The following was taken from the National Newsletter of May 2000.
--One speaker thought that there was no need for two people to represent an area and that only having one attend a meeting of the Committee would reduce expenses.
--Another asked what members got for their money.
--The National Newsletter is a waste of money was the opinion of one speaker.
--An increase 'occasionally' is better than an increase every year was the view of a few speakers.
The Chairman emphasised the fact that the National Committee did NOT increase subscriptions - the membership had that option. The National Committee had simply brought members attention to the financial situation and had suggested one way forward. A succession of votes on various amendments to the National Committee proposal resulted in the main proposal being rejected and the Committee instructed to go away and think again. In the main to look their contribution to the ROC Benevolent Fund from the National Draw.
I noticed your request for comments on subscriptions and what appeared to be conflicting statements from the Central Committee. It appeared that finances were said to be in a serious state and yet capitation income had hardly changed.
Any commercial enterprise with a shrinking customer base is hardly likely to increase its prices in order to survive - it looks to economies and, if possible price reductions to increase turnover. Increasing prices is hardly likely to reverse its fortunes.
Before any increase is contemplated, all realistic economies must have been applied and a realistic cashflow prediction produced, together with the likely effect on cash balances. Any proposal to increase capitation fees must then be justified by reference to these forecasts.
I would suggest that the Central Committee, like other committees inside and outside ROCA, seem to see the maintenance of cash balances as paramount. Some years ago, with declining membership, 8Group ROCA Committee increased the subscription when, in the view of my Section, this was both unwise and unnecessary. We sent a strongly worded protest, and as a matter of principle, have since then subsidised our Section's members to keep the subscription at the previous level. I am pleased to report that no further increases have been applied since then and that 8Group ROCA still apears to be in the black.
Ashbourne Section CROCA