Arun-Adur Ramblers

Friendly Walks in West Sussex

AGM Minutes Sunday 18 November 2018




Chairman Martin McKay welcomed 33 members and Diane Smith from Sussex Area office.

Apologies for Absence:  Lesley Ann Johnston, Claire Phillips, Paul Sparrow, Rosemary Prior.

The Chairman in his introduction asked members to consider joining the committee as we need a Chairman, Social Secretary and Walks Organiser.

1. Minutes of 2017 AGM – Copies were available for members to read. Mike Charman pointed out that under AOB he is referred to as having been Chairman.   He has never been Chairman of Arun Adur, just Area Chairman. With this amendment the Minutes were adopted as a correct record. Proposed: Juliet Lockwood Seconded by Martin McKay and approved by the meeting.  There were no matters arising.

  1. Chairman’s Annual Review. The Chairman said

When I locked the doors to the hall following last year’s AGM, I was in an optimistic frame of mind.  Despite the Group very nearly having to fold for lack of a Treasurer, a replacement had come forward and with the appointment of other posts the Committee was complete.

My optimism was short lived as within a relatively short period we lost the services of our Membership Secretary and Walks Organiser. I should like to express my sincere thanks to Sue Buchanan and Colin Luxford who held those positions on the Committee and for all the hard work undertaken by them in these roles.

Fortunately the cavalry came over the hill in the form of Janice Goodhind and Erica Biggs to fill those posts, albeit on a temporary basis until today's AGM.   Huge thanks to both.

However we yet again find ourselves in difficulty as no less than five of our Committee are, for a variety of reasons standing down as of today.  Despite notice of vacancies being well advertised for some months now, we have only received two nominations to fill the posts of Secretary and Membership Secretary.  This means that the Committee will be up to 3.  Our constitution provides that in order to form a quorum we must have a total of 5 members.

As a result of Erica's hard work our Summer Walls programme came out on time with a total of 51 walks listed.  These were taken in some exceptional weather during what would become one of our hottest summers on record

Thanks are due once again to all our walk leaders for proposing and leading our walks.  We always need new people to lead our walks, so if you would like to give it a try, don’t be shy in coming forward,  you will be very welcome and you will have support from all other leaders to help you.

On St Valentine's Day this year I received the news that our new website was up and running. I must here express sincere thanks to Nigel Paris,  our Treasurer and  webmaster,  for all his hard work in putting together what I am sure you will agree is a vast improvement on the old site.  I am advised that since launch there have been in excess of 7000 visits to the site.

On a lovely sunny Sunday in May our friends from LBR joined us in a seaside walk from Littlehampton to Climping and back alongside the Dunes.   It was perhaps fortunate that their numbers were slightly down on the year before as only 8 helpers from the group came along to assist. None the less the walk was well received and I did receive an appreciative email from Val Clarke at LBR.  My sincere thanks to those of our group who came out to help.  I have already received an enquiry from Val about arranging a walk for her group next May.

On the social front we once again enjoyed our annual Christmas lunch at the Arun View which was very well attended.

On the 11 August there was an organised day trip to Chartwell.  A full coach enjoyed a lovely day’s visit to Churchill’s former home.

Each of you should have received my letter signed off in August and dispatched with the Newsletter and Winter Walks Programme, advising you that this would be the last mailing of these documents which in future would be found online only.  Out of a membership which at 31st October stood at 342 I have received only three requests asking for a printed programme to be posted.

In that letter there was a reminder of the importance of members registering their email address with Ramblers

My letter also touched on the cost involved in printing etc.  I would refer you today to the budget sheets that you have been provided with setting out the Groups expenditure. Very helpfully Nigel has produced a Group Expenses chart which shows that the cost per walk amounts to some £14.46.  I am sure that you will be as amazed as I was at this figure.

Over 5 days in early September the Group enjoyed its annual walking holiday in North Essex which for personal reasons I was unable to attend. From the feedback that I subsequently received I understand that this was a great success and enjoyed by all.

Here I should like to express on behalf of the whole group our sincere thanks to Chris Cummins for organising not only the Christmas meal, trips and holiday that I have mentioned, but all the group’s events over the last number of years.  As you know Chris has decided to stand down from the social secretary role as of today.

Today we not only lose Christine but also Caroline who is also standing down as the Group Secretary, a role which she has held for the last 5 years.

The Winter walks programme is now in place and being enjoyed.   However if the Group folds today and whilst those walks may still be taken they must do so independently of Ramblers as there will be no insurance cover in place for any of those walks.  Walks leaders will need to stress this at the start of their listed walk.

3. Treasurer’s Report

A summary of the accounts and financial statement was circulated with the Agenda.  Also circulated was a Pie Chart showing the breakdown of expenses which showed that about half are made up of printing and distribution costs for the walks programme.   The cost per walk (based on 100 walks) was £14.46 in 2017/8.

£70 donations were from members unable to attend events.   

The balance as at 30.9.18 was £344.54 for the Main Account and £204.88 for the Social Fund making the Goup’s total assets £549.42.    There were no questions on the accounts.

 Proposed by Mike Charman and seconded by John Hamlen that the Accounts be accepted. Agreed unanimously by the meeting.  

The Accounts were certified by the Independent Examiner on 2nd October 2018.

4. Election of Committee:

Nominations had been received for the posts of Membership Secretary – Lesley Ann Johnston and Secretary – Neil Clarke. As no nominations had been received for the other vacant roles the officers agreed to remain in post for one more year only – namely

Chairman – Martin McKay

Walks Organiser – Erica Biggs

Social Secretary – Christine Cummins.

All were duly elected as proposed by Len Hooper and seconded by Gary de Beers and unanimously agreed by the meeting.

5. Bank Mandate

Following the resignation of Caroline Elvy as Secretary and the appointment of Erica Biggs as Walks Organiser, it was resolved that the mandate to operate the Group’s Unity Trust Account would be amended to include Erica Biggs and to remove Caroline Elvy, and that the Group’s main account and social fund account would be operated under the terms of the mandate.

6. Any Other Business:

Juliet Lockwood’s walk on Saturday 24th will now start at 10.00am at St Mary’s Church, East Preston – the change will be on the website.

The Chairman presented Caroline Elvy with a rose bush as a thank you for her 5 years as Secretary.

Diane Smith – Footpath Secretary for East Sussex addressed the Members on the role of the footpath secretary.   She also made a plea for people to fill the role for West Sussex, pointing out the importance of the role of local footpath secretaries.

All the current officers on the Area Committee are members of the Rother Group and it currently requires a South Downs Officer, and Access Land Officer and West Sussex Footpath Secretary.

The formal meeting closed at 3pm when members enjoyed tea and social contact.


Sunday, January 20, 2019