Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Welcome back to my President's blog and welcome to a New Year! I do hope that everyone enjoyed the festive season, not too much of course (😉) and that 2019 is kind to you. 

From a Presidential perspective, the start of 2019 is certainly slightly quieter than the end of 2018 which saw two trips to Scotland firstly for the Welfare Benefits conference in Grangemouth and then for the Scottish Forum and Scottish President's reception in Edinburgh. 

I have to say that, while the first trip was uneventful, the second certainly made up for it. I should have realised that my day wasn't going to go to plan when the pilot aborted the first attempt to land at Edinburgh airport due to an "unstable approach". Well, that's a new one on me and while I'm not ordinarily a nervous flier the fact that I was in a small propeller plane, and that we were directly above the runway before aborting and climbing rapidly, didn't do much for my nerves. 

What happened next though was entirely my own fault as I confidently arrived at Royal Scots club, not too late as it happens, only to discover that I had in fact gone to the venue for the evening reception and not the Forum meeting. I'm honestly not normally that ditsy!

However, when I did manage to get to the correct venue it was a most informative meeting with Universal Credit and its impacts as high on the agenda in Scotland as it is in other parts of the UK. 

Returning to the Royal Scots club for the evening venue, this time correctly, it was really good to catch up with Scottish practitioners on a personal level. Many of those attending were involved in the education of IRRV students either as tutors or examiners which, as you know, is an area of the Institute's work which is close to my heart. 

I haven't included any photographs here of these two events as Fraser Macpherson, the IRRV Development Manager for Scotland and NI has beaten me to it on the Institute's Facebook page. Efficient as ever Fraser and so much for me keeping a low profile!   

So, now that the festivities are over its back to the day job for many of us, myself included. January is a fairly quiet month with regard to Presidential duties although it does see the first IRRV Council round on 28th of the month. While there will be the usual standing items on the agenda, the main focus of that meeting will be to discuss feedback on the recent Consultation on the future of the Institute "Vision 2020 and Beyond" 

If you haven't already responded, please do take the time to read it and provide feedback. The deadline for feedback is 11th January, but it's not too late! Unlike some of the consultations that may cross our desks, where we may feel like the deal has already been done, we really do want to hear your opinions on the future of the Institute whether you respond as an individual, as part of an Association or both. 

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Well, it’s now been just a little over a month since the Performance Awards evening at Telford when our Immediate Past President, Gordon Heath, handed over the Presidential duties to yours truly. Gordon, as with all Past Presidents, set the bar high in terms of how they have served the Institute in their year and it’s quite a daunting task taking over,despite having 2 years to prepare for stepping into the role.

My first official duty was to attend the Association Representatives meeting at 10am the following morning. After a typically late night in the bar catching up with friends and colleagues from the world of revenues and benefits it’s probably fair to say that I was there in body if not necessarily totally in spirit. However, the work of Associations is something which I wholeheartedly support, particularly as a means of keeping members informed, attracting new members and providing vital opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to become more involved with the Institute. If it hadn’t been for a speaker dropping out of an Association meeting, I would not have been asked to fill the slot and wouldn’t have met the then President (Carol Cutler), subsequently asked to speak at the national conference and probably wouldn’t be the President today.

Following that duty it was a relatively quiet few weeks until the first regional dinner i.e. the Yorkshire dinner. I’d like to record my thanks to the Association president, Matthew, and the Executive Committee for their hospitality during the evening. Never have I seen quite so much cheese on one plate nor have I heard so many cheese related jokes!

Yesterday saw the second Association dinner in Chesterfield for the East Midlands Association. It’s good to see how differently each Association organises their dinner. Yes, there are the usual thank you’s, particularly to our very generous Sponsors, but whereas the Yorkshire dinner saw a turn from a French singer (actually from Skipton), the East Midlands saw Institute members and guests schooled in the art of Saturday night bingo!  Sadly, I didn’t win but I did have a most enjoyable evening and would like to thank the Association President, Claire, and the Exec, particularly Andrew who did a stirling job as the resident bingo caller.

I must say I was looking forward to a little rest and relaxation after recently spending 3 days teaching students on the Autumn Revision Course and a further day on the Day Release course not to mention fitting in the day job and an excellent dinner hosted by the President of the Rating Surveyor’s Association – Mr Tom Emlyn-Jones.

There are a number of themes emerging during my first weeks as President, including a Celtic Connection, with Tom’s grandmother hailing from the same part of South Wales as myself. However, it’s the Celts north of the border that I will be visiting shortly as I’m attending the Scottish Benefits conference in Grangemouth next week.

So, until next time ……

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Institute presidential team for 2018/19

I am pictured below with Andrew Hetherton, Senior Vice President (right) and Alistair Townsend, Junior Vice President (left) :

IRRV Council

I am pictured below with members of the Institute's Council :

IRRV Annual Conference - Presidential handover

I was delighted at IRRV Annual Conference in Telford last week to become IRRV President for 2018/19.

I am photographed below with Gordon Heath, who was the Institute's President over the past year.   My thanks to Gordon for all he did during his presidential year.

I am greatly looking forward to my presidential year and meeting IRRV members right across the country over the next 12 months.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Welcome to the President's Blog!

Welcome to my blog!    

Over the next 12 months of my presidential year, I intend to regularly update IRRV members with a flavour of the activities I am undertaking as Institute President.