Dear Showmen’s Guild Members. I sincerely hope you and your families are well and coping during this unprecedented time of crisis. I would like to take this opportunity as President to pass on some of my own thoughts and some information. No-one could have predicted the situation we all find ourselves in. I, like most of you, was looking forward to the start of the new season after spending many weeks during the winter working on my equipment and getting my transport through the MOT etc. only to see it all packed up on the yard earning nothing. My initial thoughts were that we might lose the first few weeks of the season but anyone watching the daily news will have realised that it is likely that we will be unable to operate for many months. When we are eventually allowed to open fairs a great many measures will need to be in place, probably restrictions on the numbers allowed on the fairs and having to ensure the public keep to the social distancing even when on the rides. Rides will need to be cleansed after each run. There will be difficult times ahead. You will be aware that The Management Committee took the decision early on to reduce the guild fees for this year by 90% and extend the payment deadline to the end of September. There was also a decision not to charge for Preservation of Rights applications during this crisis. These decisions will need to be ratified at a future Central Council meeting when one is able be held. The Management Committee have met several times via conference call and I have made it clear that we will have more if needed or requested. Central Office have had discussions with Banks, Finance Companies and Insurance Brokers. There have also been discussions regarding the 9 over 1million PLI .This is still ongoing and will be reported on when concluded. I know that testing of equipment is a subject of great concern to most members and rightly so. I initially contacted both Jon Ruddock of ADIPS & David Kivlin of the HSE right at the start of this crisis highlighting the fact that many members may be reluctant to have their equipment inspected only for it to sit idle. Also pointing out the many simply do not have space available on the yards to build it up. The Snr Vice President and I took part in a meeting of the ADSC Committee in which these concerns were discussed. The ADSC instructed Jon Ruddock of ADIPS to write to the HSE requesting an extension to existing DOCs and also that a system be allowed where members could have their equipment inspected but with the DOC only starting when the ride was going to be operated again. Unfortunately HSE did not approve these requests citing the guidance contained in HSG175.It was NOT ADIPS who refused but the HSE. Both the requests and the reply have been posted previously. I know that John Thurston is still working on a solution and will comment separately. I would urge members to contact the IB’s and discuss with them their own concerns relating to their equipment in order to see what can be arranged. It needs pointing out that the decision to be tested just now or not must rest with the individual members. There is a possibility that IB’s will be overwhelmed if everyone waits until they need testing to get open which could lengthen the period your equipment remains closed. A quick note on ADIPS. Since ADIPS was started the Guild has had two Directors on the board, usually the President & Senior Vice President. This changes every three years as the new President takes office. The other organisations who make up the ADSC also have Directors. The Directors do not earn any money from ADIPS contrary to some allegations which have been made on social media. Our expenses for attending these meetings are paid by the Guild as set out in the rules. The ADIPS system is not perfect but it is currently the only effective way for our members to fulfil the requirements and follow the guidance set out in HSG175. There have been calls for another system to be setup but this would prove to be very difficult , others have tried and failed. My advice to all members is to make sure you have a copy ofHSG175 – it can be downloaded for free or purchased in hard copy from the HSE website. The answers to the majority of questions we get asked are contained within it. It is our intention to post a quick guide for members explaining the role of the ADSC committee and also the role of ADIPS. It is evident when reading some of the comments on social media that many members are confused. The Showmen’s Guild is a democratic organisation and no-one is trying to change that but there is, in my opinion, a need for some changes to be made to keep it fit for purpose in the coming years. Please remember that Central Office cannot change rules – this can only be done at Central Council by majority. Our General Secretary Joe Mercer has some very good ideas on modernisation but these can only be implemented with the consent of the membership. We will continue to keep members informed as the situation changes during the pandemic. We will also keep members informed regarding available help such as grants etc. Well done to Charles Cole & Robert Wilkinson for the local news items both of which were excellent, and to Des Fitzgerald our publicity manager for organising our press releases and raising our media profile. I hope this will help to bring more attention to the plight of Showmen& our families. I would like to end by saying that I am very proud to be your President. I have an excellent working relationship with John Thurston& Keith Carol the Vice Presidents and John Edwards the National Treasurer. We are Showmen just like you , our vehicles and equipment are standing idle just like yours. We all have served on and Chaired our respective Section Committees and we will continue to work on behalf of the membership now and hopefully during better times to come. Regards Philip Paris President. 09/05/2020