SPS - Mess Bill Question

Any of you knowledgable types give me a fairly straight answer to this, as I have found it difficult to get people to commit to any type of answer. If you have the authoritive reference, then even better.

What parts of a mess bill (SNCO) are madatory and how is the cost set....?

Was led to believe that the 'Subscription' part was the only part you must pay. Some other parts now becoming questionably overpriced / underused and might like to drop a few of my bill ?
I believe the subs are the only mandatory part, and if memory is right is defined as 4 days pay less subsistence (food and accn charges) per annum for the Sgts mess (more for officers mess but can't remember the figure). That will give you a figure for livers in. Living out members pay half of the living in rate of subs.

The remainder of the bill is made up of items which are voted on by mess members - I am not sure how you stand legally regarding refusal to pay any or all of those items. The proper thing to do would be to stand up at a mess meeting and propose that Entertainment or whatever other charges are reduced or stopped for all members and get the agreement of the other mess members to do so. Forewarning the PMC and/or presiding member of your intentions would also be a good idea!!
Check QR's it staes in their what you are to pay or speak to your Regt Acct (if he/she is any good) they should be able to tell you. Usually mess subs is all you have to pay I think (not finance myself)
Here is the actual bit from QRs

5.747. Membership
a. Every warrant officer and staff or other sergeant is to be a member of the sergeants' mess of his unit, and a single member may be a dining member. Membership is optional for those holding the local rank of sergeant.
b. Warrant officers and senior NCOs attached from other units are to be temporary members of the sergeants' mess of the unit to which they are attached. Members of the AGC (RMP), AGC (MPS) and INT CORPS may be exempted from such membership when on detached duty.

c. When on strength of a unit of their corps, Conductors RLC are to be members of the sergeants' mess. If attached to, or on the posted strength of, formation headquarters or other units they are, subject to the approval of the commanding officer, to become honorary members of the mess.
d. Where membership of sergeants' mess is small, corporals may exceptionally be admitted as members of that mess, at the discretion of the commanding officers.

e. Honorary membership of a sergeants' mess may be accorded, at the discretion of the commanding officer, to serving or temporary members of sergeants' messes of other units and to certain selected civilians.

5.748. Supervision. A field officer or, in the case of a minor unit, a senior captain is to be appointed by the commanding officer and charged with the supervision of the sergeants' mess.

5.749. Discipline. The senior warrant officer or NCO present in the mess is responsible for the maintenance of good order and for the observance of the rules of the mess.

5.750. Mess Contributions and Subscriptions

a. Warrant officers and sergeants appointed to a newly formed corps may be required to pay an initial contribution not exceeding 3 days basic pay less subsistence charges, i.e. charges for food and standard single accommodation, of their rank to the sergeants' mess, but before a corps may levy these subscriptions the special permission of the Ministry of Defence is to be obtained.

b. If a warrant officer or NCO is transferred otherwise than compulsorily, by exchange or by promotion, to a newly formed corps, he may be required to make any contribution authorised by the Ministry of Defence payable under sub para a.

c. Subscriptions may be charged on a daily basis, at a rate to be determined by the commanding officer. This rate shall be calculated so as not to exceed 4 days pay (less subsistence charges) per year for dining members. The rate for non dining members shall be half that of the rate for dining members.

d. When visiting other messes on duty, daily subscriptions at the rates in force at the host mess are to be paid to that mess by the visitor in respect of every day he is accommodated there. For this purpose, a day shall be deemed to be a period of 24 hours or, at the discretion of the commanding officer, a lesser period covering overnight accommodation or the service of 2 or more meals.

5.751. Mess Entertainment. An entertainment is not to be held unless with the concurrence of two thirds of those present at a general mess meeting and with the sanction of the commanding officer.

5.752. Mess Administration
a. The management of the mess is to be conducted by a committee, the president of which should not normally be below the rank of warrant officer, class 2, with 2 sergeants (one to be a non dining member if possible) as members. A treasurer and a manager are to be appointed at a mess meeting, subject to the approval of the commanding officer. The committee is to have power to authorise all ordinary expenditure, but exceptional outlay is not to be incurred without the previous approval of a mess meeting and of the commanding officer. Honorary members are not to take part in the management of the mess.

b. No regimental sergeant major, regimental quartermaster sergeant, regimental quartermaster sergeant (technical) or honorary member, is to be required to act as president of the sergeants' mess committee.

c. The commanding officer may, at his discretion, authorise the president to institute a system of credit sales within set limits to members of the mess on a weekly or monthly basis. This method of purchase is to run concurrently with the cash payment system.

5.753. The Treasurer. He is to be appointed quarterly in a major unit, and is to be a company quartermaster sergeant or colour sergeant or, in a minor unit only, a sergeant.

5.754. The Manager. He is to be a sergeant and exempt from other duties, except in small units when it is not possible to make the services of a full time manager available.

5.755. Duties. The respective duties of president, treasurer, manager and supervising officer are at Annex L to this Chapter.

5.756. Alcohol. Beer or spirituous liquor is to be sold only within the mess and to mess members, and during the hours appointed by the commanding officer. The mess is to obtain all its wines, spirits, beers and other supplies through firms or tradesmen approved by the commanding officer.

5.757. Mess Meetings. These are to be held monthly, or at regular intervals as directed by the commanding officer, and all members in station are to attend. The warrant officer or NCO appointed by the commanding officer as president or, in the absence of such warrant officer or NCO, the senior member present, excluding those not required to act as president, is to preside. Minutes of the proceedings are to be recorded and submitted for the approval of the commanding officer.

Hope that this helps, you also need to read your mess rules published with the authority of the commanding officer, which should specify the level of subscriptions, including additional charges such as extra messing, entertainment, maintenance etc

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