Women's Section


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1. Source

a. The information contained in this document has been sourced from;

i. Decisions made at Board of Trustees/Women's Section Central Committee negotiations dated 24/08/16, 15/9/16, 29/11/16, 18/01/17, 6/3/17, 18/4/17.

ii. Women's Section Byelaws approved at the Women's Section Conference on 26th April 2017 and by the Board of Trustees 15th June 2017.

2. Status

a. The Women’s Section will be referred to as The Royal British Legion Women’s Section.

b. The aims and objects of The Royal British Legion Women's Section will be those of The Royal British Legion.

c. National Status to be retained

d. National Standard to be retained, Standard Bearers to retain their current uniform

3. Governance

a. The structure of the Women's Section will be consistent with the Royal British Legion, under the guidance of the Membership Council.

b. A representative from the Women's Section membership will be elected to sit on the Membership Council provided she is not also represented on the Central Committee.

c. Current sub-committees of the Women's Section may be maintained however their terms of reference will require review to fall in line with Royal British Legion structure.

d. The Women's Section Finance Committee is to work closely with the Membership Council County and District Budget Working Group.

e. Women's Section data will be administered in accordance with the Royal British Legion policy which conforms to the provision of the data protection act.

f. Central Committee is to communicate with all their members and stress that no Counties have closed.

g. Bye-laws passed by the Board of Trustees are, from 1st October 2017 the responsibility of the Membership Council however, will remain extant until at least 30th September 2018.

h. The Women's Section Membership Support Officer will provide support to the Central Committee of the Women’s Section who are to be responsible for the administration of the Women's Section Counties, which in turn look after their Branches.

i. Holding Branches and Administrative Branches of the Women’s Section will close and members transfer to Women's Section County or Women's Section National Branches.

4. Finance

a. The Women's Section will comply with existing Royal British Legion arrangements. Some bye-law amendments will be required.

b. Women's Section benevolent schemes will be administered in accordance with the Royal British Legion policy by the Central Grants Team.

c. All Women's Section accounts will be submitted as per the Royal British Legion’s format.

d. Women's Section Central Committee will hold their own account and this will be managed as a Royal British Legion County account is managed. As of 1st October 2017, the Women's Section will not have a separate General Fund.

e. The two General Funds (Royal British Legion & Women's Section) will be amalgamated from the 1st October 2017.

f. From 1st October 2017, the Women's Section Central Committee will be eligible to draw on the General Fund in the form of bids to the County and District Budget Working Group for administration grants to fund their AGM, events and committee expenses.

g. Women's Section Branches can make donations to the General Fund and/or the Women's Section Benevolent Funds if they so wish.

h. Counties will no longer receive 1/6th of the fees to run their County administration. The Women's Section Central Committee will follow current Royal British Legion procedures and apply for a grant as in (f) above.

i. Once finance of Women's Section is taken over by the Royal British Legion Finance Department, there will be no cheque book.

5. Wreath Laying at the Cenotaph

A transition arrangement agreed that would mean the Chairman of the Women’s Section will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph up to and including 2018.

6. Membership

a. The system of payment for Royal British Legion Women's Section membership fees from September 2018 will be the same as for Royal British Legion members.

b. A transition arrangement is in place where the Women’s Section subscription fees will be equal to the Royal British Legion subscription cost by 1st October 2019.

c. All membership awards will be retained. Specifically, existing Life Members of the Women’s Section will be honoured. After 30th September 2016, new life members will need to go through the Royal British Legion policy and process as Royal British Legion Life Members.

d. Structure

i. The Central Committee, Women's Section Counties and Women's Section Branches will remain.

ii. The Women’s Section membership, as with existing Royal British Legion membership, will be accountable to the Membership Council.

iii. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman of Central Committee or indeed a Women's Section branch officer will not be eligible to be on the Membership Council in accordance with best practice governance.

iv. The current seat on Board of Trustees for the Women’s Section will remain as is, as stipulated in the Charter. However, whilst this remains in place, Women’s Section members will not be elected to Board of Trustees or to the roles of National Chairman or National Vice-Chairman – unless they are also members of a non-Women’s Section branch.

e. Conference

i. The Women’s Section will attend as of right, the Royal British Legion Annual Conference. If deemed necessary the Royal British Legion Conference Committee may need to make provision for a specific forum at the Annual Conference to discuss and share specific Women’s Section issues.

ii. Starting with the Annual Conference to be held in Belfast 2018 all compliant Royal British Legion Women’s Section Branches (ie Branches who have completed their Financial return by 30th September and their MS1 has been received by Haig House by 31st December) will be eligible to send delegates to conference.

iii. The Women's Section will be expected to fund delegates for their Annual Meeting and Annual Conference in the same way as other Branches/Counties currently do. Delegates to the Annual Conference do receive assistance from central funds for their travel expenses (ie return coach fare) There is also a small fund available for Branches that need financial assistance to send delegates to conference, to which they will be eligible to apply.

iv. In order that the Women’s Section can participate fully in all governance issues the Women’s Section will be required to hold an Annual meeting of the Women’s Section between November and February each year. The convening and conduct of Annual Meeting of the Women's Section will follow the procedures laid down for The Royal British Legion County Conference in the Membership Handbook.

v. Women's Section Annual Meeting motions will go forward to Annual Conference Committee for consideration.

vi. An annual meeting of Women's Section Counties will be held at least twelve weeks before the Annual Meeting of the Women's Section.

7. Branding

The Women's Section will maintain consistent look and feel for the Women's Section using Royal British Legion Fonts, Live on Lock up and colour palette where appropriate.

8. Way Forward

The Membership Council has established a Women's Section Modernisation Working Group.  The sole function of this group will be to enable and assist the Women's Section to modernise its governance to match that of the Royal British Legion as specified in the Board of Trustees paper “Future of the Women's Section “dated 14th June 2016 and the agreements made by the Women's Section Working Group between 20th July 2016 and 18th April 2017.  The Governing documents for this process will be The Royal Charter and the Membership Handbook with the exceptions of the above-mentioned prior agreements.

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