S.E.R.R.L
South East Road Race League

Surrey Cycle Racing League and South East Road Race League Joint AGM

27th January 2019-01-28

Minutes

Present –                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glyn Durrant - Surrey League, Alan Denman – SERRL, Adam Cotterell – SERRL, Mike Coyle – Brighton Mitre, Jason Ginn – Acme Racing, Mikey Weavers – Project 51, Ian Vagg – Project 51, Tony Wells – Epsom CC, Chris Wood – VC Meudon, Ken Prince – MPH, Gianlucca Cappello – MPH, Craig Wilson – MPH, Stanley Earthrowl-Gould – SERRL, Crinnan Gould – SERRL, Joshua Monk – URDT, Jamie Olsson – Maison Du Velo, Lee pendlebury – Crawley Wheelers, Grant Fraser – Paceline RT, Chris Parker – VCGM, Ollie Rastall – FCCC, Tony Clack – FCCC, Warren Vye – FCCC, Steve Calland – Southdowns Bikes, James Bonham – Southdowns Bikes, Will Ranoe – MB Cyclery RT, Ryan Smith – Morvello Basso, Simon Jodrell – Morvelo Basso, Steve Oani – Morvelo Basso, Maryka Senneman – BC Board, Andrew Davis – Kingston Wheelers, Giles Porter – London Dynamo, Andy Brown – Sussex Revolution, Dominic Maxwell – Worthing Excelsior, Jon Puleston-Jones – Dulwich Paragon, John Powell – Team ASL, Jon lewis – Charlotteville CC, Ashley Nunn – Addiscome CC, Anna Stedman – Charlotteville CC, Matt Alderson – Charlotteville CC, Amelia Roberts – URDT, Michelle Arthurs – 1904RT/Norwood Paragon, Helen Bridgeman – 1904RT/Norwood Paragon, Peter Ansell – Norwood Paragon, Paul Tunnell – Addiscombe CC, Phil Webber (Regional Events Officer) – British Cycling, Dave Auty – 4t+ Cyclopark, Will Auty – 4T+ Cyclopark, Ali Bird – URDT, Simon Laws – GS vecchi, Georgina Laws – N/A, Anthony Roberts – MPH, Lee Hollingsworth – TVS, Chris Todd – Brixton CC, Damien Breen – Brixton CC, Amy Clarke – Surrey League, Robert Clarke – Surrey League, Liane Richards – Surrey League, Damian Wilkes – Kent Velo RT, Tim Johansen – NEG,  Charlie Cochrane – SERRL, Richard Pearman – Surrey League, Tabitha Randal – BC Regional Board

Apologies –

Andrew Hillman – TBW23, Luke Anderson (Regional Cycling Delivery Manager) – British Cycling, Russ Saunders – Commissaire, Tom Morton – NEG

1.       Introduction. SERRL chairman Adam Cotterell opened the meeting and apologised for the late start and explained it was to give people stuck on the M25 a little longer to arrive. AC explained that the leagues had taken the decision to hold this joint meeting because of the ongoing concerns they had about the regional racing calendar on the open road. AC also clarified that this meeting was not about either leagues plans to leave British Cycling, but to address the issues of the regional race calendar as they saw them.

 

2.       SERRL Review of the season (Alan Denman) – AD said it had been a successful year with all planned races running. There was one event cancelled because of the snow, but were able to run on a later date. SERRL held 25 races, with 5 being at Cyclopark, 2 Women only races, 4 Nat B races and held both Women’s and men’s regional championships. Going forward into 2019, AD said that they were unable to hold any Women only races and had cut the Nat B’s back to 2 events and that the league would again be organising the men’s regional road champs. AD explained the reason for the Women’s and Nat B races was because with a reduced calendar last year and potentially again this year, they had to listen to the affiliated riders who were not happy with their calendar being cut to organise races for non affiliated riders. Ad said going forward into 2019, there would an £3 increase on entry fees to cover the increased expense allowance for AMS, but would be dropping to affiliation fee to £20 from £30 to help off load. There would also be a change in pre entry criteria and non affiliated riders would not be allowed to pre enter the races until 14 days prior to the race day, but priority would still be given to affiliated riders over non affiliated riders. AD said the league made an overall surplus for the year of approx £1500 and that surplus would be spent replacing lost damaged race equipment and updating some of the transponders.

 

3.       Surrey League Review of the season (Glyn Durrant) – 2018 entries down, due to races having to be cancelled due to snow and commissaire cover. NEG and AMS expenses were up on 2017 and the league invested in extra team clothing and entry fees for the Giles Ree Memorial stage race and the Ras stage race in Ireland, which was the main reason for the slight deficit the league had at the end of the year. The league still has a healthy bank balance. GD said there was a possibility that the 2019 entry would have to increase, but that the league were still working out their budgets for the season. So far for 2019, club affiliation and rider mwmbership was looking good.

 

 

4.       Joint League Report on the concerns for the current state of the regions race calendar and for the future of the race calendar (Alan Denman) –  AD explained that neither league wanted to leave British Cycling. AD then presented a power point presentation. (below is the presentation with the leagues explanations)

Slide 1 –

South East British Cycling License Holders (end of October 2018)

Male                                           Female

•      4th cat = 1114                   244

•      3rd cat = 1633                   101

•      2nd cat = 249                      50

•      1st cat = 50                          8

•      Elite cat = 13                      2

•      Juniors = 157                    26

AD said he would like everyone to bear these figures in mind as he went through the power point.

Slide 2 –

Regional Events

•      36 weekends (if you take up to end of October)

•      11 weekends with no Regional A/B Races

•      A further 4 weekends with limited events.

AD explained this that we had 11 full weekends where as a reagional rider (2nd/3rd/4th category) where you could nor race on the open road in the South East region and 16 if you took into account when there was just one 3rd regional race allowed (60 riders). AD said that if all these weekends were stacked together it would be 3 months without racing, he then asked that if as a regional rider you were told that for the next 3 months you were not able to race in the region on the open road unless you wanted to race against elite and 1st category riders, would you be happy?

AD said that both leagues were more than happy with British Cycling and the products and procedures they had put in place to keep us safe and give use legal protection, but because as a region we are failing to implement these very products, it is now these products that are holding back growing the sport in the region.

Slide 3 – 

Breakdown

1.      23/24 March – Nil – Wally Gimber (Nat B)

2.      13/14 April – Sat – Junior Series, Sun – les Ingman (Nat B)

3.      20/21 April – Nil – Tour of the Marshes (Nat B)

4.      11/12 May – Nil – Bec CC (Nat B)

5.      25/26 May – Nil – Women Tour of Sussex

6.      1/2 June – Nil– Regional Championships

7.      8/9 June – 1x 3rd cat race - Crawley Whls (Nat B)

8.      15/16 June – Nil – London Dynamo (nat B + Wom race)

9.      29/6 June – Nil – (Junior Women’s National Series)

10.  7/8 July – Tour of Sussex – requiring you to commit to Thur - Sun

11.  27/28 July – Nil – Prem (hopefully regional supporting events)

12.  10/11 August – 1 x s/l 3rd cat race - ( ? )

13.  31/8 – 1/9 – S/L TTT – Tour of Hopefields (Nat B)

14.  7/8 Sep – 1 x 3rd cat race – ( ? )

15.  21/22 Sep – Nil - (World Championships

16.  28/29 Sep – Nil - (World Championships

AD said that everyone agrees or excepts that National A level events are important to have in the calendar to inspire people, but as we already have the Ride London and often stages of the Tours of Britain, are these extra events needed given the present climate of lack of resources and weekends like the World Champs taking place.

AD said that having National B races in the region was crucial to an aspiring riders development as they often provided the stepping stone to the higher level National A events, but is it fair and wise to have a decision of no other regional events on these weekends. Would it not be better to have a regional race before or after, as all the infrastructure was already in place, run either by the club or one of the leagues?

Slide 4 –

Addressing the Problems

•      We have known about the AMS issues with Kent courses for nearly two years.

•      We were promised 18 months ago that we would be addressing the problems with a shortage of commissaires and AMS. We were asked to cut back our calendars for a year.

•      People were turned down for the commissaire course.

•      We know of AMS volunteers that were told they were not needed at some events, when they asked to do them.

•      Our Regional Board have a very healthy bank balance, so surely we have a right to know why we have not addressed the problem in a more pro active way.

AD said that the leagues were concerned that members of the board are also organisors of the National A events added to the 2019 calendar and that as they are responsible for deciding the final regional calendar, that there is a serious conflict of interests.

Slide 5 –

QUESTIONS THAT NEED ANSWERING

•       Please can the board explain what their plan over the last three years has been to address the problem of recruiting and maintaining regional commissaires?

•       Please can the board explain what their plan is plan is to fully implement enough AMS to cover the calendar?

•       Do the board think that blanking out all regional level open road races when there is a National event taking place in the region, the right thing to do?

Ad said that after all the talk and explaining, the leagues see the crux of the problem as summed up in these three questions, so they would like a direct answer from the regional board on these.

 

Slide 6 –

GOING FORWARD

•       Neither Surrey League or SERRL want to split with British Cycling but both league's have been put into a position, through no fault of their own, where British Cycling are damaging grassroots road racing and this is reflecting badly on both leagues.

•       Both league's feel that to be in a position to provide an adequate calendar through British Cycling for its members and the regions regional level riders, they would need to see evidence from the regional board and Regional British Cycling staff that a plan has been implemented to address the issues of the lack of commissaires and AMS.

•       Both league's are more than happy to work with British Cycling to resolve the issues of an unbalanced calendar and the lack of commissaires and AMS.

•       If both leagues and British Cycling are unable to reach an agreement we would need to set a date of September 2019 as a deadline, to enable us to finalise plans for organising our race calendar Independently.

 

5) British Cycling South East Regional Boards reply to our concerns.

Maryka Sennema – Asked for confirmation of number of affiliated riders of both leagues as she had gone through both leagues standings and results.

AD & GD explained that riders that don’t score any points don’t appear in the leagues standings. Plus lot’s of non affiliated riders often race and they don’t appear in standings.

MS – Asked how many riders each race got, as her findings had found that her calculations said that overall events were under subscribed.

GD replied that most events were fall before the race with a waiting list and that riders often didn’t turn up on the day.

John Powell – Said he often found it difficult as a rider to get a ride in the leagues races.

AD asked if she was just talking about weekend races on the open road.

MS said she had also taken into account circuit races and midweek races.

AD replied that this discussion was about the issues over weekend races on the open road and the fact that we had so many midweek races added to the problem.

AD requested that we wait for delayed board members to arrive before we continued.

Peter Ansell  asked what companies were being referred to in the presentation that were organising the National A events

AD replied project Auster

PA replied that it was not a company

AD replied that it didn’t matter, the fact remained that members of the board were responsible for organising these races and ensuring they were on the calendar.

JP insisted this was a serious conflict of interest

PA said he couldn’t talk about the details of the Premier calendar weekend, but said there will be racing for all over the weekend.

JP replied that all the details were now public and there would be circuit races only for regional riders.

MS said that the regional board had organised a volunteers meeting and said everyone was welcome, but attendance was low.

MS said she would like as many people from different backgrounds to join the board

AD asked id she thought it was right for these board members to be organising their own National A races in the current climate of lack of resources, knowing that they would get priority over regional races.

MS said that the calendar was not decided by the interested parties. The board in general wanted a premier calendar races added to the region.

AD asked them to explain why they thought this was so important

Andrew Davis asked why there was no Women’s racing on the SERRL calendar this and said the Kingston wheelers had stepped up to organise a Women’s race.

AD said that SERRL were very keen to have Women’s racing on the calendar and had for the last two years and said they were very well attended, although around half the riders were from outside the region and so was not possible to run them the same way with riders affiliating and volunteering at two races. He said the leagues first priority had to be to it’s affiliated riders and ensuring they had a sufficient calendar to make the affiliating and volunteering an attractive proposition. SERRL would welcome suggestions of how to overcome this problem

MS asked why SERRL no longer did club affiliation

AD asked MS to explain the question and why she was asking it.

MS asked is it working better

AD said yes it was. We had more entries, didn’t have to cancel any races due be let down by a club, SERRL volunteers didn’t have to spend so long chasing clubs up, all events were fully covered with volunteers. Said there was a couple of races near the end of the season where people dropped out, but that was all and was easier to sort out.

MS said but this had led to no women’s and less Nat B races

AD said what It highlighted was the fact the riders didn’t mind affiliating and volunteering if it meant they got a decent calendar in exchange, so until we can find a solution to putting on Women’s and Nat B races when we can’t realistically ask them to volunteer at other events, we are in this position.

Phil Webber (BC REO) said looking forward BC would be putting on an AMS course in Kent to try and enrol more AMS in that area and that they would be aiming do do this across the whole region to cut down on excessive travelling. He said that there was a big drop off with commissaries and that the current list was quite out of date. He highlighted that the regions membership had grown significantly recently, but that the support structure had not grown. He said he can’t answer for the board, as he just works for BC South East and will push for Women’s events and inspirational events in the region.

AD replied that it was a shame that we were having to discuss whether we should have Women’s and national events or regional events as this misses the point. 18 months ago the then current REO asked SERRL to try and get as many local people to sign up to the AMS course as the situation in Kent was serious as there was a serious risk of no more racing in Kent. We did this and they were told they couldn’t be guaranteed events in Kent and may be required to travel all over the region, many didn’t want to do this. AD then asked the board to answer why we were still in this position

Tabitha Randel (Chair - Regional Board) Said there was not there was not an enormous mass of volunteers and wasn’t aware that there was people in Kent willing to do the role. They would be holding extra meeting and wanted to do their best. She added the volunteer & officials issue was across the. She said she was pleased with the high turnout at the meeting and said it would be good if meetings and workshops they held could be similar. How to move forward, she said they didn’t have a strategy but they had been trying hard and have many meetings thinking about it. She admitted that things had gone wrong but that they wanted to get it sorted and were keen to move forward.

Craig Wilson said he didn’t mind missing a weekends racing due to a National event taking place in the region, but BC have to address the need for more commissaries and AMS. He said he knew commissaries who no longer wanted to commissaire because they felt a lack of engagement. Would it be possible to make a plan of more local stuff with clubs etc working with BC to produce more AMS and Commissaires.

PA disputed the figures of license holders displayed in the power point and said that he thought it was not this many as it included all the other disciplines.

Giles Porter said club members must volunteer. BC need to have a volunteer system to make sure everyone is doing their bit. His club London Dynamo have this and it works well

Tim Johansen said he had been asking for 3 years to go on a commissaire course and the only one he had been offered was in Wales. He said that if this is how we are treating people it is no wonder we don’t have enough.

Jason Ginn said 14 people did the commissare course he was on at the start of the year and only 2 people had completed it, so was maybe an issue with taking the right people for the courses.

JP said BC have to incentivise it more.

Break for food

Adam Cotterell re opened the meetingand asked the regional board for a direct answer to each of the 3 questions in the power point.

TR said that sommes Commissaires had been promoted to national level, there had been illness and some had moved away. She said there is a course being held on 16th February and there would be more courses if possible, but can’t put them on if no one wants to do them. Said they were trying to find ways to encourage more people.

AC  asked if she thought the board had failed

TR said no, she didn’t think the board had failed as they’d tried their best and it wasn’t their fault

AC asked for an answer on the AMS

TR said there would be a courses in Tonbridge and Crawley

Unknown – asked if there is something wrong with the courses

TR said there was not the right incentives and it is hard, there are lots of reasons

Unknown – How will that change

TR  - come and try it scheme etc

Unknown – How will it help

TR – We don’t have the answers

Unknown – So same next year then

MS – no one wants it to be, all sports struggle. Some sports incentivise better

JP – Give money

TR – How much

AC – Asked the board for an answer to point 3, that having this many National events in the region was the right thing to do.

TR – Answered yes we feel it is.

GD – if commissaries live close to an event and all we offer them is the standard 40p a mile expenses, sometimes they could be doing a whole day for £2, this not enough. They only get given a bronze membership, at least give them gold.

AC – race organisors pay expenses, BC should find a way of paying some sort of wage

PA – We don’t pay them, you do

AC – Bc should take overall responsibility, sort it out

Unknown -  said a race paid £25 vouchers to volunteers while Commissaires get nothing

Unknown – Incentivising is obvious, it’s been going on ages, why not sort it out

TR – The sport has grown in all areas and there has been a massive amount of change at Manchester. The national board makes all the decisions. There’s a new CEO in place. South East board asks most amount of questions at national level. We asked about incentivising. We can’t sort it out.

Unknown – Who can

TR – Write to the CEO

Unknown – Do it then and we’ll sign it. Board should be pushing members to email

TR – We only have restricted email to club secs because of data protection

AC – you can ask for permission

JP – email is ok, but present it in different ways, multi channels

Unknown – talk to people

TR – At last years regional AGM about 20 people turned up. I can’t do it all. If there is a social media expert out, please help, we are struggling.

AD – here’s what worked for SERRL 18 months ago when we had the AMS issue. We talked to people at races. Riders, volunteers, family and friends, spectators, local residents. This worked massively for BC at recreation events to drive up membership, why can’t our region do the same

TR – I’m happy to do that, but I can’t do everything myself. I have a family, a job and I race.

AC – If it was done in the middle of a AM/PM race it could be a fairly short time window to catch people

Paul Tunnell – If you incentivise commissaries through payment, HMRC has to be informed

GD – You just have to fill in a tax return at end of year

PT – It’s not practical for Bc to make people employees. It’s up to organisors to give what they want

GD – asked Paul Tunnel why he has been a commissaire for so long.

PT – I like cycling and I like putting something back into the sport that has given me so much

PA – there has been a lot of finger pointing about the boards lack of recruiting commissaries. The Surrey league rules on club affiliation says that each club has to provide 2 commissaires. Why does this not happen?

GD – each club has to have 2 commissaires or provide the names of 2 members that are willing to train. Surrey League supplied this list to the BC REO and were told there wasn’t enough courses

TR – Do it again and we will put on a course

Michelle Arthurs – Raised the issue of no Women’s races in SERRL and only lower cat circuit races in Surrey League. Said she has to drive long distances to get to races outside the region and then fields are often full. She said she was upset by the situation as she was in a proper club and often marshalled. She didn’t know anything about SERRL and it’s rules and regs – possibly because of a lack of communication.

AD – Said he completely agrees and wants Women’s racing in the region. The issue is that quite a lot of the riders in the Women’s races are from outside the region so the chance of getting these riders to make a long trip to marshal was unlikely.

Unknown – Asked was it not a possibility to put a Women’s race in the morning and a men’s race in the afternoon and make it a requirement that the Women have to marshal the other event.

AD – Said potential problem with this would be you would have to wait until quite late in the day to find out if enough people have entered the event to enable the other one to be marshalled.

Unknown – Asked if it would be a possibility to have a separate Women’s race and Men’s race on the circuit at the same time.

GD – Said police were not happy with this situation. Also it has the potential to cause even more disturbance and upset to locals than the racing already does.

AD – Said that you would still need 2 sets of convoy vehicles and extra NEG

Unknown – asked if it would not just be the same as having a breakaway in a race.

AD – said that there was a big risk the race  could potentially end up with two bunches and a couple of breakaway groups from each race meaning the race would be spread over a big distance.

GD – Added that some courses were only allowed one race per day

Unknown – Our club did this and we ended up with only 11 entrants

MS – Don’t cut Women’s races because of affiliation issues, change the way you do it. Maybe have clubs join forces to affiliate

GD – Said the Surrey League tried this with London Women’s Racing a few years ago and no one bought into it

Giles Porter – Said it was so frustrating that the regional board couldn’t communicate with it’s members. Said he was going to go back and get his club to email BC.

TR – asked if they could copy her into the email

GP – agreed and said they would do whatever.

GP – Added that this action needed to happen as it seemed obvious that BC were letting the regional racing down.

AD – Agreed with the sentiment that BC needed to support the regional board more, but said it was important not to lose sight of the fact that the regional board could be doing lots more at regional level to make things better. He added that many other regions were substantially more pro active and engaging with their membership.

TR – Said there is more we can do and they want to make things better.  They are setting up a finance working group to look at budget and would like to set up a youth working group and a Women’s working group.

MS – Said that the board was made up of elected officers at the AGM, so would like new members to attend and help us help you and  stand up to be elected for the board.

Ken Prince – I’ve just looked through the minutes of the last 3 board meetings and cannot see any mention of addressing the AMS or commissaire issues.

TR – Decisions are made by the national council of elected officers (Directors). Regional boards can put forward proposals for the national board.

KP – Looking at the minutes of the last 3 meetings AMS or commissaries has not been discussed

John Lewis – Your sport has been sold out. British Cycling is struggling with the main sponsor and have to tow the line to ensure sponsorship and funding continues. JL also said that he felt were being unfairly blamed, he has been a race organisor and board member for many years, travels to the board meetings at his own expense and in his free time. He used to race but now longer has time because of the time he puts into volunteering. He said he felt the Surrey League survey questions were very leading and biased toward the leagues. JL also said that having someone at races to get greater engagement with the racing community was a good idea.

Steve Calland – Said this was a problem with all volunteers and said he struggles with his own clubs Time Trial to get club members to volunteer, as some say they’d rather go somewhere else and race.

AC – Closed the meeting expressing that he hoped that we could move forward from this point, so we don’t have to carry on having the same discussion every year.

Meeting closed and prize presentation conducted.