Starting with the next financial year on 1 August 2018, the amounts formerly paid by societies to the Performing Rights Society will also include payments for PPL (Phonographic Performance) since the two organisations responsible for collecting the royalties have merged. The Treasurer has requested details of the new rates which will be paid on behalf of societies by the FRMS; but these have not yet been supplied, and we are advised that internal discussions within the new organisation are still proceeding.

This therefore means that there may be some delay in determining the amounts to be included in the invoices which are issued to societies at this time of year, although it not anticipated that the figures will alter greatly. In the meantime we have been advised that the cost for public liability insurance for those societies which pay this through the FRMS will increase from £51 to £52; and it has been agreed by the committee of the FRMS that we can, for the sixth year running, hold our subscription payments at the current level without any increase for inflation (the current increase in national inflation rates arising largely from the declining exchange value of the pound, which does not directly impact on FRMS activities) until the financial year 2019/20.

Members of societies will have already seen advertisements for volunteers to take on the role of FRMS Treasurer from the next financial year, but no responses to these have been received to date. The current Treasurer Paul Corfield Godfrey is increasingly heavily involved as a composer in the release of the first recording of his epic scenes The Fall of Gondolin, which is to be followed in the next three years by further releases of other parts of his cycle based on Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Taken together with his duties as Secretary of Welsh Composers and his activities as a reviewer of live performances, CDs and DVDs for Music Web International, the amount of time that he now has available for FRMS business is substantially curtailed.

In the absence of any volunteer replacements, the Treasurer has agreed to continue in post but must emphasise that the need to prioritise other work will mean at times that there may well be delays (of a month or so) in responding to communications or encashing cheques. All such items will be dealt with in due course, and he would request that member societies will bear with him through any resultant problems. Specific issues can of course be addressed either by post or by e-mail, but he would earnestly request that society representatives would refrain from telephoning him unless the matter is extremely urgent or cannot be dealt with in any other way.

It is hoped that the invoices will be ready for despatch to Treasurers by mid-September (if the PRS have furnished the relevant figures by that date), but in the meantime societies should assume that payments to FRMS will remain largely unaltered (and some societies of course will be unaffected by any of the changes).

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