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Yorkshire Ridings Branch Newsletter June '13

9 June 2013

ITV Yorkshire here we come !

Your Branch is holding its first ever meeting at ITV Yorkshire this month. There will be a Casting Question and Answer sessionwith ITV Yorkshire Casting Director Faye Styring and Casting Assistant Sophie Poulston. Faye has previously cast productions such as Touch of Frost, Heartbeat, and The Royal. Sophie trained as an actress before joining the ITV Yorkshire Casting Department. Between them, Faye and Sophie are currently responsible for casting both main parts and Walk-ons for Emmerdale. Please come along on:

Wednesday 12 June

2.00 pm

ITV Yorkshire – Conference Room (Meeting Room 9)
ITV Television Centre, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, LS3 1JS

The meeting will also include a report back from Equity’s Annual Representative Conference, which took place in London last month.

Yorkshire Ridings General Branch’s predecessor (Leeds and District General Branch) was founded by Actors working on Emmerdale and we hope our Branch will be able to develop its relationship with members of the present Emmerdale cast.

For travel and parking information go to:


My Theatre Matters! – What You Can Do:

If you have not signed up to the campaign yet, please do so here:

Could you get five people you know to join the campaign? Just send them the link to sign up. 

If you haven’t already done so, please write to the leader of your local council and your local MP. See the Do More section of the campaign web site. For specific ideas about what you might say, go to the Resources section of the My Theatre Matters web site.

If you write to your local council or your local MP, please keep a copy of what you send and any responses you receive. My Theatre Matters may want to use these later in the campaign.

Please keep shouting about the My Theatre Matters campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

In your Branch’s area, 19 theatres in Bradford, Doncaster, Goole, Halifax, Harrogate, Hoyland, Hull, Leeds, Malton, Richmond, Scarborough, Sheffield and Wakefield are supporting the My Theatre Matters campaign. If you think your local theatre hasn’t signed up to the campaign, please contact Regional Organiser Nigel Jones on 0114 275 9746 or e-mail after 10 June to discuss this. Also, please contact Nigel if you can help with handing out My Theatre Matters cards and publicity at your local theatre.


NI status change for entertainers?

HM Revenue & Customs is recommending that entertainers should no longer be categorised as “employed earners” with liability to pay Class 1 National Insurance Contributions. This development is of great concern. With the impending introduction of Universal Credit such a change would impact enormously on how Equity members are assessed for entitlement to benefits. Please respond to the survey on the Equity website at It is also critical for individual members to send their message to George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer and to your local MP. A standard letter can be downloaded at

The HMRC’s consultation document can be found at

Equity staff will be touring the UK over the next few months to talk to members about the impact Universal Credit may have on them.


This Year’s ARC – a Personal Reflection

Branch Committee member Yvonne Okyere-Whalley writes: It was the first time I’ve attended Equity’s Annual Representative Conference as an Observer. The discussions were civilised and democratic. Tensions were sometimes high when people felt strongly about their motions but the Council was quick to explain its position. I was disappointed that Yorkshire Ridings Branch’s motion was defeated but took some comfort from the Council’s response. I felt proud listening to guest speaker, Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres, talk about great achievements and ongoing projects in the North. Not all roads lead to London in order to be successful! The conference was well organised and I had so much fun. There were lots of passionate debates about key issues and most of the industry professionals I spoke to said that this conference was one of the best they have attended. I look forward to the 2014 ARC – perhaps with music and more entertainment during and after dinner. I must say a big ‘Thank you’ to the Branch committee members and Morrish Solicitors for their support in making it possible for me to attend. 


Equity Yorkshire Ridings General Branch wishes to thank Morrish Solicitors for their sponsorship towards the cost of sending committee member Yvonne Okyere-Whalley as an Observer to Equity’s 2013 Annual Representative Conference.


Dates for Future Branch Meetings:

Saturday 13 July 12 Noon - Branch Meeting at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds. Speaker from Equity Young Members’ Committee.

Mon 2 Sept 2pm and Sat 7 September Midday - Informal Meetings and socials at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.

2013 Annual General Meeting will take place in late September or early October; details to be announced soon.


Branch Resources:

The Standard Agenda for Branch Meetings can be read at A copy of the Standard Agenda can be downloaded at

To download the minutes of past Branch Meetings, go to and click on Documents. Minutes of Branch Meetings since Nov 2012 are now available. You will need to log in to the Equity Web site with your membership number and your password before the Minutes can be downloaded. Notes of the May 2013 meeting will be available soon.

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A Large Print version of this Newsletter can be downloaded from the Branch Web Site

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