We meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month in Somer Centre for 2 hours. We take turns to introduce and lead a session. Two members left recently and have been replaced by 2 people on the waiting list. There are 3 still on the waiting list and it may be the right time to form a second group. If you are interested please contact me or Mary Piper, Groups Co-Ordinator.
AUGUST: subject was Royal Payments - very interesting discussion. It was difficult to research Royal Finances; who is paid and from where. The Sovereign Grant is made up of profits from Crown Estates which are paid to Government. Treasury then pays a % of these to the Monarchy which is currently 25% to help pay for refurbishment of Buckingham Palace. The Privy Purse is a private income which the Monarch is entitled to and is from the revenue made by the Duchy of Lancaster. Personal Income from the Queen is not made public. We were all surprised how much the Queen gives o Government. The Royal Family brings in £400M p.a. of which Government keeps £360M. A further £1.8B p.a. is from tourism.
SEPTEMBER: the discussion was about Mass Surveillance, and how many ways we are observed in all that we do, from the Internet to cameras everywhere. The discussion centred around the positive and negative aspects of this. The conclusion was that we need to keep aware of developments and bear in mind how important Democracy is.
OCTOBER: the subject was The Nanny State and how intrusive it can be telling us what we should and should not do.The discussion ranged far and wide over the many issues some of which get a very bad press from the media. One current issue is the low take up of vaccinations for children. We thought that the vaccination was necessary but maybe not all at once. As long as children had had all their vaccinations by the time they started school. We concluded that there are times when the Nanny State is needed.
As many of you know Catherine Why brow died recently. She was a member of this Group from the beginning. Whatever we discussed over the years, Catherine was very knowledgeable and positive in the way she presented her views. She is missed by all of us.
Barbara Brophy (Group Leader) 436198