THE North East national president of the club movement will chair its first full annual meeting in three years, in Blackpool next month.

George Smith’s tenure as the CIU national president has coincided with the restrictions brought on due to the Covid outbreak.

The Durham branch chairman was elected into the top national post in December 2019, but within a short time the pandemic swept into the UK and led to clubland’s AGM, scheduled for April 2020, joining the long list of event cancellations.

Read more: Durham branch secretary to take over as CIU National President

Its 2021 AGM was also cancelled, but rescheduled last September in truncated form, solely discussing annual reports for the previous two years.

So, the 158th CIU annual meeting, in Blackpool, on Saturday April 9, will be the first in three years, and the first with Mr Smith presiding.

He will formally welcome delegates from CIU branches around the country to the Royal Suite of the Grand Hotel for the meeting.

Mr Smith said: “It will be an honour to chair this year’s annual meeting, especially as it is the first full AGM in three years, as well as it being back in the traditional April slot after the rescheduled 2021 event in September.

“I hope that as many clubs as possible send delegates to conference weekend and play their full part in the union’s democratic processes.

“With the latest NEC and presidential elections having taken place in December 2021, there will be some new faces on the main stage as we come together as a union to discuss our constitution and shape the future direction of our organisation.”

Mr Smith was re-elected for a second term as CIU national president after taking 74-per cent of the vote in December's election.

Next month's AGM follows the annual CIU Beer and Trades Exhibition, at the Norbreck Castle Hotel, also in Blackpool, the previous day, Friday April 8.

It allows club delegates to meet suppliers and discuss the latest products and services for the club market.

A team from CIU head office will be at the event, showcasing the products and services provided by the union.

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