Annual general meeting. Sample containing about 13735 words speech recorded in business context

7 speakers recorded by respondent number C560

PS4EU X m (President, age unknown, no further information given) unspecified
PS4EV X u (No name, age unknown, treasurer, no further information given) unspecified
PS4EW X f (Judy, age unknown, no further information given) unspecified
PS4EX X f (Samantha, age unknown, no further information given) unspecified
PS4EY X m (Simon, age unknown, no further information given) unspecified
JNKPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
JNKPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 119601 recorded on 1991-11-22. LocationGreater London: Central London ( Centrepoint ) Activity: meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [1] Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
[2] I think it's slightly after the witching hour, so that I think we should begin.
[3] May I first welcome you all here.
[4] It's very good to see you, and er, I hope the day will be fruitful for all of us.
[5] Can I begin by making er er couple of apologies.
[6] Our Chairman.
[7] Geoffrey is recuperating from er er an operation on his back, and Barbara , although not here this morning, hopefully may well be here this afternoon, but she's been incapacitated by a fall which er, broke her leg.
[8] And I'm sure that er, you would wish me, er, hope they both get well very soon, as I say, Barbara hopefully will be here er, this afternoon.
[9] Erm, it's been an important year for us, and I think that, you may recall that last year we talked a bit about the Nathan report, and er, if you look at the Directors er, report, you will see that quite a lot of the work that we talked about and was in the Nathan report, is now under way, and I think it's very important.
[10] Er, our importance has er, frankly now been recognised by the Prime Minister, who talked about the voluntary organisations not very long ago and referred to us as cement, which holds society together, and I think if that's right, and hopefully, the government may take a bit more notice of us.
[11] Erm, because of the Nathan reports, I mentioned to you last year, we're going to have to raise more money than we thought sometime ago.
[12] And, I'd like to say that er, Diana er er, has been extremely helpful, and I've given her a bit of he aid, in trying to raise that kind of money.
[13] As you know our er Director left er, in the middle of the year.
[14] Usha, and er I'd like, on your behalf, to thank you for all she did, and to wish her well in whatever else she decides to do.
[15] Er, we have in her place, Judy, whose sitting here and I know that every official, and I hope yourselves, will give her all the support that she will need in this job and to say to her, your very welcome, and I know we're going to enjoy having you with us.
[16] Erm, may I just say, that you may recall, that at the nineteen eighty-eight A G M, we agreed that they'd be no smoking here, er, and I hope that er er, can be adhered to, er, and finally er, I have a fairly full agenda, and the officials have have sort of er, measured it to the nearest minute.
[17] Why [...] allowed three minutes for, but I might extend that to three and a quarter, I think, if the time goes well.
[18] Well now, you've had the Minutes of the last A G M meeting, that blue copy, and may I take it that er you accept those, and we can agree that they are accepted.
[19] Thank you very much, that's very helpful to me.
[20] Thank you.
[21] Now we come to resolution one, which is the Annual Report, the Accounts, and the Auditors, and although Geoffrey is not here, er, we've done a video of him, which is now about to be shown, who will introduce er this, and I just like to say, that this has been sponsor the cost of it has been sponsored by the Shell International Petroleum Company, to whom we are very grateful ... if my head pops up and obscures some of the ... shout down, will you [playing the video]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [22] [...] may I add my own very warm welcome to [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [23] The absence of one ordinary officer at the Annual General Meeting may appear a misfortune, of two carelessness, but may I assure you, that we are with you in spirit, that the loss is ours alone, and that the proceedings will be conducted with their usual expedition and efficiency, despite, and I hope no one said before [...] our absence from.
[24] The year has been one of change, of achievement, and of challenge.
[25] We have seen ... most notably in [...] left us [...] to be succeeded by .
[26] [...] For the clarity of [...] in dealing with the [...] a particular contribution has laid in developing the relationship between the sector and Government [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [27] And as for the ensuing year, and that they be paid for the services, a sum to be determined by the N C V O Executive Committee.
[28] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [29] Thank you very much indeed.
[30] I can now ask er Geoffrey to second the motion, please.
(PS4EV) [31] Good morning, erm, do I need to switch something on, oh, it's working now.
[32] Good morning, I must say, I I stand before you today somewhat nervous, because erm, this is, this is my first to you as Treasurer, but this will be a slightly different speech from one's that I have given in previous years.
[33] Treasurers suffer the erm, the occupational hazard that they always, to some extent, have to cry wolf.
[34] They have to advise caution in the use of finance.
[35] They have to judge quite carefully the extent to which they should er, advise the caution, because if they advise too much caution, then erm, er people will er, restrain themselves and then perhaps if things aren't really bad, no longer believe the Treasurer.
[36] If they too much caution, then erm, if they advise too little caution, then then things can run away with themselves.
[37] So in the past few years, I have given a speech which has has drawn attention to the the deficit on our General Fund and our need for continued care, to reduce the deficit.
[38] Erm, some years ago, the Executive Committee set us the target of reducing our deficit to nil, and reducing the deficit to nil by the year ninety-one, ninety-two.
[39] I have to say, that the the year wo I that I'm reporting on now, nineteen ninety, ninety-one was actually better than we had originally planned and expected, and in fact, that we did eliminate the deficit in that year.
[40] If you look at the accounts, you will see that they record a deficit on the general fund of a hundred and twenty-three thousand, but if you deal, if you delve more carefully in the accounts, more closely, you will find, in fact, that the the money we raised on the appeal fund was greater than that deficit shown on the general fund, and so in fact, our income during the year, was greater than our expenditure, and we have achieved a small surplus.
[41] It was achieved, erm, through ... reorganisation, it was achieved through careful planning of expenditure, but there was also an element of of luck in that erm, the staff vacancy level that we had pending the reorganisation, was was higher than we had had planned for.
[42] But nevertheless, I think it is a substantial achievement, er and it reflects well on on our former Director and it reflects well on our staff, that it has been made.
[43] Th there are also now, prospects for a modest surplus in the current financial year, and our projections show that zero deficit is achievable in the the future years, with a continued drive for care in expenditure and for the rising of income.
[44] But I I would slip back to my normal gloomy cautious self, and say that we do need to balance the years of deficit we have had, with years of surplus, we need to look at N C V O's finances over a longer term, than simply one year.
[45] We need to take the deficit years, with the surplus years, and so, simply because we have a surplus, it doesn't mean to say we can go out and start spending.
[46] We do need to continue to control our expenditure and to be careful about raising income and where appropriate charging for services.
[47] One area where the accounts do show some growth, though, is in special projects.
[48] There there was a very substantial increase in ninet ninety ninety-one, and I'm happy to say that, all but two of those projects have been fully funded by sponsors, and in fact, our policy now, and this is operated from the the first of April this year, is that all projects shall be fully funded by sponsors, and that includes a contribution to the overheads that erm, the projects incur.
[49] The market value of our investments rose to er, two point one million.
[50] There have been drawings on those investments, though, mainly, the the the main two have been to fund the redundancies associated with the reorganisation, and to grant a dowry to N A C V S, on its independence from the Council.
[51] Our investments now, all match er, the ethical investment policy which has been agreed by the Investment Panel.
[52] I would, by the way, like to thank the members of, of the Investment Panel, for the help and support they've given me, and also, in fact, to point out that erm, although s er, your your Chairman has spoken of Sir Ray severing his formal links with the Council, I have to say that we still do have one or two claws still attached to him, in that he remains on, as a very valued member of the Investment Panel, and will continue to provide his wisdom and advice, for which we are all very grateful.
[53] The progress towards our erm, compliance with our ethical investment policy though, has been achieved while considering the need to secure the best returns possible on our investment, and we have done it through a series of progressive sales of investments at the appropriate times according to the market conditions, and so I'm happy to say that we have been able to achieve both our responsibilities as trustees, our responsibility both to secure the best return on investment and, to to consider wider policy implications of our investment policy.
[54] I think I should point out, though, that erm, in the future, there will, we are planning some substantial drawings on our funds.
[55] Erm, firstly for office automation, to improve the effectiveness with which our staff can operate, and secondly, for the office accommodation itself.
[56] I think members will probably by now, be aware that a decision has been taken to leave the offices in Bedford Square where we have been for so many years.
[57] I don't think anyone will dispute that those are not offices suited to us in the nineties.
[58] There not offices best calculated to enable us to perform effectively.
[59] We have identified a new property which we can move to, and it is available to us, either to rent or to buy.
[60] Two years ago, when the prospect of moving was first raised, erm, I was very firmly of the opinion that we should continue to rent our offices, because I didn't believe that erm, we were a property speculation company.
[61] I believe that we are the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, in a very different business.
[62] I have to say though, that market conditions have changed very substantially in the last couple of years, and we now have an opportunity before us, which is one which is unlikely to recur again.
[63] We need to move, at the same time that the property market is in a substantial slump, and th are therefore offices available to us at a very very competitive price.
[64] And in fact, if we are able to negotiate a loan, to buy the new premises, we should be able to do so on terms which would enable our repayment of the loan to be comparable with what we are currently paying,an and would expect to pay in rent.
[65] So I hope, very much, that erm, at the end of the current financial year, I shall be able to give a even more optimistic erm, report, that not only have we brought the current account deficit under control, but that in fact, the organisation is in a much healthier financial position for the long term.
[66] And er, I think, I wo I would wish to extend my thanks to all the finance staff, er, particularly Ann in helping us to arrive at this position.
[67] So, in summing up then, I I feel slightly nervous that it is a different speech from the one I normally give, but I am confident, that we are now able to go forward, much more optimistically, based on a much stronger financial position.
[68] And I therefore second the the resolution one, for the adoption of the accounts.
President (PS4EU) [69] Well, thank you very much er, Geoffrey, erm that was a very full, and I think er, and as he says, cautious account of what's been happening, and he does remind me of all the finance officers that I've ever known, in this thing, I've never really seen, or rarely seen them smile.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [laugh]
President (PS4EU) [70] Er, which is probably a good thing.
[71] The ones that smile, incidentally, usually go the bankruptcy court, so I think we're in good shape here.
[72] Now, as I say, it's been a fairly full account, but just before I put er, er, the motion to you, are there any points, or questions you'd like to raise ... No, well, thank you very much.
[73] Er, we've read the resolution out to you, er, er, it's been appropriately proposed and seconded.
[74] May I ask, all those in favour, please, to show their hands ... those against.
[75] The resolution is carried.
[76] Thank you very much.
[77] Now we now come to resolution two, which is in effect the appointment of the, er Honorary Officers.
[78] I think you've all seen who they are, and, I don't propose to read those,un unless you think I should, but they're there, I think, on the er, papers that you've er received.
[79] So, may I ask, erm, er, where are we, I keep forgetting
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [80] Andrea
President (PS4EU) [81] Oh yes, Andrea that's right.
[82] May I ask Andrea to er proposed the motion, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [83] Thank you, [...] I shall do nothing further than read out erm, a list of all the officers who [...] erm, President [...] Vice President, the Right Honourable [...] Dr Leslie [...] Mr Peter , the Honourable Kenneth [...] and Vice President Alan .
[84] Chairman, [...] Vice Chair [...] Honorary Treasurer [...] I'm sure all of us, who are involved in the Executive Council of N C V O will recognised that [...]
President (PS4EU) [85] Thank you very much Andrea.
[86] Er, now may I ask Mr Graham to second that motion, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [87] It would probably to appropriate for me to er second the motion in Welsh [...] er, but as you're [...] and neither the English [...] Welsh [...] I would just like to say a few things, one, to express the appreciation of my council for the [...] and secondly, to [...]
President (PS4EU) [88] Well, thank you very much.
[89] Er, well the names have been read out to you.
[90] And the motion is in effect to elect or to re-elect them.
[91] May I have all those in favour, please to show their hands.
[92] Thank you.
[93] Those against.
[94] The motion is carried.
[95] Now, we now come to er, the resolution, to er,
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [96] Three.
President (PS4EU) [97] it's resolution er three, and it is to er er, in effect to er, er appoint the the Executive Committee, and I don't propose to read through all those, er er, but perhaps Tony can help me.
[98] Erm, all I need to say about these, I think, is that, where the statement er to be announced is, we'll give you the names.
[99] The only thing we can't do, is under Community Organisation Eight, to give you the name of the representative of organisation development.
[100] We haven't yet got that, but we will give it to you in due course.
[101] Er, we've got, well,
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [102] The two under N A C V S, erm, Chair, are Christine and .
[103] Unfortunately we also now that Tim can't erm, fulfil the responsibilities in the planning and environment electoral college and Robert will take his place.
President (PS4EU) [104] Thank you very much.
[105] Er, can I ask now, er Mr Leslie to propose the resolution, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [106] Sorry, Chairman, I [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [laugh]
President (PS4EU) [107] I er, I do beg your pardon.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [108] Mr Chairman, in his er, video to us, er drew attention to the, both the external and internal challenges which face us at the present time.
[109] It is essential that we should maintain both our sensitivity and our effectiveness, if we are to protect and watch over the interests of the people we work for and provide the kind of services they need.
[110] I think, therefore we are extremely fortunate, that so many people of distinction and talent are willing to give up time to serve on the Executive of the N C V O to work with the honourary officers and the Director and her team, to ensure that N C V O maintain such a central role in watching over our interests and in promoting the concerns of the people of this country, that we are all so active about.
[111] I would just like to say, record our thanks to those who are retiring, and to welcome most warmly those who have come forward to serve and to propose the list, er, last, but certainly not least, our warmest thanks to Bronwyn and her colleagues in the voluntary services unit, for their ongoing and invaluable support to N C V O er, throughout the years.
[112] Er, I have pleasure in proposing resolution three, I think you have absolved me, Chairman, from reading out all the names.
President (PS4EU) [113] Of course, thank you very much.
[114] Er, I must apologise again for what, er the way I addressed you, but of course with all these women equality er, movements going on, I never know whether its Mr, Mrs, or Ms. Erm, now I may call on Doctor Manchago to second the motion, please.
[115] We thought he might not quite make it in time.
[116] May I have a seconder, please, from the, er, audience for this.
[117] Now don't be shy.
[118] Thank you.
[119] What is, give us your name, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [...]
President (PS4EU) [120] Thank you.
[121] Thank you very much, indeed.
[122] Well, you've got the list of names and er, I think Mrs was quite right in asking not to read them all out.
[123] But er, we'd we obviously like your agreement to er to this very important er resolution.
[124] May I have a show of hands, from all those in favour, please.
[125] Thank you, anyone against.
[126] Well, thank you very much indeed, er, the resolution is er, carried.
[127] Erm, we're coming as it were to the end of the first part of the proceedings, er, but, I'd like to give a brief thanks to the er, C R group, that's the Charities Recruitment Group, for the part sponsorship of this A G M Conference.
[128] They gave us a thousand pound, that is really very important, I think, and we're most grateful.
[129] Erm, and that really is the end of, as it were, I beg your pardon, yes.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [130] Before you end, [...] a few minutes, er, Mr President, I wonder if I can just say, er, that you may remember, this really is a matter arising, but you may remember that, at the last meeting, of, of, the Annual General Meeting of N C V O, er, my organisation, the National Federation of Community Organisations was was bold enough to propose a resolution other than, than those required, and it is in your Minutes, if you have them.
[131] I really just wanted to to record our appreciation erm, and I think those of others too.
[132] Er, for, for, what N C V O has done in the year.
[133] I'm not saying necessarily in response to that resolution, but at least in the direction that we were hoping.
[134] the resolution was about encouraging N C V O to give er,ad adequate and appropriate support and weight to the needs of small organisations, as well as the needs of larger charities and voluntary organisations.
[135] And it is our experience in a number of ways, that N C V O has over this last year, done that very thing, and I wanted just to record that, and I'm thinking particularly, but there are other examples, of the work on the charities bill, er, and the work that N C V O's doing in relation to the Windsor Group.
[136] Erm, and also er, the involv the work involving the training trustees working party.
[137] I'm sure there are other other examples, but I just really wanted to record that appreciation.
President (PS4EU) [138] Well thank you very much indeed, we er, appreciate that, and I'm sure the staff will appreciate it, thank you.
[139] Well, as I say, er the this part of the meeting is now formally ended, and I'm going to hand over to er Kay who will Chair the next session, er er which involves of course, as you've seen, presentations by the N C V O senior staff.
[140] Ca can I just say one thing, though, if you me nip out, it's not that I don't want to listen to this, er, it's in connection with the property er worries that er, Geoffrey said, I've got to sign a lot of er, arm twisting letters, which I, they want me to sign today, so if I can take five minutes out to sign those, I hope you will not feel I'm trying to er skive off, as it were.
[141] Sue ...
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [142] [whispering] Thank you, [...] [] ...
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [143] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [144] You may now begin.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [145] I may now begin, good.
[146] My sex is determined.
[147] Well, good morning again, and welcome ladies and gentlemen, members of Council, colleagues and friends.
[148] We now come to the second part of our programme, according to our agenda, which has the broad heading,Achiev N C V O Achievements and Intentions, and it's obviously a natural follow-on from the I er, A G M which we have just completed, at which council received the annual report of N C V O's work for the past year, and its use of the resources which are available to it to carry out that work.
[149] We now, I think er, going to hear from members of the Management Team, more detailed information on working progress and priority issues.
[150] Judy our new Director will lead her team, of Simon , Richard and To and er Tony and I think it seems particularly er, appropriate and important that Judy at her first appearance here as Director, although many of us present, I know, would remember her wearing other hats, should have this opportunity of speaking the Councillor members and giving us some idea of how the Management Team see the future before us in the years to come.
[151] Judy, you lead.
Judy (PS4EW) [152] Thank you very much.
[153] This is an exceedingly exciting time to be joining N C V O. I took over from at the beginning of September, nineteen ninety-one, with the reorganisation, thankfully fully, in place, and a clear strategic plan to fulfil our role as the voice of the voluntary sector.
[154] That's quite a daunting task.
[155] My job is to implement our mission, to promote a thriving and effective voluntary sector.
[156] By providing leadership, representation and support.
[157] In a nutshell, I see N C V O as something like, perhaps, the C B I of the voluntary sector.
[158] Well, we're here in this building, perhaps we have some differences, of course, we can't quite match the C B Is resources, but who knows.
[159] Through our membership we represent an enormous range of voluntary sector interests, and as you can see, from our electoral college headings, such as Education and Training, Employment and Leisure, Ethnic Minorities, Health and Disability, Income Maintenance and Poverty, Personal Family Services, Planning an Environment, women, you, professional learners society, public bodies trusts and foundations, my goodness what a list.
[160] What a diversity.
[161] It is gratifying to see the newly independent off-shoots of N C V O join the ranks of members, such as the national association, the council for voluntary services, the organisation development unit, and the black environment network.
[162] And also our most recent émigré, the WasteWatch, who are about to do so this year.
[163] N C V O has a proud record over the years, of developing and promoting new initiatives, to meet new needs, and to fill gaps in voluntary sector initiatives.
[164] Many of those which we have helped into independence are now household names, such as, Age Concern, National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux.
[165] However, the ranks are much more numerous as you can see.
[166] All are playing important parts in the voluntary sector.
[167] As I now personally from one of my previous lives in nineteen eighty-two, when I became the first Director of the newly independent National Federation of Community Organisations.
[168] Erm, but I didn't prime the previous speaker who spoke so nicely er, about N C V O even though we do seem to be in a mutual admiration society.
[169] N C V O will carry on with this vital role, and enriching and enlarging the dynamics of the voluntary sector.
[170] N C V O works in partnership with many other organisations.
[171] In the voluntary, commercial and statutory sectors.
[172] To achieve our goals, and of course, we work closely with our sister councils in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and we put domestic issues in the wider European and International scene as well .
[173] Over the coming years, I want to see us widen and extend our membership and our networking incorporation with other charities even further.
[174] We need to improve the ways in which you are involved in N C V O's work, thus giving legitimacy to voice, and empowering N C V O and our members in the causes that we all care about.
[175] We care about the voluntary sectors independence, its innovation, its flexibility and its responsiveness to the needs of those without financial power.
[176] The manifesto which N C V O produced recently, articulate many of our concerns, and presses the Government and other political practi other political parties to make improvements to respond to your concerns.
[177] I have found an excellent team of people who are highly committed and motivated and who work for N C V O as honorary officers, of staff, as members of all the various committees and working groups, task forces, er, and think tanks, and any other name that we can think up to involve you.
[178] I am very proud to have this opportunity to work with all of you, to promote the uniqueness of the voluntary sector.
[179] Some areas of our work will be discussed in much greater detail in the seminars this afternoon.
[180] On charity and politics, on Europe, on communications, and on trustee training.
[181] These represent some of the major issues currently on our agenda.
[182] We believe that N C V O has a key role to play in involving the voluntary sector in representing your concerns.
[183] Some of the work we do supporting the voluntary sector and providing services will also be reflected in the stores and displays that we're making available over the lunch period.
[184] They cover our oral work, our advice services, our membership and affiliation services, and our publications.
[185] Now I am delighted to be able to hand over the spot-light to my three management colleagues on the management team.
[186] Tony in charge of services and communication, Simon in charge of policy and development, Richard in charge of resource development, and although it's not on the script and she said I mustn't [...] to the script, I ought to mention also Samantha who has joined us as head of communications on whom, you may thank for all the sort of visuals that we're having, and the bright idea of videoing er, our Chairman.
[187] So I I look forward to her input as well to our image and our presentation.
[188] Thank you very much. [applause]
Samantha (PS4EX) [189] Thank you very much Judy.
[190] We'll go straight through the presentations, and then there is an opportunity, obviously for you to ask questions or, and to join in generally discussion.
[191] So if I go straight over and invite Simon to address us next, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [192] It's great.
[193] Super.
Simon (PS4EY) [194] Morning.
[195] It is clear that er, one of N C V O principle functions is to act as the voice of the voluntary sector.
[196] Representing the interests and reflecting the concerns of voluntary organisations and charities throughout England.
[197] Of course, this does not mean that we're the only voice speaking up on behalf of the voluntary sector.
[198] Many voluntary organisations including numbers of our members, many present here today, will be speaking forcefully in the interests of particular groups within society with which they work.
[199] But it undoubtedly does fall to N C V O and rightly so, to take the responsibility of representing the interests of the sector on a range of general issues.
[200] If N C V O is to be able to fulfil this purpose effectively, we must be working closely with our members, and we must have their confidence and respect, and such confidence, of course, is a two way process.
[201] N C V O needs to be sharing its knowledge, its information and general resources with its members, and also needs to ensure that its work is firmly grounded in the experience and knowledge of the plethora of voluntary organisations and charities, with which contact is maintained on a regular basis.
[202] Now it seems to me, that er, the watch-word for our policy development work over the next few years, must be effective co-ordination with our members and the wider voluntary sector.
[203] Our principle function within the policy development department within N C V O must be to work with, and not simply for our member and the wider sector.
[204] Other constituencies, of course, are important.
[205] Central Government, local authorities, the academic communities and so on, they are undoubtedly important, but they are subsidiary to the interest of the sector itself.
[206] N C V O must therefore, draw together voluntary organisations effectively and be seen to be responsive and creative.
[207] There are many issues where a N C V O should be exercising leadership, sometimes a rather difficult concept, and there is no need to apologise for that, for using leadership at the right time, but it has to be a leadership by consent, rather than claimed without authority, and it is in this context that the policy development department in N C V O exists, to help channel voluntary sector concerns to opinion formers, and policy makers, regardless of party politics, regardless of political commitment.
[208] And following N C V O recent reorganisation, the policy development department broadly consists of the following.
[209] I thought it was useful to repeat this for other peoples information.
[210] Firstly we have an economic policy team.
[211] Concentrating its attention on central and local government funding, of the voluntary sector itself.
[212] The implications of the efficiency scrutiny review, training and employment, and fiscal issues.
[213] Secondly, we have now a grandiosely named, social and public policy team, which is valiantly covering charity law, local government structural changes, the right of duty of voluntary organisations to campaign, work with the new national forum on the environment and health and community care issues.
[214] Thirdly, our policy analysis and research team, takes responsibility for looking further ahead, and doing a lot of the initial thinking about both the challenges and the opportunities that will affect the sector domestically and internationally over the next few years.
[215] Additionally, the department covers parliamentary lobbying work, our European and international responsibilities.
[216] It supports the national self-help support centre and the waste-watch project.
[217] We all know that we have yet again a busy and exciting year in front of us.
[218] The new year sees the publication of changing Europe.
[219] This book will help readers to understand the single European market, not an easy thing in itself, and how it may affect voluntary organisations and users.
[220] Undoubtedly, N C V O existing work relating to the European Community and the voluntary sector has become ever more important, year by year.
[221] Already much work has been done on the impact of the single market on voluntary organisations.
[222] The implications of the moves towards greater E C integration for the sector, encouraging the development of effective networks, of voluntary organisations across the community as a whole, and building relationships with all the institutions, of the European Community to ensure that the interests of the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom are both maintained and arguable enhanced.
[223] We often claim for instance, that this country has a particularly unique and distinctive voluntary sector which is not matched elsewhere.
[224] If this is so, we need to be positive and confident about our experiences, and we should try to export our best attributes to others in the community.
[225] We will no doubt find, and again rightly so, that we have as much to learn from others, as to give.
[226] The Prime Minister's recent speech at the Charities Aid Foundation Conference, indicates that the Government is going to make the encouragement of voluntary sector across the er, community and in encouragement of voluntary activity, a principle focus of the U K Presidency of the community from July next year.
[227] That will give us many important opportunities which we must not let drop.
[228] N C V O has taken the initiative in putting up a number of ideas to the Prime Minister's and the Home Office, to make this commitment a meaningful one, and a constructive one for voluntary organisations in this country.
[229] We are also embarking on vitally important work on the new charity law legislation which has been referred to already, on local government legislation, in relation to both the structure of local government and the new council tax system.
[230] And only yesterday, at N C V O's annual lobby conference on the implications of the Queen's speech, we were talking with a number of our members about legislative priorities for the period, up to the forthcoming General Election, whenever that is.
[231] Finally, I can't finish without mentioning health and community care.
[232] The publication of the Government's Green Paper, health of the nation and all the work going on around the country, on the implementation programme for the community care reforms, means that N C V O must attempt to rebuild its own capacity, to undertake effective policy development work in these areas.
[233] We continue to support and chair the community care alliance of voluntary organisations, a very important development, in the last few years.
[234] Our director serves on one of the official Department of Health's steering groups, dealing with health of the nation and its implementation.
[235] We're also very hopeful that we will have some extra support and assistance in this field at N C V O within the near future.
[236] Now these, of course, are just a few of the areas that the N C V O's policy development work is intending to cover and will be concentrating on, in the year ahead.
[237] If we're to do this work effectively, er, then it has to be in conjunction with you.
[238] Therefore I come back to where I started.
[239] Working in conjunction effectively with you, our members, and it has to meet your needs and interests as well as our own, and I'm therefore looking forward to the possibility, in fact, the certainty of us having a year of achievement us for the interests of the voluntary sector.
[240] Thank you. [applause]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [241] Thank you very much, Simon.
[242] I now ask Richard to address, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [243] Thank you .
[244] Good morning.
[245] As well as addressing some of the major policy issues affecting the sector, N C V O also has an important role in helping voluntary organisations to do their job better.
[246] Voluntary organisations need practical advise on fund-raising, legal issues, accountancy, and many other aspects of their work.
[247] They also need to be able to manage their affairs effectively, and learn to develop constructive partnerships.
[248] It's the role of the resource development department, to ensure that they get the advise and help they need to do this, either from N C V O or from others.
[249] The department also has a specific interest in ensuring N C V O is sensitive to the needs of rural areas, and rural voluntary organisations.
[250] To help us develop a strategic approach to advise provision, we've embarked on a mapping exercise.
[251] This will involve a national survey early next year, funding by Thames Telethon and others, to establish where voluntary organisations currently get their advice from.
[252] What they think of current provision and what the main gaps are, both now and in the future, and the outcome will be a five year advice development strategy, which will be publishing to guide both N C V O and other providers and funders.
[253] One of the fastest growing interests in the voluntary sector is the environment.
[254] Yet most environmental groups are not currently plugged into existing sources of advice and do not have a tradition of working together.
[255] We therefore established a new three year environmental support project funded by the D O E and B P to address these concerns.
[256] Other important activities in our advice development team, include fund raising advice, increasing access to national vocational qualifications and running a short course programme which is the largest programme of its kind in the country.
[257] Advance in good management is the main theme of our management development team, as well as being the title of a new three year project we launched last year.
[258] Seven regional initiatives are now being funded with the help of the V S U, the Department of Trade and Industry, and a number of private sector funders, including British Telecom, Save and Prosper, B P and I B M. The lessons from these projects and others will be widely promoted.
[259] Earlier this year, we also established a joint working party with the charity commission on trustee training.
[260] With Winifred as Chair, and Diane as Vice Chair, the working party has received evidence from over fifty people, as well as conducting its own survey of trustees and management committees, with a tighter framework of regulation resulting from the charity bill, it will be more important than ever, that trustees are aware of their very considerable responsibilities, and well equipped to take them on.
[261] The working party will be publishing its report next April.
[262] Voluntary organisations need to work more and more in partnership with others.
[263] For their part, other sectors like local government, health authorities, civil servants, private companies and other agencies, also need advice on how to work with the voluntary sector.
[264] We already run the N C V O corporate affiliation scheme, which next year we plan to expand and develop, and we've just launched L A Link, a new subscription service for local authorities, providing advice and information on the development of partnership, and there's an exhibition about this in the concourse.
[265] Contracting is a particular form of relationship between the public and voluntary sectors, which is causing considerable concern amongst voluntary organisations.
[266] Recognising the importance of this issue, we've been able to develop a three year project, to provide training, advice, and information to voluntary groups, about how best to respond to the contract culture.
[267] This has been generously supported by the Department of Health, the Nuffield Foundation, Bearing Trust, Allied Dunbar ... and will be launching that early next year.
[268] Finally, the rural team in the Resource Development Department plays a vital role in ensuring all N C V O's work takes on board the rural dimension.
[269] Through promoting rural voluntary action and developing community care in rural areas, the rural team never let us forget that over twenty per cent of the population live in rural areas.
[270] This will be my last N C V O, A G M as a member of staff since I'm leaving at the end of January, to become Chief Executive of Arthritis Care.
[271] However, I'm very much looking forward to being a member of N C V O as well as being a consumer of its excellent services, and while I've got the the platform, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Judy every success as Director of N C V O. I think she's got off to a marvellous start, and I'm sure that N C V O's gonna flourish under her leadership.
[272] Thank you. [applause]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [273] Thank you very much Richard.
[274] I shall resist the temptation to say all sorts of nice things about you at this point, because there would be other opportunities obviously.
[275] I'll ask Tony now to address us, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [276] [...] take my watch madam Chairman, [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [277] Oh, yes. [...] [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [278] Thank you, Kay.
[279] Good morning, everyone.
[280] It's perhaps fitting that the Services and Communication Department should bring up the rear in this group of presentations, because one of its key priorities is to provide a coherent professional support service to the organisation as a whole.
[281] This is reflected in in that of N C V O's three strategic objectives, which relates to improving its own operational effectiveness, and enhancing recognition of its role.
[282] Making sure N C V O's operation is fit for this task is a team of people who specialisms include, personnel, training, information and technology, communications, fund raising, finance, office management, and of course, the law.
[283] In looking back at the department's achievements, one has to accept that reorganisation which Judy and Simon have already referred to, has because of its sheer scale and impact on N C V O been something of an abiding preoccupation over the past twelve to eighteen months.
[284] The main work-load on programming, the implementation of change and steering through the necessary mass of procedures and consultation to successful conclusion has fallen to my department's team leaders, and in particular to Ruth in Personnel and training.
[285] In parallel with this, Ann has overseen the establishment of entirely new team budgeting processes, and Tracy has made sure that staff affected by chance have appropriate space and office facilities to do their jobs.
[286] It will be wrong however, to conclude that the department's role is entirely directed inwards towards N C V O effectiveness, vital though that is.
[287] Many members will be aware that the professional advice on which N C V O depends is also available to them, and other organisations, particularly in the areas of legal work, personnel, finance and office technology, we find there is a high demand for advice which we intend to continue to satisfy in the years ahead.
[288] As Richard has said earlier, this is an area on which strategic work will be undertaken in the next couple of years or so.
[289] A Business As Usual approach has also been maintained by N C V O Information and Technology team, under Joan .
[290] Despite the challenge a reshaping information services to meet the needs of the new teams, and outside users as well as developing a strategy for the completely overhaul of our office technology requirements.
[291] The implementation programme for which has now begun.
[292] I suppose one of the most fundamental changes brought about by reorganisation, though, was the creation of a team, which for the first time, consolidated into one management structure.
[293] All functions relating to enquiries, publicity, press, media, production, publishing and fund raising.
[294] Considerable work has been initiated through the medium of a communication strategy, and we're delighted that the loss of Amanda er, many of of you will know Amanda and will know where she's gone to.
[295] This, she left at a critical time.
[296] That's now been placed in proper context by the arrival of Samantha as Head of Communications, as Judy said earlier on, we're already beginning to enjoy the fruits of her skills, in the presentation surely you're seeing today.
[297] Looking more to the future now, again as Judy and other colleagues have implied, N C V O places high priority on increasing membership, supported by effective communications.
[298] Service development, and policy involvement.
[299] The Services and Communication Department looks forward to playing an important part in this, perhaps starting with the communications seminar this afternoon.
[300] Given alternative attractions this afternoon, though, we shall make sure this is not the only opportunity for members to contribute to the debate.
[301] Finally, you'll want to know the significance of the photograph behind me.
[302] The avid readers of the N C V O News will have spotted reference to the fact that we shall be moving offices from next June, and of course, the Treasurer had a fair bit to say about this earlier on.
[303] What you're looking at is a representation of a purpose built office of some twenty one thousand square feet, near King's Cross.
[304] It's currently nearing completion.
[305] I'm delighted now, to be able to inform members that terms have been agreed and the property's formally under offer and off the market.
[306] As many of you will know, from first hand experience, there are few things which have a greater impact on morale and productivity, than the working environment and associated facilities.
[307] We now have the challenge of a marvellous opportunity for the physical re-establishment of N C V O for years to come, in premises which will fully meet the needs both of its staff, and the wide range of visitors it attracts.
[308] One could quite probably say on this occasion.
[309] Watch this space.
[310] Thank you. [applause]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [311] Thank you very much, Tony.
[312] What a marvellously exciting point at which to leave us, as it were.
[313] We've now had, I think this very ex exciting very interesting wonderfully co-ordinated erm, overview, of the issues of the work done in the different areas.
[314] It's now over to you, this is your opportunity.
[315] Ask questions, make comments to enter into the discussion.
[316] If you would very kindly state your name and your organisation just for the record.
[317] Whose going to be the first.
[318] Is this a, is this a good feature to include on this day, while you're thinking about it.
[319] Is this a good idea, to have this kind of er, presentation to bring you up to date.
[320] Good.
[321] Well t well let's have.
[322] [laugh] I'm gi I'm giving them time to think, you see.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [323] There's someone there.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [324] Ar, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [325] I just been in loads of workshops
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [326] Leslie.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [327] this afternoon, but we won't all be in that workshop, sorry, just to have, perhaps Samantha, if you'd just say what [...] of the new communications strategy, I think [...] members ourselves, but in a sense it would be very useful to know what the others, perhaps we could take some of it back with us.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [328] Erm, thank you, Leslie.
[329] Erm, I understand that Samantha is actually outside at the moment waiting to meet Sir Leonard So er would ...
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [330] I was only telling Tony [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [331] Er, could we just er wait,sh he should be arriving in just five minutes, if we could come back to that a a later, could we?
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [332] Perhaps I can say, that what I'd like to see is N C V O be much more corporate in the way it approaches things, erm, many of you will have seen many of our publications, but, you may not always realise they come from N C V O, sometimes it's not always easy to see that, you have to search through and, not always find it, and we've got many different images, so I think it's important we er get a whole corporate image across.
[333] But it's also important that we get our message across more effectively, and in that, that we're reflecting your views more effectively.
[334] So I think the communications department wanted to pull together all of these issues, and make sure that we hear your voice effectively, we represent it effectively and that, the sense in which N C V O comes over as an organisation is more appropriately presented and projected in all the many different spheres in which we're currently operating.
[335] I don't know if that meets, meets your point.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [336] Th erm, there's at at the back, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [337] Er, Mick
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [338] [...] counselling [...] er, and it follows directly from what was said, erm, Judy has referred in her talk about the importance of communications with members, and I'm delighted to note, that erm, the Health and Disability Group, is to have a meeting in January to look at a variety of issues including the health work of N C V O. This is the first meeting for I think, two years, and if it [...] new era in communications, I for one am delighted.
Judy (PS4EW) [339] Thank you, perhaps I can comment on that.
[340] I'm keen to see a real dialogue with our members, er, how we achieve that I don't know, we've got the most enormous diversity of membership as I mentioned in my speech, but the more that we can get a a good dialogue going, and certainly I used to be a member of Health and erm, Disability Group, and remember that it was a very useful meeting point, er, as well as a good arena for developing policy initiatives.
[341] So I hope that we will find ways of creatingl , creatively involving all of you, and perhaps that would be a good start, I hope so, anyway.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [342] Thank you very much Judy, er Simon or does any other member of the team.
[343] Do you wish to add to
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [344] no, no.
(PS4EV) [345] Per perhaps I can just say one point.
[346] Sometimes we're concerned as to whether N C V O is competing with its membership about what we do, and I know that a point has been raised on that, er, by somebody who I think is present today.
[347] We don't see ourselves.
[348] I want to see N C V O as co-operating.
[349] If you, as our members are doing something well, our role is to support you.
[350] If you're doing something well, but there are other areas that need to be filled in, our role is to compliment you.
[351] If many of you are doing something well, but you need to be brought together, our role is to co-ordinate you, and if you're not doing something and it needs doing, then our role is to initiate it.
[352] But all the time it is working with you, and not in competition with you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [353] Thank you very much, erm, at the back, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [354] [...] erm, I would certainly stand up and and and er share everyone's congratulations of what N C V O's done over the la past year, and certainly we've had an enormous amount of help, particularly from the rural.
[355] But, I have been a little concerned th th the the term, equal opportunities hasn't been mentioned once today, and I would like a reassurance that it's not because it's year's or the last decade's issue.
[356] I would like to know what N C V O currently is doing in a number of ways, about equal opportunities.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [357] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [358] Right,may maybe I'll, I'll just start, and my colleagues can can add in, I'm hogging the platform as usual.
[359] Can I say that, when I was interviewed for the job of er, Director, or I was asked along with other applicants, to put forward a er paper presenting my issues and concerns, and I can say to you, equal opportunities was a key one there.
[360] So I hope there will be other developments going on.
[361] But certainly, equal opportunities as as a part of the integral working of N C V O and we do regularly review, how we, as an organisation, are meeting our equal opportunities requirements across the board, that's race, sex, disability, er,in involving the the staff who are at lower levels and so on.
[362] I do that there are some wider responsibilities, we need to keep reviewing what we're up to.
[363] Er, the organisation development unit was highly involved with the er, abilities and management development of er, black organisations.
[364] Now that they gone independent, we've got to again look and see what are our roles there.
[365] So it's a continually renewing effort, I believe, er, but I like to have the contribution of some of my colleagues, as to what they feel th the roles are.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [366] I think one of the reason why you haven't heard it mentioned specifically is because it is integral to a lot of the bits of work that we're doing.
[367] Just to to site some of the bits of work that I was talking about, erm, the Trustee Training Working Party, for example, er, in,ha has got on it, a representative from the black voluntary sector.
[368] We've looked particularly at some of the kinds of er, issues, that black and ethnic minority groups experience in that area.
[369] The mapping we are particularly targeting certain kinds of disadvantaged.
[370] The groups in our survey worked to make sure that we look at the needs, advice needs that they have, and that's brought out.
[371] The advancing good management project again, has prioritised certain kinds of disadvantage organisations, to ensure that they're getting funded, and that's also reflected in the representation on the Committee.
[372] So I think you can be assured that it's not something that's been put to one side, it's something that we're trying to build in to all the work we do, in whatever ways appropriate, but er, I accept that the the implications for your comment, that we've got to be continually, er watching ourselves, to make sure that we do that.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [373] Thank you, Richard.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [374] Simon [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [375] Yes, I was going to to to add to that slightly, and to what Judy said, in in the sense that the implication, the question I think, is a correct one, that every organisation, and N C V O wouldn't be immune er, than from any other, have got to actually ensure that they keep this at the front of their agenda all the time.
[376] It's, it's quite right that it should be integrated in all our work programmes, rather than, it seems as necessarily a separatist erm, element or thing.
[377] But of course, the danger on the other side of the coin, if you simply rely on that, is that you actually begin to loose focus, or you begin to ignore it without meaning to, inadvertently.
[378] And I think it's both important for N C V O itself, to ensure that it's working on issues, equal opportunities issues that affect itself, and that it's helping the sector as a whole to do that, and and we're very conscious of that, and er, certainly just in the last few weeks, have been looking at how we can upgrade what we're doing in that sphere.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [379] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [380] Can can I add to that, erm, Kay, by saying that, our concentration with within my department
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [381] Mm.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [382] and personnel particularly, is on ensuring that N C V Os as an organisation is upholding the highest standards around equal opportunities, erm, our employment records are subject to regular monitoring, and we discuss, I mean, in a brain-storming way various issues that emerge from the figures that we get.
[383] So as an organisation we we're very much have an awareness of the need to be exemplary in that respect.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [384] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [385] [...] Angela and I was head of the International Department from nineteen forty-eight to nineteen seventy-two.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [386] Hello.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [387] I have be very interested to hear about the recent developments and most impressed at what's taken place, but er, I would like to ask about the international work, which I understand has been reduced.
[388] I feel, personally this is a pity now we're coming into Europe and er trying to be international, but I'm sure there was a very good reason for it, and I sh , I should like to know what it was.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [389] I'm sure they'll hasten to say, not reduced, just done in a different way, but shall I ask [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [390] Yes.
[391] Thank you very much for that question, I think it is an important one, because we looked at our international work, as we did at all our work, over the period that we were considering reorganisation.
[392] And I genuinely would say, that I actually think the amount of international and European work going on within the organisation as a whole, is now greater than it was before.
[393] Erm, it's certainly true that we reduced the total size of a particular team or unit dealing with international affairs, but only on the grounds that we actually felt that it was very important that all the teams should be working on international and European dimensions of their work, rather than seeing it as compartmentalised in one area.
[394] Therefore, if I just looked at some of those policy teams that I referred to in my presentation, I would expect, and it's happening, that we would be taking on board, in each of those policy teams, the policy development work that's applicable to Europe.
[395] If we take just one example, the social and public policy team, has therefore policy responsibility for all the work, erm, from a policy point of view, er, about the legal structure that might exist in future, er, European associations that might be created, because it matches very clearly our work on charity law, domestically.
[396] So we're trying to unite the two things together.
[397] I think I can assure you, we've got a, an international European officer, who has the main responsibility for opening the doors for us in a lobbying way within Europe, and in addition to that, and the maintenance of the networks, we are spreading international and European responsibilities around the organisation, so it's seen again to be integral to our work, rather than compartmentalised, and I'm confident that the organisation as a whole, will therefore be doing more.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [398] Thank you, Simon,anybod any additions to that.
[399] No.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [400] Erm, I'd just like to reassure the conference, that there is actually a representative erm, from a environmental organisation, here today after Richard erm, comments, Head of Communications at Friends of the Earth, erm, and also to ask him, on what basis, erm, he made the comment that environmental organisation have a tradition of not working together.
[401] Erm, within Friends of the Earth, staff in the organisation, commonly liaise with their counter parts in other environment and development N G Os.
[402] Erm, we do work together, where we share a common agenda, and we find that we share common policy positions, and there are a lot discussions that go on about policy questions between environmental N G Os, erm, and also like any N G O that's pressed for time and money, we work together where actually it can be justified by the results.
[403] Erm, so really that's an enquiry, and also further explanation of the project that is being jointly funded by the D O E and B P.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [404] Thank you, Richard.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [405] Yes, I think my my comments, particularly directed at the regional and local level, where I think for quite understandable reasons, namely the very rapid development of new environmental organisations, er, in a lot of areas, er, we have found that the environmental groups have not er, initially been working together.
[406] I think that's changing very much.
[407] We've seen in a number of areas, the development of regional net environmental networks, which we have been directly involved in helping develop.
[408] And one part of the environmental project, is to try and ensure regional environmental networks develop in all parts of the country, rather just in those where they currently exist.
[409] The other part of the work is based on the experience, particularly of councils for voluntary service and other bodies like that, who at a local level are providing advice and support to voluntary groups.
[410] They found that their links with environmental groups are not very good, and also that environmental groups are often not very aware of the kinds of services that a council for voluntary service can provide them.
[411] So, the object of that part of the project is to try and address that issue, to try and make sure that N V Ss build up their links with environmental groups.
[412] That the services they provide are relevant to environmental groups, and in that way to to help environmental groups plug in to the kinds of advice on fund raising and er, management and all sorts of other aspects of running a voluntary organisation, which, at the moment, of, er a lot of, er social service organisations plug into, but so many environmental groups.
[413] So I I just thinks it's a, it's a feature of the rapid development of the environmental sector, that, for, as I say, for quite understandable reasons, some of those links, and networks, haven't been fully established, and our project which we see as a, as a short term one, essentially a three year bit of work, is going to address that, and it's been widely supported by er, a number of environmental groups.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [414] Thank you Richard.
[415] At the back, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [416] I'm Nigel I'm Chief Executive of the National Charity Community of Transport which is based in Manchester, and it's that last point which is really significant behind my question, and it concerns your new premises and, I'm ... one it's a question as to what your planning to do, and secondly, a request if you're not, er, that you could provide within that some working space for people from out of town, to use when we're in London, complete with things like, you know, coin operated fax machines, because I find I spend quite a lot of time in London, you have meetings on successive days, you have time to kill, and there's no where sort of, comfortable to go and sit down and get on with some things.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [417] Thank you.
[418] Tony would you comment ...
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [419] I'm delighted to comment, though, subject to contract and everything else, I wouldn't give any any assurances.
[420] May I say, right at the start of the planning processes, and we'll we'll start with N C V O's immediate needs, but we're very aware of services that other organisation need from time to time, and it's very interesting to hear that as a, as a new example.
[421] Er, I will be fitting that in our own planning process.
[422] There is, erm, within London, in the next fours years or so, a major initiative that's being operated under under the erm, A C E N V O, Association of Chief Executives and National Voluntary Organisations which some of you will know about.
[423] A major er, development, somewhere around eighty to a hundred thousand square feet of resource space for organisations, and they will also, I think, be looking the sort of provision that you suggested.
[424] There's no harm, however, in us looking at that as an option within our own space.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [425] Thank you very much Tony.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [426] Possibly also worth mentioning er, B P's charity base, which I think, has been a very er good recent initiative, whereby there is office sharing accommodation available, er, and all those sort of services that you talked about, so er, there is already initiative, and I think that seems to be very successful.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [427] Thank you, the last question, I'm afraid now.
[428] At the back, please.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [429] My name's Alan from the Edinburgh Council Social Service to change its name in April, to the Council of Voluntary Organisations.
[430] I'd like first of all, bring greetings north of the border.
[431] I think I'm the only representative here, and apologies from the Director and the Chair of the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations.
[432] We had our annual meeting last week, and er, very successful it was too.
[433] I've operated er, various positions on the Celtic fringe, and I could've replied briefly to my colleague from Wales in
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [434] Not [...]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [435] in my haltering Welsh, I don't have any Gaelic I'm afraid.
[436] The point I would like to make is that while we're thinking of international relations, that we do bear in mind that United Kingdom is still a United Kingdom.
[437] We need to communicate with each other on a regularly basis over all the issues that have been raised.
[438] I think this is extremely important.
[439] I know it goes on.
[440] Some of us though, working at the ground, grass roots ma may not know that it goes on, and er, I would just like to take this opportunity of stressing how important it is to, that we communicate within the United Kingdom, and er, support Nigel's er, suggestion that it would be useful to have a base down here.
[441] He and I were at a lobby at the House of Commons yesterday, in er, celebration of the mobility allowance, which campaigned very successfully, and we, in the Community Transport field, have very close working relationships and communication.
[442] So there's an example of where it's happening and I hope it will happen over the whole field.
[443] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [444] Th thank you very much, and I'm sure we send greetings equally north of the border.
[445] Sadly I think that our time has run out for this particular session, but I would remind you that the seminars this afternoon, erm, are, offer other opportunities to explore both some of the issues that have been raised er, through your questions now, and also others that you may wish to raise, er, with the members of staff, the leaders of the groups.
[446] I would, before passing on the next part of our programme, I would like to warmly thank Judy and Simon and Richard and Tony, not only for their presentations, their carefully thought out presentations to give us as broad a span as possible of how they see the priorities, what is happening at this time, but for everything else they do in leading their teams and initiating so many of the exchanges that take place, which adds so much, as has been said by, both by Judy and by other speakers, to carry N C V O forward.
[447] We are enormously fortunate as our Chairman said in his video presentation, erm, to have such devoted, loyal and committed staff, and I think you can see that in the quality of the work which comes out of N C V O and the way in which it it moves forward, always, sort of, going towards er er taking with it the members.
[448] So thank you very much indeed, and we now move on to, briefly to ... [laugh] Earlier on our progr in our programme we received that Tony could not be with us today, but we are delighted to welcome in his place Sir Leonard I B M's Director of Personnel and Corporate Services.
[449] Sir Leonard has had a distinguished with I B M which included being seconded by I B M to the National Health Service Management Board, first as Director of Personnel and then as Chairman of the Board.
[450] He holds a number of directorships, is a member of learned institutes, an author, is a recipient of many awards and honours and hold many offices, including some as chairman in a wide range of organisations, including some in the voluntary sector and many concerned with education and training.
[451] The title of his address to us today, Voluntary Organisations and the Private Sector, is a subject of enormous interest to this audience, and it seems particularly appropriate with the wide and distinguished experience of our speaker.
[452] Sir Leonard.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [453] Well, thank you very much, Chair, for that splendid introduction, I'm sure my mother would recognise me from er, what you said.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [454] Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, can I just give you er, Tony apologies, er, unfortunately he has to be in Paris today, I know he'd prefer to be with you, but he has to be in Paris today, and since he's good at delegation, he's actually asked me to come along and and to talk to you.
[455] Erm, I suppose I ... have one advantage, which is I know one or two people in the audience and I think I know a little bit about the nature of the audience, er, and you gathered why from er, the Chair's introduction.
[456] But er, that's a great advantage when compared with the newly appointed British Ambassador in Washington, who having just arrived in Washington, er picked up the telephone and heard a voice at the other end, say, what do you want for Christmas, it was just before Christmas, what do you want for Christmas, and he thought hastily and, didn't want to be impolite or too greedy, so he said a small box of crystallised fruit, and put the telephone down, and a few momen a few moments later he put on the radio, and the announcer said, we've just conducted our normal review of the Ambassadors' wishes for Christmas, er, the the Ambassadors in Washington.
[457] And the German Ambassador wants peace on earth and good will to all men,
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [458] and the French Ambassador wants the release of remaining hostages in Lebanon, and the British Ambassador wants a small box wants a small box of crystallised fruit.
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (JNKPSUNK) [459] So I have that advantage, that er, I do know a little bit about you.
[460] Erm, and I also understand that this is the first time you've actually had someone from the private sector, er, whose been invited to er, address your A G M so, I'd like to thank you for the privilege, and for also for the opportunity to speak on a subject which I personally er, find of of great interest.
[461] A politician once said.
[462] Er, ask a fellow to speak on something that interests him, and you're sure to get a more interesting speech.
[463] And, I'm about to test that.
[464] As the role of er, business in the community is well at the top of personal agenda, in my job as I B M Personnel Director and Director of Corporate Affairs, the Corporate Affairs bit, er, is the piece I'm going to be talking about.
[465] Erm, well I er, I hope that er, I can prove that politician right today.
[466] Let me straight away, er, that it might be folly of me to assume that er, you know a great deal about I B M. By the way I B M stands for International Business Machines, not as, some people used to think, International Ballistic Missiles.
[467] Erm, and I B M is is of course, very well known in the computer field.
[468] I B M, U K, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year, has some sixteen thousand employees based in some fifty two locations throughout the United Kingdom, and they're working on all aspects of information technology, er, from software to silicon, from telecommunications to personal systems, and of course we form part of a very large company, I B M Corporation, which employs around three hundred and seventy thousand people across the world.
[469] Now some of you here today might wonder, what a computer company has to do with the community.
[470] Er, you may, quite understandably, regard businessmen like myself, with some suspicion.
[471] How can people whose daily life involves this relentless pursuit of profit, possibly understand the motives of organisations like your own.
[472] Organisations dedicated to providing support, to minority groups, to the disabled, to the under privileged, to the under achievers, or people who simply don't have the means to get the advice and support which they need.
[473] Let me assure you straight away then, I see absolutely no conflict between having moral values and running a profit making business.
[474] Ethics do have a place in the boardroom, and our employees, er employees in I B M, would expect them to have that place.
[475] Companies are made up of hundred of individual citizens who may depend on the support services of the voluntary sector.
[476] For instance, in the case of marriage guidance, bereavement counselling, advice on debt and so on .
[477] They therefore expect the companies they work for to support the providers of those services, in some way, and they want to play their part too, in delivering those services, and I have quite a lot to say about that, later on.
[478] But today I want to address three themes, that revolve around relationships.
[479] First the relationship between public, private and voluntary sectors, which I do believe need to work more closely together.
[480] Secondly, the relationships between the private sector and the voluntary sector, and lastly how we measure the success of these special relationships.
[481] Well my view, and it's a view shared by many business leaders, is that for business to continue to be the wealth creator in our society, a healthy balanced community in which to operate is essential.
[482] The private sector therefore, need the support of an educated, employed and motivated community as much as the community needs the support of industry and commerce, and when I'm asked whether, in these harsh economic times, business can still afford to support the community.
[483] My reply is that we cannot afford not to do so.
[484] Increasin increasing, it's not just a question of support, it's a committed partnership, and as the boundaries between public, private and voluntary sectors, become less rigid, these partnerships will continue to grow.
[485] And I'm sure you need no reminding that during the past ten years, a new order has emerged and is emerging, which is changing the roles traditionally per performed by the three sectors.
[486] For example, with the creation of hospital trusts, with the opting out of schools, with the contracting out of local government services.
[487] I would certainly advocate the existence of more fora where the three sectors can come together to achieve mutual understanding and where c we can debate this new order, and make joint decisions about its future.
[488] What about the relationships, specifically between the private and the voluntary sectors.
[489] The U K's voluntary sector is large, its turnover is estimated at about seventeen billion.
[490] Which incidentally makes it larger than agriculture.
[491] The voluntary sector, therefore, has an enormous role to play, in all our lives, and investing in it, is essential for the long term future of commerce and industry, for without it, the cement would not, would not set, and cracks would appear throughout our society.
[492] An investment, I repeat, investment, is the key word here.
[493] As I said last year at the Whitbread and Company conference on employee volunteering.
[494] We regard expenditure in the community as being in a par with expenditure in any other sphere of business activity, and subject to the same management disciplines.
[495] It is investment like any other business investment, and it should be clear what it is intended to achieve, and how this is to be measured.
[496] This is a view shared by about three hundred leading companies, including I B M, who belong to the per cent club.
[497] Members of that club see private sector involvement in the community as an integral part of corporate life, which can improve both business itself and the relationship between business sector and the community as a whole.
[498] Qualifications for the per cent club, which was launched by the Prince of Wales in nineteen eighty six, is the contribution of no less than half a per cent of pre-tax, U K profits, or one per cent of dividends to the community.
[499] The aims of the per cent club were described by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at the clubs, at the clubs annual general meeting last week, as clear and refreshing.
[500] He said, impressed by the growing co-operation between so many businesses and their local communities.
[501] It is the wealth creators, he said, who open up the great possibilities for improvement in our society.
[502] Community investment which without modesty, er, I can say is a phrase coined by I B M, is seen to be of strategic importance to many leading companies.
[503] A major plank of our community investment strategy is to work in partnership with the voluntary sector, at both national and local levels, and forgive me if I use I B M to [...] instrumental in setting up the north-east environmental initiative in partnership with the ground-work trust, business in the community and Gateshead Borough Council.
[504] The initiative's aim is to encourage children in schools, to think about the environment, and involve producing an environmental teaching pack, running an environmental course for teachers, and developing a green software application for us on personal computer in schools.
[505] Now let me talk a little bit about policies.
[506] I B M, U K has long established policies for managing its corporate social responsibility, and as I said earlier, applies the same principles to this as to any other business activity.
[507] Thus we've never considered it right to hand out cheques on a mere whim, deciding to sponsor a project, or support a charity because it happened to be the flavour of the month, or because a director had some some particular keen interest in it.
[508] Last year we gave four point four million, either in kind, or in people's time, not including er, that that's secondees, or erm, in in money, er, and er, it sounds a lot of money, but you can easily get rid of that sum, when you're receiving so many requests.
[509] So it's im particularly important to target it, and to make sure that there is some impact, as a result of that expenditure.
[510] So our support has been subject to redefined guidelines, as you'd expect from any efficient organisation.
[511] Recently, we've come to think er, even more strategically about the projects, and organisations we've chosen to support for of course, two reasons.
[512] First, this more systematic approach, has left rather less room for doubt when making decisions about contributions, when one gets so many applications, and second, the recession has forced us to look more carefully at how potential new investments might meet company objectives as well as the needs of the community.
[513] Notice it's not altruism, I'm arguing very clearly, as as self interest in in the activity.
[514] I'm sure this strategic approach is appreciated and understood by organisations such as yourselves, who prefer the closer working relationship which follows this kind of of support.
[515] What do we bring to this partnership for the voluntary sector.
[516] Our most obvious support is through cash donations, but often it's much more than that.
[517] We bring the time of our people, resources in kind, and skills and expertise.
[518] Employment, impartment of the voluntary sector is one of the fo one of the four er, basic areas which we define for support er, against their background of er, of targeting.
[519] Now by impartment, we mean, we mean, enabling, we mean helping the voluntary sector to be more ef effective and efficient in the use of its scarce resources.
[520] So that is a very clear objective that we have, as one of our contributions.
[521] We do this in several ways, including for example, our creative management skills course, which won a a national training award in nineteen eighty-eight, and which we make available, of course , to managers within the voluntary sector.
[522] And in addition the I B M fund for com community computing, which was launched by John , the Minister of State at the Home Office earlier this year.
[523] We've been running the management skills courses since nineteen eighty-six, and since then, more than seven hundred and fifty people, from groups such as yours, have taken a part, and we're about to launch a phase two in the next er, year or so.
[524] It offers practical advice on team work, time and task management, leadership and delegation, the motivation of others and many other topics.
[525] There can be no doubt that this course has heightened the management skills of some of those working in the voluntary sector, but an extra benefit is that it had widened the links between I B M and you, and widened the understanding between both of us.
[526] The fund for community, computing I mentioned earlier, is aimed at helping voluntary and community organisations to use information technology more efficiently.
[527] Many organisations, as I'm sure you are aware, buy computer or receive them as gifts, but they don't make full use of them because of the lack of money for the necessary training and consultancy.
[528] The fund will provide grants for up to a thousand pounds for these organisations to spend on such training.
[529] Another way in which we [...] is by encouraging and facilitating employee volunteering.
[530] I B M is just one of many companies, who now feel that lending employees rather than giving money, is a better way to work with a voluntary sector.
[531] One of the main facilitators for community involvement is what has become known in I B M as the ten per cent scheme.
[532] This enables our employees to use the equivalent of one afternoon a week during working hours, for approved community activities, always of course, subject to workload.
[533] And many of employees are involved in voluntary groups, education and training, the arts and charities, in of course, their own spare time.
[534] In fact our office in Edinburgh, last week, won a major U K award for employee volunteering.
[535] The award was presented by the Prince of Wales at the Annual Meeting of the per cent club, which I've already mentioned, and it was [...] during nineteen ninety, and it won the private sector small to medium size company, or companies subsidiary sector category.
[536] Incidentally, much of its work was done in support of the Citizens' Advice Bureaux, erm, in which it helped develop er, computer applications, and also it had the courage to organise a major AIDS conference.
[537] You will, I'm sure, some of you will be familiar with the drugs AIDS problem, which exists in Edinburgh.
[538] By the way, the overall winner, so I don't make it too I B M, was of course, Body Shop International.
[539] One of the reasons, I B M's Edinburgh office won the award, was the enthusiasm of the employees.
[540] And this was also why L E A T, [spelling] L E A T [] our Local Environment Action Teams, initiative, proved to be so outstanding.
[541] L E A T was designed to encourage employees and their families to undertake voluntary work to improve the environment.
[542] Employees were awarded sums of money between a hundred pounds and fifteen thousand pounds to tackle projects in partnership with national or local voluntary organisations.
[543] When the scheme was announced the need for individual as well as corporate action was underlined by Tony .
[544] In this area, and others we support, it's the individuals which a company's role in the community so well received.
[545] Individual co [end of tape]