Motions Passed at Annual Gathering 2006

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  • District Accounts

District Accounts

Following the qualification by Woodcraft Folk Auditors of our 2004 accounts, and the concerns expressed regarding the lack of control of the accounts of districts and groups, this Annual Conference resolves that:

1.     General Council shall arrange training and guidance for District and Group Treasurers

2.     Any treasurer who experiences difficulty in the preparation of the Annual Return shall contact the Central Treasurer for advice

3.     All Districts shall, by a date determined by the Central Treasurer in each year, submit a financial report to Head Office in the form determined by General Council

4.     Any District failing to file their financial return by said date will be brought to the attention of General Council and will be asked to provide information about any particular difficulties and support they require. General Council will determine what appropriate action to take, which may include removal of the right to attend national events and activities and withholding of any monies received centrally on behalf of the district. 

5.     General Council will report to the 2007 Annual Conference on the implications and feasibility of extending the final date for the filing of District Financial Returns

6.     All group or district grant applications using the Woodcraft Folk name and/or charity number must be copied to the Central Treasurer at Folk House at the time of submission.

  • Elections Review

This Annual Conference notes with real concern that the Woodcraft Folk process of electing members to General Council has not been reviewed for over 20 years and includes an element that has been viewed by potential candidates as both intimidating and threatening - Hustings.  In its current form Hustings forces prospective General Council members to face a large group, in competition with other candidates and asks them to answer questions fired at them from the crowd.  This method of selection rewards those who are experienced, confident and articulate - and potentially diminishes those who do not relish public speaking.  This Annual Conference urges a review of Hustings with the intention of finding a co-operative and inclusive method of electing members to General Council.

  • Motions Need Action Over and Above Support

This Annual Conference notes the annual submission of a motion, usually taken at the end of Conference, which deplores hate, war, sloth and/or greed and instructs General Council to find a solution to these phenomena. 

Whilst agreeing with the need to raise awareness of current issues around the world this Annual Conference instructs the movement to include concrete activities that each District, Region and/or Nation can subscribe to in an effort to combat hate, war, sloth and/or greed when submitting motions deploring these things.

  • Venturers at Annual Gathering

This Annual Conference applauds our Venturer members and their increasing involvement in the Folk’s democracy. However, to fully participate, it is important that Venturers can attend conference sessions. Therefore this Annual Conference instructs the General Council not to run a Venturer programme at the same time as conference debate sessions at future Annual Conferences.

Furthermore, this annual conference instructs General Council to work with Standing Orders Committee to review the processes and procedures of Annual Gathering with a view to making conference more accessible for all, particularly Venturers.

  • Health & Safety Policy

This Annual Conference instructs General Council to have an interim Woodcraft Folk Health and Safety Policy ready for distribution by the end of September 2006 to be brought to Annual Conference 2007 for amendment and/or agreement.

  • Youth Congress

This Annual Conference endorses the belief in youth participation in the movement’s democracy and furthermore notes the “Beat Goes On” commitment to exploring IFM organisation’s attempts to create democratic forums for young people. However conference also notes that to date nothing has been done to achieve this.

Therefore conference instructs General Council to bring forward a discussion paper to the 2007 conference with proposals to meet this objective.

  • Volunteer Policy

This Annual Conference instructs General Council to support and recognise the volunteering efforts of its present and future members by providing a volunteer policy which Groups and Districts can adopt to use in their local Volunteer centres. This policy should be a guide
to volunteering good practice and is to be used in conjunction with other Woodcraft Folk policies to ensure that volunteering for the Woodcraft Folk is a rewarding experience for all who give their time in pursuit of its aims and principles.

  • Policies on Web Site

This Annual Conference notes that the Woodcraft Folk have many policies and guidelines and instructs General Council to gather these together in one section on the Woodcraft Folk web site to ensure that ALL our policies and procedures are available to members. Further, all policies should be reviewed at least every 5 years and revised if necessary.

  • Woodcraft Folk Brand

This Annual Conference:

  1. Understands that in a world of high brand recognition the Woodcraft Folk is falling behind in its ability to get a clear and coherent brand across to the general public.
  2. Instructs General Council to re-inject support for the motion passed at the 2003 Annual Conference regarding the Woodcraft Folk identity.
  3. Recognises that due to the withdrawal of government funding the project was put on hold until further notice.
  4. Undertakes to support a rejuvenated brand project started in Scotland, building on previous work in this area, to review and define the Woodcraft Folk’s brand nationally.
  5. Envisages that this project will, as far as possible, include a broad section of the Woodcraft Folk’s membership and beyond, and report back with recommendations at the Annual Conference within two years.
  • High Quality Food

This Annual Conference notes the media portrayal of pressure on families, and the promotion of packaged meals.  We note the fantastic campaign by Jamie Oliver and Channel 4 to ensure that food served to school children is of high quality and uses fresh produce.

This Annual Conference encourages Groups, Districts, Regions, Nations and General Council to:

  1. Use as little pre packaged food as possible.
  2. Promote fresh food as part of a self awareness programme.
  3. Be aware of sugar, saturated fats and salt content of food.
  4. Be aware of distance travelled by food to get to use.
  5. Use seasonal food when planning events
  • High Energy Drinks

This Annual Conference is concerned about the effects of high energy drinks upon our members, especially at Woodcraft Folk events.

This Annual Conference instructs Event Organisers to ensure that these drinks are not available at centrally organised events.

  • Union Flag

This Annual Conference reminds delegation organisers that flying the Union Flag is inappropriate at gatherings involving the Woodcraft Folk.

  • Air Travel

This Annual Conference notes that travelling by plane produces over 10 times more greenhouse gases than travel by train.  This Annual Conference notes the way in which the government favours air travel by favourable taxation on air fuel.  This Annual Conference calls upon members to:

  1. Raise the issue of unfair tax relief on air travel
  2. Use alternatives to air travel wherever possible.
  • Woodcraft World on the Internet

This Annual Conference notes the development of electronic communication over the last few years and would encourage all members to receive Woodcraft World via an email alert, thus saving money and natural resources.

This Annual Conference instructs General Council to ensure that Woodcraft World appears on the internet at the same time as posting, and that an email alert be sent to members requesting it.

  • Faslane 365 Campaign

This Annual Conference asks General Council and all Woodcraft groups to join Woodcraft Folk Scotland in implementing our aim to build a world based on equality, friendship, peace and co-operation by supporting Woodcraft Folk Scotland decision to participate in the Faslane 365 campaign starting this October 2006. Participation will be in accordance with our policies.

  • McDonalds

This Annual Conference celebrates the closure of 25 McDonalds stores in the UK this year and looks forward to spreading more Egg McMuffin on its face.

  • Emergency Motion: Court Marshal of Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith

This conference notes with alarm the recent Court Marshal of Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall- Smith for refusing to serve in Iraq. The basis of his refusal was that the war in Iraq is illegal and under Nuremburg Principles he is obliged to consider the legality of orders he received.

This conference also believes the war in Iraq is illegal under International Law and offers its wholehearted support to Kendall-Smith who is now a prisoner of conscience.

This conference instructs General Council to:

1.1            Write to Malcolm Kendall-Smith expressing our support for his courageous stand.

1.2            Contact Amnesty International in the UK and urge it to consider Kendall-Smith a prisoner of conscience and that his case be advertised by them.

1.3            Contact “Stop the War” and liase over involving our movement in activities that raise the profile of this case.

This conference urges members to:

2.1            Sign on line petitions

2.2            Write to their MP protesting at this miscarriage of justice and urging him/her to support Parliamentary activity to get Kendall-Smith released.

2.3            Write to John Reid, Minster of Defence and call for Kendall-Smith’s release.

2.4            Write to Malcolm Kendall-Smith with messages of support.

Note: Since receiving this motion, John Reid, Minster of Defence has been replaced Defence Secretary, Des Browne.

  • Emergency Motion: Belarus

This Annual Gathering notes with great concern the recent developments in Belarus. The election, held on 19 March was widely criticised for being corrupt, undemocratic and simply farcical. The weeks before the election over 30 of our comrades and friends, from our sister organisation Socialist Youth of Belarus – The Falcons and their mother organisation, Maladaya Hramada, were arrested without legitimate reason. RADA, the Belarusian Youth Council has also been closed and dissolved by the government.

This Annual Gathering therefore calls on Woodcraft Folk members, General Council and our friends to show support and solidarity to our Belarus comrades by:

Writing to the Belarusian Embassy calling for:

  1. The release of all political prisoners such as Yuri Radivil who has been held illegally after being attacked by the local police.
  2. The Belarusian government to permit and support the existence of NGOs such as the Belarusian Youth Council, RADA.
  3. New and fair elections for the whole country to be held in June

Raising awareness in groups. This can be done by talking about the issues of unfair elections throughout out the world and in Belarus and the situation some of our comrades now find themselves in.

  • Emergency Motion: Park Farm, Lurgashall

This Annual Conference welcomes the Government's stated vision as set out in its Draft Diversity Action Plan, published in May 2006, to reach a position where all groups in society have the opportunity to discover the joys of the outdoors.

Further that the action of Chichester District Council in seeking to prevent all camping at Park Farm, Lurgashall, by serving an Article 4 Direction on the 16th May 2006, has no part to play in such a vision.

Annual Conference therefore calls on the Secretary of State for the Environment to reject the Article 4 Direction and to promote greater access to the countryside for the many and not the few.