General Council 2020
The rearranged Ramblers’ AGM took place on Tuesday 15 September at 5pm as a short broadcast-only online meeting, with Council members having formally participated and voted in advance by appointing the chair as their proxy and submitting a proxy form ahead of the meeting.
These particular arrangements were required given ongoing social distancing requirements, and guided by general advice from Companies House and the Charity Commission as well as professional legal advice, particularly in light of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020.
Over 100 people joined the online meeting and 103 Council members participated by appointing a proxy and voting on the formal business.
Kate Ashbrook, chair of the board of trustees, gave a short update on achievements in 2018-2019 and events on the year to date.
The minutes of the 2019 AGM held in Manchester were approved.
Michael Penny, honorary treasurer, gave an update on the Ramblers’ finances.
The resolution to reappoint Crowe U.K LLP as the Ramblers’ auditor for the next year and to authorise the board of trustees to fix the remuneration was passed.
The resolution to reappoint Stuart Maconie as president for a fourth one-year term was passed.
The resolution to reappoint the vice presidents en bloc for a one-year term was passed.
The resolution to elect the five candidates for the motions review committee en bloc for a one-year term was passed.
The resolution to elect three ordinary members of the board of trustees to serve a three-year term was passed. Rebecca Dawson, Helen Tranter and Richard May were elected. Paul Rhodes and Aynsley Jardin have retired form the board of trustees having reached the end of their terms.
The board’s update report on open motions from 2014 to 2019 was carried over to the 2021 AGM.
The nine motions and amendments submitted by Areas were remitted to the board of trustees. The board will review each motion and publish a response by 16 October at which point the board will also look at other opportunities for online discussion and engagement of motions with Council members.
In light of updated Charity Commission guidance for charities on safeguarding, volunteers were requested for a working group to review the updated guidance and make recommendations. This review could mean changes and improvements to our policies and procedures.
Next year's General Council AGM will take place at the Birmingham NEC on Saturday 17 April. This will be a shorter one-day AGM in a venue with an auditorium and refreshment areas larger than required for our numbers to allow adequate spacing.
If you have any questions about General Council please contact Simon Kellas (email@example.com).
General Council 2021 - Saturday 17 April
Next year's General Council AGM will take place at the Birmingham NEC on Saturday 17 April. This will be a shorter one-day AGM in a venue with an auditorium and refreshment areas larger than required for our numbers to allow more spacing. The board chose Birmingham, and the NEC in particular, as it is a central location and we hope the most easily accessible option by public transport or private vehicle for the majority of attendees.
The intention is to allow as many people who can to arrive and depart on the same day. Although there will be no fringe events (including the conference dinner) all the formal GC business can take place, in particular there will be ample time for motion debates which have not been possible this year.
A further update about timings for this meeting will be given in December.
Please note that the deadline for Areas to notify the office of their Council members for 2021/22 who will attend the meeting and for submission of policy motions will be Saturday 6 March.
The board decided on a one-day meeting as there is concern about holding our traditional weekend conference next year when uncertainty remains about the effect and impact of coronavirus into 2021. Even if it were possible to proceed with a residential conference, the board’s primary concern is obviously the health, safety and concerns of members, volunteers and staff attending such an event, especially those who are in at-risk categories or who live with or care for people in those categories. There is also a risk that we start to plan an event which has to be cancelled again at late notice.
The board will then start to think about plans for 2022 in early 2021 when we hope that the current crisis has settled down, or at least the future is a little clearer.
About General Council
Our annual general meeting is commonly referred to as General Council.
Each Ramblers Area, and each national organisation affiliated to us, is entitled to appoint members of General Council. Whilst our Groups and individual members are not directly represented, they can influence the policy of the Ramblers via their Area's Council members. Trustees, our president, vice presidents and members of the Motions Review Committee are also members of General Council.
General Council elects the board of trustees which runs the organisation on behalf of members and for the public benefit. Council considers the annual report and accounts and provides guidance on policy by debating policy motions. It also approves changes to our constitution.
Ramblers is a company limited by guarantee, and General Council is the body of people who are defined as company members for Companies Act and other legal purposes. Members of General Council are entitled to attend the annual general meeting, but remain company members at other times.