Minutes of the
BRITISH SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
Annual General Meeting
London School of Economics
19th September 2007
Tim Newburn (President and Chair), Chris Lewis (Company Secretary), Francis Pakes (Treasurer), Anne Brunton (Director), Charlotte Bilby, Philip Birch, Mark Button, Claire Corbett, Barry Goldson, Lystra Hagley-Dickinson, Nic Groombridge, David Wall, Alison Liebling, Fiona Brookman, Harriet Pierpoint, Hannah Quirk, Justice Tankebe, Anthony Goodman, Anthea Hucklesby, Lorraine Gelsthorpe, A. Dickinson, Alex Hirschfield, Mike Hough, Hazel Croall, Pam Davies, Rodger Patrick, Mary Corcoran, Barry Goldson, Adam Edwards, Gordon Hughes (EC), Mark Israel, Sam Lewis, Brian McIntosh, Will McMahon, Adrian Barton, Peter Squires, Mark Simpson (EC), Joe Ukemenan, Rod Earle, Catriona Mirlees-Black, Stephen Parrott, Azrini Wahidin (EC and AC), Kate Williams (EC and AC), David Wall.
Apologies: Alison Wakefield (Executive Secretary), Ursula Smartt, Tank Waddington, Lynn Hancock
In attendance: Paul Kiff (BSC Administrator).
1. Report of the Directors
The Report of the Directors was submitted to the meeting and approved.
2. President’s Review of 2005/6
The President reported a successful year with a growing membership now in excess of 900 members, including an increase of 15 per cent in the past year, demonstrating the Society’s vibrant health.
He reported the finances to be sound and improving year on year, thanks to the hard work of the Executive Committee, Advisory Council and membership, but indicated that the Society remains dependent on a small number of income streams.
The aims for the current year were to increase members and the consolidation of the work of Paul Kiff. The new office is now situated at City University and there is also a new manager – Anne Brunton – who is a full-time member of staff who will be concentrating on extending services to members.
The President made a formal thanks to Paul Kiff for all of his hard work during the previous seven years. He also wished to thank Gordon Hughes, Kevin Stenson and Maureen Cain for their hard work on the QAA Benchmarks for Criminology.
The organisers of the Glasgow (2006) and LSE conferences were congratulated for two very well-attended and successful events, and thanks were given to the Executive Committee, Advisory Council and membership for their contributions to these events.
3. Treasurer’s Report for Jan 2006 to December 2006
Francis Pakes reported that the society was in robust health and the report for 2006/07 showed that things were looking very positive for the society with increased membership and increasing income. The relocation to the new office had been very successful.
4. Receipt and adoption of Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for January 2005 to December 2005 and the Auditor’s report
Agreed by members present.
5. Reappointment of Messrs Wickham, Hunt and Co. as auditors
Agreed by members present.
The President reported that there were no contested posts and therefore the following people were put forward for election:
President Elect: Mike Hough; Kings College, London.
Executive Secretary: Alison Wakefield; City University
Specialist Networks & Branches: Philip Birch; University of Huddersfield
Southern Branch Chair: Kevin Stenson, Middlesex University (1 year only)
Midlands Branch Chair: Brian Stout
Two Executive Committee members who are currently members of the Advisory Council or eligible for nomination to the Advisory Council in the 2007 election: Azrini Wahidin, Kate Williams
Scottish Branch Chair
Wales & West Chair
Three Advisory Council members from Constituency A: Anthony Goodman, Kate Williams, Pamela Davies
One Advisory Council member from Constituency B: Kevin Fellows
One Advisory Council member from Constituency C: Marianne Colbran
Finally the President wished to give thanks for two productive years in working with the society. He also looked forward to his final year and working closely with the President Elect. Professor Mike Hough was welcomed to the Executive Committee.
7. Special Resolution: Proposed Special Resolution Relating to Electronic Communications
8. Minutes of the last AGM, 13 July 2005
Accepted as an accurate record.
9. Matters arising
At the last meeting there were some questions regarding the relationship between the Society and the Home Office. The discounted membership system is continuing, though clearly it may change now that the Ministry of Justice has come into being (with research staff previously in the Home Office now split between the two departments). It is probably necessary to revisit the relationship with the Home Office, and it is hoped that a new Professional Affairs sub-committee reporting to the EC will be in a position to pursue this. The President will report back any developments at the next Annual General Meeting.
The President wanted to mark the sad passing of Brian Williams. For many years Brian had been a member of the AC and subsequently the EC. He was a staunch supporter of the Society and in particular of young scholars.
The President reported to the meeting the fact that a significant overhaul of governance and structure to the society is underway. As matters stand there are two major problems. On the one hand many members of the AC feel that they are unsure as to the purpose of the AC and, consequently, feel underused. On the other, an increasing, and unrealistic, burden of work is falling upon certain members of the EC.
The current proposal is to disband the Advisory Council, restructure, rethink, and develop a new structure of sub-committees. This would be the basis on which people would then join the Executive Committee. Each chair on a committee would also have a seat on the Executive Committee and there would be a constant process of communication and updating through the Society. This proposal requires constitutional change and consultation and therefore the current discussion is merely for information as we begin this process.
In discussion, Loraine Gelsthorpe described how in the none-too-distant past a sub-committee structure had been created for precisely this purpose. Gordon Hughes said that he felt that currently it is few people and few faces doing most of the work and it is necessary for other committees to develop. The President said there were three key features: to establish more sub-committees, reinvigorate the committee structure, and getting more people involved as it is currently dominated by academics. It was also suggested that members ought to be able to nominate and second themselves as for practitioners in particular it is often difficult to get support early on. There was general agreement to this proposal.
10. Conference matters
Glasgow 2006: Reported to have been very successful financially, having a significant impact on the Society’s financial health.
LSE 2007: The President thanked the organisers for their efforts in delivering such as successful conference, and reported that 470 delegates had registered. He also felt that income would flow quite quickly to the society as the finance department at the LSE has proved very professional and efficient to work with and would be pursuing those who did not pay.
Huddersfield 2008: Scheduled for 9 to 11 July. Had fantastic social and academic facilities and was an attractive location. The President said the organisation would be greatly facilitated by the appointment of the Society’s new manager – Anne Brunton having been centrally involved in the 2007 conference at the LSE.
Annual conferences in 2009 and 2010: bids are invited for the organisation and hosting of the next annual conferences, to follow the hosting by Huddersfield in 2008. Members are encouraged to consider preparing bids on behalf of their institutions.
11. BSC office and administration
The President reported that the new office was now at City University and the new full-time manager was Anne Brunton.
12. Regional groups
The Regional Group and Specialist Network EC member is Philip Birch. The President wished to thank Gordon Hughes for all of his considerable hard work and effort over the past four years in this role.
News with regards to regional groups – it seemed likely that the ‘Wales and the West’ regional group may split, becoming simply ‘Wales’ and ‘The West’.
13. Specialist networks
Barry Goldson reported a very positive reaction to setting up a new Youth Justice/Youth Criminology specialist network.
14. Any other business
Nic Groombridge felt that the AGM should be more of an ‘Event’ at next years annual meeting as it is the societies largest annual event and at the moment if felt like the AGM was hidden away and members should attend. Another member asked for more information on the ESC and was pointed in the direction of JiscMail by Professor David Wall.
15. Date and venue of the next AGM
10 July, Huddersfield University – time and venue to be confirmed