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MALVERN HILLS DISTRICT FOOTPATH SOCIETY
Affiliated to Ramblers Association, the Open Spaces Society
and the Campaign to protect Rural England

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL COMMITTEE MEETING
Held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 4th July 2017
At Lansdown Church Hall, Malvern WR14 2AW

 

Present:

Jeffrey Thorogood (JT/C)                      Chairman
Marguerite Barnwell (MJB)                   Secretary
Robin Waterhouse (RW)                       Treasurer
Robert Ashmore (RA)                            Membership
John Barr (JB/W)                                    Short Saturday Walks
Betsy Brua (BB/W)                                 Midweek Walks
Allan Barnwell (APB/W)                        Extra Easy Walks
Mike Everitt (ME)                                    Rights of Way Section
Sybil Heeks (SH)                                    Social Section
Ann Woods (AW)                                    Media Editor
Judith O’Leary (JO’L)                             Elected Member & Charity
Angela Partridge (AP)                           Elected Member

Welcome & Apologies - The Chairman opened the meeting at 7.30 and accepted apologies from Jim Bullett, Jane Dutton, David Swift, John Tether

Matters Arising 3rd May meeting Point 7. The Chairman has not yet discussed the changes he would like to be made to the website with the Website Editor.

                                                                                                               Action 13/17 JTApproval of 3rd May Minutes - The Minutes were approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman.

Treasurers Report

a. The subject of Society holidays – liability in the event of contractor failure, will be discussed at the next meeting.

          b. Living within our means – The Treasurer informed the meeting that as of today’s date the club had a balance of £10,260 in the bank.

          The Treasurer had prepared a document detailing the underlying position of the club over the past 3 years and a copy was circulated to those present.  The Chairman was concerned that the figures for 2016/17 showed a deficit.  However, as 2/3 of the membership now received their newsletter and walk details by e-mail, and the remaining newsletters were being printed at a cheaper rate, the society’s costs have gone down considerably.

          Allan asked why the figure for walks programme had risen considerably over the past 3 years.  The Treasurer explained that several coach trips had had to be subsidised and a walk using a paid leader did not raise enough to cover costs.

          The Chairman felt that as costs have gone down, there was no need to increase the cost of subscriptions at the present time.  The Committee all gave their agreement to this decision.

          Robin suggested that members be allowed to pay their subs by bank transfer from next year. The Chairman asked Robert and Robin to look into this and to present their findings to the next meeting.  It was agreed that clear instructions would have to be given to members.  New members would still have to pay by cheque for the first year as their cheque needed to be accompanied by a form for Robert’s records.
Action 14/17 RW/RA                                                                  

ROW
- Mike gave a report on behalf of the Rights of Way Section (Appendix A).

Mike informed the committee that Rob Lawrence had produced a guide to encourage people to report obstructions and this will be published in the next newsletter.

The Chairman thanked Mike for doing a good job of representing the Society with local authorities and other agencies.

Social Committee - Sybil gave a report on behalf of the Social Committee (Appendix B).

Sybil informed the meeting that she would be retiring from the role of Chair of the Social Committee at the next Annual General Meeting.

Betsy asked what the position was with regard to society holidays.  Eugene and Mike had provided Jeff with a list of past holiday locations and hotels.  Jeff had telephoned all of the hotels and found their price prohibitive.  The Cairn Hotel in Harrogate has now been booked by Jeff for September 2018.

Sybil raised the subject of Steph Wren’s accident.  Robin reported that an Incident Report Form and 2 Witness Statements had been posted off to the insurance brokers today.

After speaking to Steph Robin reported that she had felt pressurised into leading a walk and felt that if she hadn’t been leading she would not have walked because she felt it was too hot for this activity.

Robin wanted to reinforce to the committee that members should not feel under pressure to lead a walk and it was up to the discretion of the leader to decide whether the walk went ahead or not if they felt the conditions were not ideal.


Walks Programmes

Long Saturday – These walks are in hand
Short Saturday – A new walk leader is required for 16th September as Steph can no longer lead this walk.  John Barr has this in hand.
Midweek – Betsy is still finding leaders for the next batch of walks that need submitting to the Walks Programme Editor.
Extra Easy Walks – All walk dates covered until April 2018
Midweek Leisure Walks – No informati

Media & Publicity – Marguerite has submitted an article about the club to the Worcester Section of the All About magazine.  Ann is still putting posters in the Tourist Information Centre and keeping an eye out for opportunities to publicise the club.

Newsletter & Walks Programme – The deadline for the next newsletter is 4th September 2017.

Membership – Robert reported that in July 2016 there were 156 members compared to 170 members in July 2017, including 5 new members.  New members will be welcomed in the next Newsletter.

Secretary & Correspondence – Nothing to report

Any Other Business – The Secretary asked that a calendar for the year be prepared showing the entire walk dates to give an overview in order to identify any gaps that need filling and to accommodate members who come forward with an idea for an event.  Marguerite agreed to prepare this calendar.                  Action 15/17 MJB

 

The Secretary has created a Committee refreshment pack containing, teabags, coffee and biscuits that can be easily passed to another Committee member if she is unable to attend a meeting.

Judith reported that she had met people who had walked with the Society but had not returned and had learned this was because they felt the walks started too early.  Angela had had requests for the walks to start earlier.  Mike objected to an earlier start as it meant the long walks, which are traditionally a whole day out, would arrive home too early.  It was agreed that the walk start times should be left as they are.

Date of meetings for the rest of the year are:

Wednesday 6th September 7.30pm
Wednesday 8th November 7.30pm

          The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.35pm

 

APPENDIX A
ROW REPORT - 4th July 2017

The ROW Section last met on Monday 26 June 2017. Our next meeting is on Monday 23 October 2017.


At the last meeting we examined 24 Planning Applications on which I had made many comments and made 3 objections. We also discussed 11 legal orders.
The correspondence on PROW policy changes to Defra Circular 1/09 needed to accommodate planning developments has continued.  Defra now seems more accommodating to our proposal but the decision is being delayed by other non-related issues and is unlikely to be made for a couple of years.

Notable planning issues include a housing estate at Welland where our suggested alternative route is now being adopted. Moreover the developer has agreed to a useful and short temporary diversion during construction period until the legal order is made. Network Rail are suggesting that the PROW over the railway crossing associated with the very large Newland development in Malvern should be extinguished. There is a 40 year history associated with this PROW and the crossing and I have asked WCC to resurrect the issue. I have had a site meeting with the developer of Clay Green Farm, Alfrick and he has agreed to revise his site layout in respect of the footpaths so that it now acceptable to us.

Correspondence about Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which is supposed to limit the use of vehicles on PROW, has continued but the conclusion is that it is unenforceable except in very special circumstances.

No more has been heard about our PROW comments on the Worcestershire Local Transport Plan 4 consultation.

To the end of May the Society has reported 291 obstructions to the relevant Local Authorities.  It seems relevant that I have recently re-walked three of the long Boundary walks and between them they generated some 63 obstructions and one Walk needs a minor re-write. Some of the problems are long standing and have been raised yet again with the Local Authority.  It is perhaps noteworthy that 12 of the 30 Boundary Walks have been published on the Ramblers Routes website and a further two boundary walks are in preparation. Moreover 11 of our 60 Adopted Walks have also been published. These published routes not only encourage other users to walk our footpaths but it also provides publicity for the Society because we are credited on each walk published with providing the route detail.

We continue to maintain links with Herefordshire and Worcestershire PROW Departments and Worcestershire Area Ramblers Association.


APPENDIX B
REPORT FROM THE SOCIAL SECTION - Wednesday 5th July 2017

The Social Section last met at Sybil Heeks’ home on 2nd June. There were seven members present.

Welfare Get well cards have been sent to Muriel Partridge who is undergoing chemotherapy and to Margaret English who broke her leg whilst staying in Malvern. A card has also been sent to Stephanie Wren who broke her arm when leading a walk on 17th June on Marcle Ridge.

Holidays - The Grange over Sands holiday in May went very well with good walks and visits in different areas of the Lake District. On the first day, on arrival at Grange, there was time to explore the town. A visit to a garden was planned for the return journey but it was cut short due to very wet weather. Evening entertainment included a talk on the architecture of the Lake District, a quiz by Dot and a Whist Drive. Non walkers were able to visit Levens Hall and take a boat trip on Windermere. A very well planned thanks to Hilary and Jeff.

The Autumn Holiday in Llandrindod has 30 reservations and walks are now being planned. Plans for holidays in 2018 are being researched.

The Breakfast walk on 15th June went well with fine weather and a generous cooked breakfast. All who came liked the venue and the area around Mathon and West Malvern for lovely walking but ideas for a different venue are being considered for next year.

Marguerite and Allan organised a trip round Madresfield Court on 21st June. With Mike and Lyn providing tea and cakes before the visit, this proved an interesting and sociable day.

The Club Day Out to Stratford upon Avon was very well organised by Liz Noon with two different walks and a theatre visit for non walkers. The many tea shops in Stratford provided ample choices for well earned refreshments after a warm day’s walk.

The next Social event for the Society will be the Treasure Hunt and Town Trail round Ledbury with an alternative walk. Tea and cakes are being provided by the Mathon W.I. ladies in the Burgage Hall afterwards.

On 20th October is a Skittles Evening at the Bluebell at Ryall. Rita Lee is organising this event which will include sandwiches and chips.

The Christmas walk and lunch at the Bell at Broadheath and the Annual Dinner (at lunchtime) on 19th January at the Worcester Golf Club will have booking forms in the next Newsletter.

Welfare Cards are now being sent out by myself, so if you know of anyone in the society who you know is ill or had an accident, could you let me know.

Next meeting – 4th August – Jean Evans home.

Sybil Heeks

 

 

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