2005 AGM Report

Dear Member

Re: BCS Oxfordshire Branch – 2005 Annual General Meeting

image The 2004/2005 program has come to an end. This year has been another successful year for Oxfordshire with 8 well attended branch meetings including our annual trip to the science museum large objects store at Wroughton. My thanks go to the branch committee members who have worked hard to provide this diverse program of events.

The year has also been successful for the BCS as a whole. The recent initiatives on membership benefits have increased our numbers by more than 30%, The BCS website (www.bcs.org) has details of al the new benefits available to members at each of the grades. Membership in Oxfordshire has also increased to more than 1000! A recent mailing from head office stated that "The BCS IS its membership", and as chairman of your branch, I am proud to be your interface to the BCS. Please let us know what you think and what you would like us to deliver to you in the future.

image November saw our first joint meeting with the Oxford University Computer Society (OUCS), where we had a lively debate on whether open source is hype or reality. This meeting was well attended from both societies and we hope to have more joint meetings in the future. Summaries of al our past events are available on our website so you can catch-up on any meetings you were not able to attend and, where they are available, download versions of speakers’ sliders. We are already working on our program for next year.

image This year, the committee is again organising our biennial web design competition for Oxfordshire schools. The competition has always been very popular, and this year is no exception. We have received entries from 28 teams and the judging is about to start with the prize winners to be announced at the event in June at the Royal Military College at Shrivenham. Prizes this year include PlayStation 2’s, Apple iPod shuffles and multi media PCs. Our thanks to the event sponsors: Fox FM, RM, Focus Multimedia, Cranfield University and altoHiway. More details of the competition are on the website at http://www.oxon.bcs.org/webcomp2005/. Adrian Walmsley has continued to develop the branch website, and this year has seen the introduction of a wiki which gives all members an open discussion area. Visit the wiki site if you would like to know more about this facility.

image The branch committee is still strong and very active with 11 members. I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to 2 committee members who have decided to step down. Ted Murphy is retiring after being on the committee for over 30 years. During this time he has had a number of years in each of the roles of chairman and secretary. The committee will miss his experience and wit at our meetings. Neill Lawson-Smith, another past chairman and secretary, has also decided to step down from the committee.

2005 has also seen the re-opening of one of our local branches. The Swindon branch re-launched in April, and is also working on their program for the following year. We are looking at ways of collaborating with them, and with our other neighbouring branches in the future.

At the AGM we will be hearing about professionalism in IT from Charles Hughes, the president elect of the BCS. Professionalism in IT is a key focus of the BCS over the next couple of years and is seen as key to the growth and industry recognition of the society.

Looking forward, next year is taking shape, and we are going to have another diverse program. If you would like to contribute, or let us know what you think, please complete the questionnaire or e-mail me directly with your comments. We are running this branch for your benefit, so we welcome any feedback you can give us.

We hope you have enjoyed the program we have offered you this year, and we look forward to receiving feedback from you over the summer break. Have a good summer and we hope to see you al next year.

Eur Ing Robert G M Ward. CEng MBCS CITP MSc BSc (Hons)
BCS Oxfordshire Branch – Chairman robert.ward(at)bcs.org.uk
Branch Website www.oxon.bcs.org

This letter is also available as a 230KB PDFPDF file which includes a summary of the branch accounts