MINUTES of the Meeting on Thursday 1st December 2011 at 8.00pm
– MORAY PROVINCE –
Newton Hotel Nairn
Present: Mike Watt, Graham Grant, Mike Pickthall, Heather Billet, Morag Cumming, Alan Durno, Mike Macdonald, Alan Durno, Alastair Maltman, David McCgann, Colin MacGregor & Douglas Macarthur.
- Apologies for absence.
Gordon Scott, Bill Nicol, Donald Ross, Janet Burns, Ken Greenwood, Hugh Robertson, Ali Asher, Neil Durno & Gavin Nicol
- Adoption of Minutes of the Province Committee Meeting dated 21/03/11.
Proposed by: Colin Macgregor.
Seconded by: Graham Grant.
- Matters arising from these minutes not covered in the Agenda.
There were none.
- President’s Report.
Mike intimated that he had little to report at this point in the season, he was disappointed that the entries for both the league and knock out competitions were down on the previous season. There would be an update on the incoming American Tour delivered later on the Agenda. As regards the ongoing situation at Moray Leisure Centre, Mike advised the members present that he had recently spoken to Angela (the Manager at MLC) who had advised Mike that tenders had been invited for the replacement of the plant at MLC.
- Secretary’s report.
The Secretary advised the meeting that he had nothing to report as per normal at this time of the season. He then informed the committee that he had tendered his resignation to the Chairman back in August but would continue to carry out the role up until the AGM but not beyond that.
- Match Secretaries reports.
East Graham Grant: Graham reported that the season had had a rather slower start than normal due to reduced entries and several withdrawals. If that trend was to continue we may consider starting the East leagues after the October school holidays.
West Colin MacGregor: Colin reported that leagues in the West had started without incident and were fully supported. Heather Billet had asked that in future the fixture lists could be distributed to clubs earlier. Colin noted Heathers point.
Colin reminded the Committee that this year’s representative for the Tamnavoulin match against the RCCC would be Nairn Ladies, Heather Billet took note on behalf of Nairn Ladies and took Mike Watts contact details to confirm the arrangements for the game that is due to be played on Thursday the 2nd of February at Inverness.
- Treasurer’s report.
The Secretary circulated the attached report on Gordon’s behalf.
On the Treasurers recommendation it was decided that both Morag Cumming and Sandra MacIver be added to the signatory list for the Moray Province Bank Account.
Proposed by: Mike Watt
Seconded by: David McCgann
Action Gordon Scott:
- Area 10 Report.
Alan Durno reported that there was not much to report from the Area at the moment and that there was an Area 10 meeting scheduled for Thursday the 18th of December to discuss the incoming American Tour. Mike Watt (as Area 10 match secretary) commented that the Bonspiels had received encouraging entries and that the prizes for the same had been reviewed and improved. Alan Durno informed the meeting that the Area had allocated each Province a bonspiel to find a sponsor for and Moray Province had been given the Johnston and Carmichael.
- Web Site Report.
The Secretary circulated the following report on Bill Nicol’s behalf:
Firstly I would like to apologise to the representatives of all clubs attending this committee meeting for not being there to deliver this report in person, however I think in the circumstances it is the right thing to do.
As you are all aware I am sure The Royal Club changed its web site provider from Sport focus to a company called Sugar Rush Creative based in Ireland and using a system called Word Press.
The conversion from one website provider to the other has been fraught from the start when you consider we finished last curling season on Sport Focus and were told we would be up and running during the summer with another provider.
Now this did not happen in any shape or form even although the first time I emailed my concern was the 1st of May then continually from 12th July till the micro sites went live long after the 2011/2012 curling season started, the point I am making here is that if we had known there was going to be such a delay and hassle I could have considered recommending to the Province Committee that we go on our own to another Service Provider.
The question now is where are we now with the Moray Province web site and what do the club representatives think we should be doing about it.
As the present web master I find it difficult to operate compared to Sport Focus mainly because I have had no training in Word Press which is completely different to anything I have used before and also I have not found anyone locally that can help me out.
What you see on the site just now is just me making the best I can of a bad situation only adding this seasons data when provided as I cannot justify putting on all the historical data that Alan Stanfield accumulated as I have not the knowledge to put it on in a presentable manner and also I am concerned that I put it all back on in some shape or form just for the decision to be made by the Province to change to another service provider.
To be fair at this point I would say I do not find the Royal Club site a problem as a user and if you look at shinty.com which is a sugar rush site it is very informative and has some good attributes.
For the record at this time the number of sites live from the RCCC page is
Clubs live but linked to their own site i.e. not using sugar rush 35
Clubs live using sugar rush 16
Clubs live but have not done anything with sugar rush 14
Provinces live linked to their own site i.e. not using sugar rush 6
Provinces live using sugar rush 3
Provinces live but have not done anything with sugar rush 1
Areas live but linked to their own site i.e. not using sugar rush 0
Areas live using sugar rush 1
Area live but have not done anything with sugar rush 2
Others but linked to their own sites 2
Obviously the report to you tonight is to gain an opinion as to whether to work away meantime in the hope we can contact someone we can learn Word Press from or continue to make the best of a bad job till we (I don’t mean I) can set up another website for Moray Province not under control of the RCCC .
Thanks to Douglas for reading out this report and I look forward to hearing of your ideas and recommendations.
Bill Nicol 30/11/11.
Following a brief discussion the Committee decided to recommend that Bill Nicol be given a free hand to research an alternative website and report back to the Province with his recommendations and findings.
Proposed by: Mike Watt
Seconded by: David McCgann
Action Bill Nicol:
- Arrangements for Incoming American Tour.
Mike Watt informed the meeting that a subcommittee of himself, Alan Durno, Ali Asher and Colin MacGregor had been set up to organise the incoming American Tour.
The Americans are due to arrive in Elgin on Wednesday 15th February 2012. Arrangements were in place for them to visit Benromach Distillery in the morning followed by lunch at Johnston’s then on to the MLC for the match, which would require 16 male curlers from Moray Province, a dinner for both teams has been arranged in the Sunninghill Hotel on the night of the match. Asher’s had kindly agreed to donate whisky cakes as a gift to the American Tourists.
Clubs had been circulated asking to forward names of any curlers interested in taking part to Mike Watt. A rough estimate of cost for the day would be around £80.00 per player; this would be confirmed after the subcommittee reconvene.
There was no correspondence.
Mike Pickthall gave the following resume on the workings of the MLC Review Group.
The Review group have been aware for some time that EC legislation to protect the ozone will forbid the use of refrigeration equipment of the type in use at MLC with effect from 2012. The MLC Board of Management have been aware of this for a number of years we believe. As a result ICE4ALL have had informal discussions with MLC on the subject of plant replacement and other possible options such as refurbishment. The Review Group are also aware, from having sight of the MLC accounts, such as they are, that there would appear to be no capital fund or contingency for plant replacement. On the back of articles in the press regarding the reinstatement of the £100,000 cut in the 2011 Moray Council grant, I initiated an “off the record” meeting with the Deputy Convenor of the MC during which I was able to explain our concerns about the governance, management and financial situation at the Leisure Centre and with the ice rink in particular.
It was interesting to note that my views were not met with any particular surprise, however, when I mentioned the fact that the plant was going to have to be replaced in 2012 and the possible cost, plus the fact that MLC did not appear to have a contingency for capital expenditure within their budget this was received with a mixture of shock and surprise. The outcome from the meeting was a promise to invite ICE4ALL to present an update of their MLC Discussion Paper to a cross-party committee of councillors that was in the process of being formed. Further to my Meeting, informal enquiries have been made by Eddie Coutts (previous MLC Board Member and former Convenor of Moray Council) to the Deputy Convenor about the availability of further capital funding being available to the MLC and in his opinion the indications are that it would be highly unlikely that there would be any additional funding available at any level.
At this time we believe that MLC management have yet to evaluate any quotes for plant replacement/upgrading and in any case a request for additional funding would have to be submitted to the Council by the end of February at the latest to be included in the 2012/13 Budget – time is short!
The result of all this is, that we as a Committee are extremely concerned for the future of the ice rink, and are doing all that we can to try to bring things to a head so that there is a possibility of a positive outcome before it is too late.
Morag Cumming submitted the following report on behalf of the Development Group.
MPCDG continues to try to promote curling to young, new and improving players through a programme of regular and ad hoc activities:
Junior Curling is undoubtedly the busiest area for us with MJCC, over which the development group still largely administers, having a healthy membership of 53 with about 40 youngsters coming along every Wednesday to the coaching session and another 10-12 more experienced players attending on a Monday. The youngsters are now beginning to enjoy taking part in a variety of games, bonspiels and competitions: 3 teams played recently in an Elgin CC bonspiel; 4 are entered into the Xmas bonspiel; A young team enjoyed a recent visit to Inverness and are eager for a return match; the Elgin ice rink play downs for the Scottish Schools competition are currently being hotly contested; a team plays in the province league; and we hosted the Under 15 and Under 13 North Scotland Funspiels in October with teams from Moray, Forfar, Inverness and Aberdeen entered in each age group. MPCDG is also very proud of the 4 young Moray curlers accepted onto the RCCC talent programme this year – Amy MacDonald, Josh Kellock, Eilidh Yeats and Grant Stephen – and are delighted to see them progressing well and so enjoying their curling. They accredited themselves well at their first Under17 Slam event last weekend against strong opposition and we wish them well in all their upcoming events.
Curling’s Cool will continue when possible but problems with funding transport have meant that only one session with 26 youngsters from Bishopmill PS has taken place so far. More schools are interested though so hopefully there will be additional opportunities as the season continues, especially if the issue with signatories to the bank account can be resolved thereby opening more potential avenues to seek additional financial assistance.
In addition to an RCCC TryCurling event staged on 22nd October, another all ice sport Come and Try event was held in conjunction with Ice4all. These events resulted in over 50 people trying curling for the first time and some have returned for additional sessions.
Monday Night Adult Beginners Sessions have a small group coming along on a regular basis for tuition and practice and most if not all have recently joined some of our local clubs and are already playing in club competitions.
This year’s Christmas Bonspiel held in conjunction with MLC takes place on Saturday 10th December. There has been a slightly disappointing response to invites from established clubs with only a few able to enter teams but I’m sure it will, as in previous years, be a good event nonetheless and again I think it’s a positive sign to see 4 junior rinks entered.
All in all it is another busy season for the group and again my thanks go to all those who offer coaching and come along to support and assist with our efforts.
- Date of next meeting.
Provisionally the 23rd of February to be confirmed.