Page 10 - MarketTimesAugust2016
P. 10

Market Times • August 2016
Momentous change for the Fed
NMTF finally becomes not-for-profit limited company
    NMTF Life Members need to contact us if they wish to continue their membership.
We have written to all Life Members we have addresses for to ask that question, and also whether they are still trading on market-type events.
But some of the addresses we have are old or incorrect, and for some life members we do not have any address. When the National Market Traders Federation finished at midnight on June 30 the contracts with Life Members also ended. Nevertheless the company has taken the decision that Life Membership will be honoured — but to do this they need to contact us by post or email to tell us that they wish to continue.
If this does not happen the Life Membership will cease, as will the liabilities cover.
If you are a Life Member and you have not received a communication from us — or you have but have not responded — it is important that you contact us as soon as possible.
THE National Market Traders Federation has finally become incorporated, marking arguably the biggest change since the organisation was established some 117 years ago.
As most people will be aware, the proposal from the Executive Board to become NMTF Ltd was approved by an overwhelming majority of delegates at an Extraordinary General Meeting held before the NMTF’s AGM at Stratford- upon-Avon in April.
In my intro I use the word “finally” because incorporation comes at the end of a two-year period of discussion and a lot of hard work by a specially appointed steering group.
Those steering group meetings involved legal expert Emma Laycock from Co- operatives UK, who carried out a governance audit and who made sure the group was absolutely clear what in- corporation meant — in effect she told us what we, as a new not-for-profit limited company, could and could not do.
We are grateful for her invaluable contribution.
Emma’s direction, the drawing up of drafts and subsequent approval by the board led to the important articles of association, approved by the Executive Board and ratified by the EGM.
Although this move has been well publicised in Market Times and on social media there may still be some members who are asking questions, such as: What’s the point? — and, how will it affect me?
Both questions are easy to answer.
The fact is that incorporation has been long overdue because it (1) makes the NMTF better able to invest its funds where they will get a reasonable return; and (2) relieves
Executive Board members (now directors) of sorting out any debt that might hit the NMTF.
Unlikely, yes, but it could conceivably happen.
On the first point, having a business registered at Companies House, and thus having a company number, shows the bank that we have some standing.
Strange as it may seem, as an unincorporated body the NMTF did not exist, at least as far as the law is concerned.
So now we will be able to invest our reserves at the best possible rates available.
And, incidentally, it will make it much easier for us to change contracts such as mobile phones without having to go through endless credit checks.
The second point is quite simple — before incorporation individual board members were collectively responsible for any debts, but now they are protected by limited liability.
Now, as a member, what is the effect on you?
In practice very little. You continue to enjoy all the benefits and insurance cover as before. You each become a shareholder in NMTF Ltd for a pound, but that amount is taken from your annual subscription, so no problem there.
For legal reasons there are two changes — NMTF branches have become groups, and associate memberships have come to an end.
The new groups are easier to form, and can be run on a much more flexible, less time- consuming basis.
The purpose of a group is to offer mutual support to its members, to represent their interests at a local level and to work together to achieve common goals.
Whilst this move is a legal requirement, I believe it will be a good one in the practical sense because I know that these days no one has a lot of time, young traders especially — and these are the people we need to attract to head the groups.
Recognised group liaison officers will benefit from free membership when they attend the NMTF annual general meeting, where their expenses will be fully reimbursed.
You can find out more about groups by going to
Associate memberships have been discontinued after the advice that such a category would not be suitable for a limited company.
In reality this affects only a handful of people — and since the majority of them were associate members so that they could assist the now defunct branches their role is really irrelevant.
We are honouring life memberships — but we are having difficulty contacting some of them.
If you are a life member and you have not heard from us please read the information contained in the panel on the right.
I hope I have answered any questions you may have had about incorporation. But if you need further information please contact head office by post, phone or email.

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