In advance of the 2016 AGM to be held on Friday 22nd April, below are reproduced the minutes of last year's WMG AGM for the perusal of all members. There will be an opportunity to comment on these minutes at the 2016 AGM.
Minutes of the AGM of the ITI West Midlands Group
held at Aston University, Birmingham on Friday 20th March 2015
Jean Darvill (Membership)
Charlie Gobbett (Treasurer)
Juliet Hammond-Smith (Group Co-ordinator)
Ulrike Nichols (Publicity and Website)
Jakub Sacharczuk (Interpreting)
Ordinary and student members:
The meeting was opened at 1pm by Juliet Hammond-Smith (Co-ordinator), and debated the following agenda:
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Rekha Narula (interpreting) and Liz Smith (Membership).
2. Minutes of previous AGM held on Friday 9 May 2014 at 21 Ashleigh Road, Solihull
These were accepted unanimously.
3. WMG 10th Anniversary (Juliet Hammond-Smith)
The workshop held either side of the AGM, and other events organised this year, were being publicised with a logo saying ‘WMG, Celebrating our 10th Anniversary”. Ros was documenting the history of the Group year by year on the WMG website and was thanked for this and her work with the Group over the past decade.
4. Changes to the Constitution
The constitution currently stated that our AGM has to be held in April, but in order to give us more flexibility when organising the AGM to coincide with a professional event, a proposal was made that we should change this requirement to state that the AGM has to be held by the end of May. This change was approved unanimously.
5. Finance Report (Charlie Gobbett)
Charlie handed out a 3-year breakdown of the WMG’s finances covering the period April 2012 to March 2015.
He commented that membership subscriptions were up significantly on the previous year, due to Jean’s and Liz’s hard work.
The overall position was once again healthy, with income exceeding expenditure by some £800 during the 2014/15 financial year, and a current account balance of over £4,750.
6. Membership (Jean Darvill)
Current membership of the WMG stood at 40, including 9 students. Jean announced that she was standing down as Membership Secretary, and from the WMG Committee, as she had recently taken over the running of the ITI German Network newsletter, but she had been working closely in recent months with Liz Smith, who was now taking over this role.
7. Walks (Mike Hanson)
The regular WMG summer walk had been replaced with an early autumn walk last year, when we joined the Western Regional Group for a steam train ride, walk and picnic in the Cotswolds in September. No winter walk had been organised in 2015 but the Group was looking forward to its 10th anniversary walk in July (details to follow), which would be its 20th walk in total.
8. Website, publicity, contacts with ITI (Ulrike Nichols)
Ulrike invited people to make suggestions on the sort of content she should be tweeting on the WMG Twitter account. At present she tries to go for language and culture-related topics (e.g. Birmingham Library), ITI bulletin articles, etc.
9. Update on interpreting (Jakub Sacharczuk)
Jakub pointed out that not many WMG members were interpreters and that it would be desirable to increase this figure. An interpreting training event was being organised by the Group in May and it was hoped that this would be a way to boost interpreter membership numbers.
10. Events over the past year (Juliet Hammond-Smith)
Juliet provided a summary of the Group’s activities over the past 12 months.
11. Shadowing with Aston students (Shelagh Rothero)
A shadowing scheme had run again this year but uptake had been patchy – while some students had eagerly followed up their contact, others had not been in touch at all. Shelagh planned to produce a survey to document the success of this year’s scheme and to feed back the results to Aston Uni. An Aston student who had participated in last year’s shadowing scheme contributed (as an observer sitting in on the meeting) a “student’s viewpoint” and pointed out that any lack of uptake might be related to the fact that this scheme was presented as optional not compulsory, and that as students were very busy with their own course work, they might not have time to take up the offer.
12. WMG Bursary for CPD
There was a debate over the eligibility criteria for this bursary, at the end of which it was decided that anyone who was a full member of WMG could qualify for the £20 contribution, provided that: i) a CPD certificate was available for the training course or event; and ii) they would have to write an article on the course/event attended, for the benefit of other members.
13. Election of committee members
All Committee members were happy to stand for re-election and were re-appointed to the following posts en bloc. Proposed by: Mike Hanson Seconded by: Ros Mendy
WMG Coordinator: Juliet Hammond-Smith
Treasurer: Charlie Gobbett
Membership Secretary: Liz Smith
Publicity Officer: Ulrike Nichols
Interpreter Representatives: Rekha Narula & Jakub Sacharczuk
Committee Members without Portfolio: Mike Hanson, Bärbel McCloskey, Ros Mendy, Shelagh Rothero
14. Any Other Business
The ITI Conference was due to take place in Newcastle on 24-25 April and 7 WMG members were planning to attend.
Christina Schaeffner was retiring from Aston Uni at the end of this academic year and in recognition of the good relationship the Group had enjoyed with her, and the assistance she had provided to it over the years with events organisation, the WMG committee planned to take her out for a meal and give her a present to mark her departure. Our relationship with her successor would be crucial to the Group’s future.
Shelagh Rothero announced that she was planning to stand down from the committee next year. Bärbel McCloskey had kindly agreed to take on the task of running the mentoring scheme from autumn 2015 onwards.
Mike Hanson offered a vote of thanks to all committee members and events organisers.
The meeting closed at 2pm.
Minutes written up by M. Hanson