Whilst very encouraging to see the AGM for the RHASS well publicised on social media, readers of The Scottish Farmer who may prefer the use of more traditional forms of communication will have had to read last week's edition carefully to have seen Notice of the AGM.

I do wonder if the RHASS could have considered giving this greater prominence given the coverage of the forthcoming Showcase which was presumably written in consultation with the RHASS. This would have been an opportunity for the RHASS to highlight, and encourage attendance, following on from the Chairman’s letter in the December 5 edition.

In that letter the Chairman encouraged “all members to review our accounts - available on the website - and to come to the AGM to exercise their role in the governance of the society...”. Somewhat disappointingly at the time of writing this letter I find that the accounts for the year ending 2020 are not on the website and the only accounts I can find are for the year ending November 2019.

Hopefully this will be rectified before the end of the registration period, which is April 26 for the AGM on April 28. This leaves little time for close examination and submission of questions relating to the accounts by members. I compare this with recent correspondence I received as a member of one Breed Society, the AGM of which is being held in June and the accounts for the year ending December 2020 were included with the correspondence. I appreciate that the scale of finances may differ but then so also will the scale of available resource to prepare such information.

The above comments aside the AGM does provide an opportunity for members to raise questions, and I hope that some fellow members will attend, albeit it will be a virtual attendance. Equally I hope that the Executive and Board will take time not just to listen, but more importantly take time now, and going forward, to understand the concerns that some members clearly have, and that have been articulated over the recent months in press articles. Aside from the Showcase this year, whatever each member’s views may be on this, we all want to see a successful Royal Highland Show being run in 2022. It’s time now for far greater transparency and a focus on meaningful engagement with the grass roots membership.

Janice Milne