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Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting, 17th January 2007, held at Billingham Synthonia Club


Mike Creaney*, David Jackaman (Billingham Synthonia); William Metcalfe* (Darlington); Stuart Morgan* (Guisborough); Frank Boagey* (Hartlepool); Graham Matthews* (Synthonia); Tony Kiddle*, David Smith (Middlesbrough); Bill McGregor* (Peterlee); David Baillie*, Steve Henderson (Redcar); Joe Richardson* (Stokesley); Gerry Walsh [President], Phil Semp [Secretary], 

Steve Dauber [Treasurer]

* denotes official club representative


Brian Whitaker, Dennis Sawdon, Ray Pallister, David Smith (Hartlepool)



Gerry Walsh was elected Chairperson for this meeting


The Secretary was asked about the decision to abandon the previous practice of placing minutes on the Website. Phil Semp stated that himself, in consultation with the then Chairperson, took the decision - for reasons cited on the Website.

* Local Events (i). The second sentence was altered to read: " It was agreed to publicise these and to encourage members to participate, as these games will be graded."

No further alterations.  Chair signed these minutes as a true and correct record.


*Local Events(ii)

 Graham Marshall had responded to a request to clarify the situation re. the events he was organising. The meeting was satisfied that members of the ECF (covered by the MO Scheme) would be entitled to a £5 deduction from their entry fee + £1 deduction if they were registered Durham or Cleveland players.


From Ernie Lazenby

Concerning the possible misappropriation of CCA funds.

The Secretary went into the archives of AGM and Exec Minutes of the time (May 1981-September 1982). The meeting agreed that CCA had decided to take no further action at the Exec Meeting of 10th September 1982.The matter is, accordingly, closed. 

Concerning data protection ( permission to store members’ names and addresses on a pc).

The Secretary read relevant clauses in the ECF (MO) Agreement to the meeting. It was agreed that the previous chairperson had signed the agreement on behalf of CCA giving permission for ECF to require names and addresses for specified purposes only, and for these to be stored by the MO as agent for ECF. The meeting accepted assurances from Steve Henderson, as the designated MO record keeper, agreeing that data was as secure as reasonably possible.

Concerning the disbursement of CCA funds.

The meeting agreed that this information was provided by annual (and interim) statements of income and expenditure provided by the treasurer to appropriate CCA meetings.

Request to examine CCA accounts for last 6 years.

The meeting agreed that the Treasurer would provide Ernie with the previous 6 years statements of account, as approved by members at AGMs, but (after some debate and a vote) that he would have to pay a £10 administration fee to the Association for these.

Concerning steps to hold a meeting to discuss the future of the Ivory Chess Set.

See notes below.

From a member making a full and final offer for the Ivory Chess Set, should it be sold.

The identity and the bid were not revealed - for obvious reasons. The Secretary will not be making an offer in such an event  - so there is no conflict of interest in his holding this info.



It was reported by the Chair that the family who donated this trophy did not want it to be stored in a bank. After some discussion it was agreed to uphold the decision of the previous EGM. The secretary was asked to expedite this. 


It was agreed that a meeting be called inviting all members to discuss the single item as to whether or not to sell the Ivory Chess Set; that ECF be asked to write to each member to this effect and that they be asked to organise a ballot on this issue. The officers were asked to compose such a letter for submission to ECF. The decision will be communicated to the next AGM.


Regarding the decision taken at the previous EGM to change the mandate on the CCA cheque account, the Chair reported that himself (as President) and the Treasurer were the designated alternative signatories on the account and that he believed this could not be changed until the next AGM. The Secretary had researched this. Barclays permitted such changes between AGMs provided that a Mandate Change Pack was obtained and necessary details lodged with Barclays. The Treasurer had such a pack. It was agreed that, in the absence of an official CCA Chairperson, the Secretary be added to present signatories (Treasurer and President) and that any two from three be required on cheques.


The Secretary presented a list of items held by him, and those lodged elsewhere. There was some discussion on missing items. By and large these had disappeared without a trace, but Gerry agreed to see whether he could retrieve the Middlesbrough Congress Trophy from Charlie Storey. Steve Henderson handed over the (fully engraved) "C" Division Shield.


These fell into 3 categories:

(i) Durham players playing in the Cleveland League who paid their ECF fees through the Durham MO scheme - had not registered to play by the due date

(ii) Juniors whose ECF White Forms forms were sent back by ECF to be signed by their parents

      (iii) Bob Rowe - who was refusing to sign the White Form.


It was agreed that in cases (i) and (ii), those players had followed the spirit of the Rules and that no action be taken.

Unfortunately Bob had played a game for one of the Middlesbrough teams despite his non-registration.

Agreed that Bob can not play in CCA events; that the £10 paid through the MO scheme be refunded; that it be recommended that, since we are currently without a  League Organiser and the Rules specify that s/he should apply any penalties, a default be applied (when a League Organiser is in post)  to the specific game played and the team suffer points deduction.


It was agreed that since the MO Agreement clearly specified that MOs had to terminate their membership giving six months notice, that if we continued beyond 1st March, we would be locked into the scheme for the next season. Since the new fees would not be known by 1st March, the meeting agreed to terminate the agreement before then, with a view to possibly re-joining if the fees were agreeable. In the meantime, reps were asked to canvass their clubs to see what members thought were the maximum ECF fees or game fee (if not ECF members) and to let Gerry know.


The Secretary reported that, to date, nothing had been received by Philip Mitcheson (see addendum).


The Chair opened with the remark that it was 40 years since Botvinnik was present on Teesside. He was reminded of the recent death of David Bronstein (Hon Life Vice President of CCA). A minute's silence was held.






Steve presented the interim statement of Income and Expenditure for year ended 31st May 2007. He promised to look into making a calculation of game fee vs ECF membership.


County Individual Organiser

Competitions were going well.




*Bill Metcalfe reported a "frank and open" discussion with Martin Regan at the NCCU meeting in Leeds. Eastern side/ Western side club games mooted.

*Cleveland U125 team lead NCCU Championship. Cleveland drew with Durham in Rd 1, Rd 2 Cleveland beat Yorkshire, Rd 3 Cleveland beat Lancs. Rd 4 is against Cheshire & N Wales in February. Durham has dropped out of the competition. Cleveland could be going through to National Finals.

*NCCU had 25 free chess sets on offer to Cleveland because of the success of NMS last year: these are for new chess clubs, schools or new chess initiatives. 10 sets have already being allocated leaving 15 sets and boards still available.


*Gerry delivered an award to Ormesby School

*Gawain Jones and David Howell are making great progress and are to receive elite coaching

*Initiatives mentioned re. coaching in schools and junior chess


There was a question asked by Steve Henderson as to whether there had been any progress concerning the replacement of the League Organiser, especially in view of the organisation of future rounds of the K.O. Cup. The meeting was told that every effort was being made, but no success to date. The meeting was assured that the K.O. Cup show will continue regardless. Chair asked Steve Henderson why he had not taken the vacated position, as it had been reported by Ernie Lazenby from the chair, at the last EGM, that in a very recent conversation Steve had offered to fill the position if it became vacant. Steve replied that Ernie had misconstrued his remarks.



Phil Mitcheson did send a report of progress made so far with re-casting of Rules and Constitution. However, this was sent to me by email to my work on the day of the meeting. I had left work by then and did not pick up his message until after the meeting. Below is his report.


Dear Phil,
Sorry to leave my response to the last minute but I have been snowed-under at work after returning on Monday from a few days' holiday.  I am not going to be able to attend the EC meeting tonight, so please extend my apologies.  My revision of the Constitution is now essentially complete apart from:

1. Finalising the 'Definitions' section; and

2. A full description of the roles of the President and the Chairman (I am comfortable with the remaining officers' functions defined in my text).  I have pondered this problem since the last EGM without reaching any satisfactory conclusion.  Whilst I do not believe the reasons for creating the two positions expressed at the last AGM remain other than perfectly
valid, is someone actually going to replace Ernie Lazenby?  Our Association is really not large enough to divide the obvious executive duties—similar organisations, in my experience have either a President or a Chairman but not both.  One thought is to make our President an honorary but non-executive officer and have a Chaiman act in the principal executive role.  Any conclusions from the meeting would be welcome. Under the present Constitution it is only possible to change it or the rules at an AGM.  My plan is to publish my review on the web site by mid March to allow everyone to consider it in good time--i.e. on the basis that the AGM will be in June.  If it might be earlier then let me know and I will advance my schedule. 
One particular concern has troubled me for some time and, if there is a convenient moment at the meeting, it may usefully be mentioned as a precursor. My proposed Constitution and Rules will form a consistent and coherent whole (at least, that is my objective and
earnest hope!). Whilst there may be scope for adjustment here and there (e.g. penalties increased or decreased for the breach of particular rules where the consensus is that I have pitched them either too low or too high), the debate and/or piecemeal variation or deletion of individual rules would likely leave us with little or no improvement on the hotchpotch we have now.  It goes without saying that the members can vote against my proposals as a whole but I would prefer to withdraw my document rather than see it changed and fail in its purpose.