Author Topic: Access controlling bodies and the BCA [Split from Re: Does your club rep...]  (Read 1822 times)

Offline Jack

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other individuals can still go if they want to...

But MikeM  they can't on some access body meetings  :down:
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 06:01:11 pm by MarkS »

Offline Madness

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2019, 10:11:58 pm »

Quote
other individuals can still go if they want to...

But MikeM  they can't on some access body meetings  :down:

They also need to know when and where meetings are taking place. Sometimes the organisers of such meetings want to keep them hush hush.

Offline mikem

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 08:12:17 am »

Quote
other individuals can still go if they want to...

But MikeM  they can't on some access body meetings  :down:

They also need to know when and where meetings are taking place. Sometimes the organisers of such meetings want to keep them hush hush.
Those access bodies, whilst being run by cavers, are presumably not part of the BCA & can organise themselves however they like - it's up to other cavers to turn them around, if they feel so inclined. They presumably also don't have club reps (unless set up by clubs).

Online andrewmc

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 12:25:34 pm »
Those access bodies, whilst being run by cavers, are presumably not part of the BCA & can organise themselves however they like - it's up to other cavers to turn them around, if they feel so inclined. They presumably also don't have club reps (unless set up by clubs).

I believe all the 'obvious' cave access controlling bodies are BCA members. Some would suggest this means the BCA should have some say in how they operate...

Online andrewmc

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 12:32:05 pm »
Fun quote from the CSCC AGM report (from the regional rep's report) in reference to the motion to dissolve the P&I committee (which for everyone's sudden nostalgia has no meetings, except for one recently, in the last 5+ years).

"CSCC are concerned in the directions that the above motions are taking us. CSCC are against any
motions which diminish the representation of regional constituent bodies on BCA and allows
individual people to operate without reference back to the regions. The regional bodies have been
shown historically to be an effective way that the clubs can be represented on council, CSCC do
not believe that this should be changed."
(emphasis is mine)

(relevance to the thread time) - so you, as an individual, need to be represented by your club, who are then represented by the region...
So what about individuals? How are they represented on council?

What's the point of voting for Council positions if the only representation that clubs (or individual members) get is the single regional representative?

More fundamentally, what are the regional access bodies?
Do they 'control' caving in a region? Presumably not...
Are they the 'governing body' for caving in a region? The DCA at least don't think so.
Are they organs of the BCA, which is the governing body of caving in the UK, and therefore should to some degree carry out the BCA's will? I bet the CSCC would disagree...

Do they represent cavers who live in the region? Who cave in the region? What about people who live or work in multiple regions?
Or do they represent the caves in the region?
Or do they represent clubs, and therefore fail to represent individual members (who of course get no say in regional council meetings)? What about clubs that are in several regions?

Food for thought (and arguing :P )

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 07:58:03 pm »
"CSCC are against any motions which diminish the representation of regional constituent bodies on BCA and allows individual people to operate without reference back to the regions."

Can't have the unwashed masses thinking for themselves now, can we....

Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 09:33:42 pm »
Do they represent cavers who live in the region? Who cave in the region? What about people who live or work in multiple regions?
Or do they represent the caves in the region?
Or do they represent clubs, and therefore fail to represent individual members (who of course get no say in regional council meetings)? What about clubs that are in several regions?

Like you, I'd dearly love to know.

Online andrewmc

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 10:34:25 pm »
"CSCC are against any motions which diminish the representation of regional constituent bodies on BCA and allows individual people to operate without reference back to the regions."

Can't have the unwashed masses thinking for themselves now, can we....

To be fair (after I reread it a few times) I worked out it was talking about BCA officers, not individual cavers

Offline Badlad

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2019, 09:13:23 am »
The new CNCC Mission Statement
The CNCC is an open and welcoming organisation that represents caving and cavers in the north of England and Scotland. As an exclusively volunteer-led organisation, we will:

Work to achieve the best possible access to caves.
Establish beneficial relations with landowners and kindred organisations.
Promote safe and responsible caving in parallel with cave and countryside conservation.
Provide services and information to improve the accessibility of caving.

Also from the CNCC website, "Today the CNCC serves as the British Caving Association (BCA) Regional Council for the north of England (and Scotland) and will represent the best interests and work to the benefit of cavers and caving clubs in our region."

Offline DCA

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2019, 10:07:00 am »
Do they represent cavers who live in the region? Who cave in the region? What about people who live or work in multiple regions?
Or do they represent the caves in the region?
Or do they represent clubs, and therefore fail to represent individual members (who of course get no say in regional council meetings)? What about clubs that are in several regions?

Like you, I'd dearly love to know.

Just thought that it might be worth pointing out that, unlike some other regional councils, DCA has both club and individual members, some of whom are from outside the Peak District. All members are entitled to attend DCA council meetings.

Mike Higgins
DCA Membership Secretary
Derbyshire Caving Association

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2019, 10:47:12 am »
The new CNCC Mission Statement
The CNCC is an open and welcoming organisation that represents caving and cavers in the north of England and Scotland. As an exclusively volunteer-led organisation, we will:

Work to achieve the best possible access to caves.
Establish beneficial relations with landowners and kindred organisations.
Promote safe and responsible caving in parallel with cave and countryside conservation.
Provide services and information to improve the accessibility of caving.

Also from the CNCC website, "Today the CNCC serves as the British Caving Association (BCA) Regional Council for the north of England (and Scotland) and will represent the best interests and work to the benefit of cavers and caving clubs in our region."


Why are Scotland in parenthesis?

Offline BradW

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2019, 11:21:38 am »
Also from the CNCC website, "Today the CNCC serves as the British Caving Association (BCA) Regional Council for the north of England (and Scotland) ........"
[/quote]

That would be the CNCC choice to be subservient to the BCA (the possible implication of this statement) and should other bodies wish to act differently, that's their prerogative.

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2019, 12:40:36 pm »
'Subservient'  :lol: :lol:

Online andrewmc

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2019, 12:52:55 pm »
'Subservient'  :lol: :lol:

The word subservient has negative connotations, but I think the CNCC should be respected for recognising that they are a part of a larger (not necessarily greater) whole - namely that they act as a regional body of the national governing body (and do a very good job of it).

The BCA is unquestionably the governing body of caving and mine exploration in the UK. Only a body which is either part of, or 'subservient' to, the BCA can therefore have 'governing body authority' in that region.

In such case, they are accountable to the BCA, and so don't need individual representation - they act on behalf of the BCA which represents all cavers.

All act to serve the membership, after all...

Online Cookie

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2019, 12:59:32 pm »
The BCA is unquestionably the governing body of caving and mine exploration in the UK.

That statement is questionable.

The BCA is a national body, it is a representative body but it is not a governing body.

Hence the bit in the Constitution about not involving itself in members' affairs unless invited to do so.
Dave Cooke. BCA: IT Working Party Convenor, Web Services

Offline BradW

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2019, 01:12:13 pm »
The BCA is at the top of a slippery slope. That slope is basically one where a representative body starts to act like a governing body, and says that's OK as they are only serving the members while at the same time telling them what they can or cannot do, justifying it under "rule of the majority". The great thing about representative bodies is that everyone can be engaged and feel involved, instead of being pushed around by a larger majority against their will. Please don't let the BCA start sliding down the slope.

Offline droid

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2019, 01:22:33 pm »
'Governing'?

What happens if an 'access body', club or individual does something the 'governing body' doesn't like? Answer: there's a shedload of manking in UKC then.....bugger all.

Not much governing there, I think :lol:
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Offline 2xw

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2019, 03:06:36 pm »
Interesting debate.

Regarding ACBs, if they wish to represent BCA members and be a BCA ACB, they agree to abide by the constitution which is determined by the membership.

If they do not agree to the constitution, then surely they aren't a BCA ACB and the BCA or representatives of them are free to contact landowners directly to negotiate access on their members behalf.

I don't think Tony Bs/BradWs implication that the membership wanting bare minimum standards from the behaviour of ACBs (that they actually allow cavers access, that they function, and that they are fair) is a slipper slope (towards what? The radical idea that self serving individuals can't lord it over everyone else for personal reasons?)

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2019, 03:11:34 pm »
The BCA is unquestionably the governing body of caving and mine exploration in the UK.

That statement is questionable.

The BCA is a national body, it is a representative body but it is not a governing body.

Hence the bit in the Constitution about not involving itself in members' affairs unless invited to do so.

IIRC the term "governing body" was used by the then Sports Council in 1972 when it accepted NCA as the "governing body for caving".  The problem was that the Sports Council was almost exclusively concerned with competitive sports which required rules for their competitions, hence the national bodies of sports were, in effect, "governing bodies" because they were the final arbiters of the rules for competitions.  We tried to explain at the time that this was not appropriate for NCA, which was a federation of autonomous bodies (at that time only the regional councils and the other nationally representative bodies were "members" - no club and certainly no individual members).  It was not a "governing body" but it did aim to be a "representative body" for caving.

Being the so-called "governing body" for caving worked to our advantage in the early 1970s when the government of the day started to impose some rules on the way instructors in adventure sports conducted their activities; we were able to point out that the then BACI, representing caving instructors, were members of NCA and we were therefore able to deal with such matters within our own organisation.  However this does depend on the national body having "one voice" when it comes to representation re. legislation and this was significantly not the case when it came to the CRoW proposals, where a vociferous minority insisted that cavers did not want CRoW legislation to apply to caving.  BCA's saving grace is that it has individual members who can, if required, be balloted on their views and, provided that there is a significant majority in favour of a position, this can be taken as "the view of British cavers".

As long as regional councils exist and are part of the BCA "federation", BCA has to consider them as autonomous bodies and may not therefore interfere in their internal affairs.  However, sub-groups of regional councils (e.g. access controlling bodies which are not sub-committees of the regional council) are surely not to be considered as "autonomous bodies" in the same way.  However, it would seem sensible that if cavers outside the region have a problem with aspects of access they should first approach the relevant regional council and, only if they obtain no satisfaction from them, should the query be raised at a national level. 

How BCA responds to such queries without upsetting the local cavers who have to run the access controlling organisation is where it gets difficult.  Ultimately it is not possible to administer access to a cave at "national level" - it requires cavers who live locally to deal with the quirks of whatever system is put in place.  But the aim should always be that access is as simple as possible and open to all, given that there may be conservation considerations which require something like a "wardening system" and limited numbers. 

Surely it's all about goodwill?




Offline BradW

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2019, 03:15:02 pm »
I am suggesting that regional council's should be permitted to act with a significant degree of autonomy within the BCA membership rules. I worry that this will no longer be the case. The same point can be made on ACBs, but my comment was primarily about RCs. I suggest you talk to Tony B ( I believe you know him quite well) and make a judgment on whether he and I are the same person.

Offline mikem

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2019, 04:56:34 pm »
Quote
parenthesis
/pəˈrɛnθɪsɪs/
noun
1.
a word or phrase inserted as an explanation or afterthought into a passage which is grammatically complete without it
The brackets are PARENTHESES.

Offline CNCC

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2019, 08:42:28 am »
As one of the five BCA Regional Councils we can confirm that we have never in any way felt that our autonomy has been hindered or compromised by the BCA; nor have the BCA ever tried to do so (at least not in recent memory); and nor do we see any threats of this becoming the case in the future.
Council of Northern Caving Clubs; Working together for northern caving since 1963

Offline Badlad

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2019, 09:09:20 am »
A few quotes from the BCA website which explains who they are and the relationship with regional councils;

"The British Caving Association is the national body for underground exploration in the United Kingdom. It represents individuals and groups with a genuine interest in caves, karst and associated phenomena, whether from a strictly sporting viewpoint, a scientific viewpoint, or a combination of both.

Through its democratic structure and Regional Councils it will: ..... (list omitted)

The Regional Caving Councils deal with various functions on behalf of BCA, such as Conservation & Access works, Access Permits etc. The various officers of the Councils are also members of the relevant BCA Special Committees."

In my experience regional councils can, and do, act with a reasonable amount of autonomy.  I'm fairly sure that at the inception of BCA all the regional councils will have voted to accept the new national structure and their role within it.  That must mean accepting the democratic process, the constitution and BCA policies which come from it.  I presume there is always the option of leaving and declaring independence if there is something so onerous a RC cannot live with it.

Regional councils are funded by BCA (in the main).  Admin, including venue hire, stationary, postage, phone bills travel expenses etc. C&A, all sorts of access costs, gates, stabilising entrances, peppercorn rents, promoting conservation etc.  Some publications, website, insurance.  Training grants and equipment such as resin anchors.

So what about the bit in the constitution at 11.1.   The Association shall not interfere in the affairs of a Member unless specifically requested to do so by that Member. 

What if a council was in breach of this guiding principle of the constitution.
 4.7.   That the Association will make its services available to all sections of the sporting community. There will be no discrimination on grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, colour, occupation, religion or political opinion.

Or just ignored BCA policies of the type accepted at the last AGM.  Do the BCA just do nothing or do they have to take some form of action?

Offline droid

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2019, 01:19:23 pm »
Do the BCA just do nothing or do they have to take some form of action?

What *can* they do, Tim?
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Offline Badlad

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2019, 01:51:14 pm »
I suppose make a clear statement that a certain action is against national policy/constitution?  Withdraw funding? Throw a milkshake over someone?