THE COMBINED ARMED FORCES FEDERATION UK
Report of an Executive Committee Meeting held in the Wellington Hotel Waterloo Road London on 6th December 2006 at 1.30pm.
In attendance :
Mr D Robson: Secretary General
Mr Chris Watkin: Chairman
Mr Michael Kennedy: Treasurer
The meeting was arranged to coincide with the Invitation sent out for members of service organisations to meet and greet with the new Defence Secretary Mr Twigg at the Memorial Courtyard MOD for 6pm.
The meeting though informal had an agenda as set out below:
Discuss Report progress. Discuss Report Document, Type, Cover and contents sheets required Present Mini Bank Statement Discuss membership, new members, renewal and resignations and deceased members Discuss e-mail and invitation received from NSRAFA Discuss EDM67 and letter to Mr Viggers MP Discuss Telegraph entry Vote of thanks to Jimmy Lloyd
Discuss Mr W Brown Letter
Closing remarks. It was noted that the AGM would now be arranged for the second Wednesday in May each year. The next meeting will be 9th May 2007
The Chairman opened the meeting and thanked Michael Kennedy for taking over as Treasurer. He has had to pass on this post, as with the growing membership it was taking up more time than he could spare.Item 1. The Secretary General was pleased to be able to tell of progress that has been made during this past year. He had obtained the services of a Researcher within the House of Commons who is providing data for our report which is being prepared and partially completed. It is intended to print and supply every MP with one of these in order that we can elicit support for our cause, to include pre 1975 service. It was felt that we should be better prepared to answer questions regarding the contents of the report from interested parties and especially those from the media, this should not fall to one individual but to a trained pre arranged committee with a supply of model answers and fact sheet provided by the Secretary General.Item 2. Printing arrangements for the report and its format were aired .It was felt that the report could take the form of a leaf binder that would lie flat on a desk. A colour cover was preferred but the report should not be weighty in content and must fall within economic size and weight limits regarding postage costs. It was expected that an initial print run of 1000 copies would be required and quotations would now be obtained together with design layouts for discussion.Item 3. A balance of banking was given to the committee by the treasurer which showed the Federation having a healthy state of ready funds in Deposit and Current accounts.Item 4. The Treasurer presented membership figures which showed that the Federation was well on the way to 1000 members from all parts of the world. Some members preferred to pay annually by cheque, for which the treasurer sent out a renewal letter followed up 6 weeks later with a reminder. The balance of members paid by Standing Order some Monthly but the majority annually. Renewal retention was very good regarding those members paying by cheque but it would give a higher retention rate from those members either forgetting or becoming disinterested, if they switched to Standing Order. To this end a Standing Order form would be enclosed with the Renewal invitation.
Frank Rixon having recovered from his operation was continuing to forward to the treasurer approximately 5 new members every week. This new member rate exceeded the not renew rate and unfortunately deceased members.Item 5. The Treasurer presented an e’mail that he had received via the webmaster from a Mr Pat Honey of NSRAFA saying he has now arranged CAFF UK links from the NSRAFA website. www.nsrafa.com Mr Honey also gave an invitation to CAFF UK to attend the 2007 National Reunion and Parade of National Service and retired regular veterans 1939-1966 at RAF Cosford on the 24th June 2007 , where he has offered a no charge stand to CAFF UK to meet /greet publicise /enrol etc. potential members. (Note this offer has been accepted and the Treasurer will attend. Publicity material will be printed in time for the event to distribute together with a suitable informative banner for the stand) any one who wishes to attend this event and possibly assist, please contact the Treasurer as soon as possible.Item 6. The Secretary General presented his letter that he had written to his MP Mr Viggers asking him to support EDM67.tabled by Colin Challen MP “That this House believes all ex-servicemen and women should be treated equally in the payment of pensions regardless of when they served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces”. He expressed concern that EDM67 might prejudice efforts of the federation regarding the pension’s issue, as he felt that all MPs would be better informed with our report at hand, a reply had not been received from Mr Viggers before our meeting. (It has since been agreed that all Members should write and encourage their MPs to support this Motion).Item 7. The Treasurer presented a cutting from the Daily Telegraph Thursday 30th November 2006 Which highlighted the Gulf between MP’s pensions and that of an employee showing a backbench MP retiring on a pension of over 5 times that of an employee and mentioning that an MP gets retirement at 60 whilst the Pension bill will raise retirement for others to 68. Item 8. Jimmy Lloyd was to be thanked for his sharp eye surfing the relevant pages of the Internet and bringing articles publicised, for the attention of CAFF UK.Item 9. Member Mr William Brown had supplied the Treasurer with a certificate from his Army records that recorded he had contributed 7 years and 328 days qualifying service towards his pension. Was not that the proof of the pudding, he commented that any ex-soldier can get this information from Army Records Office. (It has since been agreed that all Members should be requested to send copies of similar documents to the Secretary General)
The Meeting closed at 5 pm.
Attendance at the meeting with Mr Twigg was well attended and very useful, the committee made good use of the occasion gaining new contacts and even a brief discussion with Mr Twigg on our Pensions Issue.