Author Topic: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution  (Read 5132 times)

Offline andrewmc

  • BCA ind. rep.
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
  • EUSS, BEC, YSS, SWCC...
Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« on: May 06, 2021, 07:59:37 pm »
At the 2020 BCA AGM, a motion was passed requiring the BCA to propose a new form of words for Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution at the next BCA AGM. In response, the BCA's Constitution and Operations Working Group is carrying out a consultation to explore BCA members' views on the current Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution.

Attached is an explanatory document for this consultation, giving details of the context of the original AGM motion, and some possible strengths and weaknesses of the current Section 10.1. The consultation will be open for at least two weeks (at least until 21st May) but may remain open for longer. The consultation itself can be completed using this Google form:

https://forms.gle/PF6mkMTkiY1oPXGW6

The consultation is open to all BCA members, including individual members, clubs, access-controlling bodies, National Bodies, and regional councils. Please feel free to forward this consultation; for example, if you are a club secretary you may wish to forward it to your members. The Google form includes a link to the explanatory document attached to this email, so the forwarding the link to the Google form is sufficient.

As convenor of the Constitution and Operations Working Group, I thank you in advance for any response you are able to give.
Andrew McLeod

Offline Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2291
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2021, 08:51:26 pm »
Hi Andrew

I was interested to find out a little about your Constitution and Operations Working Group.  When you were established as a group, how you might interact or differ from previous similar groups, what your remit was/wasn't and who was a part of the group.  However, there is no listing of your group under 'working groups' on the BCA website.  I guess this is still to be updated?

Can you point me at the information?

The 10.1 motion at the last AGM was proposed by me.  It was passed by 90% of the vote.  I've not been asked about it since (strange that I wouldn't consulted don't you think).  Glad to read that at least someone is acting on it.  Keep me posted if you will.

Cheers

Online JoshW

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 803
  • YSS, WSCC, BCA Youth & Development, BCA Group Rep
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2021, 09:49:45 pm »
I'll try and answer some of your Q's Badlad, as a member of the working group, and a member of council (but Andrew/other members of the group may expand/correct accordingly).

I think to some extent, by default, this group will encompass any previous similar groups remit, as well as having further aims going forwards.

Primarily the function of the group is to try and approach the AGM this year with proposals handling any of the previous AGM's proposals with regards to the constitution and manual of operations. I think technically this group was formed shortly after the last AGM (October 2020), but for various reasons, including but not limited to the change of members of the executive, the group possibly didn't get 'up and running' until fairly recently.

Andrew bravely stood forwards as convener of this group, and so far there is a fairly small group of us but with a wide range of backgrounds in it.

With regards to it being your proposal last year, I was of the understanding (but please as is often the case correct me if I'm wrong), that this was a proposal from the previous secretary, Matt, that you proposed in his place. If that is the case then I can perhaps see why you weren't approached as a 'proxy' proposer.

It's also important to note that although 90% of the votes were in favour of amending this section, that this doesn't necessarily offer any clarity as to what they wanted, and this is what I think Andrew is doing now, by expanding the range of opinions, from our little working group to the wider BCA membership, in order to be able to start forming an idea of what the membership actually wants to happen to this section.

Finally, bringing it back to your first point about no listing of the group on the website (or in the Manual of operations); this is something that everyone in the group really sees as an ongoing use for the group, to ensure that any changes that are proposed at AGM/council are discussed with the relevant people so that the corresponding changes to the MoO can be made. I think that over the years plenty of votes have been made at AGM's or council but without full awareness of how this may conflict with the constitution/MoO, and so this should be taken into account within the proposal. I understand that in the run-up to this AGM there will be an opportunity to discuss with this group any potential proposals to ensure that they fully account for these confections.

Hopefully, through council minutes and other reports, the work done by this group will be available to all to keep the membership updated.
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline Cantclimbtom

  • stalker
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2021, 10:02:37 pm »
Myself and I assume others here too, are card-carrying BCA members but with little or no involvement or appetite in politics and not aware of whatever precipitated the discussion. Without detailing too much and opening any old wounds/arguments... Please can anyone explain in an idiot proof single paragraph what the original purpose of 10.1, why it's of interest now + what kinds of improvement might be beneficial. The more simplified and idiot proof the better. Thanks
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Online JoshW

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 803
  • YSS, WSCC, BCA Youth & Development, BCA Group Rep
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2021, 10:22:00 pm »
Hi CCT,

The document within the consultation form details as much as the group felt they could whilst retaining impartiality. The last page and a half should give you both sides of the argument.

https://cloud.british-caving.org.uk/index.php/s/eZrwJpf6poz7jSY
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 10:37:01 pm by JoshW »
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2291
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2021, 11:12:33 pm »
Hi Josh

Thanks for the explanation.  For transparency it would be useful to list the group, the aims, the members formally in a clear place on the BCA website for all to see (the other working groups seem to be there so don't know why this one is an exception?).

This was my proposal, no one else's, I consulted with the ex BCA chairman before putting it forward in the way it was.  Gave up to a year for Council to come up with something new that couldn't be used so easily in the negative way it was being.  Andrew's paper highlights many of the issues. 

One example of the misuse of section 10.1 was when an access controlling body banned under 18s from caves they controlled.  When the youth and development group tried to get to the bottom of why, this led to a formal complaint under 10.1 that dragged on for years and ultimately cost the BCA thousands of pounds.  10.1 needs a new more measured and balanced wording that allows some interference, investigations if you like into issues that effect cavers more widely than the narrow focus a small group might have. 

Online JoshW

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 803
  • YSS, WSCC, BCA Youth & Development, BCA Group Rep
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2021, 11:46:27 pm »
No problem :)

Agreed that having the group and it's aims listed somewhere on the website is key (love a bit of transparency, me!), but worth noting that no other working group does (or in my opinion should) detail the members of the working group on their page. Ultimately responsibility for the working group and it's members falls upon the convener of the group (unlucky Andrew!).

Apologies, I knew there was a few proposals that were Matt's - October 2020 seems a lifetime away.

I'd urge you (and anyone else reading) to provide as much feedback as possible to their feelings regarding this section of the constitution.

For what it's worth, one project I'm working on within this group is a total rewrite of the complaints procedure, that in conjunction with an amended 10.1 will hopefully ensure that any BCA body will need to abide by the policies of the association that they agreed to when joining. One big problem we're currently having as a group is historically things have got all sorts of muddled and the constitution has gotten full of operational issues, and policy and process have been mixed up resulting in a web to be untangled.
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline andrewmc

  • BCA ind. rep.
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
  • EUSS, BEC, YSS, SWCC...
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2021, 09:25:07 am »
Hi Andrew

I was interested to find out a little about your Constitution and Operations Working Group.  When you were established as a group, how you might interact or differ from previous similar groups, what your remit was/wasn't and who was a part of the group.  However, there is no listing of your group under 'working groups' on the BCA website.  I guess this is still to be updated?

Can you point me at the information?

Yes, it should be up there, but it took longer for me to get round to it than I should and when I did try I failed (due to some sort of permission problems, which I will hopefully get fixed soon). I should be creating it soon... keeping the various official documentation up to date on the website is something we can hopefully look at once the group is more established.

The group itself was created at the September 2020 Council meeting, with the following Terms of Reference (available in the Sep 2020 BCA Council Meeting agenda):

  • Purpose
    i. The aim of the group is to conduct a complete review of the BCA Constitution and BCA Manual of Operations and re-write both documents for ratification at BCA council, and subsequent presentation to the 2021 AGM.
    ii. An additional aim is to produce roles and responsibilities / help guides and minimum expectations for key officers (to assist them when new to their post).
  • Membership
    i. Members are to be invited by the Constitution and Operations Officer.
    ii. The convenor of the group will be the Constitution and Operations Officer.
    iii. Membership should be reviewed on an annual basis and its members re-invited.
    iv. There will not be any restrictions on numbers in these terms of reference, to allow it to reach an organic operable size.
  • Accountability
    i. The Constitution and Operations Officer will report back to Council at meetings.
    ii. There will be quarterly reports detailing the working group’s activities and progress.
    iii. Complaints are to follow BCA procedure and brought to Council.
  • Review
    i. The re-written documents will be presented to council two meetings prior to the 2021 AGM for consideration, discussion and ratification. On ratification to be presented to the 2021 AGM for member acceptance.
  • Methods
    i. Focus groups will be formed to look at specific parts of both documents and bring their ideas to the working group for discussion and agreement.
    ii. Official meetings will occur by whatever suitable medium at least quarterly with regular discussions between members of the working group occurring in between.
    iii. The minutes will be published on the BCA website promptly.
    iv. The convenor of the group will prepare the agenda.

However, with the recent executive changes I was only appointed at the last meeting and the first official meeting was on 15th April.

Quote
The 10.1 motion at the last AGM was proposed by me.  It was passed by 90% of the vote.  I've not been asked about it since (strange that I wouldn't consulted don't you think).  Glad to read that at least someone is acting on it.  Keep me posted if you will.

Cheers

As UKCaving was (with the exception of a few emails a few minutes before) the first place this consultation was posted, arguably you got it first :) but we would of course be happy to read your response.

On a related note, if there are people keen to involve themselves in constitutional and operational in the BCA, I'm sure the group could take a few more members ;)

Offline MJenkinson

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 554
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2021, 09:43:11 am »
Having read that PDF I am just glad that it is formally noted that, as a BCA member, I may interfere with other members.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4871
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2021, 10:26:48 am »
It was put in there because BCA wasn't set up as a governing body, but as an ASSOCIATION of other bodies to REPRESENT their interests nationally. So, although BCA can't interfere in how parts are run, the other bodies within it can. There's nothing to stop concerned members joining most of the relevant bodies & changing how they work constitutionally.

It does need rewording though, as some decisions may be against the best interests of other parts of the BCA & either doing nothing or expelling them isn't a great range of options.

Offline andrewmc

  • BCA ind. rep.
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
  • EUSS, BEC, YSS, SWCC...
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2021, 12:15:50 pm »
There's nothing to stop concerned members joining most of the relevant bodies & changing how they work constitutionally.

(edit - just realised you said 'most', not 'all', but the point remains)
Well except that for the regional councils (with the exception, I believe, of DCA) individual members can't actually join them, and therefore can't have a vote on how they work. The same is true for (I believe) all access-controlling bodies that aren't clubs (an individual member could join a club that was access-controlling, and thus influence it that way).

For the National Bodies, it depends - I know individual members can join the BCRA, for example, but that is not true for all the national bodies. That is not intended as criticism of them in any way - some of them are, and always will be, associations of non-individual members because that is what makes sense for those bodies.

I believe all BCA clubs will be democratic (I believe that is a requirement of BCA membership, although I could be horribly wrong) and thus in those cases their members absolutely can change how they work constitutionally.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4871
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2021, 12:23:46 pm »
You can still join a constituent club & affect things regionally from there, or you may be able to find a member who is prepared to canvas on your behalf.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4871
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2021, 12:47:19 pm »
It does need very careful consideration, as (from linked document, my highlight):
Quote
Structure of the BCA
The BCA is defined in section 1 of the Constitution as ‘a national federation comprising: individuals; caving, mining and other related Clubs; Regional Caving Councils; and National Bodies with specialist interests, all of whom have autonomy in their own field; together with any other bodies who express an interest in caving, mining or other subterranean phenomena.'
Quote
Summary
All of these bodies and individual members are Members of the BCA, and thus all are affected by Section 10.1. Each of these many bodies has different, but sometimes overlapping, areas of interest. Although these bodies are BCA members, they are separate bodies and are not controlled by the BCA nor directly accountable to it.

Online 2xw

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 782
  • YUCPC, SUSS
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2021, 04:35:50 pm »
It was set up as an association to represent those groups, but now that membership and finances are centralised it is actually more of a federation and those groups now represent the membership (especially now that there is/will no longer be group membership)

So whilst the associated groups have that financial and representative power it's not appropriate to wield it without any transparency or accountability.

Obviously that's a personal view not a C&A one.

Offline mch

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 426
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2021, 07:29:17 pm »
There's nothing to stop concerned members joining most of the relevant bodies & changing how they work constitutionally.

(edit - just realised you said 'most', not 'all', but the point remains)
Well except that for the regional councils (with the exception, I believe, of DCA) individual members can't actually join them, and therefore can't have a vote on how they work.
Just to confirm that individual cavers can most certainly join DCA and I would encourage them to do so (just download a form from the DCA website at https://thedca.org.uk/images/dca/forms/DCA_Indiv_Appl_2018v4a_gdpr_rev.pdf )

Offline Jenny P

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 905
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2021, 07:38:23 pm »
DCA was set up in 1960 with Individual Membership as well as Club Membership.  It seems to have worked well for the past 60 years!

I believe DCUC also has individual membership as well as Club membership.  Perhaps someone from DCUC could confirm this?

Offline alastairgott

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2102
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2021, 08:40:51 pm »
I'm a happy contented individual member of DCA, I was happy and contented before joining. but am as happy and contented as always.  ;D

One example of the misuse of section 10.1 was when an access controlling body banned under 18s from caves they controlled.  When the youth and development group tried to get to the bottom of why, this led to a formal complaint under 10.1 that dragged on for years and ultimately cost the BCA thousands of pounds.  10.1 needs a new more measured and balanced wording that allows some interference, investigations if you like into issues that effect cavers more widely than the narrow focus a small group might have.

Badlad, as a member of the BCA I hope you will get involved in this prior to the AGM, the best way of getting things in place is (as you know) prior to the event. So if you have any advice or misgivings then I would openly say it's probably best to iron them out now directly to those involved, so that you can scatter a few hot coals under the "glacial" pace of the BCA.


 We are in a new era, so if i'm being honest I don't want to hear the words Glacial or Bureaucratic when it comes to the BCA, so I charge you to ensure that we support the BCA and post them into a slick bypass to bureaucracy.  :thumbsup:

Offline Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2291
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2021, 10:32:15 am »
Hi Alastair

I hope you'll know that I gave a good six years or more as a volunteer to BCA.  I was a vocal moderniser and worked quite hard to push that agenda against some very entrenched opposition.  Some felt it was perfectly alright to use all sorts of underhand and personal tactics to maintain the status quo which made volunteering quite a trial.  Others, as well documented, found the same and left.  Anyway we move on and the nine changes to the constitution proposed by me at the last AGM were intended to set a 'road map' for more detailed work to follow.  The fact that they were supported by around 80+% of the voting is a strong indication which I'm sure council will want to follow.

Eight of those proposals were originally drafted by Matt Ewles when he was secretary but withdrawn by him when he resigned.  The proposal under discussion here on 10.1 was included by me following my experiences over all those years.  I'm happy to join any group meeting to give my views if invited to do so.  Certainly the disciplinary limitations also need complete revision as indicated.  They were clearly designed as a harsh punishment to some rogue LMCA/CIC certificate holder but were useless when it was a member of council itself which had gone rogue.  There ineffectiveness ultimately caused the loss of at least five good volunteers from BCA and a heap of negative feelings to boot.  So important that Andrew and co get that bit right to better deal with any future challenges of that nature.  Disciplinary procedures do not need to be in a constitution anyway as I'm sure all are aware.

I guess a good starting point, beyond that detailed in the OP, would be to look at how 10.1 has been used in recent years.  Recall the specific cases, such as the one mentioned in my previous post, and see how any new proposed wording would have affected those cases differently.

One question I see Andrew has touched upon is about funding.  If a group is funded by BCA should it still be autonomous?  Should it be able to refuse to accept the demographic mandate of the BCA as some have threatened in the past and still receive the money? 

Good luck

Offline NewStuff

  • Gobby McGobface
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 891
  • www.dddwhcc.com
    • Deep Dark Dirty WetHoles
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2021, 02:26:30 pm »
Some felt it was perfectly alright to use all sorts of underhand and personal tactics to maintain the status quo which made volunteering quite a trial.  Others, as well documented, found the same and left.
And this kind of shenanigans is why some of us will still have nothing to do with the BCA. The fact that people can pull the stunts that have been pulled, and continue on merrily without consequences is an indication that much has still yet to change. There is a good chance it won't, despite a lot of time, effort and vision on the part of people like yourself to do so. Until there are real consequences, a vocal minority will continue to pull shitty tricks and underhanded tactics because they know it works.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline alastairgott

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2102
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2021, 06:26:41 pm »
I'm happy to join any group meeting to give my views

That’s great to hear, definitely remember you saying at one of the AGM’s that the constitution needed a radical overhaul. So it’s good to hear that you want to follow through with this vision.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4871
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2021, 07:04:28 pm »
You may need another vote before you change the BCA's terms of reference.

To be fair, I'm pretty sure the organisation in previous question don't make any calls on BCA funding.

Online JoshW

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 803
  • YSS, WSCC, BCA Youth & Development, BCA Group Rep
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2021, 09:55:14 pm »
You may need another vote before you change the BCA's terms of reference.

Correct, any output resulting from this consultation will be put to the AGM to be voted on by the membership (as will any other output from this working group), as any changes to constitution/manual of operations/procedures need to be done at an AGM (as I understand it - any constitutional nerds please feel free to correct me)
All views are my own and not that of the BCA or any clubs for which I'm a member of.

Offline mikem

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4871
  • Mendip Caving Group
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2021, 09:58:45 pm »
Manual of operations / procedures shouldn't need to, but a lot of them appear to be (needlessly) tied up in constitution.

Offline Badlad

  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2291
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2021, 10:26:26 pm »
.....

To be fair, I'm pretty sure the organisation in previous question don't make any calls on BCA funding.

The funding question is different to the 10.1 example I gave in earlier post.  Several times a BCA funded organisation has threatened to ignore the demographic mandate of the BCA.  I repeat that everyone has moved forward but it would be prudent to consider how this would play out should it happen in the future.

Offline Cap'n Chris

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 12452
Re: Consultation on Section 10.1 of the BCA Constitution
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2021, 07:05:47 am »
Democratic, I'm guessing, rather than demographic.

If the former then perhaps it's worth pointing out that the BCA and its structure cannot impose any controls over regional councils as there are no powers to do so whatsoever; thus it stands that although regional councils may be in receipt of funding (that is v different from being a BCA funded organisation, btw) e.g. for conservation projects etc., there is no associated presumption that such an arrangement enables or provides BCA to have a say so in how a regional council organises its affairs. Any such linkage is imaginary.

Unless I am perhaps misreading the situation. Happy to be corrected.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2021, 07:14:57 am by Cap'n Chris »

 

Main Menu

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