MINUTES OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Meeting at the Lychgate, Kenwyn Parish Church, at 2.00pm on 21 April 2018
Present: Annie Holland (President, in the Chair); Ian Banbury, Carolyn Howell, Mary Jones, Jane McCutchan, Robert Pearce, Helen Perry, Robert Perry, Ian Self, Jonathan Young. (10)
Also present: Martin Spittle
The President welcomed everyone to the meeting, and explained that Martin Spittle was present as he had been a member of the sub-Committee whose recommendations the Committee would now be considering.
2018/13 APOLOGIES OF ABSENCE
These were received from all other members of the Committee.
2018/14 GUILD WEBSITE
Annie reported that she and Martin Spittle had between themselves reviewed approximately 8 or 9 web designers and their proposals where provided. Dependent upon the outcome it was possible that the new website might enable the Guild to dispense with a printed handbook altogether; it was also possible that a handbook could be created from the relevant pages of the website if those who wished to do so decided to print off the pages in question.
Members discussed a variety of aspects of the matter. The imminent changes to data protection law was also discussed, and it was noted that many pages from the current website would need to be taken down before 25 May when the law changed. The meeting agreed with the President’s suggestion that as a first step she invite the district secretaries to join her and the Guild Secretary in taking the steps necessary to enable them to be lawfully identified to those who sought information which although capable of being freely given now would be caught by the changes to the relevant law from 25 May.
Annie reported on the views which she had received from some members who were unable to be present. She also advised that she had been informed by the Guild’s new Treasurer, Rosie Falco, that she was entirely supportive of the expenditure which would be incurred if a new website were to be designed, as she felt that the Guild was in a position where it could afford to embark upon this course. The Guild Secretary (Robert Perry) read to the meeting an email from Rosie which he and the President had received.
In response to a member who questioned who had the power to take a decision in the matter, the Guild Secretary (Robert Perry) said that the Guild’s Rules gave to the Standing Committee the power to transact all business of the Guild between its annual meetings. He did point out that today’s meeting was being attended by the minimum number of members necessary to make it quorate, and asked members to consider whether or not they wished to commit the Guild to significant expenditure when so many of the Committee’s members were absent. The firm view of the meeting was that it was time to make a decision on a matter which had been under discussion for some time. All members of the Committee had been circulated with the relevant papers, and had had the opportunity to contact either the President of the Secretary with their views, both for and against the proposal.
Annie confirmed that her view, and that of Martin Spittle and Robert Perry who had worked with her on the issue, was that the best quotation received was from Cornwall Design and Print in the sum of £4590.00 (including VAT). The associated annual maintenance fee was £114.00 including VAT. The meeting RESOLVED unanimously to proceed on this basis, in the hope that the new website could be operational very quickly, and with as short a period of downtime as possible.
Members asked that their thanks to Annie and Martin, who had borne the brunt of this work, be recorded in the Minutes.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 3.07pm.
21 July 2018
MINUTES OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Meeting at the Lychgate, Kenwyn Parish Church, at 2.00pm on 13 January 2018
Present: Annie Holland (President, in the Chair); Ian Banbury, John Davis, Carolyn Howell, Norman Mattingley, Robert Pearce, Helen Perry, Robert Perry, Dave Ralls, Ian Self, Richard Warwick, Bill Willis, Brian Wood, Jonathan Young. (14)
The President welcomed everyone to the meeting, and led members in a prayer.
2018/02 APOLOGIES OF ABSENCE
These were received from Liz Gliddon, Jane Hitchens, Mary Jones and Sue Shadrick. (4)
2018/03 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18 NOVEMBER 2017
These were approved as a true record, subject to the correction of some typographical errors.
2018/04 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Suggested mini-ring in the Falmouth area
Robert Pearce reported that he had been in touch with relevant representatives of the Diocese and had outlined what the mini-ring at Bradoc had achieved in terms of attracting new and young recruits not only to ringing but to the life of the church. Discussions with the Diocese were ongoing. Robert added that ringers in the Northern District had also expressed interest in having a mini-ring in their area. Some funding might be available from the Diocese, but this would amount to no more than £3,000. The total cost of the Bradoc installation and all its associated equipment had been in the region of £10,000.
World War One Memorial
Robert Pearce said that his wife Kathryn had suggested that a high-quality bound book with sheets listing on an individual basis the known details of all Cornish ringers killed on active service in the First World War would form a much more flexible and accessible record of those concerned than a board. The book could be seen and studied, and this format would lend itself to the production of copies, for extracts to be sent if appropriate to the towers of the deceased ringers concerned. Robert agreed to research the costs and all other relevant factors and to report further to the next meeting.
Some members felt that the idea of a commemorative board ought not to be abandoned and the Committee agreed that this was still a possibility, although a commemorative book as now suggested would be easier to produce within the available timescale up to November 2018. Robert Perry said that it might be possible for the book to be displayed alongside the other commemoration records in the chapel immediately below the Cathedral ringing chamber. If this could be done the record would be visible to a much larger number of people.
Helen Perry advised that in the light of the increased responsibilities envisaged for the proposed post of Peal Secretary she would not be seeking re-election to her post at the Annual General Meeting.
2018/05 TREASURER’S REPORT AND GUILD ACCOUNTS FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2017
Dave Ralls reported that in 2017 the General Fund had recorded a slight excess of expenditure over income of £170.22, but this was sustained after £3000 had been transferred from that Fund to the Bell Restoration Fund. This latter fund had also recorded an excess of expenditure over income of £5462.41, but had made four grants totalling £12650. This was the largest sum yet paid out by the Fund in any calendar year.
Dave advised that the Guild’s investments had increased in value over the year from £81889.70 to £89281.94.
The Guild’s total balances at year end were £84749.31, compared with £80101.94 at the beginning of the year. However, during 2017 the Guild had received a bequest of £11,111 from the estate of the late Miss Alcock.
Dave said that the accounts had been signed as correct by Mike Cockeram, the Independent Examiner.
Annie Holland pointed out that this would be the final set of accounts which Dave would prepare for the Guild, and members joined her in thanking him for all his work for the Guild during his period in office. The President said that she had been approached by Rosie Falco, a member of her band at St Agnes and a Chartered Financial Planner, over the impending vacancy in the position of Treasurer. She was delighted to report that Rosie had agreed to be nominated as Dave’s successor. Dave confirmed that Rosie had already contacted him for an informal discussion.
2018/06 INTRA-GUILD COMMUNICATIONS AND GUILD WEBSITE
The President advised that she had invited Ian Self to edit an online version of “An Clogh” in substitution for the printed version. Ian said that he intended to publish the first edition in the new format at around the end of January, and he was pleased to say that he had plenty of material. He offered to include an informal report on the Committee’s deliberations, but Annie said that as she was already doing this after each meeting of the Committee she would prefer it if he left this to her. A member pointed out that Ian’s appointment had not been approved by the Committee, which then formally ratified it.
Annie reported that intertest had been expressed in the Public Relations Officer’s post, and said that she would report further in due course.
Annie advised that in the light of the discussion at the November meeting of the Committee she had formed a small group comprising, in addition to herself, Martin Spittle and Robert Perry. This was seeking interest from web designers in the creation of a new website for the Guild. They had recently seen a Redruth-based designer and were planning to see two more, before deciding which potential contractor to recommend to the Committee. Annie suggested that it might be necessary to hold a short single-issue meeting of the Committee in order to make a decision, but the Committee expressed a preference to deal with this by way of an email exchange when any decision had to be made.
2018/07 REPORT OF THE REVIEW SUB-COMMITTEE
The President introduced this report, which covered a number of topics.
As far as the size and composition of the Standing Committee was concerned, some of those present felt that given its maximum potential size of around twenty members the Committee was unwieldy and incapable of taking decisive action. Others felt that any reduction in size would reduce accountability and was an inappropriate response to criticisms which had been raised to the effect that the Committee was remote from the membership and secretive in its activities. Annie invited members to state individually their views on this topic and all did so. Following discussion, Richard Warwick proposed, and Ian Banbury seconded, that a motion be proposed to the Annual General Meeting to amend Rule 8.1 so that henceforward the Committee would comprise the three Trustees (President, Secretary and Treasurer), one representative from each district (but with districts having the power to appoint substitute members so that no district need be unrepresented at any meeting of the Committee) and the following specialist officers: Bell Restoration Officer, Education Officer, Public Relations Officer, Health and Safety Officer and Safeguarding Officer. This would reduce the size of the Committee to no more than 12 members. The motion was carried, with eleven votes in favour and three against.
It was agreed that the role of the Districts needed to be enhanced, and that in order to assist with this process the Guild calendar should be altered so that the Annual General Meeting of the Guild should follow the spring meetings of the Districts rather than precede it. This would enable the District meetings to discuss topics for consideration the Guild at its AGM. In order to achieve this, it was agreed that the forthcoming Annual General Meeting would be asked to agree to the temporary suspension of the first paragraph of Rule 6 (date of AGM) so that the Committee could, as quickly as possible, agree a revised timetable of meetings in 2019. It was recognised that this might require a change to the established pattern of some District meetings, and it was also agreed that Rule 5.1 (Notice of proposals at any general meeting) would need to be suspended in the light of any new timetable which might emerge).
The Committee discussed whether its meetings ought to be opened out to the wider membership of the Guild. It was acknowledged that a motion to this effect would be considered at the forthcoming AGM, but without prejudice to any decision which the Guild might make on that motion it was felt that pending the formation of the new Committee (if the AGM accepted the Committee’s proposal) and the launch of the new Guild website with all its capabilities no changes should be made at present. The President agreed to a suggestion that the AGM should be asked whether there would be any interest in streaming meetings of the Committee live on the internet.
2018/08 AGENDA FOR ANNUALGENERAL MEETING
The Guild Secretary presented a draft agenda at the meeting, which he said would need to be changed to reflect the decisions reached at this meeting. Subject to those changes, the Committee was content with his draft.
2018/09 BELL RESTORATION OFFICER’S REPORT
John Davis advised since the November meeting of the Committee work had been carried out at both Lanreath (restoration and rebushing of clappers) and St Veep (restoration work to bellframe and bell fittings, and welding of the tenor bell). Grants of £275 and £4675 respectively had been paid. Fundraising was ongoing at Lelant ahead of work there. The scale of work proposed suggested that a grant in the order of £6000 might eventually be payable. Grant application forms had been sent to St Austell and Zennor. John said that he anticipated receiving a completed application from St Austell in the near future. As the work was likely to cost in the order of £8000 a grant of approximately £1200 would be appropriate. It was agreed that rather than delay consideration of the application until the July meeting of the Committee the details, with John’s recommendation, should be emailed around its members so that if possible a decision could be taken more quickly.
A member asked for more information to be provided on the scale of work at each tower . John said the he endeavoured to provide this in both his written and verbal reports, but would provide further details if they were needed.
The Committee was pleased to note that over the forty years since the first grant had been made from the Bell Restoration Fund more than £135000 had been paid out in total. It was agreed that this sum should be publicised in “An Clogh”.
2018/10 DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
It was agreed that the Committee should henceforward meet on 21 July and 17 November 2018.
2018/11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Robert Pearce said that he would once again be taking the Bradoc mini-ring to the Royal Cornwall Show, but needed volunteers to help him run the display and deal with those who expressed an interest in it. He felt that the Guild should make a financial contribution towards the costs incurred by those volunteers in offering this help. After discussion the meeting agreed that Robert be offered a budget of up to £250 to be used as he saw fit at the 2018 Show.
It was confirmed that an email from the Central Council on the Ringing Remembers initiative had been circulated around the Guild upon receipt.
There being no further business, the Chairman thanked Helen Perry for the refreshments which she had provided and closed the meeting with the Grace at 4.54pm.
21 July 2018
MINUTES OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Meeting at the Lychgate, Kenwyn Parish Church, at 2.00pm on 18 November 2017
Present: Annie Holland (President, in the Chair); John Davis, Liz Gliddon, Carolyn Howell, Mary Jones, Robert Pearce, Helen Perry, Robert Perry, Sue Shadrick, Richard Warwick, Brian Wood, Jonathan Young. (12)
The President welcomed everyone to the meeting, referring especially Liz Gliddon, who was attending her first meeting. The other members introduced themselves to her.
2017/27 APOLOGIES OF ABSENCE
These were received from Ian Banbury, Jane Hitchens, Norman Mattingley, Ian Self and Bill Willis. (5)
2017/28 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 8 JULY 2017
These were approved as a true record.
2017/29 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Robert Perry produced a proposed form of plaque to be affixed to the library shelving installed in the Cathedral ringing chamber. Members suggested possible amendments to the wording which Robert said he would take into consideration before settling on the final version.
World War One Memorial
Robert Pearce said that his wife Kathryn was able to proceed with this once she had the necessary information as collated by Ian Self. It was agreed that the final version should be as accurate and as consistently presented as was possible. To this end, Robert agreed to ask that a provisional list of names and towers be circulated for final review and comment before any irrevocable steps were taken. Robert said that he would advise Ian accordingly.
2017/30 TREASURER’S REPORT
Dave Ralls reported that in the year to date there had been an excess of income over expenditure of £2833. He recommended that as in previous years £3000 be transferred from the General Fund to the Bell Restoration Fund, and the Committee AGREED that this transfer should be made.
Dave advised that following the Committee’s decision taken at its previous meeting to authorise him to move up to £15000 from Barclays Community Account to the CCLA Deposit Account he had in fact transferred £9000. He also commented that his successor as Treasurer might wish to increase the Guild’s investment in the CBF Church of England Investment Fund (Income Shares). The Committee agreed that this matter should be considered once a new Treasurer was in post. Dave reported that the Guild’s initial holding of £50000 in the CBF Church of England Investment Fund (Income Shares) had increased in value to £88710.66 at the most recent valuation. This reflected an increase of almost £7000 since the beginning of the year.
Dave added that following the transfer of £9000 from the Guild’s Barclays Community Account the balance was just over £6275, which he felt was sufficient to cover the BRF grant of £4675 promised to St Veep and all other anticipated expenditure prior to the receipt of the subscriptions due in 2018. He also reminded the Committee that just under £350 of the legacy received from the late Anthony Davidson was unspent, while the Guild still held the bequest of £11111 from the late Miss Alcock.
2017/31 BELL RESTORATION OFFICER’S REPORT
John Davis advised that he had heard nothing more about the suggested restoration projects at Davidstow and Luxulyan. As more than two years had passed since the initial contact had been made he was not actively pursuing either project, but if approached would encourage those involved to apply again. More happily the projects at Mullion and St Winnow had been successfully completed and the respective grants had been paid. He was in a peal attempt at St Veep in December, and would take the opportunity of his visit to inspect the installation there and, if all was satisfactory, hand over the grant cheque there and then. It was suggested that he ought perhaps to carry out the inspection before attempting the peal rather than afterwards!
A new application had been received in respect of a major restoration work at Lelant. There had initially been some disagreement between the Parochial Church Council and the ringers over the quotation to be accepted, but agreement had now been reached and within the church and the decision had been taken to accept the quotation from Taylor’s in the sum of £39939. VAT was payable in addition, but the PCC would be able to reclaim this. This implied a grant of £6,000 and the Committee RESOLVED accordingly. John agreed to let his contact at Lelant know of this decision.
2017/32 2018 GUILD REPORT
Carolyn Howell and Jonathan Young referred to the report on proposals for changing the Report production process which they, with Norman Mattingley, had compiled and which had been circulated. They felt that a printed document, rather than one available only online, remained the best option for the Guild, but felt that the amount of work which needed to be done in its production was too much for one person to be expected to do. Accordingly, they suggested that while a Report Editor should continue to be elected his or her duties should henceforward be more akin to those of an Editor-in-Chief who would co-ordinate the work of others who would deal with specific elements of the production process. Among these “others” would be the newly-created post of Membership Secretary, whose duties would include receipt of tower returns, the collation of members and receipt of subscriptions, the onward transmission of subscriptions to the Guild Treasurer and the receipt of information regarding subscriptions paid direct to the Guild. A Peal Secretary would be appointed with broader duties than the present Peal Recorder; his or her duties would be not only to record peals rung for the Guild but to verify the accuracy of the source information but also to collect and verify all booking fees due for peals. A Quarter Peal Secretary would also be appointed to carry out the same duties in respect of quarter peals and call change performance. Finally, all those contributing to the Report should do so in a format to be prescribed by the Report Editor, and would be responsible for checking the accuracy of all the data which they submitted.
In consideration of these proposals, the Committee felt that it would be unwise to be too prescriptive over the minimum requirements to be imposed upon the publication of call change performances. The database of members was useful in a number of respects but was unfortunately now inaccurate in terms of the details of the Guild’s members. It was also noted that revised data protection legislation was about to be introduced which might impact upon the Report and what it contained.
The Committee RESOLVED to adopt the report of the sub-committee and the recommendations set out therein. It also decided that given the absence of any interest in the currently-vacant Report Editor’s post, and given also the short period of time which now existed before the process of compiling any 2018 edition would have to begin it was not practicable for an edition to be published in 2018. This would give an opportunity for the changes recommended by the sub-committee to be put into place during 2018, with a view to a resumption of publication in 2019. The Committee also asked that its thanks to Carolyn, Jonathan and Norman for their work be recorded in the Minutes.
2017/33 REPORT PUBLICATION FEES (PEALS/QUARTER PEALS/CALL CHANGE PERFORMANCES)
Arising for the decision that the Guild should not attempt to publish any Report in 2018 the Committee agreed that it would be illogical for performance publication fees to be collected at a time when they would not be published. It accordingly AGREED that the collection of performance fees be suspended with immediate effect for the period up until the Annual General Meeting of the Guild to be held in March 2019.
Robert Perry agreed to put a suitable post on the Bellringing in Cornwall Facebook page as soon as he could, and the meeting agreed that its members, and especially the district representatives present, should publicise this decision amongst their contacts as quickly as they could.
2017/34 CENTRAL COUNCIL PROPOSED RULE CHANGES
Robert Perry referred to the decision of the Central Council at its 2017 meeting to embark upon a process of fundamental reform, which it was hoped would make the Council more fit for purpose and better suited to the modern age. Central to this process was the creation of a small Executive team which would co-ordinate the work hitherto carried on by the Council as a whole. Workgroups would replace the current Committees of the Council; these would be supervised by a member of the Executive, and could raw their membership form ringers at large, rather than largely being constrained in their choice of membership to those who were already members of the Council. The implementation of these changes would require significant changes to the Council’s Rules. A first draft of these changed Rules had been published.
Robert said that much to his surprise the current draft made no substantive change to the size of the Council, save that henceforward voting rights would be restricted to those members who represented territorial societies. This would mean a reduction in the number of voting (but not speaking) members from approximately 220 to 200 or so. This was not the radical reform which had been spoken of at the Council’s meeting, and he felt that it was probable that further changes would be made before a final proposal went before the Council. As things stood, the main change was the abolition of the triennial period of office of the Council; society representatives could now be elected for as long or short a period as their appointing body wished. He suggested that there was no need for the Guild to take any action until a final set of rule changes was put before members. His own view was that the three-year period for which the Guild chose its representatives on the Council was about right, and he felt that as the current members had been elected to serve for 2017, 2018 and 2019 a decision about any future length of service of future representatives could be deferred until near the time when the next election was due in 2019.
2017/35 REPORT OF THE REVIEW SUB-COMMITTEE
The President referred to the report which she and Brian Wood had compiled. There was in their view a lack of definition in terms of the role of the Deanery Stewards, and the role of a District’s Representatives on the Standing Committee was also undefined. There was a need to improve communications across the Guild beyond the publication of the Guild Report, and the newsletter’s infrequent publication meant that it was out of date very quickly. We were delighted to note that both the Eastern and Northern Districts had recently introduced newsletters which complemented the long-standing publication of The Westerner. (It was pointed out that the two new publications were issued free of charge while The Westerner was only available on subscription, either to individuals or to towers.) While there were actual or anticipated vacancies in various key posts nonetheless there were positive signs across the Guild with a number of well-supported special practices and training sessions taking place on a regular basis.
Annie and Brian commented that the Guild website, having been established many years ago by Adam Beer, had been maintained for many years by Phil Tremain. He still undertook several related activities but was now in the process of handing these over to others. For the present, and in respect of “An Clogh”, they recommended that the editor’s job be severed from the position of Public Relations Officer and that it be advertised. They felt that it should henceforward be published monthly online as a PDF and contain topical news across the full spectrum of ringing activities in the diocese. As far the Guild website, they recommended that a new one be commissioned, if necessary at cost, with the intention that this be in place as soon as possible and in any event by the Annual General Meeting in March 2018. In order to achieve this, a sub-committee should be authorised to identify potential website designers, interview them and on behalf of the Guild appoint its preferred candidate. Annie and Brian gave details of potential designers with whose work they were familiar. Finally, they intended to put forward suggestions for the future of the Standing Committee at its next meeting in January. It was likely that they would be recommending a reduction in its size and a change to its emphasis. They would also review the arguments for and against the attendance of Guild members at its meetings and would report further on this in January.
In discussion, the Committee was supportive of the general thrust of Annie and Brian’s work to date. It AGREED to the commissioning of a new website by formal contract, and authorised Annie to appoint a sub-committee to assist her in this task. Various names were suggested for her consideration. The sub-committee was asked to report to the next meeting of the Committee with recommendations as to the steps to be taken. Until the “new” An Clogh could be migrated to the (new) website it would have to be emailed by means of the Guild mailing list, and the names of those who might be able to help with this process were suggested.
2017/36 FUTURE MEETINGS
It was agreed that the Committee should henceforward meet on 13 January and 21 July 2018.
2017/37 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The President referred to the recent initiative to recruit new ringers, associated with the events in November 2018 which would mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. This led to a discussion on the potential for the Guild to become involved with the diocesan initiative linked to the student population in the Falmouth area. Robert Pearce agreed to contact the diocese to ascertain the likelihood of funding being made available to assist with the purchase of a new mini-ring which could possibly be located at Budock Church. Liz and Sue stressed that the north of the diocese should not be overlooked or neglected.
Mary Jones reported on current developments in the sphere of safeguarding. The diocese had been externally audited and further training would be available during 2018.
Mention was made of the training event held under the auspices of the Association of Ringing Teachers. This had been very successful. The course had been led by Pip Penney from ART, and 10 trainees had attended.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting with the Grace at 4.325.29pm.
13 January 2018