Author Topic: Problems looming for BCA?  (Read 10774 times)

Offline Brains

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #75 on: January 29, 2017, 06:19:11 pm »
.... give the BCA CRoW Liaison Officer our full endorsement to  renew the campaign with vigour on Monday 12th June and look after the interests and access rights of all cavers.

Mark


+1  :thumbsup:

➕ 1= 2
Keep it going  ::)
Myself included

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #76 on: January 29, 2017, 06:56:21 pm »
An AGM has the authority to clarify the inturpretation by a simple vote, so the cost of a ballot could easily be avoided!

I'm not convinced it is as simple as that though - in both cases I can see the argument that the BCA is somewhat restricted by the clause. The BMC has an access database where a significant fraction of the places either have no known access agreement or where it is known that the landowner is not a fan of climbing but climbing continues (the access database usually just says 'if asked to leave do so'). I can imagine a situation where if the BCA published similar advice about a cave with 'traditional' access (i.e. people have been going down it quietly for years with no issues) that it could be challenged.

The BCA would be unable to participate in a Kinder Trespass type protest, should it decide that was the proper course of action. If it decided to organize a well-publicised deliberate 'trespass' of a CROW land cave, in order to bring about a legal case for clarification, it might be restricted from doing so. I'm not arguing these are valid choices of action, just that the BCA should be free to do what is best for cavers - not just now but in the future, when access might not be as good as it is today and cavers might need to fight harder to gain or regain rights of access.

Interpretation is deciding what it means or was originally intended to mean, not what you think it should mean, and I would vote at an AGM on this basis, regardless of what I thought the constitution _should_ say.

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If however we do go ahead with a ballot, it would make sense to remove the offending sentence entirely. After all, the BCA constitution doesn't tell us to obey the speed limit on Bull Pot Farm Lane or that we shouldn't break into Inglesport and help ourselves to all that shiney new gear. These are matters of law which the BCA need not get involved in.

Agreed - lose the whole thing.

PS I believe the BMC insurance has had claims against it, and the BCA insurance is an equivalent policy from the same broker, so a claim is not the end of the world and wouldn't necessarily result in increased premiums, I would speculate.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #77 on: January 29, 2017, 07:46:19 pm »
I have followed this debate with interest.  For those of you who have time to spare, my thoughts can be read at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0RTfmWzkLQMcTNsd05UcHNDOWs.  I have submitted them to the BCA Secretary as requested and await to see how the March Council meeting sorts it out. 

It is a royal mess (and that applies to not just sub section 4.6) and needs some careful work to ensure BCA comes out of it with a modicum of credibility not just from the AGM but also from its March Council meeting.

Given I am biased on the topic of CRoW, I write this and also my thoughts in the link as an individual member of BCA and NOT as BCA's L&I Officer.

 

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #78 on: January 30, 2017, 12:14:41 am »
So has anyone submitted a motion to remove the whole sentence? (No point waffling on about it on here if not!)

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #79 on: January 30, 2017, 08:10:28 am »
So has anyone submitted a motion to remove the whole sentence?
Yes, Badlad has submitted one to delete it.  I also have submitted another pair, one part which modifies it so as to keep the the aim of it whilst the other part stops not just using this sentence but also using any other part of the constitution to prohibit campaigning for a change in the law.  (Having learned the hard way from the events surrounding CRoW.) 

Offline MarkS

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #80 on: January 30, 2017, 11:45:27 am »
It seems odd that in the newsletter the proposed change to section 4.6 has no justification, unlike most of the other proposals for changes to the constitution.

From the 2016 AGM minutes it seems that the purpose is to change the constitution from automatically giving rights to landowners to respecting rights they have, because of the problems the current constitution has caused for the CRoW campaign. Given DEFRA's bizarre stance on daylight etc., surely this would just mean that the BCA would be obliged agree with with whatever their latest interpretation might be, regardless of how how sensible it is or how it impacts on caves/cavers?

A lot of people posting in this topic seem puzzled by all this, myself included. Can anyone give strong justification for the proposed change as opposed to removing the sentence altogether?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 11:56:38 am by MarkS »

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #81 on: January 30, 2017, 02:24:24 pm »
In my opinion, BCA's Exec did not understand the problem either.  The 2016 proposal was thought by the proposer and seconder to resolve the underlying argument regarding campaigning for clarification verses campaign for change in the law which they claimed Badlad was doing.  A claim which was rejected by BCA Council at its March meeting.   

I and others think they are wrong in considering the 2016 proposal would resolve it.   

However expecting people as has happened before to raise points of intricate detail, I have presented the detailed arguments on 4.6, in my paper in https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0RTfmWzkLQMcTNsd05UcHNDOWs.  At over 4 pages it is too long to present on this thread.

My proposal if a change is required, is to rewrite the sentence into a precise and limited form and also explicitly enable BCA to campaign for a change in law despite what ever any part of the constitution someone claims stops BCA from doing so.  After all, in its current form or the proposed 2016 form, 4.6 would stop us protesting for example against a land owner who wishes to deny us access rights because they intend to quarry the cave away or just fill the entrance in to reclaim some land.  But if we need to negotiate access agreements then we do need to accept the land owners and other have rights.  Otherwise pirating rules and that would be the start of slippery slope down which I have no wish to see caving or mine exploration descend.

Offline Badlad

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2017, 02:38:55 pm »
The BCA exec's proposals on this matter, as shown in the newsletter, were only put forward a couple of weeks ago after a long wait.  As Bob says it appears that they haven't understood the problem.  I have argued for a simple approach to the solution so have tabled two motions to go before the AGM in June.  They are;

“This motion proposes that the first sentence of Section 4.6 of the BCA constitution be removed.”

Notwithstanding the outcome of the first motion I propose a second motion for absolute clarity.

“This general meeting confirms that there is no impediment in the constitution to prevent the BCA campaigning for the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to apply to caving.”

Offline MarkS

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #83 on: January 30, 2017, 04:15:45 pm »
If however we do go ahead with a ballot, it would make sense to remove the offending sentence entirely. After all, the BCA constitution doesn't tell us to obey the speed limit on Bull Pot Farm Lane or that we shouldn't break into Inglesport and help ourselves to all that shiney new gear. These are matters of law which the BCA need not get involved in.

This comment from further up the thread seems to sum up the issue for me. Surely any section of the constitution repeating or reinforcing UK law is totally redundant, and may have the potential to prevent the BCA acting in the interests of caves/cavers if it wants to campaign for any change in law or its interpretation.

It may be feasible to carefully write another version of section 4.6 or to add an additional section that means the BCA can act in the way it sees fit, but does that not just have exactly the same effect as simply removing it, just with extra bureaucracy?

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #84 on: January 30, 2017, 06:04:23 pm »
My limited experience of a single BCA AGM is that the whole process of motions and amendments is a little bit dysfunctional. Someone proposes a motion, which has a particular wording which is almost certainly not perfect. Someone will propose an amendment which probably misses the point or makes it worse. The original proposer accepts the amendment. Nobody gets to vote on whether to accept the amendment. Possibly the entire motion gets withdrawn (at least in its original form). After this somewhat random process iterates a few times where a few ill-considered amendments from only a few people determine the future of the BCA, the tiny fraction of the membership actually present vote not on what they really want but on whatever semi-random motion survives the process of amendments.

The more options people have to consider and vote for at the AGM, the better I think, so the more motions to choose between the better, even if they are very similar.

PS The best bits of my motion last year were largely due to Bob's help prior to the AGM, so thanks again! I will probably vote (assuming I can go!) to remove the sentence entirely but I would also vote for Bob's motion that explicitly permits the BCA to campaign for changes in the law.

PPS I think it would also be good if the chair of the meeting refrained from expressing any opinions about caving at all.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #85 on: January 31, 2017, 12:43:49 pm »
My Experience of all AGM's
is that the whole process of motions and amendments is a little bit dysfunctional. Someone proposes a motion, which has a particular wording which is almost certainly not perfect. Someone will propose an amendment which probably misses the point or makes it worse. The original proposer accepts the amendment. Nobody gets to vote on whether to accept the amendment. Possibly the entire motion gets withdrawn (at least in its original form). After this somewhat random process iterates a few times where a few ill-considered amendments from only a few people determine the future [beyond the AGM], the tiny fraction of the membership actually present vote not on what they really want but on whatever semi-random motion survives the process of amendments.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #86 on: January 31, 2017, 12:48:06 pm »
Pwhole or Glyn, told me to look for a video all about minutes, I think they said it was called "Yes, prime minister"...

I still have not got round to looking for it.

Offline kay

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Re: Problems looming for BCA?
« Reply #87 on: January 31, 2017, 03:50:52 pm »
Pwhole or Glyn, told me to look for a video all about minutes, I think they said it was called "Yes, prime minister"...

I still have not got round to looking for it.

Maybe this bit?

Quote
Sir Humphrey: "You choose from a jumble of ill-digested ideas a version which represents the Prime Minister's views as he would, on reflection, have liked them to emerge."

 

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