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/ LIVE Q&A: Andy Syme on the BMC AGM

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UKC/UKH News - on 04 Jun 2018
On Wednesday 6th June from 12-2pm, we will be hosting a live Q&A session in our forum with Andy Syme, chair of the BMC Yorkshire Area and part of the BMC National Council, ahead of BMC AGM on 16th June.

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In reply to UKC/UKH News:

We're live! Post your questions to Andy on this thread and he'll answer them.

Have you got BMC AGM confusion? No time to wade through the longer threads on the topic with people who seem to know all the details? No problem: Andy is here to help. He's been working as a volunteer to implement the proposals of the recent organisational review report.

Feel free to ask Andy anything AGM-related, from "What is an AGM and why is it important?" all the way to technical details about the proposed constitutional changes that will be voted on.

 

Post edited at 12:01
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Natalie Berry - UKC:

Looking forward to some lively debate.  Will do best I can to answer what I can immediately, or will provide an answer back later if I don't have an immediate response on a specific issue

 

 

Alex Messenger, BMC - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Hi Andy. In case people haven't been following all the details, what's so important about this year's BMC AGM? 

 

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

The key issue is the proposal to change the Articles of Association (the rules on how the BMC runs).  This has been needed for awhile but 'stuff' kept putting it back.  So the National Council and Exec, with support from others have produced a new set of articles (Option A) which we are asking members to vote on.

These do change the relationship with the NC and Exec (which would be renamed the Board), but we have worked to ensure the checks and balances are in place and believe these represent a significant improvement in how we will operate in the future.  They will also allow us to implement the other changes the ORG recommended in an effective way.

 

john arran - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

What fall-out might we expect were neither of the two options to receive sufficient support?

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

There is also a contested Presidential election which hasn't happened for a few years.  Something which I think is good for our 'democracy'.

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

> What fall-out might we expect were neither of the two options to receive sufficient support?

That's a hard question.....

In essence if we have to stay with our current articles I would expect the immediate problem would be that the Sport England funding would definately be closed down for the BMC (Dev Squad, Hillwalking Officer funding etc) and probably for our funded partners (ABC, ABC TT & MTBs).

More problematic would be that we need new articles and honestly I don't see much we could change that would meet the ORG recommendations and apply the good governance principles suggested by the  Sport and Recreational Alliance let alone the SE code of Governance.

I guess I get more time sat in my Office trying to solve the conundrum, and less time climbing

 

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to john arran:

In all probability we would need to go back to the members at another General Meeting and ask them to vote again.  But as I said my problem would be what would we change to produce articles that are meeting the requirements of good modern governance but are not very similar to what we are asking them to vote on now.

I think another 2-10 months of Articles debate is not going to be good for the BMC, both in terms of the stress and stasis it imposes on staff and volunteers, and the fact that certainly in Yorkshire there is a palpable "article fatigue" in the membership.

Tom F Harding on 06 Jun 2018

Hi Andy

There have been quite a few posts on UKC recently about formal accident reporting. As probably the best placed organisation to collate these for the UK has the BMC looked about doing this?

Thanks

 

Rob Parsons on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

The SE 'deadline' which seems partly a cause of this rush to change articles was never mentioned to members until very recently. (At the least, I had no idea about it - which I accept is not the same thing.)

Can you confirm that the deadline has been known about for approximately three years? If so, why has it taken the BMC so long to react?

Thanks.

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Tom F Harding:

> Hi Andy

> There have been quite a few posts on UKC recently about formal accident reporting. As probably the best placed organisation to collate these for the UK has the BMC looked about doing this?

> Thanks

Tom

To be fair my time on UKC recently has been concentrated on about 3 threads (all AGM/Article related) so not seen that!!!  Can you send me a link.

I would imagine that this is something the Technical Committee would want to look at, I can ask for you.   

danm on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Tom F Harding

> Hi Andy

> There have been quite a few posts on UKC recently about formal accident reporting. As probably the best placed organisation to collate these for the UK has the BMC looked about doing this?

> Thanks

I can answer this. Yes, we are. We've looked into it in the past but for various reasons it never took off. In the best traditions of the BMC, a keen group of volunteers have taken another look at this, done some research and submitted some proposals which have been discussed at the last TYC (Training, Youth & Walls Committee) meeting. So major props to Pete Callaghan and friends for their work so far on this. A working group has been set up, our first skype meeting is next week. There are a lot of potential hurdles to consider such as liability, privacy and so on, and we also have to look at funding models for any system. So we'll see, Pete's groundwork has given us a solid base to work on at least.

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The SE 'deadline' which seems partly a cause of this rush to change articles was never mentioned to members until very recently. (At the least, I had no idea about it - which I accept is not the same thing.)

> Can you confirm that the deadline has been known about for approximately three years? If so, why has it taken the BMC so long to react?

> Thanks.

Yes the BMC were aware of the change coming in late 2015 when Govt published their Sporting Future Strategy document.  SE published their code in Oct 2016 (with a deadline of Apr 18 to comply) and the NC voted to form a working group (what became the ORG) in Feb 17.  After the MoNC & AGM were done the ORG were finally able to start in April 17.  They did an excellent piece of work, but nothing was done with SE because we wanted the ORG report before we did anything.  So we couldn't actually engage with SE until March 18.

As we were going to miss the Apr 18 deadline, SE agreed to an extension till Aug 18, but the NC decided that as the AGM had to be held in June we would go for new Articles then.

So yes the NC and Exec were aware, and made decisions in good faith about postponing action until we had 'all the facts' but in retrospect we probably should have started earlier.

Postmanpat on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Can you explain in 200 words or less the pros and cons of each option in laypersons’ language?

in addition, you might like expain equally briefly what tiers 1,2 and 3 are.

spidermonkey09 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Hi Andy,

Are the BMC any the wiser about how many of the 'original' 45 who proposed Option B remain in support of it after the Open Forum event in Manchester, at which several withdrew their support as I understand it? If the number is now less than 25, why can the option not be removed as it lacks the requisite support? Appreciate you've probably been through this in the other threads!

Rob Parsons on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Thanks for the reply.

> So yes the NC and Exec were aware, and made decisions in good faith about postponing action until we had 'all the facts' but in retrospect we probably should have started earlier.

Two follow-ups:

1. Why wasn't this underlying issue/deadline communicated to the membership at any time? Is it mentioned at all in the information which has been distributed regarding the current votes?

2. I understand that rapprochement between the 'A' and 'B' camps has been achieved partly through an agreement to produce a 'Memorandum of Understanding' which clarifies certain issues. Has that MoU been written and published yet? In its absence, how can people be expected to formulate a considered opinion on voting options?

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Can you explain in 200 words or less the pros and cons of each option in laypersons’ language?

> in addition, you might like expain equally briefly what tiers 1,2 and 3 are.

The pros and cons of the 2 is difficult mainly because Option B is written by someone else and I don't want to be accused of misrepresenting their proposal.  But I can give some facts about both which I think are not contentious. 

Option A is based on the ORG proposals and has been reviewed and recommended by the NC and Executive, as well as the ORG and a number of the original Tier 1 proposers.  Option A also was reviewed by Areas, albeit that it was an early draft and the changes since then have been widely publicised and discussed.  Option B has been developed by a small group of interested members with little or no wider review by the membership prior to submission.

Option A has been approved by SE as meeting their Tier 3 requirements so makes the BMC and our partners eligible to apply for and receive Core Funding from SE.  Option B claims Tier 1 compliance but has not been reviewed by SE.

I think there are better defined roles and better transparency, checks and balances in Option A (because of all that review and debate) which means that the members are better able to see what goes on and challenge where they think there is a problem but that is clearly an opinion.

With respect to T1 - T3 in essence they are levels of compliance with the SE code for sports governance.  The key thing is that as an NGB we can ONLY receive public funding if we are T3.  I can do a much longer definition if you want but I must be beyond 200 words now!!!

In reply to Andy Syme:

Whilst I think we would all argue that the ORG was indeed necessary for the long term prosperity of the organisation, it has also been a great bore to many members (and most likely yourself at times too!). We’ve definitely noticed a drop in attendance In the Peak Area Meetings and I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

So, my question is - how do we win these people back?? Maybe a little broad for the exact remit of the Q&A, but I’d be interested to know as member engagement is a matter close to my heart.

spenser - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Hi Andy,

Could you please confirm the elected status of all Board members, as far as I am aware it is:

1 * President - Elected

3 * NC members - Coopted onto board, but elected by local area members/ members of specialist committees. Are these positions subject to member approval at AGM and are any of the people who could be coopted members of staff?

3 * Independent directors - Nominated by nominations committee and approved by members at AGM.

CEO - Ex Officio

There are 4 remaining positions which I can't remember.

Is there a limit on the number of Independent directors who are not members of the BMC prior to their nomination?

Also, who will sit on the Nominations committee, board members, National Council members, grassroots volunteers?

Sorry for the bumper pack of questions!

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Hi Andy,

> Are the BMC any the wiser about how many of the 'original' 45 who proposed Option B remain in support of it after the Open Forum event in Manchester, at which several withdrew their support as I understand it? If the number is now less than 25, why can the option not be removed as it lacks the requisite support? Appreciate you've probably been through this in the other threads!

Option B have not declared who is and is not still in.  Some have publicly declared they are out (Chris B, John Porter, Jonathan White, Crag Jones, Carl Spenser).  Andy Say has publicly declared he is still in.  There are some I 'know' are still in but have never declared publicly, so not my job to say.

After the Open Meeting Jonathan White said that 6 people were definitely still in and he hadn't been able to contact 7 to get an opinion.  So it was under 25 on 16th May, and I suspect is still under 25.

The issue is that our articles have nothing about withdrawing proposals and without a unanimous vote to withdraw from Option B removing the proposal from the AGM would have been subject to challenge so it remains.

jezb1 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

 

> So, my question is - how do we win these people back?? Maybe a little broad for the exact remit of the Q&A, but I’d be interested to know as member engagement is a matter close to my heart.

Great question. I think so many people, myself included, are very grateful for what the BMC have done and continue to do, but all of this is so flippin’ tedious.

Its a real shame a minority have wasted so much of the BMC’s time.

1
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> 1. Why wasn't this underlying issue/deadline communicated to the membership at any time? Is it mentioned at all in the information which has been distributed regarding the current votes?

Don't remember a conscious decision not to tell members, but things were pretty busy around the last AGM so maybe missed.  It was certainly in the information provided to areas for the April meetings and in the stuff I posted.  Not sure if that made it into AGM papers too as wasn't directly relevant to the vote.

> 2. I understand that rapprochement between the 'A' and 'B' camps has been achieved partly through an agreement to produce a 'Memorandum of Understanding' which clarifies certain issues. Has that MoU been written and published yet? In its absence, how can people be expected to formulate a considered opinion on voting options?

The MoU is being worked on by Pete Stirling and he hopes to have a draft by the AGM.  It will also be tied up with some of the work in Phase 2.  This was the approach agreed with Crag and Jonathan as part of the compromise.   

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Whilst I think we would all argue that the ORG was indeed necessary for the long term prosperity of the organisation, it has also been a great bore to many members (and most likely yourself at times too!). We’ve definitely noticed a drop in attendance In the Peak Area Meetings and I’m sure we’re not the only ones.

> So, my question is - how do we win these people back?? Maybe a little broad for the exact remit of the Q&A, but I’d be interested to know as member engagement is a matter close to my heart.

Totally agree it's boring, if necessary stuff.  There is a whole section of Phase 2 on member engagement and I would hope that they will come up with some good ideas of how we do this.

To be fair I've not had much headspace recently for that sort of forward thinking, but it's a vital piece of work going forwards.  You want to be part of that workstream to provide ideas?

Postmanpat on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Thanks. So supporters if option A regard it as more transparent and “democratic”, and it secures Sports England funding.

What does the funding enable the Bmc to do that it wouldn’t otherwise and how will spending be prioritised?

 

  Can any supporters of option B make their case in 200 words?

 

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spenser:

> Hi Andy,

> Could you please confirm the elected status of all Board members, as far as I am aware it is:

> 1 * President - Elected

> 3 * NC members - Coopted onto board, but elected by local area members/ members of specialist committees. Are these positions subject to member approval at AGM and are any of the people who could be coopted members of staff?

Yes Approved at AGM at the start of each 3 year term.  NC could co-opt someone into this role if they didn't have enough people with the required skills.

> 3 * Independent directors - Nominated by nominations committee and approved by members at AGM.

Nominated by nominations committee, appointed by the Board and approved at AGM at the start of each 3 year term

> CEO - Ex Officio

> There are 4 remaining positions which I can't remember.

Chair - Nominated by nominations committee, appointed by the Board and approved at AGM at the start of each 3 year term

3 x Nominated Directors - who can be either be a) elected directly from the membership at an AGM b) Nominated by a specific stakeholder group, appointed by the Board and approved at AGM at the start of each 3 year term

> Is there a limit on the number of Independent directors who are not members of the BMC prior to their nomination?

No, but the majority of non-ex officio directors must be BMC members for at least 12 months before election/appointment.

> Also, who will sit on the Nominations committee, board members, National Council members, grassroots volunteers?

TBC in Phase 2, but must include the Chair and have a majority of Independent Directors.  We will probably look at something about majority of BMC members (as per the board) and I would like both NC & Members to be represented, but we need to think about size of the NomCom.

 

spenser - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Thanks Andy.

Postmanpat on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Is it still the case that those in favour of option B still believe that the BMC and option A want to promote indior and competition climbing at the expense of more traditional activities?

 

If you feel you can’t answer that then, let’s suppose  it is the case; how would you respond?

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Thanks. So supporters if [I assume you mean of AS] option A regard it as more transparent and “democratic”, and it secures Sports England funding.

> What does the funding enable the Bmc to do that it wouldn’t otherwise and how will spending be prioritised?

So it gives the BMC as one of 58 NGBs access to the SE Core Funding (circa £300M).  Currently the bid includes money for the Development Squad, The Hill walking Officer  and I'm afraid I can't remember the rest of the £600k.  If it didn't get the funding it would need to fund these activities from elsewhere or stop doing it.

More importantly it gives our Funded partners access to SE funds, which are probably more critical to them than the funding is to the BMC.  John Cousins mentions the projects in his article https://www.thebmc.co.uk/john-cousins-mountain-training-BMC-why-vote (point4) for example.  But ABC TT (NIBAS) also use SE funding to support their work

 

timjones - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

Why are our "funded partners" reliant on the BMC for access to SE funds?

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Is it still the case that those in favour of option B still believe that the BMC and option A want to promote indior and competition climbing at the expense of more traditional activities?

> If you feel you can’t answer that then, let’s suppose  it is the case; how would you respond?

I think Option B supporters probably have many different reasons for not supporting Option A; but on the assumption that some of the better known 'original' Option B were very clear on that belief last year I have no reason to think it isn't still an issue for them.

One of the key things Option A and the Phase 2 work allows is to build transparency and accountability into the decisions made so that if money is spent, or priority given, to one element of the sport everyone knows and can comment. 

I think we should support indoor and competition climbing, but I would not support getting rid of Rob (the access officer) to fund a Development Team coach as a hypothetical example.   

We are a broad church and need to remain that way supporting all elements of mountaineering in a generally equal way over the long term (accepting we might focus on specific areas over short periods) 

Ian W - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

 

> I think we should support indoor and competition climbing, but I would not support getting rid of Rob (the access officer) to fund a Development Team coach as a hypothetical example.   

Even the comp lot would not support this hypothetical example - we all climb outdoors as well!

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> Why are our "funded partners" reliant on the BMC for access to SE funds?

Dave T, John Roberts, or John Cousins might be better able to answer that but...

Sport England issue their funds through 'Whole Sport Bids'.  A whole sport bid is a process by which the NGB as a tier 3 organisation coordinates the bid from all the Tier 1 and tier 2 organisations who want funding in that 'sport'.  

If the BMC is not Tier 3 they can't co-ordinate the bid, and the Tier 1 & 2 organisations can't bid themselves.  There was a workaround agreed last year, but SE are very clear that their model requires a T3 NGB to coordinate the bids and without the BMC as that T3 NGB then either a new T3 NGB would need to be created for Mountaineering and Rock Climbing, or SE would need to develop a bespoke funding model for MTBs & ABCTT; which SE have said they are highly unlikely to do given the difficulty in setting up such a bespoke model and the precedent it would set for other sports. 

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Ian W:

> Even the comp lot would not support this hypothetical example - we all climb outdoors as well!

I was just trying to think of a quick example off the top of my head.  I'm sure Rob will be talking to me about even using it as a theoretical example!

timjones - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

If your timings are correct and SE only issued their code in October 2016, then surely they must realise that it isn't realistic for a membership organisation to pass the sort of reforms necessary in the 2 years that the extension allows let alone the original 18 month deadline?

The problem with this is the timing and the fact that it is all being rushed, it appears that we're being expected to vote on phase 1 based on trust that phase 2 or an as yet unseen MoU will deliver the transparency that is vital to any membership organisation.
 

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> If your timings are correct and SE only issued their code in October 2016, then surely they must realise that it isn't realistic for a membership organisation to pass the sort of reforms necessary in the 2 years that the extension allows let alone the original 18 month deadline?

Well 55 of the 58 had already complied before the Apr 18 deadline, so I'm sure SE would say it clearly is/was realistic.

> The problem with this is the timing and the fact that it is all being rushed, it appears that we're being expected to vote on phase 1 based on trust that phase 2 or an as yet unseen MoU will deliver the transparency that is vital to any membership organisation.

I accept there is an element of trust however: 

  1. The transparency etc is already in the articles.
  2. There are Reserved Matters to deal with key issues.
  3. The NC have the power to raise a resolution.

On the MOU, Pete Sterling is working on a draft but what has been agreed by the NC and Board is that:

  1. The MoU will form the control by which the National Council are able to hold the Board to account when they believe the Board is acting outside the agreed Object, strategy and policies of the BMC, or the intent of the Membership.
  2. Phase 2 will need to provide the methods/processes by which the Members input to strategy and vision of the BMC and through which the policies of the BMC are developed and approved. 
  3. This Phase 2 work needs to be cooperative and inclusive to ensure any and all members views are taken into account when developing the methods/processes. 
  4. The outcome of Phase 2 may be that the MoU is the vehicle for Members input to future strategy if there is no better method identified in Phase 2.
  5. The strategy and policies of the BMC will ultimately be owned by the Board and their delivery must be transparent and, wherever possible, measurable. 

That is a clear commitment and if we don't deliver by Apr 2019 you will have clear grounds to hold the Board to Account.

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> If your timings are correct and SE only issued their code in October 2016, then surely they must realise that it isn't realistic for a membership organisation to pass the sort of reforms necessary in the 2 years that the extension allows let alone the original 18 month deadline?

Just fleshing this out a bit.

What SE Code requires is largely what is considered good governance by all organisations (such as the Sports and Recreational Alliance) so they probably thought most organisations would be there, or close anyway.

As I said earlier we didn't do anything until very late; albeit for what were thought to be good reasons at the time. 

As an example Table Tennis changed their articles and lost the vote last year, but then got them agreed 2 months later after promising an independent review of governance, which they are now doing & implementing.  We did our independent review first!  And there is a firm commitment to deliver all the other changes.

Ian W - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

I know what you meant by it - just pointing out that comps are not, as some seem to think, separate to the rest of the climbing world. Even those "Tier 1" proponents I spoke to accept comps place within the BMC and the wider climbing world. Anyway, back to the AGM........

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

I'm going to have to leave shortly, but assuming this thread stays open I'll come back and answer further questions tonight and tomorrow.

timjones - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

At the open forum a representative of MLT indicated that if this didn't go through they would move to become the NGB for our sport.

If the proposed articles aren't approved at the AGM do you think they will stand with us to resolve the problems or follow through with their threat to push for NGB status?

Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to timjones:

> At the open forum a representative of MLT indicated that if this didn't go through they would move to become the NGB for our sport.

> If the proposed articles aren't approved at the AGM do you think they will stand with us to resolve the problems or follow through with their threat to push for NGB status?

As John says (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/john-cousins-mountain-training-BMC-why-vote) there is no appetite to leave the BMC.

That said if they can't get SE funding through the BMC and need to become or create a T3 body themselves to access the funding then there is a significant risk.  And clearly as the awarding body they would have a strong case.

I just can't see that as an acceptable risk when the mitigation is in my view a very 'low cost' option.

Post edited at 14:21
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 06 Jun 2018

In reply to:

Big thanks to Andy Syme for finding the time to answer your questions live. We hope you found it useful and we've just got one thing to add: please do vote.

The second email from ERS should have been emailed to you on Monday. It'll be from "Online Voting" not the BMC. Voting is quick, easy and you don't need your membership number - just click on your personal URL.

If you can't find the email, please fill in this form: https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

dickie01 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

might be a stupid question but what's the rush? apologies, this has probably been asked a hundred times over.

As a late arriver on this one it seems as if people generally don't fully understand the implications of what there being asked to vote on and that some of the arrangements for implementation don't seem to be fully developed could the whole vote be postponed?

5
spidermonkey09 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to dickie01:

From higher up this thread......

 

 

 

 

> What fall-out might we expect were neither of the two options to receive sufficient support?

Andy Syme: That's a hard question.....

In essence if we have to stay with our current articles I would expect the immediate problem would be that the Sport England funding would definately be closed down for the BMC (Dev Squad, Hillwalking Officer funding etc) and probably for our funded partners (ABC, ABC TT & MTBs).

More problematic would be that we need new articles and honestly I don't see much we could change that would meet the ORG recommendations and apply the good governance principles suggested by the  Sport and Recreational Alliance let alone the SE code of Governance.

I guess I get more time sat in my Office trying to solve the conundrum, and less time climbing 

Post edited at 15:03
dickie01 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Thanks Spidermonkey, but i suppose my question is, is there a deadline this decision has to be made by?

Also, as we are currently a member lead organisation, if option A goes through would this be the last time we would all be canvassed to vote on such a decision in the BMC?  

1
spidermonkey09 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to dickie01:

Yes, the deadline is Aug 18; if the BMC misses this it will lose its Sport England funding, All in the thread.

I'm not clued up enough to answer fully, but my understanding is that Option A retains the directors accountability to its membership. There is a slight move towards more 'top-down' operation as I understand it but I see this as inevitable in a membership body comprising 80,000+ people. The very fact that a group of a mere 25 can currently cause such disruption to the process in the way they currently are is evidence that change is required in my view.

Post edited at 15:32
3
subtle on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

 

> In essence if we have to stay with our current articles I would expect the immediate problem would be that the Sport England funding would definately be closed down for the BMC (Dev Squad, Hillwalking Officer funding etc) and probably for our funded partners (ABC, ABC TT & MTBs).

If Sport England funding was not obtained would these all really disappear?

How much funding to Sport England currently provide?

 

spidermonkey09 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to subtle:

I don't have the figures, Andy should be able to advise when he appears later. If they didn't stop operating entirely they would take a mighty hit and if they did continue to operate they would be at a reduced capacity. That's just logical, no? If you take a lump of funding out of an organisation it is inevitably going to suffer as a result.

Edit: As the thread states further up; currently SE provides approximately £600k in funding to the BMC. We aren't talking loose change. This is serious money that will have a knock on effect if lost.

Post edited at 15:55
dickie01 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Thanks

I am still undecided but the counter to your comment is that behind those 25 there are probably a lot of members who agree with them. in a member lead organisation (which is what it currently is) you have to be inclusive of all views. I understand opposition can be frustrating but having been an active member of a chartered organisation where we have no real say, recent changes have (in mine and a lot of others opinion) been very detrimental to the membership and those volunteering to support the institute. Overall I think its encouraging to see people passionate about it in an age where I've recently said I thought club and organisation participation was dying.   

Ian W - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

I believe the calculation is an immediate approx £3.60 pa increase in subs, in order to fund the BMC projects entirely from income (thee was a thread / discussion a while ago.....).

And as stated above, the partner organisations would suffer greatly, and have to look at their own governance and apply independently. And one of them would contemplate taking steps to become the NGB for climbing / mountaineering, which should set some fairly loud alarm bells ringing for the potential effects on the BMC in the medium term........

subtle on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Edit: As the thread states further up; currently SE provides approximately £600k in funding to the BMC. We aren't talking loose change. This is serious money that will have a knock on effect if lost.

Thanks - £600k isn't an insignificant amount as you say, what percentage is that though of the overall BMC income (not directed solely at spidermonkey, just general musing)

What other avenues for funding would there be if the Sport England funding were to be lost?

spidermonkey09 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to dickie01:

Indeed and I do appreciate most of those involved care about the BMC. I'm going to tap out now as I don't want to get in the way of Andy answering q's as he's the one who knows what he's talking about!

Worth pointing out that Option A recommendations have been drawn up by volunteers who care a lot about the organisation, not by a faceless corporate leadership chimera. This thread is a good place to start with regards to making your mind up. Good luck.

Post edited at 16:09
dickie01 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

Thanks Spidermonkey, all the best

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Thanks. So supporters if option A regard it as more transparent and “democratic”, and it secures Sports England funding.

> What does the funding enable the Bmc to do that it wouldn’t otherwise and how will spending be prioritised?

>   Can any supporters of option B make their case in 200 words?

The BMC traditionally has been member-centered and member-led, with an important battle being won some years ago to bring us to a one-member-one- vote democratic structure based upon the involvement of the BMC at a grassroots level.  Much of the work of the BMC is actually done by unpaid volunteers for the benefit of their peers.  And let’s not forget; ‘The BMC’ is the members.  They are the people that pay the staff, choose their National Councilors and elect their Executive Committee. 

Option B is about retaining that structure.  The five elected officers, President, three Vice-Presidents and the Treasurer will be selected, proposed and elected directly by all the members. There will be, as now, three independent directors, proposed by the Nominations Committee and recommended by the Board to the members for their approval. Option B also addresses the legal issues identified by legal advice.  These changes make the BMC compliant with the Companies Act and also the Sport and Recreation Alliance Principles of Good Governance; indeed this structure will be similar to that used by Mountaineering Scotland.

For a couple more words see - https://www.thebmc.co.uk/andy-say-an-ordinary-member-why-im-supporting-option-b

3
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Is it still the case that those in favour of option B still believe that the BMC and option A want to promote indior and competition climbing at the expense of more traditional activities?

I'll happily answer that one.      

 

 

 

 

No.

 

Mike Highbury - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> The pros and cons ...  I can do a much longer definition if you want but I must be beyond 200 words now!!!

Why on Earth does someone, anyone, not manage to explain this in any form, adequately. You've had plenty of time and opportunity so, for Goodness' sake, take your time and without the need for supplementary questions nor reference to people who are even less able to do it, and do it now.

8
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to subtle:

> Thanks - £600k isn't an insignificant amount as you say, what percentage is that though of the overall BMC income (not directed solely at spidermonkey, just general musing)

> What other avenues for funding would there be if the Sport England funding were to be lost?

Current funding (which the BMC is not receiving) 'would' equate to around 20% of total income.  The next funding round will come to between 8% and 10% p.a.  That is divided up (dead roughly) as 33% for the Development Squad, 33% for Hillwalking initiatives and officers and 33% for 'core' (equity, clubs, access etc)

Other Avenues?  The BMC is currently using Simon Lee to seek commercial partnerships and, of course, there is the subs increase which is on the Agenda for the AGM  

Post edited at 17:07
The New NickB - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Seems somewhat odd to describe yourself as an ordinary member, when you are a member of the National Council, I appreciate that this is voluntary position but so it President or Patron.

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Edit: As the thread states further up; currently SE provides approximately £600k in funding to the BMC. We aren't talking loose change. This is serious money that will have a knock on effect if lost.

 

Actually, currently Sport England provide zero funding to the BMC  .  Hence the financial deficit which will be reported on at the AGM and the motion to increase subs.

 

Ian W - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

There are 3 types of member; honorary, club and individual. Being on NC, or volunteering for anything else confers no additional status. We're all as ordinary as each other!

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

But I am.  Dead ordinary.  I pay subs, go to Area meetings and get to sit on National Council.  I honestly don't think that makes me 'special' in any way!  My Area can boot me out at any time (indeed I asked them if they wanted to on Monday night ).

I guess the title of my piece was a reaction to the 'Big names: 6 BMC ex-Presidents, 2 Patrons and our best sport climber support Option A in BMC vote' article emailed to me by the BMC.

We are all just members.  But some of us pay subs

Post edited at 16:54
6
The New NickB - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Ian W:

> There are 3 types of member; honorary, club and individual. Being on NC, or volunteering for anything else confers no additional status. We're all as ordinary as each other!

Yes, I aware of that. It does seem somewhat misleading though. Andy in his article suggests that an ex-President for example has additional status, in most cases these are ordinary members under your definition above. I just think making a big play of being an ordinary member and not mentioning being an NC member is a bit misleading.

1
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to spidermonkey09:

> Worth pointing out that Option A recommendations have been drawn up by volunteers who care a lot about the organisation, not by a faceless corporate leadership chimera. 

'cough, cough'....I really hope your not calling me a faceless corporate leadership chimera.  I've just checked the mirror and my face is still there. 

'Worth pointing out that Option B recommendations have been drawn up by volunteers who care a lot about the organisation' as opposed to volunteers and paid lawyers

Post edited at 17:05
6
Postmanpat on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I'll happily answer that one.      

> No.


Are you  supporter of option B? Would you please make their case in 200 words?

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Andy in his article suggests that an ex-President for example has additional status,

Eh?  I thought the tenor of my piece was that they shouldn't.  

 

Post edited at 17:03
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Are you  supporter of option B? Would you please make their case in 200 words?

Yes.

 

I have. 

 

In reply to you; further up the thread..

Postmanpat on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Yes.

> I have. 

> In reply to you; further up the thread..

Thanks.Sorry missed it. Battling with easyjet and Hounslow council!

What do you think will be the impact of a loss of Sport England funding?

Can you (anyone?) explain why one group says the funding is worth £600k and another says it doesn't currently get paid?

Post edited at 17:25
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Why on Earth does someone, anyone, not manage to explain this in any form, adequately. You've had plenty of time and opportunity so, for Goodness' sake, take your time and without the need for supplementary questions nor reference to people who are even less able to do it, and do it now.

Mike

I was asked for 200 words as a comparison between the 2 options.  I have not done this as the issue is that in critiquing, the 'other' side just claims bias in the arguments.

The summary of why Option A is part of the Notice pack (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/DownloadHandler.ashx?id=1617) it's 492 words long.  And on "BMC AGM 2018: essential information" https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-2018-essential-information 

In terms of comparing the 2 articles, people have looked at this and tried.  Martin did a long version comparing both (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Download.aspx?id=1606) which was on the first news article "BMC Constitution and Open Forum: the way ahead" (https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-constitution-the-way-ahead).

There are plenty of reasons why I believe Option B is not right for the BMC, but I think it is far easier to just let each side explain their own reasoning.

Option A

Hazel Findlay https://www.thebmc.co.uk/hazel-findlay-why-im-voting-in-the-bmc-agm?s=5

John Cousins https://www.thebmc.co.uk/john-cousins-mountain-training-BMC-why-vote

Chris Bonington, Dave Musgrove, Charles Clarke, Rab Carrington, Scott Titt, Rehan Siddiqui, Steve McClure, Mick Fowler, Pat Littlejohn https://www.thebmc.co.uk/six-bmc-expresidents-two-patrons-and-one-9b-climber-collectively-champion-option-a

Calum Muskett https://www.thebmc.co.uk/calum-muskett-why-im-voting-option-a-for-a-healthy-and-successful-bmc

Option B

Andy Say https://www.thebmc.co.uk/andy-say-an-ordinary-member-why-im-supporting-option-b 

 

2
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> What do you think will be the impact of a loss of Sport England funding?

Bloomin' heck.  How long you got?

A lot of it depends upon the subs increase which is designed to partially replace the SE funding.  Every Area meeting I've been to has voted pretty clearly in favour of accepting a 10% subs hike should we lose SE funding.  That won't replace all of it though. 

At present there are jobs at the BMC dependent upon SE funding, the Equity Officer has already left due to uncertainty.  There are planned staff increases which might need to be put on hold.  Whilst none of this funding is supposed to support 'core work' the ability to employ multi-talented staff can only benefit the BMC as a whole.  So getting the SE funding would be good.

Balanced against that is the cost of full implementation of the ORG proposals.  There is some dispute about the figures but an estimate of £100k was suggested to National Council a while back.

The BMC would survive OK but might need to cut back on a lot of the 'special projects' that benefit a whole load of members in the short term and, certainly, hike the subs..

The funded partners are a different issue.  Whilst SE funding is not designed to fund 'core work' and should only be used for 'projects' I have no idea about how dependent they are on SE funding for survival.   In the past SE have indicated, I believe, that they would be wiling to consider a bid from them.

I would have to say that the idea that Mountain Training et al might set up a competing 'NGB' for mountaineering to undercut the BMC I find pretty distasteful scare-mongering.   

3
dickie01 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Hi Andy 

you may be able to help answer my question 

as we are currently a member lead organisation, if option A goes through would this be the last time we would all be canvassed to vote on such a decision in the BMC?

1
Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Here you go Nick.  I am sure you will appreciate that I am, indeed, just 'ordinary'...….

Option A

Hazel Findlay https://www.thebmc.co.uk/hazel-findlay-why-im-voting-in-the-bmc-agm?s=5

John Cousins https://www.thebmc.co.uk/john-cousins-mountain-training-BMC-why-vote

Chris Bonington, Dave Musgrove, Charles Clarke, Rab Carrington, Scott Titt, Rehan Siddiqui, Steve McClure, Mick Fowler, Pat Littlejohn https://www.thebmc.co.uk/six-bmc-expresidents-two-patrons-and-one-9b-climber-collectively-champion-option-a

Calum Muskett https://www.thebmc.co.uk/calum-muskett-why-im-voting-option-a-for-a-healthy-and-successful-bmc

Option B

Andy Say https://www.thebmc.co.uk/andy-say-an-ordinary-member-why-im-supporting-option-b 

as opposed to all those important folks who've studied the two sets of articles and come to an informed decision about it all

5
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Can you (anyone?) explain why one group says the funding is worth £600k and another says it doesn't currently get paid?

The BMC have applied for funding for Circa £600k as part of a circa £1M whole sport bid.  Currently as the BMC are not T3 compliant we can't access that money and neither can our funded partners.  

If we become compliant (before Aug 18) then that funding will be released.

If we don't become compliant the BMC funding will go and the funded partners will need to have discussions with SE about if and how they might be able to access their bid money.  The 'special arrangements' last year caused, I believe, a 9 month delay in the funding being released and a reduced funding pot.  I understand that SE are suggesting it will take a 'long time' if there are special arrangements required again and they do not see any obvious way of achieving this (see post above on this).

 

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

> Can you (anyone?) explain why one group says the funding is worth £600k and another says it doesn't currently get paid?

Missed your edit.  The funding currently doesn't get paid.  End of story.  BMC has seen no SE dosh.  If it was being paid it would be 'worth' that amount.  The 'funded partners' have been receiving a 'holding award' during this period though not for the total amount of funding bid for.

4
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to dickie01:

> as we are currently a member lead organisation, if option A goes through would this be the last time we would all be canvassed to vote on such a decision in the BMC?

We are currently a member lead organisation and will remain in the future a member led organisation.  

If Option A goes through:

  1. it will still require a Special Resolution (75%) vote to change the articles. 
  2. Anything on the Reserved Matters list will need to be agreed by the NC and/or go  to the members for a vote.
  3. If the NC were concerned about something (in fact anything) they have the power require it be voted on at a General Meeting
  4. All Minutes of NC and Board will be published (currently done but not mandated)

And with the Phase 2 work there is more to be done to help improve member engagement in strategy development etc etc.

The big change in both articles is that the Board are accountable and not the NC but in Option A there are many checks and balances added to ensure appropriate transparency and accountability which are not in Option B (because they are not in our current articles).

Option B say "The five elected officers, President, three Vice-Presidents and the Treasurer will be selected, proposed and elected directly by all the members. There will be, as now, three independent directors, proposed by the Nominations Committee and recommended by the Board to the members for their approval."  they don't mention NC reps in that quote but there are 3 of them too. 

By comparison Option A will have :

  1. The President elected,
  2. The 3 x NC members requested based on skills needs of the Board, but ultimately selected by the NC from their ranks (elected at areas) and subject to approval at an AGM; no approval no place on Board
  3. The 3 Nominated Directors which will be advertised on skills basis and either be elected directly by the members or nominated by a stakeholder group and subject to approval at an AGM; no approval no place on Board
  4. The 3 x Independent Directors selected on skills need, appointed by the Board and subject to approval at an AGM; no approval no place on Board
  5. The Chair selected on skills basis, appointed by the Board and subject to approval at an AGM; no approval no place on Board.
  6. The CEO who gets there by right.

Oh and a majority of the Board must be BMC members of at least 12 months standing prior to election.

So fundamentally of the 12 Option B have 11 people who are subject to vote at the AGM and Option A will have.... 11 people who are subject to a vote at the AGM; quite a difference isn't there in the member control!!!!

2
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Have looked through and think I've answered everyone so far.  If I've missed anyone please resubmit (or point me at the question) 

Andy Say - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> Yes, I aware of that. It does seem somewhat misleading though. Andy in his article suggests that an ex-President for example has additional status, 

Nick, I've just thought of a way of explaining my reaction.  We live in a 'celebrity culture'.  Someone who has appeared on 'reality TV' has a possible career as a 'celebrity' with actually no other discernible talent

Now, those 'celebrities' are often used to promote things to people who are impressed by celebrity. Yes?  Without those 'celebrities' actually really knowing anything about what they are promoting?

Now those people pulled out by the BMC machine as 'the face' of Option A are undoubtedly talented, skilful etc and simply not celebrities as I have defined them above.

But although I am absolutely in awe of Hazel Findlay as a climber and a person I would probably not vote Conservative at the next election even if she promised to kiss me if I did.  Similarly with Mick Fowler (where is the emoticon for 'bow down in awe') minus the kiss of course.  Rehan - he liked the dahl I gave him.  Rab - he didn't like the gnome I put on his lawn.  Scott Titt - got a composting toilet yet?  John Cousins - a beard? Chris Bonington - you should never have laughed at me in 1970 (there's nowt wrong with red velvet flared trousers on the crag!) Dave Musgrove - I know who found your fingers..... They're all actually ordinary folks.

I'm sure that all of the 'climbing celebrities' cited on the BMC website have read all of the material surrounding this issue and have come to an informed decision that guided them in the writing of their articles.  But I guess my problem was that this was the use of 'celebrity culture' to try to influence a decision that just has to be made by ordinary members.  And I am one.

I'm probably just too sensitive.

P.S.  Is your user name a reference to Nick Bond? 

 

 

 

3
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Conversely these people have read the articles and spoken to people and formed an opinion which they want people to know.  I agree Hazel more likely to get a reaction than I am but doesn't make her opinion any less valid. 

Also many people only want to devote a fraction of the time you and I have to this so by providing lots of different people's opinions and reasons allows people to quickly digest comments and make an assessment based on their 'respect' for each person and then make a decision.  If an unknown like me makes a comment it doesn't help but if you have followed someone for a long time you can form an opinion on their views, outlook, ethos etc (albeit based on a filtered view of them) and then decide how valid their opinions are.  Just a modern version of trusting a friend's opinion. 

1
dickie01 - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

So...who are the high profile option b supporters? Who are the big wigs that are going to sway my easily impressionable self. Joey Essex? Nick Grimshaw? Borris Johnson?...ahem...

1
Andy Syme - on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to dickie01:

I'm sure you are an independent thinking person who wouldn't be swayed by mere celebrities.

You need Andy Say to answer who now supports Option B.  Stephen Venables did so maybe him??

1
JoshOvki on 06 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Andy, thanks for explaining the Option B ideas and reasoning.


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