In the first two months as president I have gone to Budapest to support and encourage our teams but this was not enough for them to reach medal positions. The venue was excellent and it all went like clockwork.

However I did note that a number of teams were sponsored and had their shirts/blouses with the sponsor’s names on them.

I was also attending as delegate for Scotland at the European Bridge League for a meeting on the 23rd June for a report on the cheating problem.

Unfortunately the WBF and EBL don’t seem to have any agreement on the treatment of those found guilty of cheating though one delegate advised me that an agreement had been reached but it was just not being used. So far the cheating legal actions have cost the EBL over €100,000.

The main item at the AGM was changes to the constitution which were passed without any objection. Two years accounts were also presented and I felt the expenses showed the generosity of EBL to the delegates. All meetings I have attended to date have had a meal plus unlimited wine and a further cocktail party for delegates and partners.

I then came home to our wonderful Scottish weather after a lovely (32-35) sunny Budapest.

On the 13th July we held our first full meeting of our new and reduced Council, which went very well. All items were dealt with before we were chased out of the room.

The main items covered at our meeting:

Member services - we are losing the services of our programmer for Mempad and are currently looking for a replacement to handle the site. Fortunately, there is not much development work to be done.

A major review of the master-point handbook has been approved. This has achieved consistency taking into account lower entry levels.

Ann Wickens has resigned from the education committee and will have to be replaced. Ann has done a tremendous amount of work and expanded the remit of the education committee to the extent that it was felt it was too much for one person. Our thanks are due to Ann for her excellent service. The education convener’s task is now expanded and it might be easier divided into three parts.

Finance is improving with a surplus forecast for next year.  It appears we may have a liability to corporation tax and we are consulting our accountants on this matter.

There was a discussion on financing our national teams and the selection committee will consider it further.  We must take into account where the competitions are being held rather than have a fixed amount per team as costs of accommodation and flights vary.

A new master-point rank of Regional Master immediately below Scottish Master will be introduced from 1st September requiring 100 points with at least 25 to be red. These players will be deemed silver.

It was agreed we should record psychic bids for events run by the SBU from1st September.

It was agreed that information will be sent to all districts via the chairs in order that the district committees may comment on the items. We will try to issue information on forthcoming items up for discussion at council meetings at least a week prior to the meeting.

On a different subject Irene & I went to the Peebles congress full of trepidation based on our last visit but the hotel seems to have got its act together assisted by Joan’s promptings. All was well, with the food of a good standard and much improved service. I do recommend going if you can in October or December.

 Ian Hunter

PS We are still looking for someone in the SBU that has some experience of marketing.