/ BMC London & SE Area Meeting – 20 November 2013

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BMC Office - on 24 Oct 2013
Come along to the next meeting, to discuss the latest issues and get involved in the work of the BMC.

Date: Wednesday 20 November 2013, at 7.30pm

Venue: The Alpine Club, Charlotte Road, London, Greater London, EC2A 3QF

See the BMC Local Areas site for more details:
Oceanrower - on 24 Oct 2013
In reply to BMC Office: I trust the current debacle between the BMC, Sport England and the Forestry Commission concerning the toilet block at Harrisons Rocks will be on the agenda?
cheeseandpickle - on 27 Oct 2013
In reply to BMC Office:

Dear BMC Office.
Has anyone from the BMC signed the petition yet? In case not here is the link

It would be good for 700 climbers' views to reflected by the representative body.
cheeseandpickle - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to Oceanrower and the BMC.

Could the 'BMC Office' please confirm the agenda of this meeting on this forum please?

As an ordinary member could I add a question for AOB please asking about the nature and history of formal discussions between the BMC and Sport England aimed at maintaining the current situation at Harrision's Rocks beyond November 2014 by renewing the lease from the forestry commission and applying for a further grant from Sport England to achieve this?

Please could I be directed to meeting minutes of this discussion, so that I can see how the BMC has worked on behalf of its members?
JR - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to DingBat:

The BMC has a site for this DingBat, and all previous minutes etc:
cheeseandpickle - on 06 Nov 2013
In reply to John Roberts (JR):
Thank You John

I had already found this minute.

It is specifically the detail of the dialogue between Sport England and the BMC and the decisions surrounding non- continuance of the current arrangement which interest me.
It is apparent that Sport England have substantial funds currently with the Olympic legacy etc and would be happy to support (I believe) any facility which promotes mass participation in sport and I’m wondering how the case for Harrisons was addressed by the BMC and why an application (?) was turned down.
bobmcgraw24 on 13 Nov 2013 - whois?
In reply to BMC Office:

Lots of people seem to be asking about Harrisons toilet block. There seems to be no one source of information so here is my take on it. Please add information, but only if you are sure that that information is correct.

From talking with local climbers I have gathered that:

Sport England currently hold the lease to the car park.
Sport England don’t want to renew their lease. It expires in Nov 2014.
Sport England, under the terms of the lease, have to return the site (including the toilet block) in a good state (i.e. working toilet block and car park).
Sport England have said that they are willing to pump a substantial amount of cash into the toilet block on the condition that someone is there to look after it long term (the toilet block is currently dilapidated. Without the toilet block the campsite will have to be closed.).

The Forestry Commission own the car park and camp site.
The Forestry Commission don’t want to take on the day-to-day running of the site as they don’t have the budget / manpower for it.
The Forestry Commission won’t lease the site to a small charity / community interest company (1) just in case that entity gets into financial difficulties and (2) as the small charity / CIC won’t have sufficient financial resources should the worst case happen and someone had an accident at the site.
The Forestry Commission WILL, however, lease the site to an organisation like the BMC (who are big enough to absorb the ‘risk’ and be big enough not to fold should there be a catastrophic event).
The Forestry Commission WILL be content for the BMC to on-lease the facilities on to a local charity or community interest company.
There IS a group of local climbers who are incorporating a Community Interest Company in order to run the car park / campsite / toilet block.
This local group of climbers hope to make the car park / campsite self-sustaining (so running costs = camping fees / car park fees).

SO ALL THE BMC NEED TO DO IS STEP UP AND TAKE ON THE LEASE FOR THE CAR PARK / CAMPSITE / TOILETS TO CONTINUE TO EXIST POST NOV 2014. This is the only way that Sport England will spend money on a super-dooper toilet block that can serve climbers and campers for years to come.

The lease from the Forestry Commission is free – no cost to the BMC.
The car park / campsite will pay for itself (under the plans being put forward by the group of local climbers) – no cost to the BMC.

In summary- The climbing community is being given a re-vamped toilet block by Sport England ON A PLATTER! All we need is for the BMC to take the lease from the Forestry Commission and act as a ‘middle man’.

The Forestry Commission just want to see is a large organisation to take on the lease. Come on BMC – this is what you do surely!!?? At least assure us that all options have been exhausted (i.e. that this the plans of this local group of climbers aren’t financially viable).

And don’t we have a good example of this from up north? The Don Willams Hut is owned by the BMC, funding was provided by Sport England and it’s run locally!!

The problem lies not with Sport England / Forestry Commission (who are restrained by their mandates) but with our inability to think ourselves outside of this box. DO US PROUD BMC!

Ps. Sorry for the rant! It just is so excruciating to see a fabulous place used by so many fall to ruin for no good reason.
Oceanrower - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to BMC Office: Does anyone know whether potential members are welcome to this meeting or do you have to be an existing member?
cheeseandpickle - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
Has anyone found out if there is an agenda yet? and could someone post the link?
cheeseandpickle - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
As a member I would hope that Non-members are welcome and I cant see anyone checking off member cards on the way in. The Alpine club is a really interesting place
Oceanrower - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to DingBat: I hope so but don't fancy a wasted journey. I email the BMC a couple of hours ago but no answer yet.
Oceanrower - on 20 Nov 2013
In reply to Oceanrower: For anyone that's interested, just recieved an email from the BMC which I'm sure they won't mind me copying here.

"Thank you for your enquiry.

Technically, BMC Area Meetings are member meetings, but in recent years we've encouraged a more open attendance policy, so we welcome non-members to them.

You should make it clear when you sign in to the meeting that you are a non-member.

Non-members are not entitled to vote on any items that require a vote, but you can certainly join in discussions."
OnUp - on 14 Dec 2013
In reply to BMC Office:

Could a staff member of the BMC please advise when the minutes from the SE Area Meeting 20th November will be available please?

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