Author Topic: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW  (Read 77872 times)

Online damian

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2014, 08:40:23 pm »
I can confirm that BCA will be conducting a postal ballot of all its members. The details are still being worked on - we were only charged with making it happen a couple of days ago - but there are a few things I can confirm.

1) The question will be: "Should BCA, on your behalf, campaign for The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000) to apply to going underground?" The options will be "yes" or "no".

2) The ballot paper will be accompanied by a summary of how BCA will proceed if the overall answer is "yes" and how it shall proceed if the answer is "no". It will also encourage members to research the issue as fully as they can and provide a link to the Act itself, but nothing else.

3) The dates are not yet fixed, but it is likely that deadline for returns will be mid- to late-December with the ballot papers being posted out about 3 weeks in advance of this deadline.

I am happy to try to answer any further questions, but you will appreciate we are busy exploring the best way of conducting the ballot at the moment, so answers may lack detail!

In the meantime, if you are a member (whatever you colour of card), you are encouraged to check we have your up-to-date address and to begin (if you haven't already) researching the various arguments. No doubt both sides will provide a summary somewhere on here in due course.

Damian Weare
BCA Secretary

Offline graham

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2014, 08:44:43 pm »
... It will also encourage members to research the issue as fully as they can and provide a link to the Act itself, but nothing else...

Thanks, Damian, for confirming this. It is clear from this thread that much misinformation will be taken forward and very few real, hard facts.

i do not blame you for this, but as I noted earlier, I am very disappointed in Council for not even trying to elicit the full picture so that members can make informed decisions.
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Online damian

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2014, 08:49:26 pm »
i do not blame you for this, but as I noted earlier, I am very disappointed in Council for not even trying to elicit the full picture so that members can make informed decisions.
It was debated at length. When the minutes appear you will probably see that I argued for the inclusion of a summary of the arguments from both camps, but it was clear this was not the will of the meeting. That's democracy for you.

Offline graham

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2014, 08:59:51 pm »
i do not blame you for this, but as I noted earlier, I am very disappointed in Council for not even trying to elicit the full picture so that members can make informed decisions.
It was debated at length. When the minutes appear you will probably see that I argued for the inclusion of a summary of the arguments from both camps, but it was clear this was not the will of the meeting. That's democracy for you.

Indeed, and as I said, I don't blame you. I'm not asking for summaries of opinions from either side, I'm asking for third party information about what would actually happen & how other parties would react. It seems that none of that is to be forthcoming.
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Offline jasonbirder

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2014, 09:05:04 pm »
Its not hard to find all the information Graham claims interest in...by simply reading the CroW act...if thats too difficult i've summarised it here...

Quote
Nature conservation and heritage preservation.

The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access…to any land during any period if they are satisfied that the exclusion or restriction of…is necessary…for the purposes specified
(Including)

•   the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question;
•   the purpose of preserving — any other structure, work, site, garden or area which is of historic, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest.


The relevant authority is the countryside body, or, where the land falls within a National Park, the National Park authority. However provision enables the Forestry Commissioners to act as the relevant authority for any land which appears to the Commissioners to consist wholly or predominantly of woodland.

Provision exists...for the authorities to restrict access to preserve features where necessary...managed by either EN, the CCW, the relevant National Park Authority or the Forestry Commission...

Does Graham require any MORE information ;) or is that not sufficient...


Offline graham

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2014, 09:13:16 pm »
Its not hard to find all the information Graham claims interest in...by simply reading the CroW act...if thats too difficult i've summarised it here...

Quote
Nature conservation and heritage preservation.

The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access…to any land during any period if they are satisfied that the exclusion or restriction of…is necessary…for the purposes specified
(Including)

•   the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question;
•   the purpose of preserving — any other structure, work, site, garden or area which is of historic, architectural, traditional, artistic or archaeological interest.


The relevant authority is the countryside body, or, where the land falls within a National Park, the National Park authority. However provision enables the Forestry Commissioners to act as the relevant authority for any land which appears to the Commissioners to consist wholly or predominantly of woodland.

Provision exists...for the authorities to restrict access to preserve features where necessary...managed by either EN, the CCW, the relevant National Park Authority or the Forestry Commission...

Does Graham require any MORE information ;) or is that not sufficient...

Who does one contact? What detail is required. Most importantly does EN have the resources to actually process these requests, how long would the process take and can any restrictions be applied in the mean time?

If you do not think these questions are reasonable, please explain why. Not to me but to those who care for Upper Flood Swallet and St Cuthbert's Swallet.

Thank you
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2014, 09:37:24 pm »
Yes - one caver one vote please, regardless of how they are categorised as BCA members. Otherwise the referendum means diddly squat.

Offline braveduck

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2014, 09:41:09 pm »
Will cavers with a Green card but no BCA membership  get an individual vote ?

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2014, 09:55:22 pm »
That's my point, braveduck. It's a very significant proportion of the UK's active cavers.

Offline Les W

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2014, 09:58:55 pm »
Will cavers with a Green card but no BCA membership  get an individual vote ?

A green card is BCA membership...

In the meantime, if you are a member (whatever you colour of card), you are encouraged to check we have your up-to-date address and to begin (if you haven't already) researching the various arguments. No doubt both sides will provide a summary somewhere on here in due course.


Every card holding member of BCA will get an individual ballot paper for them to use to express their preferences.
Green card holders ARE individual members of BCA
As Damian says "whatever you colour of card"...

If you want to take part in this referendum you must:
1. Be a member of BCA
2. Ensure BCA has your correct address.
3. Fill in and return the ballot paper, in good time.
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Offline Oceanrower

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2014, 10:11:50 pm »
Just had a poke about on the BCA website.

Does anyone know how I can check whether they have my correct address or not as I can't see any relevant area (unless I just send an email asking them to check, and I don't think they'd want several thousand members doing that!)

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2014, 10:19:11 pm »
Are you a direct member or a club member? If a club member you will be relying on the club you pay dues through to have provided the correct address at the beginning of the year.

Offline Les W

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #37 on: October 13, 2014, 10:36:29 pm »
Will the BCA be sending Ballots to a club sec to distribute and return if they do not have individual addresses?

BCA will not be sending ballot papers to clubs to distribute as this is open to massive ballot fraud and abuse...

BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records. If you are a Club Individual Member (CIM) (Normally a green card (caving) or an orange card (non caving) I believe) then you should check with your club that the details they have given BCA are up to date.

If you are a Direct Individual Member (DIM) then you should already be receiving correspondence from BCA to your address (membership renewal notices). If you are receiving those then BCA probably has your correct address...
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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2014, 11:19:37 pm »
Will the BCA be sending Ballots to a club sec to distribute and return if they do not have individual addresses?

BCA will not be sending ballot papers to clubs to distribute as this is open to massive ballot fraud and abuse...

BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records. If you are a Club Individual Member (CIM) (Normally a green card (caving) or an orange card (non caving) I believe) then you should check with your club that the details they have given BCA are up to date.

If you are a Direct Individual Member (DIM) then you should already be receiving correspondence from BCA to your address (membership renewal notices). If you are receiving those then BCA probably has your correct address...

That's the answer I was hoping for. Thanks.
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Offline estelle

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2014, 11:25:33 pm »
BCA will be sending the ballot papers to the address they have for each individual member in their records. If you are a Club Individual Member (CIM) (Normally a green card (caving) or an orange card (non caving) I believe) then you should check with your club that the details they have given BCA are up to date.
With the fact that we're getting close to the annual BCA renewal timescales, this is probably rather important if you moved house during the year as i'd put money a lot of clubs won't remember to inform the BCA of any address changes once individuals have their card!
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Offline Dave Tyson

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #40 on: October 14, 2014, 08:56:52 am »

With the fact that we're getting close to the annual BCA renewal timescales, this is probably rather important if you moved house during the year as i'd put money a lot of clubs won't remember to inform the BCA of any address changes once individuals have their card!

It's really down to members who have moved house to pester their club secretary to pass the new details onto Glenn, the BCA membership secretary. One person in our club has just moved and so I will be sending an update to Glenn later this week.

Of course if you set up a mail forwarding arrangement for your old address with the Post Office you may get the ballot paper anyway...

Dave

Offline caving_fox

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2014, 09:06:25 am »
Thanks to all the volunteers at the BCA for their time, and for finally doing something public about CROW access. Let's hope for a clear majority one way or the other, and some clear timescales as to when/what any (potential) changes may happen.
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Offline Rhys

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2014, 09:41:18 am »
If existing protections are enough for those...then why do you consider caving to differ massively?

Are they enough? Not that long ago we, on Mendip, saw serious damage to the Priddy Circles, an important prehistoric monument.

Priddy Circles are not on Access Land, so it's not a good example. Perhaps if they were on Access Land, the extra sets of eyes of the general public as they walked across the land might actiually have helped guard against damage by the landowner.

Rhys

Offline graham

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2014, 09:57:30 am »
A fair point Rhys.

however, my reasons for choosing that example were firstly to demonstrate ... that I do not slavishly worship landowners and secondly to remind people that even when that damage was done, it took a very long time to get the relevant authorities to prosecute. In my view we cannot rely on them getting any process completed quickly.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 06:01:42 pm by Rhys, Reason: comment removed »
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Offline mmilner

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2014, 12:15:24 pm »
Thanks to all the volunteers at the BCA for their time, and for finally doing something public about CROW access. Let's hope for a clear majority one way or the other, and some clear timescales as to when/what any (potential) changes may happen.

I really would like a 'like'  button  on  here!      :thumbsup:
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2014, 01:27:52 pm »
Moderator Comment Have removed quite a lot of off topic sniping and irrelevancies. Try to keep on topic, strictly on topic, please. Important and potentially far-reaching debates need to be aired. Resorting to playground taunting will result in locking or wholesale pruning.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2014, 02:00:11 pm »
I shall be sending out a DCA Information Circular this week and will inform all our members (clubs, associates and individuals) that BCA will be asking for a vote on the CRoW issue shortly.  I will remind them that they will need to ensure that, as individual members, both DIMs and CIMs, BCA has the correct postal address for them to receive and return their ballot paper. 

I will include for every member a copy of the independently produced information leaflet on CRoW available at Hidden Earth and, for the benefit of clubs, I shall also include the web address where this can be downloaded.  I shall advise them of another web address from which they can download further relevant documents and will list the documents available in this way (i.e. both for and against).  I shall point them to the C&A section of the BCA website for the minutes and various documents put to the meeting on 16 August; to the various articles in several recent Descents; and also to the fact that the subject has been discussed at length on UKcaving.  My DCA Rep's. report on last Saturday's BCA Council Meeting will be printed and circulated to all DCA members and will be discussed at our meeting on 1 Nov.  Our DCA officers who attended the BCA C&A meeting in August will doubtless include comments in their reports to the DCA meeting.

DCA’s minutes for our previous meeting on 28 June (on our website at www.theDCA.org.uk) also record discussion on this but DCA has so far not attempted to make a decision for or against; nor has it instructed its officers on how to vote at a BCA C&A or BCA Council meeting.  (It never does this, preferring to accept that DCA Officers are perfectly capable of reflecting the differing views of members).  DCA Members all know that I, personally, am in favour of CRoW extension but I will make clear that, unless DCA formally states a view at its meeting on 1st. Nov., I cannot presume to vote one way or the other as a representative on DCA's behalf at a BCA meeting.

Jenny Potts,
DCA Hon. Secretary

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2014, 02:26:09 pm »
Re the restrictions on CROW land and "relevant authority"
There is a paper on the "GUIDANCE FOR STATUTORY AUTHORITIES INVOLVED IN ASSESSING THE NATURE CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF A STATUTORY RIGHT OF ACCESS IN ENGLAND AND WALES UNDER SECTION 26" at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008 but of course "caves" were not addressed.
There is guidance for landowners and restrictions at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047
The BMC take on it is at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/crow-restrictions

The grounds for a restriction are interesting and I have concerns that, as was said earlier in the thread, all the implications have not been thought through.  This is a link to closed CROW access land on the "waterfalls walk" in Ingleton http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/OasysStatic/ViewRestrictionDocumentServlet?CaseNumber=2005010080 This land is closed "The open access land shown hatched on the map below is closed. Admission by ticket only".


Offline graham

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2014, 02:49:13 pm »
Re the restrictions on CROW land and "relevant authority"
There is a paper on the "GUIDANCE FOR STATUTORY AUTHORITIES INVOLVED IN ASSESSING THE NATURE CONSERVATION IMPLICATIONS OF A STATUTORY RIGHT OF ACCESS IN ENGLAND AND WALES UNDER SECTION 26" at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/94008 but of course "caves" were not addressed.
There is guidance for landowners and restrictions at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/file/91047
The BMC take on it is at https://www.thebmc.co.uk/crow-restrictions

The grounds for a restriction are interesting and I have concerns that, as was said earlier in the thread, all the implications have not been thought through.  This is a link to closed CROW access land on the "waterfalls walk" in Ingleton http://www.openaccess.naturalengland.org.uk/OasysStatic/ViewRestrictionDocumentServlet?CaseNumber=2005010080 This land is closed "The open access land shown hatched on the map below is closed. Admission by ticket only".

Thank you for that, Peter.

One of the things that folks need to bear in mind is that Natural England's view on 'important geological or physiographical features' will not necessarily be the same as that of cavers. After all all that white stally stuff is of little scientific importance.
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Offline Bottlebank

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Re: BCA 'referendum' on CRoW
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2014, 03:17:43 pm »
I will include for every member a copy of the independently produced information leaflet on CRoW available at Hidden Earth and, for the benefit of clubs, I shall also include the web address where this can be downloaded.

Any chance you could put that link on here as well Jenny? Googling it doesn't produce anything.

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