Minutes of the AGM held 29 Nov 2022
PETERBOROUGH RAMBLERS 51st AGM
THURSDAY 24TH NOVEMBER 2022 AT 11.30AM PEAKIRK VILLAGE HALL, PE6 7NG
Lindsey Abbott, Tony Attwood, Anne Blood, Simon Bradford, Katy Brown, Ann & Barry Creamer, Joe & June Dobson, Marja & Stan Dolby, Ann Gutteridge, Jane & Jim Hogg, Brigid Hughes, Moira Jamieson, Hilary Lewis, Jackie Markley, Julie Miller, Josie Murray, Anne Osbourne, Dawn Sadler, Rosemarie Wales, Sandra Warner, Jane Wigginton, Stewart Wylie. (26)
- Welcome and Apologies
Barry welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies were received from Geoff & Lisa Church, Bob & Karen Heavens, Jean Mead.
- Minutes of 50th AGM, 2021 and Matters Arising
The minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Proposed by Anne Osbourne, seconded by June Dobson.
- Chairman’s report – Barry Creamer.
Barry highlighted the following from his report which had previously been sent out to all members by email.
- Welcome Katy Brown and Simon Bradford to the committee.
- Measures in place for walkers’ safety such as the register and Covid restrictions should always be followed.
- Members should use the group website set up by Tony Attwood.
- Ramblers GB has a new CEO Ross Maloney.
- Risk assessments should be submitted to June Dobson and she holds them for 3 years. This is a requirement of Ramblers’ insurers.
- Our next year’s focus will be on walk leaders – getting new leaders and new walks. There are Ramblers training programmes on Teams or Zoom which he thoroughly recommends.
- Barry thanked the caterers and AGM organisers, June Dobson and Jean Mead. He also thanked the committee and other organisers for their contribution to the team effort.
Comments from members:
- June: Risk assessments are not always handed to her. Discussion on why not indicated that some walk leaders may get confused as they no longer have to hand in registers. It was established that the risk assessments must go to June, not just be kept by the leader. Leaders are good at warning of risks in advance on Whatsapp and in the pre-walk briefing. It was suggested that walk leaders submit risk assessments before the walk as part of their overall preparation as it might be easier to remember to do it then. Leaders can also give them to the walk co-coordinators or to any committee member at the end of the walk. June clarified that she keeps the forms digitally so is very happy with a phone scanned form which can go straight in her risks assessment folder.
- Membership Secretary’s report – Dawn Sadler
Dawn said that membership is buoyant. She sends out an email to all new members ttelling them about the group website, email register and Whatsapp group. There have been some issues accessing the Ramblers UK membership lists. 25 to 30% of members walk regularly.
Comments from members:
- Ann Creamer asked if new members are told about the Whatsapp group. Dawn said they are, and Jane Hogg keeps the group email list as up to date as possible.
- Brigid Hughes commented that as a new member she had used the website and found it helpful.
- Footpath Secretary’s report – Simon Bradford
Simon made the following points:
- Thanks to Stewart Wylie for his help in transferring to the new role.
- Simon gets all planning permission applications. The most relevant one to ramblers is the Mallard Solar Farm. He feels this venture may by squashed, but he is watching the situation.
- He reports footpath obstructions to Peterborough City Council but the response is slow. They are either swamped or under-resourced.
- Don’t Lose your Way was due to finish by 2026 but the deadline has now gone. The work needed to record paths is immense. Simon is one of a big army of people training to find and prove that paths should be on the local authority-maintained map. He stressed that the more varied the footpaths we use the more likely they are to be retained.
Comments from members:
- Barry reported that the latest from the Mallard Farm Residents Committee is that they are trying to raise £15K to appoint a barrister.
- Barry also said that even unofficial dogwalkers paths can be registered if they have been In use for more than 20 years.
- Publicity Officer’s report – Tony Attwood
Tony made the following points:
- The theory behind the group website is that members communicate and have a record of walks. He asked for photos and walk descriptions to put on the website.
- A year ago he was asking members to look for the group website, peterboroughramblers.co.uk, on their search engine to get it near the top. This has been a great success and we are now usually in the top three. His new project is to get the site to appear if someone just types in the word ramblers. He recommends trying this no more than once a day.
- Treasurer’s report – Katy Brown
Katy made the following points:
- Thanks to June for her help in the take-over as treasurer.
- We have healthy reserves, with £813.61 in the bank and £29 cash, so have reduced the amount requested per quarter in our budget from Ramblers GB.
- Andrew Creamer has audited the accounts and will do so again next year.
- Walk leaders can now claim mileage of 45p per mile to recce walks, up from 25p a mile. Detailed instructions as to how to claim were sent out by email. Members were advised to contact Katy if they need these repeating.
Comments from members:
- Barry commented that Ramblers UK would have penalised the group if we hadn’t accepted a lower allocation this year. The charity’s income is 10% down.
- Barry also confirmed that not many people have hitherto claimed mileage; many people organise walks near their home.
Action: Jane Hogg to resend the email to walk leaders telling them how to claim mileage for recces.
- Election of Officers
Chair: Barry Creamer
Secretary: Jane Hogg
Treasurer: Katy Brown
Membership Secretary: Dawn Sadler
Footpath Secretary: Simon Bradford
Publicity Officer: Tony Attwood
Barry confirmed that all committee members are willing to stand again. Hilary proposed that their election should be confirmed, seconder June.
Hilary expressed her thanks to the committee for their wonderful work.
The committee was therefore duly re-elected en masse.
- Information items:
- Walking ahead of leader
- Barry confirmed that this is unacceptable and suggested that walk leaders might be in their rights to stop the group but let the walkers who were bad mannered enough to get ahead just go on. There was general agreement that walkers should stay behind the leader.
- Risk assessment forms
This item had already come up earlier in the meeting.
- Walk reports for website
This item had also already come up earlier in the meeting. Josie Murray thanked Tony for the website. Now that she can no longer walk she loves reading all the stories on the group website.
Jane Wigginton commented that there are other members who can no longer walk and it’s good that they still belong to Ramblers.
- Open Forum:
- Attracting new walk leaders and new walks
- Barry said that anything we can do to attract new walk leaders and get new walks will be the focus of the next 12 months, using the Ramblers UK support, our mentoring e.g. accompanying a new leader on a recce. He set a target of 20% new walks. Maybe people have favourite walks which they could offer. If so, they should talk to Stan or Jean.
- Stan confirmed that and added that people should all be ready to suggest and lead walks. Usually, new leaders gain confidence after just one walk.
- Hilary commented that it is mostly common sense and map reading ability is useful.
- Stewart offered to organise another map reading course like the one he did in 2019, if needed.
- Sandra queried whether map reading skills are really essential and might put some prospective new walk leaders off when they could follow a booklet description.
- Stan said that booklets can have the wrong scale, so it is vital to have an OS map.
- Hilary stressed that this is where a mentor can be helpful.
- Stewart said that his course was not in-depth, concentrating rather on surface level understanding of the map.
- Hilary confirmed that the vital need was to understand footpath markings on the map.
- Stan added that leaders must also be aware of the need for crowd control.
- Jane Hogg commented that all walk leaders must be registered with Ramblers UK for insurance to be activated. She does the registration at the moment.
- Hilary commented that there has been a proposal that all walk leaders must register themselves with Ramblers UK for insurance purposes so that needs watching, though is not yet in force.
- Barry reminded all walk leaders that if the leader is changed the walks coordinator must be informed.
- Booking system – continue or drop?
- There was general agreement that leaders like the booking system.
- Stan said that it is good to know how many people are coming but he would not turn away anyone who turned up unannounced.
- Sandra said didn’t like the booking system at first and other groups don’t do it. But she now sees that it has its merits.
- Moira endorsed this, saying that if no one has booked in by the day before the walk can be cancelled or a message put on the Whatsapp group.
- Barry recommended that leaders should go to the starting point even if they have cancelled the walk.
- Hilary emphasised that she can officially cancel on the Ramblers website with an hour or two’s notice.
- Car sharing
- There was general agreement that car sharing as a personal arrangement, organising your own shares was a good idea, but the group cannot offer car sharing officially.
- Dawn and Jane Hogg both commented that when contacted by prospective walkers who asked for a lift they have explained that the group does not offer this and have signposted them to groups that, e.g. always start from the same point which is easy to reach.
- Health walks?
- Katy referred to a recent article in the Ramblers magazine about well-being walks. Through this she found information about health walks from Ferry Meadows Visitors Centre on Mondays at 10am. She proposes joining one when she can Stan said that this had been tried and had resulted in people without the required level of fitness turning up.
- Dawn commented that walkers needed to be prepared to walk 4 to 5 miles over a two-hour period.
- Hilary suggested signposting walkers to U3A.
- Sandra advised that Ferry Meadows organise a variety of walks which are well-advertised. Many local communities also offer shorter health walks.
- Hilary commented that we might be able to recruit walkers as health walkers gain more fitness.
Action: Jane Hogg to put on agenda for next committee meeting
Barry asked us to clear the room at the end of lunch and to assemble for a photo call before the afternoon walk.
The meeting ended at 12.35.