Incorporating the Mens & Womens Bowling Associations of the County of Northumberland

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Policy Statement on Unification

At the February meeting of the General Purposes Committee of Northumberland County Bowling Association the body which currently administers men's bowls here in Northumberland. The committee unanimously agreed that the current policy on unification should be continued to its final conclusion which is full unification under Bowls Northumberland and this should be progressed with a target date of the end of 2013 for a fully unified administration here in Northumberland. In order to keep our members fully informed we outline below the key points in the unification process since 2007 to what we hope will be its conclusion in December 2013.

1.     Membership balloted on unification in 2007/08. The ballot resulted in an overwhelming majority of our members voting in favour of unification, with only one registered vote against, out of over two thousand four hundred members' votes recorded.

2.     We therefore have a mandate from our membership to unify under our National Governing Body, Bowls England, and that has been our position since 2008.

3.     In 2008 both Annual General Meetings of Northumberland County Bowling Association and Northumberland County Womens' Bowling Association approved the new Bowls Northumberland Constitution. No votes were registered at either Annual General Meeting against the adoption of the proposed Constitution.

4.     At this present moment in time all thirty five counties who are members of Bowls England are at different stages in the unification process and it is difficult to find two associations who mirror themselves exactly in their approach.

5.     Of the thirty five member counties - twenty seven have two Presidents who are elected every year by gender (one male and one female). The remaining eight counties have a single President who is elected each year and the appointment rotates by gender.

6.     Of the five members of the Northern Counties Bowling Association four have two Presidents (as in item five) with Lancashire being the only county to have a single President elected annually and rotating by gender.

7.     The most consistent model in existence at this moment in time is that of our National Governing Body, Bowls England and therefore this is the benchmark we aspire to. Here in Northumberland, your elected officials should all be committed to trying to achieve this goal.

8.     Bowls England make no reference to the English Bowling Association or the English Womens' Bowling Association (their former identities before unification) at all in areas such as clothing, litrature, publicity, web site, or anything else that they currently do. Therefore in the fullness of time there should be little or no reference here in Northumberland to Northumberland County Bowling Association or Northumberland County Women's Bowling Association under the current and future administration of these areas. This does not mean that the history of Northumberland County Bowling Association or Northumberland County Women's Bowling Association should be lost or disregarded. Our women's section have just about completed the transition to the new identity under Bowls Northumberland. Our next challenge is to accommodate the Year Book within this structure and identify the publication as the Bowls Northumberland Year Book and not as the Northumberland County Bowling Association Year Book which is our current position. Furthermore a unified Bowls Northumberland Constitution replacing the Northumberland County Bowling Association Constitution which is at present published in the Year Book needs to be progressed without further delay.  




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