Normally at this time of year we would be looking forward to getting together at the annual UK LARAC Conference. The ongoing Covid situation means we cannot get together in person, but we have lined up a two-day virtual conference instead. It is free for LARAC members so if you have not yet booked, take a look at the programme and get yourself booked on.
It also means we will not have the AGM in person this year but again that will be an online affair, not during conference this year, it will take place on Thursday 22 October 2pm to 3pm. This year more than most we need LARAC members to attend as there are proposals for some key changes to the way in which LARAC is structured.
I have been heading up a working group looking at this in the past few months, considering various options and the issues that go with all the possible changes. Now we are able to put these proposals to the membership. To help members understand the proposals we have produced some information ahead of the AGM. Members should have already received this (it is available on the LARAC website here), along with the option to attend a webinar on 24 September at 10am to hear more about it. You can register through this link.
LARAC is proposing that it moves from its current structure, which is an unincorporated body, to a structure that is an incorporated body, in this case a company limited by guarantee. On the face of it that sounds like a big change, but the reality is that it will largely be a mirror of how we operate now. So, the Exec members will be directors and the constitution will become an Articles of Association. But we will still have an AGM, still be beholden to members and still have the Executive elected by members, as we do now.
As LARAC has developed so it has outgrown the legal structure it had when it was created. - Durk Reyner
As LARAC has developed so it has outgrown the legal structure it had when it was created. Hard to believe now but LARAC started out as a small purely volunteer organisation in 1985, much like local clubs and hobby societies. There was no need to worry about employing people or entering into contracts with other organisations. But as we have grown so those considerations have come into place and an unincorporated body cannot legally do these sorts of things.
We also want to ensure that LARAC finances go as far as possible on membership services and policy work done on our members behalf. The move to a limited company will help us do that. So, while the thought of setting up a company sounds a big step, in a lot of respects it is just about doing a (admittedly, large) piece of admin. And its more normal than you might think, organisations like ESA, OPRL and Recoup all operate as limited companies, LARAC is actually the exception at the moment.So, please take the time to look through the information, join the webinar and ask us any questions you might have ahead of the AGM.
The papers for the AGM will come out at the start of October and contain the proposals we will ask members to vote on.
A link to register for the (virtual) AGM will also be sent out shortly and we really do need members to attend so that we can make these changes and keep LARAC going strong for another 35 years.