Annual General Meeting 19 June 2014 MINUTES
Present: Norman Johns (Chair) , Carole Frost, Richard MacCutchan, Val Wye, Annette Covey, Chris Jeggo, Sandra Lee, Robin Hamilton
Norman opened the meeting by welcoming those present. Copies of the Agenda, Minutes of the last AGM and Annual Accounts were distributed.
Apologies were received from: Peter Spreckley, Steve Millard.
3. Minutes of last Year’s AGM and Matters arising
The previous year’s minutes were approved.
4. Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
5. Chairman’s report
When preparing these notes I become aware of how many things the group members have been involved in during the past year. I would also like to thank the committee, and indeed all members of the group, who support our activities.
My thanks to Carole and Barbara for keeping all members informed of events and cycle related news.
I find the continued redevelopment of the Town Centre frustrating as there seems no end in view. Commercial Way works have seen the removal of more central and useful cycle stands and consequential inconvenience for cyclists.
Despite to apparent promotion of 20 mph zones by central government, Surrey County Council do not appear to have changed their position and remain opposed to it. Until such times as politicians can be persuaded to promote cycling policies I see no point in campaigning for improvement in the cycle network or speed restrictions.
Bike Week and the Event in the Woking Park on the 16th June clashed with the group’s monthly afternoon ride. Carole arranged for literature about our group to be displayed on the stand of another group attending on the Sunday.
We now have a local Sustrans organiser, Karen Smith, and will continue to support Sustrans when asked, and to seek to address problems on cycle routes.
Several members cycled or undertook stewarding duties for the Bikeathon 2014, run by Rotary for the 2nd year. The route had been arranged around a safer circuit this year.
The group’s Christmas Party, kindly organised by Sandra, took place at So’s Kitchen on 11th December, and was enjoyed by all who attended. We look forward to a similar gathering for Christmas 2014.
6. Presentation and Approval of Accounts
Members were given a copy of the account for the year ended 31 March 2014.The accounts are largely self-explanatory. Membership subscriptions rose considerably compared to the previous year, and it was pleasing to see a number of new members joining the group. Our expenses were reduced slightly as we were no longer being charged for internet services, as this was provided free of charge by George James, through his internet business. It was suggested that we should make a donation to George in lieu of a formal charge. It was agreed to pay for the prizes to his Easter Egg Hunt which many of our members attend. It was suggested that the group should find useful ways of using some of our excess income to purchase items that would support our rides or campaigns. Possible items were First Aid kits, to be carried on our rides, High Visibility jackets with the WCUG logo etc. Members were invited to research these and other possibilities and report back to the committee for approval.
7. Membership Secretary’s Report
- We have 63 paid up members representing 100 adults and 30 children. I have sent the annual “dues are due” letter. I have had a few respondents but usually it is seeing people on rides or at the pub. We really need to make sure the cycle shops give us the discount since that is a valuable perk. We also need to remind people of the affiliated membership to CTC; and thanks to Richard for discovering that offer. I send out the WCUG matters to everyone who has paid in the last 3 years.
- Sunday Rides: We have had rides most 3rd Sundays of the month and have only been drowned twice that I can remember. We did actually abandon one ride. The average has been 9 persons per ride. Some have been for 6 to as many as 15. We took to heart Robin’s suggestion last year that we try to have backup for every ride. We have usually been able to do this and a special “thank you” goes to Norman and Richard who have been on almost all the rides to provide the extra help. Robin Hamilton and Sandra Lee have also been very willing to help when on the rides.
- Muddy Lane: Since our submission to the Council, I handed in another 6 evidence forms, bringing our total up to 57. I attended the West Surrey Countryside Access/Rights of Way Forum on 14th May 2014 and when talking to Debbie Prismall, the legal representative for the section, I was happy to hear that we had crawled our way up to number 16 on the list; when we first presented the submission we were number 24. One of the things we had to do was post a notice of our intent on the one parcel of land which was not registered. This was done many times but the man in Banyan kept taking them down. We had to show that at least we tried to notify the landowners for a period of 6 weeks. Daniel Williams, the countryside officer we have been dealing with, thought we had made enough of an effort. We had correspondence with the people who actually live in a cottage on Muddy Lane and they passed on to us an interesting document. They also helped us get copies of the Wisley Parish meetings regarding the improvement of this lane by Guildford Borough Council. To quote the article in the paper: “the lane has now been improved allowing safe use for walkers and cyclists.” We shall hope to use this information if our application turns into a Public Enquiry. I am sure in fact that this will happen since there is very little scope for an amenable solution with Paul Garland, the man who lives in Banyan.
I had an interesting conversation with Claire Saunders at the countryside alliance meeting. She is in charge of implementing the application once it has been approved. She can hardly wait to get her hands on the fence that has been erected by the man in Banyan as it has been a thorn in her side for a long time. When I said to her that a bridleway was not actually our dream solution since that means a very muddy path for cyclists, she said that it was much better now to have a bridleway. There would be separation for cyclists/walkers and horses. She cited the path between Westcote and Dorking as the gold standard. I actually think because of the low bridge, horses will not be using the bridleway.
Then just a few days ago I heard from someone in Byfleet who was confronted by the man at Banyan when he was cycling with his daughter and told he shouldn’t be cycling there. The resident of Byfleet was not best pleased and wrote to me asking for evidence forms, he also put the word out on the Byfleet residents’ facebook page (although I can’t actually find it) and I have had another 4 people asking for forms. We shall see if they actually return them but it is nice to have the people of Byfleet on our side.
- HG Wells Cycle Routes: I have been approached by a neighbour, Tony Kremer, who is on the steering committee for the anniversary of HG Wells which is happening in 2015. We have been asked if we would like to design some routes based on his books. We had a meeting last night attended by George James from the Elmbridge Cycling Club, and Chris Bore from the SKY local team as well as Tony. One route would be around Woking and be suitable for families. Iain Wakeford has done this in the past so it would just be a matter of updating that. I think our conclusion was that Chris will follow the “Wheels of Chance” route and the Mars Route south while George and I will concentrate on the War of the Worlds. We would like to devise 2 routes, one ending in London and the other following his trip to get the wife settled in Leatherhead. If anyone would like to add their input to this project please let me know.
8. Election of Officers
Nominations were invited for the committee, there being none:
- Norman Johns was confirmed as Chairman
- Carole Frost as Membership Secretary
- Richard MacCutchan as Treasurer and General Secretary
- other officers remain as before.
9. Current and future issues.
- Sunday Cycle rides. See Membership secretary’s report above.
- Muddy Lane Update. ditto.
- HG Wells Cycle routes. ditto.
- Websites and Communication with Members. The Website had been transferred to a system provided by George James and was operating without problems. The group’s facebook page was also attracting one or two new people although only slowly.
- Annette reported that the Wheels For All group continues to provide cycling opportunities for children and adults with special needs, at the Sheerwater Athletics Track. Meetings are held on Tuesdays and Sundays, with the latter aimed more at children. Anyone interested in helping the group should contact Annette.
- It was agreed that we should make a donation to the Community Centre since they had not charged us for the use of the room.
- Norman mentioned that there would be a pantomime performed at the Community Centre on Boxing Day and invited those present to support the event.
10. Any Other Business
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 20:45.