Sat, 13 April, 2024

Lively debate at AGM

Ron Carpenter

Posted: October 22nd, 2015

Trinity Mirror CEO Simon Fox was the unexpected speaker at the Association’s AGM in London this week (October 20) following the unavoidable last-minute absence of scheduled principal guest, company group finance director Vijay Vaghela. Vijay Vaghela will attend the Glasgow annual meeting on November 2, as planned. (Words Caro Cluskey, pic Bill Rowntree.)

The meeting was lively though not particularly well attended –  about 80 game souls made the journey to the St Alban’s Centre off Gray’s Inn Road to hear reports, discussions and questions on various pension, financial and company matters.

Other TM representatives present were deputy group finance director Philip Brown, group pensions manager David Astley, and Carol McNamara, group pensions administration manager.

‘C’ director trustee Alan Burns attended and spoke briefly.

Simon Fox reported on Trinity’s “difficult trading conditions” but reiterated that the company was determined to support and protect its two main dependants – its pension schemes and its shareholders.

In response to ex-marketing man Ron Carpenter’s complaints (Ron is pictured here, in full flow) about the duplication of sports content in the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, Simon Fox agreed this shouldn’t be happening and promised to “speak to the editors”. (However, for a different take, see Roy Greenslade’s blog from August 19 this year:

Simon Fox undertook to follow up complaints about lack of availability of Trinity Mirror titles in newsagents and supermarkets, and invited members to report instances direct to him at:

Detailed discussions on matters of particular interest to AMP – deficits, schemes merger, the future of the Aviva insurance policy, for example – did not take place due to the absence through illness of independent trustee chairman Joanna Matthews. It is hoped she will be able to attend the meeting in Scotland on November 2.

Philip Brown confirmed the company’s increased deficits-reduction timetable to 2025, stating that the company expected investment income would then bring the pension schemes into surplus by 2027.

There were several tributes to now ex-chairman but new deputy chairman Tom Brown, who stood down from the top job because of health difficulties caused by Meniere’s disease. He will continue to be active in AMP affairs, although attending meetings in person will not be possible for the time being. In Tom’s absence Monty Court chaired the meeting, also reading out Tom’s final chairman’s report.

Secretary Gerald Mowbray reported on the AMP’s stable financial status as well as giving his secretary’s report – covering, among other subjects, autumn newsletter, website relaunch, Equitable Life, pensions schemes merger and AMP membership levels.

Members were urged to help the AMP’s recruitment drive when meeting or communicating with old colleagues at non-AMP events, lunches, dinners and other occasions when they cross paths with Mirror Group’s pensioners and active or deferred pensioners.

Chairman-designate Jill Palmer was endorsed by the meeting, and the current secretary, Gerald, and treasurer Roy White, were re-elected along with the current committee, apart from the five who have stood down to become honorary committee members (as reported in the Association’s recent Mirror Pensioner magazine.) They will continue to be involved, via email.

Next year’s AGM will be at the same venue at the same time on October 25 – St Albanʼs Centre, Baldwin Gardens, off Grayʼs Inn Road, London, 11.30am.

This year’s Scottish annual meeting is on Monday, November 2 from 11.30am at the usual venue, Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail office, in Glasgow.

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