Minutes of IMCoS AGM 2023

Draft for approval at 2024 AGM

Meeting Held on Saturday 10th June 2023 at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), London, UK.

Executive Committee members present were:

Mike Sweeting – MS (Chairman)

Cinzia Viviani – CV (Treasurer)

Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird – LOB (Editor & Web Coordinator)

Mark Rogers – MR (General Secretary)

Peter Barber –PB (President)


Peter Walker – PW (Financial & Membership Administration & Web Coordinator)

Jenny Harvey – JH (Advertising Manager & Web Coordinator)

Christine Rafalko – CR (Member at large)

Wesley Brown – WB (International Chairman)

A total of 11 other members were present.

1  Opening and Welcome – MS

The Chairman welcomed those present and advised regarding the administrative arrangements for leaving and re-entering the building between the closure of the meeting and the opening of the Map Fair at midday.

He noted that the absence of some members was due to the need to set up our stand at the Fair.

2  Approval of Minutes of AGM 2022 – MS

The Agenda & Minutes of AGM 2022 have been available for viewing and comment by members via the members’ section of the IMCoS website for a period of over one month as required by the Constitution.  No comments had been received prior to the AGM, and none were offered at the meeting. The meeting voted unanimously to approve the minutes.

3   Chairman’s Annual Report – MS

The Chairman read his report for the year.

MS added particular thanks to David Dare for his commitment in maintaining the role of General Secretary for the previous 12 years. Questions etc were then invited.

There was a request for PW to inform National Representatives regarding new members in their country. It was agreed that the Society would endeavour to do this.

In response to a query, it was noted that the AGM date can only be announced after the Map Fair dates are announced, so the Society is unable to give any greater notice that that.

4  Treasurer’s Report and Presentation of Annual Accounts for 2022 – CV

The Treasurer presented the independently examined Statement of Accounts for 2022.

The Treasurer presented Income & Expenditure for 2022, together with the then current 2023 position. A breakdown of subscriptions was also provided.  There was a small decrease in revenue compared with 2021, mainly due to time taken for advertising income to return to pre-pandemic levels. Journal production costs continue to rise. 2022 accounts have been reviewed and signed off by Jeremy Edwards, who is thanked for his labours.

5  Editor’s Report – LO-B

Various options to reduce the cost of printing have been explored. Other parties were both unable to match the current supplier on price and could not be certain to deliver the very high print quality we currently both expect and receive. There are also the factors of familiarity and speedy liaison. MS thanked LOB for her labours in this investigation and for maintaining a consistently high-quality Journal.

LOB reported that additional work was needed at an editorial on a number of articles in the year in question.

6  Membership Fees for 2023/24 – MS

The Chairman reported that we have managed to absorb inflationary pressures for the last 4 years, and the consequences of the pandemic. However, the view of the Executive Committee was that a rise in subscriptions rates should now be recommended. All costs have risen, while subscritions have stayed unchanged. A motion was put to increase subscriptions from 1st July 2023 £60 per annum rather than the current £55; £165 from £150 for Tri-Annual membership.  The motion was carried unanimously.

The Chairman proposed that discounts for Junior Membership would be increased from 30% to 50% for an annual subscription (£30), but that no 3-year memberships would be offered from now on. The rationale is that general discussion shows the need to attract new, younger members during a period of recession; and secondly that the 3-year membership offer has not been taken up by young persons. This motion was also passed unanimously.

7  International Matters – MS for WB

Due to WB’s unavailability, MS reported on his behalf from his summary provided for the AGM. The 2022 Symposium has been reviewed with the organisers, while planning for 2023 Helsinki is finalising and Malta already progressing well. Portland, Maine has been agreed as the venue for 2025.

Replacing retiring National Representatives and bringing fresh ones ‘online’ has been a major emphasis for the year. This has advancing well, and entries in our Journal adjusted accordingly.

In his report, WB suggested the EXCOM consider holding the AGM at future symposia. Our previous chairman Hans Kok said that this had been tried to detrimental effect. 7 other members expressed a similar view. Consequently, the possibility of having a ‘hybrid’ AGM next year was broached. Much depends on the facilities available to the Society at the RGS, who also provide their Library facility to us without charge at present. The issue of time zones was also raised. The Chairman pointed out that also our Constitution would have to be changed. Change to venue, associated costs and the other practical matters would all have to be taken into account. The matter was not taken to a vote. EXCOM will nonetheless look into this as a possibility for the future.

8  Executive Committee Changes – MS

EXCOM member Mark Rogers has stepped into the role of General Secretary in place of the retiring David Dare.

It was explained to those assembled that MS is handling the re-election schedule until the new GS is fully in role. Terms of service are for 4 years, including for the role of President. Both Peter Barber and Jenny Harvey have agreed to serve for a further term. Peter Walker has indicated to EXCOM that although he was happy to enter a new 4-year stint, he wishes to retire from EXCOM by the middle of 2024. (Peter has been our Membership Sec, Accountant and Webmaster since 2015, so a major role to fill.)

9  Any Other Business – MS

MS drew the AGM’s attention to the sad loss of Susan Golay and a motion was passed that words of condolence would be published in the next IMCoS Journal.

Several participants raised the question of how our Society could assist in the education of maps and mappings. Various methods, forums, and scholarly routes were discussed with no solid conclusion. Some were unaware of existing IMCoS donations in this area. There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting with thanks to the attendees.