Papers for the CCCBR AGM on 29th May – a message from Council

To Association Central Council representatives, Association Secretaries, and all interested parties:

The papers for the forthcoming Central Council meeting on 29th May 2017 are available at .

Over the late May bank holiday weekend, up to 200 ringers will assemble in Edinburgh for the Central Council annual meeting.  We will come together with a common bond – a love of ringing and an enthusiasm for its wellbeing.  Through our various affiliations, we strive to represent the needs, views and aspirations of bellringers everywhere.

This year, like any other, we have much to deliberate, discuss and decide. To those who have elected us, we have an obligation to study the Council papers closely, to consult within our Associations, and vote keeping in mind the best interests of those we represent.

As well as receiving reports from officers and committees, acknowledging the Council’s work over the past year, we will be asked to vote on seven Motions.  Each of these Motions is supported by background documents available to Council representatives.  We, the Officers, urge all representatives to study these documents carefully well in advance of the meeting, discuss responses with your respective Associations, and come to Edinburgh prepared.

The first three Motions relate to the work of the Council Review Action Group (CRAG).  At last year’s meeting in Portsmouth, notwithstanding existing reform initiatives, we voted to appoint a Working Group to undertake a detailed review of Council’s rules and activities – to make recommendations for modernisation, and report back, with appropriate recommended changes, to the 2017 Council meeting.

A number of ringers, including Council’s Officers, have made submissions to the work of CRAG, and have received interim updates on the group’s deliberations.  The Officers wish to acknowledge the time, effort and expertise that CRAG members have invested in this important work, and wish to convey our gratitude to all concerned. It is fair to say that the proposals now presented in motions B and C are challenging.  Whilst acknowledging the sincere efforts of CRAG’s members, the Officers have a duty to offer commentary on the proposals, keeping in mind the interests of ringers everywhere.  If anything we would be sad that, if these proposals are found to be unworkable in their current form, then the momentum for genuine reform may be compromised.

CCCBR is a registered charity and the Officers – as Trustees of the charity – need to ensure that CCCBR meets all its statutory requirements.  Further, we have a responsibility to ensure that the proposals are addressed in accordance with Council’s existing rules and procedures.  Key queries arising from the proposals as currently presented include:

  • How realistic and practical is it to adopt all proposed measures at once

  • What specific rule changes are required to achieve the implementation of these proposals

  • What are the implications for existing affiliated guilds and societies

  • How are the proposed new measures to be funded.

In Edinburgh we need to allow sufficient time for debate of all motions, including those from CRAG.  Do please come prepared with concise comments and feedback, so that we can make best use of available time and arrive at considered and constructive conclusions.

Chris Mew (President) and Christopher O’Mahony (Vice-President)

28th April 2017

Mrs Mary Bone
Honorary Secretary
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
Registered charity no 270036

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