Memo from Regional Chair and SW Trustee following Trustees Meetg
Minutes of AGM 2016
THE ROYAL MARINES ASSOCIATION
SOUTH WEST REGION
MINUTES OF THE AGM HELD AT RMA MID DEVON SUNDAY 5 JUNE 2016 AT 1200
Present: Mr D SARGENT (DS) Chairman
COLONEL S COX (SC) President SW Region
Mr R SAINSBURY (RS) Regional Treasurer and Exmouth Branch
Mr R SHEPPARD (ROGS) Swansea Bay Branch Mr D JOHN (DJ) Glamorgan Branch
Mr J PEEL (JP) North Devon Branch
Mr M NEW (MN) Plymouth Branch
Mr M SHANNON(MS) Plymouth Branch
Mr T DUKE (TD) Exeter Branch
Apologies were received from: Cornwall, Bridgewater, Mid Devon and Tavistock Branches.
1. DS thanked everyone for coming to the SW Region AGM and especially the Mid Devon Branch for hosting the meeting and for laying on a fantastic lunch. DS apologised for the late date of the meeting but other commitments had made it impossible to hold the AGM earlier in the year. DS outlined his role as the Trustee for the SW Region and stated that it was a very busy time for the RMA and that the Trustees were the representatives of the members and that he tried to forward their views to the other Trustees before decisions were made. He also outlined the RMA’s vision for ‘one man one vote’ whereby every member would be able to vote on Strategic matters either by Post or On Line. A experimental vote will shortly be taking place to test the systems for such a vote.
2. DS stated that Colin Thomas had stood down as the Treasurer after over twenty years of sterling work on behalf of the region, not only as the treasurer but as an organiser of SW Reunions in the past. DS would like it recorded in the minutes that the Region Membership were very appreciative of the tremendous work Colin had done on behalf of the SW Region. It was proposed by Tony Duke and seconded by Roger Shepherd that Roy Sainsbury of the Exmouth Branch should become the Regional Treasurer. This was carried unanimously.
3. Roy Sainsbury detailed the Statement of Account for the Regional Funds which had been audited by Tony Duke and Roy Sainsbury on 4 January 2016 prior to Colin Thomas handing over the accounts to Roy Sainsbury. The amount in the fund was £2932.26. It was proposed by John Peel and seconded by Mick Shannon that the audited accounts be accepted as a true record of the worth of the SW Region Funds.
4. Royal Marines as Branch Standard Bearers. DS reminded those present that at SW Region AGM 2015, he took a vote from branch representatives concerning a proposal that Branch Standard Bearers should be full members of the RMA. He passed on the unanimous vote of the SW Region Branches when the Trustees discussed the matter. The Trustees decided that the Branch Standard Bearer does not have to be a former Royal Marine. DS stated that he voted against the ruling and was the Trustee to vote against the decision. This was recorded in the Trustees minutes of the meeting dated 21 April 2016. DS explained that he abides by collective responsibility of the Trustees and accepts the decision.
5. Local Membership. DS stated that a number of Branches had local members who paid subs to Branches but were not members of the RMA. The Trustees have decided that all members of Branches have to be a member of the RMA and pay subscriptions. The Trustees agreed that any person who had the benefit of being a member of a Branch should contribute to the RMA. Local membership would in future cease and anyone whom a Branch wished to be a member and did not meet the membership criteria could be asked to be an honorary member, but pay subscriptions to the RMA.
6. Home Port Magazine. All Branches had views about the Homeport Magazine. DS outlined the reasons why the RMA Magazine had ceased to be published and was now published as a part of the Homeport Magazine. DS said that he had already stated his misgivings and those of the North Devon Branch at a Trustees Meeting held on 21 April 2016. It was agreed at that meeting that the use of the Homeport Magazine by the RMA would be reviewed in one year. DS stated that the Magazine had its supporters and a proper evaluation of the pros and cons of the magazine needed to be made once the RMA input into the Homeport had bedded in.
7. RMA input to Globe and Laurel. DS explained that he had been tasked with examining the RMA input into the Globe and Laurel. He asked that Branches forward their view to him on how they would like to see the RMA part of the G&L develop in the future.
8. Amalgamation of RMA and RM Charity. DS explained the rationale behind the planned merger, but reiterated that the red line was that the RMA would always be a membership organisation known as the RMA, the Financial Assets of the RMA would be ring fenced and a board of directors would still manage the workings of the Association. DS explained that the actual options for the convergence were being examined by the legal advisors to the RMA, Coffin Mew, and a report was expected shortly. It was envisaged that the actual vote needed to ratify any convergence would be undertaken under the one man, one vote scheme. A question was raised by the North Devon Branch concerning monies being raised by Branches being donated to other service charities as nominated by these Branches after convergence. (Comment by DS. I have taken the opportunity to follow this up with the RMA Chief Executive. Brigadier Ellis reassured me that he could foresee no reason why this procedure should not be allowed to continue after convergence)
9. Royal Marines Shop. DS explained tha the Royal Marines Shop was a true success story under the leadership of former Royal Marines Captain Joe Lane. He reiterated that the shop was a limited company owned by the RMA. The shop made a £15,000 profit last year and was going from strength to strength now that an on line shop was in operation. DS explained that one of the difficulties being encountered was the use of the Globe and Laurel emblem on items sold by the shop and the MOD wanting royalties for using the logo. This problem was under negotiation by the Corps family at the present time.
10. RMA Website. Some branches were not entirely happy with the new RMA Website. DS explained that the website was up and running but improvements were being made all the time. The ticketing issues are still under consideration and need further work but the amount of paperwork produced by the ticketing process is already been reduced, but further work needs to be done. Concern was also expressed concerning members who do not have access to computers and how they access the ticketing purchasing system.
Concern was also expressed about Associate Members who have the same email address as Full Members not being able to register on the website. It was also suggested that the Medals section of the website does not work correctly. It was suggested that the list of VSOs should be on the site and there should be a bulk buying area for Branch Secretaries to purchase tickets for events. DS stated that all these issues would be passed on to the Chief Executive at the next trustees meeting.
11. Reunion 2017/CTCRM Families Day. Concern was expressed that the RMA Reunion of 2017 was to be held on the same day as the CTCRM Families day. DS expressed the view that obviously there are logistic reasons why this may happen, but that no definite decision had been made. He would seek clarification from Trustees.
12. Future SW Regional Reunions. It was decided due to a lack of support from Members and Branches that no further SW Regional Reunions would be held in the foreseeable future. Delegates present expressed the view that members were content to attend and support the many and varied RMA events at National and Branch Level.
13. Standard Bearer Training. Concern was expressed that the standard of Drill of the Standard Bearers at reunion was not good enough and proposals were made concerning how things could be improved. DS would ask that the Standard Bearer Drill Booklet be re distributed to all Branches. It was also suggested that perhaps Standard Bearers could be given a short revision of the drill requirements whilst they were waiting for the Parade to form up at the Reunion Weekend.
Election of Officers. The following members were unanimously voted in as Officers of the SW Region:-
Chairman Derek Sargent
Treasurer Roy Sainsbury
Secretary No volunteer forthcoming. Chair to continue in post.
Regional Trustee Derek Sargent
13. Date of next meeting. 22 January 2017
From : Derek Sargent Chairman SW Region
To: RMA SW Region Branch Secretaries President SW Region 22nd July 2016
Yesterday, 21 July, I attended the Royal Marines Association Trustees meeting. You will shortly be receiving the minutes of the meeting, and when you do, if you have any questions, please mail me.
One of the major topics of the meeting was the progress being made on the integration of the RMA and the Royal Marines Charity. Your Trustees had to decide which of five options we were to proceed with, and we decided that the Linked Charity option would be the best one for the Association, in that our status as a membership organisation would remain unchanged and our assets would remain under the control of the RMA. This will be explained at the 2016 AGM, however the decision to proceed will ultimately lie with the membership under the one man one vote scenario. Before any such vote is taken, a road show will visit all regions to explain the rationale behind the convergence.
We were given a brief by the company who are building the RMA Website. Needless to say, you will also be briefed at the AGM by Mindworks Ltd, the company designing the site. Because there has been some criticism about the site and the cost of producing it, The Chief Executive has taken advice, at no cost to the Association, concerning these issues, from a Marketing Executive and from a Website Building Manufacturer. The marketing expert has stated that the site is modern, easy to use and fulfils the functions required of an organisation such as the RMA. The expert who looked at the costings has stated that we have got a very good deal and could have paid twice as much for the site build. I might add that the Parachute Regimental Association has enquired about our site, and they themselves admit that they are many years behind us in the site development. All sites take time to bed in and be trouble free, but in the long term, once the site is running properly and all our membership data is on the site and we move to Direct Debits instead of Standing Orders, our Association will save money. Believe it or not, under the present antiquated system and the lack of the ability of the RMA to collect all the membership fees due, the Association is losing many thousands of pounds each year, if not tens of thousands.
Some of you raised issues with the website, especially the ticketing procedure. There is the facility on the site for Branches to purchase tickets in bulk for their members. This has to be paid for centrally by the person ordering the tickets, however they can be purchased in an individual’s name. The Glasgow Branch have done this very successfully for their reunion tickets.
Unfortunately, the deciding factor for the computer to differentiate between individual members is the email address. Thus if a full member has a partner who is an associate member, they cannot use the same email address. I asked this specific question of Mindworks at their briefing, and that is the answer given.
At present, the RMA has a membership of 12,030, and is increasing at the rate of 95 a month. We would like to increase this rate if possible, thus if you can get any of your friends to join, please do so. One innovation we are looking at is the Royal Marine Historical Society having pages on the RMA website. This will be beneficial to the Society and to the Association as we have stipulated that all members of the Historical Society must be members of the RMA before they can access our site. Our membership should increase!
I can confirm that existing members over the age of 80 Years who have free membership will continue to do so. Members who subsequently reach their 80th Year will have to continue paying subscriptions.
The RMA Reunion of 2017 will be joined with the CTCRM Families day on the 3rd Weekend in July and will be called the Corps Family Weekend. The RMA part of the weekend will run as now; obviously the weekend will be affected, but hopefully not in a detrimental way. This is an experiment for 2017 and the success or otherwise of the weekend will determine the future organisation of the RMA weekend. I think we have to approach this change with an enthusiastic and welcoming attitude. The Corps has thrived for many years because it never stands still nor lets the grass grow under its feet. We have to be innovative and welcome change as the Corps and the RMA have done for many years. I am sure we will all have an enhanced experience if we do this.
All Branches will shortly be receiving a proforma from Central Office for those who wish to request support from the serving Corps for the remainder of the year. Please complete these forms promptly in order that the Corps is able to facilitate support to the RMA where possible.
Please find enclosed with this mail the Draft Minutes of the SW Region AGM. Please be aware that these are in draft, and I am will to incorporate any changes you wish ready for ratification at our next meeting in January. I will be asking the region to purchase a recording device to facilitate a true record of the proceedings being made when no minutes secretary is available.
I am off on holiday to Scotland tomorrow for a month, however I am available on email, [email protected] or on my mobile 07868728688.
Derek Sargent SW Regional Chairman