We certainly live in extra ordinary times and it is for that reason that I start my letter to you this month with an update following the Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the IRRV. The meeting took place on Thursday 25th June and thank you to those who were able to participate and consider the special resolution. Council for the IRRV and Officers have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the Institute continues to provide not only as many of the usual services that we provide but also to consider the best way in which we can provide members with support at what has been a crucial time for those working in our respective fields.
The special resolution was passed and enables the Council to take a number of actions to ensure we are best placed to deal with what we all hope is a move to more normal times. The official post holders will remain in place and there will not be elections to Council in 2020.
The ever-changing uncertainty has also meant that after careful consideration, coupled with concerns raised about the safety of members, attendees and sponsors of an “in person” conference the IRRV Council have decided that we will postpone the event to October 2021.
Instead, we have decided that there would be great value in transforming this years conference into an exciting virtual event. IRRV staff, along with Council members are working on a format which will provide a great opportunity for those attending to hear and learn of changes to our profession, share best practice and hear of the latest updates and guidance.
The online conference will run over a slightly shorter period but will include what all have come to expect, as an opportunity to be informed with the different professional streams hearing presentations by leading industry professionals. Catering also for professionals within revenues, rating, collection and enforcement, valuation, fraud and welfare benefits.
This format will also enable you to keep updated with all the content being provided to you in e-format to reference at your convenience. We also aim to showcase a virtual exhibition from sponsors and exhibitors ensuring that content will remain accessible on line for a period after the event. We will also still need to conduct other formalities linked to the adoption of the formal Accounts as required by law for both the IRRV and the Benevolent Fund and of course appointment of Auditors
It is also at this time of year that I would have been looking forward to a number of events including the Rating Surveyors’ Association reception at the House of Lords, visits to Associations including the Wessex Association Annual General meeting and Mini Conference which this year was to be at the Bovington Tank museum along with planned visits also to both the South East Association and the East Anglia Association all sadly could not take place. I’m sure that as the pandemic is over come and the restrictions ease we will be able to look forward to a number of these and other events being rescheduled.
As I write my diary reminder has also alerted me to a planned annual meeting of Honorary Members and Past Presidents of the Institute and of course it is at this time of year that we would also host representatives from other kindred bodies. These events provide us with the opportunity to catch up, meet friends of the Institute and share experiences and views on the matters that have been concerning them during the year and that are likely to come to a head in the months to come. It is also a time to remember those who have sadly passed away and to reflect on their time supporting the IRRV in so many different ways. As some of you will be aware we sadly heard of the passing of Colin Thrower and Ron Skinner who were both Honorary Members of the Institute
Professionally we can all expect to see a number of challenges ahead, addressing the various situations that are inevitably affecting us all in different ways but also by drawing on the support of friends, family and colleagues to do what we can to support businesses, the provision of Local Authority services to the vulnerable and those in need and of course clients in both the public and private sectors.
We await details on the how the next steps of the HM Treasury plan to consult on the fundamental review of business rates and a matter which will be of concern to many is the financing of local authorities. It is for these reasons therefore that I am sure our October conference, whilst being held virtually, will be critical in shaping and developing views from across the IRRV and the wider profession. I’m hopeful also that you will all participate in a range of different activities both educational and social that will ensure that we all are able to support each other and prepare for what will no doubt be further challenges ahead.
We also have to look forward and whilst the Performance Awards and Gala Dinner will not take place in 2020 I know and am sure that there will be many stories of all the professional hard work and effort that so many of you put into your daily lives. So don’t despair, I and the other members of the Awards panel are looking forward to seeing and hearing of these as we hope you will consider preparing submissions for the Performance Awards in 2021.