HPPA members update May 2020
Let me start by hoping everyone is well in these troubling times and that life gets back to normal reasonably soon.
Just before the lockdown, the HPPA committee met in Bristol to take stock on the situation and to agree our next steps.
Unfortunately, many of our plans have been thwarted by events. Nevertheless, we still intend to continue pressurising HP
in an effort to free up their purse strings, which, regrettably has again resulted in a failure to make discretionary increases
to pensions this year.
Since our last update our focus on politicians has been significantly hindered by the distractions of Brexit, a General Election
and, just as we thought the coast was clear, the Coronavirus epidemic.
During the past 18 months, efforts have been made to challenge HP on three fronts:
1. Making our case to senior civil servants in the Department of Work and Pensions. Although we had a meeting at Westminster and a reasonably sympathetic hearing, changes in key ministerial positions and Brexit challenges meant that there was little prospect of moving things forward.
2. Martin Ranwell has been tenacious in keeping up pressure on the Government Procurement organisation, engaging with officers up to Cabinet Office level, demanding action be taken against HP who, we believe, are in contravention of the Governments' own rules on companies ethical behaviour to be granted contracts. These contracts are worth many millions to HP. Unfortunately, it seems that these rules are 'paper tigers' and our complaints have not been acted on.
3. We have also written to senior US executives and the Board of Directors to make them aware of our plight which resulted in, what can only be described as a threatening letter from a representative of UK management! The letter we sent to the Board of Directors can be seen here and with attachment here and the response from the company representative here.
At our Bristol meeting we covered much ground and concluded the following:
1. That with a new Government and a coterie of new MP's and Ministers, our prime focus would be to redouble our efforts in gaining their support for our cause. As soon as we emerge from Lockdown, we will be looking to target key politicians and bring them up to speed. We will again be looking to members to write to their MP's with their concerns.
2. It has to be acknowledged that the current committee have made huge efforts and committed much time and energy to gain increases to our pensions. We are all still keen to continue, but we are in need of a few new members to bring fresh thinking and energy for the next stage of our strategy. Some web design and communications skills would be particularly welcome. This will involve much lobbying of politicians, gaining traction with the media and continue to develop relationships with representatives of other pensioner groups suffering in the same way.
Resources are also depleted, so again we are calling on the generosity of
members to make, where possible, a donation to bolster our funds to meet
expected expenses. This can be done by PayPal
here or a bank transfer to HSBC: Account
Name: HPPA Sort Code: 40-38-04 Account Number: 74193032 By cheque, payable to
10 Halfacre Close
Reading RG7 1DZ
Our 'doors' are always open, we welcome your thoughts and ideas in support of continuing the fight.