Provincia Britannia - Minutes - 2004 London (Nova Roma)

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Minutes of the provincial meeting a.d. III Kal. Nov. Cn. Salice Cn. Equitio cos. MMDCCLVII a.u.c.

Taken by A. Apollonius Cordus.


Present:

Contents

Minutes of the last meeting

The governor circulated the minutes of the last meeting, and then asked what progress had been made on the actions decided at that meeting.

  • Cordus had said he would make the laurels on the provincial emblem thinner: he had not done so yet, and the meeting agreed that it was not urgent, but that it would be a good idea at some stage.
  • Laureatus had said he would like to post copies of Inter Alia to British citizens, and also that he would like to hold a provincial census: he had assembled a list of addresses and intended to send the magazines, together with census-letters, soon, perhaps by the end of November.
  • The governor was going to make a new website to replace the old one: she had done this, though some parts of the website still remained to be finished. Avitus commented that the outer frame of the pages was not lining up properly on his computer; the governor thought she had solved that problem, but said she would work on it. No one else was having that problem. It was pointed out that the main Nova Roma website still links to the old website; the governor said that she had talked to the new webmaster Cassius Calvus and that he would do it when he could.
  • The governor & Cordus had been going to set up a provincial library: the database had been set up and a few books entered into the library's catalogue, but there were still many books to add.
  • The governor had said that she would try to regain control of the provincial e-mail list, or else create a new one: having received no response from Cassius Julianus p.p. she had created a new list, to which there had been a smooth and complete transition. The old list, however, remained and was still claiming to be the official list in an automated monthly announcement. The governor said she would send a monthly announcement on the old list contradicting this, and that she would also ask Julianus about it on the main list in order to exert more pressure on him.

No further matters arose from the minutes.

Budget & annual report

The governor circulated a copy of the budget and annual report which she intended to submit to the senate: copies are attached as appendices to these minutes. Everyone was very pleased to have more tax-paying citizens than Italia, but no changes were suggested.

Segovia

The governor described the trip she and Cordus had made in the summer to the Conventus Novae Romae in Segovia, especially the initiatives which the Hispani were taking. These included:

  • Campaign of letter-writing to local newspapers to raise awareness of threatened ancient sites. The consul commented that a letter had been published, and had had some success.
  • Creation of a non-profit cultural association. The consul said the association had not received any grants yet, but was expecting to do so in due course.
  • Creation of a re-enactment legion. The consul said there were now between five and ten Hispani who were equipped (at their own expense) to present themselves as legionaries, and that they intended to make educational presentations and raise money.

Avitus asked whether Hispania had any official premises for the province; the consul said that it had not, but that the municipium Complutense was hoping to acquire some.

Mission statement & legal status

Further to informal discussions the previous night, the meeting agreed that a formal mission statement was not desirable for the province at this stage, but that it would be useful to have some sort of statement which would explain to non-citizens what the province and Nova Roma are about. It was commented that such a statement might well be required if the province were to create an association or corporation.

The governor had investigated charitable status and concluded that it would be impossible for the province to register as a charity under U.K. law.

The meeting discussed whether it would be desirable in principle to create some sort of legal organization. Among the benefits mentioned would be that it would make fund-raising and asking for grants easier, it would ensure that no individual would be personally liable for any money, it would increase our credibility, and it would help us to attract sponsorship.

It was agreed in principle that we would create a legal entity of some kind. The governor and Salvius both said they would investigate the various options.

Provincial taxes

The idea of levying an extra provincial tax was raised. It was suggested that it could be used to make Inter Alia a more professional-looking publication.

It was also pointed out that questions of who would or could pay would be related to the question of a legal corporate entity, and so was best deferred until then.

Laureatus said that he would propose a rough estimate for the cost of improving Inter Alia so that this could be used as a basis for setting a rate of taxation.

Citizenship certificates or badges

Silvanus, unable to be present at the meeting, had suggested the creation of some sort of mark of citizenship to give to new citizens.

It was agreed that new citizenship would be sent a letter from the governor and an issue of Inter Alia. The governor also said she would try to create a small handbook to Britannia and Nova Roma.

For a further mark of citizenship, the meeting generally agreed that it must not be tacky, and must if possible be something which historically marked Roman citizenship. Unfortunately we were unable to think of any universal mark of Roman citizenship apart from the toga.

Cordus said he would do some research to see whether use could be made of military diplomata (the metal tablets which were given to retired soldiers to certify that they had been given citizenship as a reward for their military service) or signet-rings (most Romans would have had signet-rings to seal their letters). But it was commented that things like this would be expensive and should not be sent to new citizens unless it was clear that they would be active.

Inter Alia

The latest issue was generally acclaimed. The governor raised the issue of the formal relationship between the publication and the provincial government - was Inter Alia independent or an official magazine?

It was agreed that it was official and funded by the province, but also editorially independent, like the BBC; and it was agreed that the final authority over the content rested with the editors.

The governor said she would come up with a list of questions which needed to be answered about the details of the relationship (e.g. how are the editors chosen &c.) which she would send to the editors; they would then write up their proposed answers to those questions; and further discussion could take place on the e-mail list.

At the request of the editors, a vote of confidence was held in the current editors, who were unanimously approved.

It was suggested that the edition which is placed on the provincial website ought to be available only to citizens, and protected by passwords; questions about how and in what media Inter Alia ought to be published would be included in the governor's list of questions. So would questions about encouraging and offering incentives for submissions.

Hadrian's Wall

The governor confirmed that we would be hosting the Conventus Novae Romae of 2006 at Hadrian's Wall. She proposed to create a committee to organize it, which would act somewhat independently of the provincial government so that its work would not be disrupted by a change of governor. The governor said she would propose a list of job-descriptions for members of the committee and ask for volunteers on the provincial e-mail list.

Next meeting

There was no time to decide more about the next meeting than that we would certainly have one.

Any other business

There was no other business.


There being no further business, the meeting was closed.


Appendix: annual report

Britannia Annual Report for 2757

(Sections in bold were in the final report submitted to the Senate, but were not present in the copy circulated at the meeting.)

Britannia has had a very good year in 2757, building on the successes of 2756. Many of our citizens have taken an active part in the central government, as well as contributing to the growth of various provincial projects.

I am requesting proroguation for the coming year, as I have not yet served even one complete year in office, and I feel there is much more that I can helpfully accomplish.

MAGISTRATES

I took over the provincial governorship from D. Iunius Silanus in June this year.

C. Moravius Laureatus Armoricus and A. Apollonius Cordus have continued as legates, although they are no longer assigned to particular regions as this did not seem to be the most practical use of their time.

C. Flavia Aureliana and C. Moravius Laureatus Armoricus have continued as editors of the provincial newsletter.

A. Gratius Garseius Avitus and A. Apollonius Cordus have translated the provincial website in to Latin, and M. Duilius Fusconius is working on a translation in to Welsh and Cornish.

I am most grateful for all of their help and dedication to the province.

E-MAIL LIST

The province has a new email list at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/britannia-provincia

This was set up to replace the old email list when we realized that the previous list was not in fact under the control of the provincial magistrates, and after several requests to transfer ownership yielded no results. The new list is owned jointly by myself and my two legates. The list is open for anyone to join, but in order to reduce spam, only citizens of the province are on unmoderated status.

WEB SITE

The province has a new website at http://www.britannia-provincia.co.uk

We decided it was worth investing in a domain name and dedicated hosting for the provincial website, and as Equestria Iunia Laeca wished to step down from her position as provincial webmaster, this seemed like a good opportunity to do a complete re-design. The site now uses CSS to handle it's appearance, and should consequently be fully compliant with new disability legislation in the UK which came in to force this month.

The site is currently available in English and Latin, and we are aiming to have translations in to Welsh, Cornish, and Scottish and Manx Gaelic in order to cover all the languages of the province.

NEWSLETTER

Inter Alia, the provincial newsletter, is going strong, and has just introduced a monthly news supplement which will keep citizens who do not wish to subscribe to the main list abreast of important developments in Nova Roma. The main publication continues to collect various interesting articles, and we are planning to go to paper copies next year.

PERSONAL CONTACT

Upon taking up the governorship, I personally emailed every citizen in the province with whom I was not already acquainted, and had a fairly good response. I have also contacted every new citizen approved by the censors since I was appointed.

The province has held two successful provincial gatherings this year, in Chester and London.

The Chester meeting was attended by five citizens, and included visits to a Roman festival and Chester amphitheatre. My thanks to C. Flavia Aureliana for her work in organising the meeting.

The London meeting was attended by 10 citizens, and included visits to the British Museum and Museum of London, the ruins of a mithraeum, and various remaining parts of the Roman city wall. We also had a picnic of Roman food.

EUROPEAN CONVENTUS

The province is extremely proud to have been selected as the host of the V Conventus Novae Romae in 2759. The rally will take place at Hadrian's Wall, and will be very exciting - details will be confirmed nearer the time as a committee is currently being arranged.

STATISTICS

The province currently has 65 citizens, not counting socii.

This year, 11 of our citizens (17%) paid taxes; we have the third-highest number of tax-paying citizens in any European province (after Hispania, 22, and Thule, 12). Two more have promised to pay before the end of the year.

At least six of our citizens (9%) are known to be active in the central government, whether as senators, elected officials, or appointed assistants.

Approximately half of the province's citizens have proved to be active at present (whether by paying taxes, attending meetings, or responding to emails from the governor).

ACCOUNTS

The province received £26.76 in tax revenue (after forwarding half to the central treasury).

We spent £6.09 on our domain name (2 year registration) and £3.71 on website hosting (for 1 year).

This leaves the province with a treasury of £16.96.

BUDGET FOR 2758

Our initial balance for 2758 will be £16.96 carried over from 2757.

I hope we can raise the number of tax-paying citizens for the coming year to 20 by facilitating regional tax collection. Assuming a tax rate for Britannia of £5 (as last year), this would give us a provincial income of £50.

2758 is a census year, which will necessitate some additional expenditure: I estimate approximately £10 to send letters out to those citizens who do not respond to email contact.

The provincial domain name will not need renewing in 2758, but our web hosting will need to be renewed at a cost of around £5.

These expenditures would result in a provincial treasury at the end of 2758 of £51.96.

Note: There may also be administrative costs involved in the arrangement of the European conventus, for which citizens will be reimbursed as and when the occasion arises.


C. Fabia Livia


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