A message from Capt. Christian Nicholson, Chairman of UKAF ACO.
I wish to add a little meat to the bones of the original calling for votes on association subscription fees and the proposed amendment to the constitution. I have had a number of contacts regarding the issue (both for and against) and I hope bringing the full detail to your attention may inform your decision. I will of course start by saying this is YOUR decision for YOUR association. It is only due to the matter being raised for the 2nd consecutive year that we put it out to vote.
The proposed sum for subscription will be £10 per annum. I hope you will all agree, not an awful lot of money and in line, or below, many other county associations. But why pay and what do you get?
The subscription monies will be used in many ways to benefit your association and you directly. Despite being fortunate to benefit from Avon Protection sponsorship, UKAF ACO has a number of outgoings to support its membership. The addition of subscription allows your committee to continue to support you. So, where will it go:
1. Development and training, other than Stage 1 Umpire and Intro to scoring (e-learning), will attract a yet to be decided amount of financial subsidy but I would think it will be equal to the subscription. We absolutely want to encourage our members to develop and elevate (and we have never been in a better position to do so) and this is one way of doing it. So by attending and completing a qualification, any official’s qualification, you will have made your subscription fee back.
2. Clothing support is the main area (and one you all rightly request). Exact detail is yet to be firmed up but my vision is that it will look like:
Umpire onfield shirt on joining
Scorer fleece or gilet on joining
Umpire onfield hat band on joining
Umpire and scorer UKAF polo shirt on joining
Of course, all of the above is UKAF ACO and Avon protection branded equipment. Further to that will be a 50% subsidy on further UKAF ACO branded clothing from the DF catalogue to all members (from a select list,i.e. we won’t be subsidising ECB ACO socks!). Far more than we have ever offered previously and significantly more than any other civilian ACO, that I am aware of! I have yet to have the discussion with Sec UKAFSB but I hope that Development and full UKAF panel officials will also be given a UKAF ACO tie (on elevation to Dev) and a UKAF ACO blazer when joining the full panel. But none of that comes cheap.
3. We have managed to alleviate the issue with regard to payment of officials, namely today I confirmed with UKAFSB that we will control all our funds. Particularly we will now pay travel expenses to our civilian members who support us by being a part of the committee when they attend planned meetings; a long overdue matter. There are many civilians (and retired serving members) that support us through committee membership and I believe it is only right they are remunerated for their sterling efforts on your behalf.
4. Paid up members will also receive a discount on the cost of the now annual AGM and dinner that matches the subscription.
5. A side benefit in the management of UKAF ACO is that we will be able to know exactly who is a current and active member. This allows us to accurately forecast clothing issue, appointments, voting numbers, development and performance of all officials as well as focussing efforts in the future on those that wish to be bothered by our communication!
All that, for £10 a year.
Again, this is YOUR vote for YOUR association and I in NO WAY wish to try and sway your decision; I hope you all know me well enough that I simply do not operate in such a way. I merely wish to ensure you have all the facts behind the question to allow you to make a fully informed decision. Please let Alex have your decision by Friday 4 May ( a further week for your thoughts), be that via email, text or phone call. I will be in touch after that date with the responses and the outcome and how we will move forward, whichever way it may go.
Thank you for your time and please do get in touch with any further questions in the meantime.