunt. Seconded by Roy Millard. Social Secretary: Len Pates was nominated. Proposed by Peter Rookes. Seconded by Dave Morris. Publicity Officer: Steve Fletcher was nominated. Proposed by Roy Millard. Seconded by Chris Field. Membership Secretary: Val Balmond was nominated. Proposed by Viv Millard. Seconded by John Gaunt. Area Secretary: Viv Millard was nominated. Proposed by Roy Millard. Seconded by Sam Dear. Peter Rookes asked that Val Balmond should continue with her involvement in organising social events over the next year. Webmaster: Gary Rootham has agreed, with our thanks, to continue in this post. Appointment of an Independent Examiner of Accounts: John Russell was nominated. Proposed by Moira O’Sullivan. Seconded by .Viv Millard. Any Other Business Eleanor stood up and showed the analysis of the registers from the last 12 months. We have had 221different walkers on our walks over this period. 12 of our members have walked over 40 walks. Dennis Webb has taken 57 walks. Larry Moody has taken 75 walks. Len Pates has taken 76 walks. But Chris Field was our top rambler with 82!! He was given a certificate and a bottle of wine. Larry Moody was awarded a certificate and a bottle of wine as a reminder of his rescue of a sheep on a walk near Bidford. Viv Millard pointed out that we still have people who are walking in front of the leader which means that walks can get strung out. Dave Morris said we should have a culture in which it is possible for walk leaders to be able to remind those in front of the walk leader that they should not be there. Liz Blakey asked that we have at least half an hour for lunch. She had been on a walk recently where the people at the back had got so strung out that they had had little time to eat their lunch. Some people at the back had turned the wrong way in fact. Tricia Murray said that walkers have a degree of responsibility for them selves. On the walk that Liz was describing the back marker had recced the walk and had a map, so any walker unsure of the way should have turned to him! Ray Pollard suggested that we make more of a point in the programme of this, stating more clearly that walkers should not go in front of the leader. Janet Steele pointed out that everyone knows that it should not ever happen that walkers go in front of the leader. Jenny Corless asked that Wednesday walkers who lead the shorter walks should make sure that the pace is not too fast. Ian Wilkinson congratulated Roy Millard on the wonderful job he had done of chairing a meeting of the Area recently when Mike Bird had not been able to take the Chair. John Russell congratulated the committee for the excellent work they had put in over the year. Eleanor thanked the members of the committee who were stepping down this year, Roy Millard, who has been on the committee for about 10 years, Jackie Spearpoint who has been the Secretary and also membership secretary and John Chapman who will no longer be our footpaths’ secretary. She thanked Len for the hard work he had put in to developing the programme of short walks over the year. The meeting was adjourned for refreshments, which were followed by a wonderful DVD made by Mike Sutton. Appendix 1 South Birmingham Ramblers E Daines (29/8) 1 Members’ Walk Records Anne Dates (24/8) 1 Eileen Davies (19/9) 1 January 2010 to November 2010 Ian Davies 10 Gail Dawson 20 Jenny Adlam (4/7) 1 Dixie Dean (n) 1 Arafeh Aldpanah 2 Sam Dear 21 Karen Alexakis 2 Sally Delmont 11 Val Balmond 49 Anne Dent 8 Nvala Beilby (new) 1 Eileen. Dinsmore 3 Ray Beilby (new) 3 Cynthia Dodson (25/8) 2 Valerie Bell (2/9) 3 Mike Dodson (8/9) 1 L Benfield (28/10) 1 Kate Dunlop 2 Marion Betteridge (19/10) 1 Chris Ellis 2 Jim Bird 3 George Errington (15/9) 1 Sheila Black ? 1 Nan Errington (15/9) 1 Liz Blakey 15 Ann Eyre 19 Phil Bond (19/10) 1 Sheila Eyre 8 John Bowen (19/10) 2 Gail Fergus (7/9) 1 Peter Broadhead 17 Chris Field 82 Tom Broomhall (20/5) 4 Barbara Fitzpatrick 16 Ronnie Brown (11/8) 1 Graham Fletcher (4/8) 9 Barbara Burden (28/10) 1 Steve Fletcher 27 Rita Byford (27/7) 1 Elaine Fox (5/8) 1 Mike Cadby 33 Val Gallagher (25/7) 9 Chris Cahalane (28/10) 1 John Gaunt 37 Sheila Callan 1 Keith Gent 4 Caroline Cartwright 1 Anne Gibbons (guest) 1 23/5/10 Christopher Gibbins 1 Harry Cattermole 40 Jean Godfrey 24 Carol Cattermole (28/10) 1 Roger Golsby 3 John Chapman 24 June Golsby 3 Joan Chapman 19 Sue Gould 18 Josie Chapman 18 Margo Green 3 Robin Chapman 3 Rachel Guy 8 Ann Maria Charles 5 Charlotte Halligan ? 1 (n17/6) Annette Halligan 2 Eileen Cherrington (n 2 Irene Halligan 21 22/4) Dorothy Hargest 1 Margaret Clewett 21 Margaret Harris 8 Margaret Compton 1 Wayne Hawkes 22 Cath Cook (20/10) 1 D Hazzard 15 Phil Cook (20/10) 1 S Hazzard 10 Lynne Corfield (25/7) 10 Tricia Henley 6 Jenny Corless 13 Ged Hickman 4 Mike Cunningham (27/7) 1 Margaret Hickman 23 Tony Hill 23 Jim Parry (6/10) 2 Diane Hindley 45 Anita Patel (23/6) 2 Denis Hodges 20 Len Pates 76 Jean Holliday 27 Joe Patrick 7 Jan Home (10/10) 2 Keith Payton 12 Jean Howell 3 Susan Pemberton 1 Jim Hoyle (n) 2 Jean Perring 30 Olly Hughes (8/9) 1 Isabel Pettitt 13 Mike Ilsley 1 Nancy Phang 24 Linda Jackson 4 Yuen Phang 24 Jimmy James (19/10) 2 Don Phillips 25 James Jones 3 Wendy Piercy 27/5/10 3 Jenny Jones (19/10) 1 Ray Pollard 9 Kauros Karbaschi 2 Graham Price 1 Bill Lacey 6 Helena Pursey 7 Dillis Lacey 6 Hannah Pursey (13/10) 1 Martin Lavery 6 Linda Ravenstage (7/7) 1 Sheila Lennon 24 Liz Roberts(28/10) 1 Sue Loose 17 Jimmy Rogers 25 John Lovesey 12 Jean Rookes 14 Vicky Lowe (19/10) 1 Pete Rookes 14 Lorna Loy 15 Anne Rootham 11 Trina Lucas (5/8) 1 Gary Rootham 8 Patrick McElroy 31 Chris Rose (19/8) 3 T McGivan (29/8) 2 John Russell 15 Jan McManus 19 Martin Russel 1 Carol McNeary 24 Clare Sandervick (8/8) 1 Roy McShane 1 Carol Scott 2 Maggie 4 Diane Shearer (n 17/6) 1 R.B. Matthews 21 A Shinstall 1 Barbara Mayo (19/10) 1 Anita Sims 23 Chris Merryman 16 Morgan Smith 1 Marie Milanec 30/5 1 Jackie Spearpoint 5 Roy Millard 46 Sarah Spencer Smith 11 Viv Millard 44 Stella Stait 9 Carol Miller 19 Diane Stead 28 Steph Miller (guest) 7 Janet Steele 28 David Mims 1 Carol Stefaniak 2 Larry Moody 75 Jan Stefaniak 2 Colin Moore (Worcs 10/8) 1 Sue Stevens (guest) 1 Stan Moore 19 Sue Stokes 25 Dave Morris 27 Les Stokes 23 Pam Morris 23 Tim Stubbs 1 Edith Morrison 32 Bob Sutton 16 Rosemary Mountford 12 Diane Sutton 15 Jennie Mumford 1 Mike Sutton 15 Tricia Murray 20 Rob Swainston 22 Elaine Neasom 22 Josie Swaithe 5 Robert Neasom 9 David Sykes (guest) 1 Gareth Neild (6/10) 3 Dorothy Taylor (n 17/6) 1 Sandra Nicholson 10 Simone Thomson (4/7) 1 Stephen Nicholson 13 Eleanor Thorne 31 Denise O’Sullivan (guest) 2 Hazel Tickle 6 Moira O’Sullivan 19 Ray Tier 9 A Owen 2 John Tobitt 12 G Owen 2 P Tobitt 7 Sheila Palin 10 John Tones (2/9) 1 Mary Parsons 11 Sandra Tonks 20 Andy Tonks 16 Denis Webb 57 Trevor 1 Sue Welland (guest) 1 Brian Turner 9 Phyllis Westwood 1 Ann Upton 5 Helen White (new 11/6) 1 Jon Venvil 22 Kate Wilcox 5 Jean Venvil (guest) 2 Primrose Williams 49 Liz Walkling 48 Judy Witton 45 Joanne Walsh 3 Stan Witton 30 Sheila Waters (19/10) 1 Margaret Wood 10 Dorothy Watson (aug) 1 Daviv Woolgrove (25/8) 2 Glenn Watson (Aug) 1 Chris Yeap 18 Appendix 2 South Birmingham Ramblers Treasurer’s report for the AGM Thursday 18th November 2010 Although this has been a difficult year for the Ramblers nationally as it has lost income in the recession, the South Birmingham group has finished the year in a healthy state financially. Main (or Charity) account The main account must be used to support the Ramblers’ core charitable objectives of promoting walking, preserving footpaths, protection of the countryside, access and freedom to roam. In our group most of our costs are associated with the production of our quarterly walks programmes. We receive a grant from the Ramblers to enable us to do this. Last year, we were asked to make economies and reduce our reserves in order to reduce our need for funding from central office. Accordingly, we asked for ₤400.00, the same amount of funding as in the previous year. We have, therefore, used up some of our reserves to pay for first aid kits to carry on walks and to support the production of the programme. We started the financial year with ₤268.33, received ₤400 from Area and .25p bank interest and ended the year with ₤70.00 to carry forward. We spent ₤442.80 on producing the programmes, ₤62.82 on first aid kits and ₤92.96 on admin, the AGM and committee meetings. We have also cut down our production costs by doing more of the photocopying and collating ourselves and finding cheaper stationery supplies. Although postage costs have increased, we are trying to reduce these by giving out programmes by hand and using e-mail for a lot of communications. Clearly, we could make more savings in this area as more ramblers have access to the internet but we are committed to continuing to use the postal service for those who would prefer this. However, as our membership is growing, and the cost of room hire and postage is also increasing, we have asked for ₤600.00 for the coming year and are waiting to hear if it has been agreed. . Self-funded (or Social) account All social activities should not make a loss but should fund themselves as the name suggests. We have organised several very successful activities this year which have usually covered their costs and, in several cases, have made a small profit. Some of this surplus has been used to subsidise other social activities which benefit members e.g. the garden party and refreshments for the 75th Anniversary Walk. However, we need to be mindful that we have been asked not to hold too much money in reserves so we need to continue using some of the surplus to fund other social activities or we could transfer some of our social account funds into our main account. If we are deemed to hold too much in our reserves, we risk having our funding from central Ramblers reduced in the future. We brought forward ₤156.10 and made a profit of ₤63.38 on the various social activities thus ending the year with ₤219.48 to carry forward. I would like to thank John Russell for examining the accounts. Moira O’Sullivan Treasurer 30/09/2010 South Birmingham Ramblers Self-funded or Social Account Breakdown of social activities 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2010 Income Expenditure Profit Day Walks Cotswold Trip 490.00 460.00 30.00 total 490.00 460.00 30.00 Holidays YHA weekend 628.25 628.25 00.00 YHA membership 25.50 -25.50 Whitby weekend 8558.00 8558.00 00.00 total 9186.25 9211.75 -25.50 Socials Xmas meal 738.00 787.15 -49.15 New Year lunch 774.00 774.00 00.00 Retirement gifts 24.98 -24.98 Quiz 115.55 60.00 55.55 Skittles 123.00 25.00 98.00 Anniversary walk 31.41 -31.41 Garden Party 20.13 -20.13 Barn Dance 31.00 31.00 total 1781.55 1722.67 58.88 Total in Social a/c 11457.80 11394.42 63.38 We carried over ₤156.10 from last year so, as at 30/09/2010, we have ₤219.48 in the self- funded (social) account. Appendix 3 Appendix 4 South Birmingham Ramblers AGM 18 November 2010 Footpaths Secretary’s Report 1) The Footpath’s Secretary’s Role The Footpath Secretary has a duty to ensure that footpaths are maintained to an adequate standard by the responsible Local Authority, and to try to ensure that footpaths are protected from inappropriate development. 2) Dealing with Footpath Problems All members should report any problems that they come across on footpaths to the Footpaths Secretary. These problems might be anything which prevents a footpath being used safely; it could be that the footpath is blocked, that a stile is damaged and unsafe, or the footpath is not properly waymarked or its route is indistinct. Reports to the Footpaths Secretary should contain descriptions of the location and the nature of the problem, together with the grid reference of the problem. It is helpful if the County involved is mentioned. Councils often ask for the Path Number, but as this would normally require a visit to Council Offices to inspect the Definitive Map, it is usually not possible to obtain this. Lack of the Path Number has never prevented a trouble report being accepted by the Local Authority, however. The date on which the problem was observed should also be given. 3) Footpath Problems Dealt with Since last years AGM, 68 footpath problems have been reported to the relevant Councils; Council Number of Problems Birmingham City Council 1 Herefordshire 2 Lake District 1 Oxfordshire 1 Shropshire 3 Staffordshire 3 Warwicks 5 Worcestershire 52 Total 68 Nature of Problem Number of Problems Damage to bridge 2 Damage to stile or kissing gate 25 Fly tipping, littering, etc 5 Health & Safety Hazard* 3 Pathway obstructed 22 Waymarking/signposting 9 Misc 2 Total 68 (*Health and Safety problems often refer to barbed wire being used in a fashion likely to cause injury to walkers.) Time does not permit follow-up to check that all these defects are dealt with, but casual observation, when chance subsequently takes a walk past a location after a reasonable interval, indicates that most (and probably hence, all) are resolved. 4) Planning Applications Proposed development can often impact adversely on public footpaths, and it is important that we comment where necessary to protect public rights of way. We receive copies of relevant Planning Applications from Birmingham City Council, but we also need to be alive to anything we see of this nature-for example Planning Advertisement notices adjacent to paths we use- on walks. In my report to last years AGM one of such case, a Planning Application lodged for Security Gates at The Old House, Cookhill, was observed during a walk. In this case we lodged an objection with Wychavon District Council. Our objection was based on the fact that the proposed gates would block the public footpath. Planning permission was granted, but the Council assured us that the footpath should not be obstructed. Subsequently a Member ( Wayne Hawkes) checked on the completed development during a recce in the area and reported that the work carried out does not obstruct the footpath. In the past year, we have dealt with two further Planning Applications; 1) The Group input objections to an Application to permit a Motocross track and park at Compton Worwood Farm, Kinver ( Staffs County Council ref 19/00434/cou ). This case had been picked up by members on a walk in the area; we have subsequently been advised that Planning consent had been refused. 2) The Group also raised objection to Birmingham City Council Applications 2010/04691/PA and 2010/03141/PA, as these Applications, for the development of the Egghill Estate, would obliterate an unrecorded public path which we are seeking to have added Birmingham’s Definitive Map. This case has still not been determined. 5) The future I am stepping down this year as Footpaths Secretary, and I would like to thank all members for the support that they have given me over the past three years. An issue for the future concerns the cutbacks in Council Funding in the next few years. It is likely that Councils’ Footpaths Maintenance resources will be severely reduced, and that the usually excellent service that we have received from this source will not be sustainable. City of Birmingham Ramblers and, I believe, some other Groups do provide volunteer working parties to assist Council staff in repairing or improving footpath facilities. City work with Warwickshire County Council; we have probably used kissing gates that they have installed or stiles that they have repaired, etc. The work is carried out on the basis that the Council supplies the materials and initial training, and also some subsequent supervision. South Birmingham may wish to consider mounting a similar effort, perhaps in liaison with Worcestershire County Council, which is the Local Authority area which we most often walk in. (John Chapman) (Footpaths Secretary) 14 November 2010 Appendix 5 South B’ham Ramblers Publicity Officer’s Report AGM November 2010 Last month I went with Steve and Liz to the Ramblers Media and Publicity workshop at St Martins in the Bull Ring. We were there from 10 o’clock and finished at 4 in the afternoon with a very useful hours lunch chatting to other groups. We were split into two groups and had to pick a theme walk for the day and work out how we would promote this walk in the media, including radio and TV. Our team theme was “Speed Date” walking, suggested by Steve. We had to anticipate awkward questions such as “would the naked rambler be allowed to take part?” or even “nookie” in the bushes. It was an interesting day. I’ve put our posters in six local libraries and at Lickey and Waseley Hills Country Parks and the Ramblers leaflets in the libraries. We also had our name board and leaflets at the Barn Dance. The main job is putting together the quarterly programme and with all the extra activities this is quite a task. I’ve enjoyed being on the committee and helping to make things work, but now think its time to be a back marker! Roy Millard Appendix 6 South Birmingham A G M -Area Representative’s Report - 18th November 2010 The reason I am on the committee is to represent this group at the quarterly meetings of the Warwickshire Area of the Ramblers’ Association. My job is to report back to the committee on any important issues that are discussed. Festival of Winter Walks this year is going to be sponsored by Baxters and our club walks planned between 26th December and 3rd January on our present programme are going to be included in the Festival. These walks are advertised as open to the general public and are organised to encourage new people to join the Ramblers Association. The ongoing campaign for the RA at the moment is Coastal Access – so, if you find any problems down by the sea, the Ramblers would be pleased to hear from you. The association is very worried that government cuts will mean county councils getting rid of specialist staff, and are campaigning to ensure rights of way and access remain on the agenda. To cut their costs, Birmingham Council have already asked Birmingham City Rambling Group for help to finish their Definitive Map. The RA would be grateful if as many members as possible would lobby their local councillors, or MPs, asking them not to cut back on footpath support. It would be a shame for all the improvements we have witnessed over the last few years to go to waste. 75th Anniversary Picnic. 234 walkers attended. We were the 3rd largest group there. It was thought by the meeting that a good opportunity for Ramblers’ publicity was missed, and if a future event was organised, we should approach the press for some sort of coverage. A new 40’s 50’s Group has been set up under the umbrella of the West Midlands 30’s to 40’s group because members are moving on in years. This has been discussed quite energetically at the meetings because there was a worry that members would be poached from existing groups and that Ramblers would not really gain any new members as a result, but there was overwhelming agreement to giving the idea a go. High Speed Rail: Only consultations made so far have been with landowners. Route is being amended. Head office will be dealing with this as it is country-wide. We may be involved later when we know what footpaths will be affected. The RA has been losing money for the last couple of years, but things are improving. Last year there were redundancies at head office and in Wales and Scotland. They are mostly blaming the recession and increasing costs for having to dig deeper into their reserves. The new Customer Management Computer System is working properly now and the aim of the RA this year is to finish with a bigger membership next October that this one. Subs are to increase from 1st October by £1.50yr. But there is a £10 reduction for 1st year of membership. Subs have unfortunately had to go up by £1.50 from October, but there is a £10 reduction for first year memberships. Area AGM Coventry Group is organising next year’s Area AGM in Coventry Central Hall, 10am for 10.30 start. We had a good turn out last year, which pleased me because I do keep boasting that we are an ever-expanding group. The meetings are quite interesting and you do get an insight into the workings of the Ramblers’ Association. Adrian Morris, Head of Walking Environment for the Ramblers, will be giving a short talk. Please try to come. A free buffet lunch is included and short local walks are organised for the afternoon. You all know the benefits of walking or you wouldn’t be doing it week after week. The RA works hard for us all, campaigning for paths, mending stiles, way marking, and fighting our cause at public enquiries. They make a huge amount of difference to our enjoyment of walking, but do not always get the credit. As I have said before, anyone can go walking without being a member of the Ramblers’ Association, but everyone needs to know that the paths are there for them because of the Ramblers’ Association. Don’t forget that these meetings are open to all members, so if you want to come along at any time, please let me know. Viv Millard – Area Repretative
"Minutes of AGM 2010"