Upset over cash call
CONCERN over a directive to hand over its funds to the Royal British Legion headquarters has been expressed by a member of its Sidmouth branch.
CONCERN over a directive to hand over its funds to the Royal British Legion headquarters has been expressed by a member of its Sidmouth branch.Last year's annual RBL conference agreed HQ should administer all 2,673 branch accounts centrally, leaving around £1,000 in each for two years' running costs.By holding monies centrally, HQ calculated it can generate £677,000 more to help serving and ex-service communities.While Sidmouth waits for more guidelines on any handover, member Jack Brokenshire wrote to Legion Connect, the RBL magazine, expressing his annoyance.He writes: "This enraged me because our branch is fairly affluent, largely because of residents who appreciate our work and the work we do to involve them in the community."I am led to believe that they (HQ) will keep us topped up with OUR branch money. I find that disgusting and I presume that branches who are struggling to remain in the black will also be topped up with our money."Robert Lee, a spokesman for the Pall Mall HQ, told the Herald: "We don't have an ulterior motive. "I can assure members we are not stealing their money. It is not in our interests to enrage 450,000 members. We are just trying to make sense of a complicated branch organisation."The Legion wants to ensure it gets the best possible return on its assets and each branch will continue to control the use of its funds.David Powell, Sidmouth RBL treasurer, confirmed the branch had a healthy account, receiving good interest on legacies received some time ago."All the funds belong to the Legion; they don't belong to the branch," he said. "It is one charity with just a lot of branches. They are not stealing our money because it is their money."He agreed there was "some unrest" about central funding, but added: "They would not subsidise another branch with our money. "They are not going to use Peter to pay Paul. We will still manage our own funds.