Page 16 - July 2017
P. 16

From the Clerk
Steven Tamcken
Wow, another year has come and gone in what feels to be a blink of an eye. It seems only last week that I was sitting at my laptop writing out my report for Common Hall 2017.
Firstly, may I pay tribute to the Master and Mistress Firefighter, John and Lesley Mansfield, for their dedication and the amount of effort that they have put in over the last year with regards to the Worshipful Company of Firefighters. I know that the Master has attended over 100 events on behalf of the Company and the Mistress has also been very active on the now firmly established Consort’s Circuit.
Whilst sounding like an Oscar winner, may I also take this opportunity to thank the Wardens’, Court of Assistants, Chairmen and members of the various Committees, the other Company Officers and the members of the back-room staff in the office for their support and assistance during this, our 30th year.
As we enter this period of change, nationally with Brexit, the change of the Civic Team in the City, and more importantly within the
Company, I feel that it may be a goodtimetoreflectonwhetherthe Company is still; to use Business parlance:FitforPurpose?,Actively engaging with the membership?, Value for money?, or does it need to change / adapt / evolve?, re- engage with its members?, look at how to be better value?, any of the above, some of the above or all of the above.
I cannot give you any answers for the above questions, all I can do as your Clerk is to give pointers, suggestions and advice to those Committees and Individuals that will have to make them.
What I can say without sounding like our Honourable Treasurer or Chairman of the Finance Committee is that the Company has at present, approximately 200 members, however our Formal and Civic events can only see approximately a 2 – 20% take up, for a good example - look around you today, this event is arguably the most important in the Company’s annual calendar, yet there are only approximately 30 members here, with another 40 giving apologies. A total of 35% replies and a take-up of 15%.
I know that in this room today, I am “preaching to the converted”, but this report is also being published in the next edition of the Salamander and therefore to all members of the company, and it is to the wider audience that I am really speaking to.
But seriously, the Company needs to..., NO MUST, find a way of re- engaging with our membership so that all our events, not just the Formal and Civic events are over- subscribed all the time!
Equally, the Charitable Trust need to ensure that members remember one of their first agreements with the Company, that of charitable giving. To put it bluntly, without your donations into the Trust, the Trustees will not be able to
discharge their duty on behalf of the Company and assist those in greater need and less able than ourselves, and again attendance at the Company’s Charitable events are to say the least disappointing, as is the percentage of members regularly donating.
Again, to use business terminology, where is the Company’s 5 or 10 -year strategy plan, does it need one? Where do we see the Company at the end of that period?
Would this be a good time to look into a small but efficient working group to give the Company a Root and Branch review and set up a strategy and policy that Court could approve and which would enable us to go forward, whilst keeping in touch with the original Aims and Objectives of the Company.
As many, if not all of you are aware, the Company has had to change, we are holding what will most probably be our last Common Hall in the magnificent surrounding of the Great Hall of Insurance Hall.
As from 2019 we shall most probably be holding most of our Company events in our new home of the Wax Chandlers’ Hall, or elsewhere.
The Office after many years has had to leave Insurance Hall and is almost back up to speed and hopefully giving the membership a good service. If not please let us know, it is the only way that we can try to improve our service to you all.
But these changes also mean that the Company will need to modify it’s thinking when it comes to meetings. Committees are initially planned to be in the Clerk’s Office, the Management Board and Court, will have either to be more flexible with dates / times or venues, to enable the
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