News and comments

The Trunk November 2021

The Trunk: bringing branches together

01 December 2021

The Trunk: new format

We are changing the format of the Trunk. From now on it will be sent exclusively to the branch executive committee members. Its focus will be to support branch committees with tips, news and ideas - from HQ and other branches. 

However, we want to encourage branches to keep on sending us news and events to promote to members more widely. We'll be promoting them on our website immediately, and then these stories will be featured in our fortnightly member-wide eNews. 

The Trunk will now be sent to all executive committee members at the beginning of each month as opposed to the entirety of our membership. This will be an opportunity to see what other branches are doing and a chance to share ideas with one another. 

If you have anything to be promoted on our website or to go in eNews, please fill in the submission form below. Specifically, anything to do with innovative recruitment activities, training opportunities, retired member’s events etc. These are just suggestions, so please feel free to send other relevant branch information. 

New branch resource: An Introduction to the MA

The MA has produced 'An Introduction to the MA' video, with national chair Bev Higgs explaining to new magistrates the work that the MA does, and why it's a good idea for them to join. This is to be used when speaking at new magistrate training sessions. It's part of our efforts to encourage new magistrates to join the association - the more that do, the stronger our collective voice will be. The video can be accessed here.

New branch tool: Magistrates' Association style guide

The style guide is another tool to help us enhance our reputation as the authority on all matters relating to magistrates, and our mission to help magistrates be the best they can be. This will be sent to chairs and secretaries of branches so we are able to put our ideas and arguments across with clarity and conviction. We encourage that you read the style guide and put it into practice when writing communications.

Please click here to view the style guide.

Branch spotlight: Gwent MA 

If you are looking for some inspiration for some branch activity, we were particularly impressed with the training and development webinars set up by Gwent MA. A series of seven Zoom webinars were organised, including talks about RSPCA prosecutions and local Trading Standards. The webinars are intended to provide sitting JP’s with some development training and raise awareness of the investigation and prosecution process of other agencies.

These webinars were not only a form of CPD but also used as a means of recruiting new members to the MA.

The webinar presenters from RSPCA Prosecutions discussed animal cruelty and local Trading Standards and Environmental Health Officers, touched on subjects, including Anti-Counterfeiting work, Noise Nuisance, use of Technology and the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The initial webinars planned were open to the whole Bench and the remaining five sessions are only accessible to MA members. To date eight JP’s have joined the MA in order to access the remaining five sessions. 

For more information, please contact Nick Haynes

New recruitment initiative: member-get-member scheme

To thrive, the MA needs members, and branches need new members to bring fresh focus and energy to their teams. If you know anyone who isn’t a member, please talk to them and encourage them to join us.

When joining online, they will be asked to include the name of the person who has recommended them. We will send a gift* to the member who has recommended them. So if you speak to someone, make sure they know who you are so we can say...

*The gift will be an aluminium ballpoint pen with a lacquer finish.
The pen is engraved with the distinctive MA logo and a thank you message.

New members receive The Secret Magistrate 

A reminder that for a limited time, all new members will receive a complimentary gift of the book The Secret Magistrate when they join the MA. We encourage all branches to use this as a recruitment incentive for those magistrates who haven’t yet joined.

The book aims to explain to others the experience and what the role entails through the eyes of The Secret Magistrate. If you are aware of magistrates looking to join the MA, please do let them know about this new exciting incentive! 

The link to join the Magistrates' Association is:

Branch toolkit of the month!

The MA event toolkit 

This includes helpful information and ideas about the different types of events that your branch might wish to put on to engage with your members. Some of these might fulfil a need for your branch, such as an AGM, but others might purely be for social reasons.

For more branch toolkits, please click here.

Branch chair and bench chair forum

In September, the MA launched a new online forum, specifically for bench chairs and branch chairs to discuss issues of mutual interest, ask questions, and share information. This is working affectively, and questions are being answered by both trustees and policy chairs. Topics include speakers for branch meetings, retirement age for magistrates and upcoming governance dates.

Currently, users are being notified if someone replies to their posting. However, if you would like to be notified when postings are made you can subscribe to each of the below categories by clicking on the envelope situated above the category.

Please be reminded that the forum is a private space for bench and branch chairs, together with MA trustees and chairs of policy committees and diversity and inclusion networks. It is a moderated forum, so please ensure you read the rules of the forum before posting.

To access the forum please click here.


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