Author Topic: BCA resources directed towards 'commercial caving' (spin off from CNCC thread)  (Read 22377 times)

Offline prahja

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 144
Well said John - I'm a bit shocked at the way this thread is going.... getting quite personal.
From all the cavers who sit back and hate being on committees - thanks Damian and the rest....

Online Jenny P

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
I've indicated this to you personally but I think it's important to do so publicly; THANK YOU Damian for all your excellent work, on behalf of me and my many caving friends.

Hear, hear!  Damian is doing a sterling job.

Offline exsumper

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • BEC , Caving Pleb!!
Quote
Just a few tips to recap
Treat everyone with respect and in an honest and open manner and you won't have any problems! :thumbsup:
I can't quite believe I'm reading this!

Why not?  If the BCA and CNCC had been open and honest about plans for extending access agreements to commercial outfits, there would be no problem.  Its only now that we almost know the truth!

As I've said so many times previously, I only get irate when I'm lied to and deceived!

Caving Pleb Power!!

Get a Life! throw your television into a skip

Online Jenny P

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
In the climate of this thread I will probably get shot down for being thick but for my clarification.

When did the BCA become the Governing body for British caving instead of the Representative body.
Is the BCA constitution available online - cannot see it on the website.

Jopo

'Governing Body' is a term used by the Sports Council (or whatever they are called this week) to describe those who it sees as their contact points with a particular sport. They will only deal with one GB for each sport nationally, and if you are not able to call yourselves a GB then they won't consider you as the representative body for your sport.

In the sense that BCA acts only on the instructions of its members, and is constitutionally barred from telling them what to do, it's not a body which actually does any 'governing'.

I think the problem is that the Sports Council is unable to conceive of a sport which is not competitive.  In the majority of sports the "governing body" is the one which sets the rules for competitions, league tables, etc.  The GB also tends to say that, unless the person is a member of the GB and pays a sub. to them, they are not eligible to take part in any competitions arranged by the local league.  (e.g. you must have paid a sub. to the Badminton Association of England in order to be eligible to play in your club's team in the South Derbyshire Badminton League - which means the club puts pressure on its members to pay up because it wants to have the strongest team and win all the matches.)

In the days when caving was given grants by the Sports Council (or SportUK, SportEngland or whatever it changed its name to) grants could only be given to the "Governing Body" - so NCA became de facto the GB as far as the sports council was concerned.

A useful safeguard is that if your sport has a GB then if there is legislation which may affect your sport you have the right to kick up a fuss and be listened to.  This has worked in our favour when Health and Safety attempted to insist that training in SRT could take place only if the trainee was lifelined.  NCA, together with other sports which used SRT-type practices, were able to persuade the powers that be that this was OK for industry but was not suitable for our particular situation.

We were also able to use the "GB" status of NCA when the Adventure Activities Licensing legislation came into being.  It meant cavers could decide in consultation how we wished to set up training schemes for instructors, as opposed to having them imposed upon us by officialdom.  We were also able to insist that there should be no requirement for ordinary cavers to be "qualified".

The point is that BCA, as a strong representative (or governing body) for caving, is our best defence against officialdom.  But that depends on ordinary cavers supporting BCA and making their wishes felt in a sensible manner and accepting that there will be some issues on which we disagree and also accepting that if we take part in a democratic process BCA will do its best to put forward a concensus view where possible.

Offline Jopo

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 431
Thanks for the extended reply. Lot in it but just af point

Quote
In the days when caving was given grants by the Sports Council (or SportUK, SportEngland or whatever it changed its name to) grants could only be given to the "Governing Body" - so NCA became de facto the GB as far as the sports council was concerned.

How then do the BMC, to some degree a similar organisation (and perhaps smarter when it came to CROW), quite clearly state on their website:

Quote
The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the representative body that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers, including ski-mountaineers. The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.

Jopo

Online Jenny P

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
Maybe they are just smarter at wording than BCA has been!

BCA is the "representative" body for British Caving but, if government or officialdom want to interact with BCA then they may well want to regard it as the "governing" body and, if that's to our advantage then I don't care what they call it - as long as we, the BCA members, understand the position.

Not sure that the BMC was actually smarter re. CRoW but the legal situation was clearer for them than it is for cavers and, at the time, there was no push within NCA for the law to relate to caving as well as climbing.  Don't forget that this was the old NCA with no individual members, rather sketchy representation for clubs and very little in the way of public relations.  BCA should be rather better placed to represent its members' views and, since the subject of CRoW has been raised, BCA has set up a working party to look into the matter in England.  (Note that Wales has its own, quite separate legislation.)



Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1429
  • breaking knots was fun
Not sure that the BMC was actually smarter re. CRoW but the legal situation was clearer for them than it is for cavers and, at the time, there was no push within NCA for the law to relate to caving as well as climbing.

I have a recollection that the BMC did make representations during the passage of CROW through parliament and were advised that climbing was clearly permitted within the intended meaning of the act.  So they did not need to push.  If my recollection is correct, the advice that came back to NCA was that caving was not an outdoor activity since it was undertaken within caves, not on the outdoor surface of the land. The act was intended to focus on the outdoor surface of the land so the act would not apply to caves.  The view was taken that there was no point in pushing to get this changed since we had no powerful voice (like several Lords as the climbers had) which might be listened too.  (I emphases that I am reporting my recollection of what happened at the time, not on an interpretation of the meaning of the act.)   

Online Jenny P

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 934
Indeed Bob, I am sure your recollection is correct.  However, it wasn't (and still isn't) completely clear - see below, from the "Commons Toolkit Fact Sheet 13, Public access to common land" published by Natural England in 2010:

13.4.2 The access afforded by CRoW
CROW provides the public with a right of access on foot only. This includes running, climbing,
photography, having a picnic, and bird watching. Wheelchairs are also allowed.

It does not include cycling, horse riding, camping, or rock climbing.


Note the parts I have underlined!

But I've already mentioned this in another thread and it's a diversion from the main subject of this one.

Offline Cap'n Chris

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 12464
So is it a fair presumption that CRoW does indeed allow for access on foot but once you're arrived at a cave entrance descending it is nothing to do with that legislation any more and is actually entirely open season since it's nothing to do with CRoW and furthermore trespass in a cave is such an arcane piece of legislation CPS wouldn't touch it with a bargepole?

This seems to be WAY off the OT thread.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 04:15:59 pm by Cap'n Chris »

Online Roger W

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2498
Could it possibly be that CROW was intended to allow people not only to walk along the straight and level but also to ascend the hills and fells (e.g. "climbing" say Skiddaw in the Lake District) but did not intend to include people drilling and bolting their way up overhanging rock faces?

 
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline graham

  • Retired
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 10942
  • UBSS, Speleo-Club de Perigueux, GSG, SUI
    • UBSS
So is it a fair presumption that CRoW does indeed allow for access on foot but once you're arrived at a cave entrance descending it is nothing to do with that legislation any more and is actually entirely open season since it's nothing to do with CRoW and furthermore trespass in a cave is such an arcane piece of legislation CPS wouldn't touch it with a bargepole?

This seems to be WAY off the OT thread.

CPS wouldn't touch it 'cos trespass is a civil matter. It may, just possibly, piss off a landowner sufficiently for them to take some action.
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1429
  • breaking knots was fun
So is it a fair presumption that CRoW does indeed allow for access on foot but once you're arrived at a cave entrance descending it is nothing to do with that legislation any more and is actually entirely open season since it's nothing to do with CRoW and furthermore trespass in a cave is such an arcane piece of legislation CPS wouldn't touch it with a bargepole?

This seems to be WAY off the OT thread.
Yes (though others disagree) and yes in my view

Could it possibly be that CROW was intended to allow people not only to walk along the straight and level but also to ascend the hills and fells (e.g. "climbing" say Skiddaw in the Lake District) but did not intend to include people drilling and bolting their way up overhanging rock faces?
I accept this way off thread but I don't think CROW gives anyone the right to "affect the land" other than by leaving footprints.  So bolting a climbing face is out.  But I fear only the civil courts will give us clarity assuming the case addresses our concern.  As has been pointed out it is not criminal law unless it moves onto aggravated trespass. 

Any way back on thread, I would like to emphasis as a then active participant that the setting up BCA did not elevate commercial caving, though it did give it a niche in Associate membership and in Training Committee.  I accept that over the past year, it does appear that the BCA Exec have had to spend some time looking at commercial caving at, as I understand it, the behest of Training Committee.

Offline exsumper

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • BEC , Caving Pleb!!

This seems to be WAY off the OT thread.
 
Any way back on thread, I would like to emphasis as a then active participant that the setting up BCA did not elevate commercial caving, though it did give it a niche in Associate membership and in Training Committee.  I accept that over the past year, it does appear that the BCA Exec have had to spend some time looking at commercial caving at, as I understand it, the behest of Training Committee.

Are any members of the CNCC on the training committee Bob?  What percentage of the training committee are commercial cavers? does the make up reflect BCA membership stats?
Caving Pleb Power!!

Get a Life! throw your television into a skip

Offline Pete K

  • Pete Knight
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1747
  • DCA, TSG, DCRO, PDMHS, DCMC, YSS
    • Peak Instruction
It is hardly an effort to Google BCA, look at the lovely new site, click on 'Committees' then click on 'Training Committee'.
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=training_committee:start

Offline exsumper

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • BEC , Caving Pleb!!
It is hardly an effort to Google BCA, look at the lovely new site, click on 'Committees' then click on 'Training Committee'.
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=training_committee:start

Thanks for the link Pete. I can't see where it says if the committee member concerned carries out paid instruction. Perhaps you could advise?
Caving Pleb Power!!

Get a Life! throw your television into a skip

Offline Pete K

  • Pete Knight
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1747
  • DCA, TSG, DCRO, PDMHS, DCMC, YSS
    • Peak Instruction
Nope. Not my place and I don't know most of them. Perhaps you should contact each of them directly.

Offline mmilner

  • Experienced digging / conservation juggling
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1169
  • Outside Handshake Cave, Manifold Valley.
    • Darfar P.C. web site
It is hardly an effort to Google BCA, look at the lovely new site, click on 'Committees' then click on 'Training Committee'.
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=training_committee:start

Thanks for the link Pete. I can't see where it says if the committee member concerned carries out paid instruction. Perhaps you could advise?

Might this help? http://www.caveinstructor.org.uk/instructors There's a heck of a lot in the 'Oop North' section...
Norbert Casteret (Ten Years Under the Earth) and Pierre Chevalier (Subterranean Climbers) were my inspiration to start caving. (And I'm still doing it.) Secretary, Darfar Potholing Club, the Peak District.

Offline exsumper

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • BEC , Caving Pleb!!
Nope. Not my place and I don't know most of them. Perhaps you should contact each of them directly.

You just criticised me for not looking the answers up on your link? where the answers to my question are not to be found??
Caving Pleb Power!!

Get a Life! throw your television into a skip

Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1429
  • breaking knots was fun
A declaration of interest.  Sorry for it being long winded but I am deeply suspicious of ExSumper's hair trigger reaction of making a claim of misleading people to what ever some one might write.

In around 1995 I was asked because of my professional expertise to sit on a committee to discuss the problem of radon and how to deal with it.  I have not take any remuneration from that work although I gave some advice to people who were in a commercial activity related to radon.  Nor have I received anything (apart from brick bats) for the work of co-authoring the booklet Radon Underground.   

I have paid to go down show caves and know several guides who work in show caves.  I have never worked in or for a show cave.       

In 1999 I took on the post of NCA Treasurer.  In those days NCA received a grant from UK Sport and Sport England which supported the work of Training and Equipment & Techniques Committees.  Around 2002, the then Chair of Training, the Training Officer, was having difficulties keeping up his role so I stepped in so as to ensure the grant continued.  I continued as Acting Training Officer until around 2004.  I have never held a LCMLA or CIC qualification.  But I am friends with a number of LCMLA and CIC holders (and possibly enemies to some others).  I have never worked for an LCMLA or CIC.  Nor have I ever hired one to take me caving.  (I did as Acting Training Officer hire one CIC to draft the LCMLA handbook.)  (And for information, when we set up BCA we switched the funding of the LCMLA and CIC schemes such they became self funding - though in reality they have returned around a £20,000 'profit' to BCA's balance sheet.  I think I am correct in stating that BCA has not received a grant from UK Sport or Sport England.)

I was also Treasure of BCA and the Chair of Equipment and Techniques Committee.  I have also since about 2003 been the BCA Rope Test Officer.  In all of these roles I have only received expenses.

I think that covers my links with possible "commercial" caving.  Have I missed any thing?  If so it is an honest omission, though I don't expect ExSumper to accept that claim.

The chap who was Training Officer prior to me was a recreational caver, as I would claim I am (though some would claim was).  I think my successor held a LCMLA qualification, though he held it to provide a 'qualified' service to a youth group, not for profit.  And subsequent successors have also held LCMLA or CIC qualifications.  I note from well before 2002 and even now, nearly every region has found it impossible to get a recreational caver to become a regional training officer and represent that region at BCA's Training Committee.  I can't speak for the challenges faced by representatives of Constituent Bodies. 

From the list at http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=training_committee:start I would estimate 100% of the members have links with "commercial" caving within the ambit I have covered above in my declaration of interest, but only around 50% are likely to have LCMLA or CIC qualifications.   

By the way ExSumper - what have you done for caving?  I won't suggest you volunteer to help out a region on Training since I suspect you would soon get lynched judging by the way you use this forum.

Apologies to all other readers for the ramble but as you might have guessed I am more than irritated by someone who can't do simple albeit it long winded home work.

Offline Pete K

  • Pete Knight
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1747
  • DCA, TSG, DCRO, PDMHS, DCMC, YSS
    • Peak Instruction
Are any members of the CNCC on the training committee Bob?  What percentage of the training committee are commercial cavers? does the make up reflect BCA membership stats?
Sorry exsumper, it was the first question I was hoping to help you with. The identity of the members of TC is in the public domain. I'm not criticising, but I will not make comment or speculate on individuals and I won't talk about the people I do know. As I said before, quite reasonably, if you want information on the people involved you should Google it or do as mmilner suggested and cross reference the info yourself, that or contact them personally. I would imagine the % of professional cavers in TC is high because of the nature of the committee.
Sorry to be short in my responses but your style of blunt demands and rude bullying grates on me slightly.

Offline graham

  • Retired
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 10942
  • UBSS, Speleo-Club de Perigueux, GSG, SUI
    • UBSS
I have paid to go down show caves and know several guides who work in show caves.  I have never worked in or for a show cave.

I have been paid to go down a show cave, though not as a guide (and not in the UK). </smug>
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

Offline exsumper

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 597
  • BEC , Caving Pleb!!
A declaration of interest.  Sorry for it being long winded but I am deeply suspicious of ExSumper's hair trigger reaction of making a claim of misleading people to what ever some one might write.

In around 1995 I was asked because of my professional expertise to sit on a committee to discuss the problem of radon and how to deal with it.  I have not take any remuneration from that work although I gave some advice to people who were in a commercial activity related to radon.  Nor have I received anything (apart from brick bats) for the work of co-authoring the booklet Radon Underground.   

I have paid to go down show caves and know several guides who work in show caves.  I have never worked in or for a show cave.       

In 1999 I took on the post of NCA Treasurer.  In those days NCA received a grant from UK Sport and Sport England which supported the work of Training and Equipment & Techniques Committees.  Around 2002, the then Chair of Training, the Training Officer, was having difficulties keeping up his role so I stepped in so as to ensure the grant continued.  I continued as Acting Training Officer until around 2004.  I have never held a LCMLA or CIC qualification.  But I am friends with a number of LCMLA and CIC holders (and possibly enemies to some others).  I have never worked for an LCMLA or CIC.  Nor have I ever hired one to take me caving.  (I did as Acting Training Officer hire one CIC to draft the LCMLA handbook.)  (And for information, when we set up BCA we switched the funding of the LCMLA and CIC schemes such they became self funding - though in reality they have returned around a £20,000 'profit' to BCA's balance sheet.  I think I am correct in stating that BCA has not received a grant from UK Sport or Sport England.)

I was also Treasure of BCA and the Chair of Equipment and Techniques Committee.  I have also since about 2003 been the BCA Rope Test Officer.  In all of these roles I have only received expenses.

I think that covers my links with possible "commercial" caving.  Have I missed any thing?  If so it is an honest omission, though I don't expect ExSumper to accept that claim.

The chap who was Training Officer prior to me was a recreational caver, as I would claim I am (though some would claim was).  I think my successor held a LCMLA qualification, though he held it to provide a 'qualified' service to a youth group, not for profit.  And subsequent successors have also held LCMLA or CIC qualifications.  I note from well before 2002 and even now, nearly every region has found it impossible to get a recreational caver to become a regional training officer and represent that region at BCA's Training Committee.  I can't speak for the challenges faced by representatives of Constituent Bodies. 

From the list at http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=training_committee:start I would estimate 100% of the members have links with "commercial" caving within the ambit I have covered above in my declaration of interest, but only around 50% are likely to have LCMLA or CIC qualifications.   

By the way ExSumper - what have you done for caving?  I won't suggest you volunteer to help out a region on Training since I suspect you would soon get lynched judging by the way you use this forum.

Apologies to all other readers for the ramble but as you might have guessed I am more than irritated by someone who can't do simple albeit it long winded home work.

Bob: Thanks for your reply, contrary to what you write. I was asking straight forward questions related to the topic of this post, none of which were aimed at you! I believe what you say because unlike some of your CNCC/BCA colleagues you've never given me any reason not to.  You've always been straight and honest with me.  Which is all I've ever asked others to be!

I don't think that's too much to ask, and is the reason for any rudeness or lack of respect on my part.  I treat people how they treat me!

I laong with many others see the CNCC and BCA's push for commercial access agreements as being the potential death of amateur grass roots caving in this country!

I really don't see why the best interests of tens of thousands of amateur cavers should be put at extreme hazard, just for the short term financial benefit of a few <40? <100? caving instructors?

I would be genuinely interested to hear your views on how the BCA can justify this?

Best Wishes

Alex



Caving Pleb Power!!

Get a Life! throw your television into a skip

Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1429
  • breaking knots was fun
I really don't see why the best interests of tens of thousands of amateur cavers should be put at extreme hazard, just for the short term financial benefit of a few <40? <100? caving instructors?

I can't speak for BCA but my guess is that they are bound to follow their constitution and the aims and objectives within it.  As a major contributor to that constitution (though it was mainly taken from NCA's) I am content that they should do so.  (If you want to change BCA's constitution, then you will need to overturn the attitude of most clubs.  I decided it was impossible for me to do so then.  But I am pleased I did manage to get the veto eliminated from it and the individual caver vote introduced, albeit along side the club vote.)

I will also say that yes professional cavers have presented problems as well as provided solutions and improvements to caving.  But I think recreational cavers have done far more harm to caving.  It is for all to work together to sort the problems out before WE do kill caving off.  (Though it would immeasurably improve cave conservation.)

Offline Pitlamp

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 6288
Unusually, I find myself having to disagree with you Bob.

You said "recreational cavers have done far more harm to caving". This may be true in the case of a very small minority but doesn't represent cavers generally. If it wasn't for recreational cavers you and I would probably never have started caving in the first place. Caving has been developed by enthusiastic people doing it as a pastime since the 19th Century, long before some folk earned a living from it. We have a very great tradition of amateur caving in this country and we should celebrate it, rather than be denigrating it.

In the great scheme of things, the vast majority of British caving is done purely for the love of it and "professional" caving is a recent sideline. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this sideline but the mainstream (amateur) cavers have given far more - if you consider the last decade or two in its true historical context.

Offline Bob Mehew

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1429
  • breaking knots was fun
You said "recreational cavers have done far more harm to caving". This may be true in the case of a very small minority but doesn't represent cavers generally.

I made the statement based on what I consider to be a fact that there have been far more recreational cavers who have caused problems than there have been professional cavers who have done so.  I hesitate to make an estimate on the proportion of problems to population but I accept that it is likely for both groups the proportion is tiny.  I am forced to concede that behind ExSumper's mutterings is a reasonable point; one caver (of either type)  could precipitate the wholesale closure of caves.  I make these comments not to denigrate caving but to try to ensure cavers recognise this dilemma and try to help dealing with it.

 

Main Menu

Forum Home Help Search
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal