Dear CTC Member,
As the East Midlands representatives on CTC Council, I try to provide a regular ‘Councillor’s Update’ to keep in touch with all CTC members and volunteers in the region. The CTC has a broad membership base and I appreciate your views and feedback as this helps shape how the CTC develops.
I sent our last Update in May. 2013 has been very busy on the cycling front, I have been getting to grips with my role as councilor at a time when the profile of cycling has exploded but also at a challenging time for the CTC. I have also been trying to be more consistent with my riding as well! I have been increasing the length of my regular rides and have completed the Coast and Castles Challenge and I also did The Way of the Roses with friends. Both superb and come highly recommended. Next year I am signed up for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain so you see I have some training to do! I also led a ride from Southwell in the summer, it was the first I have led and I had a good number join me. It was a very hot day so we were very ready for our refreshments at Hockerton Dairy.
Below is a summary of the various activities I have been involved in.
Council has met four times in 2013, the January meeting was at Excel in London and enabled us to spend a couple of hours at the Bike Show afterwards. The business was mainly procedural, setting up the key committees for the coming year, introducing new Councillors etc. Highlight was the launch of Team CTC our new Women’s Racing Team who are now raising the profile of women’s cycling. For more information on Team CTC, please see www.ctc.org.uk/team-ctc
Our April Council received a visit from Bernhard Ensink CEO of the European Cycling Federation and we discussed how we can make the most of our links to this key supra-national body. There is potential to influence EU policy on cycling, vehicle specifications etc as well as setting up joint projects (like the current one on cycle logistics), learning from how other EU countries get people cycling and also using ECF’s understanding of cycle touring and international cycle routes.
We set in motion sub-groups concerned with increasing membership, advancing our diversity and equal opportunity commitments and improving CTC’s image and popularity.
The July meeting focused on preparing for the Brand refresh and hopefully you all got involved in having your say on the questionnaire. We also reviewed the progression of Dalby Forest, some of you may know that CTC has a national off-road centre of excellence in Dalby Forest, near Pickering in North Yorkshire. In partnership with Pace, we offer mountain bike skills development courses and led rides, along with the traditional range of education courses and qualifications, a store, bike rental and bike servicing. Dalby is a stunning location For more information on CTC courses and the Dalby Bike Barn, please see http://www.dalbybikebarn.co.uk/
Last weekend was the October Council. It was a challenging meeting as we were required to agree the budget which is challenging in the context of changed funding arrangements and the need to grow the membership. We had an excellent presentation from the new membership manager Matt Malinder and David Dowling. They have some really great ideas about what we should be doing to raise the profile of the CTC and also to attract and retain our membership. Team CTC have had a great season and we have really seen the girls raise the profile of CTC nationally and in areas we are not traditionally well known in. So we have agreed to continue to support the team subject to our co-sponsors remaining committed. You can see the list of events on the CTC websites.
This year’s AGM and Annual Prize Giving Dinner was in Guisborough on the North Yorkshire Moors. After the formal reporting and questions we had resolutions on subs (keeping them the same this year), planning and road maintenance and revisions to the Highway Code. These become policy commitments that CTC Council will be working to. In particular we agreed a motion to encourage highway authorities to use highways maintenance budgets and funding via the planning process to improve facilities for cyclists.
This year’s innovation was a Saturday morning discussion session with local members on topics of interest suggested by the Member Group Steering Group. It worked well and encouraged more members to come along and give their opinion.
We will repeat this next year in Glasgow. On the Sunday, CTC Teeside members led us on a choice of great rides to the coast or up onto the Moors
Our Strategy and Policy Committee (one of the two sub-committees which reports to Council) has been investigating how technology can help CTC to extend our influence and get more people cycling. We are considering a number of CTC Smartphone apps, starting with improvements to our pothole and road defect reporting app, Fill That Hole.
We have also had a small working with a small group of Councillors to look at our image and our key messages. Our aim is to build on the excellent work that’s taken place during the past 18 months and increase brand awareness, while using this to extend our reach to other cyclists, increase membership and further extend our influence nationally. On the 6th November the Councillors will be looking at what this tells us and considering what the next steps will be.
We recently launched our www.roadjustice.org.uk. We saw a very proactive approach with members delivering key messages to police commissioners across the country.
... and finally...
Don’t forget you can join almost 16,000 others and follow all CTC developments immediately as they happen by following our twitter feed @CTC_Cyclists. You can also follow me on @lowe1_jaki to see my views and exploits on cycling but you will also see what I say about my day job in human resources!
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