Author Topic: BCA Ballot Results  (Read 4379 times)

Offline BCA Secretary

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2019, 11:33:33 am »
Hi Madness. I don't know the exact answer to your question. However, although Cookie and I fundamentally disagree on the way forward for the BCA and its IT infrastructure, I would credit him with my confidence that member data (in whatever format that takes) is backed up and stored securely in compliance with GDPR.

Offline moorebooks

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2019, 01:34:25 pm »
Hi Madness. I don't know the exact answer to your question. However, although Cookie and I fundamentally disagree on the way forward for the BCA and its IT infrastructure, I would credit him with my confidence that member data (in whatever format that takes) is backed up and stored securely in compliance with GDPR.

You wonder why so little interest , the guff above as bog all to do with people enjoying their activity at whatever level. All this seems worse than the Brexit debacle.

Far be it from me but whoever is with holding data must have good reason and suggest a face to face meeting to sort it out  rather than airing dirty washing in a public arena. The BCA if necessary should take legal action if the matter has become so entrenched.

Mike

Offline David Rose

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2019, 02:10:25 pm »
They have already had a meeting, and it's public because this issue is now on the agenda for the BCA council meeting again - though everyone thought it had been finally sorted out at the least one. The agendas are public documents.

Offline moorebooks

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2019, 03:03:42 pm »
They have already had a meeting, and it's public because this issue is now on the agenda for the BCA council meeting again - though everyone thought it had been finally sorted out at the least one. The agendas are public documents.

The spat doesn't need to be - it just drags everything down. Just sort it by whatever means

Offline Dave Tyson

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2019, 05:16:32 pm »
Well I guess the pragmatic approach is for the new webmaster to set up a secure page where people can register there email address (and accept the GDPR provisions) and put a note in with the BCA membership cards asking them to visit the site and register.

Dave

Offline JoshW

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2019, 05:32:26 pm »
Well I guess the pragmatic approach is for the new webmaster to set up a secure page where people can register there email address (and accept the GDPR provisions) and put a note in with the BCA membership cards asking them to visit the site and register.

Dave

Except people won’t do that, and the whole idea of modernising is making everything slicker. So pragmatic isn’t exactly the word I would use..

Offline 2xw

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2019, 06:17:58 pm »
Would make more sense just to make an email address mandatory when you pay with an online form. And the minority who want a postal vote/don't want to provide an email pay extra.

Offline Badlad

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2019, 06:23:23 pm »
For those interested - copied below the full agenda item for the January BCA meeting.  Freely available in the public domain as it should be. 

(7) Action over ongoing BCA IT situation – Request for Council intervention by Matt Ewles

At the AGM, members voted to appoint Gary Douthwaite as our Webmaster, with a mandate to:
“redevelop the website including, but not limited to BCA online and communications systems.” and to
receive specified accesses and permissions to the existing systems to enable him to do this. The
intention was for Gary to lead the redevelopment, with input along the way from those already
involved in BCA’s IT infrastructure (who I, naively, had hoped would be excited about this
opportunity) to ensure a smooth but expedited transition to modern systems.

After the AGM, David Cooke repeatedly ignored my requests for these accesses to be granted and in
a face-to-face meeting he refused them. BCA Council responded to this in October by reiterating the
AGM’s instruction, which I hoped would be enough. Since then, requests to David for the accesses to
be granted have once again been totally ignored. We remain no further forward.

Furthermore, David has since commenced discussions with the IT Working Group (ITWG), that have
focussed on both discrediting Gary’s intentions, and trying to set out in writing who does what. To
quote the last sentence of an email string sent to the ITWG on 10th December:

“If we are to go down this formal route... [referring to David’s proposed roles and responsibilities]...
then it would be a requirement for the Webmaster to gain the approval of the ITWG before
commencing work that comes under the ITWG's remit.”
The full email string is not private and can thus be supplied on request to any Council member who
wishes to verify the context of this quotation.

In summary, David is now driving a proposal through the ITWG to prevent Gary working on anything
other than the public website without specific ITWG permission (which most probably would not be
granted). Be in no doubt that this is a deliberate agenda to overturn what has been agreed by our
membership and Council, to prevent Gary fulfilling the remit he was appointed to at the AGM.

Let me be absolutely clear on the current situation. A member of the BCA team is ignoring the
wishes of the AGM and of BCA Council, is holding key BCA systems hostage, refusing to relinquish
access, and is using his own Working Group to drive an agenda to overturn AGM and Council
decisions. Does BCA Council consider this contempt of AGM and Council acceptable?

I personally find this situation intolerable. The BCA’s systems, including BCA Online, and our
membership infrastructure are extremely dated and disjointed. Yet nothing changes; just relentless
talk and stubborn defence of the status quo. Years of eloquent and diplomatic talking at meetings
have ‘covered-up’ the barricades behind the scenes to anyone wanting to create something new or
better (Gary is not the first prospective IT moderniser to be driven away by this).

Let me clarify what I am seeking in terms of IT systems redevelopment:

I want a simple, electronic way to renew membership for all categories; one that automatically
populates a professional, ideally custom, database, and that links directly to options for electronic
payment (including with direct debit or equivalent); or at least has the capacity to do this at a later
date. I want a BCA Online that works directly off that database and that allows individual members
to log in, change/update their contact details and email preferences, vote on ballots etc. I want a
back-end to the new BCA website that incorporates an email system with different email ‘groups’
(e.g. Council, Groups, DIMs, CIMs, those who have not opted out of the newsletter, etc) all running
from the live database. Furthermore, the infrastructure should be built using modern coding, which
any decent web developer could pick up and work with, and a non-technical admin interface for BCA
Officers to use. All systems (website, BCA Online, membership) should be on BCA owned webspace,
consistently branded, and seamlessly integrated. None of this is difficult, but will never happen
unless the incumbent make way for (and ideally support) those with the skills to deliver this. Such
systems are common place in other membership organisations and would stop the current practice
of stressful activity for volunteers and staff alike leading up to each annual renewal.

As far as I’m concerned, the buck stops at this meeting. There is little to be gained by Council
reiterating its previous instruction, as this has been ignored and will continue to be ignored. Plus,
it is futile instructing for offline resolutions or Working Group input; that has failed. All options for
Gary and David to work together have been totally exhausted. A clear decision is needed at this
meeting to close the situation, so the people involved know where they stand.

I deeply regret that this situation exists, and that I have had to bring it up in such strong and
personal terms in a Council meeting agenda, but I am at the end of my tether on this. As someone
who was appointed Secretary on a modernising and reforming agenda (to which getting the right
IT systems in place is critical), I am not prepared to beat about the bush on this anymore.

Council can either decide that they accept David’s decision to withhold accesses, and Gary will
withdraw his offer to redevelop BCA’s systems. You will hear no more about this from him or me.
Alternatively, my recommendation is that Council instruct Gary to redevelop/replace the systems
to which David is currently withholding access, including BCA Online, the membership database
and membership systems. I suggest that such action is accompanied by suitable preventative
measures to avoid further activity behind the scenes to frustrate this process.

Fundamentally the question is: Can any member of BCA Council ignore Council decisions just
because they think they know better? The answer is no unless you want anarchy.

Matt Ewles (Secretary), supported by Howard Jones (Treasurer / Insurance Manager)

Offline badger

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2019, 07:04:13 pm »
I can't help feeling this should not be discussed here. this forum cannot solve or help solve the issue, stating what was voted on at the agm or council meeting is not going to help resolve the issue. unfortunately I now think this is an issue for the exec to sort















Offline MarkS

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2019, 08:08:21 pm »
To be fair, Matt only offered the information as a result of questions asked that related to it directly. I certainly would not want to speak for Matt, but I suspect that is why he has posted information here, not because he considers UKC as a good means of resolving BCA Council issues.

Offline Badlad

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2019, 08:38:36 pm »
The request asking for council intervention is from two of the three members of the executive (and is in the public domain).  Clearly they are unable to deal with this difficult situation themselves.  Council is made up of individuals who are there to represent all sectors of the membership.  Most cavers who view this forum are members of BCA and have a right to know what is going on in their name.  If they then wish to discuss it they can, if they don't, at least they can be informed if they so wish.  Some may also wish to speak to their representatives to BCA about it.  This issue is long past being dealt with privately - the BCA secretary is telling us that route has failed.  It is a serious matter that demands transparency and I hope it can be resolved quickly.

Offline Jopo

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #36 on: December 20, 2019, 10:27:12 pm »
Quote
I can't help feeling this should not be discussed here. this forum cannot solve or help solve the issue, stating what was voted on at the agm or council meeting is not going to help resolve the issue. unfortunately I now think this is an issue for the exec to sort

Like Badlad I think this has gone beyond well closed doors. I hope this is the start of a wind of change in letting the BCA members know what is really going on. Further I for one think that those who are on the ITWG group and Dave Cook should explain their actions and the reasons why. Maybe they have a point and if they have the courage of their convictions why not be open?
 Jopo













Offline David Rose

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2019, 12:55:11 pm »
One of the reasons the BCA has been regarded by many as distant from the caving world is its failure to air such disputes in public in the past. It's also a reason why it has found it so hard to modernise. Doing so here is a way for the organisation and its elected council to be more accountable.

The case presented by Matt is, to put it mildly, troubling. I choose my words carefully.

If Cookie has a response, I urge him to post it. He may not love UKcaving, but this cat is well and truly out of the bag. He has suggested Matt's statements are false. I really think he needs to be more specific, or we are left on one side with a detailed, serious case, and on the other, mere abuse.

Offline BradW

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #38 on: December 21, 2019, 01:28:58 pm »
Social media is the very last place any dispute, private or public, should happen. Have we not learnt anything from Musk, Trump etc etc.

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #39 on: December 21, 2019, 01:38:01 pm »
Part of BCA's problem was the lack of communication generally in the past, not specific situations.

& suggesting someone's argument is "mere abuse" is somewhat inflammatory, especially as it's nothing like what used to go on on this forum when it was still part of UKClimbing...

Offline moorebooks

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #40 on: December 21, 2019, 02:16:25 pm »
I can't help feeling this should not be discussed here. this forum cannot solve or help solve the issue, stating what was voted on at the agm or council meeting is not going to help resolve the issue. unfortunately I now think this is an issue for the exec to sort

Totally agree

Offline Brains

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #41 on: December 21, 2019, 03:40:08 pm »
Part of BCA's problem was the lack of communication generally in the past, not specific situations.

& suggesting someone's argument is "mere abuse" is somewhat inflammatory, especially as it's nothing like what used to go on on this forum when it was still part of UKClimbing...
To call someone a liar without substantiation is abuse, albeit quite mild in terms of what could be stooped to.
To hear another side of the issue would be beneficial, particularly as the matters are already in the public domain.
For what reason is database access being denied? Is it just the Mendips against the rest of the UK, are there legitimate reasons? Is it just sour grapes? Who on the outside of this bubble knows?
Perhaps the new broom at BCA could play devils advocate and hazard a few bullet points as to the details?
Please tell me it isnt just "we like the old ways and you cant have your way"

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2019, 04:11:30 pm »
However, escalating the name calling ain't gonna help anyone - not that I expect Cookie will respond here, as his comment was mainly aimed at previous threads on the forum.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2019, 04:42:20 pm »
However, escalating the name calling ain't gonna help anyone - not that I expect Cookie will respond here, as his comment was mainly aimed at previous threads on the forum.

As far as anyone can tell, He's taken the ball (login details) that belong to someone else (the BCA), because he didn't get to play in the position he wanted (Elections at the BCA AGM). That's without airing some of the conspiracy theories floating around that may or may not be accurate.

If this is allowed to happen without decisive action of behalf of the BCA, then many, many people will just let it burn. People that, until now, have put in the time and effort to help change things for the better. If this is allowed to happen, why would you put energy and time into bringing something into touch and upto date, if it can be derailed by one person that doesn't like it? The BCA seems to be trying to be more transparent, and I applaud that. No more skullduggery and hiding in the shadows. Get it in the open, get it sorted, and move on.

As far as abuse goes - If stating facts make someone look like an arse, then maybe they're acting like an arse.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2019, 04:47:46 pm »
I note that BCA has a perfectly good forum of its own where the initial post of this thread also appeared [ https://british-caving.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1565 ] - without any responses so far.

A large proportion of topics and posts on https://british-caving.org.uk/phpBB3 have been made by David Cooke and the person named on the IT Working Group page as responsible for the BCA (sic, not just BCRA) membership system, David Gibson.

Would it not be more appropriate to use BCA's system for discussion with its officers, where they might be less inhibited from responding? Reference to significant posts, and analysis thereof, could then be made on this forum...

Offline Badlad

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2019, 05:02:29 pm »
I note that the 'Ballot results' post on the BCA forum has had 8 views. 

The same 'Ballot results' post on here has had over 2500. 

It is all about communicating with the membership.  BCA has its own web site, face book page and forum, but it also sends news and items out to all the caving media it can reach, Descent, ukcaving, darkness etc.

BCA has it's own board on ukcaving free of charge as do several other organisations (whereas Descent charges £3,000 for the six BCA adverts per year).  The thread about the ballot when it first came out had 140 posts and over 10,000 views.  It was really the only place it was discussed with opinions given from all quarters.  Perhaps one day we'll pass ukcaving over to BCA for them to run and manage  :o

Offline Mark Wright

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2019, 06:01:50 pm »
I was probably one of the 8, immediately after reading Martin’s post.

I don’t know about handing ukcaving over to the BCA to ‘manage’, I’d be more inclined to cancel my £17.00 payment for next years BCA membership and give it to ukcaving because they appear to do more for British caving than our current national body.

Matt and Gary are keen and eager to take BCA forward and I for one am keen to support them.

Lets get the information handed over to them straight away and stop f__kin’ about.

I’m growing less and less confident in the ability of our supposed National body to function. Please prove me wrong and get it sorted before Brexit day.

There’s no doubt this topic will be discussed at length by the Buttered Badgers when we are out in Mulu next week. If the situation isn’t resolved when we get back I think I will encouraging my club to withdraw its BCA membership.

Mark
 

Offline DavidGibson

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Re: BCA Ballot Results
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2020, 12:45:50 pm »
It is a shame that so many couldn't be bothered to vote. It does seem to back up the suggestion that the majority only see the BCA as a source of third party insurance and as long as they keep getting that they're not bothered what else the BCA do.

It would be interesting to know the turnout for DIMs v. CIMs
BCRA Secretary from 1/1/2010.

 

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