MINUTES OF AN EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING OF ELY RUNNERS HELD AT 8:30PM ON THURSDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER 2007 IN THE PARADISE BAR
Present: 23 members of Ely Runners
Apologies were received from 10 members: Peter Gipp, Alfredo Verna, Mick Butler, Joanne Howard, Emily Knight, Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle, Siobhan Palmer, Graham Chapman, Adam Etches, Stephen Hardwick. However, their votes had been recorded and would be made by proxy.
2. ACTING CHAIRMAN:
As the club chairman was unavoidably delayed, Secretary John Turner (JT) took the chair and Peter Harris agreed to record the minutes.
JT introduced the agenda for the meeting, which was to review the club’s affiliation options. He reminded members that extensive information regarding the implications of affiliations to ARC and EA had previously been supplied to members, in particular the Affiliation Review document prepared primarily by Max D’Ayala. JT also informed members that 105 clubs, representing nearly 11,000 runners, had joined the Association of Running Clubs (ARC) so far, and approximately half of these were known to have also affiliated to England Athletics (EA).
4. PROPOSAL No 1: Affiliation to ARC
Proposal 1, that the club should continue with its affiliation to ARC, was proposed by Max D’Ayala (MD) and seconded by Rod Baron. MD urged members to support ARC, as they had made a good start in representing the interests of running clubs. After questions, the proposal was put to the vote.
FOR: 32 votes
It was therefore RESOLVED that the club should affiliate to ARC.
5. PROPOSAL No 2: Affiliation to EA
Proposal 2, that the club should not affiliate to EA, was proposed by JT and seconded by MD.
JT explained how the club had paid thousands of pounds unaffiliated entry fees to athletics bodies via SEAA in the past but had received little support in return. By contrast, ARC were proving much less costly in such fees and more supportive to the club which was prominent in the new organisation. Ely Runners had become the first club to be affiliated to ARC, the Grunty Fen received the first ARC permit, and had incorporated the first ARC championship race. JT also stressed that it was important to maintain the momentum of this new organisation by supporting them exclusively and to give leadership for the support of ARC, although he recognised that this would involve minor sacrifices for those who race regularly.
A full and open debate ensued, with numerous members commenting and asking a wide range of questions that were answered by MD and JT. Stephen Howard challenged the economic logic of the resolution, arguing that a club affiliation of £50 and registration of £3 per individual competitive member was very little to pay compared with an extra £2 for every non-ARC race, especially considering the relatively small number of ARC events declared at this stage. He also questioned the principle of the proposal, whereby members were being asked to sacrifice their individual entitlement to choose whether or not to be registered with EA
The proposal was put to the vote, as follows:
FOR: 11 votes
AGAINST: 19 votes
The proposal was NOT CARRIED.
It was therefore RESOLVED that the club should affiliate to EA
6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
As noted in the EGM agenda, it was accepted by the meeting that it was necessary to discuss further how to proceed with the registration of club members with EA. This discussion took place and an informal vote was taken to indicate whether members might be willing to pay for their own registration. This indicated in the affirmative, but on further discussion it was recognised that collection of this fee would not be practical in the current year, so the club should meet the cost out of club funds. However, an increase in club membership fees should be considered at the next AGM.
It was therefore AGREED that, for the current year, the club would meet the cost of registration of all members who wished to be registered with EA.
It was further AGREED that an email be sent to all current members, informing them of the decisions and to inform them that unless they reply within two weeks requesting their exclusion* from registration, those members will be registered with EA. [* it was subsequently discovered after the meeting that, due to data protection and other issues, this process would need to be amended accordingly]
7. MEETING CLOSED
The Chairman declared the meeting closed at approx 10pm.