Council Treasurer Convention Report and Accounts

Report to MD Convention 2022 

Council Treasurer PCC Philip Goodier

I would like to thank the Council of Governors for again giving me the opportunity to serve the Multiple District.

This Report does not deal with any charity monies, which are covered within the relevant charity Report.

1. Current Situation

My primary objective since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in March 2020, has been to ensure the financial stability, and safety, of the Multiple District..

There are old adages that ‘cash is king’ and ‘turnover is vanity and profit sanity’ and these have been my watchwords: as we have seen too frequently, businesses, many of them long-established and well respected, have ceased trading because, ultimately, they ran out of cash.

I have resolved to ensure that MD105 remains ‘cash rich’ and able to withstand financial shocks.

The changes that have been implemented, because of the coronavirus threat, led to the closing down of many parts of society; as Lions we have not been immune from those changes.

As Council Treasurer a great deal of time has been spent looking at the finances of the Multiple District, the budget and the forecast expenditure for the current fiscal year, 2021-22, in order to make recommendations to Council.

The Multiple District dues payable by members was fixed at £28.50 in 2014 and by virtue of careful management had been held at £28.50 for 6 years.

The intention in 2021-22 was to return the underspend incurred in 2019-20, £63,330.

The Council of Governors is not planning any major capital spending; the MD Headquarters was modernised and extended to make it DDA compliant a few years ago. There should be no requirement to undertake major works in the medium term - we will of course have ongoing repairs and renewals, simply to safeguard the fabric of the building.

2. Liquidity

The MD is a cash rich organization well capable of meeting all day-to-day obligations from cash flow: as at the 31st March the Association has the following liquid funds:

GBP Bank Accounts, details of the account holding institutions are:

CAF Bank Ltd, RBS Farnborough, Lloyds Leeds - total instant access funds £277,924.

It should be noted that financial movements are managed so as to minimize the risk of balances with any one institution exceeding £85,000, the maximum covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.  

In addition, investments with a book value of £199,146 are held: these are instant access, not term investments.

3. General Account

The Review of the 2020-21 out-turn is contained within the Convention papers, on page 8 of the audited accounts for the year ended 30 June 2021. The comparison of Budget to Actual expenditure for year to 30th June 2021, is contained in the Budget Proposals for 2022/23.

4. MD Convention

At one time we held the MD Convention in a seaside resort, on the basis that we would receive what is termed ‘subvention’ from the local authority, who usually owned and managed the venue.

Subvention is the principal that our collective spend in a locality is worth the offset provided to attract our business. Increasingly, local authorities are handing over the management of venues to third party companies and subvention is a thing of the past.

For example, we held the 2009 Convention at the Floral Hall, Southport and received subvention to offset the theatre hire, £5,850. Post recession, when an approach was made to Sefton MBC, we were advised that there would be no subvention and that the hire rate would be £5,000 per day.

The MD Convention Officer increasingly looks to large hotels as venues; such hotels, off-peak, are prepared to do deals whereby room hire costs are waived if we book a set number of room nights – the Metropole Hotel, Birmingham (2012) and (2015) and the Palace Hotel, Manchester (2014) are examples of this arrangement.

Unfortunately, predicting demand and attendance a few years in advance of the event has become very difficult and losses have been incurred on social events in recent years such that there is now no social reserve fund.

5. MD Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met on Saturday 8th January 2022 to review the financial position of the Multiple District, to discuss the Budget submissions and to make recommendations to Council for the 2022-2023 financial year on a range of issues. It should be noted that some expenditure has the weight of either the Constitution or Convention Resolution behind it and is mandatory, not discretionary.

The Finance Committee noted, with concern, that membership levels across the Multiple District continue to fall, albeit that the rate of loss has dropped since the exceptionally high levels seen during the pandemic lockdowns.

I would like to thank all members of the Committee and the MD Specialist Officers for their invaluable contribution, as and when requested, and especially, their attendance and guidance in the very complex budgeting process.

6. Budget for 2022/23

As Council Treasurer, I am aware that there is a demand from members that Council drive down costs and to that end, and with the support of the Council Chairman and Council Secretary, activity analysis is undertaken at our National Headquarters. The analysis is undertaken by our Staff so that we can better understand what work is undertaken and the impact that it has.

Because of that work the decision was taken to reduce the number of hours required and a member of staff was made redundant in July 2013; it is not considered that any further reductions can be made given current demands and workload.

I prepare a quarterly financial forecast for Council, which is presented at each Council meeting, so that Council are aware of expenditure levels as they change during the year and are informed as to the financial impact their decisions have.

Our Headquarters staff have been very active in seeking competitive quotes for a wide range of products and services; I commend the work put in by Brigitte Green who has been proactive in seeking to reduce expenditure across the board.

Certain costs are being borne by Headquarters as a consequence of work being transferred ‘in’ from MD Officers due to the volume and time being taken.

For many years we enjoyed, as a Not For Profit Organisation, what is termed ‘Discretionary Rate Relief’. As a consequence of the financial pressures facing them, Birmingham City Council withdrew that relief with effect from the 1st April 2011. This has added in excess of £6,000 of cost to the organisation, this again is legislative, but provides no additional benefit.  

Although an appeal was lodged against the withdrawal, it was refused on the basis that we are an organisation ‘well able to absorb such a cost increase’.

The increase in VAT to 20% in January 2011 costs the MD around £7,500 in a full year. It is considered there is no advantage to register for VAT.

To reduce costs associated with mailings, a resolution was approved at Convention 2011 and Headquarters now distribute information by electronic means.

The Finance Committee discussed the overall budget proposals and the outcomes are incorporated in the “Cost Analysis For Dues Resolution” that accompanies this Report.

7. CIO

The current position with regards to Clubs changing their status to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) is that 455 Clubs have been allocated a Mentor, of which:
229 Clubs and 4 District Foundations are totally complete

339 have had their 105 Order completed (meaning 110 still need to complete the transfer of Assets)

15 Clubs are on the waiting list for a mentor.

10. Questions

if anyone has any query or seeks any clarification of anything contained within this report or attachment, please do not hesitate to contact me, at least 7 days before the MD Convention, so that a detailed and complete response can be given.

Lion Philip Goodier CPFA
Council Treasurer


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