Author Topic: Things coming to a head at BCA?  (Read 2666 times)

Offline andrewmc

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2019, 04:05:43 pm »
If anyone went to Rob Middleton's (excellent) Hidden Earth talk, they would know that while he had various preconceptions about talking to individuals from certain caving organizations what he found was that everyone he talked to was passionate about caving and doing the best they could to help. It is also, of course, very true that different people have very different views about what the 'best for caving' is, and some people hold very unpopular views. But then, the majority view isn't always right, either...

Now of course in politics more generally it isn't always the case that everyone is in it for 'good' reasons.. There are always those with no principles, or freely abandon them, to sail on a wave of popularity (see the British Government for example). But if you have people taking unpopular positions and receiving nothing but flak for it, then chances are they _do_ believe what they are saying.

If you don't understand at all how someone could come to a conclusion they reached, then you haven't learnt enough about the issue to properly debate it.

As an individual member representative, I will be attending the council meeting and I intend to represent what I believe individual members want (and if you have opinions, feel free to message me and I will attempt to convey at least the spirit of these to Council). I will be waiting to hear exactly what access the webmaster wants and with what justification, and what access the IT Services officer is denying and with what justification.

Offline GarDouth

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2019, 01:59:13 pm »
For those who don’t know, I am the current webmaster. I just wanted to clarify a few facts as mentioned above, just so people know my side of things.

Firstly, I am not all that interested in caving politics, bitching and personal attacks. I just want to do the thing I know I’m good at and to help improve and modernise the BCA and caving for everyone.

When I was elected at the AGM I was very excited about cracking on and bringing something new for people to be proud of and on the whole, I’ve had a lot of support so thanks for that. However, recently I have found this whole situation very stressful and it has been on my mind a lot to the point where I keep asking myself ‘what’s the point in trying?’.  I do want to continue, and I will do the job to the best of my ability, but I cannot face a constant up-hill battle at every turn. If things don’t change, I will have to consider ceasing involvement in BCA for my own sanity.

Here are a few facts…
  • The new website is almost finished. I was hoping to have a beta version available before the meeting this weekend however all work has now stopped pending the outcome of that meeting.
  • I have been given access to the public facing website which I have tried to make a bit better in the interim and updated various sections etc.
  • I have not been given any access to the members database or back-end systems. This is required to achieve the mandated online voting (into the future) and an improved ‘BCA online’ section and was specifically part of the proposal at the AGM including technical details (you can read it on the website).
  • I have developed a separate, simple site to allow online voting for the pending ballot. This is not the permanent future solution but a simply to get over this particular ballot as easily as possible. This was ready to go in August (and approved by the current Web Services Officer) but needs to be populated with real member data. This as been promised by the current Web Services Officer but not yet provided despite asking several times, including at a meeting during Hidden Earth.
  • I have struggled to work with the current Web Services Officer. I have been told in no uncertain terms that it’s his way or no way and access to member data has been categorically refused when asked directly at a meeting at Hidden Earth. This meeting was also attended by the Secretary.
  • I have been accused by the current Web Services Officer of changing passwords for access to the public site once I received them and not letting him have the new ones. Changing passwords that have been handed around is quite normal practice – so I did, as soon as they were received. At no point have I been asked for these passwords or been given any reason or explanation as to why the Web Services Officer needs access.
  • I have been accused of only wanting to work alone. This is unhelpful and un-true.

If you would like to know my credentials…
I am a professional web developer and IT engineer with 20 years’ experience. I have done quite a lot of caving related sites (all un-paid) including CNCC and the CNCC Cave Booking System, Hidden Earth, Northern Pennine Club, York Caving Club, Northern Caves and EuroSpeleo as well as various back-end system such as the Northern Caves Monitoring system.

Gary
York Caving Club secretary
BCA, CNCC & HE webmaster
NPC & YUCPC member

Offline Pegasus

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2019, 11:16:37 am »

Firstly, I am not all that interested in caving politics, bitching and personal attacks. I just want to do the thing I know I’m good at and to help improve and modernise the BCA and caving for everyone.

When I was elected at the AGM I was very excited about cracking on and bringing something new for people to be proud of and on the whole, I’ve had a lot of support so thanks for that. However, recently I have found this whole situation very stressful and it has been on my mind a lot to the point where I keep asking myself ‘what’s the point in trying?’.  I do want to continue, and I will do the job to the best of my ability, but I cannot face a constant up-hill battle at every turn. If things don’t change, I will have to consider ceasing involvement in BCA for my own sanity.


For goodness sake, what image does all this give of BCA??  I see my role, amongst other things, as to promote BCA in a positive manner to cavers.  Without Gary's help I would really struggle to do this - who do you think designed and arranged for printing of the excellent BCA banners etc for the Hidden Earth stand?  Who do you think finished off designing and again helped with printing of the New to Caving leaflets?  Who helped finalise the new BCA logo?  I could go on and on and on listing the things Gary helps me to do - notwithstanding the new BCA website he is designing and which is sorely needed!

So please would certain cavers please stop finding ways of halting the modernisation and progress at the BCA.  If we lost Gary's help it would be a flippin disaster.  I don't want to go back to the old website, the old logo, no stand, poor Descent adverts, no leaflets to encourage new people to our sport etc etc etc - do you??

Online NewStuff

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2019, 01:09:20 pm »
I'm a bit more blunt - Cookie needs to grow up and stop trying to take his ball away because he doesn't like the way things are going. It's pathetic, not just for the act itself, but for the image it projects. Children act like that, not grown men with responsibilities and skills.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Jopo

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2019, 01:21:10 pm »
Is it his ball? What would be the situation if Cookie was voted out or stood down. How could the BCA enforce the return of data?
What it does mean is that it should be put in place that no one officer should have sole access to ANYTHING the BCA and it's members own.

Jopo

Online Roger W

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #30 on: October 08, 2019, 01:27:11 pm »
Is it his ball? What would be the situation if Cookie was voted out or stood down. How could the BCA enforce the return of data?
What it does mean is that it should be put in place that no one officer should have sole access to ANYTHING the BCA and it's members own.

Jopo


Always a good idea, never mind the politics.  If one person has sole access to anything, and something happens to them (caving accident, motorway crash, sudden illness, whatever...), then you have problems.
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline David Rose

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #31 on: October 08, 2019, 01:38:00 pm »
Gary, your post only underlines what I already knew.

We need you.

Whatever you do, however unpleasant this current spat gets, PLEASE do not resign. It will, eventually, pass.

Offline Mike Hopley

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2019, 02:06:59 pm »
I have done quite a lot of caving related sites (all un-paid) including CNCC and the CNCC Cave Booking System, Hidden Earth, Northern Pennine Club, York Caving Club, Northern Caves and EuroSpeleo as well as various back-end system such as the Northern Caves Monitoring system.

I'll stay well clear of talking politics, as I feel too ignorant to comment. But I can talk about the websites.

I've heard nothing but praise for the EuroSpeleo and CNCC websites, and it's well-deserved. Everyone found them helpful, informative, well-designed, and easy to use.

The new CNCC booking system is a fantastic development. It's a great example of using the web to make ordinary caving better. It could have been quite complicated, but again Gary made it clean and simple.

Based on the universal praise for his work so far, I feel Gary is clearly the right person for this role. I hope the current personal/political issues can be resolved so that he can get on with more excellent work.

Online Ed

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2019, 02:42:12 pm »
 Any way as a BCA member I can expressly request my data to be handed over?



Online cavemanmike

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Re: Things coming to a head at BCA?
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2019, 03:49:50 pm »
The "ball" is the bca's and no-one elses