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High Court conference & AGM 2010

Sunday 12th - Tuesday 14th September Riviera International Centre, Torquay

High Court conference 2010


Opening of High Court conference
Jim Launchbury opened the conference by describing his busy year as High Chief Ranger, a position that he said was now open to all members. Jim said he had attended three Board meetings over the year, where he got a better understanding of the issues that external regulation caused the Society. He and his wife Janet attended branch meetings, area meetings, and branch and area social events, and enjoyed them all. The only event not on this years calendar was the usual visit to the Friendly Societys convalescent home in Herne Bay, as this has now closed. The friendship and hospitality Jim and Janet experienced throughout their travels was overwhelming, and they now have many more friends and acquaintances than they ever thought possible. Charity and benevolence, Jim said, have been watchwords throughout the Societys history. And if my observations are correct, he added, it is still expanding today. He said there was a huge amount of charitable work going on, and he thanked everyone on behalf of those who benet. Jim then gave personal thanks for all the help given to him this year, and paid particular tribute to Janet, who has been an immense support over the past 54 years, and who has always been there for him. He nished by saying: From my point of view, it has been a wonderfully successful year. Thank you all for giving me the honour and the privilege of serving this great order as your High Chief Ranger. Immediate Past High Chief Ranger Pat Swadling gave the vote of thanks. He said that Jim had worn the High Chief Rangers chain with pride and carried out his duties with commitment, with Janet by his side. Jims commitment to the role has also shown itself in his appeal for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Pat said. There was once an MP who told everyone to get on their bikes Jim did just that by going on a sponsored cycle ride and raising a great deal of money for his appeal. Janet has always been by Jims side, and her support has been important. She has been a very gracious High Chief Rangers lady. Wenda Belam seconded the vote of thanks. She said: I feel I am the voice of an ordinary member, just as Janet and Jim are ordinary members. They are the kindest people, who will help anyone. They have never let the Society down, theyre a wonderful couple and a credit to the Society. If all High Chief Rangers in the future are half as good as Jim has been, we will be a very, very lucky Society.

Jim Launchbury

High Court conference 2010


Greetings from the Oddfellows
Alan Cole, Grand Master of the Oddfellows, then spoke. He pointed out that Foresters and the Oddfellows had worked in parallel on many occasions. While their joint work on the Herne Bay home had to be terminated, he raised hopes that something positive may come out of the closure. He said that both the Oddfellows and Foresters had a great deal of difculty selling their objectives, because it was hard to sell friendship. It was only obvious what it was when it was taken away. He added: I believe there are still ways in which we can sell ourselves to society, even though it changes quickly. We can use modern technology to our advantage for example, for people who cannot attend their branch meetings there is now video conferencing, which means you can maintain contact with your members. He nished by wishing that the Society continues to go forward in richness and strength.

In remembrance
Several delegates spoke in remembrance of Dr John Tudor, the former pastor of Foresters Friendly Society. Jim Launchbury said Dr John, a member of Court No 1351, was a true Forester. They met in 1980, and Dr John only missed one High Court from that time onward. His sermons were delivered with humour, but the message was always spot on, Jim said. He added: He was a religious man of the nest sort and was proud to be a Forester. He is sadly missed, and I extend sympathy to Cynthia, his widow. I am sure John will remain in our hearts. Carmen Graham said Dr John had an amazing sense of humour and a delightful personality. He always made you feel special. John Levett, Past High Chief Ranger, said Dr John epitomised all he saw in religion and religious people. He was compassionate, friendly and humorous. Trevor Potter said Dr John was one of the few pastors he could pour his heart out to, which he did following the death of his father. John and I sat together on Eastbourne pier, he said, and I was able to express feelings and emotions and sense that I was being listened to and understood. This was a very rare gift. Finally, Cynthia Tudor thanked everyone for the overwhelming love shown. John would have been thrilled to have heard it all, she added. Tribute was also paid to John Oliver, Past High Chief Ranger. John came into the Society in the late forties as a member of Court Marquis of Bute. He became Chief Ranger in 1953 and Court Secretary in 1967. At District level, he served as District Chief Ranger of the Cardiff United District in 1961, and was District Treasurer for seven years, until 1989. Andrew Pooley said: I cannot claim to have known John well, but I appreciated his goodwill and friendliness.

High Court conference 2010


Candidates for High Sub-Chief Ranger
A new item was introduced to the conference by the Chairman. Candidates for the role of High Sub-Chief Ranger introduced themselves to the delegation and spoke briey about themselves:
Richard Darlington

Richard Darlington said he was 17 when he took out a sickness policy with Foresters and was persuaded to go to a local branch meeting. After two or three meetings I realised Id joined a Society that cared about its members, especially in times of need. He said that now hes close to retirement, he has the time to give back to the Society what it has given him much pride and pleasure over the years. Andrew Pooley said he saw the roles of High Sub-Chief Ranger and High Chief Ranger as the hinges between the fraternal and the insurance sides of the Society. I can honestly say that Im a Forester through and through. I was looking for a fraternal side when I joined and Ive never been disappointed, he said. Jenny Ray said she believed she had the passion and commitment to take on the role. The High Sub-Chief Ranger is the public face of the Society, she said, and I believe that I have the necessary experience to take on that role, and the condence to face the challenges. She said she supported the concept that any member has an equal right to hold such a prestigious position.

Andrew Pooley

Chairmans address
Chairman Glyn Carpenter said the Board had tackled tricky areas this year, including a review of costs and expenses, the establishment of a With Prots Committee and signicant work to comply with new EU nancial regulations, known as Solvency II. He said that in terms of risk, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) had moved Foresters Friendly Society into a lower category but, while this was pleasing, it also meant that now the Society doesnt have a dedicated FSA ofcer and getting each new person to understand Foresters is interesting. The FSA is also continuing to tighten up Board membership, Glyn said, which meant that a balance had to be struck between its requirements and members wishes to have strong voices on the Board. He said the Board had also discussed a strategy around branch funding and discretionary benets, and looked at the implications of moving High Court to June next year.

Jenny Ray

High Court conference 2010


2009 Financial Report & Accounts
Paul Osborn, Finance Director, said last years report came amid the longest and deepest recession since records began. 2009 had seen the UK economy continue to deteriorate and there was still the chance of a recessionary double dip, but there had been quantitative easing, aimed at stimulating growth. However, consumer condence was still fragile.

Overview

Paul Osborn

For the Society, the success story of 2009 was the increase in new business, reected in the 8% rise in total premiums, adding up to 13.3 million (11.7m UK business and 1.6m for Guernsey). The last three years had seen a gradual fall in premium income. This resulted in the Board taking the strategic decision to invest in a marketing team to sell more individual products. In 2009 the marketing team delivered higher-than-expected sales in ISAs, bonds and the successful Ethical Child Trust Fund. Some 2,471 new individual policies were sold in 2009, up by 50% on 2008, and 2010s business was already up on the whole of 2009. Group business also performed very well, with a premium income exceeding 7m for the rst time, an increase of 9% on 2008.

Membership Numbers Investment Portfolio

The rate of decline in membership numbers has slowed to just 0.5% in 2009, after 2008s fall of 10%. The Societys overall investment performance in 2009 shared a return of 7% over all asset classes, including dividends from equity, property and movements in the capital value of investments. This compared to a fall of 12% in 2008.

Management expenses of the Society and branches

The Society and its branches spent nearly 10m last year, an increase of 9% over 2008. The insurance part of the business increased its costs by 5%, largely as a result of investment in the marketing team. Non-insurance expenses increased by 8%, and include the cost of administering branches, the accreditation project, strategy development, membership services support, project costs and central High Court costs. The total cost of last years High Court was 453,000 more than 1,000 per delegate attending. Control of costs and expenses is a key priority of the Board, and requires close monitoring.

Policy claim payments

Policy claim payments have remained at similar levels to 2008, increasing by 2%, or 200,000.

Discretionary benets & approved branch distributions Summary

1.5m was paid out in discretionary benets and approved branch distributions. In summary, the nancial position of the Society is still strong after a difcult couple of years, with increased premiums of 1.2m and equity gains of 8m, but an unrealised loss of 5m on the property portfolio.

The Report and Accounts were then received.

High Court conference 2010


Marketing presentation
Neil Armitage reported that it had been a difcult year for the economy. However, the savings ratio was still healthy, which was good news for organisations in the savings market, like Foresters. It gives us an opportunity to build our brand and get people to invest with the Society, he said. Sales to the end of August 2010 were already ahead of the whole of 2009, with 60% year-on-year growth.

Customer satisfaction survey results

Customers were asked what they felt about their dealings with the Society in a customer satisfaction survey, and 90% of those who joined or had made a claim would recommend Foresters to someone else.

Neil Armitage

Foresters presence online

Neil said the improved corporate website www.forestersfriendlysociety.co.uk had yielded good results for the Society, with a 200% increase in direct trafc. Meanwhile Foresters Friends, the Societys social networking website at www.forestersfriends.co.uk, was launched last year, and Neil said he believed it was the rst of its kind among nancial services organisations. There are many tools on the website to stimulate debate, give advice, help with PR and raise funds for charity.

Sponsorship

Neil announced that the Board has signed a sponsorship deal with the GB Archery team in time for the 2012 Olympics. We are a natural sponsor, he said, referring to the Societys arrow logo, adding: Archery is about inclusion it is one of the few sports in which able-bodied and disabled people can compete on the same turf, and it encourages participation from all abilities and ages. Neil said the deal would not only be good for the promotion of Foresters, but would also open up interest in the Society among the 1,100 archery clubs across the UK.

Independent nancial advisers (IFAs)

Since the last High Court the Society had begun selling via IFAs, and had launched an IFA portal on its website. There are now 400 IFAs on the Societys books, and another IFA group the Society has engaged with has brought another 900 potential IFAs forward.

The Ethical Child Trust Fund

Neil said that following the new coalition Governments decision to stop the Child Trust Fund, the Societys Ethical Child Trust Fund (ECTF) was reluctantly withdrawn from the market in July. The ECTF had been one of the Societys best-selling products. However, an Ethical Child Savings Plan, which builds on the popularity of the ECTF, has just been launched.

Questions, answers & comments

Jenny Ray thought there might be marketing opportunities for Foresters among students at agricultural colleges. Neil said that, by and large, students didnt look at long-term savings, and so it was felt that valuable resources shouldnt be put in this direction. Colin Walker said hed recently taken advantage of the Britannia Hotels offer in a recent issue of The Forester. This was an excellent deal, he felt, and an example of good marketing.

High Court conference 2010


Membership presentation
Marketing Director Neil Armitage said the branches were Foresters USP (Unique Selling Point). No other nancial services organisation has this army of outlets, with such a structure of members, he said. But we have to support and develop the way in which they operate. Twelve Welcome Meetings had been held this year to reignite the more moribund branches to engage new and existing members. He said the member-get-member campaign had been successful and in all, 200 new members were recruited this year using this method. For the rst time, an independent nancial adviser (IFA) had addressed a branch meeting, which had been well received, and it was hoped that more such presentations from IFAs would take place. The rst Branch Secretaries Conference had also been held, and had proved to be successful, with lots of active engagement, debate and sharing ideas. More than 150 delegates were present at the event.

Public relations

Good PR was essential for building brand awareness, and this year Foresters had featured widely in the local and regional press, and on BBC local radio. Branch Secretaries are encouraged to talk to the press via Weber Shandwick, the Societys PR agency.

Branch accreditation programme

This programme was tasked with acceleration a year ago, and today 127 branches have been accredited or recommended for accreditation, with over half of all branches reaching the minimum standard of performance. Member research on the phone revealed just over half of members surveyed didnt get involved in branch activities, and better communication was needed to keep members up-to-date. Neil gave examples of some of the events branches had organised, including quiz nights and visits to pubs, breweries and sporting events. He concluded by saying it was up to branches to deliver member benets locally and always to make sure that members were treated fairly.

Questions, answers & comments

Colin Walker said that his branch didnt pass its rst accreditation this year, which was upsetting but, after a long hard look at themselves, members made changes and eventually passed accreditation. We are now going along the right path, he remarked. Richard Darlington said his branch had experienced a disappointing turnout at a Welcome Meeting, but that they would attempt a similar event again. We have geographical problems, he said, which I believe should be the basis of revising branch structure in the future. Pauline Young pointed out that, while her branch wasnt yet accredited, it would benet from a Welcome Meeting. She asked if this was only open to accredited branches. Neil conrmed that this was currently the position. Sylvia Jones said that, in the past, branch secretaries had to be careful how they spent money, but now it seemed that branches were being told to spend, spend, spend. Neil Armitage answered that it should be more a case of spending effectively, and always treating customers fairly. Trevor Potter described how his recently refurbished branch in Kilburn had opened out to the community, including a group of actors rehearsing a play who had become interested in the Society.

High Court conference 2010


Clarication of the Societys funds structure
Foresters Chief Executive Kevin Dann explained that an in-depth examination of the structure of the Societys funds stemmed from a long-standing consultation between the FSA and mutual insurance companies on the Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS) rules, which determine how funds should be managed.

With Prots

Kevin Dann

The key issue concerns the With Prots funds and the FSA COBS rules as applying to the Societys With Prots policyholders. The FSA appears to want to adopt a one-size-ts-all approach to mutuals, but Foresters has a complex fund structure that takes in with-prot, non-prot and non-insurance business, and treating all members fairly is at the heart of the Society. While the Societys legal advisers believe the COBS rules cannot be readily applied to the Societys funds, Kevin said the fund structure must be claried so that the rights of with-prot and non-prot members are made clear. The upshot is that we need to carry out this clarication exercise. Its not about moving money around, its about being clear regarding what is in what fund and who it belongs to.

Funds structure

The members were taken through the funds structure, fund by fund, explaining what was in each one and whether it constituted with-prot or non-prot business. The totality of assets over all the funds held through Head Ofce was 140m, and within each of those funds there would be a specic surplus. The aim is to clearly identify the specic assets in each fund and inform the FSA that the Society had carried out a thorough review of funds structure. This clarication process had been proposed to the FSA, but its response was still awaited. In response to a question from the oor, regarding the disbanding of the FSA by 2012, as promised by the new Government, the delegates were informed this would mean a different regulator, but essentially the same set of rules. Kevin said that the Societys aim was to reach a clear understanding about the Societys structure, its capital, membership and With Prots funds, as part of the modernisation process that had started in 2001. A show of hands from delegates gave support for the Boards efforts to clarify the structure of the funds and their assets going forward.

High Court conference 2010


Branch Strategy & Benets Workshops
Branch Strategy and Benets workshops were held on the Monday afternoon. When introducing the workshops, Glyn Carpenter said it was paramount that the Society treated members fairly, both now and in the future. The estate we have today is the estate that we inherited, and we have a duty to defend and develop it, he said. There are two key challenges from the FSAs Treating Customers Fairly initiative: (i) How does the Society offer benets on a fair basis? (ii) How does the present system of branch funding support or hinder the ability to treat customers fairly?

Benets

Introducing the Benets workshop, Deputy Chairman Carl Genese said member benets were one of the things that made Foresters unique, but that the level of benets varied according to the wealth of each branch. Was it fair, he said, that someone new to Foresters was assigned to a poor branch, when a rich branch might be established just a few miles away? Cheryl Eagleson then outlined the various benets from branches, demonstrating that while some branches give nothing at all towards, for example, the cost of dental or optical grants, other branches are giving hundreds of pounds per member. The average payout for dental benets was around 360, while optical grants came in at an average of 100 per member. Cheryl asked why a number of branches gave no money at all, and said it was important for them to be aware of the needs and requirements of members. She raised the question about a minimum level of benet around 50 and said it was important to ensure this was affordable for all the Societys branches.

Questions, answers & comments

Enid Webster said she had been a Branch Secretary for more than 30 years, and that it was impossible to make every member claim grants. Richard Darlington suggested a national scheme of discretionary benets that could be claimed through Head Ofce. George Brown wondered how allocating a new member to a branch was decided, to which Kevin Dann replied that it was based on geography, and not on which branch would pay the highest benets. Frank Beech, meanwhile, asked how the Society responded to claimants who were also on tax credits, and who might already be getting benets on dental and optical treatment.

Branch funding

In his introduction, Non-Executive Director John Levett said there was an acceptance of unfairness across the system the question was, how should it be addressed? The way in which branches are funded now means that inactive rich branches get richer, and poorer branches who would like to be more active are restricted by income. He pointed out that 50% of branch funds were held by fewer than 20% of branches. Fifty branches control some 30m, and the rest is shared by the other 200. This, he said, was a good indication of the unfairness of the system. Andrew Pooley said that at the Branch Secretaries Conferences, two ways of fairer funding had been discussed. The rst was a per-person gure based on all members. The second, which was felt to be fairer, was a two-tier interest rate system that would help to generate the income of poorer branches by offering them a more advantageous interest rate. Richer branches would get a lower interest rate and, if they needed extra funds, they would be able to apply to Head Ofce.

High Court conference 2010


Questions, answers & comments
Arthur Lawrence thought the two-tier system was a sensible and practical step forward. Joan Burtrand said her branch was one of the richer ones, and from the 30,000 interest on 500,000 she was able to hand out all kinds of benets to members. If the interest rate was cut, shed have to apply to Head Ofce for the extra money. John Hughes said the only way to achieve fairness was for all members to agree to equal shares. He said: Why should you penalise a richer branch that is doing what it should be doing, and why should poorer ones come cap in hand? Meanwhile, Ken Thomas said he came from a poorer branch that couldnt afford to distribute surplus on a per-member basis because it would bankrupt the branch. Summing up, John Levett said: The Society could not put right what was wrong in the past. What wed like to achieve is something for the benet of all the members of the Society. What we have is unfair, so lets establish a fair system that we are happy with. If you agree with this principle, we will worry about the mechanics and ensure it operates fairly and in the interests of all the members.

Summary of Branch Strategy & Benets workshops

Kevin Dann introduced the Discretionary Benets summary. The points made included: 1. Members cannot be made to claim benets on offer. 2. Better-off branches should help less well-off branches. 3. Funds belong to members, not branches. 4. Members are pleased the Board is acting on the agenda, but they need guidance. 5. There are concerns about the membership fee and the level of benets ie, a new member who pays the 25 fee could immediately claim much more than that in benets. 6. Should lifelong memberships have a qualication period? 7. There should be a minimum level of grant, but not a maximum. 8. There are concerns that member allocations could have an impact on affordability ie, gaining lots of new members in one branch could put pressure on its nances. 9. 25 seems to be right as a minimum grant. 10. There are some concerns about grant-claiming members who also get non-Society benets, such as Child Tax Credits. 11. The benets themselves need much better promotion. 12. Benets are discretionary, and not an entitlement. 13. There is an agreed need to treat customers fairly. Summing up, Kevin said the focus should be on fair, and there is a demonstrably clear need for help from members. He said there was agreement that a minimum level of benet should be set, but added that all branches should participate zero participation from some branches, which is the case at the moment, should not happen. Neil Armitage summarised the points made at the workshops. These included: 1. The principle of Treating Customers Fairly is applied within branches, but not across the Society. 2. The current system of branch funding is unfair. 3. Some delegates favoured a system of income level to be determined on a per member basis. However, there was more support for a two-tiered interest rates system which gives greater support to poorer branches. Even so, a minority argued that this penalised wealthier branches who were doing everything right. 4. It was agreed that the members are the custodians of the capital. 5. Members need more clarication over how capital will not be eroded by ination. 6. Geographical issues have affected levels of income. 7. Branch practices vary and need to be standardised.

High Court conference 2010


Benevolence Working Group
Jim Launchbury said the job of the Benevolence Working Group is to review the Societys internal benevolence fund and make sure that it is relevant and appropriate to members needs. For example, members have beneted over the years from the 150th Anniversary Educational Fund, and new applications had been submitted this year. Jim then talked about the idea of a permanent war memorial, to be paid for by the Society, to honour those members lost in the two world wars and subsequent conicts. Jim said the Royal British Legion had suggested a memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum near Licheld, Staffordshire, which he had himself visited. After enquiries, it was established that a memorial made of granite, featuring an inscription and a memorial bench sited nearby, would be the best option at a cost of between 20,000-25,000. A show of hands from delegates voted in favour of a memorial. Richard Darlington came forward to speak about the Convalescent Home Fund, and the situation following the closure of the Friendly Societies Convalescent Home in Herne Bay. He said the downturn in the number of guests was below what was required to keep it open, and it closed on 30 October last year. Two independent valuations estimated the homes value at around 1.5m, and some weeks ago it was sold to Age Concern Herne Bay for the asking price. Richard said the homes trustees had submitted a new scheme to the Charity Commission about managing funds from the sale, which would enable nancial grants for members going into convalescence. Jim Launchbury said other homes had been looked at for members convalescence, but these were more expensive than the established homes at Bridlington (still operating) and Herne Bay. Jim also mentioned that the High Court Relief Fund was to be renamed Foresters Support Fund.

Questions, answers & comments

Colin Walker urged everyone with children or grandchildren to apply for funding under the Educational Fund. Sylvia Jones said her eldest granddaughter had just graduated with a 2:1 degree and had got a grant from Foresters to help her with day-to-day maintenance. Plus, Ken Houghton suggested that the Society should do something for todays soldiers, particularly those whod been wounded in the Afghanistan conict.

High Court conference 2010


General question & answer session
Alan Dewick asked about the reasons for High Court moving to June next year. He said the Board put forward the idea that people with children would be able to attend, adding that this was exactly when exam periods were, making it hard to get away. Glyn Carpenter said the main reason was for the earlier presentation of accounts to members. Jason Dabney supported the moving of High Court to a weekend, so that holidays and time spent with children would not need to be unnecessarily eaten into. Shirley Brown asked if it was possible to axe the High Court dinner on the Monday evening, given the difcult nancial times. Kevin Dann said the Board needed to consider the cost of the High Court in its totality, and how not to incur the costs of the past. He pointed out that over the past 10 years, High Court costs could total as much as 5m. George Brown said it would be wrong to cut too deeply into the High Court costs. I urge you all to maintain the format we have now, he said, as its the only occasion we get together and meet people. The Board was asked how much the sponsorship of Team GB Archery cost. Neil Armitage said he was bound by a condentiality agreement on that point, and that the information was commercially sensitive. He added that the deal was very good value for money. Alan Blake asked for an update about the potential risks to the Society of not being properly insured in terms of property. His question was prompted by an incident in a branch-owned property which resulted in the death of a tenant. Chief Executive Kevin Dann informed the delegates that a civil claim had been made by the estate of the deceased tenant, and there was a criminal investigation by the Health and Safety Executive underway. He said: I want to highlight this risk if youre a branch and own branch properties then you are responsible for the application of and adherence to rules and regulations pertaining to that property. If something goes wrong, the liability rests with trustees. Kevin added that the Board would have to consider whether it was an acceptable risk that branches should hold their own property. I would urge branch secretaries and trustees who are responsible for properties to consider where we go from here, he said. This is a very serious issue. Frank Beech said his branch owned property and asked whether there was any insurance they could take out against criminal liability. Kevin advised that it wasnt possible to insure against criminal liability, and that if branches didnt comply with the terms of their existing insurance they would be liable for a claim. Malcolm Prechner said he was bewildered, because he thought that after incorporation, all liability for properties was handled by Head Ofce. He added: After hearing what Kevin has said, I think it extremely dangerous in relation to branches being responsible for properties. I think we should be looking at this because I imagine there are a lot of trustees who are uncertain of their responsibilities, and this has thrown up the dangers that we could nd ourselves in. Daphne OConnell asked whether the Board made sure that Board-owned properties had the right insurance policies. Paul Osborn said all Board-owned properties were managed by property managers and, as part of their contract, they have to ensure they comply with all current legislation. Glyn Carpenter reiterated that branches could not insure against negligence, adding: If someone is negligent, the Society is not in a position to stand behind them.

AGM 2010
Opening of formal AGM
High Chief Ranger Jim Launchbury formally opened the proceedings. The Church Service on Sunday had raised 743.08, and the rafe on Monday evening had raised 1,948.50, which will be added to the High Chief Rangers charity appeal for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. The total number of delegates present was 399. Conrmation of the Minutes of High Court 2009 held in Manchester was acknowledged.

Conrmation of Appointments
Panel members for the Arbitration Tribunal I Anderson, P Armitt, P Ayres, C Bamford, J Barry, M Boxall, C Burrow, P Burrows, P Chase, H Cleghorn, L Clements, R Cooper, C Connon, J Connor, J Crossley, R Darlington, T Digweed, R Farmers, J Figg, C Finch, R Finch, C Fox, D Frost, J Frost, J Hall, D Harman, D Hanrahan, D Hathorn, B Hennegan, R Henson, A Hewlett, E Hext, T Hillman, J Hopkins, P Jeffcott, SJ Jones, N Kiernan, J Langley-Pratt, S Larsen, A Lawrence, H Lightfoot, P Mills, L Morgan, P Morgan, E Napier, R Newman, D OConnell, D Pack, T Postlethwaite, M Prechner, R Rapley, J Ray, S Reynolds, K Roberts, D Salmon, P Saunders, B Smith, B Smith, I Smith, T Smith, J Springham, K Strudwick, P Syrett, J Taylor, K Turner, I Wallman, B Watson, G Webber, T Webster, J Wills, R Withrington, J Woodall. All appointments were carried. Members for a portrait in Miscellany F Bryant, K Demby, M Holt, R Malin, R Morris, S Reynolds were conrmed as the subjects of portraits to be published in Foresters Friendly Societys Miscellany publication. Tellers: R Causton, A Healey, C Pointon, M Prechner, D Smith, I Smith, J Springham.

AGM 2010
Financial Reports
Report and Accounts 2009
Paul Osborn presented his report during the High Court Conference on Monday. There were no further questions on the Report and Accounts. The Report and Accounts were received by the meeting.

Auditors Report

Glyn Carpenter introduced the Auditors Report and informed the delegation that this year the Societys auditors BDO were not in attendance, therefore saving the Society a considerable sum of money. He said the report was detailed in the accounts and it had shown no concerns. The Audit and Risk Committee Chairman Kathryn Vagneur then gave a brief presentation on the risk aspects of the committees work. She gave the illustration of a car with its wheels coming off, and said the job of the committee was to put work processes in place to prevent that happening. There are macro-economic issues we face, which we cant do much about. But we can look at the way we respond to the macro environment, she said. If the economy did experience a double dip recession, the committee would have to consider spending less on High Court, as well as reducing management costs and freezing salaries. 240 per minute was spent on High Court, therefore: When we ask you to be brief in comments, perhaps youll understand were doing it for the benet of the Society. Kathryn explained that the cost of regulation was going through the roof, especially with the FSAs new, impending, EU Solvency II regulations. Regulatory risk is one of our big risks, and if we get it wrong were out of business. It is vitally important that when we put issues in front of you about regulation you realise that were doing it because we must. Your understanding, help and openness to new ideas is very welcome. Kathryn dened the auditors opinion, stating that it was a true and fair view of an imprecise science called nancial accounting for insurance and praised Finance Director Paul Osborn for making clear the Societys current nancial position. The Auditors Report on the Annual Accounts and the Directors Report for the year ended 31 December 2009 were approved.

Remuneration Report

The Remuneration Report was approved as set out in the Report and Accounts 2009.

Appointment of Auditor

It was approved that BDO Stoy Hayward be appointed as auditors for the 2009 year end and that its remuneration would be agreed with the Board.

AGM 2010
Rule Changes & Propositions
The following Rule Changes were then considered by delegates: 1.  The Amendment by Court Tunstall No 1839 to the Boards proposition in respect of delegate numbers at High Court was carried and the proposition, as amended, was carried. 2.  The Boards proposed rule change in respect of enabling it to recruit and remunerate sub-committee members was carried. 3.  The proposed rule change enabling the Board to determine when a vacancy exists on the Board was carried. 4.  The Boards proposed rule change to correct an incorrect cross reference in Rule 13 was carried. 5.  The Boards amendment to the proposition from Court Pride of Reading No 4961 concerning certain procedures relating to elections to the Board was carried and the proposition, as amended, was carried. 6.  The Boards amendment to the proposition from Court Pride of Reading No 4961 concerning Board candidates addressing High Court was carried, but the proposition, as amended, was lost. 7. The Boards proposed amendment to Rule 13.5 was carried. 8.  The Boards amendment to the proposition from Court Pride of Reading No 4961 concerning certain procedures relating to the electing of High Chief Ranger and High-Sub-Chief Ranger was carried, but the proposition, as amended, was lost. 9.  The Boards proposed rule change to correct an incorrect cross-reference in Rule 23 was carried. The following Miscellaneous Propositions from the Board were then carried: 10.  That the incoming Board be authorised to make a call upon each branch for payment of a levy of 7p per 100 of the total funds shown on the last annual return received at Head Ofce. Such a levy is to be remitted to Head Ofce or deducted from the Courts Investment Fund Account by no later than 1 June 2011, for credit to the Convalescent Home Benet Fund. 11.  That in 2010 the Board be authorised to pay 2,750 to the Yorkshire Foresters Convalescent Home. 12. That in 2010 the Board be authorised to pay 2,750 to the Foresters Home, Bexleyheath. 13.  That in 2010 the Board be authorised to pay 2,750 to the Portsmouth and District Friendly Societies Homes, Portsmouth. 14.  That the basic annual remuneration of every Non-Executive Director on the Board for the year commencing 14 September 2010 shall be 12,600. 15.  That the additional annual remuneration of the High Chief Ranger for the year commencing 14 September 2010, if also a Non-Executive Director on the Board, shall be 3,250. 16.  That the remuneration of the High Chief Ranger for the period commencing 14 September 2010, if not also a Non-Executive Director, shall be 5,250. 17.  That the remuneration of the High Sub-Chief Ranger for the period commencing 14 September 2010, if also a Non-Executive Director, shall be 2,750. 18.  That the annual remuneration for the Chairman for the year commencing 14 September 2010, shall be 21,000. 19.  That the annual remuneration of the Deputy Chairman for the year commencing 14 September 2010, shall be 15,250. 20.  That should it be found necessary to co-opt a Non-Executive Director with specialised professional skills, knowledge or expertise, then the Board be permitted to agree remuneration of up to 18,900 per annum with the individual concerned. The following Miscellaneous Proposition from Courts was then considered: 21.  The proposition from Court Crowood No 4644, that the High Court should be addressed by the candidates for election to High Sub-Chief Ranger prior to the commencement of voting, was carried.

AGM 2010
Election & installation of ofcers
Election of Ofcers
Glyn Carpenter, Carl Genese, Tony Lovell and Penny ONions all submitted themselves for re-election to the Board, and all candidates were re-elected with more than 75% support from the delegates.

High Chief Ranger

John Hughes and Enid Webster then ofcially nominated Michael Grealy as High Chief Ranger for 2010/11. Enid said she rst met Michael around 30 years ago. He had been Chief Ranger to both the Manchester and Leeds districts at the same time and had proven himself to be loyal and trustworthy, and never boastful or insincere. Michael said he couldnt put into words what an absolute honour and privilege it was to be High Chief Ranger. He said hed enjoyed working with Jim and Janet Launchbury, and was now looking forward to meeting as many Foresters members as possible

Election of the High Sub-Chief Ranger

Nominations were invited for the ofce of High Sub-Chief Ranger and, in accordance with Society Rules, the names of Richard Darlington, Andrew Pooley and Jenny Ray were put forward. Three hundred and ninety nine ballot papers were issued and there were 396 papers in the box. One was rejected for voting for more than one candidate, so a total of 395 delegates voted. The results were: Richard Darlington 246 Andrew Pooley 100 Jenny Ray 49 Richard Darlington was duly elected High Sub-Chief Ranger for 2010-2011. Richard thanked delegates for voting for him.

High Chief Rangers charity appeal

Outgoing High Chief Ranger Jim Launchbury spoke about fundraising efforts for his chosen charity, the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society. The initial target for the appeal was 37,000, which would pay for new literature, a CD and a DVD for those newly diagnosed with MS. However, that was well exceeded and the amount raised now stands at 67,000 a magnicent effort. The extra money will be used to fund the MS Societys grant programme, which aims to fully fund applications for various needs. Incoming High Chief Ranger Michael Grealy announced that the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions Train One, Save Many appeal for the training of new crew members, would be his chosen charity for his term in ofce. He introduced Patrick Crowe, from the RNLI, who gave a short presentation with Matt Tyler, a working lifeboatman from the Torbay Lifeboat Station.

Installation of the High Chief Ranger & High Sub-Chief Ranger

To formally close the conference, Michael Grealy was presented with the High Chief Rangers chain by Jim Launchbury and ofcially installed as High Chief Ranger, to serve until June 2011. This concluded the formal business of the AGM.

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