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INCAS at the Crossroads - 04/02/06 - Report to the AGM plus Chair's notes and letter to members discussing the crisis.

07/02/06

Dear xxxxxxxxx,

INCAS at the Crossroads

I am writing to ask for your help and advice.

I enclose a copy of the annual report, submitted to the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 4th February. Only 17 people attended, and some of those were new members.

The Report sets out the action recommended by the executive, and subsequently agreed by members, following the survey in June 2005. We are now proceeding with that action list and we will, shortly, become a Company Limited by Guarantee.

During the meeting there was a major difference of opinion - between myself and founder member, Frank Docherty - on the future direction of INCAS.

Frank feels that INCAS should be an autonomous self-help group, does not need to become a company, and does not need funding from the Scottish Parliament.

Because of the difference of opinion, the A.G.M. ended without appointing a new committee. I am prepared to continue as 'Interim Chairman' in the hope that we can appoint a new committee. Members have already supported the plan outlined in the annual report, and I consider that this is the way forward.

I would be pleased if you would, again, confirm your agreement to the plan outlined in the annual report, by returning the slip attached to this letter.

I would, also, be pleased if you could indicate if you would be able to serve on the committee. We need new blood to continue the progress we have made.

Many Thanks

Alan Draper

'Interim Chairman' - INCAS

 

REPORT TO THE AGM 4th February 2006

During the past 15 months we have experienced highs and lows. In December 2004 Jack McConnell, the first minister, issued an apology on behalf of the nation to all those who had been abused in the care system. This was a tremendous step forward.

A favourable judgement by Lady Paton could open the door to the 'Time Bar' problem. The executive also appointed Mr Tom Shaw, an independent expert, to examine why the regulations had failed to prevent abuse in Homes.

This is not the full inquiry, which we all want, but it could prove to be a crucial stage in the process of achieving justice. We have agreed to cooperate with this review, and Mr Shaw is planning to meet a cross section of the membership.

Chris Daly on behalf of members has submitted a petition to the executive asking them to fast track court hearings in personal injury cases.

The Law Commissioners are also looking at the Time Bar issue, and they are due to report later in the year.

We continue to have discussions with civil servants, and others, about the many issues that effect members. Progress is slow, but discussions are continuing.

We will shortly become A Company Limited by Guarantee, which will enable us to seek funding for our services, but also provide some important legal safeguards. We are looking to establish a base in Glasgow, probably with Who Cares Scotland.

We are making progress, but not without cost. We have a small executive committee, who have been, and are working hard to achieve justice for members, whilst at the same tying to provide support to individuals.

Frank Docherty and Jim Kane successfully arranged for a new memorial at Smyllum financed by the Church.

John Doyle continues to maintain an impressive Web Site, as well as acting as a point of contact for the media and members.

Helen Holland and Frank have provided individual support to members. At various times in the year, however, all members of the committee have had to take time out to cope with personal illness or burnout. We are looking to strengthen the committee, and would welcome offers of help. We remain committed in the fight for justice, no matter how long that might take.

Our plans for the future include:

  • Establishing a sound base with a strong, reliable committee.
  • Offering relevant (and ongoing) support to members.
  • Funding for support services (to include premises with 'drop-in' facilities and ultimately, back up and accommodation for those who need respite).
  • Establishing 'local' self-help groups/forums.
  • Funding for research.
  • Continuing to campaign for Justice.
  • Continuing to hold the executive and relevant statutory bodies to account.
  • Co-operating with The Independent Inquiry.

We will discuss these plans at the AGM so that we have a clear understanding of membersí views and priorities for 2006.

I would like to pay special tribute to Jim McElroy who died just over a year ago. He was a committed supporter and an important contributor. He is missed by all.

Alan Draper

February 2006

 

Notes taken by Chair of INCAS AGM held at The Woodside Halls, Glasgow, 4th February 2006

Present Alan Draper (Chair) and 16 other members

The annual report was presented to the members present, (It will be circulated to all members).

Matters Arising.

1. Tom Shaw, the independent expert appointed by the executive has asked if it would be helpful to see members in small groups, as part of his review of regulations. This was agreed. The group also wondered if this could involve members outside Scotland. It was agreed that the chairman would write to Tom Shaw.

2. Time Bar Issues.

This is still under consideration by the Law Commissioners, and a separate case involving the de La Salle Order was also, being pursued.

A member asked when it was possible to refer the situation to Strasbourg, i.e. The Court of Human Rights. It was normal to do this after all legal processes had been completed in the UK, but we should keep this in mind.

3. Limited Company.

The chair advised that was at an advanced stage and we should be registered shortly, At this stage Frank Docherty raised a number of objections. He said that he resigned from the committee because he was not happy about INCAS becoming a company. It was pointed out that the membership had already agreed to this process, by ballot in June. It was accepted that only 36 had returned ballot papers, but this had to be taken as the will of the membership.

Frank continued to raise objections stating that INCAS was set up as an autonomous self-help group, that being a limited company would do nothing for survivors. He also said that he was not happy to accept money from The Parliament.

4. Appointment of Committee.

Again Frank raised objections, saying that the meeting was not quorate and could not appoint a committee. At this stage the chairman adjourned the meeting, He stated that he accepted responsibility for the recommendations outlined in the annual report. If this was not acceptable, then he would offer his resignation. He would advise the membership about what had happened, and seek their support. It may be necessary to call a special general meeting, to confirm the way forward, or wind up INCAS as a group.

AGD 8th Feb 2006

 
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