The Council of Management met and received and discussed reports from each of its committees – Corporate Governance, Education, Finance & Strategic Policy, Standing Committee and Research. Council also received and discussed reports on finance and the Association’s investments.
Council approved a research grant of £50,000 to go to Professor Ann Lewis at the University of Birmingham for a study into the perception of epilepsy by children with and without epilepsy in mainstream education.
Council voted to recognise the Stoke-on-Trent branch of Epilepsy Action as the ‘Branch of the Year’ for 2005. Sutton and North Down & Ards branches were both highly commended. Bristol PACE, West Cumbria and Norwich were also nominated for the award.
The following people were all voted to receive branch member of the year awards in recognition of their work during 2005: - Sheila Unitt, Warwick & District; Fred Keeler, Ashford; Mary Casey, Barnet; Dee Polacarz, Haverfordwest; Louise Webster, West Cumbria; Stasia Byrne, Newry and Roger Stimson, Peterborough
Alec Aspinall, a former Chief Executive of British Epilepsy Association and a Vice President of the Epilepsy Research Foundation was voted to receive our highest honour, the Lord Hastings Award, for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of the lives of people with epilepsy.
Council agreed to recommend to the members of the Association at the AGM in June that Bentley Jennison be re-appointed as auditors.
The Council of Management received and discussed reports from each of its committees – Corporate Governance, Education, Finance & Strategic Policy, Standing Committee and Research. Council also received and discussed reports on finance and the Association’s investments.
Council approved a research grant of £36,427 to go to Dr Henry Smithson at the Research Unit in Escrick near York for a study into the diagnostic difficulties of epilepsy in older people.
Council also accepted a recommendation from its Research Committee to invite Dr Paul Norman and Dr Chris Cull to serve on the Association’s Research Advisory Panel.
Council voted to recognise Brian Chappell, Val Woodley and Elaine Bowden jointly as the winners of the Epilepsy Action Award for 2005. There were a total of 35 nominations and Council was impressed with the high quality and wide range of the candidates.
Council voted to approve and adopt the Year End accounts for 31 December 2005. These will now be presented to the members of the Association at the Annual General Meeting in June.
Council received written annual reports from each of its committees and reviewed the terms of reference it has set for each committee. Council decided not to make any changes at this time to those terms of reference.
Council approved a small amendment to the Association’s investment policy allowing for greater freedom of contact with the Association’s professional investment advisers.
Council decided to nominate Dr Ingram Wright to be the Association’s representative on the Little Foundation and to serve as one of the Foundation’s honorary vice presidents. The Little Foundation is a small grant giving charity with an interest in supporting research into children with epilepsy.
The Council reviewed and adopted new protocols for the Branch of the Year Award and for Branch Member of the Year Awards. Having been approved and adopted by Council, these protocols will now be put into practice during the course of this year.
Council discussed the idea of the Association using identifying marks or names on the outer covers of envelopes its uses. At present, all mail sent by Epilepsy Action cannot be identified as being from Epilepsy Action. Council asked staff to consult with the Association’s different stakeholder groups to find out the wider view on this subject.
This was the first meeting since the AGM and the election of new trustees. The outgoing Chair of Council, Mr Ron Radley, welcomed three new members, Prof. Gus Baker, Ms Jayne Burton and Prof. Ley Sander. He also recorded thanks to two outgoing members of Council, Ms Sue Comish and Mrs June Massey.
Mr Radley made a special presentation to Mrs Hilary Figg who was starting her 25th consecutive year as a member of Council and her 31st in total.
Mr Michael Harnor was elected as the new Chair of Council, Mr David Streets as Vice Chair of Council and Mr Richard Chapman re-elected as Honorary Treasurer.
Council also elected the members of its various committees.
Council received and discussed reports from each of its committees – Corporate Governance, Education, Finance & Strategic Policy, Standing Committee and Research. Council also received and discussed reports on finance and the Association’s investments.
After reviewing the performance of the 2006 annual budget and business plan members decided that no changes or revisions were necessary.
Following the approval by the membership of the new Memorandum and Articles of Association Council adopted a new set of Bye-Laws covering matters such as payment of expenses for Council members, forms to be used for voting and procedures to be used in the event of the suspension of a member of Epilepsy Action. They introduced a requirement that candidates for election to the Council of Management shall be a member of the association for a minimum of 12 months at the date of closing of nominations for the election before they can stand for election to the Council.
A full copy of the bye-laws can be found on the website.
Council charged its Finance and Strategic Policy Committee to review a number of topics including: - Association membership, the Association’s policy on receiving sponsorship and various guideline documents that inform Council practice and procedure. The Committee was also requested to adopt a watching brief on relations between the Association and the Joint Epilepsy Council (JEC).
The Association operates a subsidiary company called BEA Trading Limited. This is the company through which the Association sells its Christmas cards, small gifts and other Epilepsy Action branded items. Council has requested that BEA Trading Limited draft a business plan for the company’s future development.
Members decided to make health and care services for people with epilepsy a campaign priority in 2007. Staff have been asked to prepare a policy position on this subject for Council to consider.
It was agreed that the 2007 Annual General Meeting and National Conference would take place at a venue in Manchester.
On Wednesday 4 October, Members of Council attended their annual training day at New Anstey House. Topics covered included: the Association’s financial management, the Association’s investments, an update about the work of the Epilepsy Services department, the induction of new members of Council and a review of the results of the recent Association stakeholder survey.
Council received and discussed reports on finance and the Association’s investments; the Joint Epilepsy Council and healthcare policy.
Council considered and approved estimates for the 2007 revenue budget and the 2007 business plan, setting out the range of work activities and priorities planned for next year. Council also approved a new strategic plan for Epilepsy Action which will run from 2007 to 2011. This plan outlines the Association’s Vision, Mission, Aims and Values for the next five years.
Council approved the award of 3 postgraduate research bursaries, worth £1,500 each, to Rebecca Entwistle (University of Liverpool); Donna Durkin (University of Newcastle) and Ian Brown (University of Sheffield). Council also approved the award of the Epilepsy Action Research Prize for 2006 worth £1,000 to Joanne Taylor of the University of Liverpool.
Council reviewed the membership of the Association’s Clinical Advisory Panel and decided to increase the number Panel members from 15 to 22. Invitations to people to serve on the Panel will be issued soon. Council also formally established a new Women’s Advisory Panel. The members of this new Panel will be decided by Council at is next meeting in February 2007.