Thames Region Maritime Vol. Service

Dedicated to Thames Region MVS at City of London, Gravesend, Greenwich etc


National EGM - Conference 2008

Maritime Volunteer Service

 Nottingham 19/20 April.

Council Meeting 23rdFeb


"jottings" is a clickable link

can give you a flavour

of where the MVS is coming from

and where it is going to

as a result of the Council meeting!


Nottingham is a clickable link

 The Red Ensign of the Maritime Volunteer Service

looks well.

There are very few defaced Red Ensigns!

Trinity House and RNLI puts MVS in good company.

It is worn with pride by Londinium 1


But with all the fun and games going on at the mo. we really can't take it too seriously, can we?

the Memorandum of Association is the legal device by which MVS entity was set up.

the Articles of Association are the Rules of Engagement for the orderly running of the CHARITY.

Using the magic of modern electronic wizardry and the world wide web we are able to give you the texts of both documents at the click of a mouse! That means precisely what it says! Click on either term above to download your own abridged version of either. Abridgement means that where the document will not fit the electronic requirements we shave corners off it. Don't worry about being fed a load of dried starfish! We just put spaces after numbers and highlighted bits. The originals are held by the Charities Commission and at all times THOSE copies are the definitive legal documents.

Be assured that your webmasters have spent a considerable amount of time trying to ensure that what you click on is as near as makes no difference to the real thing. Where words have been changed they are bracketed! It makes the documents much easier to read and understand! (We think?).

So go click!


Positive Proposals: Frank Revill HoU Poole

This contribution was originally posted in the MVS members forum by Frank Revill. It represents the only response we have found which positively addresses the problem of organisation and management within the service. We consider it to be so eminently sensible that we are taking the liberty of using it at once, in case it gets 'lost'. It has been lightly edited as posts as written are not always suitable for cutting and pasting into a public site.

Following on from the need to find a 'General' before we will move forward,
I feel there is a large group of members who are loth to radically change
the present set up, especially the removal of the RVO's.

Coming [as I do] from the largest region, with five units and about 120 members, I appreciate the need for a person [RVO?] to source regional joint training, joint operations, and to lead and assist the development of smaller units. I feal miffed that as a region we only have one trustee vote, although we are about a quarter of the strength, and do not understand how a single-unit RVO/trustee gets appointed.

The problem is that the RVO's are the Trustees, and separately for our present size there are too many of them.

It should be arranged so that each [RVO] covers at least three units. [Currently 35 units, suggests 12 RVO's] Looking at how most charities choose their trustees:  in most larger charities, new trustees are appointed by the remainder of the present committee.  In smaller [charities],  [trustees] are elected by the members at AGM. There has been debate about having 'outsiders' as Trustees. Many are against [this idea ]and many , including myself, do not think it possible. However, having some [trustees]  from ['outside'] would have several advantages.

Any changes would require amendment of our constitution, so it is important to get any changes to present arrangement right.

I think the Trusteeship needs to be taken out of the rank structure, [and especially] from people with regional responsibilities or interests.

[Trustees] are required to consider the service as a whole. There is no reason why CEO and Secretary cannot be Trustees.  It would ensure that the CEO and Secretary [areincluded in] the responsibility loop.  May I suggest the following as a [plan] that perhaps more of us could live with? ..................

Trustees to consist of the following:

CEO, Secretary, up to 7 elected Trustees, up to 5 'non-executive' trustees, who are not registered MVS members.

The elected trustees would be chosen by ballot at AGM from nominations put forward from the RVO's, up to 3 from Scotland, 3 from Wales, and 5 from England. [11 nominations in all?] No Trustee may hold a position above unit level, (and if currently so engaged must resign that position on election) and each nomination must have been a registered MVS members for at least 3 years at the time of election.

Elected members stand for re-election every 3 years. [Or all but the last two posts be filled for 3 years, the second last for 2, the last for 1?]

There should be between 9 and 15 Trustees in all. Until all elected posts are filled, it should not be permitted to appoint 'non-executive Trustees'. Trustees once installed by election or appointment should have the right to appoint replacements for any Trustee who resigns during tenure.

The idea is to have Trustees with a kingdom-wide overview, are are thus elected, but having nominations by area. This prevents a coup in any area.  The idea is also to allow RVO's to concentrate on their regions and areas. I still believe we need to reduce the number so that each is responsible for at least 50 members [or more than one unit]. I appreciate we need to think about distance in sorting this one out.

A job for the new Trustees and the CEO team, [perhaps].

VERY Conservative Views : Isle of Wight

Some IoW members attended the AGM in Llandudno and although they sensed some unease within the hierarchy there did not appear to be too much amiss within the organisation. Plans were laid and groups of members volunteered to carry out tasks such as looking into uniforms etc. We were part of one such group, and tasked to report back to HQ in time for the next AGM. Then, like a bolt from the blue, just two months later we hear that the Management Committee has been suspended for alleged irregularities and an Interim Management Group formed and put into place, albeit headed at that time by John Holland, the Chairman of the Management Committee, so we felt that perhaps all was under control.  We waited patiently for notification of an EGM but none came; surely the membership should have had the opportunity to have an input and were entitled to an explanation of what was going on!

 A few months went by and John Holland, a well respected and well known personality within the membership was gone too – who then are the governors that are left? Mainly a group of middle-management uniformed personnel, the RVO’s (Vol. Lieutenant Commanders). There also seems to be a witch-hunt on to get certain senior officers out of post. We are after all a disciplined, uniformed organisation with a rank structure and therefore a chain of command! Something appears wrong with a structure that permits this to occur – the tail is wagging the dog! The RVO’s should never have been put into such an impossible position and that is a major design fault of the present system which needs rectifying. Reading the minutes of IMG meetings it is apparent that “management” considers that a senior officer taking the initiative, when nothing was being done at higher levels, i.e. to get the Training Manual promulgated is wrong. We believe he was doing his job. Maybe it was the same with other situations?

 The MVS was formed by ex-RNXS personnel who strongly believed that there were still tasks that had been covered by the RNXS which a voluntary organisation could continue therefore the MVS was formed on similar lines to the RNXS, with a rank/rate structure and uniform that would be recognised within the maritime organisations it hoped to serve. Our links with the MCA and HMCG as instanced by “Napoli” grounding have proved that the strategy worked. It certainly works here on the island. We wouldn’t be where we are now if we had been a sloppy outfit in tee shirts, jeans and baseball caps! Most members joined the MVS because they liked what they saw, what it had to offer; the fact that it has an organised rank structure and is a disciplined, smartly turned out organisation and from this it can offer a trained cadre of personnel to work in conjunction with other agencies.

 We note that the IMG is supposed to have circulated a document “The Way Ahead” in late summer 2007 – but you stated that only 8 members replied – The IW unit did not receive any such document! If we had we most certainly would have replied. Surely by getting such a low return it must have been obvious that something was amiss. How many other units/members did not receive the document? During late August ’07 the IW Unit was involved with both Poole and Portsmouth units and the RVO at two major events, which included social time together, yet no mention was made of this document.

 Have the 8 members of the FSG consulted any members inside or outside their own units as to what they would like or if in fact they want any change at all? They certainly have not consulted any of the IW members who do not agree with many of their proposals.

 Looking at the list of names they appear to be regular contributors to the Forum, voicing very controversial, often destructive views and very critical of the management. The Forum is an undisciplined medium of communication and could easily become detrimental to the MVS, unless strict codes of conduct are put in place and adhered to. If people do not like the MVS as it is then why did they join? If an organisation is not to your liking should you not go and join [one] that suits you, rather than try to wreck what others are satisfied with.

 The current structure of the MVS is not beyond saving, although we do agree that it needs some tweaking, but it does not require such radical changes as are being proposed. It has provision for and desperately needs to have a uniformed Captain at the helm, a Board of Trustees and a Management Committee who are not uniformed members of the MVS. The IW Unit membership here does not want to have an organisation that operates like a political party, trade union or a yacht club, with an Operational Chairman, Secretary this and Secretary that: it does not suit a disciplined, uniformed organisation and we strongly object to being addressed as Shipmate. We are totally committed to the general principles of the current basic structure with some changes but remaining with the same uniform. On the basis of what the MVS is now and since the IW Operations Branch Seminar in November ’07 our membership has increased by 30%.

 We do not believe that any changes should be made by a postal ballot without there first being an AGM where views can be thoroughly aired.

 David Dobson  HoU, Isle of Wight