In attendance: 21 members
Apologies: 5 members
Chair’s opening statement and welcome
- Pat noted the meeting was quorate.
Minutes of the previous AGM (06/11/2013) and matters arising
- These minutes are available to view on the club blog. Minutes agreed. No matters arising.
- New self-declaration medical forms were being collected by Victor.
- The 2015 dive list is online.
- The club’s 2015 calendar is online (under the “Events” page).
- The club barbecue is scheduled for 04/07/2015, Teresa to host.
- Volunteer(s) needed to organise club xmas do.
- Suggestions for 2016 dives requested. So far we have Ken’s Scapa trip.
- Amphibian would prefer to receive kit for servicing now, rather than in the March/April rush.
- Chair – Pat recapped the club’s dive year, noting the trips to Mexico, Falmouth, St Abbs/Farnes, Swanage/Lymington and Weymouth, and the Brighton, Shoreham and Eastbourne day dives. Visibility wasn’t always great, but some decent dives were done. There were no incidents.
- Secretary – Victor noted that much of what he’s done in 2014 was not part of the Secretary’s role. The work of the Secretary involves minuting meetings and passing information to/from members – it is not a demanding job. Should anyone want to stand for committee next year, this is a good entry-level position that anyone can do. Some jobs inherited by Victor in 2014 could stay with that role – e.g., weekly emails (although the content of these could come from other committee members), and responsibility for the club website (content, not maintenance). Daniel had recently updated the website.
- Victor also covered training, noting that the arrangements for the last year (i.e., having a training team overseen by the Diving Officer, with no Training Officer) haven’t been entirely successful, but were not a failure. The club has lost three instructors, however we have only had to postpone training (due to a lack of instructors) two or three times. It is great that Daniel and Sally are about to do the IFC, and that Ken is now an OWI. Three lake trips for training were organised in 2014, however it was difficult finding a time/date that all the Ocean Diver students could make.
- Treasurer – Ken handed out an accounts summary. Expenditure was greater than income over the last 12 months, however this is due to the club having to pay for a large block of pool bookings in advance. The “lowest balance” figure is to be noted – there are times in the year where the club has to pay for deposits and trips before money is recouped from members. Some members still owe money. Lars’s dive management sheets should be reintroduced, as these make chasing money more straightforward. Retention and gaining new members is important for the club’s income.
- Equipment Officer – Ross reported that the club had six full sets of kit for training, however one set of Dacor regs was lost, so we are down to five. Equipment is in service (done before xmas). Club also has a drysuit, wetsuits, fins and masks. Club could do with some lead. It is difficult to keep track of borrowed/hired club kit. Members saw some merit in an honesty system (with no administration involved) for kit hire, although it was noted that this would not bring in much money, as Ocean Diver students do not have to pay to use club kit, and few qualified members don’t have their own kit.
- Welfare Officer – Teresa noted that BSAC still haven’t published their safeguarding policy, and that instructors will need to be DBS checked.
- Victor reported that five members had cast their votes in advance, and had sent apologies.
- Some candidates had not yet been seconded. A blanket seconding was asked for and received.
- Pat noted that it was encouraging that three positions were being contested. Two items were discussed before the ballot was held - jobsharing of a committee position, and whether one person could hold two committee positions. Various views were expressed. It was noted that jobsharing had not been proposed in the past. Also, where a candidate had been elected to more than one position in the past, he or she had only taken up one. Responsibilities of the Diving Officer were discussed – Lee and Clive advised that Lee (as the Advanced Diver), if elected, would be ultimately responsible should an incident occur. Kim stated that the Diving Officer could appoint assistants and a Training Officer, rather than jobshare. Lee wanted members to be able to vote on the jobshare idea. Concern was expressed that committee was already small, and would be smaller if one person held two positions. Comments were made regarding the role of the Chair. Victor saw no technical problem with jobsharing, and noted that as the club’s constitution was unclear (or silent) on the issue of one person holding two positions, it must be assumed that there is no barrier to doing this. Clive noted that members’ views on the matter will be expressed through their vote. Victor noted that – because of the way the elections were run – one person could still be elected to two positions even if most members were against the idea. No vote was held on the principle of whether one person could hold more than one position.
- Candidates were invited by Pat to make any statements they wished to members about their candidacies.
- A secret ballot was held.
- Pat was elected Chair, Lee and Clive (jobshare) were elected Diving Officer, Ken was elected Treasurer, Ross was elected Equipment Officer, and Victor was elected Secretary.
- The September Eastbourne trip was discussed. It was queried why this trip went ahead with so few people, at such cost to the club. Pat and Ken explained that – a few weeks before the dive – numbers had been encouraging enough, and more were anticipated. The skipper’s good will, and the club’s purpose (to facilitate dives), were also factors in the decision to go ahead. Kim noted other clubs are struggling to fill all their places on boats, however clubs are not working together to fill spaces.
- Pat closed the meeting and the majority retired to the pub.