Annual General Meeting and Reunion 2013
This year the Association held its 27th Reunion at the Imperial Hotel, Torquay over the weekend 11th-14th October with 80 members and guests attending including our Patron Jack Aspinall QPM; Force ROA Liaison Officer, Insp Angela Harney and Eamon Keating, DPF National Chairman. Special thanks were recorded to the Force and DPF for their assistance kindly afforded to ROA during the year.
Conference started with the shock news that Chairman Peter Parkes and Sue Parkes would not be seeking re-election as Peter had very recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and would shortly begin treatment. Because of this Peter had decided not to seek re-election as Chairman, nor Susan as a Committee member. Peter indicated that he was willing to continue as Chairman for the duration of Conference. This was agreed without hesitation and members expressed their wholehearted support for Peter and Sue in the months ahead.
Conference was also told that former Chairman Harry Norwood and wife Betty had been taken ill while on holiday in Singapore. Both were currently in hospital and receiving treatment.
The AGM was well attended and the usual format adopted with members receiving 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 2013. It was noted that despite widely advertising the position of Treasurer no applications had been received. Les Cracknell made it known that if need be he was prepared to continue at least up until the end of the next financial year.
It was also noted that an apology had been received from our Honorary President, Chief Constable Alfred Hitchcock QPM. An important family commitment had prevented Mr Hitchcock from attending however he sent his good wishes and looked forward to joining us next year.
The Secretary gave an update on some of the matters that he had dealt with during the year and a copy of what he said is reproduced below:
Welcome to Torquay and this year’s Reunion and AGM.
Another year has rolled on by. Pleased to report that the ROA continues to prosper and it’s good to see that from among those leaving the force, many join the organisation as a way of keeping track of what’s going on in the force/ roa. It’s also a way of keeping in touch with past colleagues although it is a great pity – despite past efforts that it hasn’t been possible to form local area groups in the way other organisations do such NARPO. Perhaps in the future we could try again and develop this further.
As you know we communicate by way of the Newsletter and the website which is accessed via the DPF website. Unfortunately earlier this year we experienced some technical problems and loss of information when the Federation launched their new site. We have since managed to retrieve most of the information and thankfully with help of staff at DPFHQ we are getting things back on track.
From a Secretarial viewpoint it has been a fairly quiet year dealing in the main with routine enquiries from members on a range of issues either by phone or email – thankfully nothing to onerous or complicated.
We were pleased to lend support earlier in the year to the DPF’s campaign against having MDP officers working until 68 years of age under the provisions of the Public Service Pensions Bill. Fortunately the House of Lords passed an amendment to the Bill to enable MDP to retire at aged 60 (given the demanding nature of the job) but not surprisingly the Government sought to have the amendment overturned. I am sure Eamon will update us on the eventual outcome.
One question that does arise more and more however is ‘Do we provide financial assistance in the form of loans or grants to members who may for whatever reason have fallen on hard times.
Of course the answer is No we do not and the advice given is usually to contact other agencies such as CAB, Civil Service Benevolent Fund. In certain circumstances there is also the Chief Constables Fund, which we know, can help out and I am grateful to Angie for her help in such matters.
Our continued affiliation to CSPA and PSPC – both organisations are in the forefront of many campaigns to improve the lives of civil service pensioners and pensioners generally – enables us to be kept abreast of the main stream issues affecting public service pensions as well as providing information on the local & national issues for example social care funding, pension reform, the phasing out of age-related personal tax allowances for pensioners and the attacks by some politicians and the media on universal pension benefits such as winter fuel payments and the concessionary bus pass.
On the subject of Pensions, this April saw the civil service pension rise by 2.2%, this was based on the September 2012 CPI figure.
The CPI index for August this year stood at 2.7% – the September figure on which next year’s increase is based will be announced shortly.
Finally, can I say we had the pleasure of meeting Alf Hitchcock the new CCMDP and Hon President shortly after he took office. He was certainly very enthusiastic about his new role and keen to get on with the job. He also expressed support for the ROA and we look forward to working with him in the future.
That concludes my report. Thank you.
Dave Rogers commented on the arrangement with the holiday company Hoseasons giving members a 10% discount with Cottages4You and Boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads. Owing to technical reasons the details published on the roa website had not been available for some time however the link had now been restored.
Chairman Peter Parkes indicated that as a consequence of himself and Sue not seeking re-election meant that Conference would need to elect a Chairman and at least one Committee member. For the position of Chairman Dave Rogers was duly elected. This created a position for Vice Chair resulting in Lionel Roslyn being duly elected meaning that there were now two vacancies for the Committee. The Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer were re-elected unopposed. When it came to election of the four Committee members four nominations were received including Les Gosling, Chris McComb, John Barber and Geoff Heal. Following a show of hands all were duly elected to serve. Newly elected members expressed thanks for the support given.
A revised list is shown below.
Following the AGM DPF National Chairman Eamon Keating outlined some of the main issues that DPF had been dealing with in recent months including the impact that force reductions and relocations were having on staff morale, conditions of service, fitness testing and the future retirement age. On a more positive note Eamon reported that the Force had decided to restart recruitment in 2014 albeit in limited numbers. Advertising was already underway and had attracted a great deal of interest. Liaison Officer Angela Harney commented on a few of the ROA issues she had dealt with during the year and said how it was always pleasing to welcome new members to the association.
Overall those members that attended this year’s reunion thoroughly enjoyed the 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 Kings Manor Hotel, Edinburgh from Friday 10th to Monday 13th October 2014. The inclusive cost is £260 per person, with additional nights at £65 per person. The Booking Form will be circulated shortly. It is worth highlighting the value of taking out insurance when booking (£11 per person) as in the event of having to cancel at short notice a full refund is given.
Committee Information for Year 2013/14:
- Chairman: Dave Rogers MBE
- Secretary: David King
- Vice Chair: Lionel Roslyn
- Treasurer: Les Cracknell
- Assistant Secretary: Bill Duncan
- Committee: Les Gosling, Geoff Heal, John Barber and Chris McComb
- Force Liaison Officer: Insp Angela Harney
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.
Front Row from L to R – Les Cracknell, Lionel Roslyn, Dave Rodgers, David King, Bill Duncan
Rear Row from L to R – Chris McComb, Angela Harney, Geoff Heal, Les Gosling, John Barber
Images from Conference –