Meeting of the NATIONAL COUNCIL held Saturday, 6th September 2014 at the Holiday Inn Luton
Mr R Griffin - Chairman
Mr D Steiner - Vice Chairman/Legal Chairman
Mr K Iredale - Treasurer
Mr M Buckley Bennion
Mr T Searle
Mr M Wenger
Mr S Watson
Mr D Bonfield
Mr M Heathorn
Mr F Bowen
Mr C Laing
Ms K Parslow
Ms J Cundy
Ms L John
Mr M Miller - CEO
Mrs B Bass - HO Manager
Apologies for Absence
Mr J Moll
Mr C Hillman
The Chairman opened the meeting at 10 15 am and thanked everyone for giving up their time to attend. He explained that while feedback was welcomed, it is hoped to keep the meetings as sharp as possible It was unanimously agreed that the current venue at Luton with a 10 00 am start was acceptable to all.
DECLARATION of INTEREST
Mr Miller reminded members of the Declaration of Interest form they had all signed and asked everyone if there was any need for change.
A warm welcome was extended to Jerry Moll who had been deemed the most suitable candidate for the position of Director of Membership Services with a two year terms of office.
Marcus Buckley Bennion was also welcomed to the Executive Council as Director of Finance and Business with a one year term of office to ensure not all Directors reached the end of their tenure at the same time.
COMMITTEE COMPOSITION and ORGANISATION
The following appointments were ratified:-
Ken Iredale Treasurer 2 year term reporting to Director of Finance and Business
Chris Hillman Technical 2 year term reporting to Director of Sport Development
Karen Parslow WNC 2 year term reporting to Director of Sport Development
As the outgoing Director of Membership Services, Richard Beck was thanked for the time and commitment he had given and a formal letter will be sent to him
There is currently a vacancy for a Head of Business Development and Marcus Buckley Bennion will be interested to hear of any suitable applicants. The position will be re-advertised but it is possible to encourage individuals it is believed will be suitable.
Mr Miller drew attention to Appendix B and Mr Laing expressed concern about the appointment of the CEO. Mr Miller pointed out that this had previously been agreed by the members of the NC and the Chairman clarified that this was a staff position, and therefore suitable to be deatl with by the Executive. I.e. if another member of HO staff was being introduced it would not be a matter to be put before the NC
Lisa John proposed that the previous minutes be accepted as a true record, seconded by Karen Parslow and agreed unanimously. The only matter arising was in relation to bids for new Auditors and the Treasurer confirmed that this was in hand
REPORT of the CHAIRMAN
The Chairman had sent a letter to Local Association and league secretaries and had tried to give an understanding of what is happening behind the scenes and this had also appeared on our website and in Inside Line. This did result in contact being made with the Chairman and a feedback of both positive and negative comments. We must not overlook the importance of communication with our members or the recognition of work carried out at grass roots level. It is also extremely important to ensure information is passed to Frazer Bowen within prescribed timescales for inclusion in Inside Line so that people are aware of what is happening.
The Time for Change was a visionary document and must now be reviewed. Strategies should be established as should be our goals, with timescales to which we must adhere. The Chairman and CEO will work with the Directors to produce a Business Plan
REPORT of the CEO
Mr Miller said that although there are some negative thoughts we have a far better structure and vision than 12 months ago. There have been positive achievements, of which Inside Line is one and has been very well received and we should look forward to the next 12 months.
Mr Miller presented on behalf of Jerry Moll who apologised because ill health prevented him from being present but, he is looking forward to working with the National Council in the future.
Dan Bonfield reported that tournaments had been held which had been well supported and raised money for Local Associations. A graph was available showing the membership in each of his areas which appeared to be steady but although not losing members, an increase was being sought. He went on to say that he constantly badgered areas for news for the Inside Line and Mrs Bass confirmed that the Central RO did communicate frequently and well with HO
Colin Laing reported that he had a less positive picture and he had difficulty obtaining a response, particularly from Yorkshire. Centres had been lost and Northern Proprietors were proving a problem. Mr Miller asked if figures were available but Mr Laing did not have any. He did however say that he was finding it tough going and not sure how to remedy the situation
Lisa John did not have up-to-date figures and Marcus Buckley Bennion suggested that the Regional Officer receive figures on a quarterly basis from HO. Lisa explained that she had been struggling to obtain information/feedback from the Southern counties but one positive move is that Devon are about to re-establish as a Local Association
The Chairman said that a package for a brand new league could be considered and could include an offer of coaching assistance, £250, and the opportunity to bowl against members of the Team England Squad. Ideas for a package would be welcome.
Dan Bonfield suggested something similar to Mr Admin in the form of a document entitled How to become a League Secretary.
Mark Heathorn said that an appropriate module would be going on our website, how to sell the BTBA to a non-member. It was agreed that Regional Officers would benefit from any assistance and it was clear that not all Area Secretaries perform as well as hoped,
Terry Searle suggested writing to each Area Sec asking if they would like to recommend someone as an assistant to their Regional Officer and this would be put to Jerry Moll.
A Secretaries Convention had not yet taken place because there was nothing substantial to offer but one could be planned in the not too distance future.
Nothing to report
It was confirmed that the Inside Line has grown since its inception and Frazer Bowen is satisfied with the format. He confirmed information was wanted as early as possible with a deadline of the 12th of each month, with the aim to send out by the 20th. The CEO thanked Frazer for his sterling work
Mark Heathorn gave a presentation and said that he was very near to launching the new programme. This was geared to getting more people involved, to help leagues and give young people more sills. VAT was mentioned and Ken Iredale will look into the possibility of de-registering which might be an option.
Current Phase1's will be encouraged to go online and go through the module for fundamentals. There are still issues to be refined but the CEO thanked Terry Searle and Mark Heathorn for the tremendous amount of work which had taken place to date.
We need to develop a new program for the licence fee which will generate some income. It should be a new licence each year, but this should be a simple procedure for individuals to register on line. Insurance should also be included in the fee which is anticipated to be between £10 - £15 00 and this will include BTBA Membership.
Karen Parslow reported that six months ago she had eight goals and all of these had been achieved. She has attended activities which have given her the opportunity to raise the awareness of tenpin bowling and is looking to attend more networking events. Karen believes that we need promotional items and is looking at obtaining wrist bands with the BTBA logo. She has a target of 22 teams for the tournament to be held on the 4th October, at Nuneaton As well as women in bowling, the Committee is focusing on diversity and they are feeling very positive about the future.
Martyn Wenger reported excellent results for the 2014 Junior Triple Crown event with the under 16 girls breaking three records. The Academy is being reviewed and may well cover more items. Junior tournaments are planned for the coming year although not all venues are established.
Terry Searle outlined the agreed sponsorship from Brunswick for Junior Team England from the 1st September 2014 until the 31st August 2016
Jo Cundy reported that the Adult Trials have finished for the year and feedback had been good. There are things which need changing and/or improving and these will be addressed. The final trials for the Seniors is to be held in October. On the whole people seem quite happy, saying that they will be playing next year. The input of Ross Gibson has been well received and he will hopefully be involved again next year. The Chairman asked for thought to be given to the Tours. There had been some confusion regarding ownership of the Seniors and this was under Membership Services but the individual designated did not follow through. The Masters will be run but there could be a change of the date and there will be money put in to make sure it is a worthwhile tournament. A figure of £2000 was agreed previously. Jo Cundy will work with Jerry Moll and Terry Searle about ownership and who is doing what. An ICC Think Tank is due to be held in November.
Summary by the Chairman
- Revised licence programme – Mark Heathorn
- Review of the title for WNC – Terry Searle
- Details of Masters – Jo Cundy
- Arrangements for ICC Finals November- Marcus Buckley Bennion
With all contact details in the public domain, a number of NC members had received invitations and the CEO clarified that anyone receiving such communication should forward to Head Office when he, together with Mrs Bass would ensure it is dealt with by the appropriate NC member.
Terry Searle reported on behalf of Chris Hillman who was working. It is intended to hold a two day Technical Inspectors course if there is sufficient support and a target to increase the number of certified centres by at least ten more The new system of certification is to be launched to the Proprietors. Terry confirmed that efforts had been made to obtain support From Sport England but, despite tenpin bowling achieving Olympic recognition, accessing grants was proving to be extremely difficult.
Summary by the Chairman
- Establish a new Technical Course
- Present lane inspection programme to the TBPA
FINANCE and BUSINESS
The Treasurer confirmed that the accounts were expected to show a £50,000 00 deficit NC members expense allowance of £1,000 00 would be reduced to £250 00 for the current season and is intended to cover attending meetings, setting up conference calls. RO’s would have an increase to cover the extra mileage required by them. The process for claiming expenses needs to change and will be via the relevant Director to the Treasurer. Claims from Directors must be signed off by the Chairman or the Treasurer. Other than mileage, all claims must be covered with an invoice or till receipt. The top half of the NC claim form is used for mileage and the bottom half for budgeted expense.
DIRECTOR of FINANCE
Marcus Buckley Bennion stated that it was imperative we focus on the fact that we are continuously losing money and this must stop and where possible we need to reverse the trend and look to be making money. We need to become more unified and more business-like and exercise tighter control on what is being spent as what is being generated. Local Associations must be reminded that they are required to send annual accounts to Head Office.
Bowling events should be organised with a view to make a profit for the BTBA Martyn Wenger said that the NAYBC does not ask the BTBA for money and Ken Iredale said that there was a perception that the NAYBC was a separate entity but it was confirmed that the NAYBC was National Association of Youth Bowling Clubs of the BTBA.
Currently everything seems to be fragmented and processes must be standardised. All of the BTBA owned tournaments should be managed in the same fashion and ideally meetings held on a regular basis to establish tournament dates and venues. The latter would provide an opportunity to look at accommodation providers. More attractive rates should be negotiated with Bowling Centres. Jo Cundy reminded everyone that some dates were currently set in stone and the National Championships were expected to take place during March. The Chairman agreed that it was imperative to get out of this negative financial position and a business strategy needs to generate profit. Balfour Road was not sold to fund Team England for the next few years and Jo Cundy confirmed that squad members had been made aware of the shortage of funds available to Team England which might mean a larger contributed could be required next year. It may even be that participants to the 2015 ECC would need to fund themselves. It was agreed a three year plan was urgently needed.
Summary by the Chairman
- Date for TE budget to be set
- Marcus will prepare a description of the programme around tournament and event management for the Executive Council.
- Jo will work with Team England Managers on a 3 year plan.
- Mrs Bass to advise Local Association of their requirements insofar as minutes and balance sheets are concerned.
Mr Steiner reported that there is a legal case pending which Head Office has under control and reminded members of the NC that if they were drawn into legal matters, they would need to withdraw should they come before the National Council.
He went on to say that he is making progress with the revision of the Rule Book and is using the recently updated USBC rule book, hoping to supply a draft by the end of September 2014 but will check against the ETBF rules before publishing.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Local Association Seminar
The CEO said that consideration should be given to incorporating an Inter County Think Tank. Tt was thought that all aspects appertaining to a Local Association could be put into one meeting even if it necessitated involving two people from one county.
A query had been raised as to whether Hayley Rumkee had been officially appointed to replace Lee Hart as the BTBA Safeguarding Officer and Terry Searle with clarify this situation but it was agreed that the case Lee Hart was involved with should be completed and not handed over half way.
The Chairman said that he believed it was time to make changes and he was happy to take ownership. He was considering new awards, primarily for achievement within a Local Association and any suggestions relating to this event should be forward to the Chairman as soon as possible. Most of the current sponsors have lapsed and a new sponsorship package will be prepared. The senior awards will be made this year at the Senior ICC Finals Dinner. Paul Le Manquais is to be thanked for his past contribution and asked if he will be Master of Ceremonies at the Senior Dinner. Ron Griffin and Matt Miller will take over the Awards Dinner It would be good to see members of the NC present at these events but, they would need to cover their own costs.
The Awards sponsorship team will consist of Ron Griffin, Lisa John and Jo Cundy.
Mrs Bass will seek return of perpetual trophies held by last year’s recipients and Marcus said that we should look for an official supplier of trophies for the BTBA
Colin Laing said that he may have a product which could be used. All variations will be considered
Dave Steiner was aware of a company in Slovenia but could not confirm the cost. Anyone interested should contact him It was stated that the PBTC have online scoring and Stuart Watson agreed to investigate the options currently available
Terry Searle outlined the current procedure and Dave Steiner explained that the money charged goes towards annual fees for the WTBA/ETBF It was discussed as to whether a gold card/licence was needed for home country tournaments. Terry Searle asked about the Irish Open and proposed that if the country in question was part of the UK Presidium, this was not required, Colin Laing seconded and the proposal was agreed unanimously
Ken Iredale confirmed that the cost of sending out cards would be available at the next meeting which will take place on the 10th January 2015.
2015 BTBA AGM
To be held earlier than previously during the month of May if a suitable weekend can be found.