The minutes from the AGM have now been published, you can view them on the minutes page.
The details from the chat can be read below:
00:10:25 Kay Preddy: Kay Preddy
00:11:03 Kay Preddy: Kay Preddy Board
00:15:01 Paul Gibbons Kent: Paul Gibbons
00:15:10 Tim Warren, Surrey: Tim Warren, Chair, Surrey
00:15:10 Alan Wilson: Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire
00:15:13 Tony Russ Somerset: Tony Russ
00:15:14 Shirley Pritchard: Shirley Pritchard Surrey
00:15:28 Nick YCBA: Nick Woolven YCBA Chair
00:15:30 Norman Inniss Kent: Norman Inniss Kent
00:15:33 Peter Clinch - Sussex: Peter Clinch, Sussex
00:15:35 Myra Scott: Myra Scott - Warwickshire
00:15:37 david guild- Yorkshire: David Guild Yorkshire
00:15:42 Richard Ray -HIOW: Richard Ray - HIOW
00:15:45 Alan Woof - Herts: Alan Woof - Herts
00:15:48 Trevor Thrower -Northants: Trevor Thrower - Northants
00:15:52 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Malcolm Pryor - Suffolk
00:15:58 Chris Raymond Mersey: Chris Raymond - Mersey
00:16:01 Dominic Flint - London: Dominic Flint - London
00:16:18 Peter Grice CAH: Peter Grice CAH
00:16:21 Dick Wheeler: Dick Wheeler Sussex
00:16:24 Joy Mayall Sussex: Joy Mayall Sussex
00:16:26 Paul Littlewood ( Herts): Paul Littlewood - Hertfordshire
00:16:27 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: Hi I am here
00:16:30 Worcs -Martin Gill: Martin Gill- Worcestershire
00:16:31 Jeffrey Smith, Lancashire: Jeffrey Smith - Lancashire
00:16:33 Auditor: here
00:16:34 Robert Teesdale - Hertfordshire: Robert Teesdale Herts
00:16:34 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Here Ian Sidgwick
00:16:36 Daisy: Daisy Dillon - Berks and Bucks
00:16:42 Notts. Keith Spencer: Keith Spencer. Notts
00:16:51 Colin O'Hara Bedfordshire: Colin O'Hara Bedfordshire
00:17:01 Lesley Millet Yorkshire: Lesley Millet YCBA
00:17:01 Paul Roberts M&C: Paul Roberts Merseyside & Cheshire
00:17:34 Sue O'Hara Avon: Sue O'Hara Avon
00:17:38 Paul Hammond, Worcestershire: Paul Hammond - Worcestershire
00:18:20 hamon devon: I am here
00:18:25 Keith Bennett HIWCBA: Keith Bennett HIWCBA
00:18:26 Pat Panter CI: hello from Pat Panter of Jersey, C.I
00:20:36 Lyn Fry Middlesex: Lyn Fry Middlesex
00:20:39 Alan Mould - Manchester: Alan Mould, Manchester
00:20:44 liz Isle of Man: Liz, Isle of Man
00:20:55 Paul's iPad (2): Paul Hackett Staffs and Shropshire
00:21:05 Peter: Peter Hasenson, Middlesex
00:21:06 Geoff Smith: Geoff Smith from Disciplinary Panel
00:22:27 Rob Richardson, Norfolk: Rob Richardson, Norfolk
00:22:37 Barry Brelsford, Lancashire: Barry Brelsford, Lancashire
00:27:42 Gordon Rainsford, CEO, Company Secretary: Still holding them online
00:28:07 Cornwall: Chris Bickerdike Cornwall
00:29:26 Jim Parker Derbyshire: Derbyshire are only running events online and are back to 80% attendance or better
00:30:45 Alan Mould - Manchester: It was a truly laudable decision by all the teams, starting with our compatriots in Scotland and Wales
00:31:32 Tim Warren, Surrey: I fully support Alan's msg
00:32:37 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Yes, absolutely agree with Alan
00:39:34 Glos Ian Sidgwick: How many hands of the 300 need to look suspect?
00:40:31 Nigel Durie NEBA Chair: How ae the 300 hands selected?
00:41:32 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: Has the EBU reviewed the prosecutions that were not successful to see if there are any lessons to be learned and if not do they plan to do so?
00:42:54 Ian Payn (EBU Chair): Sue Phillips - yes. There aren't many unsuccessful prosecutions but they are reviewed.
00:46:22 Glos Ian Sidgwick: After unsuccessful appeal could we be potentially be sued?
00:47:08 Lesley Millet Yorkshire: Do you have a timescale?
00:47:14 Paul Gibbons Kent: You will be able to find suspicious hands from any pair. Surely many cases could be aborted early if there is a search for counter examples at an early stage
00:47:54 Ian Payn (EBU Chair): Paul G I have figures for cases dropped or not pursued.
00:48:02 Jerry Cope Treasurer: In theory yes Ian, but extremely unlikely to succeed if we have followed our by-laws to which all members are automatically signed up for.
00:48:07 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: OEIG looks equally at suspicious and anti-suspicious hands
00:48:27 Norman Inniss Kent: Paul, that is the function of the OEIG, to find suspicious and non-suspicious hands
00:49:14 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Are members of the OEIG who have conducted the analysis always available for cross examination by the defence?
00:49:46 Sue: Sorry I’m late stuck in traffic
00:49:59 david guild- Yorkshire: Nobody is innocent after receiving a Letter of Comment. Some are not prosecuted due to lack of confirming guilty evidence. So not proven is the alternative
00:53:45 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: I don't understand why anyone would think nobody is innocent after receiving a Letter of Comment.
00:53:56 Malcolm Pryor SUF: If the OEIG are not available for cross examination they are not as suggested Expert Witnesses and the process is biased towards the prosecution
00:56:37 Alan Woof - Herts: How many of the 300 have to be considered as questionable for the experts to think there is a case ? Is any allowance made of the NGS of the individual ?
00:58:10 Alan Mould - Manchester: I think it is worthwhile pointing out that a rise in NGS is NEVER sufficient to have a prosecution.
00:58:43 Alan Mould - Manchester: Also the rise needs to be massive - 10% or so
01:00:32 Alec Manchester: Are the "offenders" offered a chance to confess before prosecution and receive a suspended or lesser sentence
01:00:50 Norman Inniss Kent: Alec, yes
01:01:11 Alec Manchester: Thank you Norman
01:01:13 Alan Mould - Manchester: Yes. Reduction of one third for early confession.
01:01:24 Norman Inniss Kent: After the charge letter is issued
01:02:46 Tim Warren, Surrey: Thanks, Geoff, very useful
01:03:31 Jeffrey Smith, Lancashire: Copy of Geoffs spreadsheet would be useful
01:05:32 Alan Woof - Herts: can I speak re 1
01:11:23 Jim Parker Derbyshire: The EBU have a duty of care for all members and as such must never prosecute a member who is innocent
01:11:44 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: I don't understand an objection to the idea that if the OEIG report shows clear signs of collusion, the defence needs to present counter-evidence! Isn't that right??
01:12:16 Tim Warren, Surrey: Yes, Alan W, that sounds right to me
01:13:04 Alan Mould - Manchester: At Jim Parker. How can any organisation guarantee to never prosecute a member who is innocent?
01:13:31 Alan Mould - Manchester: No one and no organisation can be 100% accurate.
01:14:23 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: Indeed, AM - and ironically, if you could find a way of only prosecuting the guilty, then you WOULD have an assumption of guilt!
01:15:04 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Even if the process is reasonable if it is not well flowed the legal liability could wipe out the EBU could it not?
01:15:08 Alan Mould - Manchester: Indeed. In fact you would not ned a hearing at all.
01:15:44 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Alan - using evidence from expert witnesses who do not make themselves available for cross-examination does not seem fair to the defence
01:16:08 Jim Parker Derbyshire: Maybe it may show possible collusion but the onus is surely on the prosecution to prove guilt not just circumstantial data
01:16:27 Alan Mould - Manchester: That has already been answered Malcolm. Someone is available.
01:16:34 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: Do we need all this partial comment? We will be here all day if the inaccuracies in what is being said was explained.
01:16:35 Norman Inniss Kent: There is never any suggestion that all hands are suspicious. Because you are accused of speeding, doesn't mean that you are speeding on all occasions
01:18:07 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Is it true that the conviction rate is very low when someone has been represented by a qualified lawyer? But very high when they haven't?
01:18:52 Peter Clinch - Sussex: For clarity, the OEIG is not provided with NGS ratings, but their level is clear after a few hands.
01:20:06 Alan Mould - Manchester: I would like to speak on this issue if I may.
01:20:40 Sandra Nicholson Oxfordshire: I would also like to speak on behalf of OBA please
01:22:43 Joy Mayall Sussex: wrong information re Pro Bono advice many comments about pro bono have been retracted
01:26:02 Norman Inniss Kent: What would Lyn replace the current system with.? Someone will still have to assess the complaint and decide whether there is a case to answer. then someone will have to compile a prosecution case. How will that differ from the current system?
01:29:58 Norman Inniss Kent: The number of cases has dropped considerably since the advent of RealBridge
01:31:03 Alan Woof - Herts: A review is good but what would happen with the current live cases ?
01:32:59 Norman Inniss Kent: The administration difficulties have to be viewed in the context of the conditions that followed the lockdown last year, with staff being laid off and made redundant
01:37:15 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Let us formally agree to a review, vote and move on.
01:37:25 Tony Russ Somerset: agreed
01:37:45 Nigel Durie NEBA Chair: agreed
01:38:16 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: It is impossible and morally wrong to have one body do all parts of the process. I agree lets vote
01:42:03 Adam Wiseberg - Manchester: I have a message Polling no start or end
01:42:08 Notts. Keith Spencer: I can not vote either
01:42:51 Geoff Smith: I suspect that anyone convicted of an offence by the same body that prosecutes would have a great chance of success in a subsequent court action, as this would be contrary to natural justice.
01:42:58 Notts. Keith Spencer: ok that time
01:42:59 Sandra Nicholson Oxfordshire: that's better
01:43:06 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: Do we know how to handle proxy votes?
01:43:14 Myra Scott (Warkwickshire): seems ok
01:43:34 Norman Inniss Kent: Sam, I have 2 votes ?
01:44:01 Norman Inniss Kent: Thanks Gordon
01:44:24 Tony Russ Somerset: i have 2 votes too
01:44:36 Myra Scott (Warkwickshire): me also
01:45:22 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Do you take account of the number of votes a County voter has
01:48:00 david guild- Yorkshire: Can I just confirm that there is going to be a wide participation review of the system?
01:48:05 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Have we a commitment to a review though?
01:48:29 Alan Woof - Herts: Pending the review what happens to current cases ?
01:48:53 Lyn Fry Middlesex: The details of my presentation can be found on the Middlesex website
01:49:37 Tim Warren, Surrey: I will propose it
01:49:50 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: I will second it
01:49:55 Alan Mould - Manchester: I will second it
01:50:06 Jim Parker Derbyshire: I am happy to propose that motion
01:50:15 Alan Mould - Manchester: But I am a DP memberso perhaps should not
01:58:02 Alan Mould - Manchester: What will be the effect of not having the government support next year? Will that leave a huge hole?
01:58:32 Sandra Nicholson Oxfordshire: Is any of the govt support repayable?
01:59:12 Ian Payn (EBU Chair): Don't think so, Sandra furlough, rates relief etc.
01:59:45 Alan Mould - Manchester: I am sure my non-bridge playing wife would be delighted with something from the warehouse...
02:00:36 Paul Roberts M&C: Alan is clearly braver than me
02:01:08 Gayle Webb EBU Board: Bridge lessons would be a better idea
02:08:19 Norman Inniss Kent: We need the EBU to survive or else we have no National structure. The future is unclear and we cannot assume that things will continue to improve or even stay the same.
02:08:33 Alan Mould - Manchester: Manchester experience is that F2F are almost 0. We have already had to cancel 1 event and delay another for several months
02:08:38 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Clubs are in different situations so support needs to vary according to the needs. So let’s keep um level in real terms to raise funds to steer to those most in need.
02:09:22 Alan Mould - Manchester: We did a poll for our 2021/22 league. Precisely 2 people said they would play in a F2F league
02:09:48 Cornwall: Clubs in Cornwall all have healthy reserves and we are willing to support the EBU all we can in 2022/3
02:10:20 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Some clubs have very impressive reserves
02:10:49 Norman Inniss Kent: Some clubs have successfully gone back to F2F, others have stayed on line in Kent. Mixed picture
02:10:51 Notts. Keith Spencer: Most Clubs in Nottingahmshire have made a profit out of On Line Bridge
02:11:05 James Smith London: Having heard Yorkshire's view, could we hear Herts view and then Jerry's before we decide?
02:13:06 Sue Wright: Some clubs are still struggling and not seeing return of members to F2F, only proportion of players on line
02:14:38 Norman Inniss Kent: Online is ok for those who have already been playing pre-Covid, they are familiar with the people they are playing against. However how attractive is it to new players? I have a beginners class running. I asked them the question and not one of them would be learning bridge if it meant staring at a computer screen for hours at a time.
02:14:49 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Our local experience is that the clubs who have responded to customer needs by moving into on line or hybrid have been doing well both in terms of numbers and finances
02:14:58 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: One of the main problems facing our clubs is the age of the membership. We need the EBU to be able to invest in marketing and teaching to bring new members into the game
02:15:09 Alan Wilson - Oxfordshire: Let's not argue about what happened, but about what we should do!
02:15:32 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Can we move to a vote?
02:15:45 Lesley Millet Yorkshire: We do not need to be arguing about this lets vote
02:16:52 Norman Inniss Kent: The market with great potential is the newly retired or just coming up for retirement. They are looking for a social experience. I would suggest that even RealBridge does not supply that
02:17:01 Glos Ian Sidgwick: I didn’t get vote!
02:17:28 Sue Wright: I didn’t get vote either
02:17:37 Sandra Nicholson Oxfordshire: Whatever we end up agreeing I think it is important to get the rationale across to the members in laymans terms. Something in the magazine?
02:17:38 Alan Mould - Manchester: Going to the pub with Ian is an experience so traumatic everyone remembers it
02:17:56 Ian Payn (EBU Chair): Sorry, Ian S - didn't matter as it happens, but shouldn't have happened.
02:18:09 Gordon Rainsford, CEO, Company Secretary: Norman, RealBridge does not run their own events, they provide a platform for others to do that.
02:19:35 Norman Inniss Kent: Yes, Gordon. I was talking about the experience of playing on it.
02:19:35 Patrick Shields EBU Board: The issue is not excessive profits by CBAs but that these events are currently under-priced, and this hurts other event entries
02:22:59 Norman Inniss Kent: I think that the experience of return to F2F is very different across the country. There is a lot of F2F happening in and around London. I think that this largely reflects the sttitudes to Covid generally. Not too much mask wearing down South!
02:23:10 Cornwall: Will the green point increase for online county events affect the two closed events as well as open events?
02:23:13 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Bridge is a low cost activity, is it price sensitive?
02:24:56 Adam Wiseberg - Manchester: If F2F is going to go back to anything like pre covid numbers then it will be because it is a compelling offering which people want It will also be influenced hugely by what is happening with Covid in the country The notion that we interfere with pricing to prod people in one direction will probably backfire and may well result in less income overall rather than more The price of TVs furniture and meat have risen by around 10% in the past year but the EBU want online County events to carry a 100% levy From the players' point of view they have had enjoyment and entertainment for a reasonable price and will struggle to understand why the largest price hike in the economy should apply solely to County events It appears that the proposal to increase the price of online County GP events by 100% cannot be voted on separately from the rest of the, entirely reasonable, fee increases
02:26:00 Paul Roberts M&C: Price and price sensitivity depends where you play, and it also depends on how far you have to travel for F2F.
02:26:25 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Blue points?
02:26:28 Sue Wright: Play on line in congresses that couldn’t travel to
02:28:43 Paul's iPad (2): Events in Europe are generally face to face. The difference is that in order to play you have to be fully vaccinated or have a test before you play
02:31:11 david guild- Yorkshire: Previously EBU and Counties have had price control. With online we are working in the Northern hemisphere pricing market. we cannot put up price beyond the par price, Players will switch easily as they are doing at present.
02:32:45 Malcolm Pryor SUF: The feedback from some of our customers is that RealBridge offers a very reasonable way of getting the social aspect of bridge, and some will be happy playing only online and not F2F
02:33:32 Ron Millet - Board Director: David, except you imply that EBU play and awards have no status compared with events elsewhere. That might be true for social players… but for English competition players…?
02:33:41 Paul Roberts M&C: I think Jerry Cope is right that the social side of the game is our USP
02:41:47 Alan Woof - Herts: Currently for 49 board Green events EBU take £4 per player from the £12 or so charged. If doubled then counties have to charge a min £16.50 to keep same surplus. EBU would get 50% of all entry monies and a third increase in entry fee from last year. As Peter says players will baulk at new entry fee, counties may not run events, downgrade to Blue Point or reduce boards to 35 to halve the EBU tax.
02:45:11 Norman Inniss Kent: Our GP events online do not have the same overheads as F2F. We do not have to pay for the hire of the premises, or for making up the boards, and possibly can save on director's fees. So there should be room for price increases without affecting it too badly. Long term online bridge is an existential threat to bride. I agree with Jerry
02:45:32 Norman Inniss Kent: bridge not bride!
02:48:39 Malcolm Pryor SUF: One person's threat is another persons's opportunity....
02:49:52 Norman Inniss Kent: Malcolm, we have to take into consideration the 50% of the membership that are not playing online. We need to cater for them as well.
02:51:32 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Yes, absolutely. But equally there is now a large group we need to cater for who plan to play more on line bridge than face to face bridge. They are all customers.
02:53:06 Malcolm Pryor SUF: I had no idea Mike would be a candidate, he would be excellent
02:53:31 Malcolm Pryor SUF: I would be happy to second
02:55:13 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Take best person
02:56:03 Shirley Pritchard Surrey: William Clennell is 21 so hardly middle aged!
02:56:27 Alan Mould - Manchester: The reasons members of the L&E have resigned are not well known to me. Can they be elucidated?
02:57:00 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Yes why resignations?
02:57:18 Adam Wiseberg - Manchester: Can we please know the reasons for resignations as above?
02:58:25 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Why did the women leave?
02:58:33 Tim Warren, Surrey: I support the calls for an explanation of the resignations
02:58:35 liz Isle of Man: why don't we just vote
02:58:59 Myra Scott (Warkwickshire): We haven't had time to consider other possible nominations.
02:59:36 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Making a bit of a meal of this?
03:00:34 Sandra Nicholson Oxfordshire: hear hear Ian!
03:06:26 Alan Mould - Manchester: Over 70% of registered teachers in Manchester have stopped in the last 18 months.
03:10:49 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Very much looking forward to smart bridge
03:12:11 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: I have been teaching both face to face and online. The difficulty I have found is attracting young people. Any ideas?
03:16:04 Myra Scott (Warkwickshire): This is covered already
03:19:01 Tim Warren, Surrey: Counties might be willing to fund the teaching of teachers
03:19:12 liz Isle of Man: I currently have 3 face to face classes of 8-12 students
03:22:44 Glos Ian Sidgwick: I wonder what the Scottish have, or joint development?
03:23:00 Norman Inniss Kent: I have a class of 7 beginners F2F, with 8 more waiting for the next course.
03:23:42 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Then they could chip in and share output?
03:24:29 Adam Wiseberg - Manchester: Can I please have access to the EBS materials again?
03:35:56 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Civil service
03:39:15 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Nice items
03:39:52 david guild- Yorkshire: Attractive. Comments are:
03:40:16 david guild- Yorkshire: Attractive. Comments are
03:41:06 david guild- Yorkshire: 1. Single point of contact rather than multiple
03:41:14 Norman Inniss Kent: Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance, any big public authority where people stay in the job for a career lifetime
03:43:19 Glos Ian Sidgwick: How many hits on blog?
03:43:58 EBU Host: "How many hits on blog?" I will look into the figures for you Ian, but it will take a little time
03:44:58 Alan Mould - Manchester: A Grosvenor Coup is a defensive play that can NEVER gain and theoretically loses a trick, but in practice never does because declarer can never read it.
03:45:19 Alan Mould - Manchester: Its main purpose is to irritate declarer and amuse the defenders
03:46:06 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Would the articles be good for other countries to use?
03:46:55 EBU Host: Yes other counties are welcome to share the blog, we would welcome this
03:47:14 Nigel Durie NEBA Chair: Thanks. Leaflet looks very good. Sorry, have to leave for childcare duties
03:52:34 david guild- Yorkshire: Hi Ron are we going to get the lapsed list broken into those lapsed last year and those longer lapsed
03:53:59 Norman Inniss Kent: Has anyone cracked the U3A community? Very difficult to find out contacts, ley alone actually get in there
03:54:49 Tony Russ Somerset: where is this lapsed list?
03:55:15 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: No I contacted all the ones in Wiltshire to offer assistance etc but with no positive outcome
03:56:03 Alan Mould - Manchester: Manchester has had the same experience with the U3A community
03:56:51 Ron Millet - Board Director: Yes that can be done. At this stage we were concerned to separate out those who have become inactive as a result of Covid … everyone at the beginning but as many drift back we are left with a hard core that are clearly not there because of Covid and, for them, the inaccessibility of online play
03:57:06 Norman Inniss Kent: Sue, how did you find out who/where they all are?
03:57:28 Wiltshire Sue Phillips: google searches
03:57:32 Robert Teesdale - Hertfordshire: Norman, We have tried without much success. U3A's seem to think we are attempting to steal their members.
03:58:08 Norman Inniss Kent: As if!
03:59:50 Ron Millet - Board Director: The lapsed list can be run from myEBU or if necessary we can send the relevant information to an individual county. As I remarked we can distribute communications directly on a County’s behalf.. for discussion in each individual case.
04:00:02 Dick Wheeler Sussex: Publish presentations to allow comments post AGM?
04:00:23 Ian Payn (EBU Chair): I think so.
04:02:13 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Rob
04:03:24 Glos Ian Sidgwick: No hybrid?
04:04:15 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Rob I think one problem we have is that the interest in green points is much smaller than it was a few years back. Green pointed events have been a significant "cash cow" both for counties and the EBU. That may not apply in the future, particularly since we have just voted to make a significant change to the pricing
04:05:03 Paul's iPad (2): Spring Foursomes?
04:07:11 Alan Mould - Manchester: What will be the position with NICKO events such as Crockfords before the final or NICKO? Will the default be F2F or online?
04:12:01 Gordon Rainsford, CEO, Company Secretary: Knockout events played privately will default to face-to-face if possible, but with teams willing to play online being matched in the early rounds to minimise travel
04:13:38 Malcolm Pryor SUF: Gordon: can we add to that default a regulation that if one team wants F2F and the other wants on-line then the team that wants F2F becomes the away team
04:15:00 Paul Roberts M&C: Sorry I have toleave for another meeting
04:15:14 Gordon Rainsford, CEO, Company Secretary: I'll get views about that Malcolm
04:15:55 Myra Scott (Warkwickshire): Birmingham (Northfield)
04:17:56 Glos Ian Sidgwick: Made my dog bark