NARPO Chelmsford Branch Newsletter One-2017
At the time of writing it is almost the halfway point of February which seems to have ‘crept up’ on me this year. Maybe it is because we are in the middle of having the hall stairs and landing and the two main living rooms decorated, so even finding the computer has been a challenge! Notwithstanding 2017 moves on apace and your Committee have already had the first Meeting of the year in mid-January.
As previously indicated Roy SCANES who was appointed ‘Secretary Elect’ at the Committee Meeting in October took over the reins from Graham FURNIVAL and became Secretary on 17 February. I think it is therefore appropriate to thank Graham for his work as Secretary albeit he is not standing down completely as he will remain a Committee Member.
We are keen for as many Members as possible to attend the AGM as you will see in our Chairman’s report below so make it a date if you can. (8.00pm Monday 10 April 2017 – Sports Pavilion Police Headquarters Chelmsford)
Changes are afoot in the area of technology and many of you will be aware, from receipt of Newsletter Extra sent out by the Secretary that many items normally contained within this Newsletter are being posted on our website. Moreover I need to point out that this Newsletter will also be posted on the website where it can be accessed by all those Members on email however I want to assure those Members who receive it via post that it will still contain items that I believe will be useful or important. In that regard therefore I realise that there will be some obvious duplication with items also contained on the website. To reiterate, all Members on email will have had a ‘Newsletter Extra’ reminding them to access the Newsletter on the website.
On page 44 of the February issue of NARPO News there is an item ‘In Remembrance’ of Pc 489 George Gutteridge who was murdered at Stapleford Abbots on 27 September 1927. Many Members will know the facts relating to Pc Gutteridge’s murder more so if like me you served at Ongar. Indeed when I lived in a police house at Shelley my next door neighbour (no connection with the police) had, as young girl, lived next door to Pc Gutteridge and his family. She was able to relate in detail to me her memories of him and his family therefore it is fitting that at long last a Memorial Plaque has been placed near the spot where he met his untimely death at the hands of desperate criminals who were detected, convicted and in accordance with the law of the day were subsequently hanged. The unveiling took place on 24 September 2016 however it is unfortunate that our Branch were not made aware. I for one would have attended.
Our Chairman, Bob GOOD, reports:
“The next important event in the local NARPO calendar will be our AGM, to be held at 2000 hours on Monday 10 April in the Sports Pavilion at Police Headquarters. This is your main chance to have your say and influence the working of the Branch, or perhaps you would like to play a more active part by joining the committee? I hope to see you there.
We are trying to encourage use of our new website www.narpoessex.com this is a joint venture with our colleagues from the Southend Branch. What would you like to see on the web-site? Your comments are welcome. We are also looking for a member to manage the content on a local basis (the technical bits are looked after by our member Brendan Foy). If you can help please contact the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Towards the end of 2016, we along with other police related organisations, successfully fought off a bid from Essex Police to charge us for deducting members subscriptions from pensions. Had the proposal gone ahead it would have resulted in a significant loss of your funds, which we seek to use for the benefit of members. It may be that we have to revisit the issue in the future but we should be ok for 2017.
Thank you for your continued support and don’t forget the AGM!”
Our Member Neil COURSE attended the Remembrance Day Parade on 13 November 2016 and the following is his report:
“Sunday 13th November saw me at Epping station at 0715hrs to catch a train into London as I was attending the Remembrance Parade at the Cenotaph. I had spent the previous week bulling my shoes / pressing my shirt and polishing medals – I was there representing retired Police Officers but also as a veteran of the British Army (Royal Engineers). I was marching in the NARPO contingent, representing Essex Police and joining 33 other retired officers, including officers from Suffolk / Hertfordshire / Northamptonshire / GMP & Kent and many others. In total, there were 8000+ people taking part in the march past. We could not have asked for a better day, although there was a chill in the air, the sky was blue and sun was shining.
My reason for attending the march was to remember those who fought for what we have today, bearing in mind that it was 100 years since the Battle of the Somme – we were surrounded by some real heroes from WW11 / Falkland’s War / Northern Ireland / Iraq and more recently Afghanistan. It was also time to remember and reflect on the Police Officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. I felt an immense feeling of pride as we marched along Whitehall & the crowds who were crammed in 20 deep applauding all the groups marching. This continued along Parliament Street / Great George street and into Horse Guards Road, where HRH Prince Charles took the salute, before finishing on Horse Guards Parade.
It was a fantastic day, very moving & humbling to share the same stage as some of the ‘Older’ veterans. The most memorable part of the day was seeing the Ghurkha’s march past and receiving the loudest applause of the day.
Would I do it again? Of course, I would. Would I recommend others to take part? Of course, I would.”
The following are items that may be of interest to some Members:
1. The Thin Blue Line
A Specialist Watch of limited edition has been produced by Tag Heuer under the name “The Thin Blue Line” and details have been posted on the website for some time. Members throughout the UK have obviously shown interest and a number of frequently asked questions have been raised and these are now on the website. There is far too much to include in this Newsletter so those that have an interest will need to visit the website.
2. State Pension top up – Less than 5 weeks left to apply
The following received from Wakefield may be of interest to those who are on the old state pension:
State Pension top up lets those who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 boost their State Pension income by up to an extra £25 per week in return for a lump sum contribution.
The extra amount is index linked, guaranteed for life and in most cases inheritable by a spouse or civil partner. The scheme is open for a limited period, until 5 April 2017.
For details visit www.gov.uk/statepensiontopup
3. The BBC Studios Factual Entertainment Development Team sent the following:
We’re currently at the very first stages of developing an exciting series all about people who have not made it home to their loved ones for Christmas for one reason or another. All people who have given up their Christmas day – possibly the most precious day of the year – to help others. The idea is to give them back the Christmas day they once lost. We are looking for hear stories from people who missed a Christmas in the 60s, 70s and 80s. If anyone does have a story they would like to share it would be great to have their name, contact/branch details, the date of the Christmas missed and any reasons why.
BBC Studios | Factual Entertainment Development Team
4. NARPO Disability Survey the following has been received from Wakefield:
The National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) aims to support all of our members as fully as possible.
We would like to build a clearer picture of the needs of our members in relation to disability and long term health conditions.
To create greater support for our disabled members and their families NARPO has created a partnership with Disability Rights UK (DR UK), whereby all NARPO branches are now organisational members of DR UK.
As part of our Partnership with Disability Rights UK they have designed a survey for our members to complete in an effort to collate information in relation to disability issues within our membership.
Please encourage all members to complete the survey using the link below.
The survey will also be included in the next edition of NARPO News so that we can capture as many responses as possible from those who do not have access to or use of a computer.
5. Pensions and Co-habiting Couples – Another item from Wakefield that might affect some Members:
A recent Court case judgement has generated several enquiries from our Members.
We have yet to see the full judgement.
However, from the information in the media, it appears to us that this decision was based on the specific point of unmarried couples being mandatorily required to complete a nomination form. In this case, the nomination form had not been completed and the pension authority determined that no benefits were available to the claimant.
The claimant challenged that decision and the Court ruled that the claimant had been treated differently, because there is no requirement for married couples/civil partners to complete a nomination form.
Since 2006, the Police Pension Scheme has provided benefits for adult survivors including spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners who are not civil partners.
All adult survivor awards are payable for life, irrespective of whether the survivor remarries or forms a new partnership.
In the case of unmarried couples, there is a requirement for the pension scheme member to complete a nomination form.
In our view, the probable impact of this recent judgement will be that unmarried couples will no longer have to complete the nomination form, but will still have to prove they had been living together for 2 years.
Prior to 2006, The 1987 Police Pension Scheme provided entitlements payable to adult survivors i.e. widows, widowers and civil partners but not co-habitees who were not married or in a civil partnership.
Furthermore, there is no indication that this recent judgement will be retrospective beyond 2006.
However, we await the full judgement and will consider its findings.
6. ‘Later Life Ambitions Campaign’
Our Secretary has received a message from Steve Edwards who is the Chief Executive Officer for NARPO who is requesting that we circulate a member survey.
This survey is part of NARPO’s ‘Later life Ambitions Campaign’ and is being administered by a company by the name of ‘Survey Monkey’ who I have had many dealings with when I was the Branch Board Secretary of the Essex Police Federation.
NARPO are seeking your views in relation to what you think the forthcoming budget should prioritise.
If you have a spare moment please click on the link below and complete the survey.
Obituaries notified since the last Newsletter:
Former Constable Nigel NATTRASS who died on 12 November 2016 aged 66 years – Nigel retired in 1987 on medical grounds due to a serious injury whilst on duty;
Former Inspector Edward George HOWELL who died on 29 November 2016 aged 85 years
Former Constable Kenneth FOSTER who died on 6 December 2016 aged 76 years
Former Constable Michael PERRY who died on 17 November 2016 aged 78 years
Former Constable Terry NEAFSEY who died on 11 December 2016 aged 72 years
Former Constable David WHITEHEAD who died on 15 December 2016 aged 72 years
Former Inspector Georgina KAYE who died on 21 December 2016 aged 71 years
Former Constable Barry KAUFMANN-WRIGHT who died on 27 December 2016 aged 67 years
Former Sergeant Roy WIDDECOMBE who died on 19 December 2016 aged 89 years
Former Sergeant Laurence STREET (known as Joe) who died on 31 December 2016 aged 81 years
Inspector Mark ESTALL who died on 5 January 2017 aged 45 years. Mark was a serving Officer
Former Inspector Clive BUTLER who died on 31 December 2016 aged 62 years
Former Constable Peter JANMAN who died on 17 January 2017 aged 87 years
Former Constable Adrian HOWELL who died on 4 January 2017 aged 90 years
Former Constable Adrian SHARP who died on 28 January 2017 aged 59 years
Former Chief Inspector Richard GRIFFITHS who died on 9 February 2017 aged 74 years
Former Officer Brian REYNOLDS who died on 17 January 2017 in France aged 77 years – no details were provided as to rank.
Finally, sorry to harp on about it, but please don’t forget the AGM on 10 April 2017 – 8pm
We look forward to seeing you there.