Author Topic: What are your views on the CSCC?  (Read 4907 times)

Online Ed W

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What are your views on the CSCC?
« on: May 08, 2020, 10:02:26 am »
Given various threads elsewhere on this forum, I am interested in finding out what other southern cavers think of how they are being represented by the CSCC.  Personally I am somewhat disenchanted.  As an individual who voted for CROW in the national ballot, and a member of two CSCC clubs (at that time) who also used their group votes to support the motion, I am somewhat upset at the image that CSCC try to express that all southern cavers are anti-CROW.

I also feel that CSCC is failing to work within the democratic structures of BCA, it is of course OK to disagree (in fact healthy to do so) but from my point of view the CSCC is attempting to frustrate progress no matter what the wider caving community wants.

Finally I think representation within the CSCC is a joke, meetings struggle to be quorate and decisions are made by a very small number of representatives of a small number of the member clubs.  That there is no mechanism for representation of cavers outside the club structure is also, to my mind, unbelievable in the 21st Century.

I do not want to call into question the motives of the volunteers who give up their time for what is after all a thankless task.  I believe that they all do this form the best of motives.  However is it time for change within the CSCC?  Or are things fine and dandy just as they are (and have been since the 1960s)?

Online PeteHall

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2020, 11:12:26 am »
As another Southern caver and a member of two CSCC clubs, I also do not feel represented by the CSCC.

Of those two clubs, the Cheddar was my first Mendip club and as a small club, I have over been pretty involved over the years that I have been a member. Less so recently, due to having young kids... That said, I tend to make it to the AGM and keep in touch socially with the members. The Cheddar is pretty democratic really,  we vote internally on contentious issues and invariably a progressive pro-access voice wins the day. We are also one of the few clubs who have a regular presence at most CSCC meetings,  so all in all,  I should be well represented. Unfortunately our club rep, one of the few volunteers prepared to give up his time to attend the meetings, holds very strong views that oppose the majority club view. While I don't think he would deliberately misrepresent the club, he is very quick to jump on a technicality,  that isn't directly opposing the club position,  but certainly doesn't support the spirit of the club view.

I know what you'll all be thinking,  just vote him out,  but who will take on the role? I, for one, live an hour from Cheddar and have a young family who need my time. Much as I love caving and want to help at a club, regional and national level,  family has to come first. Caving comes second and politics are at the back of the queue.

I have never engaged with my other club, the Wessex, on a political level, so I have no right to expect them to represent me. That said,  the Wessex CSCC rep knows my position well. I also think that most of the younger members who I cave with share the same views, however I am unsure how many of them, like me stick to caving and leave the politics to the older generation...
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Offline nearlywhite

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2020, 12:11:13 pm »
*Disclaimer - I am not a southern caver despite having recently moved to Exeter, I assume there's a baptism or something I have to do down Swildons while my SRT kit is burnt  ;)

Out of interest would electing a regional representative (i.e. the head of cscc etc) direct to BCA be an acceptable notion? (was thinking this could leave the 'civil service' side of the cscc intact while getting people to actually vote on the representative side) Or would you change something else?

Offline badger

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2020, 12:11:35 pm »
regards less of your views if you are representing your club then it should be the club views presented not your own.
I would also say that one of my clubs "Wessex" I do not agree with every decision made, at the AGM several motions were put forward, some I voted against, however a majority voted for,
I also know that the wessex have voted against some off the CSCC decisions, Wessex direction taken from the wessex agm.
Like Pete says, if southern cavers want to change this cause they feel the CSCC is not representing them or there clubs then they need to get involved, and maybe we will see this happening, its very encouraging at BCA council level to see more and more younger people getting involved

Offline andrewmc

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2020, 12:29:57 pm »
*Disclaimer - I am not a southern caver despite having recently moved to Exeter, I assume there's a baptism or something I have to do down Swildons while my SRT kit is burnt  ;)

Exeter is Devon, and therefore entirely free of the influence of the CSCC (despite Exeter Uni SS being one of the founding clubs of CSCC) :P Plenty of SRT in Devon and Cornwall, although nearly all of it in mines... You probably have to go down Afton though for your ritual punishment :P
You get the fun of the DCUC instead (the region that CSCC presumably forgot when they suggested 8 representatives on BCA council would be enough for 2 per region!)

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2020, 12:36:52 pm »
I can't speak for my club, but the CSCC certainly doesn't represent my views when it comes to CRoW.

I was embarrassed by the behaviour of many of the attendees at the last meeting I attended on behalf of my club, which left me disenchanted and reluctant to attend another. In retrospect I wish I had spoken up a bit more about it rather than sat idly by, but this being my first meeting I wasn't familiar with the proceedings and felt distinctly out of my comfort zone.

Looking over the minutes of that meeting I am surprised to see that we voted to mandate the CSCC's representative at an upcoming BCA meeting, as I don't remember doing that. Maybe my memory is failing me with age, or maybe I nipped out to hold my head in my hands for five minutes and missed it - which would explain why the number of voting attendees doesn't add up to the number of votes on those matters whereas it does for some other matters voted on in that meeting? This doesn't inspire confidence.

I don't think the access arrangements managed by the CSCC are effective compared to other regions access arrangements, and I don't see what's so special about Southern landownership that makes this necessary.

But I also don't want to have to go to another meeting, so I guess I'm part of the problem  :doubt:

Offline mikem

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2020, 01:01:43 pm »
CSCC only manage the caves that have a standard padlock on, the key for which can be borrowed from any of the clubs.

Online Ed W

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2020, 01:25:13 pm »
Interesting views so far.  I totally agree with Badger, I have no problem with the CSCC putting forward views that are different to mine - that is democracy after all.  However my opinion is that in its current guise that the CSCC reflects the opinion of the few who regularly attend the meetings rather than the views of the members of the clubs that it is supposed to represent.

This is as much the fault of the wider southern caving community as the CSCC, since the vast majority of the members of the constituent clubs are clearly not ensuring that their club is being represented at meetings, let alone checking that their club is voting in lie with member's intent.  However, I think this is a circular argument, as my experience of CSCC meetings is very much that of aricooperdavis (albeit some years ago), and it is sad to see that this situation has not changed over the years.

Surely anything that can increase participation beyond the single digit voting attendance common at these meetings that has been the case for many years must be of advantage to the southern caving community?

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2020, 01:46:33 pm »
CSCC only manage the caves that have a standard padlock on, the key for which can be borrowed from any of the clubs.

That is indeed the unsatisfactory arrangement that I refer to; both because it's considerably more restrictive than a Derbyshire key system, and because the CSCC hasn't managed to facilitate access to many Mendip caves (instead promoting the creation of limited companies not under the CSCCs control with complex access arrangements).

Offline Oceanrower

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2020, 02:09:51 pm »
In reply to Ed W.

Do you think the problem might be geographical in that the Mendips has a very large membership that lives nowhere near caves! I.e. the rest of the South of England.

For me to get to my club takes at least 2 1/2 hours and it's the nearest area to me. I assume that other areas have a much more local membership and so people are more likely to attend meetings.

Offline mikem

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2020, 02:12:00 pm »
Most of those existed before the CSCC did. The one place that was on a bolted system was Box Mines, which was regularly left open (generally not by cavers), & we know how that ended up...

The majority have not been locked at the request of cavers, but by landowners, & historically this has been padlocks, so that's what the owners now expect.

The mine shafts at charterhouse are also getting broken into at the moment, despite them mostly being vertical shafts that go nowhere (& this is open access land).
« Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 02:30:10 pm by mikem »

Offline crickleymal

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2020, 02:14:24 pm »
I find it interesting that no one from the CSCC has been on here to defend themselves.
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Offline mikem

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2020, 02:19:15 pm »
Well, you have at least 5 CSCC members. The committee aren't interested in having anything to do with this forum.

Offline droid

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2020, 04:12:37 pm »
Could it be that the sometimes 'interesting' arguments on here have fomented this unwillingness to participate in this forum and the consequent 'Fuck you' attitude to BCA?

Asking for a friend..... ::)
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Offline NewStuff

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2020, 04:17:00 pm »
Well, you have at least 5 CSCC members. The committee aren't interested in having anything to do with this forum.

That attitude, in and of itself, speaks volumes about why pretty much the rest of the caving population of this island is sick to the back teeth of them.
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Offline mikem

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2020, 04:34:54 pm »
Well, the 5% who post regularly on here anyway. They would seem to be in the "silent majority"  :-\

Offline NewStuff

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2020, 05:14:24 pm »
Well, the 5% who post regularly on here anyway. They would seem to be in the "silent majority"  :-\
If you genuinely think that the majority of people agree with the few in the CSCC who are orchestrating all these shenanigans, I want some of what you're smoking.
There was a vote, and of those who cared enough to vote, the significant majority are in opposition to the current attitude of the CSCC members causing these issues. Most people simply don't care enough to vote, they just want to go caving.

Should the CSCC carry on with this sort of tactic then either people will stop caring altogether and give up on the BCA (As my club has), and just go f**king caving, or they'll actively seek removal of the CSCC, or replacement of the BCA (Me and my club will actively help with this option). It may take a year, it may take 5, but things carrying on as they were in the 40 years ago is simply not going to happen.
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Offline mikem

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2020, 05:49:07 pm »
That's not remotely what it says.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2020, 05:51:33 pm »
I find it interesting that no one from the CSCC has been on here to defend themselves.
[/quote
I find it interesting that no one from the CSCC has been on here to defend themselves.

You're assuming that they can read, write and own a computer. Major presumptions there.

Offline Oceanrower

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2020, 05:58:25 pm »
Well, the 5% who post regularly on here anyway. They would seem to be in the "silent majority"  :-\
If you genuinely think that the majority of people agree with the few in the CSCC who are orchestrating all these shenanigans, I want some of what you're smoking.
There was a vote, and of those who cared enough to vote, the significant majority are in opposition to the current attitude of the CSCC members causing these issues. Most people simply don't care enough to vote, they just want to go caving.

Should the CSCC carry on with this sort of tactic then either people will stop caring altogether and give up on the BCA (As my club has), and just go f**king caving, or they'll actively seek removal of the CSCC, or replacement of the BCA (Me and my club will actively help with this option). It may take a year, it may take 5, but things carrying on as they were in the 40 years ago is simply not going to happen.

It's a shame North Wales is so far from me.

Sounds like my kind of club...

Offline mikem

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2020, 06:07:36 pm »
Coz North Wales is well known for access (last para):
https://www.derbyscc.org.uk/caving/caves_northwales.php

Offline NewStuff

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2020, 06:41:46 pm »
Coz North Wales is well known for access (last para):
https://www.derbyscc.org.uk/caving/caves_northwales.php

As we're trying to do with the country in general, most clubs in North Wales have embraced opening up, and many members of many clubs frequently undertake trips with other clubs, in other clubs "stomping grounds".

After a lot of contentious issues, the issues are mostly gone, as people wised up and realised there was a way forward without all the lockchopping, and winding up. It may not have been the first choice for some clubs, but for the most part, it works.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2020, 08:32:56 pm »
Well, the 5% who post regularly on here anyway. They would seem to be in the "silent majority"  :-\
If you genuinely think that the majority of people agree with the few in the CSCC who are orchestrating all these shenanigans, I want some of what you're smoking.
There was a vote, and of those who cared enough to vote, the significant majority are in opposition to the current attitude of the CSCC members causing these issues. Most people simply don't care enough to vote, they just want to go caving.

Should the CSCC carry on with this sort of tactic then either people will stop caring altogether and give up on the BCA (As my club has), and just go f**king caving, or they'll actively seek removal of the CSCC, or replacement of the BCA (Me and my club will actively help with this option). It may take a year, it may take 5, but things carrying on as they were in the 40 years ago is simply not going to happen.

I've not taken any sides in this discussion but, regarding the bit I highlighted in your above post, can I ask why you're involved in a discussion about an organisation that you don't seem to me a member of? Indeed, should you be involved?

Please don't think I'm trying to score any points against you personally; I'm really not. I'm just genuinely interested and I'm sure you do have reasons.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2020, 08:55:09 pm »
We were members (I'm sure we'll show up on an archived list of BCA member clubs on the Internet Archive or similar). Most of us have been in other clubs.
The BCA repeatedly capitulated and let itself be held hostage. We wanted nothing to do with that. We made a decision to leave the BCA as a result. We're just one small club, We don't much care if we're blacklisted (I've been casually and informally informed that is the case in certain area's). I suspect other will follow suit if this is allowed to carry on - The green cards only have so much pull, there's a limit to what people will put up with.

There was hope and things were looking positive in the last 12 months or so, until this last round of idiocy, but that is the last straw, and has scuppered any chances we'll ever rejoin if it remains in it's present form. Should the majority decide that something new needs to replace the BCA, something for the members, not a handful of people in one region, dictating to the whole country, then we will gladly assist wherever we can. We want to help caving as a whole, but we have a moral compass, and as a result, we will not be part of the BCA in it's current form. The Hunters may be the centre of the Mendip universe, it's not dictating caving and BCA matters for an organisation that covers the whole of the UK.
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Offline Pitlamp

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Re: What are your views on the CSCC?
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2020, 09:07:52 pm »
Thanks for answering, in such considered detail, NewStuff.

I can't entirely agree with you but I do appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

 

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