An update from General Council, November 2013

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

General Council met last weekend in sunny London for a long weekend, here's some of the things we got up to.

We started the weekend on Friday doing a joint training day with our staff at the end of staff conference. Julie Thorpe from the Co-operative College came and ran a course they are developing on Working Together, with the aims of helping adults in the movement co-operate and collaborate together more effectively. We are hoping to make this available to the wider movement in the near future.

Finance & Budgeting 

The headline item on Saturday morning was looking at next year's budget. This was not an easy job and we spent a lot of time discussing how Woodcraft will work when the TREE funding comes to an end in March and how we manage external factors that may affect our income. As well as a budget we talked over a 'wish list' of things that we would like to fund.

There was also much good news in other areas, and we were pleased to see that since its launch 20% of our membership now pay by direct debit and group registration this year was better returned than ever. We thanked our groups, regions, centres and DFs, as well as a a generous benefactor (who decided to make a donation now rather than leave it in their will) for all generously donating to help our core finances, and welcomed an update from our funding group on the hard work they are doing to secure the future of our development work.


Jack Brown, Jake Taylor and Seán Irving joined us to report on Venturer Camp, which was a great success (as well as making a surplus :-), so we discussed the odd bits that didn't work quite as well from our perspective and how to do even better, also pleasing was how this time the venturer committee had contributed to the event, so a massive thank you to them and everyone else that made it such an (dare I say it) awesome event.

Tom Brooks came to us with an idea, nay, a vision. For a camp. A BIG CAMP, but for LITTLE PEOPLE. In 2015. Watch this space. 

Governance Reforms

Following from the motion passed at AG this year, we spent some time discussing what we would like our governance structure to look like, what works well/not as well, and how we can ensure that democracy and young peoples participation can be included in what we already have. This is not something anyone has all the answers to just yet, but a work in progress. 

Bits & Pieces

  • Luke Flegg has agreed to join the Folk Supply Committee to replace Tom D.
  • If you are a DF, Louise has written a very similar piece for spanthatworld.
  • Our Education & Groups Committee needs a chair as Carly has stepped back to concentrate on other areas.

As always, you can find contact details and minutes of our meetings here, and we have top people working on ensuring they are published as quickly as possible after the meeting.

Blue Skies

General Council