12 January 2013
WILTSHIRE COUNTY ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
MINUTES OF THE 94th ANNUAL COUNTY CONFERENCE
HELD AT THE CIVIC CENTRE, TROWBRIDGE ON
SATURDAY 16th JANUARY 2016 COMMENCING AT 1100HRS
PRESENT AT CONFERENCE
County President General Sir Jack Deverell KCB OBE DL
County Chairman Mr M Swabey
County Vice Chairman Mr M Challinor
County Chaplain Rev’d A Pollard
County Ceremonial Officer Mr B Mitchell
County Treasurer Mrs D Walling
County Committee Member Mr B Kingscote
County Committee Member Mrs C Smith
County Committee Member Mr A Weeks
County Committee Member Mr G Wilson
County Committee Member Mr R Wright
Community Fundraiser Mrs F Dobson
Membership Support Officer Mr C Prestwich
GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE
The Mayor of Trowbridge Councillor R Andrews
The Chairman of Wiltshire Council Councillor R Britton
President of Wiltshire Women’s Section Mrs M Havergal
The Director General Mr C Simpkins
Head Defence EOD and Search Colonel J Matthews OBE
South West Membership Council Rep Mr P Davies
The Vice Chairman of Dorset County Mr D Wright and Mrs Wright
The Chairman of Hampshire County Mr J Smith and Mrs Smith
Wiltshire Farm Foods Ms Louise Hall
Area Manager Mr A Maxwell
Area Advice and Information Team Leader Mrs L Carey
WILTSHIRE BRANCHES PRESENT
31 Delegates from the following Branches: Alderbury, Bratton, Chippenham*, Corsham (2)*, Cricklade, Devizes, East Knoyle, Semley and Sedgehill*, Edington*, Heddington and Stockley, Highworth, Langford & Wylye, Malmesbury & Sherston, Marlborough*, Melksham*, Minety, Morgans Vale, Redlynch and Woodfalls*, Potterne*, Royal Wootton Bassett, Salisbury, Seend, Stapleford & Berwick St James*, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon, Trowbridge, Warminster (2), Westbury*, West Lavington, Wilton*, Wroughton* (an asterisk signifies that a Standard was also present from that Branch).
The County Standard Bearer and the Deputy County Standard Bearer (Wilton) led the Parade of Standards.
In addition there were 23 Visitors, and the Cadet Detachments from Stratton St Margaret and Trowbridge attended after lunch. The total attendance was 101.
OPENING OF CONFERENCE
Conference opened with the entry of Standards. The County President said the Exhortation after which the Last Post was played. After observing the Silent Tribute, the Reveille was played and the Chairman said the Kohima Epitaph. The County Chaplain led the Prayers. Branch Standards then withdrew.
In his introduction the Chairman welcomed all in attendance and especially the guests. He ran through the Health and Safety Brief and then introduced the personalities on the top table and all the guests to Conference. He explained there would be no Open Forum this Year but that there would be two opportunities within the Agenda to ask questions of the Speakers. He then introduced the Mayor of Trowbridge.
WELCOME BY THE MAYOR OF TROWBRIDGE
The Mayor thanked the Chairman for inviting him to attend this 94th Conference of the Royal British Legion Wiltshire County and welcomed to Trowbridge all those in attendance. It is the fourth time that the County has held its conference in Trowbridge. He said that Trowbridge had strong links with the RBL and that the town thoroughly appreciated the Legion’s involvement within the community. The Poppy Appeal goes from strength to strength, with every year seeming to hit new highs. The success of the Poppy Appeal seems to be related to the growing numbers of people who attend the War Memorial each year. The 2014 centenary of the Great War really brought home the importance of remembrance to the townspeople. The Mayor finished by saying that the RBL will always be very welcome to hold its events within the Town.
COUNTY PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
The County President thanked the Mayor for his kind words and said how important it is that we get involved with the local community and develop a close relationship with them. He then read the Loyal Greeting which he had sent to the Queen, and Her Majesty’s gracious response
He went on to welcome all those present, both members and guests, and thanked them for attending, adding that this is their conference and what they take away from it is important. Demography of Service is an important issue for us. When Field Marshal Templer opened the National Army Museum in 1971, he said that there is almost no-one who has not got a relative who has served and so it is that the National Army Museum is for the whole country. When the Museum was closed in 2014 for refurbishment the public were asked what they wanted from the Museum, and the response was “What it is like to be a soldier and why people become soldiers”. This is a huge change from the situation in 1971. The Royal British Legion has an increasingly important role in being this link between the public and the Armed Forces, particularly so as the Military continues to shrink. We all have a duty to explain to people what it is like to serve and why it is we do it.
This is a time of great change and increasing uncertainties and this is impacting upon the RBL too. Churchill famously said that “you must take change by the hand or it will take you by the neck”. Within the Legion we all need to find a way to incorporate this change, so that it does not take us by the neck.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The following apologies had been received:
The Chairman of Devon RBL
The Chairman of Cornwall RBL
Mr Joe Falzon, Member of the Board of Trustees.
The President of the Corsham Branch
The President of Trowbridge Branch
The President of Salisbury Branch
The Chairman of Women’s Section
Chairman of Morgan’s Vale, Redlynch and Woodfalls Branch
Chairman of Stratton St Margaret Branch
Mr K Passant, County Executive Committee Member
Salisbury Branch Standard Bearer
APPOINTMENT OF SCRUTINEERS
The following members were appointed as Scrutineers:
Mr R Fraser Potterne
Mr GE Wilson Warminster
Mr I Woodford Wroughton and District
The Scrutineers agreed the count of 31 Delegates.
ADOPTION OF STANDING ORDERS FOR THE CONDUCT OF BUSINESS AT CONFERENCE
The Chairman proposed the adoption of Standing Orders for conduct of business at County Conference. The proposal was seconded by Mr A Light the Marlborough Delegate and Carried.
MINUTES OF COUNTY CONFERENCE 2015
The Minutes of the County Conference held at Trowbridge on 10 January 2015 were approved as a true record.
Proposer: Col M O’Donoghue Bratton
Seconder: Mr G Evans Highworth
Mr Mitchell said it was recorded in the Minutes that he had asked a question about the outcome of the Survey into Hearing Loss and another about the outcome of the Ceremonial Working Group’s two year study into the recommended supplier of ceremonial equipment. He had been promised replies but as yet had not received them.
The DG said that there was information now on the RBL website (Knowledge Base) about the outcome of the Hearing loss survey.
Mr Davies said he would take the question about ceremonial equipment back to the Membership Council.
Afternote: Mr Davies reported back that the recommended suppliers are Aa Flags of Consett. The company has a website. This information was also promulgated in the Wiltshire Circular for February.
PRESENTATION OF REPORTS
The Chairman thanked the Mayor for his civic welcome and the President for his introductory address. He also offered the President Conference’s congratulations on his appointment as a Deputy Lieutenant in early 2015.
He then explained that he did not intend to dwell on the County Report and Plan because they are contained in the Conference Handbook, which was sent to Delegates before Christmas. However, Delegates should note that the plan is a living document which is likely to change as details of the new Corporate Strategy emerge.
The report in the Handbook gives details of the past year and highlights both strengths and weaknesses. Key areas include changes aimed at modernizing the Legion and making it easier to reach our beneficiaries. One of these changes, the Membership Services Project (MSP) has had major problems; the idea was good but the execution and communications have been poor and as a result the County is likely to lose many members. Other areas such as the transfer of members from the County Branch to the Warminster Branch have gone well, and the Chairman thanked the Warminster branch for taking on this commitment.
This year the County Executive Committee has taken on the work of the County Welfare Committee. Their main task is to allocate funds from the County Welfare Fund to offset the costs incurred by the central grants team in supporting beneficiaries in Wiltshire. The County Welfare Fund exists only through the generosity and support from our branches and this reflects the hard work of our branches in running fundraising events - hard work which often goes unnoticed and the Chairman thanked branches for this support.
Over the past few conferences mention has been made of the need to improve our communications, which does not mean more communications but rather targeted and relevant information. The failings of the MSP have demonstrated this. Within the County we try to comply with your requests and as a result we will be sending Branches Minutes of the County Executive Committee and Management Board Meetings. The County website is working well and the number of “hits” is increasing.
Branches are active in providing welfare and the Visitor Volunteer scheme gives us the opportunity to demonstrate this to Head Office. For this reason the Chairman urged Branches to send their quarterly returns to the County Office.
Branches are submitting a few more nominations for County Awards but there are always more members whose work needs to be recognized and the Chairman asked branches to keep working at this. He went on to congratulate Mr John Bosely from the Warminster Branch for his award of the BEM in the New Year’s Honours list for his charity work, particularly his work with the RBL.
He also congratulated the Community Fundraiser, Fi Dobson, and her team of dedicated PAOs who had achieved an amazing 17.7% increase in the Poppy Appeal last year bringing the Wiltshire total to nearly £674k. Both Riders Branch and Women’s Section support our fundraising events and the Poppy Appeal and their assistance is much appreciated.
It has been another year full of ceremonial events and our Standard Bearers have once again been hugely supportive. The Chairman wished to record the County Executive Committee’s appreciation of their support in all weathers, and also their congratulations to Kevin Toft and Amanda Bearryman for winning their respective Regional Standard Bearer Competitions, a double which is thought to be a first for the County. Brian Mitchell and John and Cathy Smith have devoted much of their time in training and managing these events which could not happen without them.
The Chairman asked Conference to remember those members who have passed on during the year and particularly three Branch Presidents, Lt Col Stanley Ball (Highworth), Rev’d John Goodman (Devizes) and David Cuthbertson (Cricklade) and he sent Conference’s best wishes to their families.
He ended his report in thanking the County Executive Committee, the President, his own family and the MSO for their support and help throughout the year.
There being no questions the Chairman asked for a vote on both his Report and the County Plan:
Proposed: Mrs Cathy Smith Melksham
Seconded: Mr Bob Wright Warminster
The County Treasurer said that the audited County General and Benevolent Accounts for 2014/2015 are in the Conference Handbook which was circulated to Branches before Christmas.
The end of year balances for the General Account was £3,779 the Benevolent Account was £ 24,238.
The General account ended this financial year down some £400 on the previous year. The primary income for this account was from the annual grant from Head Office which was £6,615. The account is used for County Administration, which includes the administration of the Salisbury Festival of Remembrance, the profit from which is paid to the Poppy Appeal.
The Benevolent Fund is £3,928 down on the previous years ending balance. There was over £32,000 of donations over the 2014/2015 financial year, some of which were:
Royal Wootton Bassett £2,500
Codford and District £1,000
Morgans Vale, Redlynch & Woodfalls £1,000
Barford St. Martin £500
The Treasurer said that the County Executive Committee is very grateful for these donations and that we have already received further donations in the current financial year. These donations helped us to support Welfare cases in Wiltshire to the value of £35,000. So far in this current financial year we have received £32,000 in donations which will go towards supporting more Welfare cases in Wiltshire.
A Financial Compliance Working Group was set up at headquarters last year. Their first correspondence was about ensuring that all entities of the Royal British Legion comply with the rules by which the charity is governed. They stated that, “There is a year on year increase in elements of the organisation failing to comply with the regulations surrounding financial compliance”. Initially they are focusing on the timely submission of end of year accounts and the use of the central BFI account. There are also actions for Counties to complete by 31 January. Separate instructions will be issued to Branches over the coming year.
In closing her report the County Treasurer wished to thank Mrs Perry from Wilton for her very cost effective organisation and catering for the annual Standard Bearer’s Competition and also to the Women’s Section for the catering at the County Parade in Melksham which was substantially less than previous years.
There being no questions the County Chairman requested a vote on the County Treasurer’s Report:
Proposed: Mrs Jane Woodford Wroughton
Seconded: Mr Mike Millward Wilton
ADDRESS BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL - MR CHRIS SIMPKINS
The DG began his address by talking about the changes the RBL has introduced in the past four years, both in the perception of the public but, more so, through the Pathway for Growth programme; this has changed the structure and deployment of the Field Staff and, importantly, the way in which we deliver welfare. The RBL now has a presence at over 290 locations and the Contact Centre, which is the main port of call for those requiring assistance, handled 790,000 calls in the 12 months to September 2015.
During the year the RBL was again in the public spotlight with the Channel 4 documentary Dementiaville (which won Galanos House the Care Home of the year award), 6 million people watched the Festival of Remembrance, and the Legion were at the heart of events for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of VE and VJ days.
We are now at the end of the 5 year plan which saw the introduction and completion of the Pathway for Growth. The next 5 year plan will cover the centenary of the end of the Great War and 100th anniversary of the formation of the RBL. It will be based on three key elements of the Charity’s work: Information and Support, Remembrance, and Advocacy and Representation. There will also be well defined strategies for Membership, Fundraising and central services. Comradeship will run as a theme through all these elements.
The DG stressed that there will be a role for membership in providing assistance for our beneficiaries in five main areas: Home and Hospital visiting, a telephone buddies service, support to funerals including Standard Bearing, awareness raising events and the provision of advice and information at outreach locations.
The DG said he is aware that many branches already undertake significant welfare support and we need to collect this data so that we can campaign and lobby Government. However, we also know that branches have found our welfare projects to be too bureaucratic. This will be addressed and re-launched at Annual Conference in 2016.
Another important objective will be to bring Remembrance to a wider audience, especially connecting to a younger and more diverse audience, and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme will provide a good starting point. We shall also continue to build on our recent campaigning successes with the Veteran’s Hearing Fund and the Widow’s pension to ensure our community is treated fairly.
Fundraising will remain critical to maintaining our success in these three core areas. The third sector is very competitive and whilst the Poppy Appeal hit a record high in 2014, it is important that we diversify into other income streams whilst remaining fully conscious of the increased public scrutiny of fundraising practices.
Head Office is fully aware of the difficulties faced by many members at renewal this year but with the old database becoming obsolete there was no option but to change the process. We are working very hard with our suppliers to iron out the problems but we are very sorry for those who have been affected by these issues.
The DG ended his address by talking about The Case for Support – refining a clear definition of why the Legion is needed today and building this Case for Support into all aspects of the 2016-2017 Corporate Strategy. He assured Conference that as the new plan takes shape there will be wide consultation across the Legion and the membership will be kept informed at every step.
Questions from the Floor:
Mr G Platt, Stratton St Margaret. Stratton St Margaret Branch is one third down on its membership due to the new renewal process.
Mr V Richmond, Devizes. There are a number of local welfare cases in Devizes.
Chairman. The individuals should be told to call the Contact Centre.
Mr B Pratt, Chippenham. Conference agreed the Chippenham Motion requiring recognition of the RBL’s contribution to H4H in Tedworth House to be appropriately signed but nothing has yet happened.
The DG said he would take the question back to Haig House.
Afternote: The DG subsequently responded“The Personnel Recovery Centres are operated by H4H. The Legion makes a financial contribution to the operating costs but, currently, NOT to H4H but to the MOD. The MOD in turn pays H4H for the usage. We have been negotiating a Funding Agreement with H4H for quite some time. One element of the terms of that Agreement concerns branding. When (if) an Agreement is entered into, the agreed branding will be applied but until then we are unable to insist upon it. I am not able to predict when all this will happen but I hope that your members will accept from me that we’re actively working on it and want it resolved to reflect our input - just as they do”.
Mr T Blundell, Royal Wootton Bassett. Will the RBL support the petition to protect service personnel and veterans from lawyers in relation to alleged abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan? Mr Blundell handed the DG a letter which he said he had not had time to submit as a Motion.
The DG said he would take it back to Haig House.
Afternote: Head Office has subsequently issued the following statement: “Whilst the Legion does not offer legal representation in criminal prosecutions, we do provide a range of welfare support and services to all members of the Armed Forces community. Any individuals or family members who find themselves affected are encouraged to get in touch if they feel the Legion can be of any assistance. In cases where the assistance required falls beyond our remit, the Legion will refer to other relevant services”.
Mrs C Smith, Melksham. This year we saw less of the Standard Bearers at the Royal Albert Hall than previously. Additionally our Regional Standard Bearer could not get to the rehearsal the day before and so he was not in a prominent position on the Parade. Two weeks notice of this change was insufficient.
DG. It is the first complaint he had heard about this. However, the BBC is responsible for what they put out and we have no influence over it. DG said the point was taken.
Mr E Bridges, Westbury. Had written to Head Office and two Department Heads but has not received a reply. The branch has lost nearly a third of its members including their vice president. The letter sent by the National Chairman must have cost a lot of money.
DG. Told Br Bridges to give him a copy of the letter and he would take it back. Communicating with members did indeed cost a lot of money. He agreed there was a need to communicate the change process better.
Mr Mitchell, Trowbridge. In October this year WS will become a District, the details of the change of status has been delegated to a Committee. The Standard Bearers are very concerned over their future.
DG. The Board of Trustees decided that WS could no longer exist on its own. He would take back to Haig House the concern of the Standard Bearers.
Mr T Blundell, Royal Wootton Bassett. The branch welfare officer had resigned over his frustration with his conversation with the Contact Centre about wanting urgent assistance for a member.
DG. The RBL is neither a blue light service nor a social service. Generally 60% of calls are dealt with immediately by the Contact Centre.
The President interjected that there is a complaints procedure, to which Mr Blundell asked who is aware of it? The DG responded that he should take it up with his Area Staff.
Mr Blundell asked what is the annual cost of the Call Centre. The DG replied that he thought it to be in the order of £5m.
PRESENTATION BY WILTSHIRE FARM FOODS
The County Chairman introduced Louise Hall of Wiltshire Farm Foods (WFF), who generously sponsored Conference for a fourth year.
Louise said it was a great pleasure to be able to sponsor our Conference. She explained that WFF are owned by Apetito. They have 75 outlets which gives full coverage of the whole of the UK. This year is the 25th Anniversary of WFF. The company produces 1.1 million frozen meals a week. 90% of what is sold is made and tested by WFF and their in-house team works with dieticians to cater for those who need special diets such as celiacs and healthy lighter meals under 400 calories. Ronnie Corbett retired last year as “the face” of WFF and was replaced by Fern Britton on 1 January 2016.
WFF is a trusted company and Louise spends much of her time speaking to health care organisations and hospitals. They are national living wage compliant and their drivers are all CRB checked and are trained to be alert to the well being of their customers.
On ending her talk, Louise told Conference that WFF had donated £50.00 of food vouchers as a raffle prize.
Conference adjourned for lunch at 1245 hours and reassembled at 1340 hours.
WOMEN’S SECTION COUNTY PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
The President of Women’s Section took the opportunity to tell Conference something of her life as an Army wife and especially of her and her husband’s tour in the Oman in the 1960s, and how the Oman had changed from being a country of fairly limited resources to a thoroughly modern country through the wise use of its oil resource. Despite very much enjoying their tour in the Oman the President said she had no wish to return!
PRESENTATION BY THE GUEST SPEAKER, COLONEL JOHN MATTHEWS,
HEAD OF THE DEFENCE EOD AND SEARCH GROUP
Col John Matthews talked about Defence EOD and Search Group’s structure and the scope of their work. He focussed particularly on the current lack of predictability and uncertainty within the County, Europe and the World. He was supported by Melanie Moughton who administers their charity, The Felix Fund, which exists to care for bomb disposal staff and their families. Col Matthews then introduced one of his Operational Bomb Disposal Team Leaders from Tidworth who talked about the life of a bomb disposal team, and the variety of tasks which they are called to deal with. By way of acting as a visual aid, Mr P Davies kindly agreed to be dressed up in EOD protective equipment for all to see!
PRESENTATION BY THE SOMERSET/WILTSHIRE ADVICE AND INFORMATION TEAM LEADER – MRS LAURA CAREY
Laura Carey talked about the success of the Swindon Pop In, of the recruitment of volunteers to staff the office and the high footfall of visitors which was in excess of 4,000 in 2015. She talked about the other outreach locations within Wiltshire and how these work in conjunction with the Pop In to provide coverage across the county. Other welfare agencies are now using the Pop In on a regular basis which will enhance the quality of assistance which we are able to provide. Laura then gave a number of statistics of beneficiaries within the county and of the principal types of assistance which her team provides. Between October 2014 and September 2015 £146,000 of welfare assistance has been provided to beneficiaries within Wiltshire.
QUESTIONS FOR THE SPEAKERS
The following Questions were put to the Speakers from the Floor:
Mr B Mitchell, Trowbridge. Will the future Women’s Section have their own branch Standards?
The DG replied that WS will become a District with their own branches and their own standards.
Mrs C Smith, Melksham. Will the WS National Standard be laid up?
The DG replied that it would be laid up. In future there will be one RBL National Competition.
Mr G Platt, Stratton St Margaret. Do EOD operators have foot protection?
Lt Col Matthews replied that they do but that it had not been demonstrated today.
Mr T Blundell, Royal Wootton Bassett. Said he had contacted Somerset Legion House but was told that it was now a family centre.
The DG replied that none of the RBL Homes are purely for families but they do have specific periods allocated for families only.
ELECTION OF COUNTY CONFERENCE COMMITTEE AND
DELEGATE TO NATIONAL CONFERENCE
- County Conference Committee. Three members were required from the Floor for this Committee. The current incumbents were Mr P Collier, Mr D Packwood and Mr P Davies. All three were prepared to stand again. These appointments are made annually.
Proposed: Mr D Tilney Malmesbury and Sherston
Seconded: Mrs J Woodford Wroughton and District
- County Delegate to Conference. The County Chairman said that he was putting himself forward to be the County Delegate to National Conference in Eastbourne on 21/22 May.
Proposed: Mr D Scovell Salisbury
Seconded: Mr P Collier Corsham
LOCATION AND DATE OF CONFERENCE IN 2017
The Chairman explained that no Branch has proposed an alternative location for Conference in 2017. The County Conference Committee has therefore recommended that, following the success of Conference in the Trowbridge Civic Centre for the past three years that it should be adopted as the location for Conference in 2017. The Chairman added that the Bank holiday in 2017 falls awkwardly and reduces the time for Conference Preparation and his suggestion was that Conference should be held on the second Saturday which is 14 January 2017. The Chairman asked for a Proposer and Seconder for the location and date:
Proposed: Mr A Shaw Alderbury
Seconded: Mr D Packwood Corsham
LOCATION FOR COUNTY PARADE AND REDEDICATION SERVICE IN 2016 AND 2017
The Chairman said Conference in 2015 had approved Devizes as the location for the County Parade and Service of Rededication in 2016. It will take place on 12 June. However, no branch nomination has been received for 2017 although he is aware that there are two possibilities in the pipeline. He proposed that the decision on selecting a suitable location for 2017 should be left to the County Conference Committee.
Proposed: County Chairman
Seconded: Mr R Wright Warminster
Mr T Blundell of Royal Wootton Bassett said his Branch would be submitting a nomination.
MOTIONS FROM BRANCHES
The Chairman told Conference that there were no Motions from Branches this year.
COUNTY AWARDS - JANUARY 2015
The County President together with the Chairman of the Council and the Director General made the following awards:
THE COUNTESS OF SUFFOLK CUP – awarded for efficiency to the winner in the large Branch category.
Runners Up Corsham
THE STILWELL CUP – awarded for efficiency to the winner in the small Branch category.
1st Place Morgans Vale, Redlynch and Woodfalls
2nd = East Knoyle, Semley and Sedgehill Shrewton and District
THE FOSTER-CURTIS CUP – originallyawarded for efficiency in the Clubs category, now changed to the highest percentage increase in membership for the branch with a club attached.
1st Place Burbage and Easton Royal
2nd Place Corsham
THE HEAVYSIDE CUP – awarded for the highest percentage increase in membership during the year.
1st Place Swindon 14.29%
2nd Place Melksham 20.0%
3rd Place Highworth 17.1%
THE COLONEL TEMPEST CUP – awarded for the highest percentage increase in Poppy Appeal collections over 3 years 2013/2014/2015.
1st Place Mr Maurice Betteridge Ludgershall + 49.15%
2nd Place Lt Col Anthony Hyde Bratton + 22.20%
3rd Place Mrs Susan Stock Chute & Chute Forest + 18.18%
THE ANNUAL STANDARD BEARERS COMPETITION
1st Place Mr Kevin Toft Seend
2nd Place Mr Lee Glyde Wilton
3rd Place Mr Dale Williams Westbury
CATH NEWMAN-EYLES CUP
Awarded to Women’s Section Standard Bearer this year
THE LORD LIEUTENANT’S CUP – awarded to the Cadet Detachment which collected the most for Poppy Appeal 2013/14.
1st Place 2003 (Stratton) Squadron ATC
2nd Place Larkhill Detachment Wiltshire ACF
3rd Place Trowbridge Detachment Wiltshire ACF
4th Place 1304 (Chippenham) Squadron ATC
5th Place Chippenham Scout group
The Director General presented County Certificates to:
- Mr David Packwood Corsham
- Mr Peter Collier Corsham
- Mrs Jenny Collier Corsham
- Major William Naesmyth Trowbridge
- Mrs Danni Walling County Treasurer
- Mr Steve Ashman Recent County Vice Chairman
- Mr Michael Challinor County Vice Chairman
The Chairman thanked all those who had so generously donated Raffle prizes and Mr B Mitchell for running the Raffle. The Raffle had raised £316 and would be very helpful in offsetting the costs of Conference. Prizes were handed out by the Cadets in attendance.
PRESIDENT’S CLOSING REMARKS
In his closing remarks the President thanked every one for attending and for being so engaged. He especially thanked the Director General for being with us and for fielding so many of the questions.
In his opening remarks he had echoed the need for change and the need to embrace change. He accepted that this was not always easy to do but we all need to face up to modern methods.
He wanted Conference to think about uncertainty, which had been so well addressed by Lt Col Matthews. The historian Sir Michael Howard had challenged the default position of society as being one of liberal democracy. He argued that the natural state is War and that we have to work very hard to achieve and maintain Peace. He wondered if we are seeing the breakdown of the old order, which had happened in 1914 and from which the Legion had emerged.
The future will not be the same but if we are headed for a breakdown of order it will leave us, the RBL, with a role which will change but not diminish.
The President ended by saying that the Legion is a remarkable organization; he asked the members to keep doing what they are currently doing and he thanked everyone who had been involved with arranging this Conference and everyone who had attended today.
RE-ENTRY OF STANDARDS
The Standards entered and the Chairman presented the County Standard to the County Standard Bearer, Mr K Toft, and duly charged him with his duties.
Conference remained standing for the singing of the National Anthem after which the Standards withdrew.
CLOSE OF CONFERENCE Conference was closed at 1545 hrs.