Welcome to the Bordeaux & South-West France Branch of The Royal British Legion
The main points of the Annual Conference 2016.
A positive way forward with training on CMS (Case Management System) on Friday morning and another training forum until 1300. In the afternoon we had the Overseas forum and all our concerns with overseas welfare training and support have been answered and now only need to ensure it all takes place.
Presidents address which did not give any major information and this was his last conference and stood down on Sunday. The new President is Air Marshal David Walker CB CBE AFC MA RAF (Retd).
National Chairman gave an overview as what had been achieved in his three years as Chairman. The vice chairman is now the new Chairman Mr Terry Whittles and for the first time ever a female vice chairman Mrs Una Cleminson
The director general is standing down on August 1st after nine years. The new DG will be Charles Byrne. A new finance director will also be appointed.
The membership forum was taken up with the new way of pay membership fees and the introduction of the new system. Not any positive comments. They did say overseas branches can pay cash which I am sure you are aware of and pay as we did before. They are looking at the exchange rate and will review it more than once a year but details will be published later. With the exchange rate those in the euro’s were worse off!
1 to 9 were just tidying up the documentation so were all carried. All other motions were voted on Sunday.
Band Concert and Fireworks - The Band of the Household Cavalry.
Presentation of Cups & Awards.
The runner up for the overseas Poppy Appeal was Gran Alacant & Lauarina Branch with just over 8000 euros and the winner Ypres Branch with 36000 euros.
A long discussion took place on the way ahead of the Women Section however Motion 10 was not carried which meant 11 to 15 were withdrawn.
Group A- Motion 1 Welfare - Carried - about visiting caseworkers in each area. A caseworker visiting a person where a local Legion was in the area when appropriate the Branch will be informed.
Motion 2 The current £10 Branch Welfare Payment increased from £10 to £20. Carried
Motion 3 The the RBL should open mental welfare centres in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Thease will be small establishments with professional help. Further details later. Carried
Group B Motion 4 That the Board of Trustees look into the BBC's coverage of the Standard Bearers at the Festival of Remembrance. Carried
Group C Motion 5 This was to do with the fluctuations in the exchange rates. Carried
Motion 6 With the new online process that branches review the applications prior to be forwarded and accepted as a member. Carried
Motion 7 That the youth joining fee be removed for young people between the age of 12-17 Carried
Motion 8 That the membership fee for over 80's be wavered. Not Carried
Motion 9 This was about the introduction of the new membership system and in future if any major project is carried out the the implications are fully understood.
Motion 10 Delay the increase of fees for one year due to the new membership system. Not Carried
Motion 11 This was that Veterans UK have plastic cards and not A4 bits of paper. Carried
Motion 12 That the Board of Trustees approach HM Government and request the UK Armed Forces veterans and their families whose country of origin is outside UK be given (EHIC) entitlement. Carried
Motion 13 That HMG do not include Armed Forces Pension when calculating all State Pensions. Carried
Motion 14 HMG amend the law to enable all Ex-Service Personnel in the Social Care System who have a war pension be allowed to keep 100%. Carried
If any member would like more information I can expand on the detail if required.
It was certainly worth having a representative at the Conference meet the new overseas team and discuss the way ahead. I am now hopeful we will be better served and also ensure we have the correct training.
Paul Phillips MBE