UK Caving

ORGANISATIONS => BCA => Topic started by: BCA Secretary on September 29, 2021, 05:12:35 pm

Title: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: BCA Secretary on September 29, 2021, 05:12:35 pm
(https://media.ukcaving.com/wl/?id=uP0rzsRTH4qOgrUdw9TwhRjxFN6j4gSg)

Details of the forthcoming AGM have now been posted on the BCA website including:

Date Sunday 10th October and time 10.30 am on Zoom
The need to sign up to attend the Zoom meeting but please only do so if you intend to speak
Reference to the live Facebook feed but note this will not allow any interaction
Instructions on the post AGM voting for nominations and proposals
Proposals including a link to a podcast discussion about them
A list of candidates plus their election statements
A link to podcasts of interviews of the candidates for the position of Chair
The link to the Website proposal is here:

AGM 2021 - British Caving Association (british-caving.org.uk)

Officer reports have now been received and will be circulated shortly.

I look forward to your participation, in the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me or other members of the Executive:

chair@british-caving.org.uk
treasurer@british-caving.org.uk
secretary@british-caving.org.uk

Kind Regards

Russell Myers

Acting Chair

BCA
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Rob on September 29, 2021, 08:24:35 pm
And i see there's now a BCA Spotify Podcast, which i will be following with interest :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: David Rose on September 30, 2021, 07:28:43 am
The podcasts include my hustings interviews with the two candidates for Chair.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: nearlywhite on September 30, 2021, 02:03:07 pm
The web address for the page with all the information on it is https://british-caving.org.uk/agm-2021/

Podcasts are linked on the page or you can access them here:
https://anchor.fm/rostam-namaghi

They are available on 6 different podcasting platforms including Spotify
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: aricooperdavis on October 02, 2021, 06:27:50 pm
Sorry folks, I've removed Russell's message to avoid confusion!

To facilitate electronic voting clubs who have not already shared email addresses for their members will receive a reminder to do so. Individuals should not need to take any action. If you have not received a voting token by 23:59, Sunday 10th October 2021 then please contact returning-officer@british-caving.org.uk.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: s_allshorn on October 04, 2021, 11:57:59 am
Thank you tto you all for going to the effort of producing these podcasts, and all those who have been interviewed or taken part in some fashion.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: s_allshorn on October 05, 2021, 11:52:58 am
Just as a comment. For those who claim to be pendents I'm surprised by the mistake. The summary of the first proposal is miss leading. The BCA E&T has not approved installers this has always been down to the regions. It is the approval of those who train the installers that is being changed.

I'll get my coat...
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Cavematt on October 05, 2021, 01:02:45 pm
Congratulations to the team for putting together one of the most transparent and accessible AGMs ever.

I am a little concerned about the 14-day online ballot duration. The BCA's constitution requires online ballots to be performed over 'approximately 30 days'.

This duration was intended to provide time for healthy debate based on discussion of the various items at the AGM, including for club committees to decide whether they wanted to encourage their members to vote one way or another, or to help provide additional information for their members (an important option available to clubs following removal of the actual club vote). Plus this provides time for issues with people receiving electronic ballots to be resolved.

But I guess that as the vast majority of people will have voted within two weeks, maybe it doesn't matter that much.

Great effort from everyone pulling this together, providing so much literature, supporting material (e.g. the Podcasts), the online balloting system, and of course those putting themselves forward to continue this good work  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Russell Myers on October 05, 2021, 04:35:48 pm

I am a little concerned about the 14-day online ballot duration. The BCA's constitution requires online ballots to be performed over 'approximately 30 days'.


Good point Matt; "off the top of my head" voting last year came in a surge during the first couple of days and over 90% by the end of the first week indicating that two weeks was a reasonable time scale. In fact, this is reflected in proposal 4 regarding tidying up Constitution Section 8 at bullet point 10 which proposes re-wording approx 30 days to approx 14 days.
Logical to cut the period down especially with the current election for Chair and reduce the waiting period for a result!
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: s_allshorn on October 05, 2021, 05:19:36 pm
Russell I don't disagree with the change but surely you can't change it before the vote?

Imagine if it was rejected, I guess it would be a trip across the Styx for us all!
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Oceanrower on October 05, 2021, 05:46:11 pm
Just as a comment. For those who claim to be pendents…

Pedants…

You may thank me later.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: aricooperdavis on October 05, 2021, 08:12:09 pm
Russell I don't disagree with the change but surely you can't change it before the vote?

I think the constitution is open to interpretation here - the "approximately" suggests to me that the number itself isn't important but the effect (giving everyone who wants to time to vote) must be maintained. The past voting data suggests that a 14 day period is long enough to maintain this, whilst the constitutional change proposed removes this uncertainty.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Badlad on October 05, 2021, 08:42:41 pm
In my experience the BCA constitution can be interpreted flexibly or in the associations best interests AS LONG AS NO ONE OBJECTS and uses it to force their own position.  Far too often a strict pedantic interpretation of  the constitution has been used to delay or disrupt the majority position of the membership.  Matt's point is valid and ignored at the BCA's peril.

Perhaps you can argue that 'approximately 30 days' is only 14 days.  You can if no one objects.  What though if Russell wins the election to chair by just a few votes, but just one CHECC club, who would probably support Rostam, complains that 14 days did not give them time to convene and discuss who they wanted to support and hadn't time to vote. 

You are taking a risk and, someone acting as chair, should not be taking it until the constitution or policy is changed.  Flying fast and loose with the BCA constitution is just asking for trouble from you know where.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: s_allshorn on October 05, 2021, 09:24:05 pm
Tim my question to Russell was asked directly of him as he had responded to Matt. I don’t hold Russell responsible for this interpretation, I believe it would be council that would make the choice on 14 days. I’m assuming the idea of collective responsibility.

Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Badlad on October 05, 2021, 09:36:35 pm
Mine is a general point related to my experiences at BCA and not particularly aimed at Russell - although he is acting chair.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Ian Ball on October 05, 2021, 11:16:37 pm
In the past how did people vote? Was it in person on the day? I'm very happy with a two week electronic voting period.


Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Russell Myers on October 05, 2021, 11:29:17 pm
The length of the voting period was considered by the COG (Constitution and Manual of Operations) working group as part of its remit to review the Constitution and Manual of Operations. The analysis of last year's voting showed the pattern I mentioned above and the group reached collective agreement about changing from approx. 30 days to approx. 14 days and incorporated that into the rest of the proposals.
The CoG proposals were then passed through Council in July and agreed upon and incorporated into the Agenda. With this in mind, when the Executive Committee (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) met to consider the "mechanics" of the AGM, a unanimous decision was made to make the voting period two weeks taking account of the logic outlined above.
As has been pointed out, "approximately" infers a degree of latitude, just how much, is open to argument! However, the decision has been reached by a democratic process and whilst I sit in the "hot seat" and happy to front up the Association and its decisions, none of those are mine alone.
Finally, I would point out that the AGM Agenda and proposals have been in circulation for some time, so it is not as if the subject material has not been known about in the intervening period for members to become aware of and discuss etc. rather than it suddenly being thrust upon them at the AGM and the two week period after.
We are still operating under the constraints imposed by Covid and not perfect by any means but trying to adapt to meet the changes necessary for the immediate future; how the future BCA functions will not be the same as the BCA pre-Covid but we will get there with your encouragement and support. I feel the Association has already improved in leaps and bounds.
     
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Russell Myers on October 05, 2021, 11:42:13 pm
In the past how did people vote? Was it in person on the day? I'm very happy with a two week electronic voting period.

Show of hands at the actual AGM - the 2019 AGM had 73 individual members voting and 36 representing groups (since removed) whilst the electronic vote at last year's 2020 AGM had a turnout of 567 - roughly 10% of the membership. Not brilliant but a significant improvement on what went before.
I think you can see the direction we are heading in.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Jenny P on October 06, 2021, 12:26:47 pm
I think I'm correct in sayng that the 14-day period for voting would start from when the actual voting system goes online, which you expect to take maybe a couple of days to organise after the AGM has finished.  So in fact it's likely to be 14 days plus-a-bit after the AGM finishes.  Perhaps someone else involved in the decision can confirm that I'm recalling this correctly.  So the voting system, when it goes live, will have to state formally the actual deadline by which votes must be cast to be valid.

As Russell said in his post yesterday:
Finally, I would point out that the AGM Agenda and proposals have been in circulation for some time, so it is not as if the subject material has not been known about in the intervening period for members to become aware of and discuss etc. rather than it suddenly being thrust upon them at the AGM and the two week period after.

I'm sure that anyone who is interested sufficiently to bother voting has already spent time discussing this with their colleagues in their Club or other body they are involved with.  The whole point of removing the "Club vote" was to ensure that each and every member of BCA could make up their own mind and that their vote would count equally with everyone else's.  Indeed, that's the whole point of having Individual voting - you trust the members to make up their own minds without being pressured by their club or any other organisation they may belong to.   

Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: PeteHall on October 06, 2021, 12:45:14 pm
I'm sure that anyone who is interested sufficiently to bother voting has already spent time discussing this with their colleagues in their Club or other body they are involved with. 

There has certainly been some interesting and informed discussion in my clubs, and while clubs don't have a vote any more, they have provided a valuable forum for those with opinions to argue it out over a beer and hopefully convince fellow members to support their position.

Interestingly, from what I've seen, the support or opposition for the current set of proposals do not seem to follow any kind of partisan divide, which is really positive.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Cavematt on October 06, 2021, 01:09:41 pm
I'm not saying I disagree that 14 days is enough in most situations. I have no real objections to 14 days in concept.

My observation is that the BCA's constitution says 'approximately 30 days' and a decision seems to have been made to ignore this for no good reason (unless you accept 14 days is approximately 30 days, which I think is a hard sell).

Just saying 'we're looking to change that' does not instantly mean you don't still have to do it!

I have watched one caving organisation nearly fail completely after taking a too relaxed attitude to its constitution several years ago, and separately, I have seen (as Badlad suggests) far more tenuous constitutional deviations than this used in BCA to attempt to overturn the outcomes of an AGM.

It therefore just seems strange to take this course of action for the sake of two more weeks to tick the necessary boxes.

The BCA is moving in very much the right direction at the moment, with new IT systems to help facilitate membership and communication on the horizon, enthusiastic people getting involved, and a potentially game-changing access court case ongoing. Many of the earlier obstacles to these things happening have now been removed. I really hope those driving these changes have a much easier ride than I did. Although the situation we were in a few years ago seems to have calmed down now thanks to departure of several people (myself included), it will only take a few people to potentially derail progress, and their work is made much simpler when BCA does not follow its own rulebook without good reason.

Does 14 days versus 30 days really matter? Probably not. It is more the principle of the situation that is important here.

Just consider this a word of caution rather than a moan... I will be voting on day one ;D
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: aricooperdavis on October 06, 2021, 01:17:14 pm
I think I'm correct in sayng that the 14-day period for voting would start from when the actual voting system goes online, which you expect to take maybe a couple of days to organise after the AGM has finished. 

Hi Jenny,
The online ballot will open at midnight following the AGM. We've already published the dates which you can find here (https://british-caving.org.uk/agm-2021/).
However, don't feel like you need to set an alarm on your phone - you should receive an email with details about how and when to vote once the AGM has finished.
All the best,
Ari
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Jenny P on October 06, 2021, 03:38:58 pm
I think I'm correct in sayng that the 14-day period for voting would start from when the actual voting system goes online, which you expect to take maybe a couple of days to organise after the AGM has finished. 

Hi Jenny,
The online ballot will open at midnight following the AGM. We've already published the dates which you can find here (https://british-caving.org.uk/agm-2021/).
However, don't feel like you need to set an alarm on your phone - you should receive an email with details about how and when to vote once the AGM has finished.
All the best,
Ari

Indeed Ari, I'd forgotten just how efficient you IT people are   ;D

I'd assumed that it might take a couple of days to get it all sorted after the event but clearly you're way ahead of me.  I'll be seriously impressed if you really can crack this by the same evening.

All the best,
Jenny
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: aricooperdavis on October 06, 2021, 04:32:59 pm
I'll be seriously impressed if you really can crack this by the same evening.

So will I! ;D We can pre-prepare all the elections, motions, and email templates in advance, so it's just a matter of getting up-to-date email lists and adding any motions from the floor. I've run a couple of small scale tests, so it's just a matter of firmly crossing fingers...
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: BCA Secretary on October 09, 2021, 12:09:03 pm

A number of representations about the voting period have been received from the membership, pointing out concerns that whilst the current Constitution refers to this voting period being "approximately" 30 days, reducing it to 14 days is stretching the point and could be construed as unconstitutional. The argument would revolve around what "approximately" means.

The Executive Committee are keen to see the voting period not dragging on but in responding to the members' concerns, agreed unanimously, to extend the voting period to 21 days i.e. ending at midnight on Sunday 31st October. This was circulated round Council prior to this announcement and raised no concerns.

Voting will open at midnight on Sunday 10th and close at midnight on Sunday 31st October. Members should receive an email with a voting token but if you haven't received this by midnight on 10th October please contact the Returning Officer: returning-officer@british-caving.org.uk

Further details about the AGM here: https://british-caving.org.uk/agm-2021/

Russell Myers
Acting Chair
BCA
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Ian Ball on October 09, 2021, 12:37:10 pm
14 is better.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Badlad on October 09, 2021, 01:20:47 pm
I think I am right in saying that the term "approximately 30 days" was used so that minor adjustments could be made to the voting period, particularly concerning how the end day fell.  Perhaps extending it from a Friday to a Sunday or vica versa.

The precedence was being set of enacting a proposed constitutional change before it had even been voted upon.  Even worse, it was a change which affected that very voting.  What a mess could ensue if the vote failed to support it or complaints were received afterwards.  I am still not convinced 21 is approximately 30 either but at least this change is some recognition of error.

I hope it goes well, good luck.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Ian Ball on October 09, 2021, 05:06:28 pm
Damned if you do, damned if you don't!   :thumbsup:

Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: JoshW on October 12, 2021, 11:33:42 am
I note that Nige Atkins stood from the floor as individual rep. I was unable to attend the AGM due to a prior engagement, so didn't get a chance to hear his election statement.

Is anyone who was present able to give a brief synopsis.

Standing for one of these positions, I ensured that I had a statement 'out there' with my intentions, and history as a rep. Would be good to know if Nigel did the same.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Jenny P on October 12, 2021, 11:50:01 am
Worth noting that there are still two Group Member reps. positions vacant so it would be good if volunteers for those positions made themselves known to the Secretary as it's always possible to co-opt them at the next Council Meeting.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: JoshW on October 12, 2021, 12:27:55 pm
Worth noting that there are still two Group Member reps. positions vacant so it would be good if volunteers for those positions made themselves known to the Secretary as it's always possible to co-opt them at the next Council Meeting.

*capable volunteers

I'm quite in favour of leaving gaps on council if there are no suitable volunteers. Particularly for group/individual rep roles where there's not direct job requirements.

I think it's quite telling though that there was big uproar from certain segments of the caving community at the removal of the club votes, but nobody willing to step up to council to represent clubs. That or they believe that clubs are already well represented enough by their regional bodies?
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Ian Ball on October 12, 2021, 01:41:40 pm
facebook live stream is that still available?
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: moorfurlong on October 12, 2021, 07:59:31 pm
I note that Nige Atkins stood from the floor as individual rep. I was unable to attend the AGM due to a prior engagement, so didn't get a chance to hear his election statement.

Is anyone who was present able to give a brief synopsis.

Standing for one of these positions, I ensured that I had a statement 'out there' with my intentions, and history as a rep. Would be good to know if Nigel did the same.

The chair at the meeting asked the floor if anyone attending the AGM ( i.e those that had registered ) would like to put themselves forward for a variety of positions. One of these being individual rep. Nigel responded to that and offered. That was then 1/2nd by others at the AGM. Therefore, that can only be a great thing for BCA, volunteers offering their free time to support. Go to 57-105mins.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: JoshW on October 12, 2021, 10:14:55 pm
facebook live stream is that still available?

Great shout Ian. Have managed to find it.

For anyone wanting to know the answer to my initial query - there's no kind of election statement in there, and not one on the voting form. I'm therefore not entirely sure what Nigel stands for, what he intends to do with the role or why he's running for it. A little confused this wasn't asked for at the point of standing from the floor, but not sure whether that's usual or not - having not attended an AGM in person (yet or hopefully ever they sound a right bore).

Thanks Moorfurlong for pointing towards the exact timings, super helpful :)
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Ian Ball on October 12, 2021, 10:38:50 pm
Isn't there a Individual members rep job description?




Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: JoshW on October 12, 2021, 10:51:45 pm
Isn't there a Individual members rep job description?

Interesting you should ask Ian.

https://manual.british-caving.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=officer_information:individual&s[]

I believe this is where it should be contained ^.

I can't find an equivalent page for the group reps.

some wording from the council page which you can interpret at will:

Quote
Group Representatives: Up to four representatives of groups/clubs (two-year terms). Current post-holders are listed on the website contacts page.

Individual Member Representatives: Up to four representatives of individual members (two-year terms). Current post-holders are listed on the website contacts page.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Ian Ball on October 12, 2021, 11:00:38 pm
It's hard work the BCA.

Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: Jenny P on October 12, 2021, 11:39:29 pm
In answer to Josh's query posted earlier today re. "standing from the floor".

It is a standard feature of AGMs to have a facility of being able to "stand from the floor" if a Committee/Council position is left vacant at the end of a meeting and no-one has been formally nominated in writing beforehand to fill it.  It is always assumed that the person who volunteers understands what is involved and is prepared to carry out those duties.  Since the decision is taken during the time of the meeting only if a position remains vacant at what would otherwise be the end of the meeting, the person volunteering would not be expected to provide an election statement at the time of offering.  The fact that the offer to stand is accepted by the Chairman and that two people are prepared to propose and second the volunteer in good faith is sufficient.

There is the additional safeguard built into the Constitution, which was actually formally proposed earlier in the meeting as an amendment to 6.1:  "... subject to a vote of approval by the individual membership ..." which puts into the Constitution something which was already accepted as the standard procedure.

Being able to understand how a formal AGM works is an important issue and, though it might be considered that "... they sound a right bore ...", it does help to produce sensible results rather than just having a free-for-all with no rules laid down.
Title: Re: BCA AGM 2021
Post by: JoshW on October 12, 2021, 11:54:16 pm
Quote
It is always assumed that the person who volunteers understands what is involved and is prepared to carry out those duties

and assumption is the mother of all...

Thanks for the clarification though Jenny, it would just seem prudent that anyone wanting to stand for a role would have some sort of statement saying their intentions. Otherwise the vote of approval by the membership might not mean much if you don't know the individual personally.

SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal