Minutes of the
BRITISH SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
Annual General Meeting
13th July 2005
Maureen Cain (President and Chair), Tim Newburn (President Elect), Anthea Hucklesby (Company Secretary), Alison Wakefield (Executive Secretary), Susie Atherton, Keith Bottomley, Hazel Croall (AC), Susan Dankin, Robin Elliott-Marshall, Matt Follett, Loraine Gelsthorpe, Anthony Goodman, Chris Hale, Lynn Hancock (new EC), Gordon Hughes (EC), Mike Levi, Kieran McEvoy (new EC), George Mair, Mike Nash (Treasurer), Stephen Parrott, Malcolm Ramsey, Mike Rowe (new EC), Kevin Stenson (EC), Elizabeth Stokes, Azrini Wahidin (EC and AC), Kate Williams (AC), Anne Worrall. (EC indicates Executive Committee, AC indicates Advisory Council).
Apologies: Brian Williams (EC and AC), Colin Dunninghan (EC and AC).
In attendance: Paul Kiff (BSC Administrator).
Report of the Directors
The Report of the Directors was submitted to the meeting and approved. The President indicated that as the Directors’ report dealt with the calendar year 2004, which is the financial year for the Society, she would supplement this with a verbal report on the first six months of 2005, up to the AGM date.
President’s Review of 2004/5: Supplement on 2005
(a) Membership records: as noted in the Directors’ report p.1 para.2, over the past year the BSC has devoted extensive resources to improving its membership records and encouraging subscription renewals. Those members who would like their contact details and research expertise published, and have not already completed and signed the appropriate forms, can gain these from the BSC office.
(b) Nominations to Academy of Social Sciences: the Society was recently contacted by AcSS, who had mislaid our nominations for academicians submitted in summer 2004. These have been resubmitted to AcSS for consideration in the autumn.
(c) Research Assessment Exercise sub-panels: MC reported that 50% of the nominations submitted by the Society directly to RAE 2008 were accepted (two of four), whereas none of the much larger number of nominations submitted through the Academy of Social Sciences was accepted. The relationship with the Academy needs to be improved.
(d) The Society, represented by Loraine Gelsthorpe, worked with the Home Office this year to mount the very successful one-day workshop ‘Cutting Edge Research Methodology’.
(e) The Ethics and Professional Affairs Committee has begun the work of revising the research Code of Ethics, and suggestions from members will be welcomed. During the year there were 21 enquiries seeking the committee’s advice.
3. Treasurer’s Report for January 2004 to December 2004
The Treasurer noted that his report constituted the second half of the Report of the Directors, already approved. He reported an improvement in the finances on the previous year. The year end balance is published in the report.
The improvements are due to a number of factors. Among these, conferences and one-day events have been particularly profitable, the latter generating a good surplus income for the Society, and an important area for future development. The number of members has increased, as reflected in the treasurer’s report, but there has also been good work in retaining members through reminders for re-subscriptions and encouragement of members to pay by direct debit.
A healthy income is necessary not only to enable improvements in service to members, but also because of legal requirements for the Society to have healthy reserves – these are still being built up. Ideas from members for new initiatives are therefore warmly welcomed.
The Treasurer anticipated a continued improvement in finances in 2005, and reported that already in the current year it has been possible to make a substantial increase to the Society’s reserves.
4. Receipt and adoption of Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for January 2004 to December 2004 and the Auditor’s report
Agreed by members present.
5. Reappointment of Messrs Wickham, Hunt and Co. as auditors
Agreed by members present.
6. Confirmation of election of Executive Committee and Advisory Council members in place of those retiring in accordance with the results of the postal ballot
There were no contested posts and therefore the following people were put forward for election.
Dr Fiona Brookman (Chair, Wales and SW Regional Group)
Dr Lynn Hancock (Chair, NW Regional Group)
Dr Kieran McEvoy (Chair, Northern Ireland Regional Group)
Dr Mike Rowe (Chair, Midlands Regional Group)
Dr Mark Simpson (Chair, NE Regional Group)
Dr Reece Walters (Chair, Scotland Regional Group)
Professor Brian Williams
Professor Hazel Croall
Ursula Smartt JP
Dr Azrini Wahidin
Dr Lystra Hagley-Dickinson
Special resolutions to amend the Memorandum and Articles of the company
The following amendments were discussed and passed at the meeting:
(a) The first amendment establishes minimum meeting attendance requirements for Executive Committee and Advisory Council members, in response to concerns among Advisory Council members about non-attendance.
(b) The second amendments allows for a nominee of the Company Secretary to attend Advisory Council meetings in his/her place.
Matters arising from Executive Committee and Advisory Council meetings
(a) Electronic communication: society mailings can now be sent out as blind copies due to a change of server.
(b) The Advisory Council carried out a survey of members’ satisfaction with the Society. Very high levels of satisfaction were recorded. Nonetheless, the Executive is addressing issues arising from the survey including the design of the website and ways of integrating postgraduate students better into the life of the Society.
(c) Members’ handbook: in order to establish a members’ register (whether in paper or web-based form, as still to be decided) the Society had aimed to achieve a 75 per cent completion rate of the green forms providing member details and permission (or otherwise) for their publication. The Society has met its target but is still to hear from 200 of the members – members are requested to return the forms even if they wish to deny permission to the Society to publish the details. Further copies can be obtained from the Society office.
(d) Links with other societies
Through Brian Williams (Chair, Ethics and Professional Affairs Committee) the Society has established formal links with the British Sociological Association and the Socio-Legal Studies Association. These entail reciprocal arrangements to allow members to pay members’ rates at each other’s conferences, reciprocal free advertising, and other benefits, as well as joint events. The BSA is already participating in the organisation of a workshop to be held in April next year, and has provided considerable assistance and advice in matters ranging from benchmarking to banking.
A new international link has been established with the Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology, and Azrini Wahidin will be attending this year’s World Congress of Criminology in Philadelphia on behalf of the Society with the purpose of establishing links with criminologists in developing countries.
(e) Benchmarking: this matter was referred to the Benchmarking Forum later in the day.
9. Conference matters
Portsmouth 2004: this was deemed a great success, with all monies now received from the organisers. The Society thanks the organising committee for its hard work.
Leeds 2005: the conference is expected to be profitable. The postgraduate conference occurring on the morning before the main conference was organised by Kate Williams and Azrini Wahidin, who the Society thanks for their hard work. The Society also extends its thanks the organisers of the main conference, chaired by Anthea Hucklesby.
Glasgow 2006: Hazel Croall is chairing the organising committee, and Executive Committee members will be visiting Glasgow to assist. A very successful conference in a fabulous location is anticipated.
Annual conferences in 2008 and 2009: bids are invited for the organisation and hosting of the next annual conferences, to follow the hosting by the LSE in 2007. Members are encouraged to consider preparing bids on behalf of their institutions.
One day conferences: forthcoming conferences will be on the Resettlement of Offenders at the University of Leicester on Wednesday 7 December 2005, and on Sex and Crime at the Birmingham Conservatoire (UCE) on Thursday 6 April 2006. Members are encouraged to submit ideas and proposals to any member of the Executive Committee.
10. BSC office and administration
This is continuing as usual, and there has been much work in the past year to improve the accounts and membership records.
Gordon Hughes (Regional Group Co-ordinator) reported recent visits to the Midlands, Scotland and North West where new regional groups are soon to begin their activities. He reported plans to visit the newly elected chairs in the other regions. The Society now has seven regional groups, the most it has ever had. The Midlands Regional Group will be re-launched at De Montfort University, Leicester, on the evening of 6th December 2005, prior to the Resettlement of Offenders workshop on the following day.
12. Specialist networks
Gordon Hughes reported that there have been less developments on this front due to the focus on establishing the new regional groups. Some constitutional problems have arisen with the Theory Network and the Society hopes to resolve these as soon as possible. Nominations for new networks are invited from the members.
13. Consideration of adoption of Criminal Justice as the Society’s journal
Tim Newburn reported plans for the Society to establish its own journal. It was proposed that in order to minimise the lengthy start-up costs for a new journal (up to six years before profits could be generated), the Society could adopt the journal Criminal Justice (edited by George Mair and himself for the past five years). The publishers, Sage, have offered the Society joint ownership and a royalties agreement to produce an income stream, as well as allowing for a title change such as ‘Criminology and Criminal Justice’.
Currently the British Journal of Criminology (BJC) is described as being ‘published in association with the BSC’ but the Society receives no income. It is hoped that the Society will continue to gain a good deal for the membership from the BJC publishers, Oxford University Press.
Plans to develop a magazine targeted towards undergraduate students, titled ‘Criminology
Today’ or similar, were also reported. This will be explored over the next 3 to 6 months.
Any other busines
The members’ thanks were extended to Maureen Cain for her tremendous efforts for the Society, building on Keith Bottomley’s work to ensure the healthy position in which the Society now finds itself.
Date and venue of the next AGM
Wednesday 5 July2006 at Glasgow Caledonian University.