13th Management Group Meeting, 3rd March 2021 (from notes by JEB)
Present: Don Jones (DJ), Rev Clive Thrower (CT), Alison Barnett (AB), Neil Westman (NW),
Martin Whiteley (MW), John Thorpe (JT), Sue Peach (SP) and Jane Boden (JEB).
- DJ welcomed everybody to the meeting, held via Zoom. Apologies for absence were received from Lynne Newton and Glen Fiddy.
- Minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st January 2021, having been previously circulated, were accepted. A summary had also been added to the website.
- Matters Arising
a) Role descriptions
MW noted that several Officer role descriptions had not yet been uploaded to the website. Action: DJ has updated web page.
Luke Heaton was contacting the insurance companies regarding possible refunds for periods of inactivity during lockdowns. JT had also spoken to Luke and confirmed that there was no duplication between policies.
c) Rope Bank
DJ had spoken to John Booth (Central District BRF representative) who will ensure that the Rope Bank information is lodged on the website and members are informed of its existence. Action: DJ to ensure this happens.
a) Bell Consultants
Mike Banks and Robin Lyon were proposed by JEB, seconded by AB and carried. Succession planning for the Bell Consultants has been discussed by the BRF Committee; Giles Lacey (Peak District) has been on some inspections with the Bell Consultants, as has JT. Action: Ensuring that there is sufficient expertise to continue this work in the future is important, so the Bell Consultants will increasingly involve others with a view to transferring duties at some stage.
b) Safeguarding Officer
Janet Foulds was proposed by JEB, seconded by CT and carried. Janet needs to be approached regarding succession planning, could the post be filled by a non-ringer in the future, for example? Janet and CT have been in discussion with the Central Council and the Diocese regarding safeguarding practices for ringers and they continue to monitor and disseminate emerging guidance. Action: JEB has spoken to Janet regarding succession planning.
Items for Discussion
- a) Level of annual subscription and insurance premium
Another debate on this subject took place. The expenses of the Association will be similar to last year and most members have already paid their 2021 subscriptions. There was a feeling that the current subscription was not particularly high. It was pointed out that at least two PCCs are deferring asking for BRF grants/loans as they are unsure of their finances, so it could be that in the future the Association or BRF will need to support projects at a higher level. It was also noted that the subscription doesn’t cover the costs of actual ringing. It was felt that there was no strong case for either reducing or increasing the subscription next year, but if any DDA member was experiencing financial hardship, a confidential approach could be made to the Management Group to discuss how this might be overcome. It was agreed that this matter would be reviewed again when determining the 2022 level of subscription. An indicative vote regarding the subscription amount was taken; four voted to maintain the current level, one voted to increase it, and one member abstained.
b) Monthly ‘newsletter’ and a webpage for the 75th Anniversary celebrations
JEB had spoken to Sue Hall (PRO) about having a page on the website dedicated to the 75th Anniversary events and having a ‘newsletter’ emailed out to members every 4-6 weeks that featured upcoming activities. Any urgent news or communications, such as from the CCCBR on Covid-related matters, would still be circulated as a priority. Action: JEB to discuss with Sue Hall.
6. Draft AGM Agenda
a) Format for the AGM
It was agreed that this year’s AGM would be a Webinar and Richard Barnett would be asked to assist with the ‘technology’. The draft AGM agenda was accepted (see Appendix 1), although it was agreed that giving a verbal account of the Management Group meetings was unnecessary as reports of the meetings were routinely available on the website. Instead, questions could be put directly to the Management Group. It was also felt that a ‘tidying-up’ change to Rule 2ii was necessary to allow the District Representatives on the Management Group to take up their post immediately after their election at the ADMs. Action: MW/JEB to prepare a rule change for consideration at the AGM.
b) Potential Officer appointments at the upcoming AGM
LN had stated that she wished to retire as Treasurer; Annette Ives had been approached as a potential replacement and was willing to stand.
MW had stated that he wished to retire as both Annual Report Secretary and Trustee. Carole Hallam had been approached as a potential replacement for Annual Report Secretary and was willing to stand; no one had been approached to fill the post of Trustee.
Anthony Cotton had stated that he wished to retire as Membership Secretary; no one had been approached to fill this post.
These preliminary approaches are seen as nothing more than prudent planning and all the posts remain open for all members to consider filling at the upcoming AGM
There had been some discussion as to whether this post should be a general appointment or an appointment made by the Management Group. AB proposed, and JT seconded, that given the amount of technical knowledge and expertise that was required by the Webmaster, it should be a Management Group appointment. This would align the process with that applied to the Bell Consultants and the Safeguarding Officer, and for the same reasons. This was accepted unanimously. Action: JEB/AB to prepare a rule change for consideration at the AGM.
8. Any other business
a) Annual Report distribution
It was agreed that these would be posted out again this year, one copy per ‘household’ with additional copies available by request to District Secretaries. It is anticipated that paid-up members would receive copies before the AGM, depending on the efficiency of the postal system.
b) CC Library
JEB reported that she had received the latest report. We had paid £100 in 2015 but nothing since then. Corporate Membership was £10 per annum. JEB proposed that we set up a Standing Order for £10 to meet the 2021 commitment and subsequent years. This was accepted unanimously. Action: JEB to arrange through Lynne Newton.
c) Virtual ringing performances
The issue of how virtual ringing performances, particularly peals, should be recorded and classified by the DDA (if they arise) was deferred until a later meeting. It is a topic that is being vigorously debated by many other societies.
d) A remit for the BRF
JT had received a letter from the CCCBR asking what the Association BRF was doing and what was their remit. The BRF had discussed this and felt that as there are more bells than ringers, we probably need to support ringing in its broadest sense (i.e. recruitment, publicity, assistance to towers to give them a ‘face lift’, and so on). However, the BRF is a charity, so should the Association set up a separate fund to offer support to towers for these broader purposes? The BRF probably has sufficient funds for the next five years and suggests that the money that would have been granted to the BRF is paid into this new fund instead. This would fit in with the idea of training towers that CT had recently discussed with the Education Committee; giving them grants to recognise their assistance to other towers. It was agreed to carry forward this discussion to the next meeting
e) Online banking
JEB suggested that the new Treasurer considers using online banking for the Association accounts.
9. Date of next meeting
To be determined by Doodle Poll. Action: DJ to arrange.
Appendix 1 – Proposed AGM Agenda.
Agenda for the DDA AGM to be held by Zoom
Saturday 24th April 2021 at 2-4pm (see separate joining instructions)
2. Matters arising.
3. Apologies for absence (in advance to the General Secretary).
4. Election of new members.
5. Any questions regarding Management Group meetings held since October 2020;
all meeting reports are available on the Association website.
6. Annual Report:
- Adoption of the Treasurer’s Report and Balance Sheet.
- Adoption of the Annual Report for 2020.
7. Proposed Rule changes – see separate page.
8. Election of Officers:
a President b Vice President c General Secretary d Treasurer * e Membership Secretary * f Bell Repair Fund Secretary g Bell Repair Fund Treasurer h Trustees (2) (one is retiring *) i Peal Secretary j Webmaster k Quarter Peal Secretary l Annual Report Secretary * m Public Relations Officer n Central Council Reps. (4) * Post holder intends to retire
9. Ratification of District Officers to the Bell Repair Fund Committee: Messrs John Booth
(Central); Gary Daynes (Chesterfield); Giles Lacey (Peak); Nigel Coupe (Southern).
10. Presentation of certificates.
11. Bell Repair Fund information – including notification of the BRF Accounts.
12. Report from the Bell Consultants – available on the Association website.
13. Update from the Education Committee.
14. Items of information, noting that all events are subject to Covid 19 restrictions:
June 2021 – Summer Meeting – Chesterfield District.
30th October – 75th Anniversary event with S&N and LDG – ringing outing and ceilidh.
15. AOB (in advance of the meeting to the General Secretary).