Report from Council - July 2014
It gives me great pleasure to provide my first report from Council as your new President. My first meeting has been described by some as a baptism of fire but I regard robust debate as healthy within any democratic organisation and would have been disappointed if there hadn't been a number of differing views expressed on some of the more sensitive issues on our agenda. The key thing for me is the enthusiasm and dedication of your elected delegates and how they all rally round behind the majority decisions.
The first thing I wanted to achieve is to make all our members aware of the structure of Council's various committees and which delegates serve on each one of these - this can now be seen from the structure chart which has been posted on the Admin section of our website. Committee conveners will be submitting their draft action plans to an Executive Committee meeting in September - once these are agreed by Council in November, they will form the basis for development activity during 2014/15 and beyond. Executive Committee will also be examining in more detail the recommendations of the working party report into Council's future structure and will be developing their own action plans to address the issues raised.
Three Scottish teams (open, women and seniors) recently participated in the European Bridge Championships in Croatia - although it is fair to say that their results were a little disappointing, it only goes to show how fierce the competition is at this level and further emphasises the magnificent achievements of our medal-winning senior team in Dublin in 2012
Council's main focus for now is the Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship which is to be held in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow from 8-14 September - please have a look on our dedicated website at www.commonwealthbridgescotland.com to see how this is shaping up. This will be the highest profile bridge event ever to have been held in Scotland and Fiona Greenwood and her team are doing a great job of bringing it to fruition. They urgently need the help of volunteers in the following areas:
- Airport meet & greet
- BBO operators (training provided)
- Board dealing
- Information desk
- Venue set-up
- Accommodation (for volunteers from outside Glasgow)
Volunteers are vital to the smooth running of the event and I would urge you to get in touch with Fiona or myself if you feel you can help in any way, even if it's only for a few hours.
As agreed at our Annual General Meeting, an independent review of MEMPAD is to be carried out to ensure that its continued development accurately reflects the needs of our members and that cost/benefit procedures are sufficiently robust. Sandy Duncan has kindly agreed to undertake this review and we are currently working on his terms of reference - please feel free to share your thoughts with Sandy.
While some clubs are closed during the summer months, others are already starting to collect members' subscriptions for 2014/15. Club officials are reminded that SBU subscriptions should be recorded on MEMPAD as soon as possible after each payment has been received and the funds subsequently forwarded to the SBU Treasurer for confirmation - most club officials seemed to cope extremely well with the new system last year but, if further guidance is required, this can be found in the secretaries' and treasurers' guides which can be found through MEMPAD's help tab on www.mempad.co.uk.
During August, members' diaries will be distributed through Districts and then on through your home club - if you don't receive yours, please ask your club secretary to chase this up on your behalf. This year, the diary will replace the Competition Handbook. Another change for 2014/15 is that entries for national tournaments will be collated by a central convener, Cathy Ferguson.
Finally, may I extend to you all my best wishes for an enjoyable season. I am planning to attend as many events as I can and hope to meet as many members as possible. If, however, I don't have an opportunity to meet you face-to-face, please don't hesitate to drop me a note with your views on any bridge-related issue - I welcome feedback and will do my best to answer any points raised as openly and honestly as I can.