Minutes of the Committee Meeting Held 18th August 2008

Minutes for Miller Homes Committee Meeting held at Preston Grasshoppers 18th August  2008

Present:    F W Swarbrick,    R Robinson,    A Thompson,    I Cosens,    J Daldry,    B Allen.

Apologies:    J Powell,    J Adams,    H Hughes,    C Hine,     G King.


There was a small discussion by the Committee and then it was decided to invite the Aspull contingent into the meeting to give an explanation of the reasons for them resigning from the National Leagues and wanting to alter their team(s) in the Miller Homes Leagues.

The Chairman brought them in and they introduced themselves. David Heaton, (Chairman), Dave Shott, (ex 1st Team Coach), Mike Yates, Christian Walsh, Stephen Fillingham and Mike Walsh ( 2nd Team Captain).

David Heaton produced a photo of last years 1st Team with one person ringed in pen. He explained that this player was the only one left from last season. He endeavoured to explain that a lot of players had left and they had approached the RFU about dropping two leagues for their 1st Team. The RFU had refused as the approach was too late. At this stage Dave Shott also explained that players from overseas who had been with the Club last season also would not be rejoining the Club resulting in even more players missing. They had tried to get replacements but failed. He also explained that when it came to pre-season training players had just not turned up.

Fred Swarbrick asked David Heaton why they had only resigned from the national Leagues last Thursday, 14th August and not left it until after this meeting. No satisfactory answer was forthcoming. The Aspull contingent did accept that they had been extremely late in approaching the RFU about moving Leagues. Andy Thompson had been meeting certain RFU people and he explained that if Aspull had put their request in before all the Leagues and fixtures had been set up for next season the RFU would definitely have looked more kindly on their request.

The Miller Homes Committee asked the Aspull contingent various questions which the Aspull Chairman and ex coach tried to answer, not all successfully.

The Aspull contingent were then asked to retire to another room while the Miller Homes Committee decided to take a vote on whether to allow Aspull to remain in Division 4 and change their status from 2nd Team to 1st Team. A vote was taken which resulted in a unanimous vote to allow them to stay in the Miller Homes Leagues. However, the League Secretary was to write to the Aspull Chairman explaining that the Miller Homes Committee were very unhappy with the way that Aspull had conducted their affairs regarding their teams. We would expect them to get their house in order. It must be explained to all members of the Club that the Miller Homes Committee had allowed the changes solely in the interests of Rugby.

Matters Arising:    



The Secretary produced a balance sheet that John Powell had passed on.

At the present time seven Clubs had not paid their League fees. However, our Rules did not bring in sanctions until 31st August although our cut-off date for payment was 15th August.

It was decided that this was unsatisfactory and a proposal was agreed to be put forward to the next AGM.

This would be an additional item for Rule 24 coming in at the start. ”Any team not having paid its fees by the appointed date i.e. 15th August would have its fee doubled• The rest of Rule 24 would follow.

This was proposed by Andy Thompson and seconded by Ian Cosens.
Earlier Jon Daldry had paid the Bowdon fee and in addition the Aspull fee had been paid by David Heaton.

New Website:        

Usernames and passwords had been sent out earlier in the day by Jim Gooch. Barry Allen explained that there was a problem for League Secretaries with more than one league. This would be solved by Jim. It was decided to ask Jim if the League badge could be reduced to a smaller size on all but the front page. It seemed that the Committee were happy with the way things were going. All Committee would be inputting their own results but Barry offered to input on the Saturday evening if others were unable to. It was agreed that Barry would check all results etc and keep an overall check on the website. It was re-iterated the duties that had been agreed in April, i.e. the Secretary to cover re-arrangements and the press, the Chairman to cover reports and pictures, and Barry to cover and assist wherever necessary and deal with most articles. However, Barry also agreed to cover whenever anyone was away etc.

The question of re-arrangements was brought up. It was explained that the worst problem of this was the ringing round the fixture Secretaries to inform and get agreement. Andy Thompson explained that they did not do this in the Colts League. However it was explained that we thought it was a necessary evil. It had previously been discussed and it was decided to go ahead with John Powell and Fred Swarbrick assisting the Secretary in this onerous task. Then the alterations could take place on the website.


The Chairman asked all the Committee if they were willing to input results into the RugbyFirst website. It was explained that it was of considerable monetary value to the Leagues to do this. All Secretaries agreed that they would do this. It was explained that this could be done Sunday morning. In addition the Secretary would alter all re-arrangements etc.

With these agreements it would be left to the Secretary to contact Chris Burns to arrange passwords for all the Committee. This to be done asap.


The Secretary brought up the matter of travel allowance. Earlier in a discussion between the Chairman and Secretary the Chairman had commented that referees were raising their travel rates to 40p per mile and we should at least follow suit. There were comments about possibly having a higher rate but Andy Thompson said that we could have problems with taxes it was decided to bring the rate up to 40p per mile.

The Chairman brought an item up about sponsorship. He had been approached by Brian McCann, the Vale of Lune Chairman, re possible sponsorship from Scottish and Newcastle Breweries. They could possibly sponsor one of the Leagues or even more. Miller Homes had been approached as to their thoughts on the matter and they had not objected as long as they kept overall control of the whole Leagues. It was decided to leave as it is until there was something on paper, i.e. a cheque received, or written confirmation of an agreement to sponsor us. Fred explained that he thought that the Brewery were after access into the Clubs which they would get if we let them have details of all the Clubs involved with the Leagues. Figures had been discussed with Brian McCann.

The next meeting was arranged for Wednesday 22nd October, 7.30pm start at Preston Grasshoppers.

There was no other business and the meeting closed at 9.30pm.

R Robinson
League Secretary