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Council Of Southern Caving Clubs

Minutes of the meeting of the Council Of Southern Caving Clubs held on Saturday 9th September 1995 at 10:30 am.

1.                  ATTENDANCE

a.                    Present: Nigel Denmead (CCG/Avens/Chairman), A. Summerskill (Treasurer/WCC), A Butcher (SMCC/NCA Rep), Les Williams (WCC/Equipment), D.G. Cooke (WCC/Secretary), G Price (CSS), S. Cottle (UBSS), Dave Tuffery (MNRC), J.C. Goddard (MCG), John Flauagan (ISG), John Dobson (ACG), Dave Morrison (WCC), Vern Freeman (WCC), D. Crossland (Avens), M.J. Nicholson (Avens), Debs Morgenstern (WCC), Paul Johnson (CCG/Avens), Mike Grenham (CCG/Avens), Lyn Yeatman (CCG/Avens),

b.                    Apologies: None

2.                  MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

a.                    None available.

3.                  MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

a.                    None.

4.                  OFFICER REPORTS

2.1.       CHAIRMAN

a.                    The BEC have reported that they have not received recent CSCC agenda and minutes: Dave Cooke confirmed that items for the BEC are now sent direct to their representative Nigel Taylor in Langford rather than the BEC hut.

b.                    Nigel Denmead thanked Dave Cooke for taking on the post of Secretary.  However this leaves the training post vacant.

c.                    English Nature are happy with the progress at Compton Martin Ochre Mine.  But not so happy about the two dead bats recently found in the entrance.  Dave Morrison has spoken to English Nature regarding the bats.  He also said that the dead bats could not be due to cavers since none had visited the mine recently.

2.2.       TREASURER

a.                    The CSCC has £408 in the current account.

b.                    21 members are paid up, 10 since the circular.

c.                    We have paid the NCA subs. and we are awaiting some money back.

2.3.       SECRETARY

a.                    The Loxton Parish Council have contacted the CSCC since they wish to put a gate on Loxton Cave and would like the CSCC to administer access. John Dobson said he would talk to Mr Popple (Clerk to the Council) about the matter.  An arrangement similar to Singing River was envisaged.  We do not want a combination lock.

b.                    The new CSCC Handbooks have been published.  They cost £ I and are available from the secretary (Dave Cooke, 33 Laverstoke Gardens, Roehampton, London SW15 4ffi) if you enclose an A5 stamped addressed envelope.  They are also available from Bat Products, Wells.

c.                    Dave Cooke said he would start keeping Club phone numbers to add to the next revision of the handbook.

d.                    The Southern Sports Federation AGM is on 1/10/95.  No one wished to attend.  Dave Morrison said that we should be more involved with the regional sports council and let them know we exist.

2.4.       NCA REPRESENTATIVE

a.                    The Cavers Fair in June made £600 profit.  150 - 200 people attended.

b.                    The NLI Officer post has been filled by Bruce Henry, 19 Gaskell Road, Penworth, Preston PRI 9RJ

c.                    The NCA Conservation Policy is now being circulated.  Graham Price noted that there had been a very poor response from CSCC members.  A summary leaflet has been printed which will be circulated to the CSCC members, this will hopefully improve things.

4.5.       CONSERVATION AND ACCESS CONVENOR

a.                    Alan Butcher felt that conservation information was not widely distributed.  It was suggested that the Conservation and Access Policy should be advertised and local cavers be better informed, through the actions of local clubs' own Conservation and Access Officers. Alan also suggested there should be an open meeting on the C & A policy.

b.                    Dave Morrison proposed that each Club should nominate a C&A Officers by the next CSCC meeting.  A date will be set for those officers to meet.  That meeting will share out the task of producing management plans for the SSSI caves to the various Officers/Clubs.  If we don't produce these plans then English Nature will employ non-cavers to do them soon.  It would be helpful if the Club C&A Officers could attend the next CSCC meeting. The Cerberus expressed a wish to do Stoke Lane, the WCC Swildons and the MCG Upper Flood.

c.                    Dave Morrison formally requested the cave SSSI information from Graham Price.

d.                    Quaking House in Milverton is now gated.  Permission and keys can be obtained from Farthings Farm.

e.                    The UK Cave Conservation Emergency Fund loaned £300 for fencing around Triple Hole (Sandford) to the Avens.  Paul Johnson reported that the work was harder than predicted, but he expected it to be finished within a fortnight.

f.                      Graham Price reported from the Mineral Working Group that the Gerny Slade Quarry Company will not challenge any depth restrictions - a good result.  Mear Head Quarry's application to quarry an area that it previously agreed not to quarry has been passed.  This jeopardises the drainage lines of nearby swallets. Watley Quarry's application has also been passed - more bad news.  See Graham for details.

g.                    Somerset County Council are now producing a new Minerals plan.  David Seton attends, providing us with some input and feedback.

h.                    The NRA Lower Bristol Aven Management Plan has now been produced.

i.                      Bristol Water have started pumping the Swildons Stream again.  Is this causing the movement of the boulders in Swildons entrance? Dave Morrison will speak to Paul Hodge.

2.5.       EQUIPMENT

a.                    The latest draft of the NCA Bolting Policy is going to Council for ratification.

b.                    There are currently 3 resin anchors in Swildons and 12 in Thrupe.

c.                    CCC Ltd have asked for a proposal to bolt the Left Hand Route in Rhino Rift.   CCC Ltd to fund.

d.                    Hilti have discontinued the C50 resin used to fix bolts.  The new resin is being tested by CNCC. Verbal reports so far is that it isn't as good.

e.                    The NCA rope test results suggest that storage and treatment are more important factors to a ropes well being than age.

3.         TRAINING

a.                    A Training Officer is required. Can Clubs put an advert in their Journals?

b.                    The Gloucester Artificial Cave project has asked for NCA support. People’s views are invited. Please direct them to Alan Butcher. There was a general discussion with views in favour and against.

c.                    It was noted that Caving is now on the National Cirriculum.  This has to be bad for caves and caving in general.

d.                    The Young Persons Act in its current form should not affect Caving Clubs.  Clubs can still have under 18 year old members.  They can take parties of under 18s caving so long as it is informally.  The act is aimed at organisations operating for profit.

4.         ANY OTHER BUSINESS

a.                    The Avens Cave Exploration Group were admitted as members of the CSCC. They have a membership of 10 and have been very active in some of the Councils conservation projects.

b.                    Les Williams visited the owner of Burrington Cafe Adventure Caving.  He reported that it seems well run, it will only operate in Goatchurch, it has the Commoners consent, and the leaders are LCA qualified. We should not be concerned.

5.         CONFIRMATION OF THE DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING

a.                    The next meeting will be the 2nd December 1995 at 10.30 am in the Back Bar of the Hunters Lodge, Priddy.

b.                    The date for the rest of the year are 24/2/96 and the AGM on 18/5/96.