Board approved Competition recommendations to go to the AGM

14th February, 2024

At its January meeting, the Bowls England board discussed the final recommendations proposed by the Competitions Working Party for changes to the programme from 2025. Following further consultation, the recommendations has been adjusted to reflect feedback from County Associations. The Board also explored the financial impact of the changes and the approach to tabling these recommendations at the 2024 AGM. Information about what is proposed, and the AGM papers can be reviewed on the Bowls England website.

The Board received and signed of the Audited Accounts for 2022/23, which showed a £245k deficit for the year. This was in line with the revised budget forecast so was expected, but the Board re-emphasized the need for us to move towards a break-even budget and stop drawing down on reserves. The topic of the inflationary increase in affiliation fees was also discussed. To ensure that annual inflationary increase is most reflective of the economic conditions at the time, whilst also complementing County Associations current processes, it was resolved to take the rate of inflation at the start of the relevant financial year. So, the affiliation fee for the 2025 season will be adjusted based on the rate of inflation on 1 October 2024.

The Chief Executive presented his Operational Update on day-to-day activity since the last meeting. One area for discussion was the ongoing financial challenges of Disability Bowls England (DBE). The Board was in full agreement that the development of disability bowl should be supported and would commit to looking at the options of how to make this happen. Following previous discussions with DBE, including the development of a collaboration document, the Chief Executive was tasked to present options for Bowls England to manage relevant DBE activities, should DBE not be financially viable or should their Trustees want this to happen.

The Chief Executive also shared the positive feedback on the 2023 Champions Dinner, and it was agreed that the event should take place at the same venue next year. The Board also noted to the excellent progress of the Annual Awards event and that national competition entries were on target.
Finally, following two nomination processes, no male or female candidate has been put forward to be the Bowls England Junior Vice President for 2024/25. The board discussed this predicament and, given the lower number of Celebration Matches, resolved not to endeavour to fill this position for the coming year. Instead, the Board will step up to support the Presidential Team in discharging their duties such as helping with Aviva National Finals badge
presentations, something which has already happened over the last two years. Moving forward, there was a discussion about the recent low levels of nominations and the attractiveness of the role, and the Board agreed that the Governance Working Party would review the requirements of the presidential team to create a more sustainable and workable future solution.

The full minutes of the meeting can be found here.

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