UK Caving

ORGANISATIONS => BCA => Topic started by: cavemanmike on March 26, 2017, 06:21:46 pm

Title: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on March 26, 2017, 06:21:46 pm
Anyone got any news on the meeting please
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Les W on March 26, 2017, 06:46:26 pm
Still recovering, you'll have to wait...  :tease:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on March 26, 2017, 09:35:19 pm
It went on for over eight hours.  I doubt anyone enjoyed the day and it wasn't BCA's finest hour. It didn't help that the sun was shining outside.  The main issues of contention surrounded the training scheme outsourcing, web service problems, and, of course, the constitutional changes needed to allow a CRoW campaign to continue.

I couldn't possibly summarise the whole meeting but if you say which part you are interested in I'll give you my perspective on it if I have time.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on March 26, 2017, 10:40:54 pm
When I put the thread up it was to find out how the constitutional change for the crow campaign went,not long got off the phone with a friend who attended the meeting so I know how the rest of it went but I would appreciate your input on how You felt the crow situation went.
Cheers 🍻
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on March 26, 2017, 10:57:41 pm
two steps forward one step back, or is that one step forward and two back, not sure needed a bottle of red to drown out the day
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ZombieCake on March 26, 2017, 11:18:54 pm
Is this how it went? esp 2min 47 sec?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8sjbl9IF10 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8sjbl9IF10)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on March 27, 2017, 09:27:25 am
I would be interested to hear what the outcome was regarding the constitution and access issue - just the bottom line rather than a blow by blow account
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on March 27, 2017, 12:37:02 pm
8 hours! On a sunny weekend like the one we just had. Talk about perseverance. This is why I will never EVER join a committee. Life is just too short! Surely there must be a better way to do things, maybe start whipping people if they talk longer than 5 minutes?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: crickleymal on March 27, 2017, 05:02:51 pm
Hmmmm. That seems like a very good idea.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on March 27, 2017, 05:26:37 pm
8 hours! On a sunny weekend like the one we just had. Talk about perseverance. This is why I will never EVER join a committee. Life is just too short! Surely there must be a better way to do things, maybe start whipping people if they talk longer than 5 minutes?

Sadly it is even worse than you suggest as many of us drive for over five hours as well.  The BCA needs serious reform in many respects including the fundamental structure behind meetings.  For my part I would rather have been caving with friends on Leck Fell but I wanted to stand up for the mandate given to the BCA by its members to run a campaign for the freedoms of access that the CRoW Act allows.

I'll reply to Cavemanmike shortly. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on March 27, 2017, 05:53:11 pm
Background;

Following a poll of its members in 2014, the BCA began a campaign for the CRoW Act to apply to caving as per the mandate the poll had given them (62% in favour).

The campaign ran unimpeded for around a year and was fully supported by BCA council.  Throughout that time, pressures were brought on BCA suggesting the campaign was unconstitutional because of a sentence in the constitution which states, “That the owners and tenants of property containing caves have the right to grant or withhold access”.  This was discussed at length in council and rejected as the law of the land takes precedence over the constitution and therefore there was no impediment in pursuing a campaign to change DEFRA’s interpretation of the law as by their own admission there view is not definitive.

However, pressure came to a head at the BCA AGM held on Mendip last June and resulted in the following motion being passed;

“Proposal: To remit the issue of section 4.6 of the Constitution to Council for consideration to return with a properly worded proposal presented at the next General Meeting. Meanwhile BCA will concentrate on conservation and landowner relations. “

At the BCA council meeting in October last year the matter was not even on the agenda and not discussed.  Later, assurances were received that the matter was in hand and the executive’s proposals would be delivered to the January council meeting.  At that meeting the wrong set of proposals (an early version) was sent out by mistake and so no discussion could take place.  A week later the correct proposals appeared by email circulation. 

The BCA legal officer and others re-acted that the executive had not understood the problem.  A detailed analysis was then produced by him which demonstrated that the new proposed amendment to the constitution could still be used to disrupt a CRoW campaign or future positions BCA may take on behalf of its members.  In fact the analysis suggested that it was worse than the existing.
Due to the late action, time was now very short for properly tabled proposals and the necessary time needed for caving groups (the regions, clubs, etc) to discuss them.  I therefore offered a simple solution which stated; “This motion proposes that the first sentence of section 4.6 of the constitution be removed”.  Shortly after Bob Mehew also correctly tabled two further motions.

The meeting on Saturday

The key item on the agenda that you ask about was item 7, described as “constitutional amendments (proposals) – (to be circulated)”.  A four page document, put together by the exec was handed round at the meeting.   This included the amendments related to 4,6 and the CRoW campaign and a series of six further amendments to go through at the same time such as proposals on proxy voting, postal ballets etc.  (Estimates for the cost of this postal ballet varies between £3000 and £10000 BTW)

As indicated by the photograph, motion (c), properly proposed by me, had been re-interpreted by the author unlike any of the other proposals in the four page document.  I certainly didn’t feel therefore that my proposal was being given fair representation.

(http://media.ukcaving.com/wl/?id=kmn9YOI04O7GwTEv801691rpwmeHRLeY)

The question was then asked which of these proposals was being put forward by council as per the motion from the AGM.  The exec seemed unprepared for this and suggested that they favoured motion (b).  There was an attempt to vote this through as the council favoured motion, but this didn’t get to a vote as it was pointed out that there were other motions to consider.  In the end, an informal show of hands for each of the three motions showed that more supported motion (c) than each of the others.   Therefore it was decided that council couldn’t agree and all three motions would go forward to the AGM.

Anyone still awake?   So the next question was how were three different motions for the same thing going to be handled at the AGM especially as one would contradict another.  The chair suggested that he would take a vote at the AGM on which motion would go forward to formal vote but it was not made clear what would happen.

At one point I overheard a private conversation which suggested that if motion (c) received support at the AGM, the first sentence could be removed and then another motion taken which could then replace it.  I did not feel that this was within the spirit of the process.  I know that a number of groups, such as the Derbyshire Caving Association and the Council of Northern Caving Clubs have discussed all the motions presented to them and have either unanimously or overwhelmingly supported the motion to remove that sentence and not replace it with another.

Therefore, when I returned home at 9.30 and still within the midnight deadline for motions to be proposed I tabled the following extra motion to the BCA secretary which was acknowledged and accepted.

“This motion proposes that the first sentence of Section 4.6 of the BCA constitution be removed. (For clarity this means that the sentence should be removed and not replaced by a similar sentence such as (a) or (b) of Proposal 1 as presented to the BCA council meeting on 25th March 2017.  In fact, if this motion is supported then no further amendments should be made to section 4.6 of the BCA constitution at this General Meeting)”

I realise after all this I haven’t answered the question posed above.  Look, it doesn’t reflect well on the organisation but volunteers put a lot of time into BCA and you’ve got to respect them for that.  My only complaint is that there is not enough positivity or progress and there are too many people battling to keep things how they were 30-40 years ago.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on March 27, 2017, 06:02:48 pm
Thank you for the detailed report Tim.

Is this a case of the minority frustrating the will of the majority?

(I know it's an old chestnut, just trying to be succinct)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on March 27, 2017, 06:45:03 pm

Is this a case of the minority frustrating the will of the majority?


No, it's not. The bottom line is that there will be a range of motions to vote on at the AGM, including the one proposed by Tim, and so a decision will be made. What that decision is will depend on what happens on the day, and possibly on the subsequent ballot of BCA members, but nothing now can stop those motions being tabled for discussion.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on March 27, 2017, 06:52:07 pm
Sorry to say this but it sounds like it's been kicked into the long grass (again)
How frustrating for Tim who has worked so hard on trying to give the Membership what it voted for.
Thanks tim :thumbsup:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on March 27, 2017, 07:06:54 pm
How is ensuring that the required consitutional changes will be discussed at the AGM 'kicking it into the long grass'?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Speleotron on March 27, 2017, 07:07:28 pm
So what's happened on the CRoW thing since 2014? Has it all been about this bit of the consitution or did we start procedings to get caving covered under CRoW? Not having a go just wondering.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Mike Hopley on March 27, 2017, 07:39:39 pm
Tim, you (and others) have the patience of a saint.

I have huge respect for people who get involved in this way and try to make things better. I couldn't do it myself. A five hour drive for an eight hour committee meeting? I don't know how you do it, but thank you.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Aubrey on March 27, 2017, 08:12:04 pm
What else was discussed?
Surely the Crow stuff did not take the whole 8 hours.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on March 27, 2017, 08:16:13 pm
Full agenda here: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on March 27, 2017, 08:33:47 pm
Full agenda here: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php)

Is it also possible to see the officers' reports?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on March 27, 2017, 09:15:36 pm
How is ensuring that the required consitutional changes will be discussed at the AGM 'kicking it into the long grass'?

If you read tims review properly you will see his amendment had been edited  unlike anyone else's.
Hardly fair if you ask me
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Speleotron on March 27, 2017, 09:35:22 pm
How is ensuring that the required consitutional changes will be discussed at the AGM 'kicking it into the long grass'?

If you read tims review properly you will see his amendment had been edited  unlike anyone else's.
Hardly fair if you ask me

And it's taken 3 years  :-[
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on March 27, 2017, 11:46:01 pm
It is quite patent that the 62% of BCA members who voted “in favour” when asked to do so in the ballot have been shafted.

The sole purpose of that ballot was to establish member’s views and to act upon them.

The members voted. There was a result.

Some people didn’t like the outcome and did what they could to frustrate the process at the expense of the majority and especially at the expense of a small number of people who worked hard and tirelessly to fulfil the desires of the majority.

I am quite certain we have all experienced situations where we didn’t get what we wanted. I am equally certain that when we lost democratically to others, we didn’t fire proverbial mortar bombs or behave like idiotic children (recent political events excepted).

Regardless of the intentions of the BCA committee, the matter is now a total shambles and the issue has become obfuscated with technicalities and (to be blunt) crap.

I know some very respectable members of the BCA who voted against the motion acquiesced and agreed to get behind the majority (which is honourable). However, a small number who had persistently sought to de-rail the process are not only now making themselves into a re-incarnation of the devil, they are bringing disrepute upon their fellow colleagues of the BCA. They are also disrespecting the view of the majority.

It is not just shameful, it is an utter disgrace.

The BCA committee should get off the fence, stop hiding behind technicalities, stop pandering to the bitching minority minority (yes, the minority of the minority) and they should stop lurking in the shadows. Grow a backbone and do what the members mandated you to do.

Stop f*cking about.

As for Tim and those other few that have worked hard to progress caving (as per the mandated vote) I would take heart in knowing the majority are with you. Keep pushing forward and ignore the BCA committee and the technicalities. You have a mandate provided by the majority – use it. If the committee seek to discharge your position then they risk the wrath of the majority. In fact, they would risk the relevance and existence of the BCA itself.

Unless, of course, I have mis-understood the definition of democracy?

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on March 28, 2017, 08:07:20 am
 :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on March 28, 2017, 09:18:18 am
Well said, extract the digit...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on March 28, 2017, 12:43:34 pm
I'm not a member of the BCA, but I have been intending to join for a while. However, I'm now questioning whether I should bother or not.


..... there's another unhappy caver.

 :(

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on March 28, 2017, 01:13:25 pm
Tim, that's exceptional dedication to a cause. Hats off.

But this type of underhanded tactic is why we want nothing to do with the BCA. We o my stayed in last year due to the sterling efforts of people like Tim etc.

The people (yes, I am looking for at you, Mullan, Brocklebank, Burgess) who behind these shenanigans will cause a total loss of confidence in the BCA's ability to represent our pastime as a national body. This is the beginning Ning of the end unless spines are miraculously produced from somewhere.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on March 28, 2017, 03:00:42 pm
This is the beginning Ning of the end [sic]

Of?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on March 28, 2017, 04:57:13 pm
The 'shenanigans' might have been avoided had the BCA sorted out the Constitution *before* launching the ballot.

It's a pity that none of the obviously committed people behind the campaign thought of that....

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on March 28, 2017, 05:59:55 pm
This is the beginning Ning of the end [sic]

Of?

The BCA.

Should this sort of thing be allowed to continue (and I can't see any reason it won't, despite good people's intentions), then the people that voted "for CRoW" will realise that it changed nothing, and the old empire builders are carrying on as usual, and that the BCA is not fit for purpose.

Now, I know you'll love that, but I'll be sorry to see it go. The idea is fine, but the current execution of it, at this point in time, is not something we will be associated with. We are a principled lot, and we don't really care what people think about us, hence we left. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on March 28, 2017, 06:45:32 pm
I can't personally see why the wording even needs to be changed. Of course landowners have the right to restrict access - unless that access is granted by law. No-one, as far as I'm aware trying to is trying to change this.

The tiny minority working against what has been democratically decided, are surely working against the majority. As such they are surely working against the BCA and therefore should be excluded from membership.

Perhaps at the BCA AGM someone should table a motion to exclude these individuals.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: braveduck on March 28, 2017, 09:24:35 pm
Any democratic meeting committee or otherwise should only last as long as
the chair person of that meeting wants it to last .
 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: RobinGriffiths on March 29, 2017, 12:21:16 am
I see that one of the protagonists has today started a personal journal on AN, where presumably he can post, and is awaiting a bite. To date, no bites are forthcoming.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: AlanH on March 29, 2017, 01:14:42 am
Tim, that's exceptional dedication to a cause. Hats off.

But this type of underhanded tactic is why we want nothing to do with the BCA. We o my stayed in last year due to the sterling efforts of people like Tim etc.

The people (yes, I am looking for at you, Mullan, Brocklebank, Burgess) who behind these shenanigans will cause a total loss of confidence in the BCA's ability to represent our pastime as a national body. This is the beginning Ning of the end unless spines are miraculously produced from somewhere.

Newstuff,

for someone who's not even a member of BCA are you truely arrogant enough to think that your views or opinions on what decsions the BCA makes have any validity?

Alan

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on March 29, 2017, 06:35:49 am
for someone who's not even a member of BCA are you truely arrogant enough to think that your views or opinions on what decsions the BCA makes have any validity

The sole point of your post is to try to scare me off the topic by using my real name, which undoubtedly you know my employer does not like, given the industry/sector I work in.

Administrator Comment Amended back to newstuff

You want to do caving politics? I'll debate all day. But deciding to drag my life outside of caving into this? That is low, underhanded and dirty.



If you can't argue a case on it's merit's, and have to resort to that, you have no case.

I'm not a member of the BCA anymore *because* of idiots like you desperately attempting to resist change. I would like to be a member of the BCA again, if idiots like you are removed. It's a simple concept to understand, but evidently you are significantly more simple than it is.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on March 29, 2017, 07:47:53 am
I see that one of the protagonists has today started a personal journal on AN, where presumably he can post, and is awaiting a bite. To date, no bites are forthcoming.

If Simon has got any sense he will delete the topic (not like he hasn't done it before)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on March 29, 2017, 08:53:16 am
I see that one of the protagonists has today started a personal journal on AN, where presumably he can post, and is awaiting a bite. To date, no bites are forthcoming.

Replies cannot be posted to personal journals because that is what they are, not discussion topics.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: zomjon on March 29, 2017, 09:02:35 am
I think it is pretty pathetic of us to turn this discussion, which has become very important to a lot of people, to being about Peter's blog. He is quite right in a way, his name should not have been highlighted on this site in the first place. That was trolling really, waiting for him to react.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on March 29, 2017, 09:26:15 am
He is not even posting here but as soon as his name gets into the thread we all start falling out.

Something to think about.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MarkS on March 29, 2017, 11:11:36 am
Moderator Comment Please can we try and keep posts on the topic of the BCA meeting.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ianball11 on March 29, 2017, 02:43:07 pm
When are the minutes to be published?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on March 29, 2017, 02:48:56 pm
The Minutes are normally published (on the BCA website) as soon as possible after the meeting and the Minutes will also include all the written reports which were discussed.

It is also normal for a first draft of the Minutes to be checked by the BCA Executive before posting and the Minutes remain in "draft" form until they are approved by the following meeting, which may, or may not, ask for amendments.  (Don't forget that BCA now has an independent Recorder for its meetings although the Secretary is ultimately responsible for getting them, out to members.)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on March 29, 2017, 07:10:04 pm
Tim, that's exceptional dedication to a cause. Hats off.

SNIP

The people (yes, I am looking for at you, Mullan, Brocklebank, Burgess) who behind these shenanigans

SNIP
As you say hats off to Tim for pushing this onwards.  (I am away on holiday so did not participate in the meeting and have only just got back to internet connection.)  However it should be noted that regrettably this current state of affairs is mainly due to BCA's Executive trying to do their best and not the three quoted above.  (One of my growing concerns is whether we will retain the Exec by the time the AGM has passed.  Any one volunteering to help out?)

So far as I can see it, we have various motions which all aim in the same direction; to remove the shackles self imposed at the last AGM.  Tim has proposed two constitutional amendments which deletes the offending sentence.  (Two for technical reasons which I won't bore readers with.)  I have another which amends the offending sentence.  I also have a separate constitutional amendment which makes it plain that what ever is said in the constitution, it does not stop BCA from campaigning to change the law.  Tim also has a clarifying motion which makes it clear the sentence does not limit our work.  (I am unclear about the status of the 2016 motion.)

Tim and I agree that both our approaches will work but he favours the 'simple remove it' approach whilst I go for the 'change it to reflect the correct legal position and then make it clear it does not stop us from campaigning to change the law'.  I won't go into why I have gone down this route in this posting but please be assured there are good reasons for doing so.  (My views on Section 4.6 can be read at http://www.cncc.org.uk/doc/1121 (http://www.cncc.org.uk/doc/1121).)

I also have a procedural motion which means that it will be for the meeting to decide how to tackle the situation, not any one person who ever they might be.

Bob Mehew
BCA Legal & Insurance Officer
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on March 29, 2017, 10:01:07 pm
Bob,

There is a mandate provided by the members.

Just do it.

 :)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on March 29, 2017, 10:44:49 pm
Bob,

There is a mandate provided by the members.

Just do it.

 :)

Ian
The trouble is the mandate was 'modified' by the last AGM.  We are now working to remove that 'modification' so we can get on with the work.  But please be aware we are not likely to achieve a swift resolution with governmental bodies; sadly I don't believe in miracles but I can hope.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on March 29, 2017, 10:57:13 pm
...and there are too many people battling to keep things how they were 30-40 years ago.

Who are these people that you refer to?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on March 29, 2017, 11:05:17 pm
The trouble is the mandate was 'modified' by the last AGM. 

It is not possible to amend, modify or negate a ballot at an AGM.

Just do it ....

 ;)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on March 29, 2017, 11:31:30 pm
The trouble is the mandate was 'modified' by the last AGM. 

It is not possible to amend, modify or negate a ballot at an AGM.

Just do it ....

 ;)

Ian
Sorry please re read the constitution, notable Section 13.1.  Sufficient people agreed at the last AGM that the first sentence of Sec 4.6 was likely to be a block to implementing the mandate given by the ballot which needed to be sorted out and that "Meanwhile BCA will concentrate on conservation and landowner relations."  I expect you still don't like it but it is what we were stuck with.  I remain reasonably confident we can sort it out in June.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on March 29, 2017, 11:52:01 pm
Bollocks.

"sufficient people" at an AGM do not trump a ballot.

Please refer to the recent People Vs. Europe referendum.

 :)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on March 30, 2017, 12:43:53 am
Please note that Bob Mehew was one of the twenty three people who attended the CSCC AGM last year a mere two weeks prior to the BCA AGM.

Make no mistake, he knew what was coming.



Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on March 30, 2017, 09:13:18 am
And you didn't need to be Sherlock Holmes to think there'd be problems.

It was pointed out ages ago by one of the devilish triumvirate, and promptly dismissed by Ian 'It'll be alright on the night' Adams.

Now like Ian, I'd like the BCA to get on with it, but they've tied themselves in an almighty knot at the mo, and that is before the necessary sustained campaign to get the Government to consider a minor piece of legislation with all the other shit that's going on.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on March 30, 2017, 11:05:25 am
It's fairly clear that the BCA is in desperate need of reform.  IMO it needs to move towards a universal membership and a complete change in its constitutional structure.  It needs a dynamic, expanded exec and a council which meets less frequently.  Eight hour council meetings must end.  There is too much of the tail wagging the dog with the traditional structure.

But this is a small organisation run by volunteers with limited time and ability to progress matters.  Universal membership was mentioned at the first meeting I attended some three years ago as the desired route forward.  There has been no mention of it since.  With everything else taking up so much time I can't see any modernisation happening anytime soon.  Anyone taking it on will know the mother of all battles that would lie ahead.

Without reform there is no point pretending there is any real democracy in BCA.  The AGM is the power house but this is only attended by 30-40 people each year out of nearly 6000 members.  Most of those are members of council who also attend the council meeting which follows.  A few 'locals' will attend as it moves around the regions and this is likely to have a heavy influence on direction and policy each year.  So, for example last year it was at the Hunters on Mendip, the stronghold of the anti CRoW movement.  The chair was effectively battered into a corner and forced to accept motions that did not reflect the will of the wider membership.  The only way out was to put things on hold and defer to the next AGM which is pretty much what happened.

A priority should be to get more people to vote at an AGM.  Having them turn up in person is not realistic.  Proxy voting is an answer and there is a motion on the table to allow it.  However, the motion is poorly structured and doesn't have the support of the exec or many in council and will almost certainly fail.  What is really needed is proxy voting BMC style but that is probably beyond the capabilities of BCA for many a year to come. All pretty depressing, eh?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on March 30, 2017, 12:14:06 pm
As DEFRA say we're all allowed to enter caves on Access Land up to the limit of daylight, why don't we all do just that. When we get to the limit of daylight we just turn around a come out - unless we think we hear the desparate cry of a little lost lamb/dog/frog/whatever that has strayed beyond daylight and is utterly helpless.  No one would would condem a caver for searching, possibly fruitlessly, for a poor helpless animal. ;)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MJenkinson on March 30, 2017, 12:22:44 pm
Thanks to those still pushing for this. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on March 30, 2017, 01:26:42 pm
Yes definitely needs a reform with these 8 hour meetings achieving very little shows that things have not changed. I guess I will go back to completely ignoring the permit system where its open access land as things have completely stalled.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Speleotron on March 30, 2017, 02:48:25 pm
If Defra says we can go to (and slightly into) cave entrances on CRoW land then isn't that job done, no need for 3 years of meetings about a line in the constitution :p
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Speleotron on March 30, 2017, 06:24:10 pm
Edit (noddle) I thought that DEFRA telling us that entrances on CRoW land were OK (and the caves after the entrances wink knudge) was after the BCA talked to DEFRA after the referendum then they started the constitution debates (got myself confused)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on March 30, 2017, 06:41:57 pm
Well.... to be exact, originally the BCA legal officer, Dave Judson put out a statement on BCA headed paper that The CRoW Act definitely did not apply to caving.  He made it look like the BCA position.  It was my correspondence with Defra/NE which brought out various statements from them which made it clear that you could access caves and even descend them to the limit of daylight etc.  Working outside of BCA and with others like Bob and Jenny, we secured QC opinion which stated the CRoW Act did apply to caves which is at odds with the Defra view.  BCA sat up and took notice and took the infamous poll of it's membership.  We have since taken various roles within BCA by consensus to pursue the result of that poll on behalf of the majority membership position.   It was never going to be easy...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ah147 on March 30, 2017, 07:12:30 pm
I'm just gonna keep going into CROW caves whenever I want.

Simple, if everybody else just did that too...


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Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on March 30, 2017, 07:35:27 pm
Hi Tim,

What do you mean by 'universal membership'?

Regards

Nick.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on March 30, 2017, 07:47:40 pm
Universal membership was a term I first heard used by Damain Weare, the previous BCA secretary.  The context it was used in was one member one vote, no second house, no club or group votes.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on March 30, 2017, 09:05:56 pm
I'm just gonna keep going into CROW caves whenever I want.

Simple, if everybody else just did that too...


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I can't figure why they wouldn't
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on March 30, 2017, 09:11:11 pm
Thanks Tim
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on March 30, 2017, 11:07:07 pm
Universal membership was a term I first heard used by Damain Weare, the previous BCA secretary.  The context it was used in was one member one vote, no second house, no club or group votes.
The two house situation was adopt by BCA because we made it plain that BCA needed to know individuals in order to make the insurance cover work.  NCA membership was purely clubs and other groups.  I am far from confident that sufficient clubs will vote to give up membership to their individual members.  But that is a campaign for the future; let's keep focused on CRoW for the time being.

PS - NCA also gave the power of veto to regional caving councils; be thankful we were able to drop that!

Please note that Bob Mehew was one of the twenty three people who attended the CSCC AGM last year a mere two weeks prior to the BCA AGM.

Make no mistake, he knew what was coming.

Agreed and utterly failed to get people at the BCA AGM to see sense.   :(  I just hope we can do it better this time.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: AlanH on March 31, 2017, 10:03:58 am
for someone who's not even a member of BCA are you truely arrogant enough to think that your views or opinions on what decsions the BCA makes have any validity

The sole point of your post is to try to scare me off the topic by using my real name, which undoubtedly you know my employer does not like, given the industry/sector I work in.

Amended back to newstuff

You want to do caving politics? I'll debate all day. But deciding to drag my life outside of caving into this? That is low, underhanded and dirty.



If you can't argue a case on it's merit's, and have to resort to that, you have no case.

I'm not a member of the BCA anymore *because* of idiots like you desperately attempting to resist change. I would like to be a member of the BCA again, if idiots like you are removed. It's a simple concept to understand, but evidently you are significantly more simple than it is.

For anyone who enthusiatically advocates vandalism and criminal damage as a means to achieve what THEY want regardless of the rights of the wider community its a bit rich to call any other actions low underhand and dirty. Perhaps if you learnt to behave like a reasonable member of society you wouldn't need to feel so paranoid about your employer finding out what you get up to.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MarkS on March 31, 2017, 10:16:13 am
Moderator Comment Please let's keep this discussion on the topic of the meeting and avoid things getting personal. Thanks.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on March 31, 2017, 01:55:29 pm
They should have agreed that it acted as a block BEFORE the mandate was given.

The word "Likely" (to be a block) implies that it is of insignificant effect to stop the mandate from being followed.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on March 31, 2017, 02:58:56 pm
For anyone who enthusiatically advocates vandalism and criminal damage as a means to achieve what THEY want regardless of the rights of the wider community its a bit rich to call any other actions low underhand and dirty. Perhaps if you learnt to behave like a reasonable member of society you wouldn't need to feel so paranoid about your employer finding out what you get up to.

I have never advocated that. I suggest a lesson in reading comprehension at your nearest community college is in order. I may have a laugh and a joke about such matters, but I suspect only curmudgeonly old men, the intellectually challenged, or someone with Autism would actually take that seriously. It is a text medium though, and you may have had difficulty in understanding humor, so take this as Gospel:-  I do not advocate cutting off gates.

My employer couldn't give a toss what I get up to, as long as I don't use my real details on the internet. It's not in work, and not involving work, so work don';t care.

Now, how about we keep this on topic, as the mod's have asked, eh?

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 02, 2017, 02:20:47 pm
Anyone got any news on the meeting please

Let’s get back to that original question which started this topic, namely the 8-hour March BCA council meeting.  They also discussed their instructor training database and buying in a replacement system.  This part of the meeting began at 1130h and ended at 1415h, including pub lunch.

The background is the splitting of amateur caver training from professional instructor certification.  The latter is in a mess and the paid administrator is at her wits end in trying to sort out database inconsistencies and to make it work.  According to minutes of the January 2017 council meeting, the first references to this qualifications data problem were made in 2010 but not minuted then.

There are ballpark 500 instructors at various levels on the qualifications database who contribute fees.  BCA funds any deficit which is justified by saying that the wider caving community benefits from the work of the instructors, such as people being introduced to the sport that way.

But it isn’t rocket science to put together a database with Microsoft Office for the modest task of managing a small instructor community.  And it doesn’t need a brain surgeon simply to attach a Word/Excel document version of an instructor logbook to an email and click on send – yet BCA is justifying investing significant caver money in a commercial database to avoid posting paper logbooks.

It has only just become known that BCA Chairman Andy Eavis had signed a contract with a software company last October.  The BCA Treasurer Robin Weare only heard about this deal a few days before the January Council meeting and has since done ‘due diligence’ on the company, presenting a grim report at the March council meeting on their business viability and that of the linked companies.  The January minutes state BCA IT Working Party was not consulted either prior to signature.

The contract is said by Eavis in March to be ‘non-binding’.  It is for £5000 up front then £2400 in maintenance fees in year 1 and £3600 per year thereafter.  Customization and ad hoc work costs £100 per hour on top.  Weare now says he is no longer confident that Training will break even in 2016.  Various council members said that £5000 was not a large amount to lose if the whole thing imploded – effectively that commercial risk didn’t matter because an urgent solution was now needed and the Tahdah offering was acceptable.  But any write-off will cost more than £5000 because it doesn’t factor annual maintenance fees, data repair/ validation/ re-formatting/ import costs, any customization costs and waste of the BCA administrator’s salary.

Eavis said “we’ve spent three years digging ourselves into a deep hole”.  Only three years?  Only one hole? And some suspect BCA are now digging a deeper pit.  One BCA Council and IT Working Party member with programming skills has offered to write this database by himself at, quite astonishingly, a total cost of £5000 to BCA.  Nice work if you can get it, when an organisation is being invited to contract out work to its own people in their own time having discovered the competitor’s price.

I’ve never sat on the BCA Council, and I’m not enjoying attending their recent meetings at my own expense on sunny or even wet days, but BCA needs close external scrutiny given their lack of progress with CROW.  The IT procurement and money side of things came as a surprise to me.  I will have more to say about their money, which is our money, but that is for later.

Some of the present BCA council members have bounced around in BCA for many years through the revolving door of holding different positions one after another.  Seven people in post right now, I think, were in post too at the inaugural BCA meeting fourteen years ago.  It beggars belief, mine anyway, that BCA has become such a way of life for some.

Some other cavers at large should start attending BCA council meetings and get their voices heard.  Anyone can attend and speak.  The CROW discussion in the postings above talks of reforming and democratizing the BCA.  But the first step on that road has to be in communicating clearly that the present BCA is broken. 

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: JasonC on April 02, 2017, 02:38:04 pm
....It is for £5000 up front then £2400 in maintenance fees in year 1 and £3600 per year thereafter.  Customization and ad hoc work costs £100 per hour on top.  Weare now says he is no longer confident that Training will break even in 2016.  Various council members said that £5000 was not a large amount to lose if the whole thing imploded ...

Really?  For a largely voluntary organisation, that sounds like a huge sum.  If there are 500 instructors, that's £10 each just to set up.  Unless there are some complex requirements you haven't mentioned, putting them all on a spreadsheet sounds perfectly adequate.
As a treasurer for (non-caving) voluntary group, I keep a 'database' (though it scarcely deserves that description) of members on Excel, with a few VBA macros to simplify routine tasks and mailings, which I put together in my spare time.

I'll do it for only £4000!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 02, 2017, 03:41:03 pm
Thanks for the thorough answer Stuart  :thumbsup:
Much appreciated, can't wait for the minutes   ;D
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Martin Laverty on April 02, 2017, 05:08:24 pm
Re: Tahdah ( http://www.tahdah.me/what-is-it (http://www.tahdah.me/what-is-it) ) - I don't know whether £5000 for a bespoke 'solution' is excessive, but ongoing annual charges of £3600 for 'maintenance' certainly sound high to me. Presumably they cover hosting the data securely, upgrading the hardware platform for performance and the software platform to guard against security flaws, (well, those are covered by the use of the AWS (Amazon Web Services) platform, I note from their blog), and amending the system should any legal requirements eg (data protection) change and this cost might, perhaps, be justified as giving insurance in the form of a scapegoat for any problems (although there would perhaps be arguments about users misunderstanding what their responsibilities were too). As for the initial cost, I think that might be justified on the basis that buying an existing (well, 18 months so far) system obviates, to some extent, the need for a detailed specification of the system's requirements, and testing of the delivered system against those requirements. Commercially, software development costs are much more divided between these areas than mere programming. Obtaining an adequate requirements specification in a reasonable time in a voluntary organisation is, I suspect, almost impossible...within BCA as it is...incredible?

That there are problems with the existing, old database/system suggests that just getting a new system is not a full solution either - the data put into the new system, and the user(s) responsibilities in the new system,  need to be sorted out first, or the old Garbage In Garbage Out dictum will apply...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on April 03, 2017, 10:27:26 am
So this system needs to be a web based system? I guess hosting it and maintenance could be a little expensive but I would not have thought that much. However development costs are normally about £500 a day for bespoke system. It sounds like the best solution is to find a similar system to what you want and make it work for you, far cheaper than bespoke stuff. Either that or just build it in MS Access or something.

I would volunteer my help but as of the moment my work is all windows based applications and I know very little of web based apps, though that might change as my job progresses.

This to me sounds like something that needs to checked out thoroughly before being brought to the committee meeting, to save the many hours of discussion.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: notdavidgilmour on April 03, 2017, 10:33:50 am
Obtaining an adequate requirements specification in a reasonable time in a voluntary organisation is, I suspect, almost impossible...within BCA as it is...incredible?

The timescale agreed at the meeting was as follows:


I don't suppose the requirement spec will be made available for BCA member viewing at all?  I happen to know a bit about building databases?  :-\

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: notdavidgilmour on April 03, 2017, 10:41:47 am
or just build it in MS Access or something.

I would volunteer my help but as of the moment my work is all windows based applications and I know very little of web based apps,

I completely agree.  MS Access is probably perfectly adequate, depending on the requirement spec of course.  Surely a MS Access database hosted on Googledocs, Dropbox or One Drive makes it web based? Just a thought...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MarkS on April 03, 2017, 11:43:04 am
This sounds pretty ludicrous to me. Most caving club websites have some sort of online database containing over 500 entries in the form of a trip log.

I suspect that a simple post on this forum explaining the basic requirements would yield knowledge, advice, and potential solutions that wouldn't cost thousands and thousands of pounds.

If those numbers are right, just the annual maintenance cost of this database alone after year looks to equate to almost 5% of the annual BCA income from individual members. That seems an awful lot to me for one small database.

(Membership numbers from here (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=about:documents:general_meetings:agm_minutes_2016.pdf) and 2017 fees from the BCA website.)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 03, 2017, 12:00:47 pm
hosted on Googledocs

I guess some comp wizz might be able to use Google Scripts to create their own Android/apple application which uses a google form to update a spreadsheet or database?

https://developers.google.com/apps-script/

Might even be a way to use an app to update a caving log and get it signed off by their Instructor?

https://sites.google.com/a/praguesummit.org/praguesummit/conference-sessions/using-google-apps-in-higher-education-distance-learning-programs

Just a thought?

or maybe you limit the software (or solution) to the number of people who are CIC's rather than the full 500 instructors, they will be able to add trips in bulk from Excel for their Trainees. By adding these trips to the database they are signing them off?

Has their been consultation with a small focus group to ascertain the needs of instructors?
I don't anticipate their being much need in providing a solution that is not fit for the instructors as the front line.
 There will be much more cleaning up if the solution does not work or falls out of favour with instructors.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: jharlow on April 03, 2017, 12:27:12 pm
Perhaps to offer a slight counterpoint to the prevailing anti tahdah sentiment, this is by the sound of things the same system which the Mountain Training Association uses for all of it's climbing and mountain leading awards. In my experience, the system is easy to use, practical, and well suited to the purpose both for candidates and instructors. If we get the similar DLOG, course and assessment booking page, and award registration system out of those £5000, I may well finally consider undertaking the LCMLA.

Frankly, other database systems might be just as apt at data storage, but if we get the same kind of user experience that MTA candidates receive out of tahdah I will consider the money well spent.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: notdavidgilmour on April 03, 2017, 01:01:59 pm
The finances of the Tahdah "family" of companies seem like an absolute car crash.  Should the BCA really be gambling it's member's money?

Something that was also discussed at the BCA meeting, was the fact that individual members would have to subscribe (pay) for premium membership to enjoy full functionality of the software.  It would be interesting to know just how "functional" the software is without paying the premium, and also, how much premium membership would cost.

This also poses another question;  If something was to happen to the software provider, who would be responsible for refunding the members who had paid for premium membership?  Would those members just be left out of pocket or would the BCA be obliged to refund them?  If the latter was the case, this is pushing the amount of financial risk to the BCA higher and higher.

Comments at the meeting suggesting that the BCA could afford the financial loss did get my goat a little I must say.  It is very easy to gamble with money that doesn't belong to you.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on April 03, 2017, 01:32:03 pm
So: £5000 on a system that appears to have been foisted on the BCA without adequate pre-planning.

And £ *how much* on a ballot regarding CRoW where ducks hadn't been lined up beforehand.......


I'm with NewStuff now.  BCA needs to sort itself out badly because I am not inclined to put my money into this f***ing shambles.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Pegasus on April 03, 2017, 04:37:20 pm


I'm with NewStuff now. 

 :o  ;D
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on April 03, 2017, 06:38:50 pm
Perhaps to offer a slight counterpoint to the prevailing anti tahdah sentiment, this is by the sound of things the same system which the Mountain Training Association uses for all of it's climbing and mountain leading awards. In my experience, the system is easy to use, practical, and well suited to the purpose both for candidates and instructors. If we get the similar DLOG, course and assessment booking page, and award registration system out of those £5000, I may well finally consider undertaking the LCMLA.

Frankly, other database systems might be just as apt at data storage, but if we get the same kind of user experience that MTA candidates receive out of tahdah I will consider the money well spent.

The system BCA Training needs is very close to the Mountain Leader Training Board requirements and MLTB has been using Tahdah for 18 months now.  It is not just database but is able to deal with electronic log books, certificates, etc. as well as keeping track of the people involved in the various schemes, their update requirements at 2- or 3- year intervals, etc.

The problems with the existing system were first flagged up in 2009 and a search was started for a replacement and also something which would enable more of the processing to be done automatically. 

On 15 Oct. 2011, there is an Action 80b on Council:
NB [Nigel Ball, the Training Officer] to put together a written specification of the requirements for a new database and submit it to Executive for their approval.

However, Action 80b does not figure in any future meeting and seems to have inadvertently been dropped, although Nigel Ball and Mary Wilde were working on it throughout.

In June 2014 the BCA IT Working Group Report says:
With thanks to Nigel Ball and Mary Wilde I now have the Training Database requirements documents and examples of the current training databases. Once I have completed my review of those, I will propose a way or ways forward for the Training Committee’s consideration.

However, nothing more was heard from the IT Working Group after this, no proposals were ever sent to the Training Committee by the ITWG and nothing appears to have been done by them.  Leaving the Training Committee to try to sort out the problem for itself.

The present system is only operating with some difficulty and a considerable amount of trouble-shooting by the Training Administrator; to process anything takes far longer than it should do.  Plus, because everything is on paper, there is the cost of postage of certificates, log books, etc. - all of which would be saved by a new system.  The system needed has to cope with the training requirements for LTMLA and CIC, the Trainer Assessors, the whole updating system (think DVLA and car insurance/registration) and produce electronic certificates.  Because the Tahdah system already does this kind of thing and was working so well for MLTB, it was investigated by the Training Officer and Training Administrator as a possible answer for BCA Training requirements, beginning in the summer of 2016 when it was realised that much more than a "database system" was possible.  Still no input received from the BCA ITWG, despite their June 2014 report saying they would "review ... put forward a proposal ... etc."!

A report on this was sent to the BCA Secretary to go to BCA Council in October 2016 but the report was somehow "lost" and never presented to Council - hence the total surprise at the Council meeting in January 2017 when the Tahdah system was brought forward as the solution BCA Training needed.  The "loss" of an important report to Council the previous October seems to have been a problem related to the new BCA Secretarial setup not working properly - probably nobody's "fault" - but not good for BCA's image and certainly creating real problems down the line for the Training Committee who are now getting the flack for the failure of others.  It did not help the situation either to have the ITWG members disagreeing with each other on points of fact during this most recent Council Meeting.

BCA has not covered itself with glory over this!  We are an amateur organisation attempting to run a professional qualification with a hopelessly out-of-date system which badly needs replacing.  The specification was written in 2014 but has since been updated as it became possible to find software which would do much more of the task automatically.  The final update of the specification is due by the end of April and is already being worked on.

It is totally unrealistic to expect something like this to be written "in house" by an IT Working Group doing it in their spare time.  The AGM in June will have the final say on this, that's why the deadlines were set, because it's long past time that this was sorted out and the Training Committee has been trying to do so via the BCA and/or the IT Working Group since 2009.

The alternative is that the whole training certification system collapses and a large number of people are left with no way of obtaining the qualifications necessary for them to carry on working.



Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on April 03, 2017, 07:23:01 pm
Maybe then it's time for those in the Commercial world to fund their own certification organisation.

The BCA might be better to think about it's core purpose.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on April 03, 2017, 07:34:14 pm
The whole point is that, once the new system is up and running, it will be funded by those benefitting from it and should no longer need a subsidy from BCA.  This does include "commercial providers" and also those who work at Local Authority Outdoor Centres, Scout Caving Leaders in the future, Charitable trusts which work with young people in the outdoors, etc.

There is also the point that, in the aftermath of the "Lyme Bay Tragedy" (an ill thought out sea canoeing expedition where several teenagers drowned) there was a move by government to institute qualifications for those working in outdoor pursuits.  This raised a very definite threat that, if the then NCA didn't do it, the government would impose something on us.  With all its faults, this is BCA's own scheme, devised by cavers for cavers - would you really rather the government imposed a caver training scheme on us? 



Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on April 03, 2017, 07:48:50 pm
I assume that the BCA has investigated whether any funding from the Sports Council would be available?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on April 03, 2017, 09:11:59 pm
The whole point is that, once the new system is up and running, it will be funded by those benefitting from it and should no longer need a subsidy from BCA.  This does include "commercial providers" and also those who work at Local Authority Outdoor Centres, Scout Caving Leaders in the future, Charitable trusts which work with young people in the outdoors, etc.

Is this guaranteed? I'm not sure how I feel about bankrolling someone else's business expenses

There is also the point that, in the aftermath of the "Lyme Bay Tragedy" (an ill thought out sea canoeing expedition where several teenagers drowned) there was a move by government to institute qualifications for those working in outdoor pursuits.  This raised a very definite threat that, if the then NCA didn't do it, the government would impose something on us.  With all its faults, this is BCA's own scheme, devised by cavers for cavers - would you really rather the government imposed a caver training scheme on us?

Dunno, what would be the difference?

What are examples of sports where the government  imposed a scheme? Is this even likely to happen? The other schemes e.g mountain training association, British canoeing etc. seem to get a lot of input input from experts for some well built schemes.

In those sports that did have government schemes foist upon them, what were the negative consequences of this?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on April 03, 2017, 09:31:17 pm
would you really rather the government imposed a caver training scheme on us?

At what point do you think the "Government" will be outside of all caves, checking if you have been "qualified" by an approved assessor? At what point do you think any of us would actually listen to them?

Stop scaremongering.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 03, 2017, 09:32:19 pm
I assume that the BCA has investigated whether any funding from the Sports Council would be available?

Can of worms opening...

There seems to be some very good sources of funding on here (not all are to do with heritage) http://www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/fundingdirectory/main/search.php (http://www.theheritagealliance.org.uk/fundingdirectory/main/search.php)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on April 03, 2017, 10:44:16 pm
Maybe then it's time for those in the Commercial world to fund their own certification organisation.

The BCA might be better to think about it's core purpose.

Exactly.

NSS is in a similar mess because they are trying to do too many things (and are doing them all poorly) and have lost any "core purpose" they may ever have had.

would you really rather the government imposed a caver training scheme on us?

At what point do you think the "Government" will be outside of all caves, checking if you have been "qualified" by an approved assessor? At what point do you think any of us would actually listen to them?

Stop scaremongering.

I think it's bad rhetoric more than scaremongering. Jenny does not make it clear who the "us" is, leading the reader to an inaccurate conclusion. Unless she is advocating an "all for one" philosophy by which a large group of amateur hobbyists support a small group of professionals for no reason other than an occasional common (under)ground.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Smith on April 03, 2017, 10:47:23 pm
would you really rather the government imposed a caver training scheme on us?

At what point do you think the "Government" will be outside of all caves, checking if you have been "qualified" by an approved assessor? At what point do you think any of us would actually listen to them?

Stop scaremongering.

I think Jenny is referring to instructor lead trips, not general tourist trips.

This could conceivably happen as a result of a fatality during an instructor lead trip
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 03, 2017, 11:28:11 pm
The government isn’t going to meddle in training sports instructors or providers, except in a general way.  They won’t target specific sports either as their approach would have to be generic to be fair.

Govt set up the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) under the control of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in April 1996 following several incidents of serious harm coming to young people.

But now there is a proposal to abolish AALA.  Read more at:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/aala/ (http://www.hse.gov.uk/aala/)

It's not a case of fearing more govt invovement.  It's a case of expecting there to be less of it.

BCA needs to separate itself from professional caving instructor training just like the BMC succeeded in separating itself from professional mountain instructor training many years ago.  Time to play catch up.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on April 04, 2017, 12:24:20 am
I could not agree more with Stuart.

Coming from a legal background, I have a limited insight into the “law” which might surround such issues.

Specifically, a “club” of amateurs (members) might be held (pro-rata) accountable on their individual experience should a matter of law arise. BCA insurance would, prima facie, cover this.

However, were one of those members to hold a piece of paper crediting them with expertise then they might well find themselves wholly accountable.

In a real example (I know of two), there has been a trip where an experienced caver of more than 50 years was present when an “incident” occurred. On both of those occasions a “qualified” person was also present who had just passed his accreditation (and had less than 2 years experience).  In one case the accredited person was a club member and in another he was not.

Certainly in the case where he was “not” he could not have anticipated his legal ramifications.

There is an argument that the BCA qualification scheme undermines the legal liability of an amateur status of a “club” and the mitigation in law of their liability. Equally, it puts the neck of an individual within a guillotine where it perhaps, should not.

Of course, this is not synonymous with commercial ventures.

I totally agree that “professional” qualification has no place within the BCA as a body that represents the “sport” of caving in terms of a commercial enterprise.

If people want to make a living from the sport – totally fair enough. (I know some folk who do and are genuinely good people). However, it should not be at the expense (literal or otherwise) of the hobbyist caver.

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 04, 2017, 09:49:42 am
In the climbing world, the British Mountaineering Council and the Mountain Leadership Training Board are completely separate organisations.  If you visit MLTB’s Tahdah site, you’ll find there are 288 courses or providers listed, 206 workshops, 9 books and 4 CDs and 2 DVDs for sale.  Oh, and MLTB has 17 staff.  With that sort of scale, they do need good logistical backup.

BCA does not have any sense of scale in terms of cave instructor training needs.  BCA thinks it is running a Tesco when really it is running a corner shop.  So it doesn’t need Tesco scale logistics.

In fact BCA shouldn’t be running either a corner shop or a Tesco.  It exists to support amateur cavers.  Full stop.

As to the financial robustness of BCA’s training software provider, Tahdah Verified Ltd, their cash at bank is shown at zero, and their net worth is shown at minus £235,841 on this company info website:
https://companycheck.co.uk/company/09296151/TAHDAH-VERIFIED-LIMITED/companies-house-data

As associated company, Blah D Blah Ltd, has debtors (what others owe to BDB) rising from £165,781 in their 2015 accounts to £430,105 in 2016, while creditors (what BDB owes to others) rose from £128,216 to £310,008 according to documents filed at Companies House.  Cash at the bank is shown as £104 in their latest public accounts.

Both these companies have unsatisfied (not paid off) Charges with banks, presumably against loans, shown at Companies House.

As a general comment on the way the world works, businesses that let their debtors rise year on year, which might suggest failing to extract money from customers efficiently, are effectively financing their customer’s businesses rather than their own.  Accountants, amusingly, call this process “growing broke”.  So it is reassuring that BCA’s Treasurer is a qualified accountant, and at times amusing too.  BCA should pay more attention to him.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 04, 2017, 10:14:58 am
I think you could read a lot into Tahdah's performance, without analysing it properly you cannot be sure, I don't have enough time right now. but if due diligence has been done and come to some conclusion (it was suggested this had been done higher up the page) then you will have a good idea as to the viability of the outsourcing to Tahdah.

What I will say briefly is a minus value on net worth could be down to having very little assets (ie no building premises) plus receivables (what debtors owe) minus payables (what T owes others).
 I think this is a crude approximation of the net worth Calc, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_(finance) from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_worth#Companies
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Aubrey on April 04, 2017, 10:49:05 am
Full agenda here: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php)

Is it also possible to see the officers' reports?

Are the officier's reports available for members to view?

I cannot find an answer to this post.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on April 04, 2017, 12:31:38 pm
There should be no reason the officer reports cannot be made available.  They were already bundled ahead of the meeting and the BCA secretary has an assistant to help with such things.  However, if you are looking for any comfort in reading the reports you are not going to find much.

The minutes, I imagine, will not appear for many weeks or months.  Although they are taken by a paid professional I expect they will be the subject of much to'ing and fro'ing between the exec before they are agreed. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on April 04, 2017, 12:56:14 pm
Simon queried:

Is it also possible to see the officers' reports?

Are the officier's reports available for members to view?

I cannot find an answer to this post.


The Officers' written reports are always included, in full, as part of the Minutes.  Where an officer gives a verbal report the minutes will contain the Recorder's summary of this.

The March BCA Council meeting had all the important business (CRoW, QMC, Training, etc.) and other reports in the form of written reports.  All these will be part of the minutes.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on April 04, 2017, 01:25:28 pm
Stuart says:
BCA needs to separate itself from professional caving instructor training just like the BMC succeeded in separating itself from professional mountain instructor training many years ago.  Time to play catch up.

I think on the whole I agree with Stuart.  BUT we would be unwise to sever ALL links between BCA and Professional Training qualifications, if only because ordinary cavers would like to be assured that there is no risk, ever, of needing a "certificate of competence to go caving".  The original Training Committee was set up to look at ways of helping club cavers to cave more safely and the business of dealing with professional qualifications has come to be the tail wagging the dog. 

To be fair, the Training Committee recognised this some time ago but need to be able to work with BCA to separate the issues and at present this means that a really professional data management system is needed to help them deal efficiently with the qualifications side of things.  Once they have that in place and, hopefully, become self-funding, then I believe they should look to having a similar relationship with BCA as MLTB has with BMC.

My personal view is that there will still be a need for a Training Committee, as part of BCA, with its original remit of helping cavers to cave more safely.  But I do believe that the instructor qualifications side of things would be better separated and, as I understand it, that's what the present Training Committee is working towards eventually.  However, I would expect that the new body would still have some kind of a link (possibly via representation from BCA).

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 04, 2017, 03:19:14 pm

Simon queried: is it also possible to see the officers' reports? Are the officers' reports available for members to view?

The short answer is no.  You can download the next meeting's Agenda off the BCA website but not the detail of what they will be discussing.   I didn't have the officers reports to study beforehand or keep in front of me during any of their last 3 BCA council meetings that I've attended as an observer.  There is either a lack of openness or it is just a shambles not to issue these reports on the website along with the next agenda.

As it happens, it is the BMC's AGM in a couple of weeks, and they're in a real spot of bother this year, facing a No Confidence motion in their entire executive proposed by luminaries like John Clear and Dennis Gray, and this is over alleged 'wilful and deliberate withholding of future policy decisions from the members'.

However, the BMC's annual report and accounts make interesting reading, and I commend both to cavers to study as they are models of openness and clarity.

I'd like to see BCA produce pie charts similar in style to those in BMC's Annual Report showing where money comes from and goes to, and a "BCA in Numbers" page for BCA's 2017 AGM.  Download their report from here:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-agenda--motion (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-agenda--motion)

One interesting fact disclosed is that BMC spent £310,426 on civil liability and personal accident insurance for their 82,473 members and 253 clubs last year.  That's an average insurance cost of £3.76 per person.  Don't BMC use the same broker as the BCA?  I think I paid my club £17 last time around for my BCA insurance.  Seems the BMC has achieved a truly incredible economy of scale.

The last time I saw a full copy of BCA's insurance terms, which was in connection with setting up the cover for the Cave Access Ltd mines agreement, the BCA total premium paid had been redacted (blacked out) in my copy so I don't know what it is.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on April 05, 2017, 01:29:29 am
The last time I saw a full copy of BCA's insurance terms, which was in connection with setting up the cover for the Cave Access Ltd mines agreement, the BCA total premium paid had been redacted (blacked out) in my copy so I don't know what it is.

Why was this blacked out? Surely, as a BCA member, you are entitled to see this figure? In fact, I would have thought we all were.

So, two questions for either the BCA Insurance Manager or BCA Legal and Insurance Officer (both of whom have recently posted to this very thread) to answer:

Why did you not want Stuart to see the total cost of the BCA insurance premium?

As a BCA member myself, I would like to know the amount paid too. So will you tell me, please?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2017, 07:43:04 am
Simon queried:

Is it also possible to see the officers' reports?

Are the officier's reports available for members to view?

I cannot find an answer to this post.

 

No I didn't.


Simon queried: is it also possible to see the officers' reports? Are the officers' reports available for members to view?
 

No I didn't.

There is an inbuilt mechanism for quoting. If you use it you will be more likely not to misquote.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2017, 07:53:15 am
Full agenda here: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php)

Is it also possible to see the officers' reports?

Are the officier's reports available for members to view?

I cannot find an answer to this post.


There should be no reason the officer reports cannot be made available.  They were already bundled ahead of the meeting and the BCA secretary has an assistant to help with such things.  However, if you are looking for any comfort in reading the reports you are not going to find much.

The minutes, I imagine, will not appear for many weeks or months.  Although they are taken by a paid professional I expect they will be the subject of much to'ing and fro'ing between the exec before they are agreed.

When there was no response to my question I took that to be a 'no'.

Officers' reports should be attached to the agenda. This is because they are likely to be discussed at the meeting and somebody might decide to attend or ask to be represented to comment on a report.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2017, 09:01:02 am
The last time I saw a full copy of BCA's insurance terms, which was in connection with setting up the cover for the Cave Access Ltd mines agreement, the BCA total premium paid had been redacted (blacked out) in my copy so I don't know what it is.

Why was this blacked out? Surely, as a BCA member, you are entitled to see this figure? In fact, I would have thought we all were.

So, two questions for either the BCA Insurance Manager or BCA Legal and Insurance Officer (both of whom have recently posted to this very thread) to answer:

Why did you not want Stuart to see the total cost of the BCA insurance premium?

As a BCA member myself, I would like to know the amount paid too. So will you tell me, please?

You can see the financial statement here: http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=about:documents:general_meetings:start (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=about:documents:general_meetings:start)

The financial statement for 2015 shows the insurance premium to be £37,182.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 05, 2017, 09:03:53 am
The last time I saw a full copy of BCA's insurance terms, which was in connection with setting up the cover for the Cave Access Ltd mines agreement, the BCA total premium paid had been redacted (blacked out) in my copy so I don't know what it is.

Why was this blacked out? Surely, as a BCA member, you are entitled to see this figure? In fact, I would have thought we all were.

So, two questions for either the BCA Insurance Manager or BCA Legal and Insurance Officer (both of whom have recently posted to this very thread) to answer:

Why did you not want Stuart to see the total cost of the BCA insurance premium?

As a BCA member myself, I would like to know the amount paid too. So will you tell me, please?

Thank you Simon, you got in before I finished this.

I was not party to the correspondence so am unable to comment about why it is blacked out.  But  in respect of the request for the figure, I would point you to the minutes of the last AGM at http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=about:documents:general_meetings:agm_minutes_2016.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=about:documents:general_meetings:agm_minutes_2016.pdf) where on page 28 of the pdf you will find break down of the accounts showing the cost of the insurance premium for 2015 was £37182 and in 2014 £39444.

I will correct one point in Stuart's post re "I think I paid my club £17 last time around for my BCA insurance".  The figure of £17 was for the BCA subscription which includes insurance.  If you read the accounts further you will see where else the subscription is spent.  The subscription funds much more than just insurance.  (And if you go back to previous AGM minutes since BCA's inception you will find similar information.) 

And for those who do not recall the setting up of BCA, BCA is unable to 'sell insurance' as that requires compliance with all sorts of financial rules.  The way we step around that requirement is to provide it as a benefit of membership.  Membership of BCA covers much more than just providing insurance, such as funding regional caving councils, access work, conservation work, and anchors among other things.

Bob Mehew
Legal & Insurance Officer 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 05, 2017, 09:21:17 am

When there was no response to my question I took that to be a 'no'.

Officers' reports should be attached to the agenda. This is because they are likely to be discussed at the meeting and somebody might decide to attend or ask to be represented to comment on a report.
The requirement for officers reports and minutes is as follows:

1 month before: Secretary to request Reports and Agenda items by e-mail.

2 weeks before: Council Members to submit additional Agenda Items to Secretary, including details of any potentially large items to be raised under the Standing Items (for details see Written Reports section below). Secretary to distribute the Agenda and Draft Minutes of Last Meeting to Council Members by e-mail.

1 week before: Council Members to submit Written Reports to Secretary. Secretary to collate and then distribute Reports to Council Members by e-mail.

1 month after: Secretary to publish Draft Minutes (for details see Meeting Minutes section below).


Sadly it is not followed.  Indeed a number of officers just make a verbal statement or circulate a note at the meeting.  Frankly, I am unable to offer a copy of the officers reports as the run up to this Council meeting was particularly chaotic owing in part to failures in our email circulation system that I am unsure what was meant to be in the reports.  Or indeed if I received all of them.

As Badlad said, await the draft minutes which will contain both the report and then the discussion on it.  But given the Chair is out of the Country until the end of April, I doubt if they will be agreed for publishing until well into May.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: kay on April 05, 2017, 10:18:49 am

I will correct one point in Stuart's post re "I think I paid my club £17 last time around for my BCA insurance".  The figure of £17 was for the BCA subscription which includes insurance.  If you read the accounts further you will see where else the subscription is spent.  The subscription funds much more than just insurance. 


From the DIM renewal form on the BCA website:
BCA Membership fee: Basic fee £5
Insurance contribution: For each active caver add £17
                                   For each non-active caver add £6

That certainly gives the impression that DIMs are paying £17 for their insurance, whatever CIMs may be paying

And actually CIMs appeaar to be paying the same, from here
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=membership:m2_club_plus_pli_2017.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=membership:m2_club_plus_pli_2017.pdf)

So perhaps the wording needs to be changed if the £17 covers other things as well?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MarkS on April 05, 2017, 11:10:35 am
The financial statement for 2015 shows the insurance premium to be £37,182.

So to take a few steps back, the annual maintenance cost for a database of instructors is deemed to be worth around 10% of the cost of insuring all cavers in the UK? :-\
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 05, 2017, 11:15:04 am
Quote
So perhaps the wording needs to be changed if the £17 covers other things as well?
Quote
So to take a few steps back, the annual maintenance cost for a database of instructors is deemed to be worth around 10% of the cost of insuring all cavers in the UK?

Here is the income side of the BCAs most recently published accounts, all those £17 payments etc:

BCA's bank balance grew from £213,453 to £231,198 having made a profit of £19,481 in 2015 on a turnover of £125,163.  This is after donating £15,000 to BCRA and GPF, equating to a £2.50 bung per caver, and paying £37,182 in insurance premium, equating to £6.20 per caver on average.

So at this point only £8.30 of the average caver's £17 BCA subscription remains.  How did BCA utilise that?

In 2015 BCA spent only £120 on Conservation and Access, representing 0.1% of its income or 2p per caver, down from £323 in the previous year.  That leaves £8.28 per caver still to spend...

Youth development expenditure was £104 in 2015, oddly enough exactly the same as in 2014, also representing 0.1% of income.  We're down to £8.26 left to spend...

BCA web services (selling web hosting etc) made a loss of £396.  So £8.19 is left...

BCA spent nothing on leaflets, handbook or journal in 2015.  In 2014 they spent on £4375 on a journal, or 4% of its total income, or 73p per caver.  What journal would that be I wonder?

BCA Newsletter costs were £424 in 2015, up from nothing in 2014.

BCA spent £405 in 2015 on amateur caver training, representing 0.3% of income or 7p per caver, down from £1055 in the previous year.

It made a loss of £5164 on running professional training services in 2015, following another loss of £4239 on this activity in 2014.  Losses on supporting the professionals are running at more than ten times the cost of training support given to amateurs.  Amateurs are thus paying 86p a year each to the pros via their BCA subscription, very roughly.

BCA spent £4040 on the rock anchor programme, or 67p per caver, more than doubling the £1890 spent in 2014, presumably because so many of the anchors are failing.  I have heard that in some caves where all the resin anchors are having to be replaced.

After all this and more, there is £3.24 per caver left unspent resulting in a profit for the year of £19,481.

My earlier posting said that it is not easy to comprehend what is going on financially in just words and tables of numbers.  It is better to visualize trends and to track ratios to discover if the shifting balance between revenue sources and expenditure headings is appropriate.

In other words, cavers should be easily able to grasp the BCA’s financial situation and to comment on it in an informed way to assure themselves that there is good enough governance right now with security for the sport into the long term.

At the moment the cavers at large who pay all these bills can’t see the wood for the trees.  This is not a very sensible position to be in.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on April 05, 2017, 11:28:46 am
Thank you for your reply, Bob.

Unfortunately, as Kay points out, the information on your own website suggests you have got it wrong. Certainly, as a SWCC member, I have always been told that the £17 per year is for insurance and nothing else (just like it says on your website).

Regarding the earlier correspondence to Stuart, I can quite understand why you are so quick to disassociate yourself from it. Hence I will address my previous question purely to the BCA Insurance Manager (Nick Williams):

Why was the figure blacked out and why did you not want Stuart to know what the total BCA insurance premium was (particularly as this information is so readily available in the annual accounts)?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 05, 2017, 12:35:57 pm
So perhaps the wording needs to be changed if the £17 covers other things as well?
:-[ 

As the first Treasurer of BCA, the theory was (and still should be) that all cavers who are members of BCA whether Club Individual Member or Direct Individual Member paid a basic subscription which covered a range of costs including insurance.  Communications from BCA to CIMs went via clubs with clubs covering that cost whilst DIMs paid a little more for direct communication (the £5).  It appears the wording has lost that concept.  :(
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on April 05, 2017, 12:42:43 pm
To answer Nig R's specific point:

The document which Stuart was sent a copy of is the policy schedule which is already on the BCA web site. The policy cost is commercially sensistive, but only in the sense that if it's widely available then you can expect any future offer to provide cover from a different insurer will be at pretty much the same premium. When negotiating for such things, it's usually a good idea not to show your hand to the supplier in the opening round.

This thread effectively buggers that strategy, doesn't it?

Had Stuart asked for the information then I would have given it to him. He didn't.

 

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MarkS on April 05, 2017, 12:57:13 pm
To answer Nig R's specific point:

The document which Stuart was sent a copy of is the policy schedule which is already on the BCA web site. The policy cost is commercially sensistive, but only in the sense that if it's widely available then you can expect any future offer to provide cover from a different insurer will be at pretty much the same premium. When negotiating for such things, it's usually a good idea not to show your hand to the supplier in the opening round.

This thread effectively buggers that strategy, doesn't it?

To be fair, the figures quoted in this thread are simply those available on the BCA website.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2017, 01:34:50 pm

BCA spent £4040 on the rock anchor programme, or 67p per caver, more than doubling the £1890 spent in 2014, ...


It is more informative to average it out over several years. According to the published statements, over the 10 years up to and including 2015 the BCA spent per member per year on the anchor programme about 36p.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on April 05, 2017, 01:36:41 pm
Thank you for your reply, Nick.

However, if (as MarkS points out) these same figures are freely available on the BCA website for any future prospective insurer to peruse, this does not explain why you should feel the need to redact them in your correspondence with Stuart, does it?

So, I will ask again: why did you do this?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 05, 2017, 01:58:52 pm
It weakens your case when asking for Insurance. The wording of the insurance was probably the more important thing (ie what Excesses and what the limits were for the insurance).

I'm sure that if Stuart had asked whether he had been given a fair premium on the insurance, then he would have been given a comparison with the BCA.

Before going into the venture I'm sure Stuart would have done some rough estimates of costs to work out what was feasible.

I've lost the thread? what's the point of this topic again? BCA bashing? or are you all volunteering for roles in the organisation, sounds like you think they need your help!?!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 05, 2017, 02:25:21 pm

I've lost the thread? what's the point of this topic again? BCA bashing? or are you all volunteering for roles in the organisation, sounds like you think they need your help!?!

The thread was started with a general question about the recent BCA meeting. What followed is a discussion of the workings of the BCA by people who mostly already have roles in the organisation.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on April 05, 2017, 02:29:37 pm
I was not aware that the numbers were quite so freely available. Maybe I won't bother to redact it in future, although I probably ought to check with the insurer before I do that.

I send out about 10 copies of the policy schedule a year in response to requests, and it's available to download from the website so I guess quite a few more people get it from there without needing to ask me for it. Stuart was sent the same document as everyone else.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: idriswilliams on April 05, 2017, 07:15:23 pm
Thank you for your reply, Bob.

Unfortunately, as Kay points out, the information on your own website suggests you have got it wrong. Certainly, as a SWCC member, I have always been told that the £17 per year is for insurance and nothing else (just like it says on your website).

Regarding the earlier correspondence to Stuart, I can quite understand why you are so quick to disassociate yourself from it. Hence I will address my previous question purely to the BCA Insurance Manager (Nick Williams):

Why was the figure blacked out and why did you not want Stuart to know what the total BCA insurance premium was (particularly as this information is so readily available in the annual accounts)?

I suggest you take up this with SWCC. I also am a member but SWCC has consistently not informed their members about any thing to do with BCA. SWCC has an email contacting scheme which it could easily do this.
Fortunately I get much better info. from my other clubs.

Idris Williams
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on April 05, 2017, 07:39:41 pm
Thanks for your interest, Idris. However, I certainly do not need to take this up with SWCC as you suggest. As I said previously, I have always been told that the £17 per year was purely for insurance and nothing else. Presumably this is because the SWCC committee members who told me this have all read it on the BCA's own website where it says the very same thing (as discovered by Kay earlier today).
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 05, 2017, 08:11:44 pm
This is turning into a bit of a witch hunt .
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 05, 2017, 08:12:39 pm
I thought it was so you got a bit of plastic that you can use for grouting and other useful things, but also got membership to the BCA and also Insurance. My imagination must be running away with me!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: owd git on April 05, 2017, 09:32:17 pm
 :clap2: :clap2: best reply in two pages Alistair.

Next!!.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mch on April 05, 2017, 11:33:32 pm
I thought it was so you got a bit of plastic that you can use for grouting and other useful things, but also got membership to the BCA and also Insurance. My imagination must be running away with me!
It's also great for scraping the ice off your windscreeen in the winter!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on April 06, 2017, 08:18:10 am
I thought it was so you got a bit of plastic that you can use for grouting and other useful things, but also got membership to the BCA and also Insurance. My imagination must be running away with me!
It's also great for scraping the ice off your windscreeen in the winter!

Don't forget chopping cheese!

Alright, but what ELSE has the BCA card done for us?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 06, 2017, 08:36:14 am
Well if you flash a bmc card in most outdoor shops you get 10% discount
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kevlar on April 06, 2017, 09:05:55 am
Alright, but what ELSE has the BCA card done for us?

Stopped wasps getting in my beer bottle.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mudman on April 06, 2017, 09:38:44 am
I thought it was so you got a bit of plastic that you can use for grouting and other useful things, but also got membership to the BCA and also Insurance. My imagination must be running away with me!
It's also great for scraping the ice off your windscreeen in the winter!

Don't forget chopping cheese!

Alright, but what ELSE has the BCA card done for us?

The aquaduct?

My understanding was that the £17 was for BCA membership, not insurance. Insurance is included as part of the membership benefits.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MJenkinson on April 06, 2017, 09:49:20 am
..
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: crickleymal on April 06, 2017, 10:53:30 am
Well if you flash a bmc card in most outdoor shops you get 10% discount
But not often with the BCA card.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 06, 2017, 08:01:36 pm
Well if you flash a bmc card in most outdoor shops you get 10% discount
But not often with the BCA card.

not at all in my experience
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: kay on April 06, 2017, 09:58:16 pm
I thought it was so you got a bit of plastic that you can use for grouting and other useful things, but also got membership to the BCA and also Insurance. My imagination must be running away with me!
It's also great for scraping the ice off your windscreeen in the winter!

Don't forget chopping cheese!

Alright, but what ELSE has the BCA card done for us?

The aquaduct?

My understanding was that the £17 was for BCA membership, not insurance. Insurance is included as part of the membership benefits.

That may be true, but is not reflected in, for example, the DIM renewal form I quoted above, which splits the payment into a Basic fee and Insurance, the Insurance element not needing to be paid if you have insurance from elsewhere (eg through a club).
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 06, 2017, 10:17:26 pm
If I was going to indemnify a bunch of cavers for £M then I’d do some pretty thorough ‘due diligence’ on cavers.  That’s what any insurance underwriter would do.  Our underwriter will know more about the BCA than the BCA knows about the BCA.  That includes its financials, which they can get from the BCA website, and comparing BCA with similar groups like BMC, which they also insure, looking for significant similarities and divergences.  So it’s pointless concealing what is in the public domain and assuming we are not going to be thoroughly investigated out of idleness on the part of an insurer – that simply won’t happen for their financial stakes.

Can we all get back to main subject of What-Else-Did-This-8-Hour-Meeting-Discuss?

BCA council also discussed a future proxy voting system at AGMs.  I think this is item 8.16 that is cut off at the bottom of Badlad’s picture of an A4 piece of paper in his post on this thread dated 27/3/2017 5.53pm.

BCA’s constitution right now does not allow for any proxy voting, and there isn’t a section 8.16 in it:
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=about:bca_constitution.pdf (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=about:bca_constitution.pdf)

By way of comparison, the BMC doesn’t have a ‘constitution’ because it’s been a limited company since 1993, so you can find out stacks of stuff about them here:
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02874177/filing-history (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/02874177/filing-history)
Companies are governed by their Articles of Association.  They also have behave like all other limited companies do, i.e. in compliance with the Companies Acts.  So the BMC allows its members to give unlimited proxy votes to the chairman of any general meeting, which is normal company practice.

There were several options on the unincorporated BCA's council table in March:
1) Change nothing and do not allow any proxy voting.  This was BCA chairman’s preference.
2) Allow unlimited proxy voting but only through individual delegates at the AGM, but the chairman may not cast any proxy votes at all.
3) Allow unlimited proxy voting through the chairman and the meeting delegates, but allow the BCA council to limit the number of proxy votes that each delegate can cast to two (or some other higher number) entirely at council’s discretion while the chairman does not have any limit.

I paraphrase.  There might be more proxy voting options than the above three, but I didn’t have the papers for the council meeting as they were not available to observers like myself.  I got the impression that Eavis wanted to move the council meeting on, as quickly as possible, away from the proxy voting topic.

The council meeting did not reach any kind of agreement on which proxy option, if any of them, is best.  In fact the topic was glossed over, which was presumably what was intended to happen.

Perhaps other people there have a better memory than me?

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 06, 2017, 11:50:11 pm
Quote, ad verbatim, stuart france: "BCA thinks it is running a Tesco when really it is running a corner shop.  So it doesn’t need Tesco scale logistics."

Answer me this stuart, please could you clarify your most recent post regarding the need for BCA to become incorporated, when you have already stated in no uncertain terms that it "doesn't need tesco scale logistics".
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ianball11 on April 07, 2017, 12:10:08 am
Wasn't it just a comparison, I didn't read it as Stuart steering BCA to the BMC model, but a suggestion that the proxy voting system discussed at a previous meeting was done so in a slightly off hand manner, but could be part of the 8 hour marathon session as the OP query.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: notdavidgilmour on April 07, 2017, 01:14:22 am

Can we all get back to main subject of What-Else-Did-This-8-Hour-Meeting-Discuss?



Just a few other things which were discussed:


*I'm not 100% sure it was the CSCC so please correct me if I'm wrong.


Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Aubrey on April 07, 2017, 05:41:08 am
At Last!  A proper reply to my question #17 above.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 07, 2017, 10:00:02 am
Wasn't it just a comparison, I didn't read it as Stuart steering BCA to the BMC model, but a suggestion that the proxy voting system discussed at a previous meeting was done so in a slightly off hand manner, but could be part of the 8 hour marathon session as the OP query.

Seems like a pretty Bizarre comparison to me, I am totally befuddled as to why Stuart would make such a comparison.
 We only need facts like what "notdavidgilmore" has provided.

The provision of data on exactly what penny the BCA has spent and where is not helpful and in any case is not what you would get in an annual report. If you want excel dashboards and shiny graphs to help you interpret the information given to you, then great!
 But it's still not going to help you pick out every penny like you have done, you will have to go back to the figures for this.

I think the Proxy vote issue will only slow decision making processes, the reason why is because am amendment would have to be sought well in advance of the AGM. thereby increasing the Administrative processing time.
 I quite like the idea, but do not see how it could work if there was a need to change a vote at the last minute (do all the proxy votes become void?).

Stuart, to aid discussion please could you give a brief timeline as to how you see the Proxy voting issue working, right from the presentation of the Issue requiring voting (i.e. what steps would need to be made to get from first inception to a passed proposal)

Stuart, also please could you give us a ballpark cost of implementing the Proxy voting proposal and show your working. (outline the cost of posting the ballot out, the cost of a freepost address or, if deemed fair in your eyes to discriminate against those without internet, please give a ballpark cost of implementing an online proxy voting system).
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on April 07, 2017, 10:18:18 am
I understood a proxy vote to be where the nominated person uses the proxy as they see fit, which is why picking the right nominee is so important. The chair if required to vote should be to maintain the status quo. In a situation where a nominated person votes as per instruction, they could be voting for all options presented, and also accused of mis applying the wishes of the nominator. This could end up looking like a block vote system...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 07, 2017, 11:29:28 am
I thought proxy voting also worked by sending in a form having pre-decided which outcome you wished to vote for. this would be received and counted by the vote administrators.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on April 07, 2017, 12:15:32 pm
I thought proxy voting also worked by sending in a form having pre-decided which outcome you wished to vote for. this would be received and counted by the vote administrators.

I would have termed that a postal ballot, as per UK elections. Works well for predefined options, not so good if there is some fluidity in the situation?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 07, 2017, 12:26:44 pm
I did not suggest that BCA should incorporate as the BMC did.  But there are a number of options if BCA did want to incorporate, including setting itself up as a Friendly Society instead of a bog standard share-issuing Limited Company, or a shareless Company Limited by Guarantee such as Cave Access Ltd is.  There are pros and cons to keeping the status quo or any of the alternatives.  Expert legal and tax advice would be needed.

The point I was making earlier is that all normal companies, the BMC included, have proxy voting at their general meetings.  This ensures a more democratic process so that those members unable to attend can ensure that their view counts. A simple and transparent one-member-one-vote, or a one-share-one-vote situation.

There is nothing odd about proxy voting.  I would say that it is odd not to have a proxy voting system.   I get proxy voting forms from my personal building society and my business insurance company every year.  They are both set up as Mutual Societies.  It would be to the chairman of each that I send my vote if I wanted to register it.  As I'm also a member of a climbing club, so I got a proxy voting form as usual for the upcoming BMC AGM.

Usually a proxy voter can stipulate on their form exactly how they wish to vote on each of the motions.  That's what I did with the BMC this year.  But sometimes a proxy voter can instead give a chairman the discretion to use their proxy vote as they think best - which opens up a can of worms as the chairman may then be in a position to make big decisions personally.

An even bigger can of worms arises if the Executive of some organisation, the BCA in this case, is given a constitutional mandate to limit in a totally abitrary and unaccountable way how many proxy votes any representative may cast at any general meeting - an option that was discussed on 25th March.

It's too late now for anyone to propose new motions for the 2017 BCA AGM.  The deadline to submit them to BCA secretary was midnight on the date of the 8-hour council meeting.  The question of additional cost does not arise as I believe there are proxy voting proposals on the table this year already.

It seems it was the BCA itself that kicked its own CROW campaign into the long grass last year because it wanted another year to discuss further constitutional changes and roll them all up into a single postal ballot (in some later year) so as to achieve an economy of scale on the ballot costs.  This is understandable, if it was the case, but it should have been presented in a more open way.

As someone pointed out above, BCA's email system hasn't been working recently due to a server being hijacked and turned into a spam generator for some weeks.  A high priority therefore must be to switch to professionally managed hosting so that security and general updates are applied more or less immediately.

Someone on BCA's IT Working Party said they had rebooted BCA's server using their mobile phone while in Thailand.   Many BCA members' email addresses remain unknown.  That's a worrying state of affairs and nowhere near having the robust IT infrastructure for online voting etc yet.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on April 07, 2017, 12:38:23 pm
In this day and age why can't the BCA implement online voting for members. Obviously they'd have to sort there IT issues out first. Every member would need to register an email address and be given a secure voting code or something. If voting deadlines were set you should have results fairly quickly and cheaply.

It's not difficult is it? Even on this forum you can set up a poll whereby members can only vote once.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on April 07, 2017, 12:52:35 pm
In this day and age why can't the BCA implement online voting for members. Obviously they'd have to sort there IT issues out first. Every member would need to register an email address and be given a secure voting code or something. If voting deadlines were set you should have results fairly quickly and cheaply.

It's not difficult is it? Even on this forum you can set up a poll whereby members can only vote once.

A few thoughts on the matter from a technical point of view:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_0x6oaDmI)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on April 07, 2017, 01:05:27 pm
If online voting was implemented in speleopolitics, I would personally attempt to compromise it.

Not because I have any personal agenda, or nefarious speleopolitical aims. But because if I can crack it, someone else certainly can. This weakness would then need to be widely reported and any results duly ignored. You get the point.

I'd like to think others would try this too, rather than simply operating on good faith.

Validate, validate, validate.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on April 07, 2017, 05:26:35 pm
I suggest two separate points are being mixed. 

The proxy vote motion was proposed to only cover voting at a General Meeting itself, not any subsequent postal ballot used to ratify a constitutional amendment.  The problem appears to be many people don't trust proxy voting systems.  [I also declare that I was the seconder of this motion last year.]

The postal ballot motion intent was to permit alternative voting systems.  The current wording only permits sending the ballot paper out by post and getting it back and manually counting them.  By deleting the word 'postal' BCA can introduce alternative means of getting ballot papers to members such as by email thus avoiding spending money on postage.  I emphasise the word alternative since there is no reason why two (or more) means of getting ballot papers out cannot be set up.  There is also the attractive possibility of devising an on line counting system as well, but as has been indicated this could be hacked.  The main challenge to using email is persuading the majority of members to provide their email address.

I would also comment that last year's two AGM motions were sent to Council to find more acceptable wording and as an afterthought it was noted that this forthcoming AGM could also deal with some other nice to have constitutional changes. 

Lastly, I will put a plug in to suggest you go out and buy Descent Issue 255 just issued to read my article on page 23 which outlines all the known motions as at late February. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 07, 2017, 08:47:35 pm

lthus avoiding spending money on postage.
but they don't mind writing off £5000 on dodgy web server providers  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: robjones on April 07, 2017, 11:24:07 pm
The Cyclists Touring Club permitted proxy voting - which was useful because rarely did 100 out of the 50,000 members (or whatever the precise figure was) physically attend the AGM. Without proxies, it would have been impossible for the overwhelming majority of members to participate in the club's decision making.

With the CTC, so long as you used a well-publicised form of wording (along the lines of I [name] hereby authorise [name] to vote as my proxy, blah blah blah) you simply wrote or typed a statement, specifying which motions the proxy was valid for.

Proxies could either instruct the proxy-holder how to vote, or (if I remember rightly) proxies could leave it the proxy-holder's discretion how to vote.
Proxies could be sent to the Chair of the meeting or to any member who was attending. There were some contentious issues when many members did not trust the Chair to vote the way they wished, or felt that the Chair might conveniently omit proxies that did not accord with the Chair's preferences, so large numbers of proxies were sent to key ordinary members who were attending the meeting.

Because proxies are signed and identify the member who issued them, they can potentially be checked up if fraud is suspected.

If an organisation with a geographically dispersed membership wishes to enable all its members to readily be able to participate in decision making then proxies are a good idea.

The cost of proxies falls on the members who have to post them to the proxy holder: there is no cost to the organisation (except for more counting time) unless they wish to check up on whether proxies are indeed genuine.

If you are not familiar with proxy voting then hopefully this summary may be useful. If you already know or have prior experience of using proxy votes then apologies for a lesson in egg-sucking!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on April 18, 2017, 08:27:54 pm
Quote
Lastly, I will put a plug in to suggest you go out and buy Descent Issue 255 just issued to read my article on page 23 which outlines all the known motions as at late February.

As promised above, BCA’s Legal Officer, Bob Mehew, has published a half-page teaser article called “Choices Ahead” in the new issue of Descent.  It is all about BCA’s upcoming AGM in June.

What he doesn’t tell us all is what any of the six motions for the upcoming BCA AGM actually contain, including his own ones.  And neither does the BCA’s own website, it seems.

The closing date for submitting AGM motions to BCA was March 25th.  Not far short of a month ago.   Is there something that BCA doesn’t want cavers at large to know and discuss?

Bob’s solution to deal with BCA's troubled “to respect landowner wishes regardless of the legal rights of others” clause in its constitution, OK I paraphrased that, is to make it even more complicated.  Bob explains in Descent that he wants to broaden its scope so that we have to respect the rights of shooting syndicates, mineral rights owners and mine operators, as well as the landowners.

Am I missing something here?

If passed, surely an amendment like Bob’s will enshrine the access control rights of cave management committees too, and any other interested parties in BCA’s constitution from this year onwards?

So while we are at it, let’s add DEFRA, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, The Countryside Alliance, and so on, to BCA’s “Respect List”.  Can anyone else think of more groups to add?


Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ogof anghenfil on April 18, 2017, 09:41:13 pm
PDCMG.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: RobinGriffiths on April 18, 2017, 11:35:55 pm
The British Union of Badger Baiters.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on April 19, 2017, 12:35:30 am
Well it won't be the Cornish Rebel Alliance I suppose
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on April 19, 2017, 09:28:47 am
We could try to respect the democratic wishes of cavers - or is that too radical  ;)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Goydenman on April 19, 2017, 09:43:36 am
We could try to respect the democratic wishes of cavers - or is that too radical  ;)

LIKE
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on April 19, 2017, 09:46:23 am
Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: crickleymal on April 19, 2017, 11:23:57 am
Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.
Nah. Proper tea is theft.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: tony from suffolk on April 19, 2017, 12:03:16 pm
Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.
We should certainly respect the land. But the wishes of the landowners? So if a landowner doesn't want anyone to use a footpath across his property, or wander on his public access land, we should respect this & not do so?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ed on April 19, 2017, 02:02:39 pm
Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.
We should certainly respect the land. But the wishes of the landowners? So if a landowner doesn't want anyone to use a footpath across his property, or wander on his public access land, we should respect this & not do so?

Just stop their subsidies form public taxes in that case.....
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on April 19, 2017, 02:32:24 pm
We could try to respect the democratic wishes of cavers - or is that too radical  ;)

Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.
We should certainly respect the land. But the wishes of the landowners? So if a landowner doesn't want anyone to use a footpath across his property, or wander on his public access land, we should respect this & not do so?

These sorts of comments well illustrate the inadequacies of policy and law. There is no such thing as national democracy, so there is no such thing as "the democratic wishes of cavers". That a large number of cavers are dissatisfied with the results of so-called democracy within a particular club is evidence that it is foolish to give a club the (perceived) authority to make decisions on a national scale. The national legal "rights" of landowners and the legal "rights" of walkers or cavers are equally counterfeit, and entirely unimportant and immaterial to doing the right thing. Yes Tony, the wishes of landowners should be respected, but that's because they are our neighbors, not because they have legal title to property. And respecting their wishes does not always mean following the law. Respecting and doing good to our fellow man are never dependent on law or politics.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: bazdog on April 19, 2017, 03:34:26 pm
We could try to respect the democratic wishes of cavers - or is that too radical  ;)

Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.
We should certainly respect the land. But the wishes of the landowners? So if a landowner doesn't want anyone to use a footpath across his property, or wander on his public access land, we should respect this & not do so?

These sorts of comments well illustrate the inadequacies of policy and law. There is no such thing as national democracy, so there is no such thing as "the democratic wishes of cavers". That a large number of cavers are dissatisfied with the results of so-called democracy within a particular club is evidence that it is foolish to give a club the (perceived) authority to make decisions on a national scale. The national legal "rights" of landowners and the legal "rights" of walkers or cavers are equally counterfeit, and entirely unimportant and immaterial to doing the right thing. Yes Tony, the wishes of landowners should be respected, but that's because they are our neighbors, not because they have legal title to property. And respecting their wishes does not always mean following the law. Respecting and doing good to our fellow man are never dependent on law or politics.

What a load of crap you come out with.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on April 19, 2017, 07:06:51 pm
Not my choice of words but I agree the sentiment.

Someone aught to explain to him how our rights in law are what protect us from the bad people,
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on April 19, 2017, 07:10:26 pm
He's trolling, and has found another emotive subject to attach himself to. I very much doubt he actually thinks we should be nice to the landowners that illegally tell us to "git 'orf moi land!" because they are human beings as well.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on April 20, 2017, 07:36:53 am
Are cavers suggesting that landowners' wishes should be ignored? If so, how do they think landowners might feel about it?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on April 20, 2017, 12:26:22 pm
Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.

I agree.

I also think that the vast majority of cavers also agree with the principle and moral standard (which addresses Chris's second point above).

During the campaigning ahead of the BCA CRoW ballot, there was a tremendous amount of vitriol including aspersions that, if the ballot went in favour of clarifying the rights of cavers under the CRoW act, many cavers would run roughshod over landowners and damage relationships and potentially bringing the whole caving community into disrepute.

The ballot did prove in favour but I have seen no reports (on here or anywhere else) of gates being removed, landowners being railroaded or any “damage or dis-respect” (resulting from the ballot). In short, the nuclear war never happened.

We all recognise that landowners have wishes and, so far, the vast majority of cavers (at least) continue to acquiesce (and probably always will do so).

Landowners also have legal responsibilities that their “wishes” do not trump. In fact, we all (as individuals) have a great many wishes that do not trump statutes. An easy example is that we all have the right to use a public library. It may be that there is a person in there that you feel should not be there but your “wish” does not exceed the statute that allows the other person the right to use the library. In short, acceding to “wishes” is a two way street (whether a landowner or not).

Specifically with landowners, there are many responsibilities (legally and morally) that fall on their shoulders. Their wish that a public right of way not be used to cross their land is trumped by the statute that permits us all to use it. A schedule on land would prevent the landowner from potentially utilising it without the correct licence. Again, their “wish” fails to overcome the statute. There are many other examples but you get the point.

The law exists for the benefit of the people. That isn’t to say that the government of the day made the right decision. Nevertheless, the law applies to us all whether we “wish” it or not.

The BCA members voted in favour of clarifying the law as to whether or not CRoW extends to caving. That is a perfectly moral and respectful action. Some people within the BCA have worked very hard to address the wishes of the majority of the members who voted. Whilst engaged in this process they have been openly mindful of landowner wishes and have acted to preserve relationships. During this process, the “cavers” have been caving without behaving in any way to upset this work or damage the reputation of the BCA and caving in general.

I would suggest that, a small minority who are actively fighting against the hard working, respectable few are the ones bringing the caving community and the credibility of the BCA into disrepute.

“Wishes” do not trump statute. No one is going to dis-respect landowners – We don’t need to assume that, the “proof” is already evident – Since the ballot, there has been no resulting dis-respect.

Please stop doom-mongering.

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on April 20, 2017, 03:56:41 pm
LIKE!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 20, 2017, 05:45:59 pm
what jenny said  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on April 20, 2017, 05:49:55 pm
Ian.

The only thing that's changed is that the BCA have a mandate to ask for a clarification of existing law.

The statute itself hasn't changed.

Whether the status quo would continue if the interpretation of the legislation were changed has therefore yet to be seen.

No vitriol, just stating the obvious.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on April 20, 2017, 10:30:39 pm
I very much doubt he actually thinks we should be nice to the landowners that illegally tell us to "git 'orf moi land!" because they are human beings as well.

Of course I do, and in matters of land access I do not care one whit about the law, or about landowner's (or caver's) legal rights. I deal with people as people only. I should clarify; I believe that owner's wishes should be respected, not always obeyed. Thus discretion is often important.

Call it a load of crap, but someone once said that wisdom is proved righteous by its works. Having wholly ignored "owner's rights" and having relinquished any claims of my own, I enjoy excellent access to thousands of caves on private lands, as well as excellent relationships with scores of landowners.

Ian states that the law exists for the benefit of the people. Roy states that the law protects us from bad people. These are both correct in a very limited sense. Ian is incorrect that the law applies to everyone. Secular law applies only to those, good or bad, who submit to it. And Bob states that to live outside the law you must be honest. I reckon that every honest man must concern himself with the law out of consideration for consequences and the for the peace of the society he lives in, and must be ready always to ignore it out of consideration for what is right.


Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: adam on April 21, 2017, 09:47:07 am
...I do not care one whit about the law...

A nice turn of phrase. I like it  :thumbsup:. Brings to mind a certain episode of Fawlty Towers  ;D
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on April 21, 2017, 09:56:30 am
This taking the thread way off and I will possibly open a new one, but there is a potentially 'interesting' situation about to develop at Craig y Dinas where my company owns the mineral rights which included Upper Silica Mine.

I am attempting to improve access to the mine and am working in close cooperation with NRW the soil landowner who are being admirably helpful.

It appears that there is an unmarked public right of way to the mine which crosses a hostile landowners land and is a potential easy access for the divers who have to carry heavy gear

When back from holiday I shall be looking at this and taking the  matter up with the local authority.

It is a matter of some speculation where landowners wishes fit into this equation

As a footnote, not caring one whit about the law is likely to bring one in confrontation with it, and guess who usually wins.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: shortscotsman on April 21, 2017, 11:56:34 am

It is a matter of some speculation where landowners wishes fit into this equation

As a footnote, not caring one whit about the law is likely to bring one in confrontation with it, and guess who usually wins.

..might well need a new thread.  This sounds simple: The law really has to be respected by both cavers and landowners and
landowners wishes don't override "rights of way".

As someone who has humped cylinders etc over the hill to the upper silica mine I'm curious as to what the route is...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on April 21, 2017, 12:55:43 pm
Once the initiative gets under way I will start a new thread with full background etc, but in meantime you will be able to find the route here

On the rtc website the path is listed along with adopted roads (click on prow and adopted roads)

 http://my.rctcbc.gov.uk/myRhondda.aspx. (http://my.rctcbc.gov.uk/myRhondda.aspx.)

It not shown on the OS map. Also the continuation of the tarmac road past Dinas Rock car park is a council public road, not a private road belonging to the farm

I have to add that the proposed walkway project is dead but as yet I have not been able to update the NAL website as I am away on holiday

This is an alternative kindly suggested by NRW.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Goydenman on April 21, 2017, 01:59:22 pm
Or perhaps respect the wishes of the people who own the land.

I agree.

I also think that the vast majority of cavers also agree with the principle and moral standard (which addresses Chris's second point above).

During the campaigning ahead of the BCA CRoW ballot, there was a tremendous amount of vitriol including aspersions that, if the ballot went in favour of clarifying the rights of cavers under the CRoW act, many cavers would run roughshod over landowners and damage relationships and potentially bringing the whole caving community into disrepute.

The ballot did prove in favour but I have seen no reports (on here or anywhere else) of gates being removed, landowners being railroaded or any “damage or dis-respect” (resulting from the ballot). In short, the nuclear war never happened.

We all recognise that landowners have wishes and, so far, the vast majority of cavers (at least) continue to acquiesce (and probably always will do so).

Landowners also have legal responsibilities that their “wishes” do not trump. In fact, we all (as individuals) have a great many wishes that do not trump statutes. An easy example is that we all have the right to use a public library. It may be that there is a person in there that you feel should not be there but your “wish” does not exceed the statute that allows the other person the right to use the library. In short, acceding to “wishes” is a two way street (whether a landowner or not).

Specifically with landowners, there are many responsibilities (legally and morally) that fall on their shoulders. Their wish that a public right of way not be used to cross their land is trumped by the statute that permits us all to use it. A schedule on land would prevent the landowner from potentially utilising it without the correct licence. Again, their “wish” fails to overcome the statute. There are many other examples but you get the point.

The law exists for the benefit of the people. That isn’t to say that the government of the day made the right decision. Nevertheless, the law applies to us all whether we “wish” it or not.

The BCA members voted in favour of clarifying the law as to whether or not CRoW extends to caving. That is a perfectly moral and respectful action. Some people within the BCA have worked very hard to address the wishes of the majority of the members who voted. Whilst engaged in this process they have been openly mindful of landowner wishes and have acted to preserve relationships. During this process, the “cavers” have been caving without behaving in any way to upset this work or damage the reputation of the BCA and caving in general.

I would suggest that, a small minority who are actively fighting against the hard working, respectable few are the ones bringing the caving community and the credibility of the BCA into disrepute.

“Wishes” do not trump statute. No one is going to dis-respect landowners – We don’t need to assume that, the “proof” is already evident – Since the ballot, there has been no resulting dis-respect.

Please stop doom-mongering.

Ian

LIKE ALSO
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on April 21, 2017, 02:35:58 pm
The ballot did prove in favour but I have seen no reports (on here or anywhere else) of gates being removed, landowners being railroaded or any “damage or dis-respect” (resulting from the ballot). In short, the nuclear war never happened.

You need to improve your looking. There is evidence which supports the contrary view.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on April 21, 2017, 03:54:58 pm
The ballot did prove in favour but I have seen no reports (on here or anywhere else) of gates being removed, landowners being railroaded or any “damage or dis-respect” (resulting from the ballot). In short, the nuclear war never happened.

You need to improve your looking. There is evidence which supports the contrary view.

Put up or shut up.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 21, 2017, 04:15:11 pm
Stop!

Think about what you're even saying to each other.

Clearly there will be isolated incidents of damage, clearly nothing in Yorkshire. Otherwise I'm sure Simon would share your opinion and sympathise. He seemingly does not, which is disappointing for his own cause.

However "Cap'n" you should not be so sharp and scathing with your observations.

Clearly what Ian was trying to say is that landowners are trying to be reassured that the system CAN work when the change is brought in.
 or in the opposite way that the system currently works.

By people breaking things, proving each other "wrong" or otherwise creating Crisis' where there are none, this will do nothing to improve our landowner relations.
 This is the one thing that as a community we should pride ourselves on and Congratulate ourselves.
 Where paddlers are Banned from some rivers, cavers are not banned from many systems (if any) and it is with keeping the landowner in mind that we will continue to either have good access or more help with digs.

Nidderdale is a prime example, where the landowner helps the diggers transport scaff to their holes.
 There are other more recent success stories in Derbyshire on this forum.

Please modify your attitude, it's not welcome or helpful!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on April 21, 2017, 04:28:21 pm
However "Cap'n" you should not be so sharp and scathing with your observations.

Which observations of mine were sharp and scathing?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 21, 2017, 06:29:12 pm
You need to improve your looking.

In short whether you intended it to be sharp and scathing, thats the way it came across.

It's this arguing that Could be creating a problem.

This forum is public, correct? So anyone can view it.
 Imagine theres a landowner whether now or in the future that looks at these pages, and sees people spitting at each other.

I cannot prove that this has happened.

But can you prove that this wont happen in the future?

Think on what you make public, its there forever and can prove self defeating to any cause which we may have in the future.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on April 21, 2017, 06:53:25 pm
The way people read my posts incorrectly is not my fault. 

Whereabouts was I arguing? I have looked, really I have.

(As a side note it's perhaps worth mentioning that a forum, by definition, has to contain debate, does it not?).

Imagine I am an Access land owner.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 21, 2017, 07:19:21 pm
Imagine I am an Access land owner.

can anyone access the cave on your "land" or do you need a funny hand shake  ::) ::)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on April 21, 2017, 07:23:15 pm
Is that sharp and scathing?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on April 21, 2017, 07:30:38 pm
Imagine I am an Access land owner.

Great to have you here already Sir!

I'm positive we will have many happy years of good landowner relations!

Top of the evening to you sir!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on April 21, 2017, 08:08:54 pm
Chris

I understood you were the owner of the entrance to Glebe Swallet and a very small area around the entrance.  This would make you the landowner of one of the smallest pieces of access land in the country.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on April 21, 2017, 08:27:24 pm
Chris

I understood you were the owner of the entrance to Glebe Swallet and a very small area around the entrance.  This would make you the landowner of one of the smallest pieces of access land in the country.



On a only somewhat slightly related note, owning an entrance presumably gives you to enter that entrance - but the rest of the cave is still owned by someone (generally, in absence of additional right, the surface landowner I believe). If you want to argue you are respecting landowner rights, then presumably you should ensure that all the surface landowners are happy for you to enter their land underground as well as above ground?

Obviously trespass is a civil offence, rather than a criminal one, provided you are not obstructing lawful activity.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 21, 2017, 08:44:45 pm
Chris

I understood you were the owner of the entrance to Glebe Swallet and a very small area around the entrance.  This would make you the landowner of one of the smallest pieces of access land in the country.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ed on April 21, 2017, 08:53:42 pm
Chris

I understood you were the owner of the entrance to Glebe Swallet and a very small area around the entrance.  This would make you the landowner of one of the smallest pieces of access land in the country.


And access under CROW would remove your liability obligations at a stroke.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Oceanrower on April 21, 2017, 11:38:48 pm
Chris

I understood you were the owner of the entrance to Glebe Swallet and a very small area around the entrance. 

In fairness, I think Chris is also the owner of the entrance to Grebe Swallet
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 22, 2017, 12:07:33 am

[/quote]
In fairness, I think Chris is also the owner of the entrance to Grebe Swallet
[/quote]
Ye but is there open access
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on April 22, 2017, 08:38:19 am
In fairness, I think Chris is also the owner of the entrance to Grebe Swallet
7

Did a little bird tell you that?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on April 22, 2017, 11:15:41 am
Please modify your attitude, it's not welcome or helpful!

If there were not so many "dirty tricks", assertions of wrongdoing, assuming Pro voters are mentally deficient and/or morally corrupt, totally unfounded/malicious accusations of criminal damage, misinformation and outright lies, this would not get so heated. But there are, so this is.

Pretending it hasn't happened to make some sort of macabre presentation of us to the "outside" world will not get this sorted. It will make resentments run deeper, and if you think bickering on here is an "issue", wait until more people get more pissed off. This is something that needs to get sorted sooner, as the longer this drags out, the worse it will get. The minority that lost the vote (irrespective of people trying to fudge the numbers), are throwing spokes into the wheels and it's entirely unsurprising that people are pushing back.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Dave Tyson on April 22, 2017, 11:24:10 am
+1  ;D

Dave
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 22, 2017, 12:12:46 pm
The best way to implement change is to get voted on the exec, it's exactly what the conservationists did years ago and no one seen it coming, until now
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on April 22, 2017, 04:05:27 pm
Chris

I understood you were the owner of the entrance to Glebe Swallet and a very small area around the entrance.  This would make you the landowner of one of the smallest pieces of access land in the country.



On a only somewhat slightly related note, owning an entrance presumably gives you to enter that entrance - but the rest of the cave is still owned by someone (generally, in absence of additional right, the surface landowner I believe). If you want to argue you are respecting landowner rights, then presumably you should ensure that all the surface landowners are happy for you to enter their land underground as well as above ground?

Obviously trespass is a civil offence, rather than a criminal one, provided you are not obstructing lawful activity.

There are many cans of worms involved in all this!

One difficulty that DCA is finding in its problems with access to Holme Bank/Hall Chert Mines is that it is relatively easy to obtain a map of the surface holdings of any landowner from the Land registry; however this doesn't show the mineral rights.  If there are mineral rights separate from the landowner's rights it may be possible to access a cave or mine by using an entrance outwith the landowners property.  But you have to find out who owns the mineral rights and this is only of limited value in most cases because, as has been pointed out, it is normal for the landowner to have the rights to control underground access below his property.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on April 22, 2017, 04:13:32 pm
I believe this is being discus.sed over on Aditnow, with some info on mineral rights etc.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on April 22, 2017, 04:55:15 pm
The 'Pack mentality' is returning I see.

The way to deal with peoples' potential problems with CRoW for caves is to argue the point rather than the man. This ad hominem nonsense is exactly why the previous debates on this subject got so heated.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 22, 2017, 06:12:18 pm
I'm sure I remember the late elsi little saying you don't actually need mineral right owners permission as you are not removing the mineral, or something along those lines.all you need is land owners permission to access his land (until crow applies)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on April 23, 2017, 05:35:16 am
As a footnote, not caring one whit about the law is likely to bring one in confrontation with it, and guess who usually wins.

With thousands of miles "illegally" walked, this has not been my experience. Bad behavior brings confrontation with the law. I have met a handful of landowners while trespassing, and most of these meetings have been positive. Even the worst of them have ended respectfully. Treat people well and honestly and the law is irrelevant. Which is why I cannot understand these many and heated threads about access law and policy. Sharing land should be a communal act. To reduce it to legalities ignores the concepts of personal responsibility, neighborliness, and skillful decision making, and nothing is gained besides access to a few contested sites.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on April 23, 2017, 07:13:43 am
Never met a grumpy English farmer, have you Kenilworth.....
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 23, 2017, 08:24:23 am

With thousands of miles "illegally" walked, this has not been my experience. Bad behavior brings confrontation with the law. I have met a handful of landowners while trespassing, and most of these meetings have been positive. Even the worst of them have ended respectfully. Treat people well and honestly and the law is irrelevant. Which is why I cannot understand these many and heated threads about access law and policy. Sharing land should be a communal act. To reduce it to legalities ignores the concepts of personal responsibility, neighborliness, and skillful decision making, and nothing is gained besides access to a few contested sites.

I don't see how you can say that the law is irrelevant. As a land owner myself I wouldn't like people wondering around without me knowing about it
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on April 23, 2017, 05:24:27 pm
With thousands of miles "illegally" walked, this has not been my experience. Bad behavior brings confrontation with the law. I have met a handful of landowners while trespassing, and most of these meetings have been positive. Even the worst of them have ended respectfully. Treat people well and honestly and the law is irrelevant. Which is why I cannot understand these many and heated threads about access law and policy. Sharing land should be a communal act. To reduce it to legalities ignores the concepts of personal responsibility, neighborliness, and skillful decision making, and nothing is gained besides access to a few contested sites.

You have rather more of it (land) to walk illegal in the US... 86 people per square mile, compared with 694 people per square mile for the UK (1070 per square mile for England).
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on April 24, 2017, 01:02:44 am
Never met a grumpy English farmer, have you Kenilworth.....

No. Are they different from grumpy American farmers?

I don't see how you can say that the law is irrelevant. As a land owner myself I wouldn't like people wondering around without me knowing about it

This is exactly the point. You would be displeased with my trespassing. Therefore, it is my duty as a neighbor, not to ask how I can use the law to get my way, but to either ask your blessing or to make sure you don't see me. This thought process does not include any consideration of what is legal, only what is considerate of your feelings.
In cases where I have been "caught," honesty and earnest friendliness have made the best of awkward situations. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on April 24, 2017, 08:09:30 am
With the way the gun laws work over there I'm surprised you haven't been shot by a grumpy American farmer
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on April 24, 2017, 04:35:13 pm
...spergy diatribe...

You are confusing Trespass with acquiescing to an agressive/ignorant landowner despite having a right to roam. If I have the right to walk on common land, then there is not trespass, full stopend of story, irrespective of what the landowner may think. Yes, it's nice to keep landowners on side, but if someone tries to tell me I'm trespassing and I know full well I'm on access/common land, then I will not be playing happy neighbours.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on May 01, 2017, 12:07:41 pm
The BCA has published six pages on its website containing 18 motions to be debated at their AGM on June 11th.

More than half of these motions were proposed by BCA Legal Officer Bob Mehew.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the BCA could show similar enthusiasm for connecting with and supporting its main constituents who actually go caving than it does for organizing grim and quarrelsome meetings?

Bring plenty of tasty sandwiches and something inspiring to read to take your mind off it.

Tim Allen has three motions listed, two of which appear to be for the same thing - which is to delete the troubled landowner clause.  The difference is that the second motion is designed to prevent the BCA from voting at a technical level to remove the clause for a few minutes and then to continue the AGM by voting in a similar clause to replace it.  And somehow the page layout and punctuation seems to have got mangled in the BCA AGM document – but only Tim’s motions.

Such is the trust and cooperation inside this crumbling wreck of an organisation.

BCA’s first Constitutional Aim is “to support members of the association in obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging access..”

So I suggest BCA Council stops doing much else until they have got a firm enough grasp on what this aim means, and then carry out a credible action plan to deliver it in practical tangible terms.

Tim has been doing a good job on access mandated by a clear referendum result.  It is time BCA stopped scheming and instead started supporting Tim and team “Caving GB” a lot more.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: braveduck on May 01, 2017, 08:27:10 pm
A new Chairman needed for the next meeting for a start. Ten hour meetings are totally unacceptable.
If it goes wrong again ,I can see a legal challenge looming.Also two minutes takers required ,one for
BCA and one for the rest of us to read that have not been "scrutinised " by BCA ! 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on May 03, 2017, 01:37:55 pm
It is rather sad that Stuart and "Braveduck" don't seem to appreciate that BCA Council is doing its best to get things right under very difficult circumstances.  It isn't BCA's fault that the proposal re. CRoW passed by its members with a very substantial majority was then challenged by some of those who lost the vote.  The challenge cannot just be ignored, the matter must be clarified so that no challenge to the decision based on semantics can be brought again.

Yes, the agenda does run to 6 sides, but that is partly due to the fact that, rather than just print all the motions with no explanation, there is an attempt to explain the reasons for the proposals so that the AGM has a chance to run more swiftly. 

It's also hardly fair to complain that BCA's Legal & Insurance Officer has put forward some proposals to attempt to make sense of a situation where there is more than one motion on the same subject.  It's not up to the Secretary or Council to discard some motions altogether and accept others - all motions which are correctly proposed in time for the meeting have to be accepted unless they are withdrawn by their proposers - it's up to the AGM itself to make sense of this.

And yes, the extremely lengthy Council Meeting in March was not good.  However, given that this year we have a new Secretary and Administrative Assistant struggling under an entirely unexpected glitch in the BCA email system, which apparently "black holed" some reports way back last October, they are doing their best.  Part of the reason for the very lengthy meeting in March was the desire of some of those present to go over old ground ad nauseam.  Another factor was the insistence of one individual on putting to Council his very technical document on BCA IT; surely this should more properly have first been put to the IT Working Party, of which he is a member, rather than have the other members of the ITWP disagreeing with him in a Council Meeting.

BCA can only work by the good will of its members - it is an amateur organisation of around 5000 cavers with very few paid administrative assistants and a great deal of its work is being done by volunteers who also have their own full time jobs.  (It's not like BMC, with 60,000 members and a full time office!)  Many of the members of Council are also themselves hard-working officers of other constituent bodies. 

A great deal of the pressure on BCA is due to outside agencies and cavers need to work together for the good of us all.  So, rather than snipe and gripe, how about attending the AGM with a positive attitude and a determination to work with good will to move BCA forward.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 03, 2017, 05:15:37 pm
It isn't BCA's fault that the proposal re. CRoW passed by its members with a very substantial majority was then challenged by some of those who lost the vote.

It IS the BCA's 'fault' that the Constitutional ducks were misaligned BEFORE the matter was put to Ballot.

An hour or so scrutinising the document would have prevented this quagmire.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 03, 2017, 11:32:11 pm
On a somewhat related note, if you wanted to go to the BCA AGM but hadn't booked any accommodation yet and it looked like both of the caving huts in the Peak were full, any suggestions where the democratically-minded but disorganized might stay? (in some form of formal accommodation; this isn't an attempt to steal someone's floor space!)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: damian on May 04, 2017, 06:34:29 am
There's plenty of accommodation at the Party Weekend venue itself - The Rotary Club, Castleton. It'll almost certainly be your cheapest bet, there'll be beer on site and it's convenient.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 04, 2017, 08:26:03 am
There's plenty of accommodation at the Party Weekend venue itself - The Rotary Club, Castleton. It'll almost certainly be your cheapest bet, there'll be beer on site and it's convenient.

Cool - is there any information about the Party Weekend anywhere? Doesn't seem to be any details on the BCA webpage except venue (without mentioning there is accommodation)  and date - is stuff due to appear at some point?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: robinw on May 04, 2017, 10:55:20 am
I'm currently in the process of finalising the newsletter for publication.

For the AGM weekend there is bunkroom and camping accommodation on site (£10 Saturday night only or £15 if you stay for both Friday & Saturday nights). Camping will be £5 per tent. Speleo bar from 8pm Friday - Beer £2.50 per pint. Plenty of activities daytime Saturday (or you could even go caving). Disco & bar Saturday evening. AGM itself 10.30am Sunday.         
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 04, 2017, 05:02:27 pm
bca agm with a hangover, oh joy
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on May 04, 2017, 06:14:06 pm
It isn't BCA's fault that the proposal re. CRoW passed by its members with a very substantial majority was then challenged by some of those who lost the vote.

It IS the BCA's 'fault' that the Constitutional ducks were misaligned BEFORE the matter was put to Ballot.

An hour or so scrutinising the document would have prevented this quagmire.

With the benefit of hindsight, you're probably right.  It's just that most of us (me included) never expected such a totally spurious challenge based purely on semantics.  The original proposal that was passed by the ballot seemed straightforward to me - but there you go.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 04, 2017, 08:41:33 pm
It's just that most of us (me included) never expected such a totally spurious challenge based purely on semantics.

And the fact that it gained any traction is what's pissed a lot of us off, and made some of us have zero confidence in the BCA as a "governing body".
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on May 04, 2017, 10:18:46 pm
Oh dear!

I've just read the proposed AGM motions on the BCA website. They'll certainly never win any awards from the Campaign for Plain English. To me it appears that the BCA is doing a good job of throttling itself with 'red tape'.
Does the organisation really need to be as archaic as it appears to be? How about simplifying things?

I have been thinking about joining and attending the AGM to vote for any motion that will allow Tim Allen (or anyone else for that matter) to seek clarification that the CRoW Act does actually already apply to caving. However, having read the proposals, I'm not sure if I could cope with the tedium of the AGM.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on May 04, 2017, 11:57:22 pm
Someone asks: “I have been thinking about joining [BCA] and attending the AGM to vote for any motion that will … seek clarification that the CRoW Act does actually already apply to caving”.

This is missing the point.  Why treat as absolute law what quangos print in their publications?  Quangos are not law makers.  The law is whatever anyone wants to make of it, until someone else wins a legal challenge - if it is both within their means and in their interests to risk mounting one.

Is the public today incapable of reading legislation and making up their own minds?  By all means see how NRW/NE/Defra/JNCC interpret Acts of Parliament, but remember their views are nothing but views and they aren’t the gospel.  The quangos will not start a legal challenge aimed at limiting public access to leisure – it’s too toxic and they’re too afraid of losing.

The quangos will all sing from the same hymn book too.  They won’t conflict with each other; they will all vote the same way; but then it’s also a case of one down all down.

Surely people can work out for themselves about how any reasonable person would interpret statute law, and in turn act reasonably themselves?

BCA should be trying to get the widest impact, not just focus solely on CROW.  I know there isn’t much Urban Common near Ingleton but there is loads of it in South Wales, with many good caves too, including big ones like Ogof Draenen and Daren Cilau.  The Law of Property Act 1925 gives public access to these commons for “air and exercise” which any reasonable person will understand is a term that includes caving.  Read more here:
http://cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/pdf/newsletters/51_oct2016.pdf (http://cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/pdf/newsletters/51_oct2016.pdf)

And if a buy-one-get-one-free on access rights isn’t enough, then the Prescription Act 1832 makes anything that has gone on openly, done without force, and gone unchallenged for 20 years very hard to stop, and after 40 years impossible to stop.  OK, I paraphrase it.  So if cavers haven’t acquiesced to permit systems, gone along with padlocked caves, and simply gone on the hills and into open caves “as of right” for long enough, then that practice appears to be unstoppable.

It didn’t need CROW to make it legal to walk all over hills lacking public footpaths – like Tryfan, Blencathra, Whernside – walkers have visited them peaceably from time immemorial unchallenged, so it was all legal long before CROW.  And all urban commons have been open legally for physical recreation since 1925, with some exclusions like camping, almost a century before CROW arrived.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on May 05, 2017, 12:14:32 pm
So what happens when a landowner decides he doesn't want cavers visiting the cave on his land? What prevents him from filling the entrance with concrete? If it's not a SSSI or the right of access is not enshrined in law, then there's little to stop him. Taking him to court after the fact would be a bit too late. That's why things need clarity.

Anyway we're going a bit off topic now.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on May 05, 2017, 02:26:30 pm
I'd love number 3 and number 4 to be filled in with dead sheep, that's what would happen round here!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ed on May 05, 2017, 02:48:46 pm
Someone asks:
The quangos will all sing from the same hymn book too.  They won’t conflict with each other; they will all vote the same way;


I'm afraid not - even within the same organisation they will give different interpretation / conflicting advice.

alto is left for regions / departments to comment on or enforce with no national policy
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 06, 2017, 11:30:33 am
I think only small organizations have AGMs that really decide anything, or indeed take very long. For larger organizations the AGM is just where the votes are counted (mostly made in advance)...

The BMC AGM this year, with all the controversy over the motion of no confidence (defeated about 2000 to 300) took 4 hours. The year before it took 35 minutes. The AGMs aren't quicker because democracy isn't happening - they are quicker because democracy has already happened. The BMC runs its area meetings so that all these issues can be properly discussed around the country by larger numbers of people over a longer period of time. The main thing that happens at an AGM is elections of officers, approval of minutes and auditors etc - none of which should require much debate on the day; the information should be provided in advance to allow people to make their decisions.

Democracy is not 30 random very-much-not-representative people out of 6000 turning up, bickering about things for a few hours (or more) about things without time to go away and investigate the facts and finally voting on whatever randomly-generated version of a motion finally gets accepted (often with amendments not voted on and not enough consideration).

The BMC require 30 signatories to propose a motion for an AGM. Any issue will have been publicised and discussed long before an AGM (at least if it wants to succeed). Members are given the opportunity to research and understand issues prior to making a vote which they don't have to trek to some random part of the country to make. Seems much more democratic to me - although I will concede it is definitely politics!

I would like to see something similar for the BCA. However, for the time being, baby steps!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 06, 2017, 03:43:34 pm
You keep referencing the BMC in these discussions.

That's OK but bear in mind the relative sizes of the organisations, which means (amongst other things) that the BMC can afford full time employees. Employees that can process and circulate these issues.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on May 06, 2017, 04:49:26 pm
I suspect also that BMC's "area meetings" are rather different from caving's Regional Council Meetings, which deal primarily with matters affecting caving within the region with an occasional excursion into national issues.

Caving also has a number of other "representative bodies" which can have a say in national issues as well as matters specific to their own interests. 

BCA has evolved from NCA, which started life as a federation of regionally and nationally representative bodies with clubs and individual members not allowed to have any say on "national issues" other than through their "body".  Caving's national body only came into being in 1968 (as NCA) and it took until some time in the 1990's before clubs were allowed a say on national issues and until 2004 (when BCA came into being) before individuals were allowed to have a say.  I guess we are still feeling our way and it's not easy when, in particular, different regions claim that their members have such different views on national issues.

I guess we just have to go on evolving ...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 06, 2017, 07:02:12 pm
I guess we are still feeling our way and it's not easy when, in particular, different regions claim that their members have such different views on national issues.

Sorry if the quote seems out of context.
Have regions canvassed their areas on issues of national importance, and if so how as I dont think indivdual membership is tied to a region (or the members!)? If for example a region wished to refer to the cavers of their region how would they go about it without too much input from non regional people? Obviously various bodies are affiliated, but possibly to more than one region. Would a potential input in more than one region be an issue? Would an anecdotal "loads of people say..." be enough for a region to have a posture on national issues.
I guess the answer will be its the score of people that turn up to a regional meeting, the groups they claim to represent, and reps will say they canvassed their power base for a mandate... doesnt really sound overly democratic, with scope for the tail wagging the dog?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 06, 2017, 08:14:50 pm
Have regions canvassed their areas on issues of national importance, and if so how as I dont think indivdual membership is tied to a region (or the members!)? If for example a region wished to refer to the cavers of their region how would they go about it without too much input from non regional people? Obviously various bodies are affiliated, but possibly to more than one region. Would a potential input in more than one region be an issue? Would an anecdotal "loads of people say..." be enough for a region to have a posture on national issues.
I guess the answer will be its the score of people that turn up to a regional meeting, the groups they claim to represent, and reps will say they canvassed their power base for a mandate... doesnt really sound overly democratic, with scope for the tail wagging the dog?

very much in agreement...

I am a member of clubs (probationary in some cases) in Devon (so the relatively quiet DCUC), the Mendips (CSCC) and Yorkshire (CNCC) and I am a DIM. I probably feel the most affinity to the Mendips (even if Yorkshire has the best caves  :ang: ), but my views are probably not terribly aligned with 'the CSCC' (i.e. the small minority of people who put all the work in).

BMC area meetings are advertised to, and attended by, 'ordinary' members of the BMC (albeit the small minority of the politically 'engaged') - they aren't committee meetings held by a representative body.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 06, 2017, 08:17:46 pm
Actually this is forum is an excellent venue for discussion of the motions presented so that those of us attending the AGM can consider ourselves a little more well-informed. I'm surprised there has not been any debate on the specifics (maybe I have just missed it?).

Perhaps there is minimal debate because the majority of posters are (somewhat) disenfranchised because unless they actually turn up they don't get a say. What avenues for debate and interaction are there other than the AGM for the ordinary member? (I'm sure there are some)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 06, 2017, 08:53:53 pm
Actually this is forum is an excellent venue for discussion of the motions presented so that those of us attending the AGM can consider ourselves a little more well-informed. I'm surprised there has not been any debate on the specifics (maybe I have just missed it?).
I am not sure an on line forum is best suited to discussions like this - previous debates have sunk into quite vicious argument, with the minority getting bashed and frustrated, leading to a lack of balance and some posters "leaving the building."
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 06, 2017, 10:09:07 pm
Actually this is forum is an excellent venue for discussion of the motions presented so that those of us attending the AGM can consider ourselves a little more well-informed. I'm surprised there has not been any debate on the specifics (maybe I have just missed it?).
I am not sure an on line forum is best suited to discussions like this - previous debates have sunk into quite vicious argument, with the minority getting bashed and frustrated, leading to a lack of balance and some posters "leaving the building."

If it stayed as a discussion, it would be just fine. Trouble is, some people take frank, honest discussion and act as if was hot acid to the face.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 07, 2017, 12:06:19 am
Actually this is forum is an excellent venue for discussion of the motions presented so that those of us attending the AGM can consider ourselves a little more well-informed. I'm surprised there has not been any debate on the specifics (maybe I have just missed it?).
I am not sure an on line forum is best suited to discussions like this - previous debates have sunk into quite vicious argument, with the minority getting bashed and frustrated, leading to a lack of balance and some posters "leaving the building."

Just like the AGM then :)

(except that the bickering is not immediately followed by rushed, panicked voting)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on May 07, 2017, 02:37:03 pm
Actually this is forum is an excellent venue for discussion of the motions presented so that those of us attending the AGM can consider ourselves a little more well-informed. I'm surprised there has not been any debate on the specifics (maybe I have just missed it?).

Perhaps there is minimal debate because the majority of posters are (somewhat) disenfranchised because unless they actually turn up they don't get a say. What avenues for debate and interaction are there other than the AGM for the ordinary member? (I'm sure there are some)

Andrew and others are right.  The 6-page BCA AGM motions document is hard to read and understand the implications, and it's not getting the open discussion that it needs.  Well, here's a brief selection of four issues to kick off an open discussion.  There's more important issues like the CROW project, but let's take "baby steps" as Andrew also said:

1. BCA want to set up a body called the BCA Qualifications and Management Committee (QMC) to administer training and certification of caving instructors.  Proposed by Nick Williams, council member since its inception in 2004 and an NCA Trustee before that.  My view on all this?  BCA needs to get out of the professional training business, not spend £5K with £3K per annum recurring thereafter on Tahdah, and instead get on with doing a better job of training sport cavers where they have spent well under £1K annually in recent accounts.  What do other people think?

2. Who is the BCA Hon President?  Bob Mehew, council member since 2004 and on NCA before that, and the BCA exec propose to make this a job-for-life position rather than elected annually.  Is someone coming up to 70 (say) who fancies retiring from the coal face of caving politics and slide into this never-ending globe-trotting role of "Mr President"? Who thinks we need a President?  For whom is there a benefit?

3. Proxy voting.  BCA has 6000 caver members (say) via one route or another.  Typically 30-40 people attend BCA AGMs.  BCA want to give its 6000 members a proxy vote, which is great for democracy on the face of it.  But then BCA also want to limit the number of proxy votes that can be cast to a theoretical three times the number of attendees at the AGM.  So that means 5,900 of its 6,000 members or thereabouts still can't register a vote - even if they have a constitutional right to a proxy vote of sorts.  My view:  all proxy votes should be given to another delegate or to a Returning Officer appointed for each General Meeting, with no upper limit.  Open democracy will always produce some results that are perverse to some people but it's better than having covert disenfranchisement.

4. Postal / Online Ballots.  Another mucking fuddle.  BCA not got any clear or credible plan for how to deal with members who are not on email, or at least when BCA doesn't know their address.  My view:  these people should be sent a paper letter revealing a unique long one-off PIN number and asked to attend a public library, or ask their neighbour, or their grandchildren, to help them register their vote on an online voting facility added to the BCA website or on some contractor's site.  It's a doddle to code this server back-end.   The days of holding any paper ballots should be over.

Over to you...

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 07, 2017, 02:59:04 pm
1. Let the professionals pay their own way, fund the sport cavers
2. Not needed
3. One member, one vote - collate and use as directed
4. On line is the way to go - if someone cant get access by a suggested method, they arent really in the game are they? Even grey haired old timers these days are quite web savvy so the argument against is spurious at best
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 07, 2017, 03:18:33 pm
1. BCA should predominately promote and represent the hobbyist caver. I am pretty sure the insurance we all contribute towards only covers recreational activities. I mentioned elsewhere previously that there are legal implications to "professional" qualifications both to the individual and the BCA (members?). I am not 100% against professional representation but would have to comment;

1a) Do any professional organisations recognise "BCA qualifications"?
1b) Do any commercial cavers get any "real" benefit from BCA membership?

2) Not needed or warranted.

3) I agree with Brains - one member one vote.  I don't agree with the present structure (DIMs/CIMs etc.)

4) Proxies/voting should be permitted in the same way as any other elected body.  The better question would be "Why is it not allowed?"

 :)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 07, 2017, 05:11:39 pm
1. BCA want to set up a body called the BCA Qualifications and Management Committee (QMC) to administer training and certification of caving instructors.  Proposed by Nick Williams, council member since its inception in 2004 and an NCA Trustee before that.  My view on all this?  BCA needs to get out of the professional training business, not spend £5K with £3K per annum recurring thereafter on Tahdah, and instead get on with doing a better job of training sport cavers where they have spent well under £1K annually in recent accounts.  What do other people think?

This seems quite reasonable to me;

I am also not against the BCA spending a bit of money setting this up and during the transfer but the long-term plan should be that it is self-supporting. The BCA can then put more money into training but probably the best way to get people on them is to advertise and run courses on stuff with professional instructors, and charge people something between 0% and 100% of the cost - even at 100% of the cost it can end up being quite reasonable as chucking a bunch of people together on the course cuts down the individual cost. Anything that requires people to apply for the money won't happen...

Quote
2. Who is the BCA Hon President?  Bob Mehew, council member since 2004 and on NCA before that, and the BCA exec propose to make this a job-for-life position rather than elected annually.  Is someone coming up to 70 (say) who fancies retiring from the coal face of caving politics and slide into this never-ending globe-trotting role of "Mr President"? Who thinks we need a President?  For whom is there a benefit?

Presumably there is a reason for this; would be good to hear what it is. When I first read it I assumed it was just a procedural change so that if the AGM was slightly over one year later than the previous one there wasn't a gap or something. Honorary presidents are usually just a way of getting a famous/important person on board, for example a celebrity or a friendly MP?

Quote
3. Proxy voting.  BCA has 6000 caver members (say) via one route or another.  Typically 30-40 people attend BCA AGMs.  BCA want to give its 6000 members a proxy vote, which is great for democracy on the face of it.  But then BCA also want to limit the number of proxy votes that can be cast to a theoretical three times the number of attendees at the AGM.  So that means 5,900 of its 6,000 members or thereabouts still can't register a vote - even if they have a constitutional right to a proxy vote of sorts.  My view:  all proxy votes should be given to another delegate or to a Returning Officer appointed for each General Meeting, with no upper limit.  Open democracy will always produce some results that are perverse to some people but it's better than having covert disenfranchisement.

The motion for proxy voting I introduced last year (and downgraded to a recommendation to review for this year), after accepting amendments from Bob Mehew (my motion was a bit of a rush job), was very similar to the current motion except that it specifically excepted the Chair from the proxy vote limit. This is how postal votes are often permitted - you state the Chair as a proxy and you give your preferences. Convention should dictate that the Chair always votes as indicates and never uses their discretion - if you don't trust the Chair everything falls apart anyway. I think a limit on the number of proxies, other than for the chair, is reasonable as it would be a bit dubious if someone turned up with 50 proxy votes with full discretion.

The BCA version limits the number of proxy votes someone can hold to 2, and explicitly bars Groups from proxy voting (not really required as it is explicitly about individual/honorary members being represented, but doesn't cause problems).
The Dave Tyson version is a mess. It retains the original wording that council is empowered to limit the number of proxy votes to 'as few as two', but instead of not limiting the Chair it prevents the chair from holding any proxy votes. This is a mess because (as was the original intention) Council doesn't _have_ to limit the number of proxy voters at all, so you could end up with Council permitting unlimited proxy votes for everyone _except_ the Chair. In other words, Council could decide that the number of votes is limited to 2 except for the Chair who can hold zero and the Recorder who is not limited, and so end up with postal voting anyway... (which would be good but would rely on the willingness of Council to pull a fast one around the rules).

I would rather an amendment was made allowing the Chair unlimited proxy votes, possibly with a rider that they cannot use their discretion.

Quote
4. Postal / Online Ballots.  Another mucking fuddle.  BCA not got any clear or credible plan for how to deal with members who are not on email, or at least when BCA doesn't know their address.  My view:  these people should be sent a paper letter revealing a unique long one-off PIN number and asked to attend a public library, or ask their neighbour, or their grandchildren, to help them register their vote on an online voting facility added to the BCA website or on some contractor's site.  It's a doddle to code this server back-end.   The days of holding any paper ballots should be over.

This could be a good idea. If the aim is simply to avoid sending letters, then you need to send the letter with something the BCA already sends but I think the BCA doesn't send _any_ letters to a large number of (CIM) members? If you send the letters with BCA cards then there are issues of security.

On a slightly unrelated note, I think amendments at an AGM that change the substantive content of a motion (rather than technical details) should not be permitted or at least be heavily discouraged, so that people can know exactly what they will be voting for before they arrive.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on May 08, 2017, 12:30:35 pm

Postal / Online Ballots.  Another mucking fuddle.  BCA not got any clear or credible plan for how to deal with members who are not on email, or at least when BCA doesn't know their address.  My view:  these people should be sent a paper letter revealing a unique long one-off PIN number and asked to attend a public library, or ask their neighbour, or their grandchildren, to help them register their vote on an online voting facility added to the BCA website or on some contractor's site.  It's a doddle to code this server back-end.   The days of holding any paper ballots should be over.



I can't express how much I agree with this. The internet is widely available. Post is slowly disappearing similar to how pigeons and signal fires did. If people do not want to participate solely for the sake of being awkward perhaps their opinion is not worth listening to.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on May 12, 2017, 02:44:21 pm
Just a few points, loosely related to earlier postings.

1. DCA is a regional council which has individual as well as club and associate members; its "council meetings" are specifically NOT meetings of officers but are open to officers and ordinary members and are always advertised as "Open Council Meetings" with dates set for the year ahead, agendas displayed on our website in advance and minutes posted there as well.  Any individual or club member is welcome to come and have their say.

2.  DCA does discuss national issues but most of those present want to concentrate on issues relating to caving in the region which directly affect them.  However, DCA members over the years have consistently supported CRoW applying to caving and, wherever possible, allowing free access to all cavers wherever the landowner will allow this - and most of our landowners do allow it and are happy with our "Derbyshire Key" (aka big adjustable spanner) system for securing potentially dangerous sites.

3.  DCA did once have a form of proxy voting but discontinued it and changed our constitution after a meeting where one person turned up and wielded 12 votes together with his friend who claimed to have 10 - so outvoting the all the rest of those present.  Why do you need a proxy vote if you also have an individual ballot after the AGM on constitutional changes or extremely contentious issues like the CRoW business?  If an AGM passes something you don't approve of, you have the means to vote it down in the succeeding ballot anyway.  (Our present BCA Chairman has said he had felt proxy voting had unfortunate results at international meetings he has attended.)

4.  I'm all in favour of online voting, provided you have sufficient safeguards built into the system - Stuart's suggestion is one way of doing it.  The difficulty may be in persuading cavers to allow their email addresses to be handed over to BCA - it's tough enough to get basic details for club secretaries to be able to renew all their members as BCA CIMs - believe me, I'm involved in this every year!

5.  It's my understanding that the whole idea of QMC is to enable "professional caving" to be independent of BCA in its funding - it should be self-sufficient and it is hoped that the new online system proposed will enable this to happen once it has been set up.  It needs some "pump-priming" to enable this to happen and I don't think BCA should begrudge the money - look at the breakdown of spending in the latest BCA Newsletter 29, now online.  However, BCA does need to have a watching brief over the training of professional cavers, if only to protect ourselves from the "qualifications to go caving" people (student unions have been known in the past to insist that all their university club caving trips must be led by a "qualified Cave Instructor"!).  Something similar to the BMC / MLTB setup would be a good idea, separate but linked, and it's my understanding that this is where we are heading if QMC is enabled to go ahead.

6.  DCA has a Training Officer whose main theme is helping improve the proficiency of recreational cavers and who helps to organise courses (with partly subsidised costs), to enable this.  DCA courses are attended by cavers from all over GB - presumably because there is nothing similar going on in their own regions.  And proficiency training has in the past including dry-stone wall building and cave photography, it's not all SRT and ropes.   To find out more on this, check out the DCA website for the Training Officer's thoughts on "The Caving Club Training Scheme ... designed to be run by club cavers for club cavers."

7.  Re. Andrewmc's comment:
On a slightly unrelated note, I think amendments at an AGM that change the substantive content of a motion (rather than technical details) should not be permitted or at least be heavily discouraged, so that people can know exactly what they will be voting for before they arrive.

I think this is fair comment and this may be the reason for there being several alternative motions on some issues - an attempt to allow all sides of the problem to be reflected at the AGM where it was impossible for BCA Council to amalgamate proposals into one coherent motion.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Aubrey on May 12, 2017, 05:33:09 pm
Where can I find the minutes of the BCA meeting 25/3/2017?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 12, 2017, 05:56:59 pm
not sure the minutes have yet been published, but if they have will be on the bca website I believe.

proxy voting, the motion was put forward at last years agm, and quite rightly as suggested a lot of big organisations use this method.
However my reason for voting against it would be that the orginisations that use proxy voting have a lot more money and can afford to send out before agms motions with a option for you to tick the proxy box vote, leaving your decision with say the chairman.
this method I believe could be open to abuse.
In the 21st century most (not all ) are electronically connected so I cant see a reason why we cant have electronic voting for most, and sending via post for the small minority who cant/wont do it electronically.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 12, 2017, 06:01:18 pm
In the 21st century most (not all ) are electronically connected so I cant see a reason why we cant have electronic voting for most, and sending via post for the small minority who cant/wont do it electronically.

If we're doing it electronically, then I will, with the best of intentions, shoot holes in any voting procedure. It's trivial to game a lot of systems online, so anything that does happen will need some very close scrutiny and due diligence.

However, done correctly, this is something that needs to happen.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Aubrey on May 12, 2017, 06:03:35 pm
not sure the minutes have yet been published, but if they have will be on the bca website I believe.


I cannot find minutes on BCA web site.
I am trying to find out what is going on in advance of tomorrows CSCC meeting.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Pegasus on May 12, 2017, 09:38:37 pm
BCA - I don't actually care how you do it, however please make it possible for folks to vote without actually being at the meetings, thank you.

I can't make the AGM (gutted, but really can't make it) and absolutely want to vote but can't  >:( >:(

Pegasus
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 13, 2017, 12:48:02 pm
If we're doing it electronically, then I will, with the best of intentions, shoot holes in any voting procedure. It's trivial to game a lot of systems online, so anything that does happen will need some very close scrutiny and due diligence.

However, done correctly, this is something that needs to happen.

That makes two of us then. Not that I've tried anything like that before, but perhaps if an idiot like me could find issues with it then it really would need fixing.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on May 13, 2017, 05:12:17 pm
As far as I know the Minutes of BCA Council Meeting of 29 March 2017 are not yet available. 

They would normally be emailed to BCA Council members in draft form as well as being posted on the BCA website but this hasn't yet happened.  The first draft of the minutes is normally checked by the BCA Chairman and Treasurer before being circulated and this is usually within about a month of the meeting - but I have no no idea why there is a delay this time.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on May 13, 2017, 06:05:47 pm
The meeting was seven weeks ago today and no minutes have yet appeared.  The paid BCA admin assistant took the minutes of the meeting where she typed them straight onto a laptop.  Tidying them up and formatting them for draft distribution shouldn't take more than a week. 

However, it is the custom of the exec to edit and agree the minutes to their satisfaction and that seems to be the cause of the delay.  One would have hoped that paying for admin assistance would speed up this process but the opposite seems to have happened.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: langcliffe on May 13, 2017, 06:32:26 pm
However, it is the custom of the exec to edit and agree the minutes to their satisfaction and that seems to be the cause of the delay.  One would have hoped that paying for admin assistance would speed up this process but the opposite seems to have happened.

I don't want to pick holes, Badlad, but as we're dealing with identifiable individuals here, I'm not sure how you can associate a delay you say is caused by the exec with the paid admin assistant.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 13, 2017, 08:04:03 pm
I think the point is that the role of the *paid* admin assistant taking notes and being faster, is nullified by tedious waiting that could be vastly streamlined.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on May 14, 2017, 09:55:19 am
However, it is the custom of the exec to edit and agree the minutes to their satisfaction and that seems to be the cause of the delay.  One would have hoped that paying for admin assistance would speed up this process but the opposite seems to have happened.

I don't want to pick holes, Badlad, but as we're dealing with identifiable individuals here, I'm not sure how you can associate a delay you say is caused by the exec with the paid admin assistant.

You may have misunderstood me.  Having watched the admin assistant in action she certainly looks competent and I would expect that she could produce the minutes within a week or so.  Delays, it's now seven weeks since the meeting, can only be down to the exec and their instructions.  There is no explanation for such a long delay and ordinary council members, like others who are interested, still await the draft of the minutes. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 14, 2017, 05:05:25 pm
I also thought the minutes of the meeting was typed in the meeting, I have asked for confirmation of a certain part within the minutes and have yet too hear back. I cant understand why it should be so difficult or take so long with documents being sent electronically in seconds,
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on May 15, 2017, 11:15:33 am
Maybe they should just audio record the meetings and immediately send them to the membership then nobody has to quibble over what was said. You could livestream them on facebook/youtube as well :)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: SamT on May 15, 2017, 11:53:59 am
I audio record our AGMs on a little digital dictaphone stuck up on a shelf in the corner of the room, works really well.  (boring as hell to listen back to though!!)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 15, 2017, 12:44:45 pm
Income stream for BCA: podcast of AGM in real time.....
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: crickleymal on May 15, 2017, 01:18:15 pm
I also thought the minutes of the meeting was typed in the meeting, I have asked for confirmation of a certain part within the minutes and have yet too hear back. I cant understand why it should be so difficult or take so long with documents being sent electronically in seconds,
The one thing that bugs me about meetings is when the minutes are issued just before the next meeting. That way you've forgotten exactly what was said and confusion arises. If I'm taking minutes I try to issue them within a few days  of the meeting.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 15, 2017, 03:37:52 pm
And that's how it should be.

Delaying and 'editing' minutes smacks of censorship.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on May 15, 2017, 04:05:10 pm
Unfortunately there do seem to have been a number of glitches caused by email problems affecting a number of members of BCA Council and the Admin. Assistant, which have slowed things down - these are not the fault of the Admin. Assistant or the BCA Secretary. 

In addition, both the Chairman and Secretary of BCA have been away during parts of April and May, though both are now back, so I hope the minutes can be issued soon.  This was clearly a meeting of considerable interest to a number of BCA members and it's doubly unfortunate that the minutes have been so delayed.

The idea of trying to record the meetings sounds attractive but, in practice, would be pretty useless as we had nearly 30 people present and not all speak clearly.  It's OK for a smaller group or if all have their own microphones but the room we use for BCA Council is not good accoustically and it's sometimes quite hard to hear what's being said even if you are present.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 15, 2017, 04:41:26 pm
An email 'glitch' is nice and vague, what actually happened?
Not clicking send doesn't count as a glitch IMO, and any decent webmail provider shouldn't be experiencing technical glitches in [current year]...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: braveduck on May 15, 2017, 05:00:15 pm
Topimo    Like! :)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 15, 2017, 05:15:17 pm
Clip on mics can cost <£10 and be run through a mixing desk into a laptop (already owned) or dedicated audio recorder.

It's an option, and could be a valid use of members' money.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 15, 2017, 05:34:09 pm
It's an option, and could be a valid use of members' money.
better that throwing £5000 at some dodgy service provider from llandudno 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: braveduck on May 15, 2017, 05:38:49 pm
cavemanmike      Like :)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 15, 2017, 05:55:26 pm
Hell, the money could even be given to UKC to fund the installation of a 'Like' button for Braveduck.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: braveduck on May 15, 2017, 06:49:31 pm
Topimo      Like ;D
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ZombieCake on May 15, 2017, 09:24:33 pm
The likes of Zoom & Olympus make very good low cost audio recorders that can record a conference or concert type event.  Zoom H1's are good for recording my brother's band murdering (sorry, I mean creatively interpreting) songs with guitars plugged into a large amplifier or two and an Olympus VN-713PC will capture a conference in a  pub like room.  Both use micro SD cards.
Maybe there could be a BCA rap?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mch on May 16, 2017, 09:42:19 am
When I recorded the Bradwell Symposium last year I used a Sony ICDPX333D.CE7 Digital Voice IC Recorder+. 60 quid from Amazon. This worked pretty well without using an external microphone despite the room not having particularly good acoustics and it recorded the whole days proceedings with room to spare.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Dave Tyson on May 16, 2017, 10:20:22 am
I used to record the minutes of the CCC AGM on a either a pocket dictaphone or a couple of mobile phones placed centrally. This works surprisingly well and as long as people announce who they are before speaking, and  it is pretty easy to follow the conversations later as you get used to the voices when people forget to announce who they are.

 The big problem is the time spent listening to the recording and transcribing the pertinent bits to produce a transcript which captures the key points and discussion without the woffle and side tracks. It also helps if the chair keeps the meeting orderly. a 3-4 hour CCC AGM normally needs about 9-10 hours review to produce the minutes.

 Given that the average BCA Council meeting drones on for 7-8 hours it would take around 20 hours to produce the transcript and I think most people charged with doing this would have lost the will to live by the time they completed it.

Dave (ex CCC Secretary)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on May 16, 2017, 01:24:21 pm
The BCA will need to change to become more representative, more transparent and more inclusive or it will become irrelevant.

Excuses about email incompetence and acoustically unsuitable rooms just don't cut it.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on May 16, 2017, 04:50:08 pm
The BCA will need to change to become more representative, more transparent and more inclusive or it will become irrelevant.

Excuses about email incompetence and acoustically unsuitable rooms just don't cut it.

Flipperty flop.

The Members will need to become more eager to represent themselves, vote more (thereby caring about the dissemination of information, ergo transparency) and include themselves more.

excuses about voting and being on holiday just don't cut it.

Now is the time for change, vote on that date in June for democracy and proxy voting!
 If internet voting is on the cards, vote for that. If not, vote on proxy voting and then next year vote for Internet voting!
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on May 16, 2017, 04:55:42 pm
The BCA will need to change to become more representative, more transparent and more inclusive or it will become irrelevant.

Excuses about email incompetence and acoustically unsuitable rooms just don't cut it.

Flipperty flop.

The Members will need to become more eager to represent themselves, vote more (thereby caring about the dissemination of information, ergo transparency) and include themselves more.

excuses about voting and being on holiday just don't cut it.

Now is the time for change, vote on that date in June for democracy and proxy voting!
 If internet voting is on the cards, vote for that. If not, vote on proxy voting and then next year vote for Internet voting!


No, that's not how it works though. Holding meetings in (wherever, Mendip for me) essentially excludes those who cannot afford the time or currency to go there, thus meaning there is a financial penalty on representation.

You know very well that I get involved Alistair, but only in the Peak as that is where I can afford to travel.

Before chastising members for not getting involved enough, the BCA must remove artificial barriers such as "email glitches" and acoustically innappropriate rooms.

More transparency and proxy voting will go somewhat towards removing these impediments.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 16, 2017, 05:36:30 pm
there is a lot of noise from lots of people on here who knock people who are trying on there behalf. its the old saying if you don't like it change it. but those who shout loudest are often then the most quiet when they can change it then moan its the same old. for information of the bca council they come form the four corners of the uk. I have to travel nearly 3 hours, and for the agm that will nearly 4. I could actually make more use of my time but I put my hand up and made a commitment.
lots of things which are reported on quite often only reflect one persons side of the debate and everyone then jumps on the bandwagon.
there is good and bad about the bca, there is personality clashes within the bca, there is a lot of people trying to do the best job possibly cause they put there hand up, but in reality struggle cause they have other commitments in life. Its not an excuse its a reality its a fact. so maybe if everyone who is unhappy with the bca and the way its run can turn up in june put there hand up for a job and then they can move the bca forward,
I shall be there. lets see if we can get more than 30 others there. out of 5000 membership.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 16, 2017, 05:39:51 pm
and ps. like I said earlier, personally I am not against proxy voting, however in the organisations I belong too that have this system in place, you have to tick a box, which means a postal letter going out, which incurs costs.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 16, 2017, 05:43:15 pm
...if you don't like it change it.

You must have missed the bit where the majority voted for change in a ballot held by the BCA.

We're making noise because a small handful of people are holding things up, desperately hoping if they do it for long enough, the status quo will remain. If it can't get a move on *very* soon, I suspect a lot of people will do what we have done, eave the BCA as it's not fit for purpose if it can't carry out the wishes of it's members because of a few Empire Builders.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 16, 2017, 05:53:46 pm
I am not missing that point at all. I was one who voted for. But all of the above includes a lot more things than just crow. I am as frustrated by it as well. and even if we continue with crow issue, and defra continue to stick to its interupation where does that leave the bca.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 16, 2017, 06:11:20 pm
The location of the meeting this year is well situated to allow many of us from regional universities to attend, so we will be there.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 16, 2017, 06:13:19 pm
 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 16, 2017, 06:44:10 pm
I am not missing that point at all...

You are. We voted to change it. Change is not, despite some sterling efforts in some quarters, happening. If the BCA cannot carry out the democratically decided wishes of it's members, then it is not fit for purpose, and needs to be replaced by something that can manage to get a clarification of the law. We're not trying to change the law, we believe it does cover caving as it is not explicitly excluded, but we do want a clarification, for the likes of DEFRA.

You asked "Where does that leave the BCA?"

Well, if we don't get to seek a clarification, then a large amount of people/clubs will do as I have said, and it will crumble, see above.

If we do get clarification, and it's as we think, we go caving. If it's not as we think, then it's not. Either way, the clarification was sought, as voted for.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 16, 2017, 07:21:39 pm
yep still missing the point, defra have said it does not cover caving, I am behind the crow, I want the interaptation changed, I never said change in the law. I said interaptation. defra will not change its view, so where does that leave caving? the majority and like I said I voted for, think it includes caving, defra does not. are bca working to change this, yes and no, yes in tims activities, no in people trying to derail the process, and that's is what 4.6 is all about. and not going to bore you with all the details and arguments, but 4.6 needs to change, there is motions tabled at the agm, it needs one of them with 70% in favour for it to go forward, even when 4.6 gets changed we still left with 2 different interpretations one by cavers and one by defra. so that leaves cavers and bca where. and where I stand if cavers don't think the bca is acting in  there best interest, come along, put there hand up and change the members, its happened in ccc and cncc. its can happen in the bca.  if cavers are not prepared to stand then they then need to let those who have try and work on behalf of everyone, as slow and frustrating as that is. the majority of the council think crow does include caves, and possibly as frustrated as the rest of us, but are tied by a constitution. that when bca was set up was probably right, now it needs to change. so newstuff rally the troops and will see you in Derbyshire for the agm :clap2: :clap2:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on May 16, 2017, 07:50:10 pm

the majority of the council think crow does include caves, and possibly as frustrated as the rest of us, but are tied by a constitution. that when bca was set up was probably right, now it needs to change.

I couldn't agree more. Tim could quite conceivably have tried to tackle the relevant authorities as a one man band, but they'd have laughed him out like a man with squeezy car horns on each elbow and knee! (no resemblance to Tim intended)


(http://soundofboston.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Creepy-One-Man-Band.jpg)


Clearly no one wants to waste their time, so Tim had to go and use the official Channel, as authorities tend to sit up and listen when it's only the bells and whistles.


Someone put chewing gum into the whistle when we had the crow vote and now we need to order up a council street cleaner to have it disappear! simple and while we're at it we can polish the bell- have proxy voting, a new system for instructors and be at the pub for lunch.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 16, 2017, 07:54:55 pm
…. defra have said it does not cover caving ….


I thought DEFRA said you can go in as far as the light does.

a)   Isn’t that “caving”?
b)   Isn’t DEFRA offering their interpretation (rather than stating a statute)?


.... the bit where the majority voted for change in a ballot held by the BCA.....


Yes, that happened and BCA didn’t do it because ……


.... a small handful of people are holding things up, desperately hoping if they do it for long enough, the status quo will remain.


Therefore;

The BCA will need to change to become more representative, more transparent and more inclusive or it will become irrelevant.



And, it’s no good simply saying “turn up and vote”. With a few exceptions, the same people have been running the BCA year on year on year on year. There are some decent people on the BCA committee. However, Newstuff speaks of the minority that are blocking the majority.  I would suggest that their actions potentially constitute corruption. I have no intention of attending another BCA meeting ever again. The good will of the many is slapped down by the malignant few.


Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 16, 2017, 08:00:42 pm
and ps. like I said earlier, personally I am not against proxy voting, however in the organisations I belong too that have this system in place, you have to tick a box, which means a postal letter going out, which incurs costs.

You don't have to send people out a form. You can place the onus on posting things on the voters, and make the form available on the web. You could potentially even do everything online.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 16, 2017, 08:23:36 pm
I would suggest that their actions potentially constitute corruption.

Ian

Veering towards over-dramatization again, Ian :lol:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 16, 2017, 08:46:43 pm
Nope.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on May 16, 2017, 08:49:23 pm
There is a bright side to everything.
To the best of my knowledge and belief Gina Miller has no interest in caving whatsoever.
 :lol:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 16, 2017, 08:50:55 pm
Ian:

Yarp.

One of the Triumvirate of Evil suggested problems with the Constitution pretty early in the debate.

He was pooh-poohed by the 'It'll be Alright on the Night' faction. Including you as I recall.

You were warned. Get over it.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 16, 2017, 09:44:47 pm
I don't know what you are talking about.

Please use plain English rather than vague riddles.

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on May 17, 2017, 04:20:49 am
The BCA should just take an official stance that in it's opinion CRoW does apply to caving and that cavers should visit caves on 'access land' as and when they see fit. It's probably the only way to bring matters to a head. Are any landowners likely to take the BCA to court to prove otherwise? Perhaps a legal case is the only way to clarify the situation.









Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 17, 2017, 06:07:08 am
The BCA should just take an official stance that in it's opinion CRoW does apply to caving and that cavers should visit caves on 'access land' as and when they see fit. It's probably the only way to bring matters to a head. Are any landowners likely to take the BCA to court to prove otherwise? Perhaps a legal case is the only way to clarify the situation.

Given the current lack of any semblance of a *spine/testicular fortitude/guts from large swaths of the BCA, I very much doubt anything of the sort will happen. Lots of handwaving, talking, and things will go. I've got £50 to the charity of your choice that that no meaningful change will have happened, and we're still talking about sorting out some "minor detail" on the run-up to the next AGM. I'm assuming it survives intact enough to have another AGM, and clubs/cavers don't leave en-masse when they realise naff-all will happen.

*delete as appropriate
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mch on May 17, 2017, 09:55:32 am
The BCA should just take an official stance that in it's opinion CRoW does apply to caving and that cavers should visit caves on 'access land' as and when they see fit. It's probably the only way to bring matters to a head. Are any landowners likely to take the BCA to court to prove otherwise? Perhaps a legal case is the only way to clarify the situation.

I think it more likely that landowners will just prevent cavers from accessing caves on their CROW land, leaving the cavers concerned to take legal action to compel access. Do we have any wealthy cavers out there willing to take this on? How about crowdfunding - I'd chip in.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Dave Tyson on May 17, 2017, 10:35:22 am
I think it more likely that landowners will just prevent cavers from accessing caves on their CROW land, leaving the cavers concerned to take legal action to compel access. Do we have any wealthy cavers out there willing to take this on? How about crowdfunding - I'd chip in.
IMHO I think its unlikely that landowners would take legal action. It's an unnecessary expense and any court action may fail leaving them with a bill and no benefit. Despite the current opposition from DEFRA/NE/NRW regarding CRoW access for caving I think it is unlikely the landowner would get support those groups. Certainly NRW is trying to avoid any legal confrontation which could lead to the issue being tested in court - there may be a few reasons for this: (a) They don't have a lot of money. (b) They know they are on a sticky wicket. (c) The Welsh Government seems keen to enhance outdoor access and so they would be in conflict with their paymasters.

The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA. Their restriction on 'the limits of daylight' would be laughed out of court.

Dave

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jopo on May 17, 2017, 01:42:28 pm
Quote
The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA.

However one could say that having a list  means that everything NOT shown as a permitted activity is excluded.

Jopo
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: tony from suffolk on May 17, 2017, 02:07:43 pm
Quote
The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA.

However one could say that having a list  means that everything NOT shown as a permitted activity is excluded.

Jopo
Like tying your shoelaces, or blowing your nose, you mean?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 17, 2017, 02:34:04 pm
Like tying your shoelaces, or blowing your nose, you mean?

Reductio ad absurdum...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jopo on May 17, 2017, 02:48:18 pm
Quote
The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA.

However one could say that having a list  means that everything NOT shown as a permitted activity is excluded.

Jopo
Like tying your shoelaces, or blowing your nose, you mean?

How droll. Be nice If you had something sensible to say.

Jopo

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on May 17, 2017, 02:59:03 pm
wonders how an election and ensuing cabinet reshuffle will affect the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/section/30 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/37/section/30)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 17, 2017, 03:12:25 pm
The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA.

Regarding the CRoW Act, the Countryside Council for Wales stated:

"What does the new right NOT include? It does not include riding a horse or a bicycle or driving a vehicle, or certain other activities such as camping, swimming or caving".
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Rhys on May 17, 2017, 03:15:33 pm

The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA. Their restriction on 'the limits of daylight' would be laughed out of court.


Sadly, law doesn't work like that; The "forbidden" list is just a list of examples and not exhaustive.

Why would the "limit of daylight" be laughed out of court? It's just a proxy measure for "open-air", which is in the CROW act.

This is old ground that we've been over numerous times...

PS. I'm a pro-CROW voter.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 17, 2017, 03:31:22 pm
Regarding the CRoW Act, the Countryside Council for Wales stated:

"What does the new right NOT include? It does not include riding a horse or a bicycle or driving a vehicle, or certain other activities such as camping, swimming or caving".


CCW are defunct ......

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 17, 2017, 03:34:49 pm
.... the debating has been going on for a while, so far, then. Perhaps it'll become the new Jarndyce v Jarndyce.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Rhys on May 17, 2017, 03:48:03 pm
The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA.

Regarding the CRoW Act, the Countryside Council for Wales stated:

"What does the new right NOT include? It does not include riding a horse or a bicycle or driving a vehicle, or certain other activities such as camping, swimming or caving".

Yeah, but that's the CCW/NRW interpretation of the law. It's not the law. Haven't we been here before?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Rhys on May 17, 2017, 04:02:47 pm

CCW are defunct ......


NRW took over their responsibilities and adopted their interpretations.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on May 17, 2017, 04:06:06 pm
Perhaps every BCA caver should be supplied with a BCA Card with integrated light, and call it a "daylight".
 as long as the light is carried on a trip then all is ok?!?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Pocket-Credit-Wallet-Light/dp/B00H8KTLLY/ref=pd_sbs_201_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=808CSPXFNDKG1SGB04W0 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Pocket-Credit-Wallet-Light/dp/B00H8KTLLY/ref=pd_sbs_201_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=808CSPXFNDKG1SGB04W0)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 17, 2017, 04:16:37 pm
Less defensible than a complex system of mirrors installed in each cave though Alastair?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 17, 2017, 05:45:50 pm
Yeah, but that's the CCW/NRW interpretation of the law. It's not the law. Haven't we been here before?


+1  :thumbsup:

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: RobinGriffiths on May 17, 2017, 10:40:41 pm
Limit of daylight wise then, you wouldn't need a permit to descend Gaping Ghyll main chamber, and then prusik up again.

Does limit of daylight mean you can see the sky, or is it that you can see your surroundings without a lamp once your eyes have become accustomed. Or maybe the ambient natural lighting must be over some set limit.  The 'limit of daylight' thing does absolutely lend itself to reducto ad absurdum.

Robin
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 17, 2017, 11:09:50 pm
Given that limestone is a biogenic sediment, it probably formed in the photic zone of the carboniferous seas, ergo ALL limestone is within the limit of daylight as it was formed in daylight.
Good as some of the other word twisting weaseling some are doing to deny cavers the legal right of access on CRoW land
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ZombieCake on May 17, 2017, 11:13:06 pm
Probably not overly relevant, but in the name of levity & jest a while back I was in a board meeting (not caving related) and my thoughts for the minutes were simply:

1) Various members of the board talked bollocks for some time.
2) The rest of the board concurred.

I in no way wish to decry the efforts of the BCA, which in my view is a force for good, and certainly recent posts on the library are a bit of a revelation to me.  Does anyone know if they have anything on witches and caves? (area of research I'm looking at).
 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 18, 2017, 08:11:42 am
Didn't the BCA(in the old days) decide to omit cave from the list
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: AR on May 18, 2017, 09:40:13 am
Quote
The current CRoW act does lists some activities which are forbidden, caving is not one of them and so it is allowed despite the interpretation placed by DEFRA.

However one could say that having a list  means that everything NOT shown as a permitted activity is excluded.

Jopo

Generally speaking, English law works on the principle that unless something is explicitly prohibited or constrained, it is permitted.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on May 18, 2017, 03:12:40 pm
The same cannot be said for Spain. There it's everything is illegal unless the law says its allowed. At the moment you have to get a permit for the cave as normal, then when you arrive you have to phone the Garda-civil and when you leave you phone them again! I certainly don't want to see anything that ridiculous here, but that's what can happen when you start getting all officious and power-crazy big organisations. Especially government. The reason behind this whole thing was down to one organisation after another sticking their ore in and wanting to be involved.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on May 18, 2017, 05:17:58 pm
This is slightly off the topic of the OP but may help with the excluded activities argument. It has been said of a principle of English Law that,

“England, it may be said, is not a country where everything is forbidden except what is expressly permitted: it is a country where everything is permitted except what is expressly forbidden.”

Further reading on CRoW shows parliaments intention;

The Minister stated that the CRoW Act chose the 1949 formula (National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act).  This used the method of listing excluded activities.

During the passage of CRoW the Commons proposed an amendment which stated;

" 'Open air recreation' means recreational activities usually carried out in the open air."

The Minister's response was,

"The Government have chosen the route of listing excluded activities".  "We are trying to allow everything that is not specifically excluded."

In the Lord's a further amendment was proposed,

" 'Open air recreation' means recreational activities necessarily carried out in the open air."

In response the Minister stated,

"The term was not defined in drafting the bill because we considered that a definition would be undesirably restrictive and unnecessary"

Both amendments were withdrawn.

This is a quick snapshot which was covered in far more detail in our submission to the QC, but this does demonstrate just one aspect of the strength of the CRoW argument.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 18, 2017, 11:30:37 pm
Caving and caving politics are two distinct hobbies that have no meaningful connections with one another. Apparently, the CROW issue that is the primary topic of this and countless other debates is of very little importance to cavers. It follows that the BCA is the governing body for the hobby of caving politics, and with few exceptions (primarily the library referenced above) is not particularly useful or at all necessary to cavers. I suspect that many cavers, including some active in these debates, would find refreshment in a maturation of purpose marked by focus on practical, physical, real-life activity and complete abandonment of political games.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 19, 2017, 07:21:57 am
Caving cannot be termed an open air activity because although some of it is, much of it isn't. Cave diving and passages or chambers containing less-than-fresh-air being two examples that might easily confound such a definition.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 19, 2017, 12:52:09 pm
Caving cannot be termed an open air activity because although some of it is, much of it isn't. Cave diving and passages or chambers containing less-than-fresh-air being two examples that might easily confound such a definition.

We've been over this, ad nauseum. It's in the umbrella of "open-air" activity (Climbing, Canyoning etc).
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on May 19, 2017, 01:36:20 pm
I must say I agree with Kenilworth on this one. Stop playing games and get on with job. This is taking longer then leaving the EU which is an entirely much more complicated subject matter. Surely it can't be that hard in the grand scheme of things.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 19, 2017, 04:09:48 pm
I Surely it can't be that hard in the grand scheme of things.

it can when half of the bca exec are against the crow act and are fighting poor old tim all the way instead of giving him there FULL SUPPORT
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 19, 2017, 06:01:22 pm
is that the exec or council,
the council the majority are in favour of crow

some of those opposed are opposed on the grounds that the bca has acted against its constitution hence a proposed vote to change it.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 19, 2017, 06:49:48 pm
smoke and mirrors badger smoke and mirrors
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on May 20, 2017, 10:23:07 am
Caving cannot be termed an open air activity because although some of it is, much of it isn't. Cave diving and passages or chambers containing less-than-fresh-air being two examples that might easily confound such a definition.

Presumably you're not allowed on the moor if someones burning a few miles away or if the farmer has spread muck. What a silly argument.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 20, 2017, 05:52:11 pm
Be careful 2xw he's a landowner you know  :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 20, 2017, 07:43:18 pm
What a silly argument.

Fully agree. Being outdoors, with an open-air view of the sky, constellations, the Universe etc. even if you're stood next to a smelly bonfire or whiffy muckspreader is at the polar opposite end of the scale from being inside the planet's skin, encapsulated and surrounded by rock, where no light can enter and where the air might be dangerously high in CO2. The former is most clearly open air, and most leisure pursuits there in which you might be engaged would be obviously be defined as open air activities, while the latter is without doubt not the open air blah blah blah.

To argue otherwise would be considered by many to be the height of folly. Caves (beyond the limit of daylight penetration) are not an open air environment and caving within them is not an open air activity.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 20, 2017, 07:50:32 pm
Be careful 2xw he's a landowner you know  :lol: :lol:

An(other) example of ambassadorial excellence at forging goodwill between the caving world and landowners? Will it work, though?

There's a well established (but perhaps not well known) quote about who the best people are at cocking up access to caves....
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 21, 2017, 02:07:22 pm
I must say I agree with Kenilworth on this one. Stop playing games and get on with job. This is taking longer then leaving the EU which is an entirely much more complicated subject matter. Surely it can't be that hard in the grand scheme of things.

In fact, I'm not suggesting that BCA get on with it. I'm suggesting that "cavers" get on with it. An astounding lack of independent thought has allowed otherwise (apparently) respectable and intelligent people to be drawn into embarrassing, degrading word games and heated arguments over an "issue" that is utterly inconsequential.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 21, 2017, 03:08:21 pm
Caves (beyond the limit of daylight penetration) are not an open air environment and caving within them is not an open air activity.

You think it's the height of folly to class Caving as open air, but then go on to say with a presumably straight face, that it's only beyond the limit of daylight? I'm going to risk angering Jane, or you abusing mod powers (again) and suggest you're mentally ill or mentally retarded.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 04:12:23 pm
Au contraire, pot/kettle. At present I believe the only legally functioning definition for a cave that stands much scrutiny is indeed the sub-surface rock-enclosed void beyond the limit of daylight penetration; if you can see daylight you are still on the surface, even though you may be many hundreds of feet lower than adjacent surface terrain. I'm not a legal whizzkid but can certainly see that defining a cave for a legal description isn't as easy as many people glibly presume it to be.

Kenilworth: on this one I'm going to have to disagree: the issue isn't utterly inconsequential: far from it - there are major consequences. It is easy to understand why many cavers would vote for the prospect of an easy-win improvement in their personal access and the easement thereof to tracts of land containing caves. I suppose it boils down to personal benefit, at base a selfish concern. However, to attempt to use force of law to institutionally (BCA level) and grass-roots level (individual) ride rough-shod over landowners and to enshrine antagonism and disrespect towards them is an unwise move; short-term it is akin to a "jam today" mentality - lots of people would vote for that - but long-term it will have negative repercussions that won't necessarily harm present-day cavers but most certainly could materially harm the structure, bodies, and individuals who will in later years be engaged in caving in this country.

The short-termists clearly don't (or won't) see this. They may have popular support now, and may be riding the crest of a wave, but once they are past it, or dead, by that time.... (or sooner).... caver goodwlll relations with landowners looks like they will have become terminally damaged.

The other significant and sinister unintended consequence is this: when a critical mass of cavers genuinely believe that the law is on their side and supports them in pursuing access to caves, ...any caves, ...all caves, ...even those which are in private ownership, it will wittingly or unwittingly make criminals of them because they may commence routinely engaging themselves in criminal damage to force entry to barred sites. This then has a knock-on effect of tarring the caving community, wholesale, by association, or by dint of tacit support due to the absence of condemnation, as outlaws. That is not a good category in which to belong, and looks like being one which we are teetering on the cusp of falling into, as it can progress with a momentum of its own without paying heed to national policy or due process.

I am not satisfied that National Council has put in sufficient consideration of logical consequences and that it has abrogated its role, and washing its hands of responsibility for the outcomes after having allowed the crowd to have it say.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 21, 2017, 05:00:47 pm
An awful lot of "if's", "might's " and "maybe's" in there Mr Cap'n Chris.

How many people (since the CRoW debate) have (attempted) forced entry to your cave?


Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 05:08:04 pm
irrelevant and digressionary. Won't fall for that. Try again.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 21, 2017, 05:08:53 pm
Attitudes like yours Chris, are why we left the BCA. As long as they persist, we want nothing to do with it.

Funnily enough, I went digging and caving today, not giving one solitary damn about the politics of it and there's a lot of them as it's N.Wales. More people should do that, it's very invigorating.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 05:10:47 pm
This place appears to be akin to an online lynch mob, almost entirely devoid of debate any longer. Whatever happened to the concept of a forum? Anyone willing to read, consider and respond to the points in the thread or is it simply a case of weight of numbers of nay-sayers nowadays? I think most people familiar with this place know the answer to that but it would be nice to see it in black and white.

Here's one for debate:

Has the pursuit of the CRoW topic been a force for good in the BCA and the wider caving community?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 05:17:28 pm
Attitudes like yours Chris, are why we left the BCA. As long as they persist, we want nothing to do with it.

Try a mirror sometime.

You're opposed to BCA? That's genuinely surprising as I got the impression you were majorly pro-BCA policy? How do you provide landowner reassurance and caver bona fides without BCA green card(s)?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 21, 2017, 05:21:24 pm
Does the good captain have a part time job as a spin doctor, perhaps a career in mainstream politics awaits, who knows what the future holds for any of us. More doom mongering than the Mayhem slating Corbyn?

Best legal opinion at present says caving on CRoW land is permitted, BUT bodies that have a say in the mater are fudging the issue for a variety of reasons. Clarity is required, not more confusion. Perhaps an interested body sh/could seek that clarification at a level that will have some meaning?

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 05:25:54 pm
Well the obvious "interested body" would be BCA, would it not? How to seek clarification? Looks like only a legal precedent will suffice. So is BCA going to Court?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on May 21, 2017, 05:48:33 pm
all of the arguments are academic, as at present we only have a instruction from the membership of those voted to campaign to challenge the present understanding of the crow legislation, so at present the landowners can say to how they want access to caves on there land. the present issue to stop openly campaigning is some members believe the BCA is in direct conflict with the constitution, fine lets change the constitution, then we can campaign.
yes there is an opinion on the table that which suggests in principle crow does cover caving, and I believe someone has suggested that the reality of the whole issue it will only get sorted in a court.
so we can keep hypothising and make all sorts of deflecting topics but if you want BCA to campaign then come to the agm and vote.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 21, 2017, 05:54:17 pm
A test case could well be the result, but a course of action seeking clarification would be a good first step. Now if only we had canvassed the membership to see what they wanted the BCA to do on their behalf, possibly gaining a mandate to go ahead and do the work towards a resolution of this question, we could have some sense of direction?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 21, 2017, 06:43:56 pm
I am young and have limited exposure to such legal warfare.

How much would a test case cost, and what would be the lasting damage to the individual(s) that invoke it?

I am wondering if it's worth poking the beehive to see what comes out.

(Best estimates and discussion accepted...)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 21, 2017, 06:54:57 pm
This place appears to be akin to an online lynch mob, almost entirely devoid of debate any longer.

You are right.

Quote
Kenilworth: on this one I'm going to have to disagree: the issue isn't utterly inconsequential: far from it - there are major consequences. It is easy to understand why many cavers would vote for the prospect of an easy-win improvement in their personal access and the easement thereof to tracts of land containing caves. I suppose it boils down to personal benefit, at base a selfish concern. However, to attempt to use force of law to institutionally (BCA level) and grass-roots level (individual) ride rough-shod over landowners and to enshrine antagonism and disrespect towards them is an unwise move; short-term it is akin to a "jam today" mentality - lots of people would vote for that - but long-term it will have negative repercussions that won't necessarily harm present-day cavers but most certainly could materially harm the structure, bodies, and individuals who will in later years be engaged in caving in this country. 

I have long understood and agreed with the theory of your argument. The more I read though, the less I am able to believe that either or any of the possible outcomes will have substantially different effects from the other(s). You are absolutely correct that the selfish desire for short-term reward and free and easy access, and especially the willingness of one group to disregard another in the pursuit of it, are damaging. But the attitudes of the majority that birth those desires will persist no matter the resistance. The only thing we can do is to act with individual integrity. There is no such thing as institutional integrity.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 21, 2017, 07:12:03 pm
Be careful 2xw he's a landowner you know  :lol: :lol:

An(other) example of ambassadorial excellence at forging goodwill between the caving world and landowners? Will it work, though?

There's a well established (but perhaps not well known) quote about who the best people are at cocking up access to caves....

I have a stable block bigger than the land you (were given) own and considerable more land but I  don't stand on a soapbox about it
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 21, 2017, 07:14:46 pm
You're opposed to BCA?

No. We're opposed to the governing body pandering to the attempts of a few to drag out and stop the process. We want nothing to do with a supposed governing body that lacks the ability of fortitude to stop those shenanigans. Should that change, we'll happily re-join.

How do you provide landowner reassurance and caver bona fides without BCA green card(s)?

Generally, they don't give a stuff. They do however, want to meet you and decide for themselves you have enough brain cells to not be a liability. The ones that do give a stuff have been terrified into putting gates (or allowing it to be done) on everything by the caving worlds equivalent to ambulance chasers. In general, we just go ferreting about down 'oles in't ground.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 07:15:37 pm
Isn't that precisely what you're doing, though, Mikeymancave?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 21, 2017, 08:05:58 pm
An awful lot of "if's", "might's " and "maybe's" in there Mr Cap'n Chris.

How many people (since the CRoW debate) have (attempted) forced entry to your cave?
 



irrelevant and digressionary. Won't fall for that. Try again.



This place appears to be akin to an online lynch mob, almost entirely devoid of debate any longer. Whatever happened to the concept of a forum? Anyone willing to read, consider and respond to the points in the thread ….


LOL – Have a word with yourself Mr Cap’n Chris

 ;D

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 21, 2017, 08:09:55 pm
QED.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 21, 2017, 08:18:05 pm
Quote
We want nothing to do with a supposed governing body that lacks the ability of fortitude to stop those shenanigans.

Governing bodies are defined by shenanigans. That's what they are for. It's fine for you to declare independence from BCA, but somewhat disheartening that you are still involved in debating about its actions. It was never meant to serve local interests, and no national body ever will be meant for, or at least equal to, such a task. That's what you are for.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 21, 2017, 11:26:12 pm
I am young and have limited exposure to such legal warfare.

How much would a test case cost, and what would be the lasting damage to the individual(s) that invoke it?

I am wondering if it's worth poking the beehive to see what comes out.

(Best estimates and discussion accepted...)

Lots, probably I guess on no basis whatsoever, although I vaguely remember that there was some scheme to limit costs for cases in the public interest or something. The thing to do is find a friendly landowner, trespass on their land (CROW cave), then the friendly landowner (with the trespassers unofficial consent) sues for trespass. Test case, with an agreement not to collect damages.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 22, 2017, 01:33:58 am
I am young and have limited exposure to such legal warfare.

How much would a test case cost, and what would be the lasting damage to the individual(s) that invoke it?

I am wondering if it's worth poking the beehive to see what comes out.

(Best estimates and discussion accepted...)

Lots, probably I guess on no basis whatsoever, although I vaguely remember that there was some scheme to limit costs for cases in the public interest or something. The thing to do is find a friendly landowner, trespass on their land (CROW cave), then the friendly landowner (with the trespassers unofficial consent) sues for trespass. Test case, with an agreement not to collect damages.

Do you know a friendly land owner with whom we could do this? I'd imagine personal donations and a bit of crowdsourcing could go some way as to ameliorate the costs.

Unless I am vastly underestimating the cost associated with the legal profession in this country ;)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 22, 2017, 02:09:55 am
Just educating myself a little here.

"Before an individual or organisation can bring an application for judicial review, they must be able to demonstrate that they have “standing”, which requires that they have a “sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates”. In the vast majority of cases, the applicant to the court will be an individual who is directly affected by a public authority decision or other measure, and they will on that basis have a “sufficient interest”. " [1]

"Trespassing is usually a civil wrong and dealt with accordingly. However, in England and Wales certain forms of trespassing, generally those which involve squatters, raves and hunt saboteurs are covered by criminal law. There are offences under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Sections 61 and 62 of trespassing on land and trespassing with vehicles." [2]

[1] http://publicinterest.info/?q=judicial-review/standing (http://publicinterest.info/?q=judicial-review/standing)
[2] http://www.mylawyer.co.uk/trespassing-a-A76076D34460/ (http://www.mylawyer.co.uk/trespassing-a-A76076D34460/)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on May 22, 2017, 03:22:26 am
It's probably been asked before, but can someone against caving being included in CRoW legislation (I personally believe caving is included already - in the spirit of the legislation) please explain why they think caving isn't or shouldn't be included. Owners of Access Land have had long enough to get used to living with the legislation already. An occasional couple of cavers should make no difference to them, given that the BCA covers all cavers liability and not just members.
In reality there are relatively few cavers around. I can't remember the last time I met another team of cavers whilst on a trip. There certainly wouldn't suddenly be vast numbers of cavers accessing caves on Access Land.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: tony from suffolk on May 22, 2017, 03:36:04 am
I assume, given the arguments put forward by the anti-CRoW for caving faction, that they must be against the CRoW legislation anyway.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: MarkS on May 22, 2017, 09:13:34 am
...However, to attempt to use force of law to institutionally (BCA level) and grass-roots level (individual) ride rough-shod over landowners and to enshrine antagonism and disrespect towards them is an unwise move; short-term it is akin to a "jam today" mentality - lots of people would vote for that - but long-term it will have negative repercussions that won't necessarily harm present-day cavers but most certainly could materially harm the structure, bodies, and individuals who will in later years be engaged in caving in this country.

The short-termists clearly don't (or won't) see this. They may have popular support now, and may be riding the crest of a wave, but once they are past it, or dead, by that time.... (or sooner).... caver goodwlll relations with landowners looks like they will have become terminally damaged.

Seeking to ensure that access for cavers to hundreds/thousands of caves is protected by law for generations to come seems far from a short-term argument to me. I would say it is the complete opposite. I don't think many cavers feel hugely limited under current access agreements that cover areas containing many of the most popular caves (in the north, at least), so I think the pro-CRoW argument is far from short-sighted.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on May 22, 2017, 09:27:04 am
Like many I am getting tired of all the banging on about CROW, but had to come in here re "landowner goodwill"

What a bloody laugh

Originally my perception of landowners was my friendly Welsh farmer friends, but later came the realisation of the huge tracts of land owned by 'companies', XYXZ Estates Ltd.

Do a bit of research. You will struggle to ascertain even who or what human individuals are actually behind it. So lets make sure we remain on good terms with such caver friendly organisations as merchant banks, offshores, Saudi Oil money etc. Its a joke.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: adam on May 22, 2017, 09:45:17 am
Also re "landowner goodwill"

We had an entirely different experience yesterday in the Yorkshire Dales. A delightful landowner who was genuinely pleased to welcome us onto their land, and was even interested in what we were doing. It really is worth keeping on good terms with people like that, regardless of CRoW.

It's all too easy to slide into an 'us and them' mentality in debates like this, but it doesn't help. There's good eggs and bad eggs in all walks of life.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on May 22, 2017, 12:18:09 pm
and if you decide to visit Cwmystwyth you will meet and even friendlier landowner who would even be happy to conduct you into the mines. Again, an individual, not a Japanese merchant bank
 ;D
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Brains on May 22, 2017, 07:15:23 pm
and if you decide to visit Cwmystwyth you will meet and even friendlier landowner who would even be happy to conduct you into the mines. Again, an individual, not a Japanese merchant bank
 ;D

Soon as I get a chance I will take you up on the offer  ;D
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on May 22, 2017, 10:26:21 pm
There should be an 'interesting' announcement soon re a certain annual event
 ;)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on May 23, 2017, 10:41:51 pm
To reiterate my previous posts: how feasible it is to take 'community action' and undertake a controlled trespass generating the aforementioned test case.

Why might this not be so smart, anyone any idea of the costs and implications?
Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands? Criminal record? I understand trespass is usually a civil wrong and not criminal, the finance and feasibility sides are the unknowns, anyone more experienced able to chime in?

My friendly legal pal is back from holiday soon, and I will enquire with my solicitor also while I have other engagements with him.

What relevant past cases may be referred to?

What else should the caving youth know? I'm part of a group of students coming to the AGM, not all of us were able to vote. It happened in my first year of uni/caving so I was fortunately able to, though the lack of action is disappointing given I'm now graduating and moving on, oh how time flies when access issues fill the air.

Some youngins I've spoken to are not even aware of CROW and access issues, being freshers and so on. But they're keen and we're researching and learning what we can with them.

I'm just trying to educate myself and see what can be done inside and outside of the BCA's official stance/actions pending the upcoming AGM and all that 'kerfuffle'...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: cavemanmike on May 24, 2017, 07:28:21 am
Topimp
I like your attitude and find it encouraging that the youth of our small community taking such a pro- active part :clap2: :clap2:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on May 24, 2017, 09:40:29 am
To reiterate my previous posts: how feasible it is to take 'community action' and undertake a controlled trespass generating the aforementioned test case.

Why might this not be so smart, .... [?]


Lots of reasons.

Most landowners have accepted people walking about on their land with or without caving gear and take very little notice of us. We can already go caving under CRoW because landowners appear to treat as just like any other visitor. A landowner would be extremely unlikely to take anybody to court because they would have nothing to gain and a lot to lose.

For them to take somebody to court they would have to be able to prove trespass and that would probably mean that the person would had to have caused significant damage.

A "controlled trespass" would (I think) be a criminal offense under CRoW whether or not you were caving and also would be criminal without CRoW so would not be a good idea.

We have very good relations with landowners and we want to continue with them. Many small CRoW landowners are on first name terms with cavers including CNCC officers and are very amenable and welcoming to visitors including cavers. Some of the owners of the larger estates are not bothered about cavers on their land and might well welcome DEFRA changing their mind on (their silly interpretation of) CRoW. There are a very small number of estates the owners of which are very difficult to contact and we don't know what they think. However, I know that a lot of cavers are caving on CRoW land without being challenged in the way that cavers were challenged in a few places before CRoW. CRoW has already vastly improved access for cavers.

I think the best course of action is to carry on not rocking the boat but quietly and firmly letting people know that we think CRoW covers caving and intend to carry on campaigning for DEFRA to change their minds. In the mean time carry on caving on CRoW land as we are doing.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Rob on May 24, 2017, 09:53:52 am
Go caving with a couple quid in your pocket.

If "caught" by an unhappy farmer offer him a trespass fee. They may well accept.

If they refuse then I've heard they have less of a leg to stand on in court (not that it would go that way anyway)...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on May 24, 2017, 09:59:23 am
Go caving with a couple quid in your pocket.

If "caught" by an unhappy farmer ...

But that just doesn't happen any more, not on CRoW land anyway which is what we're talking about.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Rhys on May 24, 2017, 10:19:16 am
To reiterate my previous posts: how feasible it is to take 'community action' and undertake a controlled trespass generating the aforementioned test case.

Why might this not be so smart, .... [?]


Lots of reasons.

Another one is that you could spend lots of time, money and effort getting to court expecting that the judge will once and for all decide whether caving is "open-air" or not. However, you can't force the court to make that call. If they can, they'll spot some other simpler issue or technicality and decide the case on that basis or throw it out without considering the question you want answering. It's got you nowhere.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Pitlamp on May 24, 2017, 10:29:51 am
offer him a trespass fee. They may well accept.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Pitlamp on May 24, 2017, 10:30:49 am
I should have added to the above "Doesn't that promote the thin end of a potentially ugly wedge?".
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 24, 2017, 05:15:13 pm
I think the best course of action is to carry on not rocking the boat but quietly and firmly letting people know that we think CRoW covers caving and intend to carry on campaigning for DEFRA to change their minds. In the mean time carry on caving on CRoW land as we are doing.

If that was the official policy, semi-official policy, or even just the reading-between-the-lines policy, that would be fine with me - but it isn't. The policy from our noble access bodies is the opposite.

From the CNCC webpage (picking on the CNCC here only because they have lots of big CROW caves and permit schemes):
"In several areas in our region, the CNCC serves as an intermediary between the landowner (who is controlling access) and the caving community to help ensure that cavers are advised of any access restrictions and are issued with permits on behalf of the landowner, for those seeking to access the cave in accordance with the specific requirements. Anyone wishing to visit a cave in our region should look at the specific access details on this website for that cave. Where a permit mediated system exists between the landowner and the CNCC, it is important to apply for a permit to descend that cave on your chosen date, and to adhere to restrictions imposed by the landowner that are stated on the permit."

The CNCC runs permit schemes for CROW caves. I am happy enough to enjoy my right to wander across CROW land and then descend a cave under a probable presumed right which I am highly unlikely to be challenged about. I am, however, much less happy about going against the CNCC access agreements regardless of whether I agree with them because:
a) I don't want to gain an 'unfair' advantage in not gaining permits when others do the 'right thing' and apply for them, and
b) I don't want to impinge on the CNCC's ability to gain access agreements (not necessarily on CROW land) by adding to the number of cavers ignoring agreed access.

On this logic, it would be much better for me if the CNCC refused to engage in permit schemes on CROW land, taking a stance that access was already freely available and therefore they could not in good faith ask cavers to jump through unnecessary hoops. For me, I do not approve of the idea that a club who follow the 'rules' set by other cavers lose out compared to other cavers who ignore the 'rules'. I think not all access is worth the cost, and losing access to a few caves to kill off the permit scheme elsewhere might be worth it.

Given the uncertainty over CROW, I'm not saying that the above would be a wise course of action. It would be good to know, one way or the other.

By comparison, this is the BMC access information for (part of) the Dinorwig slate quarries:
"The Upper Dinorwig quarries are mainly owned by First Hydro. Access for climbing or any access away from the designated footpaths is not permitted by the landowners, due to liability concerns. However it's rare for climbers to be asked to leave and in general it appears that if climbers keep a low profile, avoid damaging fences, do not interfere with any of the power station buildings or apparatus or any of the historic structures within the quarry that climbing is possible. Access to the whole of the upper quarries have become especially sensitive in recent years and climbers should not gather in large numbers, especially at Dali's Hole area. Bolts have been removed from Dali's Hole by a local climber (late 2010) who was concerned that continued use of this venue by large groups of climbers would jeopardise access to the whole site. There have also been a number of reported altercations between climbers and First Hydro security staff over the years at this venue.

BMC advice remains unchanged - the landowners do not give permission for public access (including for climbing) away from the public paths. Please do not damage fences or signs and if accosted by security staff, please be courteous and report any issues to the BMC."

which, reading between the lines, clearly says 'it's not allowed so don't be a nob, but carry on'.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 24, 2017, 06:15:01 pm
Not sure you can compare access to a huge area with access to *one* (admittedly large) site.

Neither can I see CNCC giving up its access mandate.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: andrewmc on May 24, 2017, 06:41:06 pm
Not sure you can compare access to a huge area with access to *one* (admittedly large) site.

It's probably one of the biggest examples but there are probably hundreds of similar sites in the UK with equivalent or similar wording.
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=1001 (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=1001)
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=521 (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=521)
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=464 (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=464)
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=388 (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=388)
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=82 (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=82)
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=126 (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/modules/rad/view.aspx?id=126)


Quote
Neither can I see CNCC giving up its access mandate.

I think we might see access quite differently... I see the purpose of an access body to gain (responsible) access for cavers, not to restrict it or control it (albeit this may sometimes be necessary for conservation)...

Gaining increased access to CROW caves would surely fulfil the aims of the CNCC, plus there is plenty of caves not on CROW land for them to negotiate about (and it may be more than reasonable for CNCC to coordinate voluntary restrictions where those are appropriate, just like conservation tape in caves is voluntarily complied with).
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 24, 2017, 07:43:44 pm
Neither can I see CNCC giving up its access mandate.

+1


I see the purpose of an access body to gain (responsible) access for cavers, not to restrict it or control it …

+1


Gaining increased access to CROW caves would surely fulfil the aims of the CNCC …

+1


 :thumbsup:


Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Simon Wilson on May 24, 2017, 09:47:03 pm
I think the best course of action is to carry on not rocking the boat but quietly and firmly letting people know that we think CRoW covers caving and intend to carry on campaigning for DEFRA to change their minds. In the mean time carry on caving on CRoW land as we are doing.

If that was the official policy, semi-official policy, or even just the reading-between-the-lines policy, that would be fine with me - but it isn't. ...


Yes it is, pretty much.

If you read the minutes of the CNCC meetings over the last two years you will be able to get a good idea of the general attitude to CRoW, permits and landowner relations.

In a nutshell it is - campaign for CRoW but don't upset the landowners. Think it through for yourself. I'm sure people on here will thank me for not going over it all again.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: RobinGriffiths on May 24, 2017, 10:58:28 pm
Landowners can be bloody intransigent though. There is a bit of the Wales Coastal Path near where I live, and there is continuous access through NT property almost to a public road, the last 15m thereof, not NT property, the landowner is defending with their life. All visible on the web - there have been attempts for a permissive arrangement, which has been declined, and now the local authority are trying to create a right of way, and part of the argument is that locals have been crossing this 15m strip for years - indeed I had been running it daily for 5 years before my achilles gave up. Not sure if my anecdote brings anything to the barbecue, but hey-ho.

Anyway, the funny thing is that this property advertises itself for accommodation on the web. And one of the selling points they advertise is.... and you can see this coming...  'convenient access to the Coastal Path'.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ed on May 25, 2017, 10:03:39 am
As DEFRA are the statutory undertakers of CROW if they are saying caving to the extent of day light is covered by CROW this is a definitive statement defining the framework / boundaries of the legislation.

As such they need to define what they mean the extent of day light with facts and figures ie Ca / lx. In addition, they are normally required to produce a Guideline Statement that includes real world example - they should be sending staff down to collate these.

They need to do this as it is setting the boundaries (for want of better description) of the extent of the legislation itself and therefore must be quantifiable - it is not a subjective assessment for breach of the legislation as Statutory Nuisance is under EPA 1990

Can the BCA ask for these from DEFRA in order for DEFRA to back up their statement?

Can the BCA also ask them to clarify if they mean the extent of day light or sun light? If they say day light that would specifically exclude night time caving. As such that will not stand as it against the intent of the act as CROW makes no distinction between day time and night time access.

If they say sun light - ask them to define it. Is it the limit to the human eye or the extent of photon penetration? If to the human eye  who's eye as not all caves have good eye sight or what international weighting standard are they using to define "average eye" (with sound there is a whole heap of stuff regarding weighting measurement for the human hearing).




Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: TheBitterEnd on May 25, 2017, 03:21:36 pm
Or they could just define it as the point beyond which you cannot see the sky.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on May 25, 2017, 04:16:27 pm

I have to agree with much of what Andrewmc says in his post no. 355 above. 

What I can say to the points raised about the CNCC is this.  The CNCC has a number of new faces and has adopted a more forward looking approach to access in recent times.  We are aware of the way the BMC does things and I have spoken to a number of their reps to find out more detail.  As the new Access Officer I have had some very positive meetings with a number of large caving landowners in the Dales since I took over.  At present we are working hard on a completely new approach to the traditional access arrangements.  When this comes to fruition it will be a compromise  position which will offer benefit to both landowners and all cavers.  However, it is going to take some time and progress will be reported to CNCC meetings and through the newsletter as and when we can.

The CNCC has supported the BCA on campaigning to confirm cave access freedoms under the CRoW Act.  We are all awaiting the outcome of the BCA AGM to see where we are going with this.  However, I am confident that the days of BCA (or CNCC even) threatening disciplinary action to cavers who breach access agreements on CRoW land are over.

Tim Allen
CNCC Access Officer
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Dave Tyson on May 25, 2017, 04:20:36 pm
Or they could just define it as the point beyond which you cannot see the sky.
Which then begs the question who is going to check? Will the DEFRA police sit outside cave/pothole entrances to make sure cavers stay visible or will that be left to the anti-CRoW cavers to sit in judgement  :tease:

It's a load of nonsense and when the CRoW act was passed cavers should have ignored any edicts from the BCA and others and just gone caving. By now any dust would have settled and a huge amount of pointless discussion  (and the expense of balloting) would have been saved...

Dave
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: tony from suffolk on May 25, 2017, 05:05:11 pm
Or they could just define it as the point beyond which you cannot see the sky.
"They" being? DEFRA have already given their interpretation, the sheer nonsensical, ridiculous nature of which is perfectly illustrated in Ed's posting.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 25, 2017, 05:08:31 pm
It's a load of nonsense and when the CRoW act was passed cavers should have ignored any edicts from the BCA and others and just gone caving. By now any dust would have settled and a huge amount of pointless discussion  (and the expense of balloting) would have been saved...

Dave

Like in the 80's when the CNCC were largely ignored by the Penzance Caving Club?  :lol:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 25, 2017, 07:47:19 pm
...ignored any edicts from the BCA and others and just gone caving.

Which is exactly what we are doing.  ;)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017It's
Post by: RobinGriffiths on May 26, 2017, 12:13:45 am
It's very refreshing that BMC thing though isn't it. Just carry on, if you get told to leave, do so courteously. It's almost like they are supporting the climbers to continue climbing.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017It's
Post by: crickleymal on May 26, 2017, 07:39:18 am
It's very refreshing that BMC thing though isn't it. Just carry on, if you get told to leave, do so courteously. It's almost like they are supporting the climbers to continue climbing.

Sounds exactly like the advice given to urban explorers.  :ang:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 26, 2017, 08:17:40 am
Anyone got any news on the meeting please

2 months, 1 day later.

Minutes available yet?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jopo on May 26, 2017, 08:22:25 am


It's a load of nonsense and when the CRoW act was passed cavers should have ignored any edicts from the BCA and others and just gone caving. By now any dust would have settled and a huge amount of pointless discussion  (and the expense of balloting) would have been saved...

Dave

Is a director of Cave Access Ltd recommending that all access and agreements should be ignored and cavers just go caving/mining regardless?

First sentence from the CAL website home page

Quote
Introduction
Cave access Limited is a company created to manage recreational access on behalf of Cavers and Mine Explorers to various mines and caves on land owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW). This is a new organisation which merges three former public bodies - Forestry Commission Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Countryside Council for Wales.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Dave Tyson on May 26, 2017, 08:55:24 am


It's a load of nonsense and when the CRoW act was passed cavers should have ignored any edicts from the BCA and others and just gone caving. By now any dust would have settled and a huge amount of pointless discussion  (and the expense of balloting) would have been saved...

Dave

Is a director of Cave Access Ltd recommending that all access and agreements should be ignored and cavers just go caving/mining regardless?

First sentence from the CAL website home page

Quote
Introduction
Cave access Limited is a company created to manage recreational access on behalf of Cavers and Mine Explorers to various mines and caves on land owned by Natural Resources Wales (NRW). This is a new organisation which merges three former public bodies - Forestry Commission Wales, Environment Agency Wales and Countryside Council for Wales.

None of these areas are CRoW Land and the CRoW act does not apply to Mines. I am very happy to abide by the wishes and respect the landowner on non-CRoW land. On CRoW land I can walk, climb and do anything which is not specifically forbidden by the CRoW act and in return the landowner gains some protection from liability - both sides win.  ;D

Dave
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 26, 2017, 10:41:50 am
None of these areas are CRoW Land and the CRoW act does not apply to Mines. I am very happy to abide by the wishes and respect the landowner on non-CRoW land. On CRoW land I can walk, climb and do anything which is not specifically forbidden by the CRoW act and in return the landowner gains some protection from liability - both sides win.  ;D


+1

I think "we" could go a little further.

Personally, I would also respect the (reasonable) wishes of a CRoW landowner.  Of the many cavers that I know, I don't know any who would act to the contrary.

It doesn't need rules, regulations, by-laws or statutes to be reasonable and respectful.

Since Her Majesty's Government indemnifies landowners against CRoW activities, it is indeed a win/win as Dave states.

 :)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on May 26, 2017, 01:57:10 pm
Personally, I would also respect the (reasonable) wishes of a CRoW landowner.  Of the many cavers that I know, I don't know any who would act to the contrary.

Please define "reasonable" in this context.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on May 26, 2017, 03:08:28 pm
Since Her Majesty's Government indemnifies landowners against CRoW activities

HMG does nothing of the sort.

CROW limits the liability of the owner or occupier of Access Land such that they need to take no action to protect visitors from hazards caused by natural features of the landscape. That is all.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 26, 2017, 04:34:03 pm
I didn’t think such a conciliatory post would attract such strong attention ….

To clarify then …

Personally, I would also respect the (reasonable) wishes of a CRoW landowner.  Of the many cavers that I know, I don't know any who would act to the contrary.

Please define "reasonable" in this context.


“Reasonable” Examples;

Please close the boundary field gate after going through it.
Please keep your dog on a lead, I have sheep kicking around somewhere.
Please don’t leave all your tubs and crap in the field outside the entrance of the cave.

And … “I am not a caver but I would like to preserve the aesthetic beauty of the cave which is on my land. Please do not damage, change or alter my visual experience by bolting a gate across the entrance”

I think all those meet the definition of “reasonable”.  :)



Since Her Majesty's Government indemnifies landowners against CRoW activities

HMG does nothing of the sort.

CROW limits the liability of the owner or occupier of Access Land such that they need to take no action to protect visitors from hazards caused by natural features of the landscape. That is all.


That is precisely what I meant (and said). I am pretty sure you knew that  :spank:


 ;)

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 26, 2017, 06:30:01 pm
So what about the *altering* of the 'natural features of the landscape' by cavers to facilitate ingress?

I.e. digging.

Is that covered, Ian?
Because I suspect Nick knows full well whether it is or it isn't.....
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 26, 2017, 06:47:59 pm
You already know the answer to that Mr Droid  ;)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 29, 2017, 01:20:20 pm
Really Ian?

Enlighten me please.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on May 29, 2017, 09:12:19 pm
People have talked of framing a CROW test case around a “cave trespass” on some friendly landowner’s land where the action would be non-trespass if statutory recreational caving access rights exist.  Trespass is a civil law matter and the legal remedy that an aggrieved landowner has is to get an injunction against the people doing the trespassing and possible damages if there was some loss.  There would have to be very good reasons for a court to issue an injunction as they are not handed out so freely these days.

If the trespass was only a minor nuisance then it will be hard to get the court to take the case seriously.  I cannot imagine any court injuncting some Joe Public to stop him exploring inside some cave on CROW Access Land or on Urban Common as “peaceful enjoyment”.  I cannot see how a landowner can argue that someone who has a clear legal right to walk over Access Land to a cave entrance as a rambler would, and then disappear for a few hours into a cave as a caver would, then emerge and leave the Access Land as a rambler once again, could cause a material loss or an intolerable nuisance to anyone.

Another problem is that trespass will be dealt with in a local County Court.  Whatever is decided will not set any legal precedent.  The loser in the County Court would need to appeal in the High Court in order to establish the legal precedent they wish to have.

By contrast, Judicial Review (JR) cases always begin in the High Court, so the initial result could set a legal precedent.  People have asked in the discussion above how much a JR costs.  But a better opening question is:  what matters can be dealt with by JR?  The cost of a JR is not really relevant if you have no grounds for starting one.

The JR case that I contemplated in 2015-16 concerned NRW’s handling of a Bat Conservation Licence application involving a cave where, we suggested, NRW had not considered statutory public recreational access rights provided by the CROW Act.  The bat licence sought permission to block up a cave entrance on CROW Access Land supposedly to protect bats from harm by cavers.

NRW wrote a letter to me, to dissuade me from going ahead with the JR, claiming they had not made any decision in the bat licence case, and so there was nothing for any court to review.  NRW’s argument had some merit insofar as they told the licence applicant that “NRW had withdrawn” their application because cavers do not harm bats and so there was no conservation problem to address.  The applicants were also told they could re-apply for a Development class licence if they wished to prevent cavers entering this cave for private reasons.

A Development licence case turns on whether its outcome, closure of a cave entrance on Access Land in this instance, is for Imperative Reasons of Overwhelming Public Interest – known as the IROPI (eye-ropey) test.  As far as we know, no such application has yet been submitted, and it is hard to imagine what overwhelming public interest might be in closing a cave for private reasons.

My position was that not issuing the Conservation licence amounted to a refusal decision and that withdrawing an application is exclusively the gift of those who submitted it.  But had the High Court agreed with NRW’s curious view that a document withdrawal by the recipient was not a decision amenable to JR then the Court would never have addressed the CROW caving question.  It could have all been a waste of time and money discussing and getting no further in the High Court than exploring the meaning of words like withdraw/not issue/reject/decide/refuse etc.

As everyone knows, I decided not to go ahead having come to the conclusion that this particular bat licence case was too messy to have certainty of testing only the CROW question in court and only on its own merits.  But what my encounter suggests is that NRW is unwilling to have the CROW question tested in court at all because it did its best to be obstructive when it could easily have taken the opportunity to obtain a judgement and saddle the loser with a big legal bill.  This, together with critical deletions in the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) disclosures, indicates to me that NRW thinks they would likely be the loser if the CROW question was ever tested in court.

As to starting a future JR, someone will need to identify a matter in which some quango made a legal decision which was faulty.  A JR case cannot be started simply to test an abstract legal concept in the absence of wrong being done.  Speed is also of the essence as there is a short time-frame to start a JR after the discovery and notification of the alleged problem.  One certain way for any public body to avoid a JR is to develop an aversion to decision-making.  In my view, this is the operational rock and judicial hard place between which NRW now finds itself stuck.

As to costs, NRW’s solicitor reckoned in an email released in a FOI request that it will cost “at least £20,000 … potentially doubled for the losing party if ordered to pay the other side’s costs”.  I think estimating £20,000 each is on the low side.  It is impossible to say how much it might cost if a CROW case got to the Supreme Court via a series of appeals, but a figure of £100,000 was given to me as indicative by an environmental law specialist QC.

BCA has £220,000 of reserves in the last set of accounts that I have seen.  BCA could set up a legal fund of say a third of that (£70,000) and seek finance from a small group of individuals with deep pockets that would be prepared to pledge £1,000-£10,000 sums to be sure there was enough funding to take the case to the Supreme Court if need be, and thus get taken seriously by the opposing side from the outset.  Another way would be crowd-funding.  If half of BCA’s 6000 members were each prepared to donate £20 on a one-off basis that generates £60,000 and BCA reserves or larger donations could cover the remainder if more was needed.

Fishing/Angling has had a big legal fighting fund for 60 years.  If caving contemplates doing similar then their website at fishlegal.net is worth a visit.  Fishlegal have run cases against NRW with mixed results.  Legal cases are always a lottery, even if there is strong legal opinion like Dinah Rose QC’s suggesting our odds of winning are very favourable.

NRW has admitted that it does not possess any barrister-level or QC opinion as to whether the CROW Act applies to going caving.  NRW told me that the only time they have consulted a barrister was in drafting their letter claiming that no legal decision amenable to review had been made in the bat licence case.  NRW have confirmed that cave conservation is not the reason for their anti-public access stance, and they also deny they are simply aligning themselves with Defra’s position.  NRW explained their argument is purely an academic matter about semantics;  whether caving falls within the ambit of the words “open-air recreation” in the CROW Act 2000 and the term “air and exercise” in the Law of Property Act 1925; whether “Commons” includes the caves beneath the surface and if caves form part of “Access Land”;  and whether omission of cave survey details from paper OS maps excludes caves from the Access Land concept; and so on.
 
I gave NRW a hefty shove towards an opportunity to settle the matter in or out of court, but they were not concerned enough about caving to put their money where their mouth was.  I also sense that NRW are afraid of losing the respect and cooperation of ordinary cavers and looking ridiculous by denying in the public eye that statutory access applies to caving.  NRW’s pedantic and narrow legal interpretations go against the generality and the social purposes of access legislation enacted over the past century, and the effect is to undermine current government policy to encourage more active and healthy lifestyles that would benefit the modern nation.

The question that I would most like to ask now is why spend money when the CROW question can just be left up in the air, and NRW etc can just be left alone to spend more time with their private opinions instead of letting them pull our teeth?  Recreational cavers could just keep calm and carry on caving where they have been legally advised by learned counsel unopposed by their peers that statutory access rights should apply.

Apologies for the length of this item, but it covers a number of recent themes posted.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 29, 2017, 10:47:20 pm
I have been involved in some of Stuart’s experience(s) both to a peripheral and central extent.

In particular, I am aware of the FOI request and subsequent shenanigans. I was at a meeting with Stuart and NRW where the issue(s) he discusses were the subject matter and witnessed NRW’s executive “position” (as Stuart states).

Regardless of our own views on the validity of CRoW and caving, it is very clear that NRW are (at best) “uncertain”. It is also very clear (to me from my personal experiences) that they are unwilling to test their position in court.

I sincerely believe that the route Stuart is proposing is eminently logically, sensible and in the best interests of the caving community. We perhaps don’t need to dig into our pockets since there are already sufficient funds available should the need arise.  The BCA executive should be acting to protect the interests of the members who voted in the ballot. As much as the process is being thwarted by a minority, the executive should be looking at all contingencies including the issues raised by Stuart (which represent reality and not ideology).

I don’t believe that the people who voted “for” in the ballot should be asked to for more money but if it comes to it, I will put my hand into my pocket. There is a caveat though, I would want reassurance that the executive are genuine in their mandate to represent the outcome of the ballot and that they will not seek to prevaricate or pander to the minority.

Big +1 to Stuarts post.

 :)

Ian


Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 30, 2017, 01:02:40 am
Thanks Stuart, for the sanest comments I've read on this matter in quite a long time. Diligent investigation on your part has led to roughly the same conclusion plenty of other sane people have surely reached based on gut judgment, namely:
Quote
The question that I would most like to ask now is why spend money when the CROW question can just be left up in the air, and NRW etc can just be left alone to spend more time with their private opinions instead of letting them pull our teeth?  Recreational cavers could just keep calm and carry on caving where they have been legally advised by learned counsel unopposed by their peers that statutory access rights should apply.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: RobinGriffiths on May 30, 2017, 01:10:04 am
Very informative post by Stuart.

To turn things on its head, carry on caving on CROW land, and if there's an accident, maybe the owner would seek indemnification via CROW?

Robin
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 30, 2017, 06:00:54 am
Campaigning can also cease, logically.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: royfellows on May 30, 2017, 09:08:18 am
I endorse what Stuart has posted 100%, and is basically a reflection of my own thoughts on the matter.

I will make a copy of this posting and keep it on one side, its too valuable to be lost within the mass of data that must exist within UKC.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 30, 2017, 11:56:13 am
Campaigning can also cease, logically.

Yes.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NigR on May 30, 2017, 01:05:59 pm
Campaigning can also cease, logically.

Yes.

No.

It's all very well to say "Just carry on and go caving". That might be fine up in the Dales where you don't have gates on caves and nobody is going to try and stop you anyway. What about down here in South Wales where physical barriers to caves on CRoW land already exist and plans are very much ongoing to put even more in place? What are Welsh cavers supposed to do, put an angle grinder in our tackle bags along with our sandwiches on every trip?

As Ian says, BCA Executive should be actively representing their members by continuing this campaign and providing Tim Allen with the support he so clearly deserves. Anything less is simply not good enough.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on May 30, 2017, 08:08:40 pm
Campaigning can also cease, logically.

Not while you lot that say we're talking bollocks. Logically.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on May 30, 2017, 09:15:25 pm
It wasn't me that suggested it. Logic or not.

The question that I would most like to ask now is why spend money when the CROW question can just be left up in the air, and NRW etc can just be left alone to spend more time with their private opinions instead of letting them pull our teeth?  Recreational cavers could just keep calm and carry on caving where they have been legally advised by learned counsel unopposed by their peers that statutory access rights should apply.

Left alone = cease campaigning.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on May 31, 2017, 12:46:09 am
Quote
What about down here in South Wales where physical barriers to caves on CRoW land already exist 
How many? What relationships between cavers and their owners currently exist? The fact that these caves are on CRoW land is unimportant.

If these are isolated incidents, they should be dealt with by using courtesy and common sense, not campaigning. This might mean that some caves are off-limits for a while, which is also not important, no matter what the law says. The only way to deal with cave access, in my opinion, is to pretend that no law exists. Starting from that premise, do what you feel is best for all parties, including the owner, neighbors, yourself, and fellow cavers. Action taken will obviously and rightly be different in each case.

The BCA should not be representing anybody, and "democratic" decisions do nothing more than reveal the ignorance of the membership. Cavers do not need representation. Theirs is a simple hobby, the governance, funding, and organization of which does not require a national body. To provide, or claim to provide, such "representation" is to make cavers more ignorant, more lazy, and a liability to their communities, as is overwhelmingly proven by each of the many CRoW threads on this site.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on May 31, 2017, 08:35:32 am
Your ideology is interesting but very far from the practicalities of how (South Wales) caving is operated.

do what you feel is best for all parties....

That is, perhaps, the most contentious statement you have made in all your postings. “Parties” have wildly differing views and some have acted to the (serious) detriment of fellow cavers.

We do not have consensus in British caving.

Without a governing body anarchy would reign. Pockets of power crazed tyrants would spring up and seize control of caves, gating and sealing them off from others. Malcontent insurgents would rise up and fight the pseudo autocracies casting aside physical barriers reeking havoc and chaos. The vast majority of cavers would get “stiffed” by the war and languish in a bitter world where the splendours of the underworld were either inaccessible or only available with a side helping of sour cream.

Actually, that all seems to ring a bell …..

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Madness on May 31, 2017, 12:30:35 pm
Kennilworth.

Perhaps you should get someone else to read your posts before you post them. That way you might be prevented from coming across as a complete ****

Administrator Comment Please refrain from getting personal, thank you, Pegasus




Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on May 31, 2017, 05:31:40 pm
We do not have consensus in British caving.

Without a governing body anarchy would reign. Pockets of power crazed tyrants would spring up and seize control of caves, gating and sealing them off from others. Malcontent insurgents would rise up and fight the pseudo autocracies casting aside physical barriers reeking havoc and chaos. The vast majority of cavers would get “stiffed” by the war and languish in a bitter world where the splendours of the underworld were either inaccessible or only available with a side helping of sour cream.


Ian

Absolutely brilliant.

Your best post EVER.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Aubrey on May 31, 2017, 06:18:37 pm
Rubbish!
We all  happily went caving before the invention of BCA or  NCA.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on May 31, 2017, 06:21:19 pm
Didnt Lanc hole used to be locked at some point? But I guess round here that was easily rectified lol.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: langcliffe on May 31, 2017, 06:39:57 pm
Didnt Lanc hole used to be locked at some point? But I guess round here that was easily rectified lol.

That was when the land around the entrance was leased to the British Speleological Association who wanted exclusive access to the system.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on May 31, 2017, 11:12:07 pm
I am not suggesting that we should do nothing except "keep calm and carry on caving".

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is embarking on a process here in Wales to update the law on statutory public access to land for leisure activities.  NRW has done their level best to ignore both caving as a sport and cave access as a need in this context.  Cambrian Caving Council (CCC) has attended various whole-day consultation meetings with NRW over the past couple of years, along with other sports national governing bodies, only to find caving has then not been mentioned at all in NRW’s subsequent policy suggestions to government.

All private meetings between ourselves and NRW have proved equally pointless.  At the last meeting in April, two of the NRW staff were completely new to the caving topic and the more senior of these two admitted quite early on that she was about to move to a new post.  There were two others present, including NRW’s solicitor who proved to be affable and open-minded.

He expressed concern that cavers at large might gain an incorrect impression that NRW is saying something as clear and succinct as “caving is not a valid form air and exercise” or “caves are not part of Commons” when what he actually wrote in a letter to me was “NRW’s interpretation of the LPA 1925 is that caving does not fall within the ambit of ‘air and exercise’ for the purpose of S193 of the LPA 1925. Also, or in the alternative, NRW is of the view that a cave system does not fall within the definition of a ‘Common’ for the purposes of S193 of the LPA 1925”.  So let's be clear about that and not confuse the two.

The way forward here in Wales in the short term is political pressure, i.e. giving the cave access topic more public exposure and to lobby elected Welsh Assembly Members.   But it is worrying that the law reform is led by Lesley Griffiths AM who has the Environment and Rural Affairs brief, and not by Vaughan Gething AM who has the Health, Well-being and Sport portfolio.  Draw your own conclusions from that as to which interest groups will likely be best served.  But doom-mongering is no reason not to try to influence the legislative process in a socially-useful direction.

As to England, I do believe that Tim Allen has been doing the right thing by taking MPs caving and building relationships and public awareness of what caving involves and how well it is conducted, the benefits to the rural economy, and the genuine interest and support of many landowners.

As to BCA, cavers did vote almost 2 to 1 in a referendum in 2014 for a BCA campaign about statutory access rights to be recognized, and following this decision I do believe that Tim has not received the wholehearted support he deserves.  So BCA must now do as the majority of its members have asked or risk losing their support in providing the national leadership and the broad platform on which to take caving forward as sport, or as an educational experience, or for research and special interests.  If BCA fails to deliver this kind of broad vision then there will be no winners.  So it is time for the wrecking and obstructive tactics of a disruptive minority to stop.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on June 01, 2017, 05:57:55 am
So campaigning can continue, logically.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on June 04, 2017, 02:37:09 pm
A new statement of the motions for the BCA AGM was published yesterday.  It contains welcome clarification.  There is also a version of the BCA constitution document helpfully showing the effects this year’s proposed changes would have as additional or deleted text.  The annual accounts are there too.
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=general_meetings:2017agm (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=general_meetings:2017agm)

The chairman, Andy Eavis, has written a short essay on “Why Caving Needs a National Body” here:
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php (http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php)

I am in agreement with Andy that amateur sports need national governing bodies both to represent them and to provide stable broadly-based operating platforms.  The area in which he and I begin to diverge is whether funds and effort are being used to serve the people who mainly pay the bills.  With a very small number of BCA direct individual members, "paying the bills" falls largely to the active club members of BCA who each pay a £17 annual subscription.  The BCA accounts show an income of £99K, and while 6,000 cavers times £17 a head suggests £102K, this feels about right as a small minority of BCA members are classed as inactive cavers and only pay £6 a head.  The implication here is that group members of BCA, such as the BCRA, the Scouts and the like, get a vote but contribute next to nothing to BCA in terms of money.  On the other hand, why should BCRA and Scouts pay anything, if we as a community want to support science and youth development?

BCA insurance costs only £6 per caver on average, so that leaves £11 of each caver’s subscription to spend on other things.  In the latest set of accounts, the annual surplus (profit) narrowed from £19K to £11K.  In other words, BCA has underspent by £30K over two years, thus increasing BCA’s reserves to £245,429.  So BCA is actually spending on average only £9-10 of each caver’s annual subscription on something other than insurance to go caving and saving the rest for a rainy day.  A quarter of a million pounds represents a lot of rainy days.

BCA’s professional training instructor scheme spent £16,480 and earned £15,194 making a small loss therefore of £1286.  This needs to viewed in the context of BCA spending only £500 in the year 2016 on sport caver training – that’s £500 in total for the 6,000 cavers who are paying all those £17 subscriptions, in other words 8p each.  In the previous year BCA spent only £405 on sport caver training.  Youth development was £152 for the year, which is up an impressive 46% up from £104 in the previous year, but is still miserly, and failing to invest in the sport’s future.

BCRA received its usual £10,000 annual grant from BCA towards running the British Caving Library and the Ghar Parau Foundation received the usual £5,000 grant towards assisting elitist expeditions.  By contrast, regional caving councils received £3252, web services almost broke even on a turnover of £1252, rope testing and anchor placement spent £3597, conservation and access spent £2045 of which 71% went on leaflets and £558 for the CROW access campaign.

Does that use of budget feel about right, in terms of supporting the active cavers who pay the bills, and setting priorities to achieve that "stable broadly-based operating platform for our sport"?  It is actually quite hard to spend large amounts of other people’s money in an effective way – ask anyone who has had to spend a big public budget on a national scale to deliver tangible public benefits – so all the above is no criticism of BCA, only a commentary on the financial facts.

As the previous succinct posting above suggests, the CROW campaign should continue but with more funding, and a decent website, good publicity materials and media techniques.  I also feel that moving the professional instructors into an independent and self-financing training/standards body, switching the entire Ghar Parau budget into youth and college-level development and club-level caver training generally, re-organising the national library to run at a much lower cost with higher utilisation rates than there are at present and switch the budget saving into sport development, should all be top priorities for BCA in the coming year.

It cannot be right to spend 15% of income on a library and other forms of elitism, nor is it right that amateurs should regulate and organise the training of professionals, nor that the Cave Access spend is running at under a half of one percent of annual income.

What do other people feel is appropriate?


Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: JasonC on June 04, 2017, 05:43:03 pm
Quote
It cannot be right to spend 15% of income on a library and other forms of elitism, nor is it right that amateurs should regulate and organise the training of professionals, nor that the Cave Access spend is running at under a half of one percent of annual income.
Thanks for taking the time to summarise all this info, Stuart.  Since you ask....
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on June 04, 2017, 05:51:49 pm
It cannot be right to spend 15% of income on a library and other forms of elitism.

I agree with most of your points across past posts Stuart, this one has thrown me a little.
Could you explain how the British Caving Library is elitist?

Surely libraries are the opposite of elitist, allowing the sound preservation of information and ease of access to said information to the library's patrons?

A little while ago I had a nice chat with Moose over a cuppa, recorded it, chopped it up and that audio file now resides in the Audio Archives for anyone to hear, even non-cavers. I didn't have to fill in any forms to do this, jump through an hoops, secret handshakes, submission fees. Just organised by word of mouth, by the caving community, for the caving community.

And Ghar Parau too I suppose. There is potential danger for things like this to be a bit 'old boys club', which I suspect is your point, but the university club I am a member of is very grateful for our support from GP on our previous expedition. It was the first (non-holiday, i.e. 'proper') expedition for a few years in the club and hence was a first expedition for most of us, what with the rapid turnover/progression rate of student clubs. This support made the trip more palatable to the club and students involved who may otherwise be put off by high costs.

I'm struggling to see any elitism here, but will gladly have my eyes opened.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on June 04, 2017, 08:43:34 pm
The elitism may perhaps be the prerequisite to be able to read in order to benefit from the use of the library.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: 2xw on June 05, 2017, 01:30:22 pm


 Ghar Parau Foundation received the usual £5,000 grant towards assisting elitist expeditions.



You can jog right on with that one. Many of the students we took on exped that received Ghar Parau money really needed it - most of us live on less than £7k a year. This is the next generation of British cavers that can now survey, bolt, rig, rescue etc. "Elitist" my arse.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Ball on June 05, 2017, 02:44:19 pm
The elitism may perhaps be the prerequisite to be able to read in order to benefit from the use of the library.

The audio archive is great if you cant read.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Topimo on June 05, 2017, 10:39:30 pm
May I suggest the installation of a temporary boxing ring at the Castleton Rotary Centre for one weekend only?

Or just use the Bearpit in the TSG as usual.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ZombieCake on June 05, 2017, 11:06:18 pm
Quote
You can jog right on with that one. Many of the students we took on exped that received Ghar Parau money really needed it - most of us live on less than £7k a year. This is the next generation of British cavers that can now survey, bolt, rig, rescue etc. "Elitist" my arse.
Quite agree.  I work for a University and there are a lot of skint students out there. Upskilling and encouragement of the next generation is a seriously good thing in my view. Preservation of libraries and information is also quite a good thing.  Might not need them every day but the resource is great when needed.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mikem on June 06, 2017, 07:07:03 am
I'm not sure where he gets his maths either, as the library costs are 8% of income (or 9% of expenditure, as of 2015), or 12% if you include Ghar Parau...

Mike
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: AR on June 06, 2017, 09:25:17 am
If it hadn't been for the BCL, there's a strong likelihood that John Beck and Doug Nash's collections would have ended up in a skip - they organised transport and temporary storage at very short notice.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: CavingPig on June 06, 2017, 10:24:23 am
Quote
You can jog right on with that one. Many of the students we took on exped that received Ghar Parau money really needed it - most of us live on less than £7k a year. This is the next generation of British cavers that can now survey, bolt, rig, rescue etc. "Elitist" my arse.
Quite agree.  I work for a University and there are a lot of skint students out there. Upskilling and encouragement of the next generation is a seriously good thing in my view. Preservation of libraries and information is also quite a good thing.  Might not need them every day but the resource is great when needed.

Just want to add another voice in support of this sentiment. I'm leading an expedition this summer with a very large proportion of students and the GPF/Alex Pitcher money is honestly instrumental in getting students out there. Three years ago on my first expo as a very broke student I used my share of GPF grant towards an SRT kit, as we weren't allowed to take club kit - otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford to go on the expo at all. You cannot call breaking down financial barriers to get more young people into exploration, rigging, bolting, surveying, rescuing etc "elitist". And that rescue training gained through expo participation has also been put into use both in the UK and abroad to either prevent a full-scale call-out rescue operation or to considerably speed things along before the experts arrived, instead of having a big pile of students sitting around like lemons wondering what to do.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Ball on June 06, 2017, 10:54:43 am
If it weren't for the GP and AP awards then the expeditions which meet funding criteria, would be restricted to those who can afford it, so by the funds from BCA going to GP/AP, it is assisting an otherwise elite expedition be less elite, something we all agree is a good thing.
That's how I read Mr Frances post anyway. 
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on June 06, 2017, 06:05:50 pm
Quote from: ZombieCake
Preservation of libraries and information is also quite a good thing.  Might not need them every day but the resource is great when needed.
I know of one club who have decided to forego insuring their library because of the cost of replacing it if it were ever to go up in flames would make the insurance premium very high; despite it being probably the best collection in the UK and possibly even the world on one aspect of caving.  Whilst BCL is not as good, at least it does cover some of the material.

Makes one wonder if we should seek to place in BCL photographic copies of such special material even at the risk of infringing copyright.   
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Dave Tyson on June 06, 2017, 07:53:11 pm
Quote from: ZombieCake

Preservation of libraries and information is also quite a good thing.  Might not need them every day but the resource is great when needed.
I know of one club who have decided to forego insuring their library because of the cost of replacing it if it were ever to go up in flames would make the insurance premium very high; despite it being probably the best collection in the UK and possibly even the world on one aspect of caving.  Whilst BCL is not as good, at least it does cover some of the material.

Makes one wonder if we should seek to place in BCL photographic copies of such special material even at the risk of infringing copyright.
The copyright laws in most of the western world are ludicrous and geared to keeping business interests 'in the money' - the likes of Elsevier (Scientific Journals), Sony et al (Music) etc.  The same laws govern even minority stuff including orphaned works.

I have been burnt by this - an obscure journal published in 1890, yet you cannot copy an article as the author might not been dead for the requisite number of years - they don't know if he lived to be 100+ and so assume the worst case.  Copy and be damned is my standard now! Some libraries are a bit more liberal, but most copyright libraries barely allow you to copy 5% for personal study and if its a short publication of less than 20 pages then its forbidden. This is where a hidden camera in a pen comes in handy...

Dave
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: ZombieCake on June 06, 2017, 08:53:18 pm
Sort of library related: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40173423 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40173423) and a nice thing to do.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Jenny P on June 10, 2017, 04:36:45 pm
I'm not sure where he gets his maths either, as the library costs are 8% of income (or 9% of expenditure, as of 2015), or 12% if you include Ghar Parau...

Mike

If you look on the Library section of UKcaving you will find I have just posted a supplement to the BCL Report to the BCA AGM to explain more about the funding of the Library.  BCL receives a grant of £10,000 per year from BCA towards the cost of maintaining and running the Library on behalf of all cavers.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Pitlamp on June 10, 2017, 06:56:52 pm
Speaking as an ordinary run of the mill caver I fully support that amount being spent on the British Caving Library; it's a fantastic resource, administered by incredibly helpful people - an immensely valuable asset to British cavers.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Mark Wright on June 10, 2017, 09:54:38 pm
I have to completely agree with Pitlamp.

Thanks Jenny for giving the breakdown on how the £10K is made up. I think it's excellent value for money.

I've only ever used the library twice, once when it was in Matlock and Roy helped me research a possible expedition and once at Glutton Bridge when researching the Berger book, and I received an excellent service. I remember it being a hive of activity and even saw Steve Worthington doing some research.

I think Jenny and Mary and everyone else who donate their time deserve a medal.

Mark
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on June 29, 2017, 03:09:32 pm
Your ideology is interesting but very far from the practicalities of how (South Wales) caving is operated.

do what you feel is best for all parties....

That is, perhaps, the most contentious statement you have made in all your postings. “Parties” have wildly differing views and some have acted to the (serious) detriment of fellow cavers.

We do not have consensus in British caving.

Without a governing body anarchy would reign. Pockets of power crazed tyrants would spring up and seize control of caves, gating and sealing them off from others. Malcontent insurgents would rise up and fight the pseudo autocracies casting aside physical barriers reeking havoc and chaos. The vast majority of cavers would get “stiffed” by the war and languish in a bitter world where the splendours of the underworld were either inaccessible or only available with a side helping of sour cream.

Actually, that all seems to ring a bell …..

Ian

I've been away for some time but I hope a late reply is ok. You may be right. Your vision of anarchy is certainly effective rhetoric. In your last sentence you seem to insinuate though that the governing bodies currently in order aren't really doing anything. I think that is likely true.

Obviously it is impossible to always do what is "best" for all parties, so priorities are important. Personally, my first responsibility is toward my neighbors, which I fulfill in various ways ranging from hospitality to diplomacy to secrecy to surrender of claim. Next comes the land, including the cave. Next comes my own personal wishes. Lastly (if at all) comes the law of the land. This works incredibly well for me, and I have many fulfilling relationships with places and people as a result. No consensus is needed to dictate individual right behavior.

If we individually do the best we can, will there still be parties who act to our detriment? Yes. That only means that we will need to keep doing our best. I don't think we need to fight artificial authority acting in our detriment with artificial authority acting in our favor.

On a large government-owned parcel containing one of the most intense concentrations of karst in my State, I have been working on various karst studies and bio-inventories for five years. Two years ago, because of supposed ecological concerns, my permits to do this work were rescinded and I was reminded that criminal prosecution was the penalty for unpermitted cave travel. I took the ecological aspect of this development seriously, and examined my behavior to see if I was doing, or could do, any of the feared harm. The basis for my restriction was invalid. Rather than waste my time on political struggle or arguing with ignorant bureaucracy, I changed my habits. I began parking on a private road and making a longer walk so as to avoid attention. I avoided work during weekends when the land saw higher use. I avoided work during the one day a week when the land manager typically made his little round. Since my car had been reported to law enforcement as suspicious in the past, I made acquaintances with local officers and informed them of my large scale karst research in the county (meeting policemen has been extremely valuable in many areas). Then I carried on in my work, which has recently finished.

This is a tiny and imperfect example of what I'm talking about. Individual behavior. All the governance in the world will not make people do the right or the wise thing, nor will it stop them from doing so. Therefore, why prioritize governance?   
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Kenilworth on June 29, 2017, 03:17:55 pm
Another comment about caving libraries

The NSS maintains a reasonably thorough library, and it is by far their most valuable practical resource. Unless you accept all of the work of surveying, mapping, documenting, studying, and musing that has been put into spelean print as a collection of meaningless egotism, and unless you care to deny the possibility of progressive learning based on past work and future inspiration, then a library should be a priority of any caving organization.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on June 29, 2017, 06:03:40 pm
then a library should be a priority of any caving organization.

No, *caving* should be a caving organisation's priority.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on June 29, 2017, 06:35:13 pm
A priority, rather than THE priority.

Read some of the posts on here, NewStuff. Many of the 'exploration' based posts are asking for information, and that information is normally archived somewhere....ie in a Library.

I accept that Kenilworth has put in his usual waffle and dig about 'egoism' but the general point is a good one.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on June 29, 2017, 06:51:39 pm
Oh, I agree wholeheartedly that maintaining a library is right near the top of the list, no issue about that. No point in exploring something unless you record what was explored.

But surely a caving organisation that is not explicitly a library or conservation body should focus on caving?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on June 29, 2017, 07:18:01 pm

But surely a caving organisation that is not explicitly a library or conservation body should focus on caving?

Absolutely.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Alex on June 30, 2017, 12:51:01 pm
It sounds like the BCA is trying to run everything as one big expedition. This sort of survey library's and the like is perfect for expeditions where everyone is working to one goal... However in Britain that's not the case as people go caving for fun, as well as exploration so my simple question is it appropriate in this setting.

By the way, I am happy with the survey libraries it but I think people just need to remember to try and not run british caving as a caving expedition as not everyone has the same goals so its never going to work in reality.

I think its here were problems exist.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on June 30, 2017, 05:05:02 pm
I disagree.

BCA isn't a big organisation, but it runs itself as if it was: too many committee members, too much beurocracy, too many people trying to establish empires.

Solution: thin down the committees, simplify the Constitution and make the whole organisation more streamlined.

Won't happen. Too many vested interests.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on June 30, 2017, 05:54:43 pm
didn't see many people putting there hand up for positions on the bca at the agm

and if you think the people on the council would not give up their positions for their empire then I suggest you talk to them many would be more than happy for someone to volunteer themselves

so carry on knocking the bca and do nothing about it, you want to change it then do something about, its your association,
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on June 30, 2017, 06:13:43 pm
...you want to change it then do something about, its your association,

You know that bit where a vote was held? Yeah, that was people giving a shit and doing something. Badlad is doing something.

Look where it's got us. With only one exception I can think of being badlad's efforts, we're in the same place we were before, and I'm not surprised at apathy, given that it appears to make no difference to what actually happens.

So, remind me... why should people bother?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: droid on June 30, 2017, 07:35:29 pm
How many people or clubs would be part of BCA if it wasn't for the insurance?

That might well explain part of the apathy NewStuff references.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: badger on July 02, 2017, 10:23:32 am
why should we bother, cause if we are not bothered the minority win.

so please those that at most vocal, carry on complaining, and whinging, but when nothing changed, look in the mirror (this is aimed at everyone, it is not personal). or like badlad try and do something about it. get involved,

when the postal (or by other means) vote comes out fill it in. send it back,
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: NewStuff on July 02, 2017, 11:02:59 am
Why should people put in any effort is a few people can make all that effort seem like pissing in the wind?

You say get involved, look in the mirror... I did both, and look where it got me. One prat has decided that knowingly endangering my job is a legitimate tactic to try to silence me. Over caving. That's the levels that these they will stoop to. That's why they get labelled as dirty and underhanded, that's why most people will not get involved. Anything is fair game.

We decided we would rather go caving than get all pissed off that a few seem to have decided that the majority of those that voted are in fact wrong, and therefore nothings going to change. So we left the BCA and we go caving, and the BCA can sort itself, or not. Either way, I'll deal with any future political threats to me in my way, I'm done playing nice with them, and I can play far dirtier than they can imagine.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Pegasus on July 02, 2017, 11:23:19 am
Administrator Comment Can we please tone it down, thank you
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: notdavidgilmour on October 11, 2017, 07:12:04 pm
The finances of the Tahdah "family" of companies seem like an absolute car crash.  Should the BCA really be gambling it's member's money?

Something that was also discussed at the BCA meeting, was the fact that individual members would have to subscribe (pay) for premium membership to enjoy full functionality of the software.  It would be interesting to know just how "functional" the software is without paying the premium, and also, how much premium membership would cost.

This also poses another question;  If something was to happen to the software provider, who would be responsible for refunding the members who had paid for premium membership?  Would those members just be left out of pocket or would the BCA be obliged to refund them?  If the latter was the case, this is pushing the amount of financial risk to the BCA higher and higher.

Comments at the meeting suggesting that the BCA could afford the financial loss did get my goat a little I must say.  It is very easy to gamble with money that doesn't belong to you.

Sorry for dragging this one up again, but my concerns regarding Tahdah AKA Blah d Blah have become a reality.  I only hope the BCA haven't thrown too much of "our" money at them.

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/blah-d-blah-boss-says-13744157 (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/blah-d-blah-boss-says-13744157)
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on October 11, 2017, 10:08:16 pm
Members of BCA's executive stated at their council meeting last Saturday 7th October that the Tahdah / Blah d Blah etc training management software companies were now financially secure, having obtained a recent government grant, and that although no contract had yet been signed by BCA that the way was now open to sign one.

I paraphrase, of course, but this is as I remember it unfolding.  The council meeting was digitally recorded.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: davel on October 11, 2017, 10:14:18 pm
See http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/blah-d-blah-boss-says-13744157

Dave
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on October 11, 2017, 10:15:02 pm
Can someone, who knows, clarify how much (if anything) we lost please?

Thanks.

Ian
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on October 12, 2017, 12:17:10 am
Regarding the above North Wales press article about a recent winding-up order brought against Blah D Blah and comments from director Neil Rylance.

A Neil Rylance has a terminated directorship of a North Wales residential care services company called Touchstones12 recorded at Companies House as recently as 21st September 2017.

A Neil Rylance is also a current director of Blah D Blah Design Ltd, Pathfinder Systems Ltd, and Tahdah Verified Ltd.  These are North Wales companies involved in advertising, software design, and IT services respectively.  As it happens, Tahdah used to be called Pathfinder Systems Ltd.  The current Pathfinder Systems Ltd is a different entity with a different company registration number.  Acting BCA Treasurer Robin Weare presented a "due diligence" report to BCA council on the financial health and prospects of these companies.  Like Robin, you too can read their accounts and filing histories for yourself at companieshouse.gov.uk

I have asked questions in BCA council more than once this year about BCA proposing to enter into a long-term business relationship with Tahdah.  I have attended all the council meetings since mid-2016, and I have been told each time that:
(a) no money has been paid by BCA to any of these companies
(b) no contract has been signed by BCA with any of these companies.

So that's alright then.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on October 12, 2017, 12:27:31 am
I can confirm that no contract has been signed and no money has been paid by BCA to any of the Pathfinder group companies.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Ian Adams on October 12, 2017, 12:28:38 am
Good News  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: RobinGriffiths on October 12, 2017, 01:34:43 am
Still, wasn't this a no brainer to use them about 6 months ago as 'the mountain teams were using them?' I recall that some alarms were being raised though. Anyway, glad that no money was lost.
As an aside, how much were they charging?

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mikem on October 12, 2017, 08:02:07 am
Apparently it wasn't, as the committee couldn't come to a consensus. Costs etc are in the minutes:
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=about:documents:council_meetings:council_minutes_2017-03-25.pdf

Interesting that there appears to be no mention of this by BMC or UKClimbing...

Mike
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on October 12, 2017, 03:05:59 pm
The following data can be gleaned from the latest accounts of the Pathfinder group of companies filed at Companies House.  I am not an accountant, but I was in school on the day that negative numbers were explained.

Fathfinder Systems Ltd is a dormant company with fixed assets of £100K believed to represent the notional value of bespoke software it owns, plus current assets of £20K.  On the negative side its creditors £120K which leaves the capital and reserves at £121 (that's pounds not thousands - it buys two tanks of petrol).

Blah D Blah Design Ltd has fixed assets of £6K, stock £16K, debtors owe it £326K, and it has £1 in cash or in the bank (this buys two second class postage stamps).  Creditors are shown at £295K, which leaves net assets of £53K.  This is the company that has entered into a non-trading Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) according to media reports.

Tahdah Verified Ltd has fixed assets of £4K, current assets £20K, creditors £210K.  Net assets stand at minus £186K, capital and reserves are minus £236K.  The company's accounts don't show what is in the bank.  It has extended its accounting period (thus postponed filing its accounts) twice.  This is the company that BCA has been thinking of dealing with.

Combine these companies' reserves or net worth and the answer comes to less than nothing.

It seems all the people on BCA Executive are current or former directors of companies.  How can experienced people allow themselves to be persuaded to recommend investing BCA funds, and in so doing hazard the future of BCA Cave Leader/Instructor training, on such as this?

I suggest a new thread to discuss BCA cave instructor training.  It is in a mess, but it is a redeemable mess as the number of LCLs and CICs is modest.  It doesn't need big bucks to sort out, but it does need the various factions to embrace goodwill and an outbreak of common sense.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: alastairgott on October 12, 2017, 03:52:38 pm
How can experienced people allow themselves to be persuaded to recommend investing BCA funds, and in so doing hazard the future of BCA Cave Leader/Instructor training, on such as this?

I don't think it's unusual for companies to "sail close to the wind". clearly in this case it was too close, as the news articles have pointed out. with foresight it was touch and go, with 20/20 hindsight it would have been a car crash.

It's only when you know that they must have had a sizeable bank overdraft (probably 10's-100's of thousands) that you know it was a non starter.
 But who knew? they could have sold the lot to another (bigger) company and all would have been fine.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Stuart France on October 12, 2017, 05:10:03 pm
With all due respect, I think you ought to delve a little deeper.  Think raising further cash from new shareholders: that's a form of selling a company.  Think borrowing from banks secured by debenture where the bank can seize anything and everything if repayments are defaulted or the bank decides to foreclose.

You're an expert on selling a small company?  Normal buyers value a company on sustainable profit, return on capital employed, share price to EBITDA, ability to generate free cash to pay one's way in the world and pay sustained or growing dividends to shareholders.  There's earnings, and then there's quality earnings: it's nice to have a load of loyal clients that will definitely pay you, ideally on time, and not go out of business themselves.

The accounts suggest a deficit of hundreds of thousands of pounds and growing.  How is this ever going to turn good when the clients have only the financial strength of BCA Training or Mountain Training?  How many sports governing body training organisations are there out there as potential clients, and is the likely annual profit generated from each one going to fix the deficit, assuming there is some profit?

It doesn't add up.  It never did.  Robin Weare hoisted enough red flags.  Nobody listened to him.

Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Les W on October 12, 2017, 05:11:51 pm
It doesn't add up.  It never did.  Robin Weare hoisted enough red flags.  Nobody listened to him.

That's not entirely true Stuart, quite a few people listened to him...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Badlad on October 12, 2017, 05:18:25 pm
Let's just say a lucky escape.  QMS urgently needs a new system which was the unfortunate driving force here.  Sadly back to square one with no option quite as tantalising as the Tadaha scheme left on the table.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Bob Mehew on October 12, 2017, 08:27:32 pm
Sadly back to square one with no option quite as tantalising as the Tadaha scheme left on the table.
Not quite true.  My understanding was that Tahdah was identified a long while ago as a suitable product.  But following concerns expressed in & out side Council, a User Specification was produced within BCA for the processes required to serve the LCMLA and CIC award schemes.  Two systems were tested against it, being Tahdah and Northbridge.  Both meet the Spec but I understood that all those involved agreed Tahdah was better. 

However the fly in the ointment was the financial stability question.  I understood that that question was resolved a couple of weeks ago.  Hence Andy's report to the just gone October Council meeting stating "After very careful consideration and investigation, Tahdah has been appointed as provider of the training database, although the contract has not yet been signed."  So perhaps Tahdah still lives despite the fate of a Blah D Blah.  And I understood Northbridge remains an option.

From my (ex) vantage point, although it took a lot of effort and debate, it did appear to me that the task had been conducted in a prudent manner albeit not time efficiently.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Spike on October 14, 2017, 09:22:59 am
Is the User Specification available anywhere Bob? I couldn't find it in any of the recent BCA minutes...
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mattwire on October 14, 2017, 10:36:07 am
The spec that was produced following my insistence at the March Meeting can be found here (I just uploaded it): http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=about:documents:council_meetings:start

In view of this latest news I feel completely vindicated about my reservations with Tahdah.  Had I not insisted on a spec being drawn up and a proper process being followed we could now be in a situation where contracts had been signed and members money lost.  The product itself looked good, but the public accounts have always looked extremely dodgy.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: nickwilliams on October 14, 2017, 11:36:12 am
It needs to be pointed out that the company which has gone into administration is Blah-d-Blah, not Tahdah Verified Ltd, who are the company which BCA was negotiating with. Tahdah's service is still operational.

Robin Weare (BCA Treasurer) has spent a considerable amount of time looking at the financial relationships behind Tahdah. He is currently away on an expedition and so no further progress is going to be made on this until he returns in November.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: notdavidgilmour on October 14, 2017, 06:59:43 pm
Surely the BCA wouldn't even entertain using a company run by the same director.......... Run in a similar fashion.......... Would they? :spank:
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: mattwire on October 15, 2017, 10:53:45 am
Surely the BCA wouldn't even entertain using a company run by the same director.......... Run in a similar fashion.......... Would they? :spank:

One would certainly hope not, especially when there's a perfectly good alternative solution on the table...

The SOLE director of Tahdah / Blah d Blah / Pathfinder is Neil Rylance (who somehow appears as two people at companies house):
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/SPZSt9fhRN4oBNfBuKz0-vqmrG0/appointments
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/officers/vSuviH5Ly01UkkBW-khft6J32q8/appointments

Read and make your own mind up.  I certainly have.
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: Cap'n Chris on November 28, 2017, 07:43:13 pm
This place appears to be akin to an online lynch mob, almost entirely devoid of debate any longer. Whatever happened to the concept of a forum? Anyone willing to read, consider and respond to the points in the thread or is it simply a case of weight of numbers of nay-sayers nowadays? I think most people familiar with this place know the answer to that but it would be nice to see it in black and white.

Here's one for debate:

Has the pursuit of the CRoW topic been a force for good in the BCA and the wider caving community?

So, has it?
Title: Re: bca meeting 25/3 /2017
Post by: WhiteWater62 on January 25, 2018, 09:47:58 pm
Has anyone seen the issue that tahdah verified and their candidate management system has suffered.

https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2016/11/23/email-alert-to-outdoor-fans-after-mountain-training-website-hacked?printview=1 (https://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2016/11/23/email-alert-to-outdoor-fans-after-mountain-training-website-hacked?printview=1)
 :o