Motions Passed at Annual Gathering 2010

  • Woodchips included in group registration fees

This Annual Conference resolves to remove “between six and fifteen inclusive” in the Woodcraft Constitution Section F(1)(i) and replace with “under 16 years old” so as to read “where they include any Young Members under 16 years old, pay an annual group registration fee as laid down from time to time by the Annual Conference; and”

  • Change to District Fellows References

This Annual Conference notes that the references to the 16-20 year old age group as 'District Fellowship' are outdated. This Annual Conference instructs all references in the constitution to the 'District Fellowship' to be altered to 'District Fellows Movement'.

  • Access to minutes of meetings

This Annual Conference resolves that the proceedings of all committees and constitutional bodies, including the General Council, should be made easily and fully available to the membership via the Woodcraft website.
It therefore instructs General Council:

  1. To add to Section K (5) of the Woodcraft Folk Constitution (after 'any sub-committee') “and make copiesof these minutes available to members within one calendar month of the meeting taking place. Anybusiness deemed confidential by the sub-committee or the General Council may be struck from thepublished version if approved by two-thirds majority. Business related to individual staff members andcomplaints/investigations of individual members shall be automatically deemed confidential and may bestruck out by the committee secretary without need for a vote.”
  2. The minutes of other committees at regional and district level should also be made similarly available tothe relevant membership groups
  3. That a member-only area of the Woodcraft website would be the most appropriate place fordisseminating these minutes.
  • Change to Voting Rights

This Annual Conference resolves to replace Constitution “Q(2)(iv) All delegates shall be able to vote at the meeting; delegates shall be paid-up members.” with “Q(2)(iv) All delegates shall be able to vote at the meeting; delegates shall either be paid up members as defined in clause E(1); or belong to a Group for Young Members as defined in clause F(1) and subject to confirmation of a group or district contact.”

  • Change to nomination rights

This Annual Conference notes the disparity in the Woodcraft Folk Constitution between the right to propose motions and amendments (Clause U(5)) and the right to nominate individuals for election at Annual Conference (Clause U(6)).

This Annual Conference resolves to amend Clause U(6) by the addition of 'District Fellowship Althing and Committee.' Clause U(6) now reads as: Nominations may be submitted by District Associations, Groups, District Fellowship Althing and Committee.

  • Changes to Aims, Principles & Programme

This Annual Conference resolves to make amendments to the Aims, Principles and Programme, so the

relevant parts read as follows:

A&P.3 A Co-operative and Sharing Attitude to Life

We believe that to further our aims it is vital to approach our educational and social work through the principles of cooperation. To achieve this we will provide a programme which ensures that our members practice cooperation through all the activities in which they participate and we will encourage an understanding of the importance of co-operation in the wider world.

A&P.4 International Understanding

Our motto is ‘Span the world with friendship’. We will therefore encourage and develop international understanding and friendship through our educational work and by our exchanges between adults, children and young people of different lands. We will promote a greater understanding of the world amongst our members so that we are aware of and want to tackle the inequalities which exist in it.

A&P.7 One World

The Woodcraft folk will encourage an understanding of the need to work towards a world where we provide for the needs of everyone on the planet now and in the future without destroying the physical environment. We aim to educate our members about issues of environmental and social sustainability and how this relates to their own lifestyles and both their own and other people’s actions.

PROG.3 The Woodcraft Folk…

(iv) will arrange events, courses and activities to deliver the Woodcraft Folk’s educational aims and principles to children, young people and adults from outside the membership; (v) will arrange courses designed for the training of its leaders at local, regional and national level, tailored to groups of all ages;

(vi) will support young people and adults to work together to develop the Woodcraft Folk educational programme;

(vii) will support children and young people to participate fully and get involved in decision making at all levels of the organisation.

PROG.5 The Woodcraft Folk…

believes that the District Associations should act as a springboard for the natural development of the movement. Therefore it will promote strong District organisation wherever two or more Groups exist within a given locality, to ensure the holding of regular meetings of leaders and other members of all ages, for the co-ordination of Group activities, the programming of training courses, and the involvement of local Youth and Community Service affairs. District meetings will have representatives from different groups so that everyone can have a say. Further, Woodcraft Folk will encourage Districts to apply national policy decisions to the local circumstances;

DEF.1 Any person whose application for membership has been accepted, or who is aged 15 years or under and attends a WCF group, is regarded as a member of the organisation.

  • Group & District Finance

This Annual Conference notes the constitutional provisions for group and district finance and in particular the following:

FIN.1 The subscriptions for young members shall be on a fixed basis; the amount to be determined by each District Association (or lone Group) subject to approval by General Council.

FIN.4 All monies paid by Groups to District Associations shall be mutually agreed. In the event of disagreement the matter shall be referred to General Council for decision.

FIN.6 The funds and assets of any District Association or Lone Group which closes down becomes the property of the movement and shall not be disposed of without the consent of the General Council. The funds and assets of any Group which closes within an existing District Association automatically becomes the property of that District Association.

FIN.7 Any Group likely to be disenfranchised because of financial difficulty shall apply through the District Association, where one exists, to the General Council for special dispensation.

This Annual Conference resolves to amend these provisions to read as follows:

FIN.1 The subscriptions for young members shall be determined by each District Association (or Lone Group) subject to approval by General Council.

FIN.4 All monies paid by Groups to District Associations shall be mutually agreed between the Group and the District Association. In the event of disagreement the matter shall be referred to General Council for decision.

FIN.6

  1. The funds and assets of any District Association or Lone Group shall be held by the Group and/or District as assets of the Woodcraft Folk and in the event a District Association closes down the funds and assets shall remain the property of the Woodcraft Folk and shall not be disposed of without the consent of the General Council.
  2. The funds and assets of any Group which closes within an existing District Association shall be held by the District Association.

FIN.7 Any Group that finds itself at risk of being unable to function because of financial difficulty shall apply through the District Association, where one exists, to the General Council for special dispensation in the event that the issue cannot be resolved within the District.

  • Increase in Group Registration Fees

This Annual Conference resolves to increase the group registration fee to £125 from January 2011.

  • Free membership for Venturers

This Annual Conference agrees to set the annual membership subscription paid to the central organisation to zero for Venturers, allowing them to become members free of charge.

  • Regional and National Funding Assistance

This Annual Conference notes the constitutional requirement for regions to hold regional gatherings annually, and that no funding for these events is available from the Woodcraft Folk centrally. This Annual Conference instructs General Council to provide financial assistance up to £200 per year to meet this requirement in the Constitution, on a reimbursement basis.

  • Co-operative Banking

This Annual Conference notes the support given by the Co-operative movement and that regions, districts and groups are encouraged to bank with the Co-operative Banking Group. It further notes that some districts and/or groups have difficulties obtaining or changing bank accounts with the Co-operative and are tempted to go elsewhere for their banking requirements.
This Annual Conference instructs General Council to work with the Co-operative Bank to aid understanding of the needs and requirements of Woodcraft groups to facilitate easier access and a better banking relationship.

  • Structure of Woodcraft Folk – Commission Recommendation

This Annual Conference welcomes the report of the Commission on Charitable Status of Branches (CCSB) and instructs the Commission to present to Annual Conference in 2011 the necessary constitutional amendments to ensure the  Branch structure of Woodcraft Folk is made legally sustainable.

  • Review of General Council Composition

This Annual Conference instructs General Council to conduct a review of its structures and bring a complete proposal for a new model of General Council to a future Annual Conference; and to consult the movement to rank the following principles in order of preference.

A: Age Groups

Principle: General Council needs to represent the variety of ages in Woodcraft Folk. Therefore it is made from individuals who represent each age group in Woodcraft Folk.

B: Regions & Nations

Principle: General Council needs to represent the wider face of Woodcraft Folk across the UK. Therefore it is made from individuals who represent their region or nation.

C: Specific Roles

Principle: General Council needs people with specific skills and passions. Therefore it is made from individuals who are elected to do specific roles rather than be general lay members.

D: Inclusive Split Council

Principle: Some of General Council's responsibilities can be off-putting especially for young people. Therefore General Council should separate its legal and financial role from its planning and innovation role so that the planning and innovation role can be more inclusive including more diverse members from age groups and regions.

  • The Big Plan – Bigger & Better

This Annual Conference welcomes the fact that General Council have focused their work around The Big Plan and that this is the focus for the movement. We welcome the progress being made in a number of the areas.

This Annual Conference agrees to add an additional area called ‘Bigger and Better’ with the following ambitions:

  1. Maintain the current number of groups
  2. Have 3 associate groups
  3. Develop a strategy and plan to implement proactive development work
  4. Work on and implement a strategy to support groups to ensure a long life
  5. Twin and support districts who request help
  • Internationalism

This Annual Conference believes that it was an oversight not to include "internationalism" as a strand in the BIG PLAN. This Annual Conference instructs General Council to rectify this by requesting the International Committee to consult widely with nations, regions, districts and lone groups to capture their needs and to form the working group to progress this strand of the BIG PLAN.

However, the Annual Conference believes that the following elements should be included:

  1. International solidarity
  2. Exchanges
  3. IFM-SEI seminars and other educational opportunities
  4. Development education/world trade etc
  • UK-Wide Venturer Committee

This Annual Conference instructs General Council to co-ordinate with regional committees, DF Committee, Venturers, their groups and the TREE programme, so as to support the setting up of a UK wide Venturer Committee under the following guidelines:

  1. Sessions are to be run with Venturers at Venturer Camp 2010 to create the mandate and make upof this committee.
  2. Making resources available for Venturer involvement and staffing support
  3. A specific safeguarding policy needs to be in place to enable meaningful Venturer participation.
  • Affiliate to Love Music Hate Racism

This Annual Conference notes:

  1. The continuing need for our movement to be active against racism, Islamophobia, homophobia and sexism
  2. The recent rise of fascist and racist groups and of movements such as the English, Scottish and Welsh Defence Leagues that have attacked and intimidated minority groups and trade unionists, and seek to divide our communities
  3. That Love Music Hate Racism has been very successful in uniting hundreds of thousands of people together through music in order to celebrate our multicultural, multiracial society and to promote anti-racist activity
  4. That recent collaborations between Love Music Hate Racism and Woodcraft Folk have attracted large and diverse groups of young people as well as having reached out to other like minded adults and young people

This Annual Conference therefore resolves:

  1. To support the free Love Music Hate Racism concerts and festivals
  2. To affiliate to Love Music Hate Racism at an annual cost of £25
  • Transition Towns and Tar Sands

This Annual Conference notes the excellent work undertaking by the Woodcraft Folk on issues of sustainability and climate change over the last few years. However, as an organisation we have yet to address and educate ourselves and our members on the issue of peak oil and the energy descent. The increasing scarcity of oil is illustrated by the commercial viability of Tar Sands. The Transition Towns movement is looking at this very issue and shares many of the views of the Woodcraft Folk.

This Annual Conference instructs General Council to approach the Transition Towns movement to seek ways of collaborating on this issue and urges Districts and groups to seek out the Transition movement in their locality and to support the Beaver Sand Cree in their campaign to stop the environmental destruction of their native lands.

  • New Style for Constitutional Documents

This Annual Conference notes that our Pioneer group designed posters to re-launch our Elfin group and scanned them into the computer. Since then we have put them into our leaflet which we are going to use. This Annual Conference thinks General Council and Standing Orders Committee should work together to get a range of pictures from a diverse section of the movement and illustrate parts of the Constitution; Aims, Principles and Programme; and the Standing Orders documents. Pictures should come from all age groups and be changed every 3 to 6 months in our constitution which is kept on the internet, with changes being advertised in the news to let people know it is worth going to look at the documents. We have included a few pictures, hope you enjoy them.

  • Emergency Motion - Boycott Israeli goods

That this conference utterly condemns the Israeli state’s attack on the Gaza flotilla taking urgently needed aid to blockaded Palestinians in Gaza. This conference condemns the unlawful killing of at least 9 peace activists and the injuries of many more. Like others this conference calls for the immediate and unconditional end to the blockade. This conference calls upon the Woodcraft Folk at all levels to boycott Israeli goods until the blockade is removed.