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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

Tuesday 17 August 2010 at 1835
at the BPA Office, 5 Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF

Present: John Horne - Vice Chairman, in the Chair

Paul Applegate

Christopher Beattie

Adrian Bond

Kieran Brady

Richard Head

Ian Marshall

Craig Poxon - Development Chair

Steve Saunders - Competitions Chair

Andy Scott

Martin Soulsby - Communications Chair

Weed Stoodley

Apologies for absence: Paul Moore

Paul Ledden

John Smyth MVO - Chair
In attendance: Liz Ashley - new Editor, Skydive the Mag

Tony Butler - Technical Officer

Debbie Carter - Treasurer

Lesley Gale - retiring Editor, Skydive the Mag

Jon Gretton - Financial Administrator (to item 56)

John Hitchen - NCSO

Martin Shuttleworth - Secretary-General

Item Minute

51/10 Chair

The Vice Chairman was in the chair for this meeting, hereafter referred to as ‘the Chairman’. John Smyth was working outside the UK where he maintained close and regular contact with both BPA and IPC.

The Chairman said the next item would be held in camera and those in attendance, except the Treasurer and staff, left the room.
52/10 Life Member

This item was held in camera.

Martin Soulsby proposed, and Andy Scott seconded, a motion that the Council should award Lesley Gale Life Membership in recognition of her service to the Association for 15 years as Editor of ‘Skydive the Mag’. The vote was: For - 10 (including 1 by proxy), against - 1, abstain - 1.

The meeting then resumed in open session.

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

53/10 Congratulations

The Council recorded its appreciation to all members of the British delegation to the World Parachuting Championships 2010 held in Menzelinsk, Tatarstan, Russia, from 31 July to 6 August 2010 in Artistics, FS, VFS, and CF. The Council congratulated the following members on their achievements:

    1. WPC Freefly Silver -Team Volare: Adam Mattacola, Fabian Raidel & Mike Carpenter (camera). Volare not only smashed the existing British record but equalled the world record by performing 24 compulsory sequences in time.

53.2 WPC Freestyle Silver -Team Airkix Freestyle: Al & Pixie Hodgson.

53.3 WPC women’s 4-way FS Silver -Team Bodyflight: Liz Matthews, Sarah Cannon, Tarnya Hollis, Amanda Kemp & Alan Thompson (camera). They also set a new British record of 44 in time in women’s FS 4-way.

    1. WPC Bronze for our VFS Team Bad Lieutenants: Dan Parker, Jim Harris, James Davies, Martin Reynolds & Matthew O'Riordan (camera).

    1. New British FS record of 47 in 4-way WPC round 3 - Team Satori: Julia Foxwell,

John McIver, Aaron Faith, Katie Woods & Rob Stevenson (camera).

    1. New British CF record of 12 points in round 3 at WPC on 1 August 2010 by 2-way team CFUK - Gavin McLeod, Doug Preston & Martin Robiette (camera).

The Chairman also expressed the Council’s most grateful thanks to Ash Kemp, Head of Delegation; Weed Stoodley, Delegation Manager; and Helen Lucas at the BPA Office for Delegation Administration.

Weed Stoodley proposed, and Martin Soulsby seconded, a motion that Council should award a Certificate of Merit to the each of the members of the medal winning teams.
Carried unanimously
Council then viewed a video of some of the highlights of British performances at the world meet. The Chairman said it was one thing to see the achievements written on a page, but absolutely breathtaking to see them on video. Steve Saunders (Competitions Chair) said it had been a brilliant Championship for us, across the disciplines. The Council gave our delegation a round of applause.
The Chairman thanked the teams in the delegation who had sent e-mails to thank the BPA for funding and to thank the BPA’s delegation officials Ash Kemp and Weed Stoodley for their help and assistance during the Championships, which had helped competitors to focus on the competition and not the myriad administrative, organisational and logistical issues.
Craig Poxon proposed, and Andy Scott seconded, that the Council should award a Certificate of Appreciation to Ash Kemp, Head of Delegation, and Weed Stoodley, Delegation Manager.
Carried unanimously

54/10 Minutes

The minutes of the last meeting, held on Tuesday 22 June 2010, had already been ratified electronically by the Council. The ratified minutes had then been published on the

BPA website on 3 July. The Chairman had signed the master copy as correct for the official record.

Ratified electronically

55/10 Matters arising
55.1 Condition of the road surface in Wharf Way (minute 39)

The BPA had sent the road owners, Summit Engineering (Frankham Brothers Ltd), a cheque for £755.49 as agreed (minute 30 refers). Jon Gretton (Financial Administrator) reported that the cheque had not yet been banked. No effective repairs had been carried out and the potholes were now getting worse. The onset of winter was likely to lead to further deterioration of the road surface. Mark Frankham had stated in an e-mail ‘The main problem is [a business located in Wharf Way] has now gone bust so this affects all the numbers, the second is that a number of our residential people are unwilling to pay. I'm now moving to plan B and getting a copy of each person’s deeds.’
The Council was concerned about the risk presented by the potholed road surface to members and particularly to BPA staff, who had to use the road every working day. Andy Scott proposed, and Ian Marshall seconded, a motion that the Council should arrange to send a letter from a lawyer to remind the road owners of their obligations.

Carried unanimously

55.2 BCPA Nationals (minute 46)

Andy Scott reported that the then BCPA Chair, Sam Lee, had awarded to the winner of its Nationals the free-of-charge coaching session with a BPA Skills Coaching Roadshow coach, provided by the BPA. The Competitions Committee was progressing the arrangements (minute 58.3, bullet point 7).

55.3 Office telephone system (minute 48)

Andy Scott reported that he had reviewed the specification of the new telephone system that had been proposed for installation at the BPA Office, and had found this to be appropriate. The new system had now been installed.

56/10 Finance and membership

56.1 Accounts

The final draft audited accounts for the year ended 30 June 2010 had been circulated in advance.

The Council made a number of adjustments to the allocation of income that did not affect the overall total. Note 7 also required amendment.
With these variations, which Jon Gretton would refer back to the auditors, Martin Soulsby proposed, and Adrian Bond seconded, a motion that the accounts should now be published to members with the next issue of ‘Skydive the Mag’ to be put before the General Meeting on Tuesday 7 December 2010 at 1830 at the BPA Office.
Weed Stoodley pointed out that, because of the BPA’s accounting practice, a sum of approximately £12K spent by the Competitions Committee was not shown in these financial accounts, and would therefore show as an overspend of £12K on next year’s competitions budget.

Debbie Carter (Treasurer) assured the Council that this was simply a difference in accounting protocol between statutory financial and internal management accounting, and would have no practical affect on the Competitions Committee’s budget in the previous financial year or the current one.

56.2 Investments

Debbie Carter (Treasurer) reported that another source of independent financial advice had now been used. This had identified long-term investments that might increase the return to the BPA, but that carried a risk to the BPA’s original investment – there was no absolute guarantee that the BPA would get back what it had put in. The Treasurer said that until now, the BPA had invested only in guaranteed capital funds that, though the return on them was usually lower, secured the BPA’s original investment. This was the reason that the BPA had not suffered any loss of its reserves in the near collapse of the banking system in 2008. Ian Marshall said we should not change this policy that had served us so well in the past.

The possibility of a toe-in-the-water approach to accepting more financial risk was discussed, and Weed Stoodley said she would be in favour of doing this if the BPA were a normal commercial business, but it was not, being a third sector not-for-profit guarantee company. The Council were custodians of the BPA’s assets. The Chairman said the consensus of the meeting was in favour of continuing to protect the BPA’s assets by using only those investments that safeguarded the original sum invested, and did not risk any part of it.

56.3 Membership

The membership statistics below had been circulated for the three-month period 1 April to 30 June:

2010/11 2009/10 Variance % variance
Full renewal 3,848 3,905 -57 -1

Full conversion 285 269 16 6

Temporary (inc Jsat) 2,159 2,160 1 0

Student Provisional 16,233 13,815 2,418 18

Tony Butler (Technical Officer) was pleased to note the 18% increase in student provisional members during the first three months compared with last year, which had itself been a record year.
The trial period was still in place that allowed up to two temporary memberships during a membership year for those who had not been full members in the previous 12 months. Although it was not easy to identify what effect this had had on the temporary membership figures, Tony Butler said it had clearly done no harm.
57/10 Minutes of Committees

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

57.1 Communications Committee meeting on Tuesday 22 June 2010

There were no questions.
57.2 Development Committee meeting on Tuesday 22 June 2010

There were no questions.

57.3 Competitions Committee meeting on Tuesday 22 June 2010

Steve Saunders (Competitions Chair) reported that the minutes had been approved by the Competitions Committee at its meeting this afternoon. He proposed to Council that they be ratified. This was seconded by Richard Head and carried unanimously.

57.4 Safety and Training Committee meeting on Thursday 5 August 2010

John Hitchen (STC Chair) reported on the sad double fatality of Emma Bramley and Brian Laithwaite at Langar on 4 June 2010 (STC minute 4 refers). He said that neither he, Tony Butler nor John Curtis as a long-experienced rigger, had ever seen an entanglement like it during the whole of their parachuting careers. John Hitchen said that the Board of Inquiry had not recommended that a Panel of Inquiry be established. He pointed out that Council had the power to establish a Panel of Inquiry if it considered this to be appropriate.

Council discussed the incident and noted the actions taken to remind members of the need, when jumping with others, of good separation before deploying their main parachutes. Of the series of eight safety and information posters that had been co-ordinated by Andy Scott on behalf of the Communications Committee, and issued to all Affiliated Centres, two covered canopy collision and entanglement. An article in the Mag on avoiding collisions had already been published, and a feature on what to do in the event of a canopy collision was planned for a future issue. No proposal to convene a Panel of Inquiry was forthcoming.
The Chairman thanked Tony Butler and John Hitchen for their work on the investigation and Panel of Inquiry.
Paul Applegate then proposed, and Martin Soulsby seconded, a motion to ratify the minutes of the STC meeting held on Thursday 5 August 2010. This carried unanimously.


58/10 Headline issues from Committee meetings today
58.1 Communications Committee

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

  • Welcomed Liz Ashley as the new Editor of ‘Skydive the Mag’

  • Recommended that Council authorise signing of the contract with Archant Dialogue Ltd to produce ‘Skydive the Mag’ and its associated website, and to build and host the BPA website. Martin Soulsby then proposed this, and Adrian Bond seconded the motion.

Carried unanimously

  • Confirmed that the BPA would take out professional indemnity insurance, which included libel insurance, from 1 September 2010, as the existing libel insurance covering the BPA through a policy held by Lesley Gale came to an end on 31 August.

  • Announced, as a result of a call for sponsors, Airkix as the sponsor of the BPA Film Festival, in a three-year deal, 2011-3. The winner would receive the Airkix trophy and a transferable voucher for an hour’s tunnel time. The four runners-up would each receive a voucher for 15 minutes of tunnel time. There would also be the Airkix Go Pro prize of a Go Pro camera for the best use of humour in any entry, which might or might not feature in the top five – this was a quite separate prize. Flying Aces Ltd, who ran Airsports tv and were official media partners of FAI, may help to promote the event by hosting content on their website.

  • Agreed to a proposal by Adrian Bond to run a trio of entertainments, supported by other activities, on the evening of AGM Day, Saturday 22 January 2011 at the Hilton Coventry. The main evening shows, each lasting for about an hour, would comprise

  1. BPA Film Festival 2011 Final

  1. BPA’s Got Talent 2011

  1. Miss BPA 2011, a drag contest with an all female judging panel - a parody of beauty contests.

The food would be barbecue-style, to offer best value to members. The shows would be followed by the always-popular disco. This was a radical departure from the traditional formal dinner, in response to its sharp decline in support over the last few years. It was the kind of entertainment that was typically enjoyed at Drop Zones. Sponsorship was being sought either for the shows and/or other activities such as casino tables (with fun ‘money’). As these entertainments were to be provided for members by members, the cost and risk of hiring circuit entertainers would be avoided. The intention was to offer members a strong and varied package of entertainment free of charge, the only cost being the optional barbecue-style buffet that would cost less than a formal dinner.

  • Completed the printing and distribution to all Affiliated Centres of eight posters on safety and BPA information themes that had been developed by Andy Scott. The posters were on display in the BPA Board Room. The cost of producing the posters had been generously met by the BPA’s insurers, Manson Insurance Brokers and Liberty International Underwriters. This was a completed Communications Action Plan target for the year 2010-11.

  • Web streamed the meeting live and recorded it for later viewing on demand, courtesy of Craig Poxon.

  • Gave a vote of thanks to Lesley Gale for her 15 years as editor of ‘Skydive the Mag’.

The Chairman said there was nothing he or the Council could add to pay tribute to Lesley Gale’s contribution to the Association as Editor of the Mag that had not already been covered by the many warm words of appreciation from the membership. However, he wished formally and fondly to record the most grateful thanks to Lesley Gale on behalf of the Council, the membership and the staff.

Martin Soulsby then presented Lesley Gale with a framed montage of some of the covers of issues of the Magazine she had produced. A companion montage had been prepared for display in the BPA Board Room.
The Chairman announced that the Council had pleasure in conferring Life Membership on Lesley Gale in recognition of her contribution to the Association as editor of ‘Skydive the Mag’ which, under her Editorship, had grown to be widely recognised as the best skydiving magazine in the world. He said the Council looked forward, after her Winston Churchill Fellowship Trust-supported overseas tour next year to study large formation skydiving and make a video resource, to Lesley Gale continuing to enjoy jumping and organising big-way formations in the UK.
Lesley Gale thanked the Council for the framed montage and her election as a Life Member. Photographs were taken.
58.2 Development Committee

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

  • Been pleased to note that the insurance Andy Scott had secured from the BPA’s brokers, Manson Insurance Brokers Ltd - free-of-charge travel and medical insurance (including repatriation) for members of the British National Team - had been put in place earlier this month, just ahead of our delegation leaving for WPC Menzelinsk, Russia (see minute 53). Because of return flight delays due to smoke from forest fires in Russia, claims were expected on the travel policy.

  • Decided to write formally to Lord Coe to enquire of the possibility of a parachuting display at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

  • Noted that the letter of agreement with the BPA Shop had still to be signed. The delay was partly due to uncertainty of whether or not the BPA Shop was to be asked by the Competitions Committee to look after uniform for our National Team.

  • Posted on the BPA website the results of the survey of lapsed members that Craig Poxon had carried out. He asked that Council and its Committees should bear in mind the results of the survey when formulating next year’s Action Plan.

  • Noted that production of the CH video supported by the Airkix Fund had now been completed. The next phase would be distribution.

  • Identified, and was addressing, a number of issues as the result of an ongoing audit of data protection practice within the BPA.

  • Awaiting the report back from Archant Dialogue on their team visit to the BPA Office on 4 August to investigate updating the BPA membership database to enable online renewals.

  • Noted that Kieran Brady had been in touch with Dr John Carter, BPA Medical Adviser, regarding the Action Plan target of first-aid arrangements at Drop Zones.

58.3 Competitions Committee

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

  • Congratulated our medal winners, National record-breakers and everyone involved in the British National Delegation to WPC 2010 Menzelinsk, Russia, in Artistics, FS, VFS and CF.

  • Been pleased to receive positive feedback and thanks from teams in the National delegation.

The Council noted that there had been repeated and sustained problems for competitors and the BPA Office in negotiating the bureaucratic and long-winded system of obtaining Russian visas.  The uncertainty of this had made it difficult for competitors to plan and book advance flights with any confidence.  Communication from the organisers had been poor and spasmodic to start with.  The 8-way team had become so frustrated with the delays and uncertainties of the bureaucratic hurdle put in their way that they had withdrawn from the competition.  At the meet itself, there had been problems with the initial allocation to our delegation of hotel accommodation, which had been significantly below the standard set out in the Bulletin, and our delegation officials had had to negotiate alternative accommodation on arrival.  See also minute 65.


  • Noted that all our teams had worn our National delegation T-shirts for the official photographs at WPC 2010 Menzelinsk. Feedback on other items of the uniform, such as the trousers, was that they had been too hot (there had been a heatwave in Russia at the time) and the material too rough.

In discussion at Council of National team uniform at WPC Menzelinsk, it was noted that the WPC judges, as representatives of FAI/IPC, wore an orange ‘Menzelinsk 2010’ official judge T-shirt, and not a national strip.

  • Discussed the overload caused at the Office by complex visa arrangements for the delegation to visit Russia, and by work ordering and distributing the national delegation uniform in time.

  • Been delighted to hear from the Vice Chair of Council, who had attended, Committee Members and others, of the superb organisation of the first weekend of the Nationals 2010 at Skydive Hibaldstow, which covered FS 4-way & VFS and were completed, with 54 teams in FS, and 3 in VFS, in only one and a half days.

  • Been pleased to have contact with the winner of the coaching voucher from the BCPA Nationals, for whom the Committee was delighted to make appropriate arrangements.

  • Discussed plans to tailor BPA coaching roadshows for non-seniors in FS to the requirements of host DZs, following a drop in attendance at the three stand-alone FS roadshows held this season.

There had been a rumour of national team uniform supplied by the BPA being put up for auction on e-bay. The Council agreed with the Competitions Committee that it should be included in competitors’ contracts of our national delegation that national team uniform must not be sold or passed on to others, but used for the purpose it was given to competitors courtesy of the Competitions Committee and the British Team Fund. Andy Scott asked that additionally, this condition should be sent in a note with the uniform as a reminder.

Action: Competitions Committee

59/10 European update

Kieran Brady reported that there was no update.

60/10 Draft updated Articles of Association

Weed Stoodley reported that a further working draft update of the BPA’s governing instrument, in the new format of Articles-only, had been circulated with the agenda. This would now be forwarded to the Vice Presidents for comment before coming back to Council for formal approval to issue to the membership for consideration for adoption, as an item of special business on the agenda of the AGM on Saturday 22 January 2011 at 1030 at the Coventry Hilton. The Office had drafted a short article for the Mag outlining the reasons for updating the Articles.


61/10 Report on the Royal Aero Club

There was no report on RAeC activities.

62/10 Award nominations
62.1 BPA shortlisted for Best Health & Safety Achievement in Retail & Leisure award

The Chairman reported that the BPA had reached the shortlist of six for the award of ‘Best Health & Safety Achievement in Retail & Leisure’ in the 2010 Safety & Health Practitioner Awards for the development of the BPA Drop Zone Operations Safety Management System. The winner would be revealed at a ceremony at the London Hilton on Wednesday 22 October. The Council wished good luck to Stuart Morris.

62.2 Call for nominations

The Chairman said it was not too early to call for nominations for various FAI, RAeC and BPA awards. The RAeC had not yet issued its annual call for nominations, but to avoid a rush, please could Council members start to consider possible nominees now. John Smyth would be pleased to match draft citations with the most appropriate RAeC or FAI award, so it was not necessary at this stage to be concerned with for which FAI/RAeC award any particular nomination should be made.

Action: All Council
The BPA’s own awards included the BPA Jim Crocker Trophy for an Outstanding Contribution to Sport Parachuting. In keeping with the standing of this award (previous winners were Tony Knight and Claire ‘Sparky’ Scott), it was not made every year, but only when a nomination came forward of an individual who had made an exceptional and sustained contribution to our sport.
Action: All Council
Nominations were also invited for the BPA Taz Causer Skydiver of the Year award 2010. This was for an experienced skydiver who had achieved something worthy of special recognition during the calendar year.
The Office would draft a call for award nominees and send it to the Mag.
Action: BPA Office

63/10 Change of name of a Club

Minute 62 of the Council meeting on Tuesday 23 February approved re-affiliation of North London Parachute Centre Ltd (NLPC) under its new name of North London Skydiving Centre Ltd (NLSC) from 1 April 2010. Minute 23.2 of the Council meeting on 20 April 2010 recorded that the date of this name change had been put back to a date to be announced. The Chairman reported that the Centre had now advised the BPA that their new name would become effective on 1 September 2010.


64/10 Correspondence

E-mails seeking sponsorship had been received from two university skydiving clubs in the north east of England, one of which had been addressed to RAeC, who had forwarded it to the BPA. Steve Saunders proposed, and Andy Scott seconded, a motion to accept Martin Soulsby’s (Communication Chair) offer to contact the university clubs concerned to remind them of the special position of BPA as the sport’s National Governing Body and of RAeC as the FAI National Aero Club for the UK that precluded both from acting as typical commercial sponsors. This carried unanimously.

Action: Martin Soulsby

65/10 Office administration of delegation to WPC Menzelinsk

A paper by Tony Butler had been circulated with the agenda, which he had asked Steve Saunders (Competitions Chair) to discuss at the meeting of the Competitions Committee held earlier today. The paper called attention to the Office having been stretched almost to breaking point by pressure of work on administration of our delegation to WPC Menzelinsk, Russia.

There had been a significant and sustained additional workload caused by the complexities of delegation members each obtaining a visa to enter Russia, and the ordering and distribution of a now 4-item team uniform, compared with just t-shirts for recent previous world meets. This additional workload, on top of the Office’s normal work, had generated symptoms of work-related stress in members of staff.
The paper proposed contracting out supply and distribution of team uniform, perhaps offering first refusal to the BPA Shop (see third bullet point of minute 58.2), and putting in place a contingency plan for the Office to be able to contract out visa support to a travel agency in the event that the workload on this mushroomed, as it had done in this case. Martin Soulsby advised the Council that the experience had been hellish for all concerned and was regrettable, but had been unforeseeable. He believed it was unlikely to happen again. Next year’s World Cup would be held in Germany, so there would be no complex visa requirements.
Martin Soulsby reported that today’s meeting of the Competitions Committee had given a vote of confidence in, and appreciation of, the staff.
Steve Saunders confirmed that the Competitions Committee was revising its aide memoire to the Heads of Delegations and instructions to teams to specify that team captains were responsible for liaison with the Office on behalf of their teams. He confirmed that this was one component of the Competitions Committee addressing the issues set out in Tony Butler’s paper, and that the Committee would bring a plan to the Council table in due course.

The Council noted that the complexities of obtaining Russian visas had affected other national delegations. These and other administrative problems were to be considered by IPC. John Hitchen (UK Alternate Delegate to IPC) assured the Council that John Smyth MVO, Chairman of Council and UK Delegate to IPC, had kept in close touch with such matters and had already made strong representations to IPC. The IPC bureau, of which John Smyth was a member in his capacity as a Vice President of IPC, would be holding a debrief on WPC Menzelinsk at its meeting in Dublin on Tuesday 12 October (hence the change of date of the BPA Council meeting to Thursday 14 October, to enable John Smyth to report back).

66/10 Dates of next meetings

Thursday 14 October and Tuesday 7 December (after the General Meeting) at 1830 at the BPA Office, 5 Wharf Way, Glen Parva, Leicester LE2 9TF.

The meeting closed at 2055.

Minutes ratified electronically by the Council and published on 8 September 2010.

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