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SUN Campaign History - Nov 1999

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Studland United Nudists 1999 AGM - Report

Speakers at the AGM (except for Board members) are identified in this report solely by their initials and membership numbers.

The Financial Statement was given by the Treasurer, Sue Dangerfield, who reported that the Group's finances were on a firm and healthy footing. Sue also drew members' attention to the full statement of accounts of Studland United Nudists Ltd., a copy of which was available, as required by Company Law, for members to peruse.

BP1008 proposed that Mark Nisbet be re-elected Chairman for 1999/2000, and that the remaining Board members be re-elected en bloc. SG1202 seconded and on being put to the vote the motion was CARRIED, nem con.

Propositions Notified in Advance. 

Proposition 1.
That Article 3 of the Articles of Purpose and management be amended as follows: DELETE "...four Representatives..." INSERT ". ..up to eight Representatives..."

On behalf of the Board, this was proposed by the Secretary, Colin James, who explained that although the Board was at present adequately staffed despite being one member short of the existing quota, our expanding range of activities and commitments suggested that the facility ought to exist for the Board to co-opt additional members as required. It would also make it easier for the Board to find a quorum, which is occasionally difficult due to illness, holidays, etc. The Proposition was seconded by Pete Dangerfield and on being put to the vote was CARRIED

Proposition 2. 
That the annual membership subscription be increased to 4.00 per member.

On behalf of the Board, this was proposed by the Secretary, Colin James, who referred members to the hugely increased financial commitments we have taken on over the past year. Although until now we have survived, it is mainly due to the generosity of a small number of members who have made substantial additional voluntary donations. While these are very welcome, and we hope that members will feel able to continue to make such donations, it is imprudent to rely on these for the smooth running of the Group. Despite the Board's reluctance to ask the membership for an increase in fees, we feel that we have no alternative and the absolute minimum increase is the 1 requested. The Board wishes to stress that all monies are dedicated to furthering the aims and achieving the objectives of SUN Group, and no Board member takes any remuneration at all. The proposition was seconded by Julia Sims and was thrown open to the floor. Both SG1202 and MP1044 suggested that an annual fee of 5 per member ought not, these days, to be too much, and the Secretary confirmed that other members had made the same comment. However, a note of caution was sounded by RW1004, who pointed out that a lot of members were recruited on the beach itself and many of them only visited once or twice a year - to them, 5 might well seem too much. MR2256 also suggested that the fees should be kept as low as practicably possible, and the Chairman confirmed that this was our inviolable policy. There was some general discussion, but no amendments were proposed and the Proposition on being put to the vote was CARRIED.

Propositions From The Floor

There were no propositions from the floor.

Any Other Business

SUN should draw attention to the fallacy of the National Trust's "environmentally friendly" posture.

The Chairman drew members' attention to a letter just received from the National Trust's new Area Manager, David Jenkins, which gave no indication that they were willing to do anything to end the stalemate. Mark again compared our situation at Studland with that at Morfa Dyffryn: although the latter is a local authority controlled beach, it is worth noting that the National Trust has land nearby, and there can be little doubt that they have influenced the local authority. He reiterated that we are a pressure group, and as such we should start putting the pressure back on. If we can become an irritant to the National Trust not only on the beach but elsewhere in the region, we will reinforce our position as the premier group and force them to take notice of us in the wider context. We should, as a matter of principle, object to each and every National Trust proposal - especially to those planning applications designed to expand their development. By doing this, we can draw attention to the fallacy of the National Trust's "environmentally friendly" posture. We would also, by this tactic, put the National Trust in the position of having to talk to us, shattering their illusion that the "nudist question" is closed.

SUN newspaper scrutiniser volunteers

BPIOO8 undertook to check all the local newspapers, including the free sheets, which are all available at the Daily Echo office, and to notify the Secretary of any relevant planning applications. Following a question from Pete Dangerfield, the Chairman agreed that it would be an advantage to have a Purbeck resident also keeping a watching brief, and SG1202 volunteered his services. The Chairman thanked both members for their very helpful offer, which was greatly appreciated (especially by the Secretary). We shall also make it our business to ensure that National Trust national management is made aware of exactly what the local dictatorship is doing in their name, since we have reason to believe that they are not currently aware of what is going on. This shift in tactics is not a matter of changing either our brief or our strategy - it is simply re-directing our efforts in response to developments.

Are there no nudists on the National Trust's local consultative committee?

MP1044 asked why there were no nudists on the National Trust's local consultative committee. The brief answer is that in the first place, there may well be - but they will be the usual yes-men who are prepared to kow-tow to the National Trust's wishes, and secondly, the National Trust is under no obligation to take any notice of so-called consultative committees, and will do what they like without paying any heed to dissenting voices.

Would SUN support members who are harassed outside the red posts?

RW1OO4 asked whether it was our intention to let the National Trust know of our change of tactics, and would we also remind them that we will actively support any of our members who is harassed outside the red posts while simply enjoying social nudity. The Chairman replied that they would very quickly become aware of our tactics, and certainly it remains our policy to support our members.

Have the National Trust's national management washed their hands of Studland?

SG1202 suggested that it might be that the National Trust's national management did know what was going on, but had simply washed their hands of it and were quite prepared to let the local hierarchy just get on with it. The Chairman replied that although this could not be ruled out, it did not accord with our current information which came from a reliable source who was not a member of either SUN or the National Trust.

Are the National Trust aware of the financial potential of expanding the nudist area?

MP1044 said that the National Trust must surely be aware of the financial potential of expanding the nudist area. The Secretary replied that they were well aware of the financial potential of the whole area - it is one of their most lucrative honey-pots - and nudists featured well down the National Trust's lists of priorities because we tend not to spend very much money on National Trust goods, being largely self-sufficient and quite capable of recognising a rip-off when we see one. The National Trust is dedicated solely to making more money - their wealth is currently growing at the rate of around 100m a year - and they see Studland as a milk cow to be squeezed for every last drop of profit they can make from it.

Can Mark Nisbet, as Editor of H&E, sound out local committees and bring some heavier pressure to bear?

MP1044 asked whether Mark, wearing his other hat as Editor of H&E, could sound out local committees and bring some heavier pressure to bear? The Chairman replied that Naturists In Business, an embryo organisation that will be able to punch far above our weight, was planning an exhibition next year and will also fight on a corporate level to widen nudist rights, as well as challenging CCBN's self-assumed monopoly in negotiations with land management bodies, etc.

Could a map be published to remind new members of the area the National Trust is trying to take from us?

MR2256 asked whether a map update could be published in the next TBE, to remind members - particularly those who have joined since the last map was published - of the area the National Trust is trying to take from us. BP1008 pointed out that there was an excellent 'before and after' map available, as had been displayed at our last action day. The Secretary undertook to publish a version of this in the next TBE, due out in December.

Within the last week FP6 has been further widened

SG1202 informed the meeting that within the last week FP6 (the footpath to the beach) had been further widened. It was agreed that this was a matter for concern, and that everyone should keep an eye on developments.

Danger of National Trust trying to get Heather Walk established as a public footpath

RW1OO4 pointed out that there was a serious danger that the National Trust would try to get the contentious Heather Walk established as a public footpath, and we should oppose this with all the force available to us, since it would create a situation of which their police puppets could take advantage by making use of a number of other archaic laws to harass nudists. Heather Walk is not suitable for use as a public footpath in the legal sense because of the nature of the terrain, but that would not stop the National Trust trying it on.

National Trust has no power to enforce dog regulations on South West Coastal Path

RW1OO4 also reminded the meeting that the National Trust had been telling people to remove their dogs from the South West Coastal Path, which follows the front line of the dunes: since the SWCP is a public footpath, the National Trust has no power to enforce this so-called regulation.

Can SUN become involved in the debate over extending British Summer Time all the year round?

JO1045 asked if SUN Group could become involved in the debate over extending British Summer Time all the year round. There is little justification, she said, for reverting to GMT - the dark evenings are depressing enough as it is, without making them longer. There was a brief discussion, and JO1045 agreed to write a brief piece for the next issue of TBE.

With over 500 members SUN could be heard in the national arena

MR2256 pointed out that with over 500 members, we could well get our voice heard in the national arena.

Toilets at Sandbanks Ferry

The Chairman told the meeting that Poole Council had closed the public toilets at the Haven for the winter months. There was an extensive discussion, during which it emerged that Poole Councillor Beckwith had opposed this decision, taken on specious grounds of economy, and a petition was being run by the Haven Ferry Shop. It was stated that the matter is to be raised again at the Council meeting on November.

Secretary's note 20 November 99: the decision in respect of the Haven toilets was reversed, and they have now been re-opened. Poole Council has undertaken to keep them open throughout the winter the comment they made was 'We did not realise the ferry was used by so many people during the winter months" Could they not have picked up the phone and called the ferry company?

Naturist Sauna in Rugby

A letter was read from SUN Member MG4496, who lives in Banbury. Martin offered to organise a get-together in his region, perhaps at Rugby where there is a naturist sauna which could accommodate about 15 people. The meeting was in favour of this, and a vote of thanks was recorded to Martin for his generous offer. It was agreed to publicise the offer in the next issue of TBE and to encourage other 'distant' members to come forward and offer their services in similar ways.

Vote of thanks

RW1008 proposed a vote of thanks to the Board for their continued efforts. This was seconded by RE1189 and CARRIED (Applause).

The Chairman thanked all those members who had so generously donated raffle prizes. There were 14 prizes, which were duly drawn. There being no further business, the meeting was closed by the Chairman at 10.05pm with 26 members present.


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