Minutes of the
THE BRITISH SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
Annual General Meeting
University of Portsmouth
5th July 2012
Loraine Gelsthorpe (President), Andrew Williams (Treasurer), Mark Simpson (Chair, Conference Committee), Nic Groombridge (Prizes Committee Chair), Susie Atherton (Postgraduate Committee Chair), Anthea Hucklesby (Chair, Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network), Peter Squires (Chair, Public Relations Committee), Mike Rowe (Chair, Policing Network), Helen Jones (Chair, Learning and Teaching Network), Harriet Pierpoint (Chair, Regional Groups and Specialist Networks Committee), Charlotte Harris (BSC Executive Director), Eamonn Carrabine, Tim Holmes, Megan O’Neill, Neal Hazel, Rick Sarre, Francis Pakes, Stephen Parrott, Michael Adorjan, Paul Manning, Jenny Korkodeilou, Joanne O’Toole Byrne, Faye Cosgrove, Steve Macdonald, Louise Westmarland, Fiona Wadie, Ian Mahoney, Daniel Bear, Jill Annison, Mike Nash, Briony Frykman, Carla Reeves, Jen Phipps, Sheila Hancock (Chancellor, Portsmouth University, for opening item)
Actress Sheila Hancock, in her role as Chancellor of Portsmouth University, welcomed members – ‘talkers and practitioners’ – to the AGM saying she thought there had never been more of a need to understand the anger in all sections of society causing and about criminality. She later joined fellow thespians Amanda Redman and Anthony Calf performing a selection of readings from crime fiction, poetry and drama.
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Ben Bowling, Azrini Wahidin, Barry Goldson, Allan Brimicombe and Andrew Millie.
2. Report of the Directors
The Report of the Directors was submitted to the meeting and approved.
3. President’s Review of 2010/11
President Loraine Gelsthorpe said that Mike Hough had left the Society in a very good state and she thanked Executive Director Charlotte Harris, with the support of Membership Secretary Mandy Ross, for her work in this. The Society’s journal Criminology & Criminal Justice was thriving; the conference and postgraduate committees had worked with the local organising committees to produce very successful conferences in Northumbria and here in Portsmouth; there was now an active postgraduate BSC Facebook page with more than 100 members. The networks and specialist groups were active with the Policing Network planning a conference in January, the Crime and Statistics Network one in March, the Learning and Teaching Network offering opportunities and awards for teaching innovation and the Youth Crime Youth Justice and the Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Networks looking at a joint event. The BSC had taken part in a number of consultations about academic and funding matters and had helped to organise a joint seminar with the Home Office and Ministry of Justice in order to bring policy makers and researchers together – the next one would be in the autumn and members would be encouraged to participate. The Society was also monitoring the open access agenda which could have both an impact on the work methods of many of its members and a financial impact on the Society itself. The President finished by saying although the Society had achieved much, it needed to develop its vision and voice, engaging more on the political scene and with policy makers and expanding its system of networks.
4. Treasurer’s Report for January 2011 to December 2011
The Treasurer Andrew Williams thanked Charlotte Harris for preparing the accounts and Directors’ Report and reassured members that the Society was in a healthy financial position with no immediate need to increase the subscription rates although the Society would continue to work hard to maintain and develop its income streams. The Direct Debit changeover continued to streamline the membership strand of income and there were now 737 members properly registered and paying the correct amount. While the journal and the conference continued to be very successful, the Society was keen to make itself more relevant to members, increase member benefits and raise its profile in order to increase membership in the long-term. To this end, in the next 12 months the Society would be setting up an innovation fund allowing members to apply for seed money of up to £1,000 to hold events.
5. Receipt and adoption of Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for the period January 2011 to December 2011
Louise Westmarland queried note 3 to the accounts (p9) relating to journal income where the total figure for 2011 differed quite markedly from 2010. Charlotte Harris explained the first figure – royalties paid by Sage for the BSC’s own journal Criminology & Criminal Justice – had gone up; the second figure – editing costs for CCJ – had gone down as this year the Society only paid Leeds while last year it had paid an overlap during handover of Cardiff to Leeds; the third figure – the printing fees for CCJ – had gone slightly up as there were more members receiving a copy; and finally the fourth figure – the printing fee for the copies of OUP’s British Journal of Criminology distributed to members – had gone down in line with a revision of number of copies needed. The figures in brackets are monies paid out, or losses. The report was agreed by members present. Loraine Gelsthorpe said that if there were any further queries by any member not at the AGM, these could be addressed to Charlotte at any time.
The President confirmed that there were no contested posts and therefore the following people were confirmed as elected:
Company Secretary – Allan Brimicombe (University of East London)
Executive Secretary – Peter Squires (University of Brighton)
7. Minutes of the last AGM 5th July 2011
These had either been sent or an email link given to all members and were accepted as an accurate record.
8. Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
9. Conference matters
Mark Simpson said that last year’s conference in Northumbria had been very successful, not least bringing in an income to the Society of almost £25,000. The Portsmouth conference was also going well and it was obvious the local organising committee had put in a large amount of work. The Society had this year updated the conference contract in line with changes in legislation as regards health and safety and public liability and this was reflected in the accounts. Mark added that in the light of the current economic climate, the Society was thinking in a general way about the future of the BSC conference and how it may be necessary to adapt, not for the next year where plans for the Wolverhampton conference were well advanced but for 2014 and beyond. The EC were particularly keen to keep costs down to make the conference more accessible to all while of course keeping the event lively and innovative. Ideas included a shorter conference or more options to make it viable to just attend one day or half a day. In the coming months the Society would be seeking member feedback on their BSC conference experience, not one conference in particular but conferences generally, both from those who attended regularly and those less frequent attenders.
10. BSC office and administration – to consider change of date of direct debit to October instead of March each year
Prior to the meeting members had been advised that the Executive Committee would like the membership to consider changing the direct debit date to the October before the membership year commences to avoid paying for more journal copies than are needed and also in order to make the membership period more transparent. Loraine Gelsthorpe reminded attendees that although membership runs for a calendar year (January to December) the fee currently leaves members’ bank accounts in the March of the membership year. At the beginning of the membership year, the Society has to commit to printing copies of the two journals members receive (The British Journal of Criminology and the Society’s own journal Criminology & Criminal Justice) based on the numbers of direct debit payments it is expecting to bank in March. Subsequently, some members then either leave the Society before paying their direct debit or contact the BSC after the direct debit has come out of their bank account saying they no longer want to be members. Members agreed the change which would take place in 2014. The details would be prominently announced in the ebulletin and by mail for those members without email.
11. Regional groups and specialist networks
Harriet Pierpoint said that there were now 14 regional groups and specialist networks most of which were active holding either a series of monthly seminars or an annual symposium; three had a website. Harriet welcomed the new chair and secretary of the Scottish branch Susan Batchelor and Michele Burman. The RGSN had met at the conference and discussed ways of increasing involvement of postgraduates at regional meetings, how regional groups and specialist networks might benefit from the new innovation fund and the potential for regional groups to submit regional panels at the next conference as specialist networks to some extent already do.
12. Any other business
Susie Atherton introduced five of this year’s postgraduate bursary holders – Daniel Bear, Ian Mahoney, Fiona Wadie, Jenny Korkodeilou and Joanne O’Toole Byrne – and thanked the sponsors the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, the Howard League for Penal Reform and Hart publishing.
13. Date and venue of the next AGM
University of Wolverhampton: time and date to be confirmed but within window 1-4 July 2013.