Minutes 19th September 2018

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Minutes of Executive Meeting held 7.00pm 19thSeptember 2018

West Faversham Community Centre

Present: Martin Coath (Chair), Chris Roome, Mike Henty, Norman McCanch, Murray Orchard, Stephen Wood, Brendan Ryan, Keith Privett.

Apologies: Robin Mace, Barry Wright, Ray O’Reilly

1. Key matters for decision or discussion

1.1 Communications and Publicity (Standing item)

Arrangements for managing the Society’s website were again discussed. The committee’s preference was to nominate designated persons to be responsible for managing the content of the website and being the key point of contact with the external website consultant. Individuals to carry out this role had been identified but the final arrangements still had to be agreed. MC would speak to Alan Fossey at the E&R committee next weekend.

Chief concerns currently were about delays in getting updates and changes to the website made.

There was a brief discussion on how KOS might better engage with local RSPB groups.

Action: Martin to speak to Alan Fossey at next Editorial and Records Committee

1.2 KOS Conference

CR reported on progress in organising this year’s conference.

Arrangement on track and going well. Venue of this year’s event is a significant improvement on the previous year.

80 delegates registered up so far. As last year many expected to sign up nearer the time. Chris Cox will “top & tail” the day. Jill Tardival and Hazel Jackson will chair the morning and afternoon sessions.

Help will be required on the day with car parking, staffing the KOS table and stewarding generally.

It was agreed that there will not be a conference in 2019.

2. Updates

2.1 Kent Bird Report

2016 KBR had been well received and the team had done an excellent job in producing a high quality report. The committee discussed a number of issues arising from the report including reducing discrepancies and ensuring that there was consistency between different facets of the report. MO was concerned about the need to produce timely information that was consistent with the KBR, for the Rare Birds Breeding Panel. It was suggested that when records were released to the KBR writers, the data base records of the relevant species should be sent to the RBBP representative. The Committee also discussed the level of detail that should be included in the KBR for species for which there was no significant events during the year in question or where there were no discernable population trends. The Editorial and Records Committee was due to have a more extensive discussion on developing new writers guidelines for the KBR.

It was suggested that we should review the reports of other counties to identify best practice in reporting common resident non migratory species that exhibit little change in their status. It was also suggested that we seek the views of members on the format of the KBR.

It was noted that release of the 2017 records was likely to be delayed because of ill health of key personnel involved in the production process. The committee discussed the resilience of the management of the database and the over dependence on the archivist for access to the records. It was suggested that the Society was vulnerable in the event of anything happening to the archivist/database manager ( e.g. ill health). It was agreed that Martin would speak to Robin about the possibility of training a deputy to share the work load of the archivist and improve resilience.

Action. Martin to speak to Robin about additional support that could be provided to improve resilience and lessen the demands on the role of archivist.

2.2 Treasurer’s report

MH had previously circulated a note to the committee highlighting the key issues. The total cost of 2016 KBR was £5,912, up on the previous issue by £380 for the same number of 800 copies; roughly this means each copy cost 50p more than last year. In last year’s accounts identified a provision of £6,200 so we have a favourable variance of £288.

Looking at the rest of the year, the key issue is the financial outcome of the Conference in November. It is too soon to have any idea about this.

Nothing in any other category of income or expenditure is out of line with the pattern of earlier years. Given that any loss arising from the Conference can be covered by our reserves, there is no reason why we would want to increase the Subscription rate at the next AGM.

2.3 Conservation and Surveys sub committee

Now 12 members on the committee with four new recruits, Nicole Khan, Steffan Walton, Martin Sutherland and Andre Farrar

MO updated the meeting on some key developments in the county.

-Lodge Hill, new planning application anticipated by Christmas;

-Cleve Hill solar farm, significant opposition to this scheme now building. KOS had responded to the consultation along with KWT.

MO also provided an update on ongoing surveys.

-JNCC Seabird Survey. 100% coverage achieved.

-Tawny Owl. 84% coverage. A few sites remaining in Thanet. “Calling Survey” taking place from now until March 30th

– WeBS. New group taken over responsibility for North Kent. Some concern about the limited BTO presence in the county

– Turtle Dove. Analysis of submitted records to KOS suggest 200-400 breeding pairs in the county, making Kent the most important county in the county for this threatened species. RBBP to consider inclusion in their monitoring

Action: BR to arrange for website to be updated with membership of the sub-committee

2.4 Editorial and Records committee

BW had provided a note to the committee with his personal views on issues surrounding the archive of records currently stored in a garage in Ashford. The matter is to be considered by the E&R Committee. The Executive Committee was minded to destroy the records and sought the views E&R Committee.

2.5 Newsletter

NmC reported that move to six issues per year had gone well and there remained sufficient content at present. Norman raised the issue of including a look back at old records from the archive (Prompted by a suggestion from Chris Hindle about the Bishopstone Arctic Warbler). The meeting thought this was a good idea.

2.6 Membership

CR reported that the current membership stood at 694 with 34 new members this year. Steps had been taken to provide a secure back up for the membership database in line with the Society’s Privacy Policy.

2.7 Outdoor meetings

These seem to be going from strength to strength, attracting a loyal following. The committee expressed its gratitude and appreciation to Ray O’Reilly

3 Administrative matters

3.1 Minutes of previous meeting (17th May 2018)

Minutes agreed

It was agreed (again) that minutes would be published on the society’s Website

Action. BR to arrange for minutes to be put on website

3.2 Provisional meeting dates for 2019

Executive Committee: 10th Jan; 16th May; 19th Sept

AGM: 18th April

Action: BR to book venues

3.3 Date and time of next meeting 10th January 2019