Author Topic: Access controlling bodies and the BCA [Split from Re: Does your club rep...]  (Read 2378 times)

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2019, 02:34:28 pm »
Any member can seek to invoke Section 11.2 of the constitution on members thought to be acting against the interests of BCA.  The Section allows for suspension or ejection and specifically countermands Section 11.1 on BCA not interfering with the affairs of a member.  I believe the Exec have to then undertake the relevant disciplinary process covered in MoO.

Offline droid

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2019, 03:34:35 pm »
I believe the Exec have to then undertake the relevant disciplinary process covered in MoO.

Which is?

Banning from any cave BCA has an interest in (via access bodies)?

I remember the 80's, when the CNCC was running a guerrilla war with the Penzance CC *

* Think Gilbert and Sullivan
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Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2019, 03:53:13 pm »
Having ejected a group, BCA can then participate or aid other bodies in activities which might otherwise have been contrary to Section 11.1, such as seeking to negotiate with the land owner.  I accept it is likely to be a long winded journey and no doubt open to unfortunate events on both sides, perhaps reminiscent of a G&S opera or worse, the Ring Cycle.

Offline BradW

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2019, 07:40:06 am »
Having ejected a group, BCA can then participate or aid other bodies in activities which might otherwise have been contrary to Section 11.1, such as seeking to negotiate with the land owner.  I accept it is likely to be a long winded journey and no doubt open to unfortunate events on both sides, perhaps reminiscent of a G&S opera or worse, the Ring Cycle.
Good luck with that if the ejected body owns or leases or has some other long term hold on the site in question.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2019, 09:00:06 pm »
Quote
Surely it's all about goodwill?

Indeedy-doody; sadly, though, the shiny new BCA which has been emerging over the last 2-3 years does appear to have hallmarks of institutionalised antagonism towards landowners and ACBs and also appears to have a predictable groundswell of support from the "Jam Today" cohorts who seem to think it's a great idea to rattle their sabres for easy access. In the short term this populist policy wins votes and hearts and minds but medium and longer term it risks raising the ire of landowners who may close off car parking, goodwill, support, £peppercorn access, and friendly relations across the board (affecting more than just self-claimed cavers).

There is a growing body of evidence that this has already commenced in earnest. Landowners and their appointed agents are REALLY IMPORTANT and it is EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to respect them and their views and wishes. There doesn't appear to be much in the national caving press along these lines, far from it. Judging by many commentators who post here you'd could be forgiven for concluding that landowners (and their appointees) are the enemy. If so, good luck with how things pan out.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 09:12:58 pm by Cap'n Chris »

Offline Badlad

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2019, 09:40:38 pm »
From my perspective the role of national and regional bodies is to represent cavers.  It is not to act as some sort of agent on behalf of landowners.  At CNCC  we are engaged with many landowners both large and small.  We act on behalf of cavers but treat all landowners with a respect and courtesy anyone would expect of us.  We generally foster business like relationships in a professional manner which has achieved some very positive results in recent years and improved relationships with landowners over what they were before.  The BCA position on access in recent years has been very helpful in many of our negotiations and long may that continue.  As the person tasked by my regional council to speak to cave landowners I do not personally see the any of the situations described in the above posts.  Maybe you are just approaching it all wrong  ;)

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2019, 09:55:36 pm »
Good luck with that if the ejected body owns or leases or has some other long term hold on the site in question.

It would be the ultimate example of regulatory capture if an access body - a body set up to gain access for cavers - subsequently acted as a landowners agent and prevented access...

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2019, 10:05:38 pm »
It would be the ultimate example of regulatory capture if an access body - a body set up to gain access for cavers - subsequently acted as a landowners agent and prevented access...

Not really; when CSCC negotiated access to Box Quarry (Mine) around 2006-2007 with guidance from NE it was on the grounds that if people didn't "play nicely" (paraphrasing, obviously) then access could be rescinded/lost; it was part of the acknowledgement.

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2019, 12:33:24 pm »
It would be the ultimate example of regulatory capture if an access body - a body set up to gain access for cavers - subsequently acted as a landowners agent and prevented access...

Not really; when CSCC negotiated access to Box Quarry (Mine) around 2006-2007 with guidance from NE it was on the grounds that if people didn't "play nicely" (paraphrasing, obviously) then access could be rescinded/lost; it was part of the acknowledgement.

I should have been clearer, but was replying to the situation where an body with a 'owns or leases or has some other long term hold' on a site, where the implication from BradW was that if that body subsequently became ejected from the BCA it would choose to close off access purely out of spite.

I'm assuming here that in the 'owns' or 'leases' case we are talking about where the site was purchased specifically to allow access to cavers e.g. OFD bottom entrance, rather than a landowner who incidentally owned a cave entrance.

I don't think anyone expects a 'normal' landowner to give access to a cave where no legal right exists. It relies entirely on the goodwill of landowners, as carefully cultivated by all the regional access bodies. But it would be nothing less than shameful if an access controlling body (ACB), having lost the confidence of cavers and been ejected from the BCA, then restricted access beyond that required by the landowner instead of recognising that their purpose for existence had ended and dissolving themselves. It would also be embarrassing if a caver who owned a cave entrance somewhere restricted access unreasonably - not 'wrong' in any sense, just disappointing (I would hope for better from a caver).

For example, if the a Cave Management Committee decided to not allow women into their cave, and were ejected from the BCA, I would hope they would face reality and dissolve. If they chose to fight to continue their access agreement with the landowner instead of allowing their regional access body (for example) to take it over, and further restricted access to the cave, this would be extremely shameful. Nothing to be done about it of course, but it would be the saddest indictment of the worst controlling aspects of some cavers. We should all be working to gain responsible access - differences of opinion are to be encouraged, but not squabbling and empire-building.

In your Box case it does not surprise me at all that the CSCC were told that if there were issues, then access would be withdrawn. That does not require the CSCC to turn into the 'cave police' and start chasing people away - it just means that if cavers don't respect the access that the landowner has offered, then that access will be lost. Personally I would prefer that access bodies _never_ entered into legal agreements about access except where actually required - I don't think it ever happens in climbing, for example. Instead they should just work with the landowner to help improve access for cavers without becoming legally involved themselves - e.g. the recent 'Memorandum of Understanding' the CNCC agreed for Penyghent (i.e. basically a set of rules for cavers to follow set by the landowner, rather than a legal agreement between the CNCC and the landowner, and subsequently between cavers and the CNCC).

We have gone entertainingly off-topic now :)

Offline droid

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #34 on: July 08, 2019, 01:16:47 pm »
I think you are making a fundamental error in assuming that cavers, landowners and Access Bodies are each homogeneous entities.
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Offline NewStuff

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #35 on: July 08, 2019, 05:16:45 pm »
...spergy waffle...

You carry on pretending to doff your cap and scaremongering. The rest of us will talk to landowners etc and sort things as adults.  It's not particularly difficult, unless your dealing with the CCC and certain caves in S.Wales...
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #36 on: July 08, 2019, 05:47:06 pm »
...spergy waffle...
.... The rest of us will talk to landowners etc and sort things as adults.

LOL. That would make a change.

Offline darren

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Thing is, down Mendip way you never know when you're talking to cave owners or upsetting them. We all use the same pubs .I'm guessing it's the same in Yorkshire and Peak district you all drink with the cave owners, same as we do.

There may be a few contentious caves but a most  are fine.

Using exceptional examples to make rules for all usually ends in bad rules.
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Online nickwilliams

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Re: Re: Does your club representative truly represent you?
« Reply #38 on: July 08, 2019, 06:33:42 pm »
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.

With all due respect, that statement serves only to illustrate how short the CNCC's institutional memory has become. (And that's not necessarily a bad thing, I hasten to add.)

The furore of a few years ago over adopting a nationally uniform policy on/procedure for the placing of resin anchors was a perfect example of one or two RC's seeking to over-ride the will of others under the banner of a 'national' policy,

As is usually the case, the actual problem was the unwillingness of a small number of individuals to compromise.
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Offline BradW

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Andrewmc, I will keep this short. Don't put words in my mouth please. Your lengthy waffle seems to revolve around a false assumtion of what I was (not) saying. My simple and short message was that if a body was ejected from the BCA then the BCA no longer had any say whatsoever in how that body functions. You would get a better result for all cavers by using civilised intelligent intercourse.

Offline droid

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The BCA has bugger all say anyway.

I realise that we are in a Brave New World of Love and Peace with the BCA (until the new generation start falling out) but the BCA is still impotent when it comes to local access issues.

Andrewmc is clearly keen to get involved, but has seen very little of the profoundly anarchic politics/power struggles of the past. He also thinks that there's a connect between climbing and caving. There isn't, not organisationally at least.
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Offline Canary

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From the British Moutaineering Councils (BMC) core principles:

d. Land Ownership, Acquisition & Management.
The BMC’s policy is as follows: The first option will always be to secure access through other means such as informal or statutory agreements. Where this is not possible, access should be secured by encouraging an appropriate 3rd party (e.g. a local authority) to purchase or lease the site. As a final option the BMC will consider purchasing land itself to secure access.

In such circumstances the following factors should be taken into consideration:

purchase cost
management implications e.g. staff/volunteer time, liability, ongoing costs, long term management problems such as erosion or vandalism etc
significance of the site, including its popularity and the availability of alternative venues, and
scope for access problems being resolved in the future
The BMC also recognises that there are many schemes under which landowners and occupiers may receive payments for the providing and managing access. Where it is not possible for a banned site to be included in such a scheme and the above options have been explored, unsuccessfully, the BMC may consider a final option of paying for the management of the site (including the provision of access), either indirectly through a 3rd party or directly as an occupier. This should only be considered in the case of intractable problems at nationally significant sites. Any such agreement must not compromise the provision of free access to other sites. The BMC has a policy of dedicating its own land as access land under the CRoW Act 2000 wherever possible.

Offline 2xw

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Andrewmc, I will keep this short. Don't put words in my mouth please. Your lengthy waffle seems to revolve around a false assumtion of what I was (not) saying. My simple and short message was that if a body was ejected from the BCA then the BCA no longer had any say whatsoever in how that body functions. You would get a better result for all cavers by using civilised intelligent intercourse.

Tony/Graham is talking pretty obviously about charterhouse here in reference to the recent AGM.

Obviously, if a body was ejected from the BCA, then  other bodies would be free to negotiate access. CCC has a long term lease on the site but the landowner has a big say in terms of access, or so we are assured by CCC.

But the discussion here is probably more interesting on a national rather than local scale.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 10:11:30 pm by 2xw »

Offline droid

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Obviously that would depend on whether the landowner/leaseholder *wanted* to negotiate with another putative ACB.
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Offline Cap'n Chris

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Obviously that would depend on whether the landowner/leaseholder *wanted* to negotiate with another putative ACB.

Moot. Highly unlikely is the answer. Any landowner finding themselves caught up in a caver-created shitstorm is almost certain to conclude the obvious remedy.

Offline BradW

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There are number of ordinary clubs that actually own caves or have special arrangements for access to caves and mines. Carterhouse is just the start of this nonsense. My comments are meant to refer to a wider issue and focussing on just one is wrong, and masks a wider issue of BCA expecting everyone to use the same prayer book.

Offline nearlywhite

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I realise that we are in a Brave New World of Love and Peace with the BCA (until the new generation start falling out) but the BCA is still impotent when it comes to local access issues.

Glad to see your pessimistic glib contributions haven't dried up.

The BCA isn't interested in local access issues.

People have referred to the CCC issue as an example but that was only engaged with by BCA Y&D as a discrimination issue and the fear that one badly thought out bit of 'legal pondering' might become the template that rewrites all access agreements in future.

The impotency of the BCA is mainly due to people having their own axes to grind when setting up the body - the amount of policy and procedure in the constitution makes it quite clear it was set up to never really achieve anything.

Anyway, to throw another bit of kindling on the fire: I think we should have a minimum standard operating procedure and democratic structure for ACBs so that protracted disputes can be sorted by cavers coming to a compromise and not bothering the poor landowners.

Online David Rose

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That is an attractive idea, nearlywhite.

There is certainly a perception among some cavers that the access bodies responsible for caves that have evoked the most controversy operate in a somewhat opaque fashion.

I hate to mention Ogof Draenen. It usually leads to tears. But so far as I can see, one reason for the long and bitter disputes there is that there is a disconnect between the democratic structures of the PDCMG and the trustees who negotiated and are actually responsible for the access agreement with the landowner. In other words, the reach of decisions taken at PDCMG meetings is rather limited.

If I have got that wrong, I apologise in advance.

 

Offline droid

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Glad to see your pessimistic glib contributions haven't dried up.

My aim is to please.... :lol:


But I prefer the word realistic to pessimistic.


Read Capn Chris' post above: that's realism too. Caving might be important to you, but landowners have other priorities and I suspect caving is pretty low in that list.

And getting involved in caver politics will be even lower.




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Offline andrewmc

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It's funny how nobody really has any serious problems with landowners - or at least, you hear little criticism of how the regional bodies negotiate with landowners. You here exactly the same stories of building personal relationships with landowners through hard work from the south and the north. Most people recognise that some landowners are fantastic, some are intractable; some are fairly tolerant and some need cavers to behave or follow reasonable (or sometimes less reasonable) requests. I think people recognise that landowners come in different types, from the large estates of the North where the landowner may be local or may be remote, to the government-managed hills of South Wales, to the smaller farmers and local people in the south _and_ the north, through to commercial venues like show caves and Longleat, to the generally ignored landowners with caves on their land but no entrances (like half of Priddy)...

It's only really ACBs and other caving bodies that attract ire and dispute - which just proves only a caver can really piss other cavers off :P I don't know if the collective noun for a group of cavers should be a 'committee' (since we seem to have probably ten times as many as any other sport) or an 'argument' of cavers...