Meeting of the NATIONAL COUNCIL held Saturday, 10th January 2015 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 C Hillman
Mr M Wenger
Mr D Bonfield
Mr M Heathorn
Mr F Bowen
Mr C Laing
Ms K Parslow
Mrs J Cundy
Mr M Miller - CEO
Mrs B Bass - HO Manager
Apologies for Absence
Mr J Moll
Mr S Watson
Ms L John
The meeting started at 11:20 due to an informal meeting that took place immediately prior to the council meeting.
The Chairman welcomed Andrew Green to the meeting and he explained that he was currently the Vice Chairman of the TBPA and worked for a family run business which included tenpin bowling on piers in Walton and Gt Yarmouth. Mr Green said the invitation to attend meetings was reciprocal and would present the opportunity to give some indication on promotions and what is being worked on. In response to a question from Mr Iredale he anticipated that members of the TBPA covered approximately 75% of the bowling centres in the UK.
Apologies for absence were given from Lisa John, Jerry Moll and Stuart Watson
DECLARATION of INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest in relation to any Agenda items and the CEO said that should circumstances change Head Office should be advised in order to amend the documentation held.
ALIGNMENT of NC APPOINTMENTS
It was clarified that current changes had been in an endeavour to even the workload and the Director of Finance and business would produce a model during the lunch break to present to the meeting. Mr Hillman said that he had no issues with the re-alignment but would hope that Lane Inspections were under the same Director as Team England as it was important for the two to work alongside each other. Mr Griffin said that he felt sure that the Head of Elite would engage with the Technical Director where required for Team England meetings but he saw a far more wide-reaching role for Technical than just Elite bowling.
After discussion it was agreed that events will remain with the Director of Membership but Mr Buckley Bennion will look at the way it is packaged from a business perspective. It was clarified that changes to the Mem and Arts cannot be made at NC level but proposals put to the Delegates at the BTBA AGM. The Chairman said that individuals should be placed under the Director where the role best fits, Mr Steiner will organise a meeting to facilitate discussion. Any proposals for change will be approved by the NC before being put before the AGM Delegates.
TENPIN BOWLING PROPRIETORS ASSOCIATION
Mr Buckley Bennion asked what opportunities the TBPA could see for them to work together with the BTBA and also what they would like from the Governing Body. Mr Bonfield said that he had a number of questions he would like to ask Mr Green who initially gave an overview of the TBPA which represents some 75% of the Centres including Original Bowling Company, Manco, Tenpin and Bowlplex but do not become involved in running their businesses, rather the TBPA looks to promote Tenpin Bowling. The organise promotions, cover Health and Safety and is a central point to provide information.
In response to questions raised by Mr Bonfield, it was confirmed:-
- Centres are required to make a payment to belong to the TBP.
- An example of a promotion which was advertised on packets of Kellogg products but not all of the major proprietors chose to be involved
- TBPA communicates with the Proprietor, not individual centres
- As a Proprietor of Solar Bowls, Mr Green encourage leagues within his centres, getting the larger operators to recognise this is a major hurdle for the BTBA
- The BTBA always has a section of TBPA meeting Agendas
- TBPA promotes Tenpin Bowling and the individual proprietor will decide whether to approach as a sport or a leisure
- John Ashbridge (General Secretary) to be asked about number of centres which are not connected to the TBPA
The CEO thanked Mr Green and asked him to relay appreciation to John Ashbridge for the assistance he has given
Mr Searle proposed acceptance of the previous minutes as a true record, seconded by Mr Wenger and agreed unanimously, with no matter arising.
REPORT of the CHAIRMAN
The Chairman reminded everyone that the AGM was fast approaching. Last year the delegates were disillusioned and dissatisfied with financial reporting and the lack of a Business Plan. It was imperative that this year we are well prepared with all details finalised well before the AGM It is important that each NC member prepare their part of the overall business plan and Strategy. A format will be sent out giving an idea of how we wish it to be presented.
Individual elements from each member of the NC should be completed by the end of February to give the Director time to put together for his team by the middle of March, with a final draft to be put to the NC by the 1st April before being sent to registered delegates three weeks prior to the AGM. Mr Griffin said that he will give any help he can if specific assistance is required.
The CEO will be responsible making sure that everyone adheres to the timescales provided.
The AGM to be held in Nuneaton on the 16th May. Annual reports must be submitted to HO by each Director by the 12th April. We must show what has been achieved as well as what we intend to do and show how we are moving forward. Mr Iredale said that he would be unable to attend the AGM and would ensure that the Director of Finance had his report.
Jerry Moll is currently unable to travel but accessible by email and had given his report to the CEO. He reported an 11% drop in membership since last year and said that members had complained about the level of communication. An email shot to all members who had provided addresses was being considered and Mr Moll was aware of the need for Local Associations to be more proactive and asked if Regional Officers had any updates.
DAN BONFIELD said that he had been active and issues he had attempted to cover involved chasing leagues which had not applied for sanction, a high score initiative, approaching manufacturers about producing a voucher to be redeemed against a bowling ball or similar but Bowling Vision had refused. Roger Wichelow of Bowltech had been mildly interest but nothing positive as yet. He had also been looking at ways of obtaining more response from Local Association Secretaries and wondered whether the rebate should be reinstated with a new criteria to reach the amount given. In addition he had expressed thoughts on the new Coaching programme to Mark Heathorn.
The Chairman said that if people are encouraged to obtain new members, they should be actively rewarded and it was agreed that the forms for a grant should be simplified He emphasised the necessity for something positive to be reported at the AGM.
COLIN LAING reported that he was trying to engage with centres but ‘what do I get’ still remains a problem He had been working with the North East bowler and also believed that there was a need to relook at rebate and in centre system. He had been in discussion with Jerry Moll about leagues overlapping September. The CEO asked the Regional Officers to put forward proposals for membership within the next three weeks. Mr Bonfield said that he was under the impression that this had already been done and it was agreed that a proposal should be put to the members at the NC meeting.
It was agreed that a Local Association Secretaries seminar been established, with a new format, it was also crucial that a Think Tank is held in the not too distant future. Promotional videos were suggested
The success of the Inside Line was agreed but it was unfair for Frazer Bowen to have to chase information, people should be making every effort to forward details of things as they happen to Frazer.
Mr Searle said that 2014 had been a year of consolidation, his team have worked well together and this will be reflected in his annual report.
NAYBC; It was confirmed that the age group has been increased to 21.
YAC will cover 18 -25 but the name will change.
BUCS are no longer recognising tenpin bowling as a sport
Mr Heathorn said that the new policy and structures are now on the BTBA website and no failures have been recorded as yet. There are currently 17 Coaching Tutors which covers approximately 50% of the country. These Tutors are expected to work with a 50 mile radius of home to give workshops. Regional Coaching Managers are to be finalised this week – Derek Simpson North, Neil Hunter Central and Mark Cox South. A grass roots programme for people who have never bowled is in the pipeline. Mr Griffin requested that an information sheet be made available for Regional Officers after distribution of the minutes.
Mr Wenger reported an 8% drop in YBC’S The 2015 Junior Nationals are being held in Nuneaton during the last weekend of April and the whole of May. The EYC will be held during March/April and the teams of 4 boys and 4 girls will be announced within a few days.
After the first weekend membership was increased by 10/12 bowlers and a year 4 which is going well.
Karen Parslow stated that the Diamond Trios had been a great success with excellent feedback and it is proposed to hold a Northern and Southern event. Katie Jowsey has resigned from the WNC Committee due to pressure of work and other commitments but Equality and Diversity is moving forward with Hayley Rumkee covering safeguarding and Mark Leigh is keen to be involved insofar as disabled bowling is concerned. Frazer Bowen is involved from a University point of view and Terry Searle is taking a course in ethnicity and diversity. A policy rather than statement to be produced for consideration by the Executive Committee to be forwarded by next Wednesday. Karen thanked Nikki Harvey in particular for her exceptionally hard work.
Mr Hillman reported that he had established a new database for centres, to be emailed to HO on the12th January. New process is ready to go and only 19 centres have failed to meet certification requirements. Help will be made available to centres which wish to get back on track. The Chairman made it clear that we did not want to lose members or leagues because a centre was not certified and HO needed protecting against being put in a position of refusing league or membership application. Mr Hillman said that he needed time to work with the centres and Mr Griffin suggested focus be placed on lanes which are used for sanctioned play, rather than the whole centre. Mark Heathorn said that minimum standards are a necessity and the integrity of the Governing Body should not be compromised. Mr Hillman was given until May to work with HO and deal with this particular issue. Mr Griffin emphasised that he did not believe any member should be turned away because of non-certification. Mr Hillman should arrange for temporary cover where appropriate.
The fact that the BTBA would be responsible if an inspector caused any damage during an inspection and Chris Hillman would confer with the Director of Finance to look at insurance for inspectors.
Jo Cundy reported that The Masters will take place during the first weekend in February. but details of the 2015 Tour did not appear to be available and HO were unable to deal with enquiries as they did not have any information. Events will be managed by Membership Services, Colin Laing will put together a programme but will not run events. Mr Griffin will look at how to deal with gaps and Mr Buckley Bennion will take ownership of the Calendar. Mrs Cundy said that in future the Calendar must be produced earlier, to be ready for the start of the New Year. It is important that everybody contributes.
Mr Griffin will provide information and names of people to be contacted by HO in connection with participation in the 2015 Masters
the Trials had been a great success with the majority of feedback being positive and a new trials package would be available within two weeks. A Team England meeting would take place in Gibraltar when the training weekend was taking place, involving adults and seniors. The men did not win anything at the World Championships but it was believed that they would now be better prepared and the main reason that England is lagging behind other countries is the lack of government funding.
Jo Cundy advised that she had met with Marcus Buckley Bennion and Colin Laing before Christmas. The County dates are set in stone in the ICC Rules and there will be more information for 2015 events on the website shortly. Any changes to the Rules must be discussed at a Think Tank.
The Adult ICC Secretary overseas all Inter County Events but Lee Hart has changed the rules for juniors because they are struggling to get children. Mrs Cundy was concerned that her name had been used without her knowledge and Mr Wenger will send out an email to clarify the situation. It is a 5 person team until there has been a Think Tank and one is scheduled for 2015 at the school where Jo Cundy teaches.
FINANCE and BUSINESS
The Memorandum and Articles of Association state that we must have an audit and during discussion, whether it was worth spending more than £3,000 00 was considered. Mr Iredale would provide notes for guidance on what is required. Mr Buckley Bennion said that a great deal of money is going through the BTBA accounts and basic business common sense must be used and it is essential to standardise how and where money is being spent because there are areas where there is too much expenditure. Policies must be established but nobody is expected to be out of pocket. Volunteers must justify if they are not able to work within budgets. It is essential that everyone works together.
Talks are in progress in an endeavour to save money and seek sponsorship. A telecommunications opportunity is available and could produce a massive benefit to the BTBA but we need to nominate companies who may be approached. Mr Buckley Bennion said that it was important to make a professional approach and the members of the Council should look for companies who might help as well as benefit themselves.
A bowling app has been offered and this has been passed to Stuart Watson who is evaluating but is unsure as to whether this will work as there is a cost involved. It would be a bowling rather than BTBA app but would provide a vehicle to reach more than our members. We would engage with proprietors and manufacturers. There are 2/3 companies ready to look at low level sponsorship.
Mr Steiner had no legal matters to report but is reviewing all disciplinary procedures as well as the BTBA Rule Book.
Prior to closing the meeting the Chairman stressed the importance of adhering to time scales and if problems occurred, please do not hesitate to seek assistance.
The meeting closed at 4.10 pm.