AGM Minutes 6 April 2014

British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 6 April 2014

Provisional until ratified at AGM 2015

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 7 April 2013.

The minutes were accepted by the meeting as a correct record.

2. Matters arising from the minutes

There were no matters arising not already itemised.

3. President’s Report

Peter Waldron submitted a written report to the meeting. Conference 2013 was very successful financially and the profit generated would help to fund the BASEES Research and Development activity. Autumn 2013 had seen a transition to a new website, which contributed to improving communications about what BASEES does. He had continued to make representations to issues that affect BASEES and its members, for example on Open Access to HEFCE and other organisations; he had also played a part in the Academy of Social Sciences’ study on the role of learned societies; he had made representations on behalf of Levada to the Russian government.

4. Membership Secretary’s Report

Peter Waldron welcomed Melanie Ilic back into the role, which she took over in January 2014. Melanie Ilic submitted a written report to the meeting. She had found it interesting to take over at time of transition in procedures: the new website had facilitated a move to online application, which was more efficient. She reported that a huge number of people on the membership database were not paying regular subscriptions, so her most urgent task is to contact such people who may not be aware that their membership has lapsed. Of those who are paying subs, she reported that most are not paying at the rate agreed at the 2012 AGM. More positively, she reported that there was plenty of interest in joining BASEES, as she had handled  several new applications just in the first three months of 2014. Peter Waldron thanked Melanie Ilic and also Jon Oldfield for their work in identifying the above issues.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Jon Oldfield submitted a written report to the meeting. 2013 had been a good financial year which had rectified losses of previous years, the BASEES/EuroICCEES Conference 2013 had made over £9000. He noted that the accounts item under Payment for communications included a one-off payment for setting up the new website. Overall the Association’s figures were much healthier. As actioned in the minutes of AGM 2013, Jon Oldfield had looked into changing auditors, but had opted to stay with the existing firm as their fee is lower this year and it is more convenient to stay with those who know our accounts. He acknowledged that once the membership subscription issues are resolved this will help the Association’s finances.

Acceptance of the Treasurer's report was proposed by Stephen White and seconded by Melanie Ilic, and agreed by the meeting.

6. Information Officer’s Report

Claire Shaw presented an oral report to the meeting. She reported that the newsletter was published three times per year, distributed electronically, and had been reformatted to fit with the new logo colour scheme and resized. This was all done by the existing designer of the newsletter. There had been small changes to content: there is now a regular column on Routledge series; there is also a regular section dedicated to  raising the profile of postgraduates, such as those supported by the R&D fund. She remains open to suggestions for content. The online profile of BASEES had changed hugely, thanks to the new website, which will make a big difference to how we communicate with members and generate information, for example the newsletter can be uploaded to the website. Claire Shaw thanked Matthias Neumann for all his work on establishing and maintaining the website. In respect of other means of communication, she reported that the format of the ‘basees-members’ Jiscmail list enables members themselves to distribute information, so that the newsletter can therefore be a space for longer, more reflective items. The Jiscmail list is one of two email lists which need to be consolidated. BASEES is also becoming more active on Facebook and Twitter. Peter Sowden commended the newsletter. Stephen Hutchings suggested a section in the newsletter on Knowledge Transfer and Impact, given the importance of these to funding bodies. This was agreed.

7. Report on the work of the Research and Development Committee

Jeremy Hicks was unable to attend the meeting but submitted a written report in absentia. Peter Waldron spoke to the report on his behalf. The R&D Committee had received fewer applications and funded more compared to the previous year, so that overall the money spent had increased a little since the previous year. Stephen White noted two items in the report where apparently postgraduates had been funded simply to present a paper at conference; he queried whether this was in line with the defined purpose of the R&D fund. Mary MacRobert framed the issue in terms of transparency and proposed that the R&D Committee either state explicitly that it would fund postgraduate attendance at conferences, or not fund future applications of this type. It was agreed by the meeting that this be discussed at the BASEES Committee meeting the following day, bearing in mind the possible financial consequences of extending the fund to such applications. Peter Waldron noted that the R&D Committee had turned down an application for funding to bring Russian delegates to participate in a panel at Conference 2014. Melanie Ilic noted that in line with regulating the membership database, the R&D Committee must check that they are only funding BASEES members.

8. Prizes:

a. Alexander Nove Prize

Sarah Hudspith reported that there had been three applications considered for the Nove prize, and confirmed that the winner of this year’s Nove prize is Sarah Oates for Revolution Stalled: The Political Limits of the Internet in the Post-Soviet Sphere (Oxford University Press). Sarah Hudspith reported that it had been drawn to the Committee’s attention that the book should technically belong to the cohort eligible for the following year’s prize scheme (as it was published in 2013 instead of 2012). It was thought that the mistake had come about because the published prize scheme details had fallen out of date during the transition to a new website. As this had only come to light just before the Conference, the Committee had unanimously agreed to put to the AGM the following solution: that the prize for this year should still be awarded to Sarah Oates; that the next Nove prize cycle should be open to books published in both 2012 and 2013 so that no year cohort be disadvantaged, and that if the judges found deserving winners from both year cohorts then two prizes would be awarded. The meeting agreed this solution. Sarah Hudspith expressed thanks to the judges Terry Cox and Stephen Hutchings for their hard work.

. George Blazyca Prize

Sarah Hudspith reported that there had been five applications considered for the Blazyca prize, and confirmed that the winner of the Blazyca prize for a book published in 2012 is Longina Jakubowska for Patrons of History: Nobility, Capital and Political Transitions in Poland (Ashgate). Sarah Hudspith expressed thanks to the judges Cathie Carmichael and Karen Henderson for their hard work.

. Postgraduate Prize

Sarah Hudspith reported that in its first year there had been six applications considered for the Postgraduate Prize for Best Scholarly Article, and confirmed that the winner is Lukasz Szulc for ‘From queer to gay to Queer.pl. The names we dare to speak in Poland’ Lambda Nordica 17 (4), 2012: 65-98. Sarah Hudspith expressed thanks to the judges Sam Greene and Luke March for their hard work.

9. Election of Officers and Committee Members

The following nominations for officer posts were received:

Membership Secretary: Melanie Ilic (University of Gloucester) proposed by Sarah Hudspith, seconded by Ruth Coates.

The following nominations were received for Ordinary Members:

Matilda Mroz (University of Greenwich) proposed by Claire Whitehead, seconded by Katharine Hodgson.

All the proposals were unanimously approved.

Secretary Sarah Hudspith, Treasurer Jon Oldfield and Information Officer Claire Shaw were reconfirmed in their posts.

Peter Waldron noted that Brendan McGeever would be stepping down from his Committee post as Postgraduate Representative; a new representative would be co-opted as soon as possible and this would be reported in the Newsletter following the appointment.

10. Conference 2014

Matthias Neumann reported that Conference 2014 had attracted 420 delegates. These figures were healthy compared with Conference 2013, which attracted 500 but was one day longer due to the combined event with EuroICCEES. Initial feedback suggested the Conference was intellectually as well as financially successful. £4,500 had been allocated to support postgraduate participation, which had resulted in many young people attending, thus indicating good prospects for the future of the event and the discipline. The organisers had produced a programme booklet again as this was popular last year. Stephen White asked about BASEES’s relationship with the commercial conference organisers, Suzy Howes and Associates, and requested more information on the conference accounts. Peter Waldron commended the Howes, they are both responsive and pro-active, and the Committee has received good feedback on them from delegates too. Matthias Neumann reported regarding the conference accounts that they had tried to be conservative in terms of estimating the amount of  money to support postgraduates, as the level of conference income cannot be guaranteed until March, whereas the postgraduate support sum is decided on in the Autumn. They had opted to fund a larger number of smaller grants to encourage more people to come. Advertising in the conference programme booklet pulls in £1,500 which effectively covers the cost of printing. Stephen White proposed that it would be a good principle to see the previous year’s conference accounts at the AGM. The meeting agreed that this should be instituted from AGM 2015. Planning for Conference 2015 would begin the following day at the BASEES Committee meeting.

The meeting expressed thanks to Matthias Neumann for the huge amount of work he had done in organising the conference.

 11. AOB

a. Report on XV Congress of Slavists

Mary MacRobert presented a written report. She explained that the International Committee of Slavists expects each country to have a national committee which sends a representative to the Congress and reports back to their national committee, which is why a report comes back to the BASEES AGM. The Congress was a success, there had been speculation that some participants may have been put off by the location in Belarus but the participation rate was still good. Prof Arnold McMillin gave a plenary address, marking the first time for some years that someone from UK had done this. The condition on participation of pre-publication of papers was seen as unwieldy by UK participants; electronic pre-publication on the website of Oxford University was arranged in order for the UK participants to meet the criteria. The International Committee is now planning to rethink this condition, as there is a need to attract more people studying literature and culture; currently papers are mostly weighted in favour of languages and linguistics. Claire Shaw noted that BASEES would support promotion of the next Congress (2018 in Belgrade) via the newsletter, website and its other media. Peter Waldron thanked Mary MacRobert for being the UK representative.

b. Proposal for a BASEES Women’s Committee

Judith Pallot proposed setting up a Women’s Committee, with the brief to encourage more women into the field, to encourage and promote courses on women’s studies in the field, and also to support women in how to deal with gendered attitudes when doing fieldwork etc. The Women’s Committee’s main aims would be to mentor young women researchers, to encourage research on and by women, to establish a prize thereon, to sponsor conference panels and workshops focused on gender and related issues.  The next step would be to form the committee, consult the BASEES membership more widely and hold an inaugural event. Stephen White queried the status of such a committee in relation to BASEES and asked whether there might be an existing model for formalising its relationship to BASEES. Judith Pallot agreed that the proposed Women’s Committee would need a constitution, but that it could sit within the existing BASEES structures, by contrast with ASEEES women’s committee, which is completely separate. Peter Sowden noted that there could be publication possibilities arising from the activities of a Women’s Committee. Peter Waldron noted that the move would be timely, with regard to the Gender Equality Charter Mark that would be instituted for higher education soon. Judith Pallot proposed that Melanie Ilic should sit on the Women’s Committee in her capacity as Membership Secretary. The meeting agreed that the Women’s Committee should be established. Brendan McGeever noted on a related issue that there was low participation in the BASEES Conferences from the black and ethnic minority community and suggested that this might be a subject for future discussion.

c. Dismissal of Andrei Zubov

Philip Boobyer reported on the dismissal of Andrei Zubov, a Professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), due to his article comparing Russia’s actions in Crimea with  the Anschluss. A public letter in support of him from Vladislav Zubok (of LSE) had served to delay but not prevent his dismissal. Philip Boobyer spoke as both a friend and collaborator of Zubov. He declared that there is a need for a response to show that the academic community in the West is concerned by such matters, and proposed that a letter should be sent on behalf of BASEES to Anatoly Torkunov, the Rector of MGIMO. The letter should be supportive of Torkunov who, it is believed, was pressured into dismissing Zubov, and since Zubov’s article has stimulated some debate within Russia, a letter from BASEES would  to give Torkunov more ammunition in any further discussions with the Kremlin. Peter Waldron noted that BASEES should not be drawn into political statements and that the idea was to write in defence of academic freedom. The letter should be private at first but should include a statement that if Torkunov felt it appropriate then BASEES would be happy for it to be made public. No response from Western organisations could also be seen as a signal. Stephen White reported precedents where BASEES has spoken on freedom of speech issues. The meeting agreed that Philip Boobyer and Richard Sakwa would draft the letter.

d. Report on BASEES Routledge series.

Peter Sowden submitted a written report on the BASEES Routledge series. The series now had a total of 96 books published, with two more in production; five of those published this year were first time authors publishing their PhD thesis. The cumulative revenue from the series over the past 12 years had passed the £1 million mark, with roughly £2,000 in royalties generated for BASEES this year. 60 paperbacks on demand have been published, and all new titles are also published as e-books. The BASEES series does not represent Routledge’s entire activity in the field, as other publications on Russian, Central and East European Studies are published by Routledge as part of different series. Stephen White proposed a vote of thanks to Peter Sowden. Peter Waldron thanked Routledge for sponsoring the Sunday evening drinks reception, commended the BASEES series as a model of collaboration between a learned society and a publisher, and noted that we look forward to 100th edition.

 

AGM Minutes 7 April 2013

British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 7 April 2013

1. Minutes of the meeting held on 1 April 2012.

The minutes, a summary of which were published in the May 2012 newsletter, were accepted by the meeting as a correct record.

2. Matters arising from the minutes

Item 2: Stephen Hutchings confirmed that the 20th /21st Century Literature study group had lapsed. Rosalind Marsh volunteered to convene it and to broaden the focus to include cultural studies.

Item 3: Visa issues for conference delegates: Stephen Hutchings had asked for reports of visa issues and sent the collated information to the British Academy. Stephen Hutchings also wrote to a national newspaper on the issue but the letter was not published. Suzy Howes (conference organizer) had written to the local Cambridge MPs but got no response.

Item 9b): Changes to the constitution allowing extension of full membership to international scholars: Stephen Hutchings confirmed that having talked to other presidents of learned societies,  until last year BASEES was in a minority in not doing so. Therefore he confirmed that this change is appropriate.

3. President’s Report

Stephen Hutchings submitted a written report to the meeting. He commended his committee colleagues and society members for making his job so pleasant, and offered his thanks to the committee, especially those who were leaving it. In his capacity as Past President, Stephen would continue on the committee as one of the Nove prize judges.

Item 2:  Stephen Hutchings announced the new postgraduate prize. The committee had not ruled out the possibility of further prizes in the future,  for example an early career researcher prize. Rosalind Marsh asked for clarification of the terms. Stephen confirmed that it is for the best scholarly article or book chapter published by a postgraduate.

Item 3: On the subject of Open Access, Stephen Hutchings stated that BASEES has been active in protesting about the implementation. The situation is still unclear, so BASEES will carry on acting when necessary. David Lane asked for comment more on OA and what might be an acceptable alternative. Stephen replied that the academic community is in favour of OA but has concerns about the speed of introduction and the impact on funding models for journals. There is not enough money to make every article OA under the Gold model, so the Green model makes articles available in university repositories but only after an embargo period so as to protect journals. Hence there is a debate over the length of embargo. RCUK may have conceded 2 years. There is also a debate over creative commons licensing (CC-BY): this allows ‘data-mining’ –the use of extracts of research, including out of context, with minimal requirement for acknowledgement. Peter Sowden noted that monographs will also ultimately be in the frame for OA, with the concern that if books are not funded via sales how will they be funded? RCUK policy currently only applies to articles, but may be made to apply to monographs for REF2020.

Item 3a): Stephen Hutchings noted that there would be another round of nominations for the Academy of Social Sciences in July, so BASEES will ask for suggestions.

Item 3b): Stephen Hutchings had attended a meeting with AHRC who seem genuine in wanting input from learned societies on themed calls. He reported that BASEES had responded to the RCUK Triennial Review, and noted that this is still ongoing so there is still time to make further responses.

Item 3c) Stephen Hutchings invited ideas for maximising the impact of the Dunn report. Stephen White suggested a press release. Returns to the survey showed a perception that BASEES should do more to defend and consolidate position of the field. Stephen Hutchings has spare hard copies of the report.

Item 4: Stephen Hutchings acknowledged that Bulgarian at UCL was not viable but expressed his disappointment that Bulgarian is disappearing from UK HEIs. Peter Duncan thanked Stephen for his letter of support about Bulgarian. On the other hand Stephen expressed pleasure that he had received no other requests to write letters of support to vulnerable depts. Rosalind Marsh queried whether there is now an issue of non-replacement of retiring colleagues and asked if Stephen would write to the University of Bath and ask that she be replaced with a Russianist.

Stephen Hutchings concluded his report by expressing his thanks again and offering good wishes to the new President, Peter Waldron.

4. Secretary’s Report

Sarah Hudspith submitted a written report to the meeting. She announced the new BASEES logo and thanked Matthias Neumann, Stephen Hutchings and Peter Waldron for arranging this. She outlined the various electronic means of communication now used by BASEES, including the email lists (a general members list and a postgraduate members list), Facebook and Twitter, and online file sharing for the committee. She noted that Claire Shaw as Information Officer would comment further on communications issues.

5. Membership Secretary’s Report

Natasha Rulyova was unable to attend the AGM but submitted a written report to the meeting in absentia.  The report shows that membership is holding up well; the number of members is set to grow as there are some applications pending and there has been a steady rise over last 4-6 years. It is hoped that the conference will add to membership numbers through delegates enrolling as they register for the conference or simply by promoting BASEES as an attractive organisation. BASEES is planning a move to online membership; some providers have been identified but can be very expensive to there is a need to consider all the options carefully, and other learned societies are being consulted to find out what their system is. As the membership fees were raised last year partly to allow for the move to online membership, BASEES needs to be certain of the impact of the fees increase on the level of membership before committing finances to an online package.

Melanie Ilic noted that for some members at least, direct debits went out with the old amount. Stephen Hutchings replied that this is being investigated: the fault may lie with CAF (the membership handler). Such glitches are another reason for caution before moving to a new system.

6. Treasurer’s Report

Jon Oldfield was unable to attend the AGM but submitted a written report to the meeting in absentia. The main BASEES account is in deficit but doesn't reflect the income from the conference, which the committee will know in May. It was noted that the accounts show there is not a large margin for error. The reserve accounts have been going down over the years, but the committee is hopeful that the new membership fees will help.

Matthias Neumann commented that the break even figure for the conference was 425 delegates but we have 485 delegates, so BASEES should make a profit. Rosalind Marsh asked whether ICCEES contributes finances for the conference.  It was confirmed that they do not, but the co-hosting with ICCEES has created our profit.

Stephen White asked why a financial report for the conference itself is not presented at the AGM, as BASEES members have little access to decisions made on conference spending , for example financial support for postgraduates. Such reports have been given in the past. The committee agreed to ask Suzy and Charlie Howes (conference organizers) at the committee meeting on 8 April 2013, and that a report on the finances for the 2013 conference would be presented at the next AGM.

Melanie Ilic noted that the Treasurer’s Report shows a large increase in fees for affiliations to other associations, and also in auditors fees. Stephen Hutchings confirmed that Jon Oldfield as the new Treasurer is planning to find a cheaper auditor. Peter Waldron commented that the accounts show 2 years' worth of affiliations fees in one go.

Terry Cox proposed a motion nominating the current auditors retrospectively as this is a requirement of the Charity Commission. The current auditors are Law and Co Chartered Accountants. The meeting agreed that the committee would confirm the auditors on behalf of AGM. The auditors’ signed copy of the accounts was not available to show the AGM but the committee noted this had been received.

Acceptance of the Treasurer's report was proposed by Stephen White and seconded by Judith Pallot, and agreed by the meeting.

7. Information Officer’s Report

Claire Shaw presented a written report to the meeting. She noted that BASEES is in a transition phase in terms of its means of information giving: there is a website, newsletter, email lists and social media. The newsletter has been made electronic only for cost reasons and also because in this format it is more flexible and can be expanded. Given the variety of communications methods now used by BASEES, Claire invited members to express what they value in the newsletter and what they use it for – what could be done differently, and whether members use the website more for conference announcements and calls for papers? Brendan McGeever argued that the newsletter is still very important, particularly for having everything together in one place and could be posted on the BASEES Facebook site to encourage use of both media. Peter Sowden said that the President’s letter is always informative. Jeremy Hicks suggested the request for feedback on the newsletter be circulated on the BASEES members email list. Rosalind Marsh suggested getting information for the newsletter from Richard Ramage’s email list.

8. Report on the work of the Research and Development Committee

Derek Hutcheson presented a written report to the meeting. He reported on an active year with lots of applications; the R&D committee tried to fund as many applicants as possible with as much money as possible within the budget. Not every application was funded and not every application that received funding was fully funded. The R&D committee tried instead to fund specific things such as flights, accommodation, so as to give some funding to as many applicants as possible. It also proved to be a delicate balancing act to spread the year’s budget across the three application deadlines. Out of the three areas to which applications were eligible (postgraduate funding, conference organising and study group funding), the study group fund was the only one undersubscribed. Derek noted that not all applications approved in one year are funded that year, which accounts for some disparities in the accounts. Derek also confirmed that he had undertaken an audit of BASEES study groups which had attested that most are active.

Brendan McGeever formally expressed thanks to Derek on behalf of the postgraduate community, as the R&D committee had funded the highest number of applications from postgraduates in many years.

Stephen Hutchings expressed hope that BASEES will have more money in future for R&D due to the fees increase and if future conferences are as successful as this year’s.

Rosalind Marsh suggested that the existence of the CEELBAS fund may have drawn applications away from BASEES but noted that this fund will come to an end in 2016.

9. Prizes:

a. Alexander Nove Prize

Stephen Hutchings confirmed that the winner of the Nove prize for a book published in 2011 is Andreas Schonle for Architecture of Oblivion. Sarah Hudspith stated that there had been 10 eligible applications for the Nove prize, and expressed thanks to the judges Terry Cox and David Shepherd for their hard work.

. George Blazyca Prize

Stephen Hutchings confirmed that the winner of the Blazyca prize for a book published in 2011 is Anne White for Polish Families and Migration. Sarah Hudspith stated that there had been 3 eligible applications for the Blazyca prize, and expressed thanks to the judges Cathie Carmichael and Karen Henderson for their hard work.

10. Election of Officers and Committee Members

The following nominations for officer posts were received:

Treasurer: Jon Oldfield (University of Glasgow) proposed by Terry Cox, seconded by Sarah Hudspith.

The following nominations were received for Ordinary Members:

Luke March (University of Edinburgh) proposed by Richard Sakwa, seconded by Derek Hutcheson;

Judith Pallot (University of Oxford) proposed by Peter Waldron, seconded by Matthias Neumann;

Sam Greene (Kings Russia Institute) proposed by Cathie Carmichael seconded by Simon Dixon.

All the proposals were unanimously approved.

A new Membership Secretary was also required and likely to be appointed very soon but it had not been possible formally to propose a candidate by the time of the AGM. The new appointee would therefore be formally confirmed in post at the next AGM.

Secretary Sarah Hudspith and Information Officer Claire Shaw were reconfirmed in their posts.

11. Conference 2013

Stephen Hutchings invited the meeting to give feedback on the conference.

Peter Sowden said it had been well organised.

Rosalind Marsh asked whether there were fewer British speakers than usual, and it was agreed that it merely seemed so because there were more international speakers than usual.

Peter Duncan requested that the AGM not coincide with panels again; the committee confirmed that this arrangement was just for this year due to the size of the conference.

Derek Hutcheson noted that Churchill College was very pleasant for accommodation. Matthias Neumann replied that Fitzwilliam College was more flexible with regard to late cancellations etc., but agreed that the Churchill rooms were nicer, bigger and cheaper.

Matthias Neumann reported that there were 143 panels and 485 delegates at the conference. He noted that the properly printed programme booklet, made possible through advertising sales, had proved popular. He also reported that this year overseas delegates had experienced visa problems only in terms of tight timescales rather than rejections. This type of visa problem had unfortunately lost us a few panels.

Judith Pallot expressed that she was  impressed with the conference and that BASEES should try to hold the numbers of delegates, especially taking into account that many UK scholars find the cost of going to ASEEES prohibitive. She asked whether the same scale of conference could be replicated without ICCEES. Matthias replied that the conference can be expanded even within its usual 3 day slot; the conference had already grown during the last couple of years. It was hoped the success of this year would help to promote future conferences.

Matthias Neumann reported that the conference no longer charges publishers for their displays, and delegates have reported being pleased the book stands are back.

Judith Pallot commented that it would be helpful if panel organisers/chairs were told to keep to the order of papers.

Rosalind Marsh lamented that there were no conference folders; with the programme booklet it was felt that a folder was an unnecessary expense.

Brendan McGeever reported that postgraduate attendees are giving very positive feedback, saying that it has been the best BASEES conference so far.

Brendan McGeever also noticed that the registration/information desk staff have struggled this year, as many delegates requested to be taken to Churchill College and back: this may indicate that more signage between the sites is required. Rosalind Marsh was of the view that even signage to the Fitzwilliam College rooms is sometimes inadequate.

Judith Pallot commended Richard Sakwa’s opening keynote speech which set the right tone and drew a high level of conference attendance right from the start. Matthias Neumann reported that the 'in conversation' format for an event after dinner had worked well and was more successful than holding a keynote speech after dinner.

The meeting expressed thanks to Matthias Neumann for the huge amount of work he had done in organising the conference.

12. AOB

Peter Sowden was invited to report to the membership on the BASEES Routledge book series. He tabled a written report and stated that it has been a good year. The entire back catalogue of the series is on display at the conference. He expressed his pleasure at being able to publish lots of first time authors. The meeting registered a vote of thanks to Peter Sowden.

Terry Cox proposed a formal vote of thanks to the outgoing President Stephen Hutchings, which was unanimously agreed.