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Prospect London Central Retired Members Group

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LONDON CENTRAL AREA AGM

This 2017 Area Annual General Meeting was held on 2 November at New Prospect House.  24 members attended.  The guest speaker was Alan Leighton, the full-time officer for the Area.  He said Prospect wanted to continue working with the National Pensioners' Convention, but had opposed the latter's affiliation to the People's Assembly Against Austerity, especially given the PAAA's "Tories Out" slogan.  Andrew Ruffhead and Ireen Goulding were re-elected Area President and Area Secretary.  In a contested election, Bob Avery, David Bernard, Ray Derry, John Evans, David Laing and John Merritt were elected to the Area Committee.

RMG ANNUAL DELEGATE CONFERENCE

The Retired Members' 2018 ADC was held on 25 January at New Prospect House.

Robbie Ridoutt was re-elected as Area President and Peter Gilroy was re-elected as RMG Vice-President.  Both had wanted to stand down, but their declared intention had not prompted any nominations.

Two motions on pensions were carried.  One instructed the NC (through the NEC) to lobby the Government to ensure that the pension age is not pushed back any further, and to retrospectively reimburse those women affected by the current inequalities.  The other instructed the NC to press the NEC to work with the wider trade union movement to protect workplace defined-benefit pension schemes in the aftermath of the dangerous precedents set by Hoover and Tata Steel.

Two motions on health & care were carried.  One called for the NC to provide annual reports on the status of asbestos-related claims taken up by Prospect.  The other instructed the NC to make representations about Britain keeping the European Health Insurance Card beyond Brexit.

Conference instructed the NC to support campaigns for the following: harmonisation of free bus pass arrangements across the UK, capping of the Insurance Premium Tax, Governmental support for public-transport funding, and ecologically-favourable changes to Vehicle Excise Duty.

COMMUNICATIONS

Retired members continue to receive the 4-page bulletin "WiseEye", although the number of issues per year is down from 4 to 3.  London Central Area members Andrew Ruffhead and Tony Matthews are on the advisory panel, but sometimes production schedules have prevented them having the chance to comment.
  
The Area Bulletin "London Review" online London Central Retired Members has given way to the briefer "London Update" because of the editor's postgraduate studies.  The proportion of members in the Area with valid email addresses known to Prospect has now reached 64%.

NATIONAL CONFERENCE

The 2018 Prospect National Conference will be held on 03-06 June in Birmingham.  There will be 12 delegates from the Retired Members Group, including Andrew Ruffhead (London Central Area Representative).  Other members of the London Central Area will be present as Helpers/Stewards.