Author Topic: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale  (Read 5521 times)

Offline CNCC

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BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« on: January 21, 2019, 11:19:30 am »


It's a bit early but this year the British Caving Association AGM will be held in our patch at the Horton-in-Ribblesdale Village Hall on Sunday 9 June 2019 beginning at 10:30am. We urge all cavers to come along, take part and get involved as it can really make a difference to how things are run.

There are several posts available but you need to get any nominations in by Saturday, 13 April 2019.

It's important to get equal involvement from each region so it would be great if Northern cavers want to take a role or two.

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In line with the BCA Constitution, each year one third of the posts are up for election. For 2019 these will be:
  • Secretary (to serve for 3 years)
  • Conservation & Access (to serve for 3 years)
  • Treasurer (to serve the remaining 2 years of a 3 year term)
  • Publications & Information (to serve the remaining 2 years of a 3 year term)
In addition the following Representatives' posts will be up for election:
  • 2 Club Representatives (to serve for 2 years)
  • 2 Individual Member Representatives (to serve for 2 years)
Nominations for posts should include:
  • the post the candidate wishes to stand for.
  • the candidate’s name, address, phone number, signature and membership number.
  • the proposer and seconder’s names, membership numbers and signatures.
  • a brief election statement of a maximum of 300 words in length (to be used in the event of multiple nominations).
Nominations, plus Items for the Agenda, must reach the Acting BCA Secretary no later than midnight on Saturday, 13 April 2019. The Agenda and Election Statements will then be published here by 28 April 2019.

BCA Group Members should note that for the purposes of voting at the AGM each Group may send one voting delegate who must bring with them a letter signed by an officer giving them the authority to represent that group.

Individual Members should bring their membership card.

Keep an eye out for more details at: http://british-caving.org.uk
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 11:54:33 am by Pegasus, Reason: added photo »
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Offline JoW

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2019, 07:19:16 pm »
Anyone know if the agenda is out yet? I haven't seen it/ can't seem to find it on the BCA website...

Offline Bob Mehew

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Offline 2xw

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2019, 07:00:00 pm »
Should mention I intend to rerun in my role as a Direct Individual Member of council. I am a member of the Youth and Development group and have been working on opening access for U18s (which has worked in all but one cave now) including legal advice pertaining to young people going underground. I had minor roles in the setting up of Lancaster and Swansea among other Y&D activities. I have also been working on electronic voting and constitutional reform. I'd be pleased to continue this work if members vote me in.

I submitted my intention to run before the deadline (on the 12th April) but was refused by the secretary who said I needed a signed paper form presented to him at the council meeting. Unfortunately I was in the US on expedition.

Online Badlad

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2019, 10:37:54 pm »
Perhaps you had upset the secretary somehow  ;)

I don't believe he can make up these rules unilaterally and try to impose them just before a deadline.  There is no precedent or requirement in the constitution for advance nominations. 

6.3.   Representatives from the classes of Individual and Group Membership shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting, by a show of hands of those present who are eligible to vote. Here the two-house voting system outlined in sub section 8.9 will not apply. Each representative shall serve for a term of two years from the AGM.

The secretary also tried to impose new rules for proposing motions to the AGM which do need to be in by a deadline, however, there is no precedence for other conditions.  I brought it up at the last council meeting and the minuted discussion is copied below;

TA asked RW whether the procedure for submitting AGM motions has changed, citing that RW was now asking for hard copies of proposals to be submitted, wet-signed by the proposer.
RW confirmed that he has not changed his mind on this.
JP commented that historically a proposal must meet the deadline, but a seconder can be sought after.
LW felt we should be accepting proposals by email but that they should have two signatures. 
ME read out the section of the constitution regarding this, emphasising that this states the minimum requirements as being for the proposal to be submitted to the Secretary by midnight on the day of the Council meeting preceding the AGM. ME said it says nothing on what format this takes (electronic or paper), nothing about needing a seconder, and nothing about needing signatures. ME felt we should be working on what the constitution says, and not making up additional rules or requirements beyond what the constitution requires. 
LB felt we should take this discussion as feedback and address the constitution accordingly.
DC suggested it might be easier to put the requirements in the Manual of Operations. 
ME reiterated his earlier point, saying that the BCA has 6000+ members all of who are entitled to put forward a proposal to the AGM, and all of who he believed would look to the constitution for the requirements on doing this. He did not feel people should also have to digest the Manual of Operations too, so this information should not be in the Manual of Operations instead. He raised the matter of what if someone goes away from this meeting and decides to put a proposal in before midnight; they might be able to fulfil all the requirements of the constitution, but are we really going to reject this because of some unpublished additional requirements that seem to be at the discretion of the Secretary? He felt that the bare minimum requirements set out in the constitution should be the only requirements for submitting a proposal, and if the BCA want additional requirements, then they also need to be stated in the constitution. 
AB said he has worked in local Government and doesn’t feel putting conditions for such things in the constitution is right as it gets too complex. He said that precedent from previous meetings should be sufficient to justify requirements not set forward in the constitution. He felt that RW was right to try to formalise the process.
TA agreed but felt that communication of such additional requirements should not come so last minute. 
LW asked if we are happy to accept motions that are put forward to the AGM according to the constitution (i.e. no additional unpublished requirements): For 8, against 5, abstentions 6. LW declared that he expects all non-seconded proposals to be seconded before any discussion.

Offline Cavematt

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 07:43:47 am »
As is probably clear from the minutes Badlad has posted (ME is my contribution), I am not in favour of enforcing additional restrictions beyond those required in the constitution or manual of operations. Therefore, I don't personally agree with applications and proposals having to be submitted hard-copy and signed etc. An email should suffice for this in my opinion. Of course, this is the discretion of the Secretary, and he/she can take whatever measured necessary to ensure the authenticity of the application/proposal. Every Secretary will approach this differently.

Hopefully given the situation (i.e. that Will was not aware of the need for a paper form until too late, and was not available in person to submit the paper forms, but did email his intentions to stand within the deadline) then he can be added to the ballot.
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Offline andrewmc

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2019, 07:48:38 am »
Also agreed - and of course in the event of any debate:

"13.1.   A General Meeting of the Association shall be the final interpreter of this constitution."

Offline Madness

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2019, 07:59:16 am »
I don't agree that any secretary should be able to impose additional 'hoops to jump through'. That could allow them, as possibly in this case, to prevent someone's nomination.

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2019, 09:10:38 am »
A representative who is already in position isn't usually expected to do anymore than confirm they are prepared to continue by the date, as they are a known quantity compared to a new candidate.

To be fair, every secretary has to interpret the constitution & the requirements were published almost 3 months before the meeting, so anyone applying in good time could have complied, so hardly an attempt to block a nomination...

Offline Pegasus

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2019, 10:12:41 am »
I don't agree that any secretary should be able to impose additional 'hoops to jump through'. That could allow them, as possibly in this case, to prevent someone's nomination.

I agree

Offline Madness

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2019, 04:44:24 pm »
every secretary has to interpret the constitution

I'd suggest that if a constitution is open to interpretation it requires re-writing.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2019, 08:18:49 pm »
The problem with a constitution is that it can only ever be a guideline which covers the problems and situations which you have already thought of when it was written.  There is almost inevitably something which comes up which isn't covered and you may then have to amend the constitution.  The problem with this is that you do not want to do this every year - it's time-consuming and there is normally a requirement for something more than a simple majority.

That's why you need to have a "Manual of Operations", or "Standing Orders" which give a general guide as to how the constitution should normally be interpreted - so it doesn't just depend on the current Chairman or Secretary but there are precedents.  As situations arise and it is agreed by common sense in a meeting how they should be dealt with, then this would form part of the Manual of Operations, which will evolve, bit by bit.  Only when it's a main point of some importance should you need to amend the constitution.

The current difficulty over the acceptance or otherwise of nominations or proposals "in writing" or without a "written" seconder is a case in point.  Having been involved with a number of organisations outside caving which have constitutions and AGMs, it seems standard practice that any nomination from an individual member should be proposed "in writing" and seconded "in writing" by another individual member.  However, the use of email should surely mean that this can be interpreted to mean that "by email" can be substituted for "in writing" and also that the seconding can be done by email, provided that both emails arrive with the secretary within the appointed time and are clearly connected.

It seems unreasonable to expect a Secretary to draw up a fairly complicated agenda, which may include constitutional amendments, based simply on the spoken word of a member with no indication of whether anyone else supports the proposal.  After all, what's to prevent the Secretary packing the agenda with his own bright ideas with no reference to anyone else?

Offline andrewmc

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 08:11:59 am »
It seems unreasonable to expect a Secretary to draw up a fairly complicated agenda, which may include constitutional amendments, based simply on the spoken word of a member with no indication of whether anyone else supports the proposal.  After all, what's to prevent the Secretary packing the agenda with his own bright ideas with no reference to anyone else?

I agree and think the BCA should develop a set of Standing Orders (something I might look at in a year or so) for AGMs.

What is not OK is failing to accept something that complies with the current constitution when there are no such Standing Orders. Otherwise a future secretary could also require that all nominations for Council positions are laser-printed on green paper and signed by three Northern caving clubs and delivered in person at the bottom of Gaping Gill at midnight on New Year's Eve or something.

Offline 2xw

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 09:22:40 am »
The exec has rejected my appeal to be added to the ballot because I "did not supply the required information". I did not supply the required information because I was told it would have to be on a paper form. I think I can run from the floor although the MoO seems to indicate I can't.

I am disappointed that the current secretary lied to me in this way especially if it means I cannot run.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2019, 09:38:41 am »
From https://web.archive.org/web/20190427105355/http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php :

Nominations for posts should include:

    the post the candidate wishes to stand for.
    the candidate’s name, address, phone number, signature and membership number.
    the proposer and seconder’s names, membership numbers and signatures.
    a brief election statement of a maximum of 300 words in length (to be used in the event of multiple nominations).

Candidates are welcome to submit their nomination in any format, but this form contains all the required information. Nomination Form

Nominations, plus Items for the Agenda, must reach the Acting BCA Secretary no later than midnight on Saturday, 13 April 2019.


Did you comply?

Offline 2xw

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2019, 09:45:43 am »
No, I didn't comply, because Robin was very clear that I had to submit on a paper form and couldn't do so by email.

I immediately gave up, I should have ignored this lie, and sent the information anyways, but I did trust that he knew the constitution better than I did.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 09:56:57 am by 2xw »

Offline Jenny P

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2019, 11:30:48 am »
The only problem with providing the information by email is the requirement for a "signature" but, providing that it can be assumed that no-one is going to try to fake and email, and all the information required is submitted, then "in writing" should include "by email" and the Secretary can print out the relevant emails to demonstrate compliance.

IMHO it is reasonable for the Secretary to require that Individual Members nominating, proposing or seconding an item for a General Meeting should do so "in writing" - provided this is deemed to include "by email".  This ensures that the Secretary has any wording correct as submitted and the date/time on an email demonstrates that it has been sent within the due timeframe.

Perhaps this point should be clarified in the Manual of Operations so avoid any further misunderstandings.

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2019, 08:37:28 pm »
Surely an email with the attachment of a scanned copy of a document incorporating the necessary information would have been sufficient?  As I understand it, the explicit demand for a paper version does seem unreasonable.  (As I understand it, such a document would be deemed sufficient evidence in a court of law.)

Frankly signatures are an irrelevance to showing authenticity.  I would expect the (admittedly overburdened) Secretary to contact the proposer and seconder to confirm they did indeed do so, if the Secretary was so concerned about authenticity.  (Or just let the publication of the proposer and seconder names in the agenda do that piece of work.) 

I accept emails are a bit dodgy and would not favour a simple single email from a person to be sufficient given the insecurity of email addresses.


Offline mikem

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2019, 09:07:26 pm »
Unfortunately a signature is a bit of a red herring, as it's a sign of trust left over from the days when many people couldn't write. Hardly anybody checks them nowadays, so an email is probably more easily verifiable.

You can certainly be coopted if nobody else stands - provided you haven't upset the committee too much...

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Offline 2xw

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2019, 09:20:23 pm »
I cannot be co-opted as there are three others running. Unfortunately it seems that the exec remains firm on this and I will no longer be involved with the BCA - I wish them the best of luck with it, especially the Y&D.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2019, 09:45:17 pm »
I cannot be co-opted as there are three others running. Unfortunately it seems that the exec remains firm on this and I will no longer be involved with the BCA - I wish them the best of luck with it, especially the Y&D.

I would be very, very surprised if the AGM voted against letting you stand, given that you complied with the requirements of the constitution.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2019, 10:06:42 pm »
I'd love to hear what Robin has to say about this; is he on the forum to comment?

Offline Madness

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2019, 10:15:09 pm »
Being the cynic that I am I wonder if at sometime in the past you've had a 'run in' with the old guard/control freaks/whatever and this is their way of getting you out of their way.

Apologies to any members of the BCA council who aren't members of the old guard and who aren't control freaks.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2019, 10:37:41 pm »
I smell a bit of nepotism hear.ie :- damein/robin.
Might be wrong though 😈😈

Offline damian

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Re: BCA AGM 2019 in Horton-in-Ribblesdale
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2019, 05:39:13 am »
I smell a bit of nepotism hear.ie :- damein/robin.
Might be wrong though 😈😈
You are very wrong. In fact, I hope you don't know me, because I would be genuinely hurt to think that anyone thinks I did the job of secretary for anything other than the doing my bit for caving. I am also pretty confident my dad is in the same position. Neither of us sought the role of secretary and I hadn't been anywhere near BCA, other than as a member of a member club, for several years prior to my dad taking on the role.

 

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