Minutes of the Branch COMMITTEE Meeting held on 30th March 2017 at Hinton House Farm Cottages, Byfield
A. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS
Russ explained for the record that this was the first meeting of the new format where formal business would be conducted separately from the Branch’s monthly meeting whenever a speaker was booked for that meeting. The objective is to give more time to the Speaker, and to make those meetings a more sociable occasion. However the Committee meeting's findings and decisions would be summarised and would still be presented to those meetings for members’ information. Members would then be invited to comment and if necessary suggest ammendments to Committee decisions if they thought it necessary.
This Committee meeting consisted of (but was not restricted to) the Branch Committee, although at this particular meeting apologies were received from the Treasurer, the Poppy Appeal organiser and the Welfare representative. However Alison and Vernon were co-opted on to the Committee of the Branch and were present at this meeting, as was Alan W from Eydon.
It is necessary to ensure that at meetings of the Committee, we have sufficient numbers to have a quorum, which is the reason for co-opting Alison & Vernon. Having said that, Russ asked that formal approval of those appointments were sought at the meeting on 5th April '17.
Secretary's Note: At the 5th April '17 Meeting those two appointments wre proposed, seconded and approved unanimously by the assembled company.
The Committee now consists of the Chairman, Vice Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Poppy Appeal Organiser, the Welfare representatives, the Membership Secretary, Alison and Vernon.
Branch byelaws state that a quorum of the committee is 7. The Chairman then gave notice that at a future date he would like to reduce that number to 3, to make Committee meetings easier to arrange.
B. MATTERS ARISING from last meeting’s Minutes:
B .1 Eydon Standard: Alan W reported that discussions were ongoing about how and where to locate the Standard; the preferred location is horizontally over the two Rolls of Honour but this needs PCC approval.
B .2 Nominations for the Board of RBL Trustees: It was agreed that Russ would decide on behalf of the Branch which candidates would be nominated. Russ has the various CVs of those seeking nomination, none of whom are known to us.
B.3 Barbecue: It was agreed that there would be another Barbecue this year, as it raises substantial income. It was also agreed to ask Joy if she could host it again. The event would be over lunchtime on either 16th or 23rd July 2017.
Secretary's Note: At the 5th April '17 Meeting, Joy confirmed that she would be willing to host the BBQ and that 23rd July '17 would be her preferred date. As it is now noted that the 23rd is a Sunday, this needs reconfirmation.
B.4 Cascade Process for Eydon: Alan explained that he would update the cascade process to include the old Eydon Branch, and that e-mail communication should replace the use of telephone where practical.
B.4.1 "Cascade" is the method of informing all members of anything of particular note whereby one member contacts a specified number of others who in turn do the same.
C.1 Membership Newsletter. This Newsletter is only sent to Chairmen, Secretaries and Membership Secretaries of each Branch, however Alan agreed to forward it on every month to all our Members who have provided an e-mail address.
C.1.1 Russ asked everyone to particularly note a number of points therein that could be of interest to Members, those being:
- Fundraising activities: "The Freedom Trail"
- Host your own Pub Quiz
- Charitable Table bookings in restauraunts
- "Give as you Live" - thousands of retailers have signed up to give a percentage of every on line purchase to the Legion
- Use an M&S Sparks card and nominate the Legion as your chosen charity
- Anniversary Tours, Journeys of Remembrance
- Upcoming Events: Wine tasting (25th May), RBL Central Band Concerts
For the record, this communication duplicates much of the information that can be found in the RBL's quarterly magazine.
C.2 RBL involvement in Northern Ireland Prosecutions: The National Chairman has written to all Branches advising that any member wishing to support Veterans during this criminal legal process should do so purely in a personal capacity and in doing so in no way should they give any indication that they are members of the Legion.
C .3 Welfare Conference: The Branch has been invited to attend a Welfare conference in Northamptonshire to be held on 1st June 2017 with the aim of bringing together key people from Welfare Teams and their Branches to discuss the future of Legion Welfare support in the County.The invittation is open to 2 delegates per Branch, the Chairman and the Welfare Representative. Russ will attend with Graham if he is available; if not, Alison would like to attend. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Names of attendees to be notified by e-mail before 17th May 2017.
D.1 David is getting to grips with the appropriate software, with the support of Alan and Terry. David reports that our Branch finances are in the black and all is well.
E. POPPY APPEAL
In the absence of John, no report was available but figures are as reported previously.
Secretary's Note: At the 5th April Meeting John asked it to be Minuted that the figures provided in our March Meeting's Minutes were in error and the figure to date was actually £10,054.42 as reported elsewhere.
SEE ALSO C.3 previously herein. In addition, Russ agreed to establish with Barbara how well Nina was coping and if there was anything we could do to assist.
G.1 Terry reported that as yet, he had had no new members from his "Buy you a lunch" approach even though ALL Branch Members were aware of this campaign. Membership currently stood at 68 including Life Member Les.
G.2 Terry was planning a new poster campaign, this time using A4 size advertisements for distribution (last year's were A3 size).
G.3 There has been an advertisement seeking new members in every edition of Byfield’s Byword parish magazine since January last year (2016) and this will continue. This is in addition to the normal RBL input therein from Russ.
G.4 Similarly a mention of us is made in Eydon’s newsletter.
G.5 We now have a Facebook presence, which needed some management in finding the compromise between opening it to all, with the disadvantage there of getting inappropriate comments displayed, and restricting it to a too narrow audience. It would be appreciated if members could befriend that site and comment accordingly.
G.6 There is a link to the RBL on Byfield’s new Vllage Hall Website.
H. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
H .1 Outings: It had previously been agreed to visit Bruntingthorpe on 28th May, hopefully that will be supported.
H.1.1In late 2016 Vernon suggested that the Branch visit the National Memorial Arboretum again but little enthusiasm had been shown for going there during the winter. It was agreed now spring has sprung to try again, either on Saturday 20th May ‘17 or Wednesday 21st June ‘17; Travel would be by private car. Those interested should contact Vernon with their preferred date.
H .2 Invite Battle Back to Quiz Night? After some discussion it was agreed to speak to Chris of BB by phone to establish if it would be appropriate for either staff or participants to take part, especially bearing in mind the distance between us. However as beneficieries of our Quiz, it was thought that at least they should be invited.
H.3 Branch Meeting Thursday 4 May: Royal Oak Eydon: This would be a normal Branch meeting (not a ‘Speaker’ meeting) although ex Grenadier Guardsman Dougie will be present for a Q&A session. The meeting agreed with Alan W that care should be taken to avoid stressing Dougie, and Alan would advise whether Dougie’s mentor Ollie would be presentt; Alan and Terry will meet Ollie to agree beforehand. It was felt that perhaps the two most appropriate subjects for discussion could be Dougie’s previous time in the army and his interest in art, and that maybe some examples of his work could be seen. Between them, Alan and Terry would make any necessary travel arrangements for Dougie, who resides in the Nottingham area.
Secretary's Note: At the 5th April Meeting, Alan W and Terry reported that they had met Ollie, that Dougie would be brought to Eydon by his lady friend Sarah, who would also attend our meeting; Ollie will also be there. With our guests particularly in mind, all present at the 5th April Meeting were given a briefing paper on how next month's meeting would be conducted.
Flag Flying Days: 21st April - HRH The Queen's Birthday
23rd April - St. George's Day