Each year at the AGM Members elect office-bearers and committee members, but you don't ever get an explanation of what they - we - actually do. Some positions are pretty self-explanatory (Treasurer, Membership Secretary) but others have a more nebulous set of responsibilities. This article sets out to give job specs so that possible future committee members know what they are in for (or avoiding, as the case might be).
Chairs meetings, sets the general direction of how FoFNL deals with the industry. Ideal if Convener has some useful connections (political, industry, knowledge of location of bodies). In practice writes most of FoFNL's Responses (with input from others) to industry consultations.
Takes Minutes, monitors actions arising from "I'll do that" at committee. Handles external communications other than those with the industry (eg. enquiries arising from website, premises booking etc).
Keeps accounts, monitors (and in the last analysis can veto) expenditure.
Maintains accurate list of addresses, monitors subscriptions, liaising with Treasurer. Prepares address labels for FNE distribution to members, and complimentaries.
Commissions articles for FNE, prepares text, arranges for photographs, arranges for printing. Also maintains website, adding articles, reports etc. as they become available.
These two (or more, if co-opted) assist with the general running of the Friends. One puts FNE into envelopes, sticks on the address labels and stamps, and posts them (in fact this is currently done by Iain, ex-member of committee and his sister). He also hand delivers some local ones (eg. Inverness Station). From time to time - eg. Station Survey - it's all hands to the pumps. Some bring a particular expertise to the committee's deliberations - either from a retired railwayman perspective, or from a consultant's one. In the past a regular commuter has served a very useful function as the daily eyes and ears of the ordinary passenger - informed, but not expert.
Richard Ardern, a very long-serving Committee Member and Office-Bearer, has indicated he will not be seeking election to the Committee in June, so there will be at least one vacancy. Committee members will be approaching one or two FoFNL Members whom we think might have something to offer, but it's entirely possible that we have overlooked YOU and that YOU would like to contribute. If YOU are a commuter, even an infrequent one, then YOU are just the chap. Or chapess. Do not hang back!