Motions Passed at Annual Gathering 2012

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  • Making a branch structure a reality

This conference resolves to:

  1. Establish the Woodcraft Folk (Company Limited by Guarantee), registering in England and Wales and in Scotland by 31st December 2012, empowering the General Council to be the initial members of the organisation, until the transfer date
  2. To adopt the version 5 of Memorandum and Articles (the rules) proposed by General Council (published on) the 20th March 2012 as the initial rules of the Woodcraf Folk (Company Limited by Guarantee)
  3. Empower the General Council amend the present Woodcraft Folk  (1073665 & SC039791) constitution so as to lay dormant the charity and create membership of only the General Council, after the transfer date, transferring all members, assets and property, contracts and liabilities to the Woodcraf Folk (Company Limited by Guarantee)
  4. Empower the General Council to set the transfer date which maybe at a time of their choosing, but before or on 31st December 2013.
  5. To make the following amendments to the Aims, Principles and Programme:
    1. Insert:

      GC.  General Council

      GC.1  General Council shall have the power to invite members to observe meetings and shall ofer a standing invitation to:

      1. The Co-operative Group’s Values and Principles Committee who may from time to time, send an observer without voting rights
      2. Other fraternal organisations that the Annual Gathering may determine from time to time

      GC.2 The General Council shall establish the following committees (which is a non-exhaustive list) in accordance with their powers under Articles 4:

      1. Finance and General Purpose Committee to which the General Council will delegate fnancial matters and the power to act on its behalf between meetings; and
      2. Staffng Committee, which will be chaired by a Vice Chair of the General Council, to which the General Council may choose to delegate human resource matters, except in relation to the employment of the General Secretary.
      3. The General Council may establish any other committee as it sees ft. Subject to provisions in Article 4 of the Articles of Association the Annual Conference may instruct General Council to establish committees as it sees fit.

      GC.3  Finance and General Purpose Committee

      1. The Finance and General Purpose Committee shall be made up of between 3 and 8 members from General Council and include:
        1. the Treasurer;
        2. the Chair of General Council;
        3. any Vice-Chairs that the General Council may have appointed;
        4. any other members from within General Council that they may appoint.
      2. The General Secretary shall be in attendance at all meetings, but without voting rights.
      3. The Finance and General Purpose Committee shall have full power to act on behalf of General Council between meetings of the full General Council.
      4. The Finance and General Purpose Committee may not co-opt members.

    2. Amend “DEF.Defnintions:Groups” to read”


      DEF.7 Membership categories, age groups and group membership structures shall be:

      1. Woodchips: under 6 years old
      2. Elfns: 6 to 9 years old
      3. Pioneers 10 to 12 years old
      4. Venturers: 13 to 15 years old
      5. District fellows: 16 to 20 years old
        Variations in the age group structure to suit local circumstances are permissible subject to the prior approval of General Council.

      DEF.8 New groups shall register with the registered ofce and be approved by the Chair of the General Council.

      DEF.9 Groups shall pay a registration fee as laid out in “Finance”, if any groups has not paid within 6 months they shall be dissolved any property transferred to the District Association, or General Council where a District Association doesn’t exist.

      DEF.10  Groups and Districts shall remain part of the Woodcraf Folk and only have powers, which are delegated to them from time to time by the General Council.

      DEF.11  District Fellows

      1. Group shall:
        1. Comprise a minimum of 5 District Fellows, all of whom must be paid up individual members; and
        2. Have at least 2 members over the age of 18 years, so as to be insured; and
        3. Be excluded from paying registration fee
      2. Are recognised as needing their own identity, programme of activities and Constitution,
      3. which has been endorsed by General Council. Shall hold every year an Annual Conference, known as “Althing”
      4. Shall elect a committee of their own to run their afairs.
      5. Shall be establish Regional District Fellowships in each region in which District Fellows are present.

  6. To make the following amendments to the Standing Orders:

    Amend throughout all references of “Extra-ordinary Conference and Special General Meetings” to “General Meeting

    Amend all reference of the “Constitution” to read “Articles of Association” and renumber accordantly to the new references.

    Insert under SO.1:

    SO.2  Where there is any confict between the Articles of Association, Standing Order and Aims, Principles and Programme they shall take precedence in that order. If any dispute arises in relation to the interpretation of these Standing Order or any other rules, the Standing Orders Committee may resolve it and all persons in dispute about the matter shall be bound by the decision of the Standing Orders Committee except in the case of manifest error.19

    SO.25 Elections to General Council

    1. Elections shall be conducted by Single Transferable Vote (STV) as defned by the Electoral Reform Society
    2. If any candidate to General Council is under 16 they shall not be eligible to sit as a General Council member and thus not elected. If they win the ballot they shall be eligible to be appointed as an observer to General Council by the Annual Gathering. The General Council they vacate shall remain empty for 2 years or if the observer resigns until the next Annual Gathering. Not more than 5 under 16 observers may fulfl these places at any one time.
    3. Where the number of nominations received in advance of the nominations deadline is less than or equal to the number of vacancies, nominations may be taken from the foor of conference.  In this situation, there shall be no limit to the number of nominations taken from the foor.
    4. Nominations shall close before the ballot is opened.
    5. General Council members shall be elected at the Annual Conference in the following groups:
      1. 10 Members, 5 elected each year for a period of 2 years,
      2. 1 Member who is also a member of a Woodcraf Folk District Association or Lone Group in Wales,
      3. 1 Member who is also a member of a Woodcraft Folk District Association or Lone Group in Scotland,
      4. 4 Members aged 18 to 24 inclusive, 2 elected each year for a period of 2 years,
      5. 2 District Fellows elected from the foor of District Fellow Movement Althing.
      6. 2 members from and appointed by the District Fellow Movement Committee.

  • Safeguarding Review

This Annual Conference calls for a review of the current Woodcraf Folk safeguarding procedures in the context of the aims, principles and nature of the organisation. Te review shall be independent of Folk Ofce Administration and General Council and to be carried on by someone with an understanding of the aims, principles and ethos of the organisation, current safeguarding legislation and other relevant experience.

  • Membership categories and safeguarding separated

This conference resolves to change the Aims, Principles and Programme to refect the distinction between working with children and membership.

Replace DEF:1 to DEF:3 with:

DEF.1 Group members shall be any person who is aged 15 years or under and regularly attends a Woodcraf Folk group, that has paid its annual membership fee.

DEF.2 Individual members shall be any person who has signifed their acceptance of the Constitution; and Aims, Principles and Programme of the Woodcraf Folk, namely having been recorded at the national ofce and:

  1. is aged 15 years or under and regularly attends a paid up Woodcraf Folk group and called a young member, or
  2. is 16 years or over and has paid an annual membership fee and is:
    1. 16-20 years inclusive, thus called a District Fellow (DF), or
    2. 21 years or over, thus called a Kinsfolk.

DEF.3 All members who work with young people under the age of 18 must fulfl the safeguarding procedures laid down by the General Council.   Any person who has not completed the safeguarding procedure may join the organisation but: (i) may not work directly with children or young people aged under 18, and (ii)  their involvement maybe restricted from time to time by the Annual Conference, General Council or District Association/Lone Group.

  • Annual review of registration fee

This Annual Conference notes that it is a regular occurrence that group registration fees are increased. That while the gaps between increasing the fee are lef for long periods that the fee has to increase in larger amounts when it is increased.

This conference re-afrms that it is this body that sets the membership fees, but that it is usually General Council who proposes increases. Tat with a more regular assessment and proposal from General Council to the conference a smoother increase of fees can be achieved.

This conference therefore resolves to insert in the Aims, Principle and Programme (and renumber):

FIN:3 That a group registration fee shall be levied on all groups as according to the constitution
(F1i). A fee shall be proposed by the General Council and agreed by the membership at Annual Conference.

  • Group Registration fees 2013

Tis Annual Conference agrees that the group registration fee should rise in 2013 to £52 plus £5 per child.

  • Workers of the world, unite: building stronger relationships with our Union comrades

This Annual Conference notes:

  1. The encouragements in our Aims and Principles not only to join your local Co-operative but also a relevant Trade Union
  2. The traditional and strong link with the Co-operative movement and celebrates it, whilst noting that more can be done to strengthen our links with the Trade Unions.
  3. Our role in the recent TUC demonstration and other work with the Union
  4. And applauds the creation of the Right to Strike packs as an important part of our education and encourages every group to use it.
  5. Trade Unions are a fundamental part of how we see a new world and therefore we must work directly with them
This conference resolves to:
  1. Congratulate the Unions that are presently afliated with the Woodcraf Folk
  2. Encourage everyone to push for Trade Unions to afliate to the Woodcraf Folk so that our links are stronger
  3. Call on General Council, regions, districts and members to start conversations to strengthen the cooperation with the trade unions.
  4. To develop a long term and strategic link with the trade unions so as:
    1. Every group engages with local Trade Unions
    2. Union branches or and National Union feel that they wish to afliate to us, and
    3. We are considered the children’s movement of the trade union movement as well as the Co-operative, and
    4. Enter into dialogue with unions through the good offices of the TUC to develop a mutually agreeable strategy to deepen links

  • Publish election procedures and results

This Annual Conference notes that at previous conferences there have been in some cases a lack of understanding how the election for General Council and Standing Orders committee works, and that as a result of this, the candidates elected did not always match the intention of the delegates. This annual conference therefore calls on standing orders committee to:

  1. Make available to delegates before and at conference resources explaining as simply as possibly how the electoral system being used works.
  2. After each election publish the full numeric results of the election, including the number of votes cast for each candidate and the results of any rounds of election used (as determined by the system).

  • Project Koodoo: Co-operative Campsites

This Conference Instructs General Council to:

  1. Continue consultation with members about their needs and aspirations for camping and outdoor adventures.
  2. Continue working with partner organisations, including but not limited to, the Co-operative Group, MidCounties Co-operative and the YHA to pursue opportunities to expand our network of centres and campsites in line with the needs and aspirations of the membership.
  3. Support the District Fellows Movement in developing The Share.

  • Support the Co-operative Group’s anti-fracking campaign

This Annual Conference notes the conclusions of the report on Shale Gas Development (hydraulic fracturing) by the Tyndal Centre for Climate Change research. This report highlights concerns about the environmental and health risks of shale gas development including:

  1. The release of significant quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere - the exploitation of an additional fossil fuel resource will likely increase energy use, increasing greenhouse gas emissions further.
  2. Potential groundwater contamination associated with chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process and the mobilisation of heavy metals and hydrocarbons.
  3. The extraction of significant quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing/
This conference therefore calls for a moratorium on the development of shale gas and hydraulic fracturing in the UK until all associated risks are fully understood and instructs General Council to support the anti-fracking campaign.

  • Visas

This Annual Conference notes that last year’s successful motion from Brighton Central and Hove District regarding a Campaign on visa regulations, instructing General Council to facilitate the organisation of a campaign has not been acted on. Following the difficulties faced by many foreign delegations obtaining visas to attend Co-Camp, especially from Asia and Africa, we would like this addressed. This Annual Conference mandates General Council to convene a steering group to co-ordinate the campaign which will:

  1. Highlight the issue, initially with other youth movements in Britain, and then with likely allies such as trade unions, certain MPs, and the media.
  2. Kick-start the campaign, gathering evidence from the last two International Camps held in the UK regarding which groups were refused entry to Britain, which were not and the breadth of problems caused to delegations and hosts.
  3. Encourage other youth organisations to do the same. Ultimately, the aim of the campaign will be to persuade the Government to relax visa controls for delegations attending future International Camps and youth events in Britain
  4. Incredibly helpful expertise appeared when problems were encountered obtaining visas, however this was very late on in the process and many hosting Districts had already had decisions made regarding their Delegations. The steering group should ensure that expert advice and support resources should be on the Central website at the earliest possible opportunity.

  • A Right to Meet

This Annual Conference notes the difculty for many groups in having an afordable place to meet. This leads to groups closing and can make it very difcult for new groups to be set up. We believe that it is every child and young person’s right to go to groups without being excluded because of the expense of paying for halls in publicly funded buildings.

This Annual Conference mandates General Council to convene a steering group to launch a campaign in co-operation with the Scouts, Guides and other voluntary organisations in raising this issue with government and local authorities with the aim that our Woodcraf Folk groups have a free or afordable place to meet. Te campaign group should report on actions and progress via the news section of the website.

  • Childcare at events

This Annual Conference reasserts our collective responsibility to offer childcare facilities at ALL Woodcraft Folk training events for volunteers. Therefore, trainees may assume that childcare is provided at all events and this must be clearly stated if it is not.

  • Elfin & Pioneer-friendly large camps

This Annual Conference This Annual Conference recognises that recent international camps have not attracted many Elfins or their parents, or (to some extent) Pioneers. This Conference resolves that any future very large camps will be organised for all members of Woodcraft Folk.

  • Re-affirm non-use of 'How'

This Annual Conference reaffirms its previous decision to cease using the word “How” in Woodcraft Folk activities. The word perpetuates racial stereotyping of Native American nations. This conference instructs General Council to consider how best to ensure compliance with this policy across the movements’ groups, preferably through an educational method if it is felt necessary.

  • Emergency Motion: Enforcing suspension of Hamahanot Haolim from IFM-SEI

This conference notes:

  1. The continued illegal occupation of the West bank and Gaza by Israeli forces in contravention of UN resolutions.
  2. The continued building programmes moving Israeli settlers into these areas and efectively annexing these territories into the Israeli state.
  3. The boycott campaign supported by trade unions and the Woodcraf Folk of Israeli produce and products emanating from these illegal settlements.
This conference further notes:
  1. That Hamahanot Haolim (an Israeli IFM afliate) has been suspended from member of IFM due to its operation of a settlement on the West Bank. This efectively binds them to accepting the legitimacy of annexation and incompatible with membership of IFM .
  2. Despite its suspension from IFM, it was invited to attend “Queer Easter” organised by the Red Falcons in Germany.
This conference believes that suspension should mean that Hamahanot Haolim cannot attend events organised by IFM or its afliates, otherwise suspension is a meaningless sanction.

This conference therefore instructs General Council to:

  1. Write to IFM HQ and convey the views expressed in this motion and state our belief that Hamahanot Haolim should not visit IFM HQ unless the meeting is to resolve the issue of their suspension.
  2. Propose that unless progress is made by the end of May 2012 in the suspension and if the outstanding issues remain, that Hamahanot Haolim should be expelled from IFM, and that the Woodcraf Folk will support a call for this to happen.
  3. That all Woodcraf Folk and its staff are to boycott activities where Hamahanot Haolim are invited.