Author Topic: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?  (Read 5415 times)

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2016, 11:34:21 pm »
One quick simple direct question Cookie

(Which doesn't seem unreasonable - given that you started this thread)

Is it your wish (in your position as a Group Member Representative to the BCA Council) to see the wishes of the majority of BCA members (as expressed in a fair, extensive and independently monitored referendum) over-ruled on some procedural point buried in the BCA constitution?

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2016, 11:35:13 pm »
Why? I'm a caver...not a Technical Author...(or professional bore)
1. It's written in English.
2. Don't read it too quickly if you want to understand it.
3. Once you understand it, then you are qualified to comment on it.
4. Until then, stop criticising those who have bothered to try to understand what it says and why it says it.
5. I am sure you can achieve this as I believe you are an intelligent person.
6. I appreciate you may not be paid for what you write.
7. 6 was not meant to be serious.

Online Cookie

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2016, 11:54:28 pm »
One quick simple direct question Cookie

(Which doesn't seem unreasonable - given that you started this thread)

Is it your wish (in your position as a Group Member Representative to the BCA Council) to see the wishes of the majority of BCA members (as expressed in a fair, extensive and independently monitored referendum) over-ruled on some procedural point buried in the BCA constitution?

No it isn't my wish.

My wish is that BCA follow its own rules.

It is quite possible to square this circle, to pursue the CRoW campaign and follow the rules.  Change the Constitution.

PS
It is a Guiding Principle not "procedural point buried in the BCA constitution". Therefore a little more important.

Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services, Webmaster

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2016, 11:58:49 pm »
I'm sorry...I'm not really smart enough to understand that somewhat carefully worded answer...

Was that a YES, you wish to see the result of the referendum go forward, as expressed by the majority of the BCA membership and to see CRoW apply to Caves

or a NO, you believe its wrong for the BCA to ensure cavers are allowed legal access to caves on access land

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2016, 12:06:08 am »
Do the "two houses" refer to members present at the general meeting or ALL members of the BCA?

ie. would a change to the constitution require a 70% majority from the people at the meeting or from the entire membership (ie. another referendum....)?

Online Cookie

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2016, 12:11:09 am »

The notice of the poll also stated that:

   "In the event of a majority of members saying "yes", BCA will ...

              1. continue our dialogue with DEFRA, NE and NRW, including seeking advice on successfully limiting  access to our most fragile sites or to sites which might represent a danger to the public;
   
              2. consult with land owners and open communication with the Countryside Land and Business Association;
   
              3. seek further legal opinion to support our case;
   
              4. liaise with other like-minded organisations, such as the BMC and BCU;
   
              5. continue to explore ways to effectively protect our more fragile sites;
   
              6. seek to change Section 4.6 of our Constitution at the June 2015 Annual General Meeting;
   
              7. work with Regional Councils, affected land owners and Access-Controlling Bodies to ease the transition;
   
              8. lobby MPs and other persons of influence to push for CRoW to apply to going underground.
"
   
The 2015 motion does not make any statement about not undertaking these other actions mentioned nor provide any direction to Council about them.  If that were intended, then the 2015 motion instead of just saying "This meeting confirms that the Constitution allows BCA to seek clarification from DEFRA and Natural England on their existing guidance on The CRoW Act and its application to caving." would have gone onto say something along the lines of '...and instructs Council to cease other activities noted in the poll...'.  I can understand the tactics of you not raising that point at the time.  I certainly do not recall any discussion on such a step during the debate and as I have previously said, the minutes record little detail. 

The Secretary stated after the vote that BCA could proceed on all items except item 8 until item 6 was concluded. (Item 7.c BCA NC Minutes 10/1/2015). That point was manifestly true and accepted since Council can not go against the Constitution.  Therefore there was no need to include it in the AGM motion one way or another until such time as the Constitution was amended.

So a stand by my assertion that BCA is in breach of its Constitution.
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services, Webmaster

Online andrewmc

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2016, 12:33:47 am »
The Constitution says "4.6. That the owners and tenants of property containing caves have the right to grant or withhold access.". CRoW clarification or not the landowners currently exercise the right. The CRoW campaign's goal is to remove some of those rights. Therefore the CRoW campaign is against the Constitution.

I'm not convinced one way or the other that the above statements are true.

Currently there are two possibilities:
Possibility A: CROW does not apply to caving
Possibility B: CROW does apply to caving
We don't really know which is the case. Some people (including various statutory bodies) believe A, some people believe B. Until it is tested in a court of law, we just don't really know.

If possibility A is true, then Section 4.6 is in agreement with current law. I am not however, sure either why this purely factual statement is in the constitution, nor how it binds the BCA to any given course of action.
If possibility B is true, then Section 4.6 is not always true. If the Constitution said that all caves were in limestone, would we be banned from non-limestone caves? If the constitution is just plain wrong, then I really don't know what that means.

Again, unless this is tested in a court of law, I honestly don't know how we can be so sure how much the BCA are bound by their 'guiding principles' (which aren't necessarily guiding).

Incidentally, I thought the BCA constitution was actually reasonably short and reasonably simple? (you just skip past the bits you aren't interested in)

Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2016, 12:46:38 am »
Quote
No it isn't my wish.

My wish is that BCA follow its own rules.

If the purpose of the BCA is just to exist for the purpose of obeying it's own rules rather than the wishes of it's members then it does not have a purpose and may as well disappear up its own a**e Ouroborous style.

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2016, 03:58:46 am »
I'm sorry...I'm not really smart enough to understand the BCA Constitution


Fixed that for you, Jason.....
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2016, 08:37:55 am »
If you want people to answer questions with just a yes or a no, then the question must essentially be simple. Why is it that every time someone here wants to tie another poster up in knots, they compose a complex question that covers every single point with which they agree, then asks whether another person agrees but they are only allowed to reply Yes or No? Then, when for obvious reasons you don't get a Yes or a No, you jump to the wrong conclusion.


Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2016, 09:29:00 am »
Its slightly different though isn't it...YOU Peter are fully entitled to answer simple or complex questions in whatever manner you see fit...

You can ignore it...tell me to poke it (which I frequently deserve) or answer in as simple and complex fashion as you like...

However, If I as a BCA Member ask a Member Representative to the BCA Council

It doesn't seem unreasonable to expect a simple and obvious answer...not cutting and pasting paragraphs of legalese from the BCA Constitution...

Its not the Magna Carta or The Constitution of the United States its some guideline written down for a club of thousand or so bearded beer drinking cavers

Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2016, 09:31:40 am »
Quote
I'm sorry...I'm not really smart enough to understand the BCA Constitution

Fixed that for you, Jason.....

Perhaps I am neither smart enough, political enough or slippery enough to understand why quoting chapter and verse from some dusty document in a way in which it was obviously never intended...can over-ride the stated wishes of the club membership as expressed in an inclusive, extensive and expensive (independently monitored) referendum

Online mch

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2016, 10:09:47 am »
In my view (thought I may as well jump in with my sixpenn'th as everyone else seems to be) 4.6 simply represents the legal position at the time that the BCA Constitution was drawn up - it's a statement of fact, not a policy. If the law moves on and CROW is eventually found to apply to access to caves, then 4.6 needs to be updated at that time. I really see no need to amend it at the moment, it is not contravened IMHO by the current campaign.

Offline David Rose

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2016, 10:36:39 am »
"Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, over the course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant, who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps, since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the Court, perennially hopeless."

Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852)

Online droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2016, 03:03:41 pm »
Nice quote. As a Tolkien and Tom Sharpe reader I'd love to play 'quote wars' but can't for the life of me think of anything relevant.....


But: to me, the Constitution thing is an embarrassment to the BCA, suggests a rushed approach and is 'amateurish'.

I'll ask again: did no-one point out a pretty obvious (in retrospect) set of ambiguities in the Constitution?

And if the answer to that question is 'yes', why wasn't the Constitution amended to remove those ambiguities? 

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Offline jasonbirder

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2016, 03:24:24 pm »
Presumably, because nobody imagined what was put in the constitution as a relatively innocuous statement of "playing nicely" intended to mitigate against trespass, unauthorised access/removing gates etc etc...would be used by the more cunning of the administrators in an attempt to overrule the wishes of the BCA membership...

Nobody on the pro-CRoW side is tedious enough to make a "splitting hairs argument" about the constitution or that one of the stated "Aims" of the BCA is " obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging access"

Because neither points were put in that constitution in that spirit...its not about THE LETTER of the LAW its about the wishes of the membership...

And the members obviously and undeniably want the BCA to ensure Cavers have better access...much to the chagrin of many in positions of "authority"
 

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2016, 03:55:40 pm »
Quote
Dickens


"Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused, and the greater part knew not why they had come together."

Acts 9:32

Online droid

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2016, 04:00:30 pm »
Presumably, because nobody imagined what was put in the constitution as a relatively innocuous statement of "playing nicely" intended to mitigate against trespass, unauthorised access/removing gates etc etc...would be used by the more cunning of the administrators in an attempt to overrule the wishes of the BCA membership...

Nobody on the pro-CRoW side is tedious enough to make a "splitting hairs argument" about the constitution or that one of the stated "Aims" of the BCA is " obtaining, ensuring, maintaining and encouraging access"

Because neither points were put in that constitution in that spirit...its not about THE LETTER of the LAW its about the wishes of the membership...

And the members obviously and undeniably want the BCA to ensure Cavers have better access...much to the chagrin of many in positions of "authority"
 

Possibly.

However, unless 37% of those members that voted are in positions of 'authority' or 'administrators' then your comments need a little adjustment.

Frankly, I was shocked so many people voted against.
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Offline Ed

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2016, 05:37:58 pm »
The constitution only says right of land owner etc.....no where does itsay the BCA can't not campaign for a change.


Strangely sat in The Heights in Llanberis - talking to climbers. Quote "what a bunch of my poets not wanting access why don't they just by Xbox and virtual cave"

Offline Gollum

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2016, 07:12:26 pm »
I can see clearly now why many years ago my instructor friends advised me to keep well clear of recreational cavers and clubs and just go caving.
Maybe we should be asking does anybody really care if it's against constitution and what does it really matter.
Think I'll save myself a load of money next year and not bother with BCA and clubs and just go caving wherever i want because the land owner will only blame you lot anyway.
Think you lot should cave together because you'd never agree which way to go and probably never get out.
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Offline AR

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2016, 09:06:55 pm »
Frankly, I was shocked so many people voted against.

Perhaps many of those people were thinking "if we vote no then that'll stop the endless bickering on UKC"?
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2016, 10:09:54 pm »
This could be unwise but it has been a long day, including the longest ever Council meeting in almost 20 years of which 3 hours was spent on the 3 complaints over BCA's work on CRoW.  Reflecting on my drive home I think that in all fairness I should not try to summarised what happened because no doubt some one will critique it.  So I will be a tease and leave it to the draft minutes (and probably BCA's newsletter due out in around 3 weeks) to explain what went on at today's Council meeting and why Council decided what it decided.  I was not able to even make accurate records of the motions put up for voting so feel I will just get slated if I quote my notes.  Sorry about that but it is clear that some people will critique down to the comma. 

(And if you think that may be extreme, then the Ramblers won a case last year where in an 1816 statute which read “ such private Roads, Bridleways, Footways...”, did the comma mean private applied to just roads or the whole list.  They eventually won the case having started it in 1993!  See http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2015/669.html.  And I will scream if some one goes off topic to answer it.)

One other thing I am not prepared to do is try and answer the many questions that have been posted through today as I just don't have the spare time to do so.  In my defense I would plead I have a shed load of work coming out of today's meeting and I feel my time will be better spent trying to take things forward in a manner which takes into account some of the useful points made today rather than trying to justify the tortuous path which work on CRoW has wandered down over the past couple of years due I will say (being as no doubt some will claim prejudiced) in part by the demands of a minority.   :annoyed: :annoyed: :annoyed:

As I said, probably an unwise post but ....... now to bed.

Offline cavermark

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2016, 10:22:01 pm »
Keep up the good work, Bob.  :thumbsup:

Offline badger

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2016, 11:10:52 pm »
what bob said

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: Is the CRoW Campaign Against the BCA Constitution?
« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2016, 11:41:18 pm »
Nicely done today Bob and good to meet you.

 :)

Ian
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