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British Parachute Association

5 Wharf Way Tel: 0116 278 5271

Glen Parva Fax: 0116 247 7662

Leicester e-mail:


The Council

Minutes of the meeting held on

Thursday 14 October 2010 at 1833
at the BPA Office, 5 Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF

Present: John Smyth MVO - Chairman

Paul Applegate

Adrian Bond

Kieran Brady

Richard Head

John Horne

Ian Marshall

Paul Moore

Craig Poxon - Development Chair

Steve Saunders - Competitions Chair

Andy Scott

Martin Soulsby - Communications Chair

Weed Stoodley
Apologies for absence: Christopher Beattie

Paul Ledden

In attendance: Liz Ashley - Editor, Skydive the Mag

Tony Butler - Technical Officer

Debbie Carter - Treasurer

John Hitchen - NCSO

Helen Lucas - Administration Secretary (to item 72)

Martin Shuttleworth - Secretary-General

Observer: Alex Busby

Item Minute

67/10 Welcome

The Chairman welcomed all present, including Alex Busby, a nominee for Council 2011, as an observer.

68/10 Bob Card MBE BEM RLC

The Council had learned with great sadness that Major (Retd) R G Card had passed away at home on 8 September 2010 after a short illness. As a past-Chairman and a current Vice President of the BPA, as well as through his long association with the Army Parachute Association, Bob Card had made a tremendous and sustained contribution to the sport. The Chairman said Bob Card had been his mentor in the sport, and he tabled a copy of a letter he had written to Bob Card’s family on behalf of the BPA. The funeral had been private at the request of the family. BPA had made a donation to the Salisbury Hospicecare Trust in lieu of flowers. A tribute to Bob Card would be published in the December 2010 issue of Skydive the Mag.

69/10 Minutes

The minutes of the last meeting, held on Tuesday 17 August 2010, had already been ratified electronically by the Council. The ratified minutes had been published on the

BPA website on 8 September. The Chairman had signed the master copy as correct for the official record.

Ratified electronically

British Parachute Association Ltd. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in London no 875429.

Registered office: 5 Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF. VAT registration number 239 4696 20

70/10 Matter arising: Life Membership (minute 52)

Council noted a letter of thanks from Lesley Gale dated 27 August.

71/10 Finance and membership

71.1 Accounts

Jon Gretton (Financial Administrator) had circulated a management accounts summary in advance.

71.2 Membership

The membership statistics below had been circulated for the half-year 1 April to 30 September:

2010/11 2009/10 Variance % variance
Full renewal 4,258 4,330 -72 -2

Full conversion 510 519 -9 -2

Temporary (inc Jsat) 2,352 2,445 -93 -4

Student Provisional 34,191 31,164 3,027 10

72/10 Report on the IPC Bureau meeting
The Chairman reported on the mid-term IPC Bureau meeting he had attended in Dublin on 12 October, in his capacity as a Vice President of IPC.

72.1 New FAI President

John Grubbström, a balloonist from Sweden, had been elected as the new FAI President at the recent FAI General Conference.

72.2 FAI staffing

The FAI Airsports Commissions led by Graeme Windsor, President of IPC, had acted to stop the immediate proposed engagement of another FAI staff member, which would have been funded by the Airsports Commissions. A working group had been established to explore FAI funding and staffing options.

72.3 WPC 2010 Menzelinsk, Russia

Delays and problems experienced by British and French competitors in WPC Menzelinsk 2010 had been due to the Russian Government and outside the control of the event organisers. IPC had therefore decided not to withhold the sanction fee for the event, or impose any other penalty on the organisers. The Russian Parachute Federation had undertaken to try to obtain some refund from the Russian Government for additional visa costs that had been incurred by those competitors affected. He asked that the BPA Office should advise the Russian Parachuting Federation accordingly.

Action: BPA Office
With regard to accommodation at WPC 2010 Menzelinsk, the Russian Parachute Federation had reported that the regional government had taken some rooms at the designated hotel that had been block-booked for WPC, so that some competitors had had to go to a different hotel. The air conditioning units had been ordered but had not been delivered until after the meet, so electric fans had been provided instead.
The Chairman said the lesson for IPC was more fully to consider visa issues for access to a host country. Martin Soulsby said WPC competitors wanted decent accommodation and food, and the Chairman agreed. Possible venues for WPC 2012 included Italy or Dubai, where the problems in attending this year’s Russian meet were unlikely to recur.
73/10 Minutes of Committees

The minutes of each of the following meetings, except STC, had already been circulated, electronically ratified by the Council, and published on the BPA website.

73.1 Communications Committee meeting on Tuesday 17 August 2010

Kieran Brady called attention to the sentence in minute 43.10 that read “[Lesley Gale] said that ‘Skydive Mag’ was not the name of the BPA Magazine, which was ‘Skydive the Mag’ and that the ‘’ domain was hers in her capacity as a sole trader, in the same way that she owned her office equipment.” Kieran Brady read aloud extracts from minutes of Communications Committee meetings held on 12 December 2000 and 24 April 2001, when he had been Communications Chairman, which referred to an inventory of BPA-owned office equipment at the magazine office.
In reply, Martin Soulsby, Communications Chairman, said that Lesley Gale had already offered to return to the BPA a number of items of office equipment but as they were all over 10 years old. As it was standard practice to write down the value of such equipment over a number of years, combined with changing technology, he had asked her to dispose of the equipment. He said that he would now contact Lesley Gale again to confirm there was no other BPA equipment of any value. [Note:  Martin Soulsby has confirmed that the BPA has a policy of writing down the value of office equipment by 25% per annum which, combined with moving technology needs, has made all BPA-owned items on the 2000/1 inventory redundant now.]
73.2 Development Committee meeting on Tuesday 17 August 2010

There were no questions.

73.3 Competitions Committee meeting on Tuesday 17 August 2010

There were no questions.

73.4 Safety and Training Committee meeting on Thursday 30 September 2010

The Council discussed the draft minutes with John Hitchen, STC Chair, The Council added a sentence of clarification to the draft of STC minute 5 (xii) on page 6, to state that the report of the Advanced Instructor who had deployed at 1,000 ft, allegedly intentionally, would be followed up. A typographical error in the draft minutes was corrected.

In response to a question, John Hitchen explained STC’s position on the CH DVD that had been produced using the Airkix Fund. The DVD was seen as an aid to training, but with an instructor present. It was not to be used as a stand-alone training aid, and as such would not be uploaded to the BPA website. Kieran Brady said some parts of the DVD showed techniques not used at his DZ, therefore he planned to edit it before he used it. He knew that other DZs were in a similar position, some with other parts of the DVD. John Hitchen also mentioned a number of post-production issues such as the poor contrast quality of blue captions on a black background and the absence of a voiceover. However, STC had welcomed the DVD and hoped that other training videos would be made in due course.
The Council asked Liz Ashley to make a reference to the CH DVD in the Mag.

Action: Liz Ashley
Kieran Brady then proposed, and Martin Soulsby seconded, a motion to ratify the minutes of the STC meeting held on Thursday 30 September 2010. This carried unanimously.


74/10 Headline issues from Committee meetings today
74.1 Communications Committee

Martin Soulsby (Communications Chair) reported that at its meeting this afternoon, the Communications Committee had:

  • Received with thanks the October issue of Skydive the Mag, being the first issue to be entirely produced by the new team of Liz Ashley, Editor, and Archant Dialogue. Positive feedback on the content had been received from members.

  • Received a progress report from Archant Dialogue on the new BPA website and membership database. The front end of the new BPA website should be available in time for the December meeting, and trial of selected online renewals was planned for March 2011.

  • Received a report from Adrian Bond on plans for the next AGM on Saturday 22 January 2011 at the Hilton Coventry, which were progressing well.

  • Agreed to sign a contract for the AGM to be held at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, for Saturday 21 or 28 January 2012 (date to be confirmed in July 2011, dependent on football fixtures).

  • Held a discussion on communications strategy, and decided (subject to Council approval, which was granted) to send an e-newsletter to members, with an input from all Committees. The e-newsletter would be issued in alternate months to the Mag, at an estimated cost of about £250 a year.

  • Voted 3-3 on whether or not to continue to stream meetings over the web, both live and for later viewing on demand. The Communications Chair had used his vote, as was customary, to maintain the status quo which was not to webcast. Only 14, 7 and 8 members had viewed the three respective meetings of the Committee that had been available to online – considerably fewer than had been indicated in the results of a membership survey. On UKS, some had suggested that Council and STC meetings would get more views. The cost of remote microphones to enable a bigger meeting such as Council to go online would be around £200.

At the request of Martin Soulsby, the Chairman asked for a show of hands around the Council table of whether or not the purchase of microphones would be supported. The result was: For - 5, Against - 6, Abstain - 1. The Chairman said the current Council would therefore not take this further, but that it would of course be open to a future Council, and individual Committees, to consider it again.

74.2 Development Committee

Craig Poxon (Development Chair) reported that at its meeting this afternoon, the Development Committee had:

  • Noted that John Horne had written to the Minister for the Olympics asking that the letter be passed on to those organising the various ceremonial events to find out whether a parachute display might be included.

  • Noted that John Horne had written to thank the BPA Representatives to the Sport England Regions and to say these offices were being discontinued with effect from the next AGM consequent upon the centralisation of most of Sport England’s activity.

  • Been pleased to note that the CH DVD had now been completed, by use of the Airkix Fund, with some funding left over.

  • Noted government plans, after the London 2012 Olympics, to combine UK Sport, Sport England and possibly some other public sports body or bodies.

  • Received a call for nominations of various CCPR awards.

  • Noted that the annual review meeting would be held with the insurers on Tuesday 23 November, at or after which the insurers would quote premiums for the 2011/2 membership year,

  • Discussed the BPA meeting for Drop Zone Owners and Operators that would be held on Tuesday 9 November. Council members were welcome to attend, and should let the Office know beforehand for catering purposes. To date, there was less than usual for the agenda this year, so the Committee had decided rather than to hold the meeting automatically each year, to review each summer, after a call to DZOs for agenda items, whether or not there was a need for an autumn meeting.

  • There had been no update on the planned safety event package for Drop Zones, but Kieran Brady had identified a presenter of first-aid courses for Drop Zones, and he would mention this to the DZO meeting on 9 November. Liz Ashley said she would like an article for the Mag on first-aid.

  • Noted that BPA had received £413 through CCPR as a distribution from last year’s second and final, short-lived, series of BingoLotto.

74.3 Competitions Committee

Steve Saunders (Competitions Chair) reported that at its meeting this afternoon, the Competitions Committee had:

  • Selected winning bids to host Nationals and Grand Prix in 2011, except for the CP Nationals, for which there had been no bids, so the bid form would be re-issued.

  • Noted the Dubai money meet in January, which was not an FAI category 1 event, and therefore the BPA did not organise an official delegation. However, the organisers had asked the NAC to nominate one team as eligible to win the prize money.

  • Considered an issue about the recovery of VAT on expenditure on training by funded teams.

  • After deliberation, accepted a £100 entry fee from Peterlee for hosting the Classics Nationals, reflecting the high cost per competitor of judges and medals – this was a discipline that had the highest ratio of judges and medals to competitors. There would be an early cut-off date for registration to see how competitors responded to this economic reality.

The Chairman of Council said IPC was seeking to reduce the number of judges at Classics competitions, and this was likely to happen next year. He said that Denmark had already reduced both the number of judges and the number of medals.

75/10 European update

Paul Moore reported that Sweden had now joined the European Parachute Union, and he was seeking to encourage Denmark to join. 9,500 Euros of the EPU’s 11,000 Euros funds were due to be paid over as a subscription to FAI.

Ian Marshall proposed, and Weed Stoodley seconded, a motion that the BPA should cover the costs of Paul Moore, Kieran Brady and Tony Knight to attend the IPC plenary meeting in January 2011, after which a meeting of the EPU would be held.

Carried unanimously
Kieran Brady reported that EASA was chairing every working group. CAA had published a flowchart on how it saw the rollout of European aviation legislation in the UK. There were issues about how the UK IMC rating might be dealt with in Europe.
The Chairman thanked Paul Moore, Kieran Brady and Tony Knight for the valuable work they were continuing to do in this field.
76/10 Report on the Royal Aero Club

The Chairman reminded members of Council that now was the time to suggest (direct to himself or through the Office) nominees for the BPA Jim Crocker Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sport Parachuting, and for RAeC and FAI awards. He would be pleased to advise on the most appropriate award for which the contribution of specific nominees was likely to be most fitting.

Action: All Council

77/10 Draft updated Articles of Association

The working draft was now with the two legally qualified Vice Presidents who were both busy. The Council agreed on a Plan B as an interim measure should time run out before the AGM, which was to update the current Memorandum & Articles to allow for electronic communication of statutory company documents to members. Members would still have the right to request paper copies if they so wished.

Action: BPA Office

78/10 Condition of Wharf Way

The Office reported that the condition of the road surface had deteriorated substantially and there had also been a drain overflowing with sewage. The road owners, Frankham Brothers Ltd trading as Summit Engineering, located in Wharf Way, had verbally implied the responsibility for drain clearance to be the BPA’s. The Office was seeking legal advice from Jim Crocker but the drain under the road had been cleared and the road patched up. The cheque the BPA had sent to Summit Engineering as its contribution to the cost of resurfacing had still not been banked, we understand because other businesses and residents have not paid. The condition of the road was adequate for now, but the nature of the repairs appeared to be temporary and the Office expected potholes to re-appear over winter due to a combination of cold weather and heavy lorry movements.

79/10 Correspondence

Council noted an e-mail dated 6 September (previously circulated) from Ray Armstrong in which he questioned the award of ‘competitors with Life Memberships’ because of its long-term cost to the Association. He had suggested awarding 10 years’ free membership instead of Life Membership in future. Council was satisfied that Life Membership was a rare honour awarded by the Council only after full and careful consideration. No proposal for any change was made from around the table.

No action

80/10 Staff Christmas lunch

The Council authorised up to the same expenditure as last year for a Christmas lunch for the eight members of staff employed by the BPA to thank them for their work for the Association during the year.


81/10 North West Conference Research Unit

The Chairman reported that he had been contacted, in his capacity as UK delegate to IPC, by a conference research unit representing North West England. They had suggested the UK put in a bid to host the IPC plenary conference in January 2012 in Manchester or Liverpool. Council noted that this was the same month as the BPA AGM, which meant that BPA staff would already be working at full stretch, and that seeking to organise the IPC plenary as well would be likely to require additional staff to be engaged at extra cost to the BPA. There was therefore no proposal to adopt the North West Conference Research Unit’s suggestion. The Chairman would reply to them.

Action: Chairman

82/10 22-way head-down British record

The Council congratulated the Members who took part in the new 22-way head-down British record at Skydive Hibaldstow on 28 August 2010. They were: Jason Southall, James Davies, Dumi Ndlouv, Martin Reynolds, Frazer Smith, Daniel Parker, Andy Newell, Mike Carpenter, Claudio Lettieri, Adam Mattacola, David Joyner, Chris Lynch, Glen Phillips, Alistair Milne, Mark Joyner, Kurmet Jaadla, Matt O'Riordan, David Pacey, Andy Ford, Charlotte Kemp, Catriona Adams & Jim Harris. Cameras: Olly Burgin & Axel Zohmann

83/10 Council 2011

The Chairman reminded those present that nominations for Council 2011 closed at noon on Thursday 21 October 2010. Council confirmed that, were there to be more nominees than the 15 available seats, independent election administrators would be engaged by the Office to run the election.

The Chairman announced that he would not himself be standing for Council 2011. He said he would like to remain as UK Delegate to IPC and as BPA Delegate to RAeC, and his passion for the sport and support for the BPA remained as strong as ever: he would go on supporting the BPA in every possible way. But he believed the time was now right for new blood at the helm. He was making the announcement now, so colleagues on Council and the wider membership were aware of his intentions ahead of his last Chairman’s Review of the Year at the AGM in January, which he would follow with a personal valediction.
84/10 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 7 December (immediately after the General Meeting at 1830) at the BPA Office, 5 Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF.

The meeting closed at 2100.

Minutes ratified electronically by the Council and published on 1 November 2010.

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