National Council Members Page

No 4 Area
(The South West Flotilla)

National Council Member’s Report to No 4 Area Meeting

held at Dorchester on 15th September 2018


39th year an Association member, in No 4 Area 27 years, Secretary Plymouth 22 years and now at the beginning of another important learning curve.

I am delighted to represent you on the National Council and honoured to follow in the footsteps of our Area President S/m David who became National Chairman and S/m Ken who regretfully had to resign for personal reasons after I believe 9 years in the post.

Let us not get away from the fact our Association is at a critical point when one thinks in terms of Branch Recruitment.

Recruitment and Retention is perhaps the most important factor for Branch continuity, we must recognise serving personnel and more recent ex-serving enjoy a different culture and that dictates the strategy we must adopt.

Many will find it difficult to identify with the characteristics of our modern-day matelot and how their interests revolve within an IT world.

The Motion relating to Central membership was defeated at our Conference in Dublin, however I am a member of the Study Group and noted the concerns of many branches in our Area, expressing your views at the first meeting held on HMS Belfast on 20th July. I will enlighten you on completion of the NC Report.

The National Council will consider the report at the December meeting, at this stage it seems very unlikely that there will be any compulsion to move to any system.

My first National Council Meeting held at Semaphore Tower, Portsmouth on Saturday 8th September 2018.

Delighted to be a member of the Association Management Committee where I am confident my previous, albeit distant Management training plus RNA experience, will enable me to offer constructive advice on future debate, both on the AMC and Council.

Council approved in acceptance of the minutes of the June NC meeting, General Secretary’s recruitment process relating to the appointment of Capt. Bill Oliphant RN as our new General Secretary, the appointment of Mr. Mike Gray (previously editor Navy News) as Digital Communications Manager who will deal with RNA business one day each week.

At the most recent NC meeting our National Chairman informed that the arrangements for next year’s Conference at Wyboston Lakes are on target and organisation excellent.

Conference at Liverpool 2020, arrangements completed already and booking will be in due course direct with the Adelphi Hotel.

Conference 2021 Britannia Hotel in Nottingham being considered by No.9 Area, a branch motion needs to go forward by February

The idea of a separate AGM and Conference individually separate and convened alternate years rejected, the ‘status quo’ remains following sound rejection by Conference 2018.

There was a discussion about the cost and utility of ‘Gizzets’ which will be taken forward as part of the Budget 19 discussions.

The National Council approved a General Secretary proposed Corporate Sponsor scheme, which will now go to final production and be announced to the RNA before the end of the year.

The National Council is considering a Motion for a subscription increase in 2020, early days and it will be debated at the December and March National Council meetings.

National Council approved a mid-year Budget review which saw a reallocation but no increase of elements.  A figure of £13k has been allocated to develop an APP for use by serving RN, RNA and others.  The General Secretary is investigating other Grants for it.  

670 IPADS have been distributed by Operation Semaphore to digitally isolated Veterans to date, a life changing experience for so many, particularly those isolated from their family and friends. 

Investments with the RNRMC are performing well, well in advance of the movements in the FTSE 100.

There has been a very positive feedback from Branches who have taken advantage of the Branch & Club Support Fund.    No less than 22 branches have received support this year including three from our own Area. Total allocated in this first year of the minor grants scheme almost £6000.                    All it takes is a simple Email and General Secretary approval as quickly and humanly possible.

To complete the Report, S/m Ivan Hunter BEM due to medical circumstances has retired from the position of Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee and its linked role of Advisor to the National Council and its Committees. A member of East Antrim Branch he was very competent, modest and would provide the most helpful advice to whoever asked for it. In his communication to the General Secretary he took the opportunity to express his thanks to the Staff at Central Office, the members of the Council and his fellow Advisors for the support and comradeship given to him over the several enjoyable years he shared with them. I am confident such an expression of warmth is also conveyed to all his fellow Shipmates throughout the Association.

S/m Arthur Gutteridge