Saturday, August 02, 2008

RAYNET / RAEN (RSGB Statement)

Due to irreconcilable differences between the RSGB Board and the Trustees of RAEN (The Network) over the direction and future management of RAYNET the Society has decided to end the Memorandum of Understanding put in place in April 2004. This was designed to try to bring closer together all RAYNET factions for the greater good of RAYNET and the image of Amateur Radio to the user services and the general public. However a number of instances had come to light where The Network had operated outside of the agreement and at the Board meeting held on July 12th it was decided to replace the MoU with a Position Statement, which will be available on the RSGB website. During a meeting held on July 24th between representatives of the Society and RAEN this document was rejected outright by RAEN.

The RSGB had put forward to RAEN a number of joint ventures such as a common RAYNET Handbook, common ID cards for all RAYNET groups and a common insurance arrangement. All of these measures were designed to assist members and to strengthen RAYNET in the eyes of the user services. Sadly, despite initial agreement, offers of cooperation on these projects was withdrawn by the Management Board of the “Network”.

Earlier this year the RSGB sent out a questionnaire to all affiliated clubs and societies seeking information regarding Public Service (including but not limited to RAYNET) activity and capabilities. This was to RSGB clubs and Societies only, yet the Network maintain that it should have been vetted by them in the first instance and that they were the “larger market force” in the UK as far as the amateur radio emergency services were concerned. The RSGB take the view that it is up to them alone to decide what should be sent to their members.

The RSGB had proposed 6 monthly meetings between the RAEN and RSGB, but this was also rejected by the Network. The RSGB remain open to further discussions as and when the RAEN decide that this is in the interests of the Movement.

Meanwhile, the Director Public Services has been tasked with producing an RSGB RAYNET ID card, seeking improvement to the RSGB RAYNET insurance and producing an operations manual. All RSGB groups are urged to continue with the excellent arrangements for cooperation that are in place ‘on the ground’ between all groups.

The RSGB will continue to represent all UK Radio Amateurs, Affiliated Clubs and Groups and its members in the unbiased way it has done so for the past 95 years.
It will continue to recognise the importance of RAYNET both in the UK and across the world and will endeavour to meet the needs of all RAYNET operators of whatever persuasion.

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