National Council Members Page

No 4 Area
(The South West Flotilla)

National Council Member’s Report to No 4 Area Meeting

held at Christchurch on 12th May 2018


  1. The last National Council Meeting was held in Victory Building, Portsmouth on Saturday 10th March 2018.
  1. National Treasurer. With Shipmate Ray Barraclough standing down as the National Treasurer there was a need to find a replacement.  There was only one volunteer that came forward and that was Shipmate Ian Irvin who is the National Council Member for Scotland.  The Council was unanimous for S/M Irvin to become the National Treasurer with effect from the end of Conference 2018.

 National Conferences.

  1. 2018. At the time of the meeting there had been 38 delegates registered.  The Guest of Honour (GoH) at Conference will be the Irish Chief of Defence Staff.  The National President requested that the hall be filled with a maximum number of people possible for the address by the GoH, so observers, other halves are asked to attend.  The Gala Dinner should be full with members from 12 Area and the Irish Naval Association. 

Trophies awarded to Branches in 2017 should be returned to Central Office or taken by hand to Dublin. Inform Central Office if this cannot be done.

  1. 2019 Conference. The General Secretary had a successful meeting with the Area 6 working group and he was due to visit the Wyboston Lakes hotel, St Neots, Buckinghamshire on 13 April 2018.
  1. 2020 Conference. There is a branch motion to hold the 2020 Conference in Liverpool to coincide with a Battle of the Atlantic memorial commemoration.  Accommodation will be in the Adelphi Hotel.
  1. Conference Guidelines At Conference 2017 the National Council was invited to review the arrangements for Conference.  The AMC had discussed and had come up with a suggestion of holding the Conference every other year – with an AGM held every other year in Portsmouth. The AGM would be in the same year as the biennial parade being held in London. The location of Conference will probably remain as it is with branches in different Areas coming forward with a proposal to host the event.  It was intended to put this in as a Motion to Conference this year, but this is now on hold to allow time for more thoughts and considerations to take place.

 Beret Badge. In my September 2017 report I mentioned the new metal beret badge that will replace the cloth badge in 2020.  The cost to Shipmates has been discussed by the National Council and it has been agreed to budget £7,500 and for Central Office to purchase 1,000 badges and these would be sold at a discounted price. It is recognised that not everyone has a beret, but it would still be too expensive in the region of £30,000 to provide a free issue to everyone so the following badges will be issued as follows:

  • 1 free badge for the National and Area Standard Bearers
  • 1 free badge for Branch and Deputy Standard Bearer
  • The first 1,000 Shipmates that ask for a badge will pay £2 each
  • Remaining Shipmates will pay £2.99
  • Shipmates could purchase a badge from the ‘Forever Jack’ website for £4.25

Shipmates are reminded that when attending parades it is not compulsory to wear a beret, but if you do then the RNA badge is the only official badge.

  1. National Events Advisor. The NEA now had a budget of £4,000 and this increase in the budget would allow him to forward ‘Gizets’ to Areas and Branches free of charge. If anyone has any suggestions for items that could be included in the ‘Gizet’ Packs they should contact NEA directly.  The main RNA national efforts this year will be the HMS Collingwood Field Gun and Open Day, National Armed Forces Day in Llandudno and the LGBT Pride event in Manchester.  RNA Hats can still be obtained from Central Office.
  2. Branch Closure. If a Branch is intending to close the National Council Member should be informed first who will then inform the National Council.  The branch should also notify the Area Secretary.
  3. Data Protection. The new GDPR (General Data Protection Review) will be come into force on 25th May 2018.  Branches requiring further information and advice can contact Central Office and speak to Nigel Huxtable.
  4. Annual Accounts. The Key Points extracted from the accounts are as follows:
  5. There has been an overall increase in Total Funds this year in the sum of £155,105 which is an increase of 7.33%. However, if you ignore all the increases/decreases in all the other funds, and just look at the General Fund, then the increase was £131,058 which is an increase of 10.38%. This has been achieved by yet another excellent year for Legacies and Donations in the sum of £122,840.                                           
  1. The Property Fund remains at the same figure of £491,375. This fund remains as a reserve in case we need to move out of Semaphore Tower.                                                  
  2. The amount in the Branch & Club Support Fund stands at £51,630. Over the year two grants had been paid out, RNA Rockingham and RNA Sleaford a total of £1,275.  Branches should apply for a grant or loan direct to the General Secretary.           
  3. Donations are still welcome to support the annual maintenance and insurance of the Naval Service Memorial. This year the fund received the sum of £1,887 and the expenditure was £235.
  4. Investments. The Value of our Investments at 31st December 2016 when we changed from Hoare’s Bank to RNRMC was £1,682,052. By 31st December 2017 the Investment value had grown in value to £1,716,088, which is an increase of 1.99%. We received an Investment Income of £62,732 from RNRMC during the year which is a return of 3.69% so our total return was 5.66%. Overall our total Investment growth from 31st December 2016 to 31st December 2017 was 2.72%.

There is a full financial statement in the 2018 Trustees Report that will be sent to Branch Secretaries.

  1. Motions for Conference. This year there are four Motions from the National Council and two from Branches.

The National Council Motions are:

National Council Motion 1. 

That Article 2 of the Supplementary Royal Charter be amended by adding ‘Former members of the Merchant Navy who have been awarded the Veterans Badge’.

And that this amendment shall be subject to such change as may be required by the Privy Council and is agreed by the President of the Royal Naval Association.

The NC proposes to recognise those Merchant Navy sailors who have served in operational areas under RN orders by granting them Full Membership of the RNA.

National Council Motion 2. 

That Rule 2 (a) of the Supplementary Royal Charter be amended by adding after the second entry of the word ‘Commonwealth’ the words, “and holders of the Merchant Navy Veterans Badge”.

And that this amendment shall be subject to such change as may be required by the Privy Council and is agreed by the President of the Royal Naval Association.

National Council Motion 3. 

That the following new Rule be added:   Rule 11 Sports and Social Groups:

(a)        Members of the Association may advance its objects through Sports and Social Groups (SSGs).

(b)        A SSG shall work within the Association and in accordance with the Association’s Supplementary Charter, Rules, Bye Laws and a Terms of Reference (TOR).

(c)        The TOR, which must be agreed with the National Council, shall be placed as an appendage to the Supplementary Charter, Rules and Bye Laws. 

Advance numbering of subsequent Rules by 1

And that this amendment shall be subject to such change as may be required by the Privy Council and is agreed by the President of the Royal Naval Association.


That Conference approve the new Rule to allow the advancement of our objects through the formation of Sports and Social Groups

National Council Motion 4.

That the following new Rule be added Rule 13 (because of previous number change after adoption of National Council Motion 3).

Rule 13.   Payment of authorised expenses

  1. Authorised expenses incurred by officers, staff and members on behalf of the Council may be paid against a claim form and receipts and, where appropriate, in accordance with the guidance document, ‘PAYMENT OF EXPENSES, National Council and Staff’.
  2. Authorised expenses incurred by officers and members, on behalf of their Area or Branch may normally be paid by the Area or Branch against a claim form and receipts.

iii.         Members may accrue minor expenses and/or use their facilities to provide a service to the Association, Area or Branch. The Association, an Area or Branch may make, in good faith, reasonable remuneration for such service by making one off, or periodical payments. Remuneration under this category is not to be made if the expenditure was reimbursed under i or ii above, or by another organisation.

And that this amendment shall be subject to such change as may be required by the Privy Council and is agreed by the President of the Royal Naval Association.

Explanation: That Conference regularises the payment of expenses to Members and staff by approving the new Rule and follow Charity Commission Guidance


The Branch Motions are as follows:

Branch Motion 1.     

That the 2020 Conference be held in the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, at a date and price to be confirmed.


The Adelphi Hotel is easily available by public transport, Train station is 500 metres from the hotel and the airport 5 miles.  There is significant disabled access.  The conference venue, accommodation and social events are all in a single venue and are of sufficient size. 

The hotel has excellent Conference facilities sufficient for the numbers.  Having hosted the Conference before, the Area know the pitfalls and provided that a successful conference in 2013 which came in under budget and was a success.

Branch Motion 2.   

That the National Council set up a study group to investigate the feasibility and implications to the Association of managing membership centrally rather than at Branch level.  The Study Group shall report its conclusions and recommendations and if appropriate, submit a further motion or motions to the 2019 Conference. 

Explanation:  Many branches struggle to manage branch organisation.  Managing membership centrally would:

  • Remove an onerous task from the Branch and ageing membership
  • Allow Central Office to collect subscriptions by Direct Debit
  • Allow the creation of a central membership record which would allow information to be passed directly to members if they so wished.
  • All data would have to be compliant with GDPR
  • Significant simplification of annual returns
  • More accurate management information i.e. Year Book, Trustee Report
  1. Appointment of RNA General Secretary.

The selection to replace Paul Quinn as the General Secretary has been carried and it has been announced by the National President and National Council that they have appointed Captain Bill Oliphant RN.  Bill Oliphant has had a long and distinguished career as an officer in the Logistics Branch and is currently in the final months of his last appointment as a serving officer and is currently the Captain of the Base at HM Naval Base Portsmouth.  Handover dates have yet to be decided because it will depend on the needs of the Service, but it is hoped to be during the Autumn term.

  1. Shipmates this is my last report as No.4 Area National Council Member. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past eight years.  I have enjoyed my time as the NCM and it was an honour to represent the Area at National Council.
  2. That concludes my report.

Thank you. 
Ken Knight