Members “upset” as Diss women’s RBL set to close

VILLAGE SIGN - DISS TOWN SIGN ENGANL00120140601120721

VILLAGE SIGN - DISS TOWN SIGN ENGANL00120140601120721

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The secretary of the Diss branch of the women’s Royal British Legion says members are “quite upset” with the way the reorganisation of the charity has been carried out.

Scores of women’s branches across Norfolk and Suffolk are set to close as the RBL aims to integrate its 30,000 members with the male sections.

It was the way that it was done. It was all kept secret.

Myra Stannard

A meeting is due to be held on September 20 at Grasmere to officially close the branch, while details of when the standard will be laid up are to be confirmed.

Myra Stannard, who was a member for more than 20 years before becoming secretary nearly 18 years ago, said: “We were quite upset about the way it was done. I can understand why these things are done, because in most of the military, there is no separate men or women’s units, they are all one.

“It was the way that it was done. It was all kept secret.”

Mrs Stannard said she would probably join a new branch and remain within the organisation.

An RBL spokesman said: “It remains vitally important to integrate the Royal British Legion Women’s Section into the main body of the organisation to comply with charity regulation and governance arrangements.

“Following discussions in June 2016, which took into consideration feedback from the 2016 annual conferences of both the Women’s Section and the Legion membership, a joint team representing the Legion and the Women’s Section has been formed to develop a plan for integration. The team will work together to identify potential issues brought about by the change, and the aim will be to complete the integration of the Women’s Section by October 1, 2017.”