The Membership Communications sub-group will be road-testing a new Subscriptions payment system this year, ready for rolling out in 2020. Current difficulties in matching subscription payments with members, capturing individual communication preferences and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will be improved with an extension to the existing membership database. A “bolt-on” programme will save District Treasurers/Secretaries (and the Association Treasurer) a great deal of manual work when dealing with subscription renewals.

From 2020 it is envisaged that members will each be responsible for renewing their own membership online (or through a local buddy system), making payment direct to the Association’s Subscription account and checking/amending their own data entry, communication preferences and GDPR consent. These changes will ensure accurate, up to date membership information and communication preferences to enable direct communication with those members who request it and that is compliant with GDPR. Various issues already raised include how to help “non-computerised” members, how to record parental consent for Under 18’s, having a choice of payment methods, whether to allow self-nomination to a tower (or to none), and Life members will use any system. District Representatives have been asked to feedback to the General Committee in April the views of members on how to make the proposed changes work smoothly for all members.

The Association Bookstall & other items for sale to members were considered to need better publicity with stock information and purchase arrangements available online. A report and case to be made for existing stock was needed before further purchases of stock were considered, although the new Doves’ Guide may be available to order through KCACR. Purchase enquiries, orders, suggestions or offers of help with this income-generating activity of the Association should be directed to Catherine Lewis Tel: 01959 563767

The issue of Insurance and Dementia has been raised with the Association’s insurers who recommend that Risk Assessments be carried out. The Chairman recommended these are done sensitively and should a member be considered unsafe to continue ringing, then why not try to include them in non-ringing events with the band or District.

Safeguarding Policy information on the Association’s website will in future be easier to find with a “quick tab” and the Code of Practice will also be reviewed. Safeguarding Training courses are being planned through Canterbury Diocese in the east and west of the county. Safeguarding Officer, Nigel Spencer, will not be standing for election at the 2019 AGM, so a member with appropriate training or skills in this area will need to be found to take on this important role.

Kent Mobile Ring (KMR) preferred contractor was agreed by the General Committee as Matthew Higby (who could begin work in April 2020) if members agreed with the detailed proposals and costs to be reported on at the AGM 2019.

The Treasurer had not received timely or full information from some Districts on subscription and other income receipts, to enable the closure of the 2018 accounts. This was preventing the drawing up of the necessary Accounts Reports for printing in the Handbook. In future any funds paid into the Association will need to be accompanied by a form to annotate exactly what the amount represents. A copy of the Treasurer Receipt Form will be available to download from the Association Website (PDF or DOCX)

A wide variance in levels of expenditure and activity amongst districts was noted. One difference was whether a district had a Newsletter and if so whether it was funded by income from sales or else Association funds were used to print it. Most district newsletters were now available online, obviating the need for print costs. The Finance Group will work on a financial structure for the Association to ensure accountability across the districts and to provide clarity with an expenses policy.

As advised last year, the Treasurer will be standing down at this year’s AGM. Nominations for Treasurer or any other officer of the Association should be sent to the General Secretary by email. A Nomination form is available to download from the Association website (PDF or DOCX).

Four Training events have been set up by David Grimwood and are to be run by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART). Full details and booking form is available on https://smartringer.org/public/daycourses/ The first on 30th March has already sold out. , Module 2C (teaching elementary change ringing) is at Dover on 25th May, Module 1 (teaching bell handling) at Higham on 22nd June and Module 2C at Staplehurst on 24th August.

Kent Young Ringers have been very active and making excellent progress in their ringing abilities – see their reports on https://kcacr.org.uk/kent-young-ringers/news/ Jen Thomas, is guiding their preparations to take part in The Ringing World National Youth Contest in Liverpool in July and Inter-district Striking Contest in November. Kent is also hosting the SEECON competition in April. The General Committee agreed to allocate a budget of £2,500 to assist Young Ringers to attend and host these important ringing events for young people. The Kent Young Ringers will be featured in the April issue of the Kent Living Magazine. They were also featured on Blue Peter in January and more recently on Channel 5 and had an article printed in The Times.

Details of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR) AGM in London on 7th September 2019 have now been published see https://cccbr.org.uk/2019/02/27/london-2019-annual-meeting-accommodation-booking-now-open/ All ringers are welcome to take part in the weekend of events. KCACR has five representatives who are entitled to vote at the AGM.

Various Bell Restoration projects have been undertaken by Brian Butcher and his “heavy gang”. Full reports are available at https://kcacr.org.uk/association/bell-restoration/ The Association Trailer and Bell Restoration Equipment will in future be stored in a locked compound at a cost of £250 per annum. The issue of Professional Indemnity Insurance Cover is being explored with the Association Insurers. A grant of £3,000 has been agreed towards an improved sound control system for Maidstone All Saints.

The Handbook for 2019 is being prepared by Doug Davis with the membership information populated direct from the Association Membership Database. Some reports for the Handbook also remained outstanding with the copy deadline approaching. A quote for printing 500 copies of the Handbook was accepted at £695. Doug has confirmed he is willing to continue as Handbook Editor.

The Agenda for the AGM on 22nd April 2019 is being drafted by the General Secretary. If any member has a specific item for discussion at the AGM or wishes to nominate a member for election to the General Committee, please notify the General Secretary by email. Officer Nomination forms available here (PDF or DOCX). The Canterbury District will shortly be publishing on the Association website full details of the AGM ringing routes, lunch and meeting location.

Feedback from discussions amongst members on the proposal to change the date of the AGM 2020 were considered by the General Committee. Equally valid viewpoints both for and against were put. Lewisham, as the 2020 host district, had concerns about traffic and availability of accommodation on a Saturday. It was agreed that the AGM 2020 should remain on Easter Monday, 13th April. It was suggested that a different date could be piloted in future, perhaps in 2021, as some were open to change.

The Association Library & Archive contained some 50 boxes of Peal records, committee minutes and other valuable historical material. Hazel Basford who has maintained and catalogued these records for many years, would like to work with a group of others to look into possibilities for the future security of the archive. Appropriately skilled people would be needed to draw up an acquisitions policy, consider insurance, create an online catalogue and prepare information for the website. Any member who is interested in assisting with this valuable work should please contact the General Secretary by email.

Sue Bassett
General Secretary
Email: gensec@kcacr.org.uk
25th February 2019

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