SUES Committee Meeting: 11/06/2021

Present – Alan Potter (Chair), Margaret Boneham, Peter Firth, Roger Mitchell, Bob Neate, Mary Ormsby, John Sharp, Christine Vasey

The meeting took place via Zoom

Minutes

The minutes of the Committee Meeting on 7th May were approved. They now become ‘Archive’ and will be available on Website

Matters Arising – Website Update

There was general agreement that good progress is being made by Alan and Mike. The site is more attractive and easier to navigate. John will check that the most recent editions of Forum are put on line and Bob has some minor corrections.

Four particular areas were discussed.

  • It was agreed that the society’s future programme needs to have a more central position on the website with the next event the first thing to be seen.
  • We need greater clarity on the directions to the venue. All Saints Church is on Rawlinson Rd but we meet at All Saints Church Hall, which is accessed via the car park in Park Rd.
  • The greater the use of the website, the more likely it is that Google will direct new enquiries to us. Mary had some ideas for achieving this.
  • The relationship between SUES and Liverpool University Continuing Education as described on the website needs to be reviewed – see next item.

Links With Continuing Education at Liverpool University

We want to maintain the link but the experience of the past year has shown that it makes more sense for SUES to make its own arrangements for meetings and courses. It was agreed that Roger should draft a letter to Glenn Godenho to look at how we can work together.

In the future we might want to make use of contacts with other local universities e.g. Edge Hill, Bolton.

Bookings for All Saints Church Hall

Martin Unwin confirms that All Saints does have some public liability insurance (PLI), but, even though SUES has successfully negotiated both the present and the previous century without it, there was agreement that the rise of ‘blame culture’ required better protection even though this will require us to provide more information and incur extra cost. Comprehensive cover for any event and any venue will cost in the region of £500 per year. It is worth noting that one of the reasons for negotiating to pay a relatively large sum to Liverpool CE for course provision was that this would include PLI Alan and Peter will take action immediately and Mary offered help with risk assessment.

Alan has made definite bookings with Martin Unwin for 2021 and provisional bookings for 2022. For the 3 courses spare dates have been added.

  • Peter’s 10 week course 20th September to 6th December 2021
  • Roger’s 8 week course 10th January to 7th March 2022
  • Alan’s 8 week course 25th April to 20th June 2022

Lichen Walk

This will take place next Friday (18th June) and 14 members have already booked. Alan will send out information on Monday. Members were grateful to Martin Perry for providing refreshments.

AGM Arrangements

We hope that this will mark a return to ‘real’ meetings. The Hall has been booked for 23rd July and we should be able to go ahead even if the easing of restrictions is delayed by up to 4 weeks. Alan and Roger will co-ordinate arrangements and try to encourage a good attendance by offering not just an AGM but some added content and some refreshments. The meeting will be advertised in the June Forum and agenda and papers will be circulated with the July Forum.

The AGM itself will be an opportunity to tell members of the progress that has been made over the past year, particularly with the Website, Forum, Zoom and a future programme organised directly by the Society. The meeting will be asked to re-elect the existing committee confirming Alan as Chairman and Margaret, Mary and Christine as members. We will also seek approval for the continuation of Forum which, together with the Website will be the main means of communication with members. The proposal will be made that course fees should remain at £5 per session but that the annual membership fee should be raised to £10 in order to cover the increased cost of Public Liability Insurance, Website Maintenance and Zoom Subscription.

After the AGM, there will be an informal session led by committee members on ‘The Positives of 2020-1’. Christine will say something about Gardening, Roger about Reading and Mary and Peter about Keeping in Touch. Members will be encouraged to add their own contributions but it will be emphasised that this is entirely optional. The meeting will end with refreshments.

Future of Forum

Forum 20 will be published and distributed next week. It will include information about the AGM and there will be a July edition with the agenda and papers for the AGM followed by an August edition with a report on the AGM and details of the courses and meetings for 2021-2. Forum has proved its worth over the past 15 months and has replaced the newsletter as an effective way of communicating with members. John was thanked for his hard work on this and there was agreement that Forum should continue post- Covid but probably bi- monthly rather than monthly. A decision will be taken at the AGM.

AOB

Prospective new members have been contacted with invitations to attend meetings before joining the Society for the 2021-2 season.

Next Committee Meeting

A short ‘in person’ meeting will take place after the AGM. John apologised that he has a previous engagement and will not be able to attend.

Roger Mitchell
June 2021

Postscript

The need for appropriate Public Liability Cover was one of the priorities for the Society.

Peter has produced this short summary of the key requirements and it seems appropriate to attach it to these minutes:

Activities – educational talks and courses at third party premises and, from time to time, occasional walks or visits to third party establishments, as an extension to the talks and courses e.g. country houses, involving up to 40 people, covering an estimated 30-40 occasions each year.

Although we don’t have any employees, we do have 8 committee members (volunteers) who for insurance purposes are considered to be “employees”.

The main requirements of the policy are: Public and Products Liability £5m; Libel and Slander £100k; Employers Liability £10m; Trustees Indemnity £100k; Fidelity Guarantee £50k; Legal Expenses £250k.

In order to obtain this type of cover, several new procedures will need to be introduced e.g. risk assessments, financial reporting and possible references for new committee members. Some of these requirements will need to be “negotiated” with insurers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.