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MINISTRY OF DEFENCE POLICE
RETIRED OFFICER’S ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE TWENTY-NINTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD IN THE MAYFAIR HOTEL, BATH ROAD, BOURNEMOUTH, DORSET
SATURDAY 14th OCTOBER 2017
Apologies: Les Cracknell; Sue and Peter Parkes; Peter Lambourn; Johnny Johnson; Steve and Hilary Love; Andy Grant; Jim & Frances McMurray; Peter Smith; G. Terry; Mary Appleby, Albert Scale
Chairman’s Opening Address
The Chairman opened the meeting at 10am welcoming every one present and listed the names of those who had apologised for their absence. He went on to list the names of those other 16 members who had passed on since our last reunion and in addition, the Chief Constable, Alf Hitchcock. He asked the meeting to stand in silent tribute to their memory.
The Chairman apologised for the lack of documentation, usually distributed to the members prior to the meeting, explaining that due to the incompetence of Royal Mail, the pack compiled by Les Cracknell who was unable to be present today, had failed to reach the hotel on time.
During the year a number of our members have been helped via the DPF legal system and the reductions offered to us by Cottages4U had proved to be a particular success, to those who has taken advantage of them. Unfortunately, the travel insurance, previously arranged through the DPF, will no longer be available to any joining member after the age of 69. The company will continue to honour the agreement to those who are already members of the scheme up to age 74 years. Travel insurance with another company offering a discount to ROA members of up to 20% is now being considered.
The sad loss of Eric Fautley during the year had caused great difficulties for the committee, as the Bank had been unable to accept that a change of Treasurer had taken place, resulting in us being unable to process cheques. He and Peter Haddock were finally able to convince the bankers that Peter was now managing the accounts and we are once again, financially, on a firm footing. He thanked Peter for taking on the task of Treasurer at such short notice and said that he would seek to have his position as Finance Officer ratified during the election stage of the meeting.
In respect to the reunion/AGM in 2018, hotels in the Cardiff area have been visited and the Mercure Holland House Hotel identified as being ideal for our needs with a special deal negotiated for the ROA at a cost of £250.00pp for the whole weekend.
In conclusion the Chairman asked the meeting to give special consideration to awarding honorary life membership to Johnny Johnson, who is now in his nineties and is unable to be with us today. The proposal was seconded and carried.
Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted by the members as a true record.
There were no matters arising.
The Secretary opened by saying that he was happy to report that the ROA is continuing to attract new members, which bodes well for the future of the organisation. The past year has seen a number of routine membership and pension enquiries dealt with, mostly by email.
Since the last AGM, the committee has met in November, April and August in central London courtesy of Thompson Solicitors who provide us with excellent facilities. Our thanks go to solicitor, Doug Christie, for making these arrangements.
After some delay the Newsletter has been published in its new format and we will endeavour to publish it at least twice a year. Members are encouraged to contribute to the content by forwarding any item that they may consider to be of interest to the membership. In between times, items are also published on our website including details of membership services, the annual Reunions, and sadly, Obituaries. We are grateful to DPF Head Office staff for updating the site.
The Civil Service Pension – 1% this year - based on the September CPI figure and applied on the Monday following 6th April each year, took effect from Monday 10 April. The figure for next year is likely to be higher given that the CPI for August was 2.7%. The September figure, on which next year’s increase is based, will be released on 17th October.
The Basic State Pension operated under the ‘Triple Lock’ mechanism has been applied; this ensures it goes up by the highest of average earnings, the consumer price index, or 2.5% whichever is the highest. This meant an increase of 2.5% from April 2017. Under the present arrangement between the Conservatives supported by the DUP, the Triple Lock looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
The Secretary concluded his report by explaining to the meeting the details of the Marriage Allowance tax break which took effect in April 2015, where one partner pays standard rate income tax and the other is a non-tax payer. It is likely that many people who are entitled to this tax break, have not yet claimed. It is simple and easy to apply for on-line.
In presenting his report Peter Haddock said, that since taking over the books from Eric Fautley, he had sent out 21 letters and 28 emails, of which 22 members did not respond and 1 member had resigned. He had now computerised all the financial and contributing member’s records into alphabetical order, making next year’s spreadsheet listings much easier. At last, Lloyds Bank seems to be working with us, although we are still awaiting the statements for the 32 Day on Call Account which they have promised, we will receive quite soon. The Financial statements for the year ending 31 March 2017 were distributed to the Committee Members in September. Peter said that he had yet to contact the DPF to enquire whether they are discontinuing the use of auditors. Research has shown that similar organisations, due to the transparency of their accounting systems, have appointed a committee member as the internal auditor. There is no legal requirement for us to use auditors.
In conclusion Peter said that he was in the process of revising the expenses Forms and Annual Cover Sheet and he then produced for inspection, a Balance Sheet showing a balance at 28/09/17 of £39.330.00.
The Finance Report was accepted on the proposal of Ken Hicks, seconded by Roger Connor. A copy of the audited accounts is held on file.
ROA Liaison Officer’s Report
The ROA Liaison Officer, Supt Sandy Stewart introduced Acting Chief Constable Andy Adams, who through a series of questions and answers, was able to give the meeting a comprehensive update of the activities of MDP since the last AGM. He indicated that there had been a superb response to the co -operation between MDP and other Forces and that 750 MDP officers could be committed to Ops TEMPORA and NOVERCAL in the event of being called upon to respond to any future terrorist activity. The Chief pointed out however, that the Force should never lose sight of our first responsibility, that of our employers, The Ministry of Defence, and the protection of MOD people and property. In conclusion he went on to say that it is anticipated that MDP numbers will possibly settle to around 2500 but however, there remains a good future for the Force.
Election of Officers
The election of the following officers for 2017/18 then took place.
Chairman: Dave Rogers proposed by Geoff Heal, seconded by Roger Conner.
Vice Chair: Geoff Heal proposed by Lynn Nixon, seconded by Mick Bone.
Secretary: David King proposed by Muddy Waters, seconded by Les Gosling.
Treasurer: Peter Haddock proposed by Roger Conner, seconded by Paul Taylor.
Asst. Sec: Ken Hicks proposed by Roger Conner, seconded by Ben Round.
Member: John Barber proposed by Geoff Heal, seconded by Mick Bone.
Member: Roger Conner*
Member: Chris McComb*
Member: Neville Carter*
* Elected unopposed ‘en bloc.’
All above members were elected unopposed and will form the committee for the next twelve months.
The Chairman then introduced Mr Mitchell BATT, DPF General Secretary, representing the DPF Chairman who was unable to be present. Mitch gave the meeting an overview of the problems currently affecting the DPF, including the difficulties resulting from a Government decision that members should serve to a Pension age of 68. This had clearly been an oversight in the legislation affecting other Police /Security Forces who were required to be armed. A legal appeal has been lodged to reduce retirement age to 60 years. He went on to outline the problems being experienced in the requirement to reach the required fitness standards but pointed out that 86% of officers had so far been successful and that there was an ongoing improvement rate.
In concluding, the Chairman thanked the Chief Constable and the DPF Secretary for our continuing excellent relations and assistance given to the ROA Committee and closed the meeting at 1.10pm.
Next AGM/Reunion: 12 – 14 October 2018 at the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff.