Annual General Meeting
Our 190th Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on Saturday 29 June 2019 at Church House Westminster, 31 Great Smith Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3BN.
The business of the meeting included the presentation of the Trustees' Annual Report and Accounts 2018 (PDF 1.07MB) for adoption, and deciding on some significant reforms to our governance.
The acclaimed actor and animal welfare champion, Brian Blessed, OBE agreed to be our guest speaker. Brian is one of our long-term supporters and was hugely entertaining!
Proposed reforms to our governance
Details about the proposed governance reforms (and the rule amendments required to implement them) were included in the agenda papers for the meeting (PDF 1.21MB).
The Explanatory Note (PDF 167KB) provided background information and the rationale for each of the proposed reforms, which were presented to the AGM in three resolutions.
In February, we launched a consultation on the key proposals (PDF 2.05MB). The response, with over 800 replies, was overwhelming and positive.
This year, members who were unable to travel to London were able to participate fully in the AGM via a live audio-visual link at the Park Plaza Leeds, Boar Lane, City Square, Leeds, LS1 5NS. Please see this message from the Society's Chair (PDF 76.6KB) for further details.
One of the key governance reforms is to change the size and composition of the Council.
In considering how such changes could be implemented, and given the long history of regional representation on the Council, we took advice from joint counsel. They confirmed that it's both possible and lawful to amend our rules so that the Council would consist of 12 people. And that these would be nine Council members directly elected by the membership, and three Council members who would be co-opted.
Joint counsel also confirmed that it's both possible and lawful for Branch or regional representation to be at committee rather than Council level in future. This provides assurance that these significant governance proposals can be implemented by revising our rules at the AGM. Summary of joint counsel's advice (PDF 249KB).
New Branch Affairs Committee
Feedback from the consultation showed that 89.9 percent of respondents agreed with the creation of a Branch Affairs Committee as the voice of our Branches and Regional Boards. 83.9 percent agreed that this should be a permanent Committee included in our rules and constitution. Accordingly, appropriate rule changes have been included in the package of reforms being brought forward to the AGM.
During the consultation period, we heard that members would like more information about the new Branch Affairs Committee. We've developed some model terms of reference, which set out how we see the role and functions of the Branch Affairs Committee. Model terms of reference for the Branch Affairs Committee (PDF 82.8KB).
Current and proposed rule changes
The agenda papers contain a marked-up copy of our rules showing the three groups of proposed rule amendments, which have been colour-coded for ease of identification.
- Clean copy of RSPCA rules incorporating the proposed changes (PDF 173KB)
- The current RSPCA rules (PDF 169KB)
The minutes of the AGM held on 28 June 2018 are available on request from Tracy Reed, Legal Services Department, RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham RH13 9RS or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note we are currently reviewing the format of Council meetings and, until further notice, meetings will not be open for members to attend.