21 March 2024

Outcomes of the 2024 AGM

An overview of our 2024 AGM outcomes

Our AGM on 16th March at Clapham Village Hall received an excellent turnout, with 19 clubs attending, and a total of 44 people (approximately; we are still finalising the minutes). We are really pleased to see so much interest in participating in CNCC and working with us to improve caving in our region.

A busy meeting lay ahead, but sadly our Chairman, Andrew Hinde was ill, so our PR/Comms Officer and former Secretary, Matt Ewles stepped in to chair the meeting.

One of the first items to consider was an application for full membership from two clubs, Birmingham Student Caving Club and Ulster Speleological Society and Caving Club. This is noteworthy because neither are based in the traditional CNCC northern England/Scotland region, but both put forward a compelling background to their enthusiasm for caving in our region and great reasons for wanting to support us. Both were accepted.

We then moved onto some constitutional amendments… don't worry, we'll keep this brief! 

The first aimed to remove the need for our Individual Caver (IC) representative to be a BCA Direct Individual Member. The IC-rep Committee position has existed since 2016, but so far has yet to attract any volunteers. This proposal went in parallel with a few housekeeping amendments to support this. These came to the AGM with the broad backing of the outgoing CNCC Committee, so we were confident in the level of support.

An amendment by the Craven Pothole Club, broadly opposing the proposal, was healthily debated as it raised many excellent and well-argued points (as we would expect from CPC, who have been strong supporters of the CNCC since our beginning), but in the end, the mood of the room was in favour of the original proposal, which was carried with a strong majority.

This meant we were able to elect Tim Allen as our new IC representative. Many of you will remember the outstanding work Tim did as our Access Officer, achieving open access across most of our major fells, and the work he and Jane Allen have done for promoting caving across our region and nationally, including of course running UKCaving. To have Tim back on-board in an official role is a real win for CNCC and we look forward to working with him as he aspires to provide a voice for those who cave outside of a club structure.

You can email Tim via the new address icrep@cncc.org.uk if you have any points to raise.

Second was a proposal to change our name. This has been discussed on and off for a decade, but there have always been bigger fish to fry in the past.

However, over the last year we have made a push to greater inclusivity for younger caves, through our new Youth Development rep, and for all, via our new Inclusivity Coordinator. We have also received feedback that the ‘Council of Northern Caving Clubs’ name was giving the impression that we only care about those caving as part of a club, which was detrimental to our image with external bodies and access forums.

With all of this in mind, this year was the time to finally consider a change, although the appetite to lose the well-recognised CNCC initials was weaker. Therefore, we identified a couple of options to retain these initials:

  • Council of Northern Cavers and Clubs
  • Council for the Northern Caving Community

After a short discussion, there was strong support for a change, and although we expected very mixed opinions on the choice, Council for the Northern Caving Community won by a significant landslide.

We are now the Council for the Northern Caving Community! 

As this retains the CNCC initials, our rebranding will be rather more discrete than the change the Cambrian Caving Council have just announced (to Caving Wales). However, the outward message of who we aspire to represent is now notably different.

Our Officer reports provided a summary of all the work we have supported over the last year, and they make for some inspirational reading. Numerous conservation projects supported with funding, materials or publicity, dozens of well-attended training workshops, more caves now anchored, updated topos and descriptions, recruitment of new volunteers, a pioneering initiative to support new-to-caving events, promotion of caving, and more.

Finally, we elected our Officers and Committee for 2024-2025. In addition to our outgoing Committee all restanding, we had an application from Ulster Speleological Society and Caving Club. All were elected, meaning for the first time in a while, all 14 club positions on the Committee are taken, and for the first time ever, the IC representative role too.

Apart from our Access Officer, all our elected Officers re-stood for their positions, but with a few declaring that this may be their last year.

With no advanced applicants for the role of Access Officer, the offer to stand fell to those attending the meeting. To our delight Kai Trusson, from Birmingham Student Caving Club enthusiastically volunteered and was elected. We are really looking forward to working with Kai over the coming year, and the handover is already underway, with help from our Secretary, and our two former Access Officers, Adele Ward and Tim Allen.

Finally, we voted to continue the CNCC’s exploration grant scheme for this year. This relatively new initiative has yet to receive any applications, but we are proud to offer this particularly for those looking to get involved in new exploration but for who funding is a major barrier.

It was such a positive, productive and well-supported AGM, and we come away with a full Officer and Committee team, a new name and two new member clubs.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

Finally, a reminder to everyone, that if you wish to keep up to date with CNCC news, you can follow us on Facebook, UKCaving, or sign up to our mailing list, where you can expect to receive roughly monthly emails with all the latest news and updates.

Copyright 2024 Council for the Northern Caving Community.