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Published 2 May 2014

Minutes of MCCU AGM, 22 June 2013, 2.00pm

At The Bowling Green, Friary Road, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6QJ

1) Apologies:
John Pakenham & Alex Holowczak (Warks); Chris Gibson (Northants); Robert Richmond (Notts); Simon Gilmore (Derbys); Paul Sharrat (Worcs)

Cyril Johnson, Julie Johnson, Peter Gibbs (Leics), Andrew Leadbetter, Robert Milner, Matthew Carr, Andrew Davies, Ray Dolan, Eunice Dolan (Staffs), John Hoddy (Derbys), Alan Leary (Herefords), Andrew Farthing, Ray Collett (Worcs), Glyn Pugh, Roger Brown (Shrops), Tim Walker, Drag Sudar, David Levens (Notts), John Grasham, Peter Sherlock (Lincs).

2) Minutes of the MCCU AGM 2012

2.1) Accuracy
The minutes were agreed without amendment

2.2) Matters Arising.
JJ reported that she had as requested approached Oxfordshire regarding rejoining the MCCU. She had received no response.
She also pointed delegates to an email from Chris Gibson confirming that Northants regard themselves as an MCCU county, simply not an active one in terms of inter-county events.

3) Reports:

3.1) President
A written report had been circulated. PG verbally reiterated his appreciation for the work done by JJ & his regret that she does not feel able to continue in post. Also that CJ will similarly not be continuing in post. At some appropriate point in the meeting he wished to propose that both be made Vice President.
Report accepted.

3.2) Chairman
CJ gave a brief verbal report thanking all for the opportunity to be of service.
Report accepted.

3.3) Chief Executive
A written report had been circulated which was accepted.

3.4) Secretary
A written report had been circulated which was accepted.

3.5) Finance Director
The accounts had been circulated.
AL confirmed that the accounts had been examined by the auditor & produced a signed copy. He explained that with the membership scheme there was now less cash flowing through the MCCU. The main item being county entry fees which were simply passed on to the ECF. The Junior & Congress budgets had not been spent. He further explained that he had modified the format of the accounts to exclude a number of historic items that no longer arose.
Accounts accepted.

3.6) Director for Junior Chess
A written report & associated documents had been circulated. DL asked that, should he be re-elected, any county successes at junior level be passed on to him as he is unable to read all chess reports to identify these.
AL asked if the U18 team event could be revived. DL said this might be possible, but it would require input & assistance from others as he simply could not do everything himself. One of the problems with junior chess is that there are not enough adults willing to get involved.
RC indicated that he was aware of a possible free venue for such an event in Worcester. He also commented that another problem was the number of junior organisations in existence that do not seem to co-ordinate their efforts. Could DL use his influence at national level to encourage better co-ordination? DL agreed that this was a problem, but another issue was the lack of junior organisers in several counties. He urged clubs to “adopt a school”. Training & CRB clearance should be encouraged. He stressed that it was not necessary to be a strong chess player in order to teach, indeed he is planning a DVD that would enable non-chess playing teachers to teach the game.
RC asked what DL felt it was possible to achieve going forward; DL indicated that the main thing was for each county to have at least 2 junior organisers.
DL was asked why there were so many different international junior titles; he explained that this was due to the number of different junior organisations and events.
Report accepted.

3.7) Grading Director
A written report had been circulated. PS added that since the report had been sent out he had learned that the number of non-ECF members that had played county matches had reduced. AL requested information to enable him to deal with billing game fee for these.
Report accepted.

3.8) Events Director
A written report had been circulated. CJ commented that a second arbiter’s course had been postponed due to delays with issue of revised Laws. He was asked how many had passed the exam from the first course, he explained that there had been some issues with the original marking, once they were resolved 3 had passed, with 2 almost achieving the pass mark. These 2 will have viva voce with David Welch with a view to being awarded pass status.
CJ added that he felt it was important to have some arbiter input with junior training to ensure youngsters had a good grasp of the laws.
Report accepted.

3.9) Public Relations Director
A written report had been circulated. RC added that he felt the GP vents needed looking at. The RP was not straightforward to deal with & he did not feel it was encouraging congress entries.
With regard to the dispute with e2e4 RC reiterated that he felt he was following the wished of delegates in concentrating on event within the MCCU area. If this was not the case & delegates felt they wanted a more broadly based site, he would need some help as he would not have time to do more than currently. He had not managed to get a game viewer up & running, but has included some games on the site.
JJ added that with the e2e4 issue she had established that copyright rules did not prevent publication of information by the MCCU as news items, but the Board had decided it was not worth pressing the point.
After some discussion delegates confirmed that they felt it was perfectly reasonable for RC to concentrate his efforts on events in the MCCU area. RC suggested that he would be able to publish links to congresses as this would not be particularly time consuming.
The following motion was proposed & agreed –
“The MCCU should approach organisers of congresses across England proposing to include a link to their website & to give free publicity to events in the MCCU area in anticipation of receiving their results”
Report accepted

3.10) County Teams
The NCCU proposal for a change in the grading bands was timed out at the last meeting and a teleconference call between the respective unions led to no agreement on the future grading bands. The NCCU did not take part in this call. They will remain the same for the 2013-2014 season.
Staffordshire would like more counties to consider entering the Open rather than the Minor as they have only one match in the regional stages every year.
JJ provided clarification of the rules when asked.
Report accepted.

3.11) Correspondence Chess:
      3.11.1) Individual Event
      3.11.2) Team Event (vacant)
No report was provided due to the lack of interest in the competition.

3.12) MCCU Webmaster
RC provided a combined report under 3.9.

3.13) ECF
AF reported the relative success of the ECF membership scheme over its first year in existence but that a review of it should take place at ECF level. This was echoed by many of the delegates at the meeting.
Report accepted.

3.14) Non-executives
Both of the non-executives felt that there were no matters to be brought to the attention of the board so provided no report.

4) Elections:

4.1) President                                   Peter Gibbs               Re-elected unopposed
4.2) Chairman                                  Andrew Farthing            Elected unopposed
4.3) Chief Executive                              Ray Dolan                 Elected unopposed
4.4) Secretary                                   John Grasham         Re-elected unopposed
4.5) Finance Director                      Andrew Leadbetter  Re-elected unopposed
4.6) Director for Junior Chess       David Levens           Re-elected unopposed
4.7) Director for Grading                 Peter Sherlock          Re-elected unopposed
4.8) Director for Events                   Vacant                
4.9) Director for Public Relations  Ray Collett                Re-elected unopposed
4.10) Webmaster                              Ray Collett                Re-elected unopposed
4.11) ECF Delegate                         Andrew Farthing            Re-elected unopposed
4.12) Non-executives (max.2)        John Pakenham            Re-elected unopposed
                                                            Drag Sudar               Elected unopposed
It was noted that a Director of Events was needed to appoint the controller of the MCCU stages of the county championships. This needs to be done asap as entry forms need to be circulated at the end of July.

5) Appointment of the Auditor.

R A Butters was re-appointed

6) Levy for 2012/13, Finance Director.

The levy was kept at £7 per point for the following year. This was accepted without the need for further discussion from delegates.
Northamptonshire had been invoiced for the 2012/13 year and had paid in full. They wish to remain an MCCU county but not an active one.

7) County Championship Final Stages

Discussion item - Please see the message from the Director of Home Chess.
Controller for the National Championship
No volunteer for the Controller of the event has yet been found. I am prepared to continue to do the work for this season (2013) if there is no volunteer, but a Controller is nevertheless still sought. Please contact me if you’re interested in the role. (Alex Holowczak)
The meeting came to the conclusion that the message implies that if a volunteer was not found, the national stages of the county championship would not run next year. The meeting considers this possibility unacceptable.
If was noted that the ECF constitution should be looked into to see if this possibility was unconstitutional and for the meeting to send a message to the ECF board on our behalf.
“The MCCU notes with concern that the ECF Stage of the County Championship may not run in the 2013-14 season and encourage the ECF board to ensure that it does run.”

8) Constitution

8.1) To provide for the Secretary to send out notification of AGM & any GM or SGM on instruction of the CEO or the Meetings Chairman. The current position is that only the CEO can send these. As we elected a secretary last year, following several years of vacancy, and will hopefully continue to have the post filled, it would seem logical to have this work delegated. In addition it also seems prudent to allow for meetings to still be called if the CEO is unable to issue the instruction.
The current item is as follows:-
14. Notice of General Meeting shall be posted at least 14 days prior to the date of the meeting by the Chief Executive. Notice of items, rule amendments, constitution changes, should reach the Chief Executive at least 28 days prior to the date of a General Meeting.
Add at the end of the first sentence above -
“or by the secretary on the written instruction of the Chief Executive, or if the Chief Executive is unable to issue this, by such an instruction from the Meetings Chairman.”
Passed without amendment

8.2) As a consequence item 13 would require amendment -
13. A special general Meeting shall be convened at any time upon a requisition signed by the secretaries of any three county associations which are, for the time being, members of the Union. Such a requisition shall state the business required to be transacted and should be sent to the Chief Executive. The Board shall have the power to call a Special General Meeting. Within 21 days of receiving such a notification of the need for a Special General Meeting the Chief executive shall send notification for such a meeting as prescribed in item 14.
Delete the last part of the final sentence after “Special General Meeting” and replace with “notification of such a meeting as prescribed in item 14 shall be sent.”
Passed without amendment

8.3) Further amendment to item 14.
I feel it is a nonsense that items for a GM need to be in 28 days before a meeting, which only has to be notified 14 days beforehand. If only the letter of this item was adhered to, it would be impossible for anyone other than the CEO or Meetings Chairman to put forward any items, motions etc.
I therefore propose that 14 days is replaced by 6 weeks. This would in effect mean that what I have in the past issued as a preliminary notice of meeting would become the actual notice.
All amendments above proposed by the CEO
Withdrawn by the CEO.

9) Any other business

The meeting was asked to locate all the missing trophies owned by the MCCU. The lack of a congress means that the trophies are in disuse at the moment but should they be called upon in the future they would be available. The Forrest Cup and PC Gibbs Correspondence Trophy are examples. The new CEO will look into this.
A message of thanks was given to Cyril and Julie Johnson for all the hard work that they had put into the MCCU over many years and it was proposed that both of them be elected MCCU vice-presidents. This was passed (almost) unanimously. It was also proposed that Neil Graham also be made a vice-president. This was also passed unanimously.

10) Date/place of next meeting

21st June 2014 at Syston.

Meeting closed at 4.22pm by CJ.