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Macclesfield Canal Society AGM -Meeting Notes

Macclesfield Canal Society, AGM Meeting - 8th December 2016, at Silk Trader, Macclesfield

-1- Chairman’s Report

Ray Butler lead his first Chairman’s Report at this year’s AGM, he started with the great news of the recent awards presented to the Macclesfield Canal, notably these included the renewal of the Green Flag Award for 2016/17 plus the Living Waterways Award. The only other canal with a Green Flag being Peak Forest Canal (From Marple Aqueduct to Bugsworth Basin), just to re state this, these are the only canals in the World with Green Flags!!
The volunteer leadership MCS had played was developing, and bearing fruit, we have established the leadership of several Adoption Groups notably MAG (Macclesfield Adoption Group) and BLAG (Bosley Locks Adoption Group). The Societies contribution has also been evident through the new Signs and Maps installed in the Macclesfield area. We have also lead tidy up sessions in Poynton plus the Vegetation Clearance week lead by Ray in November, this particular session contributing over 230 volunteer hours with 17 volunteers and clearing over 14 miles of canal from Hall Green to Swettenham Street.
HALOUS was a success in 2016 and the planning for the event in 2017 is already underway, the donations for 2016 were down on 2015 due to fewer boats and also, perhaps , people being more generous last year due to us collecting on behalf of the Bosley explosion.
The Bollington boat gathering attracted several older boats and was also well supported by CRT and many visitors to this event including the Bollington towpath team.
Plans for the canal and MCS in 2017 will include the further development of volunteer hours via Adoption Groups, and a plan to arrange a cross Adoption Group meeting to learn and share best practices. We also understand there are plans to dredge parts of the canal, but I think we have heard this before!
A couple of other developments in MCS would include updating the constitution (see below) and re-initiate the Web site.
Ray thanked the committee for their great efforts in 2016 and reminded the Society Members that they needed to support the society and their committee “Your Canal Needs You! “ .
In a response to this Piers Lambert offered to join the committee and would attend the next meeting.
Ray also complemented The Canal & River Trust for the improved relationships we have seen in 2016.

-2- Treasurer’s Report

Alan presented his latest accounts spreadsheet and provided multiple copies for the members to review.
The changes in our situation were not likely to have a major impact, however, our HALOUS revenue had fallen in 2016 and also we had lost some advertising revenues from Milestone. Nonetheless the club was in a reasonable financial state and had funds to support itself for at least a 12-18 months’ expenditure. The committee will need to develop some ideas to address this situation and will do so in the next few months.

Alan Mackellar had audited the financial statement and this was seconded by Trevor Hunt, Alan had wanted to state that he would not be able to audit the statement in the future, and in addition Alan Secker had made it known that he would not be available to be the Treasurer for 2017 so a replacement should be sought.

Macclesfield Canal AGM December 2016 1

A vote of thanks to both Alans was given by Ray and the Society.

-3- Committee

Ray confirmed that the Committee as:

  • Ian Edgar- President
  • Ray Butler-Chairman
  • Kate Bonson- Membership Secretary
  • Alan Secker-Treasurer
  • Duncan Learmond-Secretary
  • Stewart Smith- Programme Manager
  • Trevor Hunt - Committee Member

-4- Amendments to Constitution

Milestone was used to distribute copies of the proposed constitutional changes to all of the MCS membership, the changes were minor and basically to reflect our more modern situation, plus other changes (for example the change from BW to CRT).
The changes were reviewed with the Society Members in attendance to ensure full understanding of these proposals. In addition, there had been no comments or questions on these changes from members that were not able to attend the meeting.
The members accepted and hence adopted these changes and they were seconded by Trevor Hunt, these will now be reflected in our changed constitution.

-5- AOB

Some comments were raised in the meeting; these can be summarized as follows:

  • Trevor Hunt suggested that as we no longer ran a Raffle that we should have donations box as any additional contributions could be obtained, this was especially the case with visitors for example.

  • It was stated that Br 47 was a traditional Macc canal swing bridge and we should do our utmost to ensure it remained in place. Ray explained that it was likely that the bridge would be left open (as it was becoming increasing difficult to close) and a simple foot bridge may need to be installed. Nothing was confirmed on this yet.

  • A member asked if the wooden seat at Br 40 was to be re-instated, we were happy to inform the member that the seat had been installed just the day before this AGM and were able to show him a picture of it!!

    Duncan Learmond - Secretary