North Coast classic entries open

Armstrong-McCrudden Ace Pigeon NCC 2014
Armstrong-McCrudden Ace Pigeon NCC 2014

The 70th Annual General Meeting for the NIPA will take place in the Protestant Hall, Glenavy, on Saturday 14th February commencing at 2.00pm sharp.

It should be noted that only Delegates can vote or enter into the business of the meeting. Official Delegate Cards will be required in the recording of votes, and no discussion on Resolutions.

This year each club has been furnished with a letter which needs completed and returned for the AGM as confirmation. As well as club name the Delegate Names are required and the date the club meeting was held to discuss the NIPA Accounts and Agenda for 2015. Without the signed letter club votes will not be recorded.

Only one Resolution has been listed on the agenda. Submitted by Horseshoe HPS in Larne: Introduce a 50 Bird Limit per annual subscription fee paid to the NIPA per loft. NIPA Rules 56 and 78 still apply regarding limits in National, Classic and 5 Bird Races.

North Coast Classic – One loft race based in Coleraine, County Londonderry are heading into a 7th Season and invite past members and new lofts to join the fun in 2015.

Prize fund is estimated at £30,000 over 7 races with £12,000 to the winner from Rosscarbery. Entries are limited to 750 birds, entry fee is £100 per bird or deposit of £25. Special offer again in 2015 – Enter a team of 6 Birds for £500. Tel: Sean 07548 607756 or Willie Tel: 07709 089233. You can have an entry form posted to you if requested or download from website northcoastclassic.co.uk

Ballymoney HPS have a meeting arranged for Monday 9th February at 8.00pm, to deal with AGM Agenda and fees etc.

RPRA (Irish Region) annual meeting has been arranged for Saturday 7th February in the Templeton Hotel, Templepatrick at 1.00pm. Please note a change of venue. Those intending to serve on the INFC Committee need to be at this meeting.

Mid Antrim Combine meeting has been arranged for the Harryville HPS on Wednesday 18th March at 8.00pm. Two Delegates from each member club to vote on proposals.

INFC - Please note that the Annual General Meeting will be held on 28th February at Lagan Valley Leisureplex.

Secretary’s Report – January 2015: You should now be in possession of Balance Sheet for 2014 Season, and Resolutions for the AGM – Ref the Balance Sheet, a marked improvement on 2013. The Number 1 a/c is still in deficit at £3,781 and the Number 2 a/c also in deficit at £6,295. The Capital a/c stands at £618,976 e decrease for the year of £5,076. The expenditure in the No 1 a/c is under control and is broadly in line with the previous year. I will give you an explanation as to why the Accountancy Fee is up by £1,330. The Government introduced a new PAYE System called PAYE in Real Time which from April all our PAYE must be done on lone. This required new Software and training. This amount was off-set by a refund in National Insurance Contributions of £2,000. The Assistant Secretary’s salary looks like it has been over-paid by around £702, if this proves to be correct it will be amended in the next set of Accounts.

The membership for the year decreased by 27 to 1427 and we have 89 Club’s affiliated to the NIPA, a small decrease. Unfortunately both membership and Club’s will continue to decline in 2015. I will recommend to the Committee a modest increase in fees of £2 per Club and Member. These small amounts will not bring in enough to lift this Account out of deficit, it will assist. This is only a recommendation the Committee may not agree, but as soon as I have their instructions I will inform you. Please do not send members fees till I confirm the decision.

The No 2 Transport a/c is well improved, however the income for the season id down £8,365 on top of a large decrease in 2013. There is no doubt we have an over capacity with 7 Transporters collecting pigeons. As I reported in my last report, it would made economical sense to reduce our fleet to 6 Transporters, this would reduce costs and save a lot of money. However I am aware that this would mean great inconvenience to all members with collection times advancing. This will have to be addressed in the future and some very difficult and unpopular decisions will have to be made.

The Comeback Races this year proved to be very popular and brought in much needed revenue. Without this income the Transport a/c would be in difficulty. If you require these races to continue in 2015 you have to understand the majority of Drivers and Transporters are away to the main race. I am usually left with 3 Transporters to do a collection that normally takes 7. It is obvious I can-not collect pigeons at every club as per NIPA Rule 72 states I must. If there is no suitable alternative found these races continuing must be in doubt.

The Drivers wages are down due mainly to a refund of £2,000from the Government for NI Contributions. Expenses have increased due to the extra races being organised during the year. Toll and Skip Charges have increased, Fuel and Oil is down by £5,626 and the price of Oil continues to fall. Hopefully today’s prices will hold during the racing season. This would surely mean a further saving on Diesel, also the Euro is weak against Sterling and this is also a positive step ie. more Diesel for Sterling. Cost of Vehicle Maintenance and Parts are slightly down. The amount spent on replacing tyres is reduced, significantly down by £7,328. This will obviously increase next season. Repairs to Crates etc £5,368, something will have to be done to see where and how these crates are being damages. This amount is un-acceptable. I am certain your Committee will take everything into account when making their decision if any increases are to be implemented. I will inform you in due course.

The racing last year was at times acceptable, and other times disastrous. Overall it was not good! Reading the Pigeon Books everywhere in these Islands Racing was far from good. We have to re-double our efforts to turn this situation around and I know your Committee are discussing this situation. The Race Committee worked very hard to give you the best racing possible. At times you did not agree with their decisions, at times they had to alter previous decisions, due to a change in weather forecasts. This job is very difficult and these men take their responsibilities very seriously and for that I would sincerely like to thank them for doing a job most fanciers would shy away from. I would like to invite all those people who say they can do better to come forward and take up a post of Race Committee. They will find it not as easy as they think. I would like to thank the Transport Manager and Drivers for the marvellous job they did for us last season we would be lost without them. The Convoyer and Race Controller for making the best of what was a very difficult season.

The NIPA Committee have decided to fit Trackers on all Transporters for 2015. I do not know if this will be of any assistance to the NIPA, we will have to wait and see.

With your Accounts you should find a separate sheet with the breakdown of National Races etc, also showing the total income received from outside sources. I hope this will show you and explain the approx. costs of organizing one of these races. However if you need any further explanation please do not hesitate to contact me.

The Committee are presently considering a Race Programme for this in-coming season, they have one chance to get it right. I hope they seize this opportunity and I liik forward to sending you a programme very soon.

I wish to bring the following Rules to your attention. Rule 33 I quote.

That all Delegates voting at the AGM of the NIPA must have a Signed Statement from their clubs confirming that their club held a meeting to mandate their Delegates on how to vote.

NIPA Rule 28. That all clubs forward names, addresses, and telephone numbers of their Club Delegates on their Membership List and any change in Secretary must be notified immediately to the NIPA Secretary.

A Copy of this report is sent to all club’s and members of Committee. I would remind Committee Members that their next meeting will be held on Wednesday 4th February 2015 in the NIPA Office Dromore at 7.30pm.

The Committee have accepted only one proposal for the agenda, as you can see it is for a proposed 50 Bird Limit in the NIPA. Reading the proposal and taking advice it means that a member can race 50 birds in every club that he is a member and pays fees to the NIPA.

We are now into January, it will not be long until April and I sincerely hope this season ahead of us will be one of our best. Fred Russell, Secretary NIPA.