Question Time - 10 questions to be answered at the BFBB AGM


4BR puts forward 10 questions to be asked and answered at the British Federation of Brass Bands Annual General Meeting this weekend.

BFBBThe Annual General Meeting of the British Federation of Brass Bands takes place on Saturday 17th April at the BFBB National Office in Barnsley.

The organisation faces many problems, not least a perception that it is not a truly representative ‘British’ body. There are growing concerns over the viability of the English National Contest, which it promotes and organises, membership numbers and the BFBB’s ability to successfully promote the profile of brass banding in the UK.

There are questions to be asked and answered.

The organisation does have its detractors, but it has always welcomed debate and discussion at its AGM, and has always tried to encourage representatives to attend the meeting.

This year’s AGM starts at 3.00pm, so if you want to have your say get along and find out more.

Just 19 people turned up last year.

Here though are 10 questions that 4BR believes need to be addressed:

1. The BFBB mission statement defines that the organisation aims to, ‘maintain, improve, represent and promote the practice and performance of brass band music in the UK seeking an increased participation in brass bands and their music as a result of BFBB support’.

Does the BFBB believe that it is doing this and is meeting its obligations as a registered charitable organisation?

2. The BFBB reported a drop in membership to 230 bands in 2009.  The BFBB was asked in both 2008 and 2009 whether it could report from which regional areas of the country the membership came.
How many bands are currently members of the organisation, and from which of the eight regional areas, and in what sections, do they come from?

3. What work are the BFBB currently undertaking to increase membership, and what has been achieved in this respect in the past 12 months?

4. The 2009 – 2013 BFBB Strategic Plan stated that a total of 61 ‘goals’ were to be met by the organisation by March 2010.

These included 17 Governance, 9 Financial, 14 Development, 6 Marketing, 8 Partnership & Liaison and 5 e-communications objectives as diverse as: ‘successfully recruiting a marketing and liaison officer and administrative assistant by June 2009’; ‘to explore use of a ‘company retreat’ as an effective way of defining aspirations and goals and checking shared vision’ and ‘to identify skills gaps of the Executive Committee and fill them’.

How many of these have been met in full, partially met, or not met at all by the date outlined in the Strategic Plan, and how many of the remaining goals are likely to be met by 2013?

5. According to the BFBB website the Development Officer is currently undertaking two current projects – the ‘Bandstand Marathon’ (started in 2008), and Barnardo’s Brass Appeal (started in January 2009).

The Development Officer did not give a written report of his activities to the AGM in 2009 and the last reported news on the BFBB website of the Development Officer’s work was dated June 2009.  

Will the Development Officer be giving a report to the 2010 AGM outlining his work and achievements of the past twelve months, and a further indication of what projects he will be working on in 2010 and beyond?

6.  The BFBB currently runs the English National Brass Band Championships.

As a ‘National’ organisation how does the promotion of this contest reflect the BFBB’s own mission statement?

What are the BFBB’s aims and objectives for this contest for the future?

7. In 2009 the BFBB reported that it was to receive the proceeds of a legacy worth approximately £56,000 from the estate of the late Norman Jones to be set up in a trust fund.

Has the BFBB received this money, set up the appropriate trust fund, and what are its provisions, aims and objectives?  

8. At the 2009 AGM, it was stated that the BFBB would initiate dialogue and communication with contest promoters such as Kapitol Promotions who run the National Brass Band Championships, to try and work in partnership with them for the benefit of bands.

What progress has the BFBB to report on this?  

9. What role does the British Brass Band Registry play in the overall promotion of the BFBB’s aims and objectives?

Has the BFBB encouraged dialogue between the Welsh and Scottish Registry’s and what progress has been made to bring the rules of each organisation in line with each other?  

10. In 2009, the financial report stated that the BFBB would bring in different methods by which potential member bands could pay their £100 a year fee.

Has this been done?


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