Minutes of the Branch Meeting held on 4th July 2016 in the Lower Annexe, Byfield Village Hall
A.CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS:
Russ said that Speakers were apparently on their summer recess, as we had none now until September.
B. MATTERS ARISING:
B.1 Eydon Branch Amalgamation: Russ explained he still had not received the email addresses of those Eydon members who wished to be on the distribution list for any RBL correspondence. Russ would therefore use the e-mail addresses of ex Eydon members which appeared on the RBL’s Office 365 admin software.
B.2 Plaque in Memory of Ken: This is now in place in front of the rose and faces Ken’s house. A photo of it in situ was passed around the meeting.
B.4 Women’s Section: Laurie explained that Alison, a member of the Byfield Women’s Section, had still not heard anything about its future but was planning to join the Byfield RBL Branch when her membership of the Woman’s Section expired in October.
B.5 Donation to the Battle Back Centre: Russ read out a letter of thanks from Chris J outlining the successes of Battle Back to date and explaining that our donation would go towards upgrading their fleet of mountain bikes; their current bikes needed replacing, as they were now over four years old and showing signs of wear. Russ also explained that he had written a piece for the next issue of the Byfiled Parish Magazine, The Byword, including this information.
B.6 Barbecue: Russ asked for a show of hands of those members (and spouses/partners) who would be attending the Barbecue, then scheduled to be at his house on 7th August; some 16 Members indicated they would be. He said this would enable him to calculate how many non members from Byfield he could invite. He also asked for volunteers to bring chairs and tables from the church, and help set up in advance. Some discussion took place on widening the scope of the barbecue to include the District and maybe the general public as a good fund raising opportunity but the meeting felt this should not be considered until 2017.
B.6.1 Other possible venues were discussed for this year’s event and those included John R's and Joy’s gardens - Russ thanked Joy for her very kind offer and agreed to visit to look at suitability.
Secretary’s Note: This year’s BBQ WILL now be at Joy’s; call Russ for tickets & details of the venue.
Bb. NEW MATTERS:
Bb.1 Lunch Meetings: Terry explained that during his RBL Web browsing he had recently come across an RBL Branch in Ringwood who hold informal lunch time gatherings for a drink and a bite to eat, and wondered if this were something we might be interested in doing. Alan also explained that the Braunston Branch met like this regularly at different pubs across their District. The meeting appeared in favour of the idea, and it was agreed that, in principle, we would meet at 12.30 pm on the last Wednesday of each month, the first occasion being on 31st August at the Cross Tree. David agreed to review possible menu options with the Cross Tree.
Bb.2 Web Site Update: Terry explained that he had recently added a story about Jeremy W’s father on the Somme to our Web Site and asked if any other members had any suitable stories for him to add? Nobody immediately responded.
Bb.3 Eydon Branch Standard: Russ advised that the Eydon Standard needed to be laid up, possibly in 2017, and that he needed to discuss this with them.
Bb.4 Transport to Meetings: Terry explained that when he was in the village, he was willing to transport members to meetings held outside Byfield, and to bring other members from outlying villages to meetings in Byfield. Joy and Vernon also volunteered to help for which Russ thanked them, and said he would announce this when sending minutes out by email.
C.1 Membership Update: Russ announced that the membership subscription would increase to £17 next year, i.e £1 increase each year as planned at the 2011 Annual Conference.
C.2 Festival of Remembrance This will be held on 12th November. No members present were interested in attending; Russ will therefore ask other members by e-mail, and if they are, to reply by 20th July. Alan will then advise County by 25th July.
C.3 Brackley Concert: A concert will be given by the Brackley Wind Ensemble titled ‘An Alternative Sound Track to WW1’ at 7.30pm 14th July at St Peter’s Church Brackley. Tickets are £5.00.
C.4 Membership Policy and Admin Newsletter: This included details of the Independent Living Service which comprises the Independent Living Advice Service and the Legion Handy Van Service. Help can be arranged in either of these two areas through the contact centre on 0808 802 8080
C.5 Branch Community Support: This initiative, which is in addition to the Caseworker function and does not replace it, has been recently introduced and is explained on pages 40 and 41 of the June 2016 issue of the Legion magazine. To summarise, the five predominant activities which Branches are either involved with now, or would like to be in the future, are:
- Home and Hospital Visiting
- Bereavement Support
- Holding Legion Awareness Events
- Being Telephone Buddies to lonely or isolated beneficiaries
- Local Touchpoints – to make it easier for beneficiaries to get in touch with the Legion in times of need
A Branch wishing to take part in this initiative needs to register on Office 365, and this, as Russ explained, he has done. This will allow Branches to report on activities taking place, and to identify what specific support is required.
D.1 Alan reported on the finances as at the end of June, which is in fact our official Year End. The Branch Accounts are currently being prepared for audit, and they show a healthy position.
D.2 The figures were circulated and discussed. During this Alan raised the question of transferring some of the cash to the interest bearing account held centrally at HQ giving 2% pa. John proposed that we transfer £500 to the BFI, which was seconded by Chris; this was agreed by all.
D.3 Les asked, in view of this healthy position, how much had been used for Welfare purposes? During the last 12 months this had been spent on the rose for Nina and the plaque in memory of Ken. Russ explained that under the current Charity rules, no more than a one off payment of £10 could be made to beneficiaries by Branches.
E. POPPY APPEAL:
E.1 John reported that the Poppy Appeal total had now risen to £9,366.24. He also reported that this year’s stock was ordered on 13th June and had been delivered on 23rd June, which was very encouraging. Doug had retired as a Collector, and two new ladies had joined.
F. ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
F .1 John asked to be able to stand down from his back-up flag flying duties, and Terry volunteered to take his place.
F.2 Vernon asked if any member wished to visit the National Memorial Arboretum with him in early September; five members expressed their interest. Transport arrangements will be finalised at the September meeting.
G. Flag Flying Days: None scheduled until November
The next meeting will be held on Monday 1st August at 8pm in Byfield Village Hall’s lower annex.