Cirencester U3A
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From the Chairman

April 1st was the start of our new financial and membership year and Richard tells me that 45% of our members have renewed to date. Over the years that I have been involved with the Committee, it has been a hard and quite time-consuming slog for the Membership Secretary to chase up and remind members to renew. The introduction this year of direct payment into the Lloyds bank account has made renewal very easy but you do need your membership number. This has either been emailed to you if you are on email, or you will find it on the address label of your Newsletter. Please do try to ensure that you renew this month. If you no longer wish to renew your membership then please also let the Membership Secretary know so that he does not spend effort contacting you.

In March, Rachel Ward and I attended the bi-annual meeting of the Cotswold Link. This time it was held in Droitwich which was a bit of a slog, but these meetings are always productive and raise important issues. This particular meeting was attended by the Chairman of U3A together with a full time member of the National Office staff. The NEC Committee has been dealing with some head scratching legal issues which our own Committee will have to address in the coming months. One of the issues will be raised at the AGM which is the adoption of a resolution, instigated by the Charity Commission concerning the purpose of U3As and our charitable status. An EGM was held in Nottingham in March and the resolution was adopted for the NEC. At our AGM we shall be asking you to accept this same statement for inclusion in our constitution. Failure to adopt this measure may mean that we lose our Charitable status. These legal matters are not what we joined U3A for at a local level but they are essential.

Another issue which is likely to affect all members is the issue of Data Protection. Obviously we hold a simple database of all members’ addresses. This is not shared with anyone other than National Office who absolutely do not share/sell to any other agency. The new Data Protection Act will involve us and the details which we hold. Currently several members of the Committee are trying to establish what our responsibilities are. Tony Natt will attend a meeting in Birmingham and Rachel Ward will attend a meeting in Leatherhead, both of which have been arranged by National Office to address all matters legal. It seems very likely that we shall have to contact you all to ask if we can hold your data. If this happens, PLEASE, do not ignore our request. It will be another headache which your hardworking Committee will have to deal with.

Another matter which arose at the Cotswold Link meeting was the issue of Insurance. We repeatedly state that one of the most important reasons for prompt renewal of membership is so that you are covered by Insurance. Whilst we do not know of anyone in Cirencester U3A ever having made a claim, that is not to say that an accident will not happen. We all renew our car Insurance and house insurance promptly, though none of us expects to have to make a claim. Please help us by making renewal a priority this month.

In the March Newsletter I asked people to consider coming forward to sit on the Committee. One person, a new member, has come forward but we would still like at least one more. Clearly from what I have said there are some busy times ahead for the trustees on the Committee and we would welcome people who can assist.

Liz Dancer

We are delighted to welcome a further 30 new members this month

Forthcoming meetings-

May 15th - AGM & a talk on the Corinium Museum and Future Developments - Amanda Hart

June 19th - The Ifakara Bakery Project and the free bread funds - Margaret & Eugene Schellenberg

See the Events Diaryfor a more detailed list of meetings

Meetings held in the Ashcroft Centre, at 2.30 pm on the third Tuesday of the month unless otherwise stated.

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