The Combined Armed Forces Federation. UK.
34 Raynes Road
Lee-on-Solent Hampshire PO13 9AL
DATE: March 4th 2005.
Please note the A.G.M. will now be held in the Union Jack Club on Monday 25th April, in the Lawrence Room, from 1.30 p.m. onwards. Tea, Coffee and Biscuits will be served from 2 p.m. This Report and the Agenda will be posted to the Web site in due course. Please make an effort to attend if you can and let the Secretary General know in writing if you intend to, in case we need to book a larger room.0nce again we owe a 'Vote of Thanks' to the Executive Committee for their sterling work during the past year in building our Membership to its present levels. By "the end of this year it could be nearing 1000! Our thanks are also due to you for your support - please renew it for this year if you have not already done so. We are making progress with our research into the Government's liability to pay Pro-rata Pensions to those serving prior to 1975, I can assure you. M.P's are beginning to ask questions in the House but we cannot afford to be complacent. Remember we intend pursuing this matter for as long as it takes. We are now here to stay, and we are not going away!
I would also like to thank our Members in Southern Spain and the Costa Calinda Informer Newspaper for the coverage they have given us. Their support has been extremely helpful in swelling our ranks.Dealing with Membership Applications has now reached a level whereby we are considering seeking sponsor-ship for Office facilities and employing a Full Time Secretarial Office Manager. This will help to relieve some of the pressure on the Executive Committee, who are giving their Professional Services free besides coping with full time employment at the same time. An Office facility will also enable us to keep in touch easier besides many other benefits, which will put us on a more Professional footing.Applications for Charity and Company status are continuing but we have encountered one or two technicalities in the meantime which have taken longer than anticipated to sort out. This is also absorbing far more of my own time than I expected.
There seems to be a never ending amount of reading up, researching and questions to answer before approval can be given.Some additional anomalies regarding Armed Forces Pensions have arisen in the course of correspondence I have received from Members. I will be discussing these with Major General Gordon, Secretary of the Forces Pension Society, to see if something can be done about them.If you have access to the Web site you will notice we have had no acknowledgement, or reply, to my letter to Michael Howard M.P. sent by recorded delivery on January 14th this year. It asks him to state whether, should the Conservatives win the coming election, his party will see to it that justice is done for those serving prior to 1975, and arrange for our Pro-rata Pensions to be paid, or not.
Two previous letters had been sent and responded to saying he had passed the issue to their Policy Unit and then that it had been passed to Nicholas Soames M.P. My suggestion is for Members to write to Michael Howard and request an answer to why he failed to acknowledge or answer my letter. It all helps to keep the pressure on M.P's to accept their responsibility and pay up.We are now passed the embryo stage and in First Gear, thanks to your support for CAFF UK. The Federation is beginning to make a difference but it all takes time. Much of Political change is a matter of persuasion and lobbying of M.P's, so please keep up your support. I am quite confident personally we can win in the end because we have 'Right on our side' and that must always succeed.
P.S. We need.. contacts in Gibralta, The Algarve, Malta and Cyprus, and Southern Spain. If you have any, please download our advert 'Pension Challenge' from the PENSIONS section of the web site and send on for their local Newspapers!