Author Topic: Application for BCA Secretary  (Read 16960 times)

Offline Badlad

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2019, 01:13:25 pm »
Sad news for us all.  Thanks for at least giving it your consideration.  It appears that any sort of forward thinking progressive modernisation is too much for the BCA old guard.  You'd have to have the strength of Hercules to push back against those negative waves and then some.  Many good people have come and taken a look at BCA and run a mile.  There is still hope that someone else will stand up and lead it out of the dysfunctional shambles that many people perceive it is.

I've thought about the root problems at BCA a lot during my time as CRoW officer and CNCC rep.  The depth of problems and the diverse views within caving seem insurmountable.  I concluded that the only real answer is to establish a new association for the progressive members and groups within caving and leave those who like it the way it is to remain with the current outfit.  That would cause a split of course but it is a feasible answer and, as Matt has found out, the prospects of changing things from within are a very big ask.

Still, the chances of someone setting up an alternative is pretty slim so the modernisers amongst us must just keep trying.


Offline droid

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2019, 01:34:29 pm »
Point is, Matt, that if people are discussing your proposals you've sown a seed

The seed might not have germinated yet, but it's there and won't go away. Have patience and there might be movement.

Many people 'of a certain age' don't like change, but if given time will tolerate it.


Good luck.
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Offline GarDouth

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2019, 03:50:30 pm »
This is a shame indeed. I had tried hard to change Matt's mind but have to respect his decision.

My personal view on this is that we have lost probably the only chance the BCA had to modernise. Matt would have been a breath of fresh air to our sport and would have brought with him several equally enthusiastic supporters for change. I was really hoping to have a governing body to be proud of in the coming years.

This has affected me more than I thought it would. I feel disheartened and frustrated by the views of some and find myself thinking more like "what's the point in trying?". No one I have ever spoken to has a good word to say about BCA and I am aware of several clubs and individuals who are no longer going to continue paying to be apart of it. If this happens, the BCA will continue down-hill to a point of no return.

Along with Matt I will also not be perusing my proposal for modernisation of web services and want no further involvement unless things change.

I can only hope that someone else takes up the roll with some new ideas but I fear a continuation of "we're ok as we are" and "we better not upset anyone" approach.

A sad day for caving.
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Online David Rose

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2019, 05:52:55 pm »
Hold on a sec.

Matt, who are these people who have been arguing against you in the shadows? Are you sure they have any followers? Because an awful lot of cavers read and use this forum, and so far as I can see, there has not been a single voice dissenting from your excellent proposals and general vision. And I haven't come across anyone anywhere else who disagrees with your approach, and doesn't think you becoming secretary would be a hugely positive step.

I don't think we have to split the British caving world. We simply have to win some important debates. And judging by the forum, we have the numbers to do this, comfortably.

Are you certain you won't reconsider? The old guard reactionaries - whoever they are - may be vociferous, and they may have put  pressure on you, but that may be because they realise they're unlikely to prevail - but only if those who support modernisation stand up to them. We've already lost Jane Allen. We can't afford to lose you too! 

Offline GarDouth

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2019, 06:38:29 pm »
We simply have to win some important debates. And judging by the forum, we have the numbers to do this, comfortably.

The problem is that it's easy to pass comment on the forum and many people give support - which is great - but how many of the supporters will actually give up a day to turn up the the AGM to vote? Historically a VERY small proportion of UK cavers will turn up to an AGM or meeting so until that changes, nothing in the BCA will change. It's the same people with the same views that turn up to vote so they have no opposition.

EVERY individual member has the option to vote or submit a proposal for change - and it's not too late. If you don't want to get involved personally, check what your club is planning to vote for or against and make sure someone is going to represent your views.
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Online PeteHall

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2019, 08:57:13 pm »
Many people 'of a certain age' don't like change, but if given time will tolerate it.

From the grave perhaps...

I feel like many problems in British caving will be resolved as one generation dies off and another steps forward.

Just got to hope they don't kill off too much with them, or that the next generation doesn't fall into the same trap as they age...

Matt, you may be voted down if you stand, but if you don't stand, you've let them win without even having to fight it. I can't say I blame you at all, but I would urge you to reconsider. If they vote you down, so what, you've got your holidays back, at least it will be on the record that you tried.

If on the other hand, enough people turn up and support you... You'll be busy, so forget the holidays!
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Offline Ian P

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #31 on: March 24, 2019, 09:25:56 pm »
Matt

I have never been to a BCA AGM and never had a desire to go to one.

However this one I was going to attend and give my support in person.

Obviously the choice is yours and I understand your reluctance to proceed.

Enjoy those holidays  :)

Offline blackshiver

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #32 on: March 24, 2019, 09:50:28 pm »
A sad day for caving indeed; when I find two very well respected and highly proactive caver's, declining to get involved with the BCA - especially when one uses the words "I have no desire to suffer humiliation at the AGM which now seems inevitable".
I also read that the Jane Allen, used the words "humiliated, embarrassed and chastised" to describe her feelings prior to her resignation last year (detailed in full in the Jan 2019 BCA newsletter).
This sad state of affairs regarding the feelings of three highly progressive and selfless individuals cannot be acceptable, given that we (as general caver's) have to rely on the good nature of new volunteers to drive the BCA day to day.
In order to (hopefully) make Matt and Gary feel a little better about their combined decision - I would like to point out here - that at Euro-speleo I took time to personally introduce Matt and Garry to two of Caving's God's (The Brooks) whom I have known since I was a child. I naively thought this would give them an "uplift" in terms of their exploration and digging exploits. What happened was quite the reverse - with Dave and Alan enthusiastically thanking Matt and Gary for their selfless work in bringing positive and very well accepted change to the CNCC and, quite to the contrary - being highly delighted to meet them!
As a guy rapidly approaching 60 and having caved since the age of 14 I just got back from Wales having spent over a week caving with 20 students - there is no more sobering experience as to a generation gap than that. When we find people like Matt, Gary and Jane having to step aside from the BCA what on earth are the (really) young people, who are the future lifeblood of our lifelong love of caving going to think of our National Body.
Myself, I'm just a Moldywarp and am therefore inherently not "political", have no axes to grind and alway's try to be positive when I post on UK Caving - so I'll end on a positive note.
With the weight off Matt's mind I look forward to an excellent presentation on the North York Moors at Sam's Northern Explorers Forum!
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Offline kay

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2019, 07:45:08 am »
Matt

I have never been to a BCA AGM and never had a desire to go to one.

However this one I was going to attend and give my support in person.


I went to one, and lost heart after 2-3 hours. An hour or so later everyone piled out, and I thought it had finished - but, no, it was just the lunch break. I've not been to one since. But I was going to go to this one. And I still am - even though I won't have the opportunity to support Matt's secretaryship, perhaps there will be chance to comment or to vote and suggest that not everyone is in favour of "business as normal".

This year it's in the north - how about a big turn out of northern cavers to do what we can to ensure that our concerns are brought to the attention of the meeting?

Offline TheBitterEnd

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2019, 11:40:12 am »
Really sorry to hear that you won't be standing Matt but I understand your position.

Still, the chances of someone setting up an alternative is pretty slim so the modernisers amongst us must just keep trying.

I would guess that this idea has probably occurred to a few people but I’m going to say it out-loud

N(orthern)Exit? (I know, I know  ;) )

But seriously, the CNCC has been doing a great job in recent years and the BCA, for all the talk of National Bodies, etc. has had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards representing the views of cavers nationwide and is, it seems, still fighting against that. So why not make the CNCC the main voice for progressive cavers? I realise this is not a trivial suggestion, for most people the main role of the BCA is to provide insurance cover so it would mean the CNCC having to take on the role of organising that cover and collecting subscriptions etc. It might also need changes relating to representation etc. (just as the BCA does) but that could be further down-the-road. I wonder if clubs would be prepared to chip-in out of any cash reserves they may have, or a club subcription levy, to kick-start something like this? (knowing cavers, probably not, but you never know unless you ask).
 
I know this suggestion represents a split and that is often not a good thing but giving people a choice and getting them to vote with their wallets is the strongest possible mandate for change.
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Offline CatM

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2019, 12:10:56 pm »
Matt

I have never been to a BCA AGM and never had a desire to go to one.

However this one I was going to attend and give my support in person.

Obviously the choice is yours and I understand your reluctance to proceed.

Enjoy those holidays  :)
Exactly this.
I do hope you'll reconsider, Matt.

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Offline andrewmc

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2019, 12:13:17 pm »
I would also point out that disapproval is often much noisier than approval. At the CNCC AGM where proposals were suggested, there appeared to be quite a bit of disapproval about elements of them, but when it came to a vote it was 11-2 in favour (if I remember correctly) which is a landslide.

If all the Northern clubs that turned up to the CNCC AGM turned up to the BCA AGM I would be very surprised if they didn't hold a majority in the House of Groups (and quite possibly in the House of Individuals as well via their representatives).

Online PeteHall

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2019, 02:15:20 pm »
Can someone remind me why the NCA became the BCA.

As I understand it (bearing in mind that this is before my time), there were various insurmountable constitutional issues in the NCA and the easiest solution was to dispand it and reform as the BCA.

Assuming I haven't completely missed the point, could a similar thing happen again, with sufficient will power?
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Offline not_a_climber

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2019, 02:26:41 pm »
Matt and Gary - it's a great shame that you both won't be joining the BCA council, I was really looking forward to the addition of a few more people under the age of 50. I understand the reasons Matt has given for retracting his nomination but I'll echo the comments of others on here that if you don't put up a fight then you've no chance of winning at all. 'Modernisation' as everyone is calling it will come to the BCA - there is no way of stopping it (not that anyone would want to ;D). The inclusion of fresh voices in council and on sub-committees will simply speed up the process and get us where we need to be faster and more easily.

To this end, I'll be putting myself forward for the position of Conservation and Access Officer at this year's AGM, to continue the fantastic work that Andrew Hinde and the C&A committee have been doing for the last three years. If anyone is interested you can read my letter of nomination below - and I hope that those who've said they're attending the AGM will consider voting for me!

For the attention of the BCA council and wider membership,

My name is Louise, I’m a caver with SUSS and the BPC and currently sit on BCA council as a Direct Individual Member representative. I would like to put myself forward to fill the role of Conservation & Access Officer at the AGM in June.

One quarter of university club cavers stated that access rights and campaigns are an important part of the work of the BCA, in a questionnaire carried out at the 2018 CHECC forum. I’m proud of that figure; it shows that the work that the Conservation and Access team do is noticed and appreciated by the membership. This strong belief in responsible access by the future of British caving is one I share, and one I want to champion for all BCA members as Conservation & Access Officer.

I work as a ranger in the Peak District, in an area that is partly owned by the Peak District National Park Authority, Severn Trent Water and Sheffield City Council. This area is divided into an overlapping patchwork of open access and private land, SSSI and Scheduled Ancient Monuments, containing a network of permissive paths, public footpath, concessionary and public bridleways and byways. We host 3 different farming tenants, attract climbers to the gritstone edges, wild swimmers to the reservoirs, and fell runners and dog walkers alike to the open moorlands.

Working in such a complex landscape has introduced me to the intricacies of working with land owners, managers, farmers and user groups in many different forms to sustainably manage access. This juggling act is something I believe can readily be applied to British caving and the C&A role. I will represent British cavers and champion our access rights at a policy level, to ensure our future access is not a freedom we must fight for but a right we are entitled to in law through the recognition of caving as an activity in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 as well as in other legislation.

Alongside this I will continue the work that the C&A committee does to promote conservation conscious caving and ensure that the delicate nature of our caves and mines are maintained for future generations.

At a recent meeting of the Sport and Recreation Alliance which I attended on behalf of the BCA C&A committee, it was clear that we all have common aims; to increase sustainable access for the continued pursuit of the sports we love. Through taking part in the wider discussion of recreational access, the BCA can fit into this bigger picture and add our voice and our support to the community of sports to which we belong, as well as receive support from them when we need it.

I will happily represent the BCA at this level to show these other organisations that the BCA is looking to the future and is ready to work together, putting on a fresh new face to represent our long term interests.

The role of the BCA Conservation & Access Officer and committee is only part of the picture; regional councils, clubs and individual cavers are all a vital part of the access to and conservation of Britain’s underground places. We all need to work together for sustainable access and I look forward to working with you all over the next three years.

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2019, 02:43:49 pm »
I'm hugely impressed by all of Matt's posts here. He has great ideas and a cooperative, positive, and respectful attitude. He has a track record of being effective in the CNCC.

While I'm really an outsider to caving politics, I can't help despairing at the apparent mothballed state of the BCA, and Matt seems like the ideal person to effect positive change. I feel this is a huge missed opportunity for British Caving. :(

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2019, 04:22:50 pm »
That is a disappointment, I do hope there will be an alternative candidate for the Old Guard to make feel humiliated  :doubt:

Who are this old guard?  All the people I've had dealings with in the BCA have been most helpful and welcoming.  I must have managed to steer clear of this old guard.

Good luck not_a_climber.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2019, 08:26:45 pm »
Who are this old guard?

My thoughts exactly, who are they, and what vision do they have for the BCA?

Perhaps a middle ground can be sought which is not as radical as proposal 4 (assuming this is where the friction is causing the old guard to squeal with Chinese burns) https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=24666.msg307058#msg307058

I thought i'd briefly take a look at a few other societies and organisations, the RYA have an interesting take on a one house system for both clubs and individuals:
"25.3  Subject to Article 25.4, on a poll at a general meeting, and on a ballot for the election of Nominated Directors (a) each individual Member has one vote; and (b) each organisation Member has one vote for each complete £100 of the amount of the affiliation fee which became due and which was paid by it to the Association in the twelve months preceding the date of the notice convening the meeting. "
https://www.rya.org.uk/about-us/governance/constitution/Pages/articles-of-association.aspx

This would still make the bigger clubs more powerful, but wouldn't stop a mass movement of individual members.

You could apply the rule directly (ie total paid directly to the BCA, eg £700 gives 7 votes*), or you could just harness some of the brackets of membership which already exist within the BCA.
 I would say that a one house system based on the "number of members" cost basis could provide a fair representation.
http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=membership:club

Increments of £25 could be used. with the amount being rounded up.
Thereby:
No. of Members     BCA Fee      Number of Votes
up to 10               £25             1
11-20                  £35             2
21-30                  £50             2
31-40                  £60             3
41+                     £70            3

This would take into account that sometimes clubs are not always run by the masses, and sometimes do not have to consult their members on BCA matters.

*but producing a direct translation of the £100 rule would skew towards a club which had a lot of CIMS, clubs which encouraged DIMS or had a large proportion of DIMS would loose out.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2019, 09:11:18 pm »
and a direct translation of the £100 rule would also skew out of favor of clubs with large numbers of student or youth members.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #43 on: March 25, 2019, 09:12:37 pm »
Shenanigans like this are exactly why we declined to renew (read as - fucked off) membership with the BCA, and now actively want fuck all to do with it until it changes. We will not be associated with a "governing body" that lets a small minority dictate against the wishes of the far larger masses. Here you have motivated people, actively volunteeing to do work and get stuff done. They have skill and experience in the relevant area they are volunterring for. Any other body would be overjoyed, not resentful and oust them. The idiots behind this cant seem to fathom that by "sticking with tradition", they're killing the very thing they claim to revere the most.

For anyone wondering - Not being a BCA member is *very* liberating. We can say what we want, when we want, go where we want, and the old farts can't do a bloody thing about it.  :icon_321:

Burn it down - it's not fit for purpose. Start afresh. We'll be happy to join a progressive body.
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Offline ZombieCake

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2019, 11:09:02 pm »
I'm not very good at politics, but here goes.  I've very nearly ditched caving a few times 'cos of various politics.  What would be nice is to tell us people who aren't in the inner illuminati circle what the BCA does apart from insurance, because I genuinely don't know, I just get a green bit of plastic each year.



Offline Madness

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #45 on: March 25, 2019, 11:20:38 pm »
Is there a list of Council Members and other Officers on the BCA website. I'd like to see the names of those supposedly representing us?

I don't know Matt, but from what I've read here he seems an ideal candidate. I hope that he reconsiders. I've never attended any sort of BCA meeting, but I'd attend the AGM to support and vote for him.

As for another representative body. I think the BCA would lose members in droves if another body offered Public Liability Insurance. Personally, I can't see why anyone would join the BCA for any other reason.

Offline 2xw

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #46 on: March 25, 2019, 11:22:44 pm »
You'll find a list of council members here:

http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=about:contact_bca

My name is there - I'd like to think I do reasonably good work.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #47 on: March 25, 2019, 11:44:59 pm »
Is there a list of Council Members and other Officers on the BCA website. I'd like to see the names of those supposedly representing us?

Or the most recent minutes are available here http://british-caving.org.uk/wiki3/doku.php?id=about:documents:council_meetings:start

They also show a list of names on the January 2019 draft. My name is nort there.

Offline droid

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2019, 11:46:33 am »
As for another representative body. I think the BCA would lose members in droves if another body offered Public Liability Insurance. Personally, I can't see why anyone would join the BCA for any other reason.

I said in a previous thread (I'd  search it out, but being a bit of a gobshite.....life's too short....) that the main reason most people have *anything* to do with BCA is the insurance.

I was comprehensively shot down in flames. Mainly (if memory serves) by an individual who is now seriously disillusioned with BCA....

These shenanigans, and the absolute farce over CRoW and the Constitution have done little to change my opinion.


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Offline Pegasus

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Re: Application for BCA Secretary
« Reply #49 on: March 26, 2019, 12:14:50 pm »
What would be nice is to tell us people who aren't in the inner illuminati circle what the BCA does apart from insurance, because I genuinely don't know, I just get a green bit of plastic each year.


Just back from holiday and catching up...

Remember this? 



During my time with BCA I designed (with help) this advert for publication in Descent - because 50% of the previous ones were about disease  :o  The new advert gives a more positive message.  I showed the above at the start of my report at the last, ill fated (for me personally) BCA meeting - it was met with stony silence, I knew then it was going to be all down hill from there.  I had actually been excited to show what I'd been up to since the last meeting only to have procedure thrown in my face  >:(

The advert isn't perfect, however is better than what went before.  Who's going to improve it for the next issue of Descent I wonder or will the above appear again and again?

It is a terrible shame, Matt has decided not to run for Secretary and I hope whoever has put him off thinks long and hard about what they have done.

Like it or not, BCA needs to modernise.  If you are standing in the way of this, please tell us why - what was so wrong about Matt's ideas??