Author Topic: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here  (Read 17859 times)

Offline Pete K

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2014, 09:33:22 am »
Can't see anything untoward on Adit now.
I have 2 papers, one for me and one for the club I chair. One was my vote, the other was balloted on by the club. 2 perfectly uncorrupted ballots on my table right now.
Unless you have evidence of someone receiving 2 identical (that's same ballot paper number) ballots then this is just more BCA bashing and is a waste of time.

Offline menacer

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #51 on: December 01, 2014, 09:42:17 am »
Further considerations  on voting for CROW

What IFs

I may sustain a paper cut on opening my ballot paper.
That may result in a visit to the Doctors should it get infected, thus costing the NHS valuable time and resources.
The postman delivering the ballot papers may slip or trip with the extra weight in the bag, especially at christmas , thus causing added expense and inconvenience to others.
The people sorting the extra ballot papers may suffer a repetitive strain injury.
How many trees were destroyed in making up the ballot papers and envelopes?
I may slip or trip or get run over when posting back the ballot paper in the mail box.
If I vote yes and a stal falls down in a cave will it have happened, because no one was there to hear it.
Will it be my fault?
What if i open my ballot paper and find Shrodingers cat in there alive!
Is it more environmentally friendly to use a biro or crayon when applying my tick in a box.

This list is not exhaustive, i hope it goes someway to helping the undecided.
  ;D
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 09:55:32 am by menacer »
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Offline cavermark

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #52 on: December 01, 2014, 09:43:59 am »
This has been pointed out to me:

"There is also the practical argument that many volunteers are going to spend many, many hours trying to change something that in truth is unlikely to be changed. Many hundreds of hours and thousands of pounds have already been spent. Time and money that could be spent better elsewhere in caving. A yes vote will only continue that."

The volunteers who run the BCA & Regional Councils do a sterling job  (even if they do stuff people don't like) All this extra work could stop people from volunteering and if the coffers run low then it is our subs that will have to go up.

So if you vote YES are you also willing to put in some hours to help get the process running along?

(Now this argument has thrown a spanner in the works for me as I have no more time I can give to caving  :( so undecided  :-\  )

There is a counter argument that the status quo (via a "no" vote) would require individuals in the regional councils continuing to put in many many hours and pounds in the coming years and decades to maintain the current permit/access systems.
If CROW is changed, things could get a lot simpler, freeing people up to go caving again in the long term.

I think it will all balance out in the long run and this should not be a reason for voting yes or no.

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #53 on: December 01, 2014, 10:09:05 am »

Some points to ponder.

Mark Wright makes the point that many of the Dales most prolific diggers are not concerned and are voting "Yes". It's true that some are, and that they are claiming many others support them. I can confirm that many are not at all happy with this and are voting "No".

Simon Wilson admits he's made up a figure re surface/underground digs. It's most certainly not true that most digs in the dales are underground - digging up there weekly and chatting regularly to quite a lot of diggers my best guess would be around 50/50.

Ten to twenty years ago we didn't bother getting permission from Natural England for surface digs. That's changed. Today many don't bother getting permission for underground digs. It's possible that may also change in the future.

The reduced liability offered to farmers and landowners with CRoW may make it much harder in future to gain permission to dig because they will be accepting back the level of liability they have now. If nothing else their insurers/legal advisers may not allow digging.

Both sides agree that there are likely to be problems in some areas. This has been confirmed time and again. They disagree on the scale and the risk. People need to weigh up if the benefits outweigh the risks, given that access is rapidly becoming easier in the Dales.

What became very clear at the weekend after people started receiving ballot papers is that many had no idea this was happening, and no idea which way to vote. By all means lets keep discussing it, and hopefully the replies posted will help some people make their mind up, but let's keep it constructive. Making up figures or simply saying Vote Yes or No doesn't help.
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #54 on: December 01, 2014, 10:16:14 am »
Ridiculing those with uncertainties isn't helpful either, Carmen.

Offline Judi Durber

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #55 on: December 01, 2014, 10:27:23 am »
A little bit of light entertainment to keep us smiling is good surely Peter & Carmen  :kiss2:

And I like this counter balance to what I said:

Quote
that the status quo (via a "no" vote) would require individuals in the regional councils continuing to put in many many hours and pounds in the coming years and decades to maintain the current permit/access systems.

I still don't have any more time to help though  :(
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life waiting for us.

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #56 on: December 01, 2014, 10:30:08 am »
There is one other point worth raising.

The vote is to decide whether BCA should campaign for CRoW to apply to caving. A "Yes" result will not mean that CRoW does apply to caving. The status quo will remain in place unless the campaign is successful.

There is no indication that Defra will change their view, that CRoW does not apply.

There are no guarantees the campaign will not be opposed.

By voting "yes" we could be committing the BCA to waste a huge amount of time and money (relative to the time and money they have available) on a campaign that quite likely will fail. In the process we could end up antagonising landowners, we could end losing access to caves, and finding it far harder to gain permission to dig. Even if we succeed all we'll gain is slightly easier access to many caves, and access perhaps to a handful that we don't have at the moment.

We could easily achieve easier access to most of the affected caves simply by reforming the CNCC and access procedures, and that process has already started.

Badgers point that access is a problem in the Dales for some clubs not based there is a fair one, but he knows his club has good contacts in the North, including with us, and we could and would easily sort access for them if asked to do so.

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Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #57 on: December 01, 2014, 10:31:49 am »
A little bit of light entertainment to keep us smiling is good surely Peter & Carmen  :kiss2:

And I like this counter balance to what I said:

Quote
that the status quo (via a "no" vote) would require individuals in the regional councils continuing to put in many many hours and pounds in the coming years and decades to maintain the current permit/access systems.

I still don't have any more time to help though  :(
True, but much of that time could be saved by implementing a simply, automated online permit booking system, either nationally or region by region where needed.
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Offline Cookie

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #58 on: December 01, 2014, 11:01:22 am »
Some people are getting more than one ballot paper. That cannot be right.

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Community/viewtopic.aspx?p=147145#msg147145

Interesting to read this thread because it comes at this from a different perspective.

It also seems to answer the double ballot paper issue.
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Offline Badlad

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #59 on: December 01, 2014, 12:08:17 pm »
Those that are still undecided may care to consider this.

Generally speaking relationships between all recreational users and landowners has improved over the last decade.  This is partly due to a generational changes in attitude and the realisation that the rural economy depends as much on tourism and recreational users as it does on traditional income from farming etc.  For many landowners, especially the large estates, it is the liability of allowing cavers onto their land that concerns them most.  Including caving under CRoW would reduce this liability to levels of common trespass - a situation which is very appealing to landowners.

One case study is that of the Ingleborough Estate.  Last Christmas, the landowner, Dr Farrar sadly passed away.  Under his ownership, the Ingleborough Estate controlled their own access to the caves on their land and he was very generous with it.  Any caver could apply for permission through the Clapham Estate office.  The land agents have now moved to Clitheroe and no longer wish to control their own access. They do still have concerns over their liability and therefore are in the process of passing access control onto the CNCC.  However, the CNCC have repeatedly stated, including as recently as the last meeting, that they will only control access on behalf of their member clubs through their traditional club permit systems.  Whatever the eventual outcome of this case, whether it forces CNCC to change or not, it demonstrates that any change of landowner can have an uncertain or more restrictive effect on cave access. 

A lot of scaremongering about the reaction of landowners to CRoW has been made without any evidence to support it.  On the contrary, in the Yorkshire Dales NP at least, there is ample evidence that the conflicts and animosity between landowners and recreational users that were predicted never arose.  As evidence I offer two quotes from the Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales Local Access Forum (a statutory body set up under CRoW), In 2006;

  “..indications are that many of the problems and pressures envisaged by some have not materialised and that, in the main, users have been responsible and understanding of the needs of those that farm, own and manage land over which the new rights can now be exercised.”

And again in 2009;

“Indeed, it may be that the landowning/farming interest is now confident that public access does not threaten its own interests.”

Why should it be so different for caving?

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2014, 12:29:08 pm »
Those that are still undecided may care to consider this.

Generally speaking relationships between all recreational users and landowners has improved over the last decade.  This is partly due to a generational changes in attitude and the realisation that the rural economy depends as much on tourism and recreational users as it does on traditional income from farming etc.  For many landowners, especially the large estates, it is the liability of allowing cavers onto their land that concerns them most.  Including caving under CRoW would reduce this liability to levels of common trespass - a situation which is very appealing to landowners.

One case study is that of the Ingleborough Estate.  Last Christmas, the landowner, Dr Farrar sadly passed away.  Under his ownership, the Ingleborough Estate controlled their own access to the caves on their land and he was very generous with it.  Any caver could apply for permission through the Clapham Estate office.  The land agents have now moved to Clitheroe and no longer wish to control their own access. They do still have concerns over their liability and therefore are in the process of passing access control onto the CNCC.  However, the CNCC have repeatedly stated, including as recently as the last meeting, that they will only control access on behalf of their member clubs through their traditional club permit systems.  Whatever the eventual outcome of this case, whether it forces CNCC to change or not, it demonstrates that any change of landowner can have an uncertain or more restrictive effect on cave access. 

A lot of scaremongering about the reaction of landowners to CRoW has been made without any evidence to support it.  On the contrary, in the Yorkshire Dales NP at least, there is ample evidence that the conflicts and animosity between landowners and recreational users that were predicted never arose.  As evidence I offer two quotes from the Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales Local Access Forum (a statutory body set up under CRoW), In 2006;

  “..indications are that many of the problems and pressures envisaged by some have not materialised and that, in the main, users have been responsible and understanding of the needs of those that farm, own and manage land over which the new rights can now be exercised.”

And again in 2009;

“Indeed, it may be that the landowning/farming interest is now confident that public access does not threaten its own interests.”

Why should it be so different for caving?


Tim,

One thing we can probably both agree on is that the CNCC, even if it's only relevant until CRoW comes in IF it does, needs to sort it's ridiculous "member club only" mentality.

It's not scaremongering to highlight potential problems, but it is naïve to dismiss them.

For example http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.0 is a considered statement by both sides in this debate (pretty much the only one so far), and recognises one potential problem. Landowners concerns about liability, concerns you recognise they have - and not because of any animosity - could easily result in refusal of digging permission in future as a direct result of CRoW applying to caving.

That said if this goes through I hope you are right, I just worry that you are wrong, there's little hard evidence on either side, the discussion is essentially about risk, and what risk is acceptable to individuals.

Tony
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Offline droid

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2014, 12:53:17 pm »

Hi Droid. The Garden Path entrance to Lathkill Head Cave is an artificially created shaft, not a natural shaft that was there already. It was mined. Actually Lathkill Head upper entrance is also mined, but that is not on access land, but has free access! It's quite complicated!  And what do you classify as mineral extraction? The extraction of limestone could be classified as that. (Calcium Carbonate, maybe for use in a lime kiln or wall.) It is a grey area, but one which DCA are very aware of.

Thanks for that, Mel. Certainly 'limestone' counts as a mineral under the legislation. The point being that the purpose of the shaft should be mineral extraction/access to such, rather than cave access. That's my reading, but I'm no expert.
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Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2014, 01:07:03 pm »
...
For example http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.0 is a considered statement by both sides in this debate
...
Tony

No it is not, it is a statement hashed together by you and Bob Mehew and represents the views of two people.
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Offline droid

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2014, 01:26:00 pm »
Given that none of us can accurately predict the future, most of the statements on this subject, including those of eminent QCs, can be regarded as 'views'.
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Offline al

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2014, 01:53:36 pm »
Given that none of us can accurately predict the future, most of the statements on this subject, including those of eminent QCs, can be regarded as 'views'.

I would bet that the matter won't ever be resolved until a landowner actually sues a caver through the courts - and I can't really see that ever happening.

However, I fully agree that our national body should try - the current state of affairs is ridiculous, and the arguments against concern exceptions which can be adequately dealt with as such.
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Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2014, 02:06:02 pm »
...
For example http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=17182.0 is a considered statement by both sides in this debate
...
Tony

No it is not, it is a statement hashed together by you and Bob Mehew and represents the views of two people.

It wasn't "hashed" together, a fair amount of discussion took place over several days after which a joint statement was agreed.

It represents the personal views of two people on opposing sides of the debate, considering one aspect of the debate, and is the only joint statement I've seen in which both sides of the argument have acknowledged the others views and tried to put some clear considered argument in a readable way for people to make their own judgement on.

The feedback I've had is that quite a few people found it helpful.

By all means let's see if we can't do the same with another area of the debate - you choose the subject - if it's an area I can debate with you I will and if not let's see if we can find someone that can.
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Offline Badlad

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2014, 03:01:38 pm »
Administrator Comment Advance notice. To ALL forum users.People from both sides of the argument are passionate about access issues. In the past, posting on this subject has descended into baiting, bullying and bickering. We have been told time and time again that this puts people off UKcaving. I am sure forum users would rather be informed, hear others' opinions and be entertained. So, please at all times, keep discussion civil. Thank you in advance.

Offline cavermark

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2014, 03:11:49 pm »
It's probably appropriate that this is happening in pantomime season - "oh yes it is.... oh no it isn't... oh yes it will.... oh no it won't....."  :tease:

Offline ah147

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2014, 03:27:32 pm »
I think Bob Mehews and Bottlebanks article is most helpful and relevant.


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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2014, 03:31:18 pm »
Some people are getting more than one ballot paper. That cannot be right.

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Community/viewtopic.aspx?p=147145#msg147145
The poll is for ALL members, that includes clubs, regional councils and so on.  So a person may get one polling paper as an individual member of BCA and a second one as the contact point for the club.   I note a later posting by SimonRL on your link clearly identifies his two polling papers were sufficiently well addressed to clearly distinguish between the two roles.  (I have had an email from one person who has had 4 polling papers.  He was able to clarify the difference between them.)

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2014, 03:41:11 pm »
Some people are getting more than one ballot paper. That cannot be right.

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/Community/viewtopic.aspx?p=147145#msg147145
The poll is for ALL members, that includes clubs, regional councils and so on.  So a person may get one polling paper as an individual member of BCA and a second one as the contact point for the club.   I note a later posting by SimonRL on your link clearly identifies his two polling papers were sufficiently well addressed to clearly distinguish between the two roles.  (I have had an email from one person who has had 4 polling papers.  He was able to clarify the difference between them.)

We had our AGM on Saturday night, our Secretary had received the ballot papers but no one realised I don't think that the club had a separate vote. It's a shame as we could have voted properly on it had we realised.

Our next meeting is this time next year!
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Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2014, 03:45:15 pm »
That's fine, Bob. And it makes sense. You will, no doubt, have sent the paper to whoever administers BCA business for the group. One would hope they would ask the governing body of the club in question how to vote, or whether to vote at all. I can see scope for abuse there, however. In our case, we have not formally sought the views of all our members, and have no more committee meetings before the poll deadline. Fortunately, I suppose, the non-individual votes will be a small fraction of the total.

Offline CatM

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2014, 03:54:38 pm »
I'm confused... why do clubs need a vote when all of their members will get an individual vote anyway?

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2014, 04:01:24 pm »
That's fine, Bob. And it makes sense. You will, no doubt, have sent the paper to whoever administers BCA business for the group. One would hope they would ask the governing body of the club in question how to vote, or whether to vote at all. I can see scope for abuse there, however. In our case, we have not formally sought the views of all our members, and have no more committee meetings before the poll deadline. Fortunately, I suppose, the non-individual votes will be a small fraction of the total.
as a club member you give officers the right to take a range of decisions in the name of your club, many of which are done without consultation.  You (& I) may not like it at times but that is how clubs are run. 
I'm confused... why do clubs need a vote when all of their members will get an individual vote anyway?
because they are members in their own right.  The membership of BCA has three parts, individuals, groups (like clubs) and associates (commercial organisations). 

Offline Bottlebank

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Re: CROW make my mind up time bca ballot papers are here
« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2014, 04:05:59 pm »
That's fine, Bob. And it makes sense. You will, no doubt, have sent the paper to whoever administers BCA business for the group. One would hope they would ask the governing body of the club in question how to vote, or whether to vote at all. I can see scope for abuse there, however. In our case, we have not formally sought the views of all our members, and have no more committee meetings before the poll deadline. Fortunately, I suppose, the non-individual votes will be a small fraction of the total.

I suspect it's down to excess haste and poor communication really, the BCA seem to be trying to rush this, "minor" details such as who or what can vote and the need to get detailed arguments for the case for either side have been pushed aside.

Part of this seems to be the confusion or disconnection that exists in the BCA, where some are telling us the BCA want to know whether their members want to look more closely at this, whilst the ballot question is asking whether the BCA should campaign for it - two very different questions.

I've just opened mine, and to me at least half of the points on the list of what will happen in the event of a "Yes" vote should have been dealt with before a ballot for a campaign.

I'm also particularly concerned by the first sentence in the second paragraph on the front page - "In September 2014 BCA met informally with Natural England and it is clear they intend to stand by their original interpretation of the Act."

Let's be clear - this could take years - and may never happen.

That's fine, Bob. And it makes sense. You will, no doubt, have sent the paper to whoever administers BCA business for the group. One would hope they would ask the governing body of the club in question how to vote, or whether to vote at all. I can see scope for abuse there, however. In our case, we have not formally sought the views of all our members, and have no more committee meetings before the poll deadline. Fortunately, I suppose, the non-individual votes will be a small fraction of the total.
as a club member you give officers the right to take a range of decisions in the name of your club, many of which are done without consultation.  You (& I) may not like it at times but that is how clubs are run. 

Bob, that's true, but the BCA say this issue is sufficiently important for a full membership poll to be needed. Putting probably the majority of clubs in the position where Officers have no choice other than to abstain or vote without backing of their membership flies in the face of this - because of the 18th December deadline.
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