Annual General Meeting and Reunion 2011

This year the Association celebrated its 25th Reunion at the Lady Anne Middleton Hotel, York over the weekend 14th – 17th October with 100 members and guests attending including President Steve Love QPM, CCMDP, MA, FsyI; Patron Jack Aspinall QPM and Eamon Keating, DPF National Chairman. A warm welcome was also extended to Insp Angela Harney who oversees the routine contact with ROA during the year. Special thanks were recorded to the Force for the assistance afforded to ROA during the year and to DPF for providing meeting facilities. Members present were also given a short history of the ROA kindly written and researched by Jon Livitt.

The AGM was well attended and members received reports on the work of the association undertaken throughout the course of the year as well as being given a full account of ROA’s financial position as at 31st March 2011. Chairman Harry Norwood had previously intimated that he would not be seeking re-election and expressed his sincere thanks to everyone for their loyalty and support received during his time as ROA Chairman.

The Secretary gave an update on some of the key issues that he had dealt with during the year and a copy of what he said is reproduced below:

“As in previous years I am pleased to report that the ROA is in good shape and your Committee continue to work on your behalf as a ‘Team’ – representing members interests as best we can.

There are just a few items that I would like to update you on this morning. I mentioned last year about the CSPA (Civil Service Pensioners Alliance) and the fact that they were more than happy for us to publish their Circulars and add a web link from the ROA Web pages. This is a useful way of keeping members informed on a range of issues affecting pensioners and other related subjects.

For example: The Health & Social Care Bill; Changes in the State Pension Age; Concessionary Bus Passes & Public Funding of Bus Services; Pensions Indexation and also Advice for Widows & Widowers when faced with bereavement.

CSPA has a membership of over 60.000. I don’t know how many retired MDP join – but for £1 a month deducted from your pension – £12 a year – is excellent value. You can also go along to local group meetings and join in with discussion on current issues.

Following on from our link with CSPA it was suggested to me that as an Organisation we might be interested in becoming affiliated to the PSPC (Public Service Pensioners Council) – an organisation that represents the interests of retired public service servants. It has been around for more than 50 years and brings together various organisations for retired public servants – and the retired member sections of public sector unions and staff associations. – Providing a united voice on issues of concern to government and the public.

PSPC campaigns alongside other organisations including the national pensioners convention and the TUC to protect interests of pensioners and protect public service pensions.

I enquired further and informed that for ROA to be become affiliated would cost £74 per annum based on our level of membership ie under a 1000.

Affiliate Organisations to name but a few include NARPO, RPOS, Armed Forces Pension Society, Retired Prison Governors, National Association of Retired Fire-fighters; Teachers, College Lecturers

The matter was discussed by your Committee and we felt it would be beneficial for us to join and I am pleased to report that PSPC invited me to attend there AGM held in London on 9th May where our application was warmly welcomed.

Again we have established a web link between our two organisations and information on campaigns and other issues are published as and when.

In the scheme of things we are but a small cog compared to other organisations but nevertheless it gives a voice and ‘Unity is Strength’.

One of the main issues of contention currently on going is the government’s decision to switch indexation of public service pensions from RPI to CPI and the legal challenge. A judicial review was launched earlier this year (funded by PFEW, NARPO and several of the big unions GMB and Prospect)–the case is before the High Court and a hearing is scheduled for the end of October.

One other item worthy of note is the request by DPF to write a letter on behalf of ROA to Defence Ministers expressing concern about the scale of cuts facing MDP and the loss of expertise built up over many years and the inevitable implications for the future of the force and defence community. This we readily agreed to and as the letter was made public it was picked up by sections of the media.

A reply was eventually received from one of the defence ministers Nick Harvey. It was full of the usual platitudes and made clear that despite a continuing need for MDP it was likely that ‘the footprint would change’ and overall numbers would reduce. It was essential to ensure our valuable civil police resources are used in an appropriate and proportionate manner…. And decisions would only be taken after careful consideration of the risks involved. I’ve heard that said many times before.

I am sure Eamon will update you more later on this morning.

Just to conclude, as regards communication we have our Newsletter that Les puts together and is distributed along with TT. The website is another avenue for keeping members informed and I would encourage members to register with the site for updates. Only 34 have done so up to now – so I would encourage you to register – it’s a simple process – and you will be emailed when the site is updated.

And finally – As Secretary it would be remiss of me not to say just a few words on Harry’s decision not to seek re-election as Chairman.

I am sure everyone will agree that Harry has served the Association well over many years. We will certainly miss his input (especially his humour) in the running of committee meetings and the AGM. He will be a hard act to follow but I do hope he will continue to give his support when he returns to the ‘back benches’. I know more will be said later this evening but for now on behalf of us all – thanks Harry”.

Given that Harry was not seeking re-election it was necessary to elect a new Chairman. One nomination was received for Peter Parkes afterwhich he was duly elected to the position of Chairman. This meant a vacancy for the position of Vice Chair and subsequently Dave Rogers was duly elected. Sue Parkes was elected to serve as a Committee member. Other Members of the Committee were re-elected. A revised list is shown below.

Following the AGM DPF National Chairman Eamon Keating gave an overview of the many issues currently impacting on the MDP particularly with regard to the planned reductions in force numbers. He also expressed thanks to the ROA for their support in writing to the MoD raising concerns about the impact of financial cuts to the force and loss of irreplaceable experience and expertise built up over the last 40 years.

At the Anniversary Dinner ROA President Steve Love gave an after dinner speech congratulating the Association on its silver jubilee and went on to mention key events that had occurred during the previous year. It was evident from his remarks that the Force is continuing through a difficult period as a result of financial constraints on the force budget.

All who attended enjoyed the special celebration weekend event and as always it was good to welcome several new members joining us for the first time.

Next years AGM/Reunion will be held at the Ramada Hotel, Norwich from Friday 12th to Monday 15th October 2012. The inclusive cost is £198 per person. The Booking Form will be circulated shortly.

Committee Information for Year 2011/11:

Chairman: Peter Parkes
Secretary: David King
Vice Chair: Dave Rogers MBE
Treasurer: Les Cracknell
Assistant Secretary: Jon Livitt
Committee: Bill Duncan, Les Gosling, Ken Taylor and Sue Parkes
Force Liaison Officer: Insp Angela Harney (Formally appointed to the post by CCMDP following AGM)

 Annual General Meeting and Reunion 2011

It should be noted that apart from the Newsletter that is normally circulated with ‘Talk Through’ the website is updated from time to time with additional news and information. See www.dpf.org.uk/roa for details.


Images from Conference

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Financial support from The Charity for Civil Servants

Life throws up many challenges, and frequently they go hand in hand with money worries. Particularly at this current time, financial worries can be intertwined with fears around the pandemic.

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My Document Locator

The ROA has made available to members a 'My Document Locator' which is produced in the form of a booklet that can be used as a check list of personal documents that records where key personal records, assets and papers can be located in the event of death or incapacity. It is not a Will but simply a check list. The booklet can be downloaded by clicking here.