BCA AGM 2021

BCA Secretary

New member
wl


Details of the forthcoming AGM have now been posted on the BCA website including:

Date Sunday 10th October and time 10.30 am on Zoom
The need to sign up to attend the Zoom meeting but please only do so if you intend to speak
Reference to the live Facebook feed but note this will not allow any interaction
Instructions on the post AGM voting for nominations and proposals
Proposals including a link to a podcast discussion about them
A list of candidates plus their election statements
A link to podcasts of interviews of the candidates for the position of Chair
The link to the Website proposal is here:

AGM 2021 - British Caving Association (british-caving.org.uk)

Officer reports have now been received and will be circulated shortly.

I look forward to your participation, in the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me or other members of the Executive:

chair@british-caving.org.uk
treasurer@british-caving.org.uk
secretary@british-caving.org.uk

Kind Regards

Russell Myers

Acting Chair

BCA​
 

Rob

Well-known member
And i see there's now a BCA Spotify Podcast, which i will be following with interest (y)
 
The web address for the page with all the information on it is https://british-caving.org.uk/agm-2021/

Podcasts are linked on the page or you can access them here:
https://anchor.fm/rostam-namaghi

They are available on 6 different podcasting platforms including Spotify
 

aricooperdavis

Moderator
Sorry folks, I've removed Russell's message to avoid confusion!

To facilitate electronic voting clubs who have not already shared email addresses for their members will receive a reminder to do so. Individuals should not need to take any action. If you have not received a voting token by 23:59, Sunday 10th October 2021 then please contact returning-officer@british-caving.org.uk.
 
Thank you tto you all for going to the effort of producing these podcasts, and all those who have been interviewed or taken part in some fashion.
 
Just as a comment. For those who claim to be pendents I'm surprised by the mistake. The summary of the first proposal is miss leading. The BCA E&T has not approved installers this has always been down to the regions. It is the approval of those who train the installers that is being changed.

I'll get my coat...
 

Cavematt

Active member
Congratulations to the team for putting together one of the most transparent and accessible AGMs ever.

I am a little concerned about the 14-day online ballot duration. The BCA's constitution requires online ballots to be performed over 'approximately 30 days'.

This duration was intended to provide time for healthy debate based on discussion of the various items at the AGM, including for club committees to decide whether they wanted to encourage their members to vote one way or another, or to help provide additional information for their members (an important option available to clubs following removal of the actual club vote). Plus this provides time for issues with people receiving electronic ballots to be resolved.

But I guess that as the vast majority of people will have voted within two weeks, maybe it doesn't matter that much.

Great effort from everyone pulling this together, providing so much literature, supporting material (e.g. the Podcasts), the online balloting system, and of course those putting themselves forward to continue this good work  (y)
 
Cavematt said:
I am a little concerned about the 14-day online ballot duration. The BCA's constitution requires online ballots to be performed over 'approximately 30 days'.


Good point Matt; "off the top of my head" voting last year came in a surge during the first couple of days and over 90% by the end of the first week indicating that two weeks was a reasonable time scale. In fact, this is reflected in proposal 4 regarding tidying up Constitution Section 8 at bullet point 10 which proposes re-wording approx 30 days to approx 14 days.
Logical to cut the period down especially with the current election for Chair and reduce the waiting period for a result!
 
Russell I don't disagree with the change but surely you can't change it before the vote?

Imagine if it was rejected, I guess it would be a trip across the Styx for us all!
 

aricooperdavis

Moderator
s_allshorn said:
Russell I don't disagree with the change but surely you can't change it before the vote?

I think the constitution is open to interpretation here - the "approximately" suggests to me that the number itself isn't important but the effect (giving everyone who wants to time to vote) must be maintained. The past voting data suggests that a 14 day period is long enough to maintain this, whilst the constitutional change proposed removes this uncertainty.
 

Badlad

Administrator
Staff member
In my experience the BCA constitution can be interpreted flexibly or in the associations best interests AS LONG AS NO ONE OBJECTS and uses it to force their own position.  Far too often a strict pedantic interpretation of  the constitution has been used to delay or disrupt the majority position of the membership.  Matt's point is valid and ignored at the BCA's peril.

Perhaps you can argue that 'approximately 30 days' is only 14 days.  You can if no one objects.  What though if Russell wins the election to chair by just a few votes, but just one CHECC club, who would probably support Rostam, complains that 14 days did not give them time to convene and discuss who they wanted to support and hadn't time to vote. 

You are taking a risk and, someone acting as chair, should not be taking it until the constitution or policy is changed.  Flying fast and loose with the BCA constitution is just asking for trouble from you know where.
 
Tim my question to Russell was asked directly of him as he had responded to Matt. I don?t hold Russell responsible for this interpretation, I believe it would be council that would make the choice on 14 days. I?m assuming the idea of collective responsibility.

 

Badlad

Administrator
Staff member
Mine is a general point related to my experiences at BCA and not particularly aimed at Russell - although he is acting chair.
 

Ian Ball

Well-known member
In the past how did people vote? Was it in person on the day? I'm very happy with a two week electronic voting period.


 
The length of the voting period was considered by the COG (Constitution and Manual of Operations) working group as part of its remit to review the Constitution and Manual of Operations. The analysis of last year's voting showed the pattern I mentioned above and the group reached collective agreement about changing from approx. 30 days to approx. 14 days and incorporated that into the rest of the proposals.
The CoG proposals were then passed through Council in July and agreed upon and incorporated into the Agenda. With this in mind, when the Executive Committee (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) met to consider the "mechanics" of the AGM, a unanimous decision was made to make the voting period two weeks taking account of the logic outlined above.
As has been pointed out, "approximately" infers a degree of latitude, just how much, is open to argument! However, the decision has been reached by a democratic process and whilst I sit in the "hot seat" and happy to front up the Association and its decisions, none of those are mine alone.
Finally, I would point out that the AGM Agenda and proposals have been in circulation for some time, so it is not as if the subject material has not been known about in the intervening period for members to become aware of and discuss etc. rather than it suddenly being thrust upon them at the AGM and the two week period after.
We are still operating under the constraints imposed by Covid and not perfect by any means but trying to adapt to meet the changes necessary for the immediate future; how the future BCA functions will not be the same as the BCA pre-Covid but we will get there with your encouragement and support. I feel the Association has already improved in leaps and bounds.
     
 
Ian Ball said:
In the past how did people vote? Was it in person on the day? I'm very happy with a two week electronic voting period.

Show of hands at the actual AGM - the 2019 AGM had 73 individual members voting and 36 representing groups (since removed) whilst the electronic vote at last year's 2020 AGM had a turnout of 567 - roughly 10% of the membership. Not brilliant but a significant improvement on what went before.
I think you can see the direction we are heading in.
 

Jenny P

Member
I think I'm correct in sayng that the 14-day period for voting would start from when the actual voting system goes online, which you expect to take maybe a couple of days to organise after the AGM has finished.  So in fact it's likely to be 14 days plus-a-bit after the AGM finishes.  Perhaps someone else involved in the decision can confirm that I'm recalling this correctly.  So the voting system, when it goes live, will have to state formally the actual deadline by which votes must be cast to be valid.

As Russell said in his post yesterday:
Finally, I would point out that the AGM Agenda and proposals have been in circulation for some time, so it is not as if the subject material has not been known about in the intervening period for members to become aware of and discuss etc. rather than it suddenly being thrust upon them at the AGM and the two week period after.

I'm sure that anyone who is interested sufficiently to bother voting has already spent time discussing this with their colleagues in their Club or other body they are involved with.  The whole point of removing the "Club vote" was to ensure that each and every member of BCA could make up their own mind and that their vote would count equally with everyone else's.  Indeed, that's the whole point of having Individual voting - you trust the members to make up their own minds without being pressured by their club or any other organisation they may belong to. 

 

PeteHall

Moderator
Jenny P said:
I'm sure that anyone who is interested sufficiently to bother voting has already spent time discussing this with their colleagues in their Club or other body they are involved with. 

There has certainly been some interesting and informed discussion in my clubs, and while clubs don't have a vote any more, they have provided a valuable forum for those with opinions to argue it out over a beer and hopefully convince fellow members to support their position.

Interestingly, from what I've seen, the support or opposition for the current set of proposals do not seem to follow any kind of partisan divide, which is really positive.
 
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