Author Topic: BCA AGM 2021  (Read 2232 times)

Offline BCA Secretary

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BCA AGM 2021
« on: September 29, 2021, 05:12:35 pm »


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
« Last Edit: October 05, 2021, 11:25:27 am by Pegasus, Reason: Added poster & centered for Home Page »

Offline Rob

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #1 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:
The end is where we start....

Offline David Rose

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2021, 07:28:43 am »
The podcasts include my hustings interviews with the two candidates for Chair.

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #3 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

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #4 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.

Offline s_allshorn

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #5 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.

Offline s_allshorn

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #6 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...

Offline Cavematt

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #7 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:
York Caving Club

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #8 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!
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline s_allshorn

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #9 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!

Online Oceanrower

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #10 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.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Badlad

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #12 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.

Offline s_allshorn

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #13 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.


Offline Badlad

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #14 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.

Online Ian Ball

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #15 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.



Offline Russell Myers

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #16 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.
     
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #17 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.
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #18 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.   


Offline PeteHall

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #19 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.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #20 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
York Caving Club

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #21 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.
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

Offline Jenny P

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #22 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.
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

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #23 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...

Offline BCA Secretary

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Re: BCA AGM 2021
« Reply #24 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

 

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