Author Topic: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down  (Read 8429 times)

Offline Oceanrower

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2020, 03:15:59 pm »
Hi Ali,

The difference is it was originally driven by the landowners, not the cavers - they wanted to only have to deal with one entity, rather than all the separate groups.

Why do they have to "deal" with anybody? Plenty of climbing is on private land and the owners don't "deal with anyone".

A. They allow it. Great, crack on.
B. Tolerate. Ok. Crack on discretely.
Or C. Don't allow it. Normally respected...

Why does anybody have to deal with anyone?

Offline Brains

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #51 on: April 07, 2020, 03:18:16 pm »
Hi Ali,

The difference is it was originally driven by the landowners, not the cavers - they wanted to only have to deal with one entity, rather than all the separate groups.
Same for the Peak but DCA havent locked everything in the area or put in silly permits. Only the sites that MUST be are treated this way. The Mendip attitude has been lock it first, leave it locked.
The Mendip mafia as highlighted by the clique running Dimness Underneath are very much anti caver but pro empire and control

Offline Stuart France

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2020, 03:41:09 pm »
BCA is now in the confused position where its members, both individual and group, have voted to abolish the group vote and to extend the individual mandate as widely as possible via electronic voting.  Yet one group, the CSCC, or some individuals therein, are trying to reverse BCA’s democratically chosen direction of travel and generally being disruptive in the eyes of many.

BCA’s constitution has no means to remove individual or groups that are unwanted for whatever reason.  Many regional councils are similarly handicapped by their own constitutions.

One solution is for the individual caver members of BCA, as they now control BCA, at least in theory, to amend its constitution to abolish the BCA group membership class.  That would remove all the regional councils etc as BCA members.  It's the logical next step after removing their vote last year and then finding some of them embark on a wrecking mission.

The regional councils would then have no formal role in BCA.  The RCs would still have operational roles within their own geographic areas but would not participate at national level except at observer or advisory level.  This would be done by deleting 5(1)(e) which grants them Full Member status (whatever that means) and by amending  8.4 to read “Notice of any matters to be raised at a General Meeting of the Association must reach the Secretary by midnight on the day of the National Council meeting preceding the AGM.  All proposals must be signed by at least 20 Individual Members.”

This would bring other knock-on amendments that we can't expand on here, but it is one way out of the internecine warfare inside BCA short of winding up this conflicted organisation and starting afresh with a clean sheet that brings together a coalition of only the willing, positive and ambitious.

The engagement of many individual cavers with the BCA problem is desperately needed; also the attendance of large numbers of individual cavers at the next BCA AGM to make plain their displeasure with this rabble;  and vote through the agreed changes that they have planned, and vote off BCA officers with the wrong backgrounds, along with people who occupy chairs in BCA meetings but say nothing:  effectively they are representatives that stand for nothing except undermining the democratic and representational process by their silence.





 

Offline kay

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2020, 03:45:23 pm »
Is there anything stopping the BCA publishing these proposals?

Presumably the fact that the deadline for proposals was 3 days ago and it takes a little time to draw together all the proposals and add them to the Agenda?

Offline JoshW

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #54 on: April 07, 2020, 04:15:35 pm »
Is there anything stopping the BCA publishing these proposals?

Presumably the fact that the deadline for proposals was 3 days ago and it takes a little time to draw together all the proposals and add them to the Agenda?

Oh sweet, look forwards to seeing it

Offline Pegasus

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2020, 04:23:37 pm »
Well said, Kay.

....and who will be working hard putting the documents together?  That's right, Matt our soon to be ex secretary, wouldn't blame him if he put the whole lot on the metaphoric  fire, however of course he won't. Matt will treat this with his usual professionalism
Please bear with him as he is working full time, including over Easter. 

Offline mrodoc

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #56 on: April 07, 2020, 04:30:31 pm »
We can only read one side of the disagreement here, so we can only make a judgment based on partial evidence.

We can read the other side of the disagreement here if you post it.

Mark
How true. Sadly I am as much in the  dark as the rest of us. Mrodoc may know something perhaps.

A lot of this has to do with the approach to cave conservation and here, I am going to stick my neck out and say that Mendip and Welsh caves, are, on the whole better preserved. I feel I can comment on this subject having been an active caver for the last 55 years and have  visited virtually all caving areas in the UK. The worst damage seems to be for reasons that are unclear to me, in the caves of the Yorkshire Dales. I was surprised when I first visited Easegill in the 1970's how much damage there seemed to be in Easter Grotto. More recently on my first trip into GG I was amazed at the messiness of the formations en route from Main Chamber to Mud Hall.  I believe CSCC are concerned that the conservation budget is being diluted or even threatened..  I am putting my money where my mouth in and have donated funds to the purchase of jet washers by CSCC. If I had the opportunity I would love to have go at cleaning up GG with one of them! That outlines one issue where there might be differences in approach.

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #57 on: April 07, 2020, 04:34:31 pm »
Why does anybody have to deal with anyone?
That's just the way it's been historically - means they have one contact if they wished to change the agreement, or needed work done on the entrance.

Of the main caves in last Mendip Underground, approximately:
35 are open
27 are landowner controlled
27 are leader trips or digs
20 are CSCC padlocks
9 are club / other group controlled
14 are denied access

So majority are not controlled by cavers

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #58 on: April 07, 2020, 04:47:53 pm »
BMC have produced an occupiers' liability booklet, that doesn't even mention insurance:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/DownloadHandler.ashx?id=944
That's interesting; but the reason it doesnt mention insurance might be because it explains only the occupier's duty
of care towards the visitor. It does not cover the opposite situation, where the damage is suffered by the occupier. An example would be a caver damaging a fence so that some livestock fell down an open shaft. That's what the insurance is for - (or, originally, anyway). That is: the insurance is not in case the caver sues the landowner (for "letting" him get himself injured in a cave), it is so the landowner doesnt have to go to the bother of suing the caver for the loss of his cow. (Or, at least, that is my understanding :-)
This seems to contradict your previous post - BCA includes public liability (covers caver) & landowner liability (FAQ 74)

Offline DavidGibson

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2020, 05:43:28 pm »
This seems to contradict your previous post - BCA includes public liability (covers caver) & landowner liability (FAQ 74)
I dont think so. I was explaining the original rationale behind needing insurance to protect access. Sure, the BCA policy is more comprehensive than that: it had to be "sold" to cavers.  I think part of the problem - the reason I used the word "millstone" - is that BCA has needed to persuade cavers that they need this insurance, without there being any really simple, clear view of "why"; and the original rationale behind it has - possibly - been lost. 
BCRA Secretary from 1/1/2010.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2020, 05:46:31 pm »
And just be glad you aren't in Eire where all caves are on private land and there is no right to roam and virtually no public footpaths.

Offline Alex

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2020, 05:48:34 pm »
This reminds me why I have a life-long pledge not to join any committee, sub committee or anything like that. Sad to see you go Matt, it looks like you were one of the sensible ones and have done so much work that we don't generally see.

I guess if things go back to where they were, I will go back to ignoring the permit system again...
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Offline DavidGibson

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2020, 05:50:07 pm »
...incidentally, although the online FAQ says Q8: Were there ever any claims on the old BCRA policy? A: No. I think there was a claim under the old BCRA policy. I seem to remember something about a cow escaping from a field. Or perhaps my memory is confused, after all this time, and that was not an actual insurance claim,merely an "incident"?
BCRA Secretary from 1/1/2010.

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #63 on: April 07, 2020, 06:12:05 pm »
The first post talks about landowner certificates, which cover their liability, the second one is about caver liability.

The cow would only be a claim if it was lost or injured - not if cavers repaired the damage.

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #64 on: April 07, 2020, 06:40:17 pm »
Hi Ali,

The difference is it was originally driven by the landowners, not the cavers - they wanted to only have to deal with one entity, rather than all the separate groups.
Same for the Peak but DCA havent locked everything in the area or put in silly permits. Only the sites that MUST be are treated this way. The Mendip attitude has been lock it first, leave it locked.
The Mendip mafia as highlighted by the clique running Dimness Underneath are very much anti caver but pro empire and control

This sort of quote really typifies the way we on Mendip are viewed. We are all power-mad keyholders who only let our mates down " our caves ". No wonder there is such antagonism. This thread also gives the "gate bashers" a chance to spread their spite re Mendip caves and cavers. People down here work just as hard keeping caves open and mollifying landowners as people who run caving politics. Reservoir Hole and Fairy Cave Quarry are typical of the way access has been maintained. People forget that FCQ was shut to cavers for many years and only the hard work of the Management Committee have kept the caves open. I know them personally. None seem to be power-mad autocrats. The landowners require a controlled access and that's what is provided. The warden system provides some conservation control as well otherwise we go back to the bad old days of Shatter Cave with troups of junior leaders barging through. So-called wardens like me have to give up their own time and fund their own travel to keep the system going which it does very well. Part of the whole problem regarding this thread is the way some people up North view us lesser mortals down South and the spiteful way they announce it.

Offline Badlad

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #65 on: April 07, 2020, 07:05:35 pm »
But what has this view got to do with BCA and modernising democracy, transparency and the administration of the organisation?

The recent changes to regional funding was opposed by CSCC.  At BCA meetings they oppose a lot by the way, but what the regional spending did was increase 'paid on account' C&A spending from £500 to £750 and removed practically all the things which weren't eligible before, making more BCA money available for both conservation and access across all the regions.  Any C&A claims over £750 now needs to go before the C&A committee for approval where as before it went before the finance committee.  CSCC sit on both so there is little difference other than bringing it into line with other committee funding.  I just never understood why they were so opposed other than for opposings sake.

The mantra I hear from the CSCC rep is always - we like things the way they are and we don't want no change.  What about the rest of the regions who do?

Offline mikem

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #66 on: April 07, 2020, 07:40:40 pm »
Unfortunately, it does seem to have reached that point, & everyone involved needs to ask themselves why?

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #67 on: April 07, 2020, 07:40:50 pm »
Part of the whole problem regarding this thread is the way some people up North view us lesser mortals down South and the spiteful way they announce it.

There is the 'Hunter's is the centre of the universe' attitude and that certainly wasn't helped by Hidden Mendip as it became known (we all know there wasn't any other option!). The 'lesser' mortals thing is about a very small clique who have had a hand in creating a huge amount of trouble - writing in policy into the BCA/NCA constitution, setting it up to be toothless and inert, drawing up such successful access agreements such as that D word and other welsh trouble, not to mention banning kids from caves.

The point there is, there's a lot of potential frustration that can cause, and it's not from mendip - just a very small vocal minority who attend the boring meetings the rest of caving don't go to (very poorly attended!). Mendip is great fun but it needs to rein in some of its politicians. The civil service (wardens and the like) do a fantastic job and are a large part of why it can feel like the centre of the universe. I hope that reassures you somewhat OR,

Offline Brains

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #68 on: April 07, 2020, 07:45:47 pm »
Hi Ali,

The difference is it was originally driven by the landowners, not the cavers - they wanted to only have to deal with one entity, rather than all the separate groups.
Same for the Peak but DCA havent locked everything in the area or put in silly permits. Only the sites that MUST be are treated this way. The Mendip attitude has been lock it first, leave it locked.
The Mendip mafia as highlighted by the clique running Dimness Underneath are very much anti caver but pro empire and control

This sort of quote really typifies the way we on Mendip are viewed. We are all power-mad keyholders who only let our mates down " our caves ". No wonder there is such antagonism. This thread also gives the "gate bashers" a chance to spread their spite re Mendip caves and cavers. People down here work just as hard keeping caves open and mollifying landowners as people who run caving politics. Reservoir Hole and Fairy Cave Quarry are typical of the way access has been maintained. People forget that FCQ was shut to cavers for many years and only the hard work of the Management Committee have kept the caves open. I know them personally. None seem to be power-mad autocrats. The landowners require a controlled access and that's what is provided. The warden system provides some conservation control as well otherwise we go back to the bad old days of Shatter Cave with troups of junior leaders barging through. So-called wardens like me have to give up their own time and fund their own travel to keep the system going which it does very well. Part of the whole problem regarding this thread is the way some people up North view us lesser mortals down South and the spiteful way they announce it.
Walks like a duck, quack likes a duck... Only spite I see is from the usual suspects of the Mendip mafia that seem to rule the roost  ;D ;D

Offline Fishes

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2020, 07:47:24 pm »
CSCC is there to support the views of its members. If their views differ from others in BCA then so be it. The same for other regional bodies.

I'm sorry if a few of the new officers are offended by this but I don't think that they should publicly comment until they have already designed as their views are their own and not of BCA as a whole. Now you will probably understand some of the shit that previous officers have gone through.

I'm not a southern caver but I do like their approach to conservation and I've never had any issue getting access on Mendip.

Lets not turn this into a public s--t throwing competition just because we have different views.

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #70 on: April 07, 2020, 07:51:46 pm »
Unfortunately, it does seem to have reached that point, & everyone involved needs to ask themselves why?

I think that some of the proposals were submitted with the democratic ideal of having a discussion - I don't know I haven't seen them and I'm on council. We're all a bit blindsided and there's a total lack of leadership and clarity. The groundwork certainly hasn't been done to try and convince anyone and that's likely because the meeting was cancelled. I don't think it is arguable that 8 proposals from one region and 6 from an individual who is a member of that council is plainly unfeasible at an AGM. The agenda is already very full and I can guarantee no meaningful discussion will be had. Just as a matter of procedure. There won't be time.

This, in combination with some of the emails I've seen are harassing in nature - the fact that the child protection officer sent an email round listing slights against the secretary and pleading for it to stop should be a stark warning. At the last council meeting, the chair, the likely aggrieved council member, and the cscc representative sat in a corner akin to a boxing match. The rest of the executive sat at the top table as normal. I thought it obscene. I can see (and remain to be validated by seeing these proposals) how such an aggressive rehash of old debates, impugning his character could lead to such a statement.

What this does is damage the whole of British caving and it's why only 6 people turn up at regional council meetings half the time. I don't think the people involved realise how damaging this is for anyone trying to do things, like bringing in new people into caving so that there are cavers to replace the hut wardens, treasurers and leaders when baby boom passes on.

And I'm not a new officer, this deserves to have a light shone upon it.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2020, 08:01:04 pm by nearlywhite »

Offline Stuart France

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2020, 07:54:36 pm »
But what has this view got to do with BCA and modernising democracy, transparency and the administration of the organisation?


Answer:  nothing.

When someone posts ideas for modernising democracy, transparency and the administration of the BCA then the usual suspects immediately bury that under a pile of new postings and nobody goes back to read postings a page or two ago.  All part of the forum game.

The answer, as I said a couple of pages back, is to remove all the groups from BCA Council, especially the regional councils, and make it truly an individual member-only enterprise.  Groups would be moved to an observer/advisor status and can't then propose motions or vote.   Every single caver fed up with this faff has to engage with politics for a while to restructure the BCA.  Then leave it to some new team that understands it is responsible to the individual cavers across the whole of GB and not these regional caving councils and other intermediary bodies.

And I'm on a RCC.  But it one where the present executive know their place - serving the interests of cavers and making it easier to go caving.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #72 on: April 07, 2020, 07:59:29 pm »

Regional councils and other bodies have their place, you can't disenfranchise them entirely. They bring ideas to the table and are the arteries that keep each region and specific faculty going. without them things simply wouldn't get done.


I could do a python-esque "what have the regional councils ever done for us?" but I fear it would add more pages to this veritable SS.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2020, 08:06:06 pm »
Quote
They bring ideas to the table

I'm suggesting the place of regional councils is to have an advisory and observer status only on BCA, not to be in a position to determine the business and direction of BCA.  BCA's business needs to be determined and decided by individual cavers only.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: BCA secretary gives notice of standing down
« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2020, 08:17:33 pm »
That's your opinion Stuart.
 I could bring the opinion that the council should stand around a sofa have a chat about what the business and direction of the BCA should be, pour petrol on the sofa and set it alight.
 Then we wait and see which way the smoke blows to make a decision on the direction of the BCA.


We could still do that but without having the people in the room who have a vested interest in THEIR local area, then you might be left with a room of weekend warriors who don't care for any region and don't mind if they all fall into the S.
 (well aware that presently the "BCA room" is filled with great people, with great ideas who want to make the BCA great again)

 

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