MINUTES OF THE STOKE/NEWCASTLE GROUP
COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 24th May 2017
AT THE WHITE STAR PH, STOKE
Present: T. Adair, C. Bigley, J. Bigley (group member), H. & M. Caton, A. & R. Clamp, J. Damarell (group member), J. Hammond, S.J. & S. Merry, D. Poole, B. Wood, L. & D. Wynne.
Apologies: D. Adair, A. Bell, I. Bradley, D. Fowler, K. Twigge.
A minute’s silence was observed in memory of Sheelagh Nicholson.
1. Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Following a discussion regarding who has ultimate responsibility for the accuracy of the minutes (conclusion being the Minutes Secretary) these were accepted as a true record.
Proposed: C. Bigley Seconded: A. Clamp
There was also a discussion as to the possibility of circulating and/or making additional printed copies available to non-committee members attending meetings. T. Adair undertook to provide an additional printed copy of the minutes for the use of any member who arrives unexpectedly at the next meeting.
2. Matters arising
(a) Way marker discs
In a written report A. Bell reported that he is in discussion with Staffordshire County Council representatives regarding the possibility of the Council contributing to the funding thereof. If they do contribute, they will want the Council’s name to appear on the disc. The committee has no objection to this.
(b) Group Map collection
T. Adair currently holds the group’s pre-2012 map collection which includes items donated from G. Shufflebotham. A. Clamp currently holds the group’s maps purchased after 2012 which are used to verify grid references for our walks programme. All of these maps are available for members to borrow for a three week period. T. Adair to discuss with C. Bigley re inclusion of the list of maps, their location and their age on the website. A note of the availability of maps, their age and location will also be included in the next printed programme if practicable.
(c) Secateurs walk
A. Bell is leading this on Saturday, July 1st – as has been included in the printed programme. Details of the location will be added to the website in due course.
3. Distribution of printed programmes
Currently 300 copies of the programmes are printed, but printing and postage costs are becoming prohibitive. Therefore the next program will include an opportunity for members to opt out of receiving a printed version.
4. Christmas/Boxing Day+ Meals
(a) There will be a Christmas lunch on Sunday, December 3rd. S. J. Merry will lead the walk and D. Adair has agreed organise the meal.
(b) L. & D. Wynne will organise a walk and lunch to be held on Thursday, December 28th.
These events have been publicised at http://www.stokeandnewcastleramblers.org.uk/forthcoming-events.html with the intention that further details will be added to the announcements as they become available.
5. Meeting Reports
(a) Area Council Meeting
T. Adair and D. Fowler attended this on March 30th. There were no particular items to report with the development of a definitive map of Stoke-on-Trent footpaths still ongoing. S.J. & S. Merry will attend the next meeting on 13th July.
(b) General Council report
A precis of this report can be found on the GC webpage. (http://www.ramblers.org.uk/about-us/how-we-are-run/about-general-council.aspx).
A matter of relevance is that small grants may be available for outreach activities associated with the spring 2018 Ramblers Walk About festival.
Dates (December 23rd through January 7th) were provided for this year’s Winter Walks festival. These will be made known to Walks secretaries.
(c) S-o-T Greenspace Strategy
T. Adair attended a meeting regarding this. He reported that it was primarily a suggestion/opinion gathering exercise. It was, however, concerning that most of those present represented housing development organisations.
6. Reports from Officers and Representatives
• Outgoings: Programme printing £125, Business cards £28.99, Sealable bags for cards £4.99
• Receipts: Walking Partnership £100, HF advert in programme £30, Contribution from area £400 (final of 2 instalments)
Current balance is £1,173
Additional reports received in writing
• The logo has been modified to have thinner fingers and versions have been generated in different colours and with a transparent background that are suitable for superimposition on photographs or other images. Advice was received from the designer that reducing the fingers further would make the text less conspicuous. Reversing the direction of the fingers was also considered, but thought problematic because the text would then read ‘Ramblers Stoke Newcastle’ rather than ‘Stoke Newcastle Ramblers’.
MEMBERSHIP MAY 2017 320, MARCH 2017 320, MAY 2016 338
NEW SINCE LAST MEETING 5, RE-INSTATED SINCE THE LAST MEETING 2
o Group Footpath Coordinator:
• We have had five successful outings for the working party. Jobs have included complete stiles, finger posts, and clearing fly tipping from a footpath. Photos of our completed work have been sent to Ramblers central office for their records.
• We have received high-visability vests from Ramblers which have been useful when working by the roadside.
• We are currently working around Caverswall and Dilhorne areas.
o Countryside Officer:
• Progress has been made in changing the management of the Country Parks such as Deep Hayes and Consall from SCC to alternative stakeholders. In the case of Consall it is hoped that a combination of RSPB and Staffordshire Wildlife will now take over the day to day running of this important area.
• The Shugborough estate has been taken over by the National Trust as from January 2017.
• In both the above cases all ROW's have been retained but this needs to be monitored closely for the future -- Where there is concern is the last resort option of the SCC in actually selling the land to a private company such as a shooting syndicate with the obvious threat to footpaths.
• Waste tipping has become a problem within the City and the Moorland areas which causes great distress to both the landowner and ramblers. We are asked to report such instances to the local authority giving a post code or grid reference as we conduct our programme of walks.
• There have been no further developments concerning the Moneystone Leisure Park.
o Programme Coordinator:
(i) Distribution of the summer programme: 260 labels received from Central Office; 217 programmes posted @ 56p = £121.52; 43 hand-delivered. Cost for the printing of 300 programmes = £195.
(ii) Grid reference discrepancies were found when inputting the walks details into the Ramblers Walksfinder database.
(iii) In readiness for the winter programme, templates for the programme secretaries will be available in June.
o Half Day Walks Secretary:
• Sunday half day walks continue to be well-supported with some new members making regular appearances.
• H. Caton will replace T. Grattage as leader of the half day walk on 18/6/27 and the website has been updated accordingly. Other details of this walk are unchanged.
• The following officers had nothing to report
Full day walk secretary
Midweek walk secretary
• A proposal from C. Bigley that all written reports be accepted as read was passed.
7. Any Other Business
(a) J. Bigley has had 1,000 business cards printed, samples of which were distributed. These will be distributed to walk leaders via the walk secretaries.
(b) A.Clamp mentioned that both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on Sundays. Walk secretaries to decide whether or not walks will be planned on those days.
(c) C. Bigley requested that page numbers be included on the minutes. This has been done by the Minutes Secretary.
(d) A. Bell requested via J. Bigley that the vertical portion of the finger post on the programme cover be extended to be full length. J. Bigley recommended that it be done such that the post is behind the vegetation on the printed programme cover. This was accepted and the revised drawing has been requested from the graphic designer.
(e) J. Hammond stated his view that the White Star had proved to be an excellent committee meeting venue and this was agreed by all.
8. Time, Date and Venue of next meeting: 19.30 on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at White Star PH, Stoke.
The meeting closed at 20:56