UKC

NEWS: Paul Davies Appointed as BMC CEO

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 UKC/UKH News 04 May 2021

The new CEO of the British Mountaineering Council has been announced today as Paul Davies, who has held the role of interim CEO since Dave Turnbull stepped down.

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 GrahamD 04 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Good luck ! The BMC is worth fighting for.

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

A lot of solid Netball experience there, and I nearly missed the footnote that he used to do a bit of climbing.

Good luck. 

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

The press release says his carrer highlight was whitewashing the Aussies at Netball. So we can expect medals galore at the climbing comps, but access and conservation might be a bit lower on the priority list.

Give me a CEO who can negotiate better access to Pembroke and they'll have my vote for life. 

 galpinos 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Seems a good appointment to me. He seems to have done a good job as interim CEO and seems popular with the office staff.

 galpinos 05 May 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

FYI, Dave Turnbull, ex CEO has now moved over to head up the ACT so you now have a better chance of getting your better access at Pembroke as the new CEO can concentrate on being a CEO. Seems a good plan to me?

 El Greyo 05 May 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

> A lot of solid Netball experience there, and I nearly missed the footnote that he used to do a bit of climbing.

Did you also miss the 'a lifelong passion for the outdoors' in the first paragraph and a large photograph of him with rucksack on in what looks like mountainous terrain?

I think we should give him a chance - this is an administrative role so perhaps someone with a solid administrative background might be a good choice.

Post edited at 09:47
 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

I doubt he got the job based on his lifelong passion for the outdoors, more likely his Netball credentials. 

 neilh 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

A Karrimor Haston rucsack.....he should get a new one......or a more recent piccy...... if its a well used one congratulations

I wish him well.

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

Being an active climber no longer seems to be a prerequisite for leading the BMC. 

 El Greyo 05 May 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

You do know that the BMC also represents hill walkers don't you?

 AlanLittle 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

Not just any rucksack either. That looks like some kind of Karrimor Alpinist

 David Lanceley 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

The first BMC General  Secretary / National Officer / CEO not to be an active climber / mountaineer.  At least will ensure a good fit with the rest of the Board.

In reply to AlanLittle:

Karrimor HotIce?

One suspects that if he has a background in netball, the UK bouldering team will be using more dyno's from now on.

 Babika 05 May 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

You have got a chip on your shoulder haven't you?

As others have said before, our climbing, walking and mountaineering is improved immeasurably by having a BMC even if we don't always notice it.

Being a CEO is about leadership, vision, strategy, communication and drive for success. Some of those attributes fit with being an active climber but not all. 

In my experience climbers can be selfish, bloody minded, obsessive and keen to reduce their workload so they can bugger off climbing. I include myself in that. 

I guess thats why I wouldn't make a CEO. 

Good luck Paul! 

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

I think this sounds like a good appointment if your main interest is elite level competitions, as Paul clearly has great experience in that field. This aspect of his CV is focused on in the press release. 

A boost for Shauna, Will etc. 

I guess I would be more excited by this appointment if we knew more about his commitment to access and conservation. 

But hey no doubt the gold medals will come and his leadership will be viewed as a success. 

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to Babika:

I don't have a chip on my shoulder, I just value the core principles of the BMC

Access

Conservation

Safety

In reply to AlanLittle:

> Not just any rucksack either. That looks like some kind of Karrimor Alpinist

Ha, that was exactly my thought, ‘How bad can he be? He has the non plus ultra of late 80’s rucksacks!’

In reply to galpinos:

> He seems to have done a good job as interim CEO and seems popular with the office staff.

Let's hope he continues to grow into the wider job, and doesn't get frustrated at not being able to spend all his time on the elite sport development, which seems to be his previous experience.

Competition sport climbing is very much a minority part of the BMC's remit, as far as I am concerned.

 UKB Shark 05 May 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

Given the various activities the BMC is committed to represent not being firmly in one camp or the other is an advantage in making impartial decisions on allocating time, energy and money and at least being viewed as an non-partisan by the disaffected. 

 UKB Shark 05 May 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Let's hope he continues to grow into the wider job, and doesn't get frustrated at not being able to spend all his time on the elite sport development, which seems to be his previous experience.

> Competition sport climbing is very much a minority part of the BMC's remit, as far as I am concerned.

..and a major part for other members. The recent segmentation of GB Climbing (comp climbing and youth talent development) into its own discreet department and the appointment of an experienced Senior person to head up that side means that he should not be overly sidetracked by that part of the job now it is better structured and staffed. 
 

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/gb-climbing-hires-new-head-of-performance-lorraine-brown

In reply to UKB Shark:

> ..and a major part for other members.

Lots of whom do competitions organised by their local walls or watch international events on YouTube, neither of which get input from BMC staff etc. There are <50 people aligned to the senior Male, Female and Paralympic squads and another 30 odd in the development squad. Out of 80,000 members that's not many.

> The recent segmentation of GB Climbing (comp climbing and youth talent development) into its own discreet department and the appointment of an experienced Senior person to head up that side means that he should not be overly sidetracked by that part of the job now it is better structured and staffed. 

Whether elite comp climbing takes a disproportionate amount of BMC resources will depend on whether this https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-staff-list is up to date and how many of the GB Climbing staff are funded by a pot of cash that would not otherwise be available for other BMC activates, but I'd say its a question worth asking.

Post edited at 12:56
 Hardonicus 05 May 2021
In reply to UKB Shark:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dsm-paul-davies/

I'm not sure this new dude is going to be around for more than say 3 years. He seems very career focused on building teams for 'success' (whatever that means). I'll take to mean competitions in this case. Wins in access and conservation are maybe a little more difficult to measure.

Still he wears a nice tie...

In reply to UKB Shark:

> ..and a major part for other members.

No doubt, but only a tiny minority of BMC members, I suspect. That tiny minority should not dominate BMC direction and activities.

 galpinos 05 May 2021
In reply to Hardonicus:

> I'm not sure this new dude is going to be around for more than say 3 years. He seems very career focused on building teams for 'success' (whatever that means). I'll take to mean competitions in this case.

I’m not sure a successful functioning BMC is that bad, is it? I don’t think changing CEOs periodically is either to be honest. I’m not saying a three year term is ideal but I think everyone would agree that a changing of the guard was needed in BMC towers. Re competitions, this is headed up Nick Colton, not Paul.

> Wins in access and conservation are maybe a little more difficult to measure.

Well, Access and Conservation is now headed up by Dave Turnbull. Having Paul as CEO and Dave as Head of Access arguably strengthens the access and conservation team, another “win” in my eyes.

> Still he wears a nice tie...

Woe betide anyone who has a nice photo on their linkedin page!

 galpinos 05 May 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > He seems to have done a good job as interim CEO and seems popular with the office staff.

> Let's hope he continues to grow into the wider job, and doesn't get frustrated at not being able to spend all his time on the elite sport development, which seems to be his previous experience.

It may be where you believe his experience is, but it doesn’t appear to where he has focused his time whilst interim CEO? 

> Competition sport climbing is very much a minority part of the BMC's remit, as far as I am concerned.

It is, but it also is set up to run semi-independently with a semi separate funding stream. I would have preferred it to be a bit more separate but I think the set up is ok. With Nick Colton and a new head of performance, I can’t imagine Paul, as CEO, having to get bogged down in the nitty gritty of comp climbing!

 UKB Shark 05 May 2021
In reply to galpinos:

> It is, but it also is set up to run semi-independently with a semi separate funding stream. I would have preferred it to be a bit more separate but I think the set up is ok. With Nick Colton and a new head of performance, I can’t imagine Paul, as CEO, having to get bogged down in the nitty gritty of comp climbing!

The Head of Performance (Lorraine Brown) is the Head of the Department for GB Climbing (comps and youth talent development) and reports to the CEO. That reporting line was stated in the job description.

 UKB Shark 05 May 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > ..and a major part for other members.

> No doubt, but only a tiny minority of BMC members, I suspect. That tiny minority should not dominate BMC direction and activities.

The BMC has obligations to meet as the National Governing body for comp climbing which have grown as it transforms from a fledgling sport to a mainstream one with Olympic status. To meet this the area has been the recipient of significant UK Sport funding to bolster this area which has supported the appointment of new staff and investment. The area has been partially segmented as a department which is overseen by a new body the CCPG. 

With the pathway for new climbers typically being via the indoor route it is important for the future relevance of the BMC to have meaningful influence and significance in this area. 

 Iamgregp 05 May 2021
In reply to galpinos:

> Woe betide anyone who has a nice photo on their linkedin page!

Which, coincidentally seems to have been deleted now...

Hi Paul! [waves]

In reply to UKB Shark:

> To meet this the area has been the recipient of significant UK Sport funding to bolster this area which has supported the appointment of new staff and investment. The area has been partially segmented as a department which is overseen by a new body the CCPG. 

I’m trying to work out if this carefully worded or sloppily worded! “significant” and “supported” suggests Climbing GB is also partially funded by subscriptions. If only “partially segmented” do they rely on wider BMC for HR, facilities, recruitment costs or are they apportioned (not expecting anyone to know this really).

> With the pathway for new climbers typically being via the indoor route it is important for the future relevance of the BMC to have meaningful influence and significance in this area. 

I’m not disputing this but I’m curious about what meaningful influence BMC can have here given that is mostly provided by private companies with their own umbrella organisation.  

Post edited at 14:55
In reply to galpinos:

> It may be where you believe his experience is, but it doesn’t appear to where he has focused his time whilst interim CEO?

Hence my comment about hoping he grows into the wider role, and finds it satisfying. With a background of historical success in the field of competitive development, I worry for both him and the BMC that he might get frustrated by not being able to concentrate on that.

I wish him well in the job.

ps. I don't 'believe' his experience; I'm reading what his stated experience is in the press release, which focuses almost entirely on his experience in competitive development across multiple sports.

Post edited at 15:10
 UKB Shark 05 May 2021
In reply to Tyler:

> I’m trying to work out if this carefully worded or sloppily worded! “significant” and “supported” suggests Climbing GB is also partially funded by subscriptions. If only “partially segmented” do they rely on wider BMC for HR, facilities, recruitment costs or are they apportioned (not expecting anyone to know this really)

There was an announcement in December about about major funding from UK Sport some of which went towards or may have even fully funded the new Head of Performance post https://www.thebmc.co.uk/uk-sport-funds-gb-climbing-to-uncover-the-champions-of-tomorrow .

The current annual report shows headline gross spend on GB Climbing was £552k with a net cost of £268k after grant money funding.

> I’m not disputing this but I’m curious about what meaningful influence BMC can have here given that is mostly provided by private companies with their own umbrella organisation.  

Yes it’s a conundrum but something they should strive to do directly and working with the ABC

 simes303 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

> Did you also miss the 'a lifelong passion for the outdoors' in the first paragraph and a large photograph of him with rucksack on in what looks like mountainous terrain?

I've also seen him in a few Bond films.

 galpinos 05 May 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> ps. I don't 'believe' his experience; I'm reading what his stated experience is in the press release, which focuses almost entirely on his experience in competitive development across multiple sports.

Oops, that came across as unnecessarily snide. I meant to imply that his experience is wider than just, "competitive development in sport" but rereading it I sound a bit of a tw*t. Sorry.

In reply to galpinos:

> Oops, that came across as unnecessarily snide.

No worries.

 El Greyo 05 May 2021
In reply to simes303:

Sorry, that went right over my head

 shantaram 05 May 2021
In reply to El Greyo:

Daniel Craig lookalike?!

In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Ha we have similarities on our CVs. I worked on a lot of Netball coverage for SkySports over the years and worked on a wheelchair basketball tournament too. I think this qualifies me for free BMC membership for life? Plz Paul, at least a discount, c'mon.

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

A couple of questions for the new CEO.

How long have you been a member of the BMC?

And what have you ever done on grit? 

In reply to UKC/UKH News:

I used to work as a trainer in a range of manufacturing companies and quite a few had a divisional structure. Essentially these were different businesses within one company, often with different markets, technologies and manufacturing systems. They all had one CEO who had to manage that diversity and the different patterns of contribution to the bottom line. Not all were successful but the ones that were had excellent leadership who could get each of them to respect their differences yet buy into one mission.
I think the challenge for Paul Davies is to somehow get the different interests in the BMC to do likewise.

 wbo2 05 May 2021
In reply to dan gibson:  What was that about the chip on the shoulder again...?

 dan gibson 05 May 2021
In reply to wbo2:

I am genuinely interested how long he has been a member of the BMC.

The grit question, just a bit of fun.

In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Does anyone know what his salary will be?

In reply to Babika:

> You have got a chip on your shoulder haven't you?

You don't have to have a chip on your shoulder to question the direction of travel of the BMC, if people hadn't done that a few years ago we wouldn't now be reaping the benefits of the re-org etc. I'm loath to put my head above the parapet, as I don't want to appear some old fart who's anti change, I'm not anti change! I was a supporter of the re-org and I certainly don't want say anything to undermine the new CEO who, by all accounts does a good job, but I sometimes wonder whether the BMC leadership is aligned with the membership.

> As others have said before, our climbing, walking and mountaineering is improved immeasurably by having a BMC even if we don't always notice it.

No one is disputing that so I'm not sure what point your making, the BMC is wonderful and the remarkable thing is it became so despite the amateurism, the lack of vision etc. you allude to. Whilst it was shambling along it built up an insurance company to fill a gap for climbers and mountaineers, it acquired cliffs that were under threat, it secured access to playgrounds it had no right to, it contributed to a professional training structure for indoor top ropers through to winter mountain. Is there not a danger that we will throw the baby out with the bath water with this reforming zeal. I look at all the latest appointments and wonder whether the pendulum has swung too far from climbing dirtbag to corporate whatever.

> Being a CEO is about leadership, vision, strategy, communication and drive for success. Some of those attributes fit with being an active climber but not all. 

It's worth asking whether a vision forged by corporate experience or competitive sport is transferable to the BMC, the Glaziers had a vision  for Man Utd but its left the customer's feeling short changed and ignored. I'm not saying this of Paul or anyone in particular but it you favour directors for their business or competitive sport background rather than climbing 'lifers', as was traditional for the BMC, you might end up with a vision better suited to a corporation or a competitive sport (increase membership, wider reach, greater media exposure, increased participation, more kudos for directors) but not a vision for climbing and climbers?

> In my experience climbers can be selfish, bloody minded, obsessive and keen to reduce their workload so they can bugger off climbing. I include myself in that. 

In my experience CEOs tend to be selfish, bloody minded, obsessive and not so keen to bugger off climbing. Do I want people like that at the head of the organisation which I see as being there to help me bugger off climbing? That said, there are plenty of examples of people who are climbing lifers with very successful, business lives - unfortunately at least one of them was overlooked during the last round of director elections

In reply to UKB Shark:

> The current annual report shows headline gross spend on GB Climbing was £552k with a net cost of £268k after grant money funding.

I think, on balance, I would prefer that that £268k was spent in other areas of the BMC. £300k might not be much to run a decent team but if (as we have been told) money is tight its not bad to help along 80 odd people who are, at the end of the day, just enjoying their hobby like the rest of us. I think genuine Olympic medal contenders get funding from other places and presumably GB Climbing can seek outside sponsorship.

> Yes it’s a conundrum but something they should strive to do directly and working with the ABC

Yes but do what directly and to what end? 

In reply to dan gibson:

But they're not the core principles of the BMC, are they?

From the draft strategic plan...

Mission: To promote the interests and protect the freedoms of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers; to celebrate our heritage, promote sustainable access to the cliff and mountain environment and engage new generations in the development of our activities.

Values: Community  Sustainability   Adventure   Aspiration   Respect

 dan gibson 07:54 Thu
In reply to salad fingers:​

​​​​​​"To promote the interests and protect the freedoms of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers" 

That sounds like Access. 

"celebrate our heritage, promote sustainable access to the cliff and mountain environment" 

That sounds like Conservation 

"engage new generations in the development of our activities." 

Sounds like Safety.

Community and Respect should be at the heart of any membership organisation.

Am I missing something here? 

In reply to Frank the Husky:

> Does anyone know what his salary will be?

I would guess around £80k but there will also likely be relocation costs as he's not Manchester based.

 Offwidth 08:24 Thu
In reply to Tyler:

The way the BMC is currently set up prevents a drift too far into anything approaching corporate excess. One benefit of the 'options' debate in 2019 was the compromise agreement and Memorandum of Understanding, which gave more power to the membership via their National Council Reps. The new Members Council structure should strengthen that further. The organisation at core is the staff and the small army of key volunteers (especially the specialist and area committees), their beliefs are not so far from yours (cynicism over the competition functions aside). So besides the democratic checks, the BMC simply can't function without those people who won't be changing their beliefs in a hurry. The BMC isn't a normal company.

It's not all rosy as the Board have clearly struggled, but this was in a time of massive change and major covid disruption. Corporate gobbledegook never really took into account the realities of Directors continuing to work together way beyond normal stress levels (in the BMC's case on behalf of the membership). The Board is a company requirement but in the BMC case the role of our Directors is as much about being custodians as strategic leaders and ensuring financial health.

Post edited at 08:26
 Offwidth 08:50 Thu
In reply to David Lanceley:

Which won't be much of a change in CEO salary from before. The real issue is how the increase in expenditure in other senior management roles works out. Some investment was needed (obvious even before ORG) and made very obvious by the realities of Directors taking on way too much executive work in the crisis in 2020. I think this was one of the of the big pressures that led to the problems last year: too much hands operational stuff for Directors distracting from their non exec work; too much responsibility for the CEO. I'm still confused why the financial structures were not overhauled as soon as the new company format came in and the additional executive management support not looked at much earlier.

Post edited at 08:54
In reply to Tyler:

> In my experience CEOs tend to be selfish, bloody minded, obsessive and not so keen to bugger off climbing. Do I want people like that at the head of the organisation which I see as being there to help me bugger off climbing? 

Well, all we have to go on so far is a credible rucksack and a thousand yard stare, so perhaps we should just give him a chance.

In reply to Dave Garnett:

> Well, all we have to go on so far is a credible rucksack and a thousand yard stare, so perhaps we should just give him a chance.

Which is what I was at pains to point out, both the stare and the rucksack are more than acceptable!

 simes303 09:33 Thu
In reply to El Greyo:

> Sorry, that went right over my head

He looks like Daniel Craig. Or Daniel Craig looks like him, not sure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Craig

 El Greyo 10:47 Thu
In reply to simes303:

Ah, I'd not spotted the resemblance. Well that settles it - who'd not want a CEO who looks like Daniel Craig?

In reply to dan gibson:

Yes, you're missing the point that access, conservation and safety are not the core principles of the BMC, they are just three aspects of the five broad values, which also include in several other facets.

 Iamgregp 11:39 Thu
In reply to El Greyo:

Spectre?

 neilh 12:27 Thu
In reply to Offwidth:

I would not like to be financially managing that aspect especially with the Covid hits to income streams. As a CEO you are going to need " balls of steel" to reconcile the different demands on reduced " capital dollars" so to speak.Yet all the time people will be questioning your own costs irrespective of the inital goodwill.

You need an even more special breed/training/experience of CEO to take on that role.

 El Greyo 12:46 Thu
In reply to Iamgregp:

Good point, is the BMC is really just a front for SPECTRE? After all, it's a slippery slope from organising and supporting climbing competitions and becoming an international criminal cartel. Perhaps that's why James Bond has been infiltrated into the CEO position? Shhh, better keep quiet, wouldn't want to blow his cover.

 maxsmith 12:58 Thu
In reply to Dave Garnett:

you nailed it Dave

 Offwidth 14:31 Thu
In reply to neilh:

Luckily the BMC had some reserves and costs dropped massively due to cancelled events and meetings. Finances are predicted to be tight this year but speaking to someone today the membership numbers are reported to have bounced back to pre covid levels (havn't got a link for that yet), which is impressive since people joining for insurance will be well down as are those joining for BMC youth competitions.

 dan gibson 15:01 Thu
In reply to salad fingers:

Well if competition climbing is now given the same value as access and conservation I am clearly a member of the wrong organisation.

Competitions are part of the BMC remit, but really of equal value?

With the current pressure on our natural spaces, I'd say Conservation and access is more important than ever, yet we appoint a CEO who is a specialist in elite team competition development.

I just don't like the direction we appear to be taking here. 

 neilh 16:17 Thu
In reply to dan gibson:

Well it is if you look at the 2019 expenditure. In broad % terms competitions are given the same % as access & conservation.

An interesting balancing act for all involved.Just on that basis you can see the the basis for continuing future disagreements .

In reply to dan gibson:

The BMC is an organisation representing a lot of different people with a lot of different opinions and priorities. What isn't of equal value as something else for you is of equal value to someone else. I do not participate in competition climbing, I don't even tend to watch competition climbing, but personally speaking I would not want the BMC to stop persuing that part of the sport vigorously. It's a polyphony and it has been for quite a long time.

 dan gibson 17:07 Thu
In reply to neilh:

So for me that begs the question, am I out of step with the majority of the membership and the board, or the board pushing in a direction that the majority don't want to go.

If its the former then I'll go quietly. 

 dan gibson 17:36 Thu
In reply to Alkis:

I appreciate that, but if push comes to shove does the broad membership really consider indoor climbing competitions as important as the continued access and conservation of our outdoor climbing and walking areas.

I thought now more than ever we would value our outdoor spaces and spend our resources proportionality to protect them. 

 GrahamD 17:42 Thu
In reply to UKB Shark:

> With the pathway for new climbers typically being via the indoor route it is important for the future relevance of the BMC to have meaningful influence and significance in this area. 

This may be true, but its a tiny percentage of wall users that are competition climbers.  Kids parties and scout groups is where wall's bread is buttered.

 galpinos 17:44 Thu
In reply to dan gibson:

Not competition climbing per say, but making sure the BMC stays relevant to the new/young climbers coming into the sport is important to the access and conservation side, as negotiating for access is tricky when you are an irrelevant organisation who has been superseded as the NRB/NGB for climbing in the UK by a group more inline with new climbers.

The BMC can't just stay as it was at it's inception. It needs to "move with the times" to some degree and, though striking this balance is hard, engaging with new/indoor climbers whilst maintaining the access, conservation, safety, training aspects needs to be done. It needs to stay relevant and this will allow it to pass down the ethics, the ethos, the history, the knowledge etc, those parts of climbing many of us hold dear, to the new generations.

 dan gibson 18:04 Thu
In reply to galpinos:

I can totally see the sense in engaging with young indoor climbers, and showing them a pathway to the outdoors. Only a tiny percentage of those climbers will be involved in competitions, but we seem to be placing an increasingly larger emphasis on supporting competitions.

I agree the BMC needs to move with the times, but to me when I look at the pressure on the outdoors now, that's where our focus needs to be.

Access and conservation is as relevant now or even more so than when the BMC was formed. 

 neilh 18:39 Thu
In reply to dan gibson:

If Shauna C does well at the Olympics then it’s going to change the dynamics dramatically .

And we have to remember hill walkers for example ( far more numerous) are not really competition climbers. 

I do not reckon that the 2 beasts can live side by side despite the best of intentions and wills.  Just thinking  on the basis that for example 20% of your subs maybe going to competitions  if you are a hill walker. Does not really stack up.  And vice versa if you are a competition climber. 
 

In reply to dan gibson:

I think one of the problems is that if the BMC is to carry on being the NGB for competition climbing, a certain minimum amount of expenditure on that is required. This will almost certainly be a larger proportion of the whole expenditure (even taking grants into account) than the proportion of members that benefit directly from it - which I believe is what you're concerned about.

The question then becomes, do we want the BMC to be the NGB for competition climbing, or even can we tolerate the BMC not being the NGB for competition climbing.

Whilst the BMC has control, you and I as BMC members can influence (to some extent) the direction that the NGB for competition climbing takes. Once a totally different body is the NGB, all control/influence by "normal" BMC members is lost.

If you look at the changes in climbing as a whole over the last 20-30 years, you can see that it is highly unlikely that we can predict how competition climbing will affect the rest of climbing and whether those effects will be good or bad for "normal" climbing. Personally, I'd rather put up with the disproportionate expenditure but still have the BMC retain control.

 Offwidth 19:56 Thu

Yet subs don't fund all areas equally as some areas of BMC work get significant Sport England support. The area that gets the largest relative subs percentage is probably funding for areas like access and technical/safety, their staff and their initiatives. Additional access support also comes from donations to: ACT, the BMC internal access and conservation charity; Mend our Mountains; and donations for 'at risk' land purchase through the BMC Land and Property trust. Access also has the largest number of BMC volunteers giving up time for free. The last Peak Area access meeting I went to had 25 people attend, with (or interested in) areas of responsibility and quite a few gave apologies. Each of them had regular helpers. Most climbers haven't a clue about the size of the BMC access operations.

 Marek 20:06 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> If Shauna C does well at the Olympics then it’s going to change the dynamics dramatically .

> And we have to remember hill walkers for example ( far more numerous) are not really competition climbers. 

> I do not reckon that the 2 beasts can live side by side despite the best of intentions and wills.  Just thinking  on the basis that for example 20% of your subs maybe going to competitions  if you are a hill walker. Does not really stack up.  And vice versa if you are a competition climber. 

That's a bit blinkered surely? It's like me saying "I'm retired, why should my taxes go to paying for schools?". Whether the UK  society or the BMC, we're together because of some common interest (self-selected in the case of BMC membership). We accept the some people may have other needs and wants than we do, but that how 'society' works.  I'll never be a competition climber, but I accept that it's a part of climbing and I'm happy to share the BMC 'space' with those that do. "We're stronger together" and all that.

 Offwidth 20:07 Thu
In reply to Michael Hood:

That larger proportion of subs is almost certainly not true as Sport England funding is by far the largest for that area. There is also a small army of volunteers at Youth comps and the regional events are run by regional volunteers. As ever in the BMC the staff and named volunteer roles are just the visible tip of the work iceberg.

 neilh 20:24 Thu
In reply to Marek:

You only have to look at the split funding for competition climbing.  Some comes from grant funding and some comes from elsewhere in the B M C pot. If access and conservation takes a future reduction then it’s going to create issues.  As I said before it’s all about chasing dollars and who has priority. 
 

You would rapidly become an uninterested member as an active outside climber / hill Walker  if the money starts flowing to competitions and others got squeezed. Despite all goodwill and governance structures I remain unconvinced the 2 can live side by side. 

Post edited at 20:26
 Marek 21:27 Thu
In reply to neilh:

> ...  As I said before it’s all about chasing dollars and who has priority. 

Perhaps, perhaps not. I guess we'll see.  

> You would rapidly become an uninterested member as an active outside climber / hill Walker  if the money starts flowing to competitions and others got squeezed... 

The trouble is that the 'split' is not simple. If 'proper climbing' splits off from 'competition' the latter will probably take 'indoor', most if not all government money and most of any new generation of climbers. The BMC risks becoming increasingly irrelevant and powerless (an 'oldies club') which you may not care about, but it will impact negatively on access and conservation work which I assume you do.

In reply to AlanLittle:

> Not just any rucksack either. That looks like some kind of Karrimor Alpinist

Modern copy? The alpiniste had metal buckles.

 UKB Shark 23:22 Thu
In reply to dan gibson:

> Access and conservation is as relevant now or even more so than when the BMC was formed. 

Does the BMC’s current output in this area fall short of your expectations? 

 neilh 08:51 Fri
In reply to Marek:

Only if you view the BMC as purely about climbing. Considering it embraces hillwalking as well then potentially there is an impact.It does not take any market research to figure out that hillwalking is far more popular overall and also wealthier.If you read the BMCs last 2019 report, you will see that the no 1 priorty is access and conservation.And yet the expenditure on this is exactly the same as competitions- 21 % ( ignoring grants etc)- and resouces.

So you can argue at the moment it is self evident that competitions are eating away at the money pot.

If SC has a succesful Olympics then the demands on that side will increase, and that is an expensive area.

As I said earlier, a difficult balancing act.But you can see why its a fractious issue.

Post edited at 08:53
 UKB Shark 09:20 Fri
In reply to neilh:

The direction of travel is that the Comps and Talent development arm is becoming an increasingly discrete part of the BMC.

Some background on this. The Organisational Review recommendation was that it was established as an independent subsidiary. There was a review led by Rab Carrington that was presented to the Board last year and there was a long debate where it was decided instead to set it up as an autonomous internal department (in effect GB Climbing) accountable to a new body Chaired by Rab called the Climbing Competitions Performance Group (CCPG) which is in effect the National Body for Comp Climbing and superceded the Competions Committee which was unceremoniously dissolved. The CCPG in turn reports to the Board.

GB Climbing has already been successful in gaining significant funding from GB Sport for the year ahead with £450k allocated for COVID secure training. With the Olympics/Shauna etc there is potential for significant commercial sponsorship too. The financial landscape for National Comp climbing and training is therefore changing from the previous situation of running it on a shoestring. 

Thinking ahead I think it should be a stated objective that the CCPG should work towards being financially independent (as well as independent in its management) ideally with a date target to concentrate minds on the project. 

 neilh 10:03 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

Thanks for that. I agree it should be totally financially independent, taking income from other sources from  a limited pot  is I suspect what alot of people are not comfortable with. Quite rightly so. You are spot on.

 UKB Shark 10:13 Fri
In reply to neilh:

It could be that the income of membership subscriptions for those that join the BMC to take part in a BMC competition (such as the highly popular Youth Climbing Series) and for ordinary members who express a preference to support comps/talent development is allocated to GB Climbing. 

 dan gibson 10:36 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

> Does the BMC’s current output in this area fall short of your expectations? 

I think the BMC does a great job in this respect, but when I see equal amounts of our resources being channeled into comps I think the pendulum has swung too far in that direction, and this doesn’t reflect the majority of the memberships views. The new CEO appointment, with a strong and very impressive background in elite team sport development, would suggest the pendulum will swing further in this direction.

 UKB Shark 11:04 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

If the BMC is currently doing a great job on access and conservation that in it has sufficient money and focus on this aspect to meet its (and your) requirements.

I see absolutely no evidence that this won’t continue to be the case especially now the former CEO is heading up this area. 

Conversely I think that is has been more the case that those involved in running, participating and hosting comps people have felt under-supported. Certainly any representation on the Board from the comps community has been approximately zero in recent years (more the comps community  fault for not having individuals being prepared to apply for vacancies).

You are presenting this in a binary either/or manner. The way things are now structured I see no reason why the BMC can’t have sufficient focus in both access and comps given that they are managed separately. 

 neilh 11:07 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

At that stage you may as well split imho.

What you suggest ( which is sensible financially) sort of defines everything and there is no real common purpose ( other than people's egos).

Its going to be interesting to see how it all pans out.

As regards the excellent work the BMC does in Access and Conservation. The demands are no doubt going to increase and it could with more money do an even better role I am sure.

Post edited at 11:11
In reply to UKB Shark:

Rather like "I'm happy to pay my taxes for the NHS, roads and social care but not schools or libraries because I don't have kids and can't read." Giving the guy a chance only seems fair

 UKB Shark 11:20 Fri
In reply to neilh:

There are some benefits of scale that would make sense in terms of staying together under one umbrella - shared resources ie IT, HR, Finance, Marketing. Also it make sense that grant funding applications are generated under one roof from an admin point of view and reduce political friction in the sense of making rival applications. Also comps climbing is still a form of climbing and even a crusty trad climber might find themselves enjoying watching Shauna succeed at the Olympics. Certainly the UK comp climbers are crushing outdoors. Molly in particular (first Brit to onsight 8b when previous best was 8a)

 neilh 11:39 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

Saying that admin,IT etc is a purpose to hold it together does not stack up in the long term as I am sure you are only aware.

I watched Shauna when she was learning with her Dad at Awesome in Liverpool on Thursday nights....I hope she has success.

Post edited at 11:40
 dan gibson 11:42 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

I think it does a great job with what it has, but when I see equal funding going to comps it could do better.

Not all things are equal, do we really care as much about comps as we do about access and conservation.

I could be wrong but I imagine the overwhelming majority of the membership care more about access and conservation.

In reply to neilh:

Politically, a single organisation that deals with climbing, including the hugely high profile of the Olympics, would have *far* more clout than a separate BMC that sheds that part would have. Climbing is climbing as far as the general public and powers that be are concerned.

Post edited at 11:44
 dan gibson 11:45 Fri
In reply to steveriley:

I think a more accurate analogy would be, you think spending on education and the NHS should be equal to spending on the Monarchy. 

 UKB Shark 11:47 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

Just to expand a bit more on grant applications the BMC has submitted ‘one sport’ applications to Sport England which includes getting grant funding for partner organisations notably the Association of British Climbing Walls and Mountain Training. The arrangement suits the Partners and Sport England presumably prefers less points of contact and the BMC takes a cut for the admin costs. (There may be governance tier status requirements that the BMC has and the others don’t - unsure about that).

Sport England is all about participation so will fund indoor talent development programmes for example. More recently grant funding has been obtained from UK Sport which is all about Olympic medals.

From a funding point of view for GB Climbing a lot hinges on competition success especially at the Olympics and the perceived pipeline of future Olympic hopefuls. 

 dan gibson 11:48 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

The pursuit of power, or more clout as you put it, at the expense of your core principles never ends well politically or otherwise. 

 dan gibson 11:49 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

The Olympics needs climbing.

Climbing doesn't need the Olympics. 

In reply to dan gibson:

How do you think access negotiations are gonna go if they are headed by "nobodies" (in the eyes of those in power) vs the organisation behind British climbing?

 neilh 11:59 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

And hillwalkers which the BMC are actively encourgaing to join and they make a great thing of as it helps them.

We always seems to ignore the hillwalkers for some reason in our blinkered climbing world, and yet they are a growing part of the BMC package so to speak.

 dan gibson 12:06 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

Access negotiations won't go well if you siphon off the cash that members hope would go into access work and put it in a niche part of the organisation.

I'm talking about proportion, I think access and conservation is worth more than comps. 

In reply to dan gibson:

> I can totally see the sense in engaging with young indoor climbers, and showing them a pathway to the outdoors. Only a tiny percentage of those climbers will be involved in competitions, but we seem to be placing an increasingly larger emphasis on supporting competitions.

I have to disagree, like it or not, indoor climbing and comps are now a major part of our sport. I suspect there are now very few rock climbers who do not climb indoors when the weather is poor. Also, among our young top climbers, I think the majority (possibly almost all) have come to the sport via indoor climbing and comps.

Speaking from personal experience, my son, who is now a very active outdoor boulderer, (I know that's not proper climbing but...) competed in the YCS from the age of 7 to 17. He got a lot out of it and it gave him a very good grounding in the sport. (I only hope he gets into proper climbing soon so he can drag me up those routes which are now really too hard for me.) I have volunteered to help with running the YCS in the south west and have seen at first hand just how much the kids get from it. I've also helped out at a couple of BMC youth meets - kids who have come up through the competitions have used these as a stepping stone and are now regularly climbing outside as well as competing indoors.

I suspect many climbers do not realise just how important to the future of our sport the BMC's support of youth and competition climbing is.

Post edited at 12:52
 Offwidth 12:57 Fri
In reply to neilh:

What 'we'? I don't ignore them, and most in the BMC don't (quite a few council members and Board members don't rock or winter climb). As a single activity hillwalking has for quite a few years now has the biggest participation of any amongst the membership. As I said before I've been told membership is increasing (as the levels are apparently back up to early 2019 levels despite fewer joining for insurance or youth comps).

 neilh 13:03 Fri
In reply to Mark Kemball:

I would like to think  we are all well aware of that and its taken as read imho.

Although hillwalking is of course part of the overall picture these days and there people have totally different priorities.I would be bold as to suggest it could easily swamp competitions in terms of growth, money and demands.We all know how popular it is and it fits in with diversity and access to the countryside etc very well.

Its how you balance those clash of interests.Sharks comments being very interesting.

Post edited at 13:05
 neilh 13:04 Fri
In reply to Offwidth:

Not you , but climbers in general discount them for some unknown reason...

 Offwidth 13:08 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

"Certainly any representation on the Board from the comps community has been approximately zero in recent years (more the comps community  fault for not having individuals being prepared to apply for vacancies)."

That's misrepresentation. Three years ago a VP and Director was active in national elite competitions (following on from other similar VPs). A current CND is a parent of a youth competitor. The President competes as a vet and has attended and helped out in more youth events than I can remember, and has been a particular strong supporter of our elite climbing team and in particular the para-climbers. The CEO manages the area. The Chair runs a wall. Other Board members have helped at comps.

 dan gibson 13:16 Fri
In reply to Mark Kemball:

So do you think more money should be put towards comps at the expense of access and conservation?

I agree with you that indoor climbing is a major pathway into climbing now and should be supported, but that is different to supporting comps.

I think we should fund competitions, it's just the percentages that I'm questioning. 

In reply to dan gibson:

Access and conservation are equally important. I don't see a conflict. 

 UKB Shark 13:28 Fri
In reply to Offwidth:

> The Chair runs a wall. 

News to me. Which one? 

In reply to UKB Shark:

Paul D is on the Board of Boulder Hut

 Offwidth 13:36 Fri
In reply to UKB Shark:

The one on his BMC CV, public profiles and presumably Companies House. He is a non exec (and fairly hands-on by all accounts). 

 UKB Shark 13:43 Fri
In reply to Offwidth:

> He is a non exec (and fairly hands-on by all accounts). 

That is something of a contradiction.

Presumably he’s a shareholder too. 

 dan gibson 14:05 Fri
In reply to Mark Kemball:

The conflict is I don't believe competitions are as important as access and conservation, and therefore should not have an equal percentage of funding coming from subs. 

 neilh 15:12 Fri
In reply to Mark Kemball:

The BMCs  highest priority is clearly stated  as per their 2019 Annual Report.( last available)

Access, conservation and environment.

 Ian W 16:17 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

> I think the BMC does a great job in this respect, but when I see equal amounts of our resources being channeled into comps I think the pendulum has swung too far in that direction, and this doesn’t reflect the majority of the memberships views. The new CEO appointment, with a strong and very impressive background in elite team sport development, would suggest the pendulum will swing further in this direction.


resources stretch far further than money, though. The human resources afforded access and conservation by the BMC far exceed those afforded to comps, and rightly so. Money isnt everything.

Post edited at 16:17
 Iamgregp 16:52 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

I'd love to see what the people at the IFSC who worked so hard to get climbing into the Olympics would make of this comment.

 Iamgregp 17:04 Fri
In reply to neilh:

And I've already found something that makes me question the new CEOs commitment to one of these.  That's all I'm saying, I'm not into doxxing.

In reply to Ian W:

> resources stretch far further than money, though. The human resources afforded access and conservation by the BMC far exceed those afforded to comps, and rightly so. Money isnt everything.

What does this mean? If the latest staff list is to be believed there are 5 staff members assigned to Access, Conservation & Environmental Sustainability and 5 (with the laest appointment) assigned to GB Climbing.

 spenser 17:22 Fri
In reply to Tyler:

I would presume that Ian is referring to the huge network of access reps who voluntarily deal with local land owners. Ian probably knows the level of volunteer involvement in competition climbing better than most as he used to chair the competitions committee IIRC.

Many of those access reps would willingly support the BMC in other ways if they weren't access reps, that volunteer time represents a significant saving to the BMC compared to getting staff to do it all. 

 Offwidth 17:31 Fri
In reply to Tyler:

It's not quite correct (4 and a bit FTE staff under GB Climbing) and the funding for those staff is mainly Sport England (whereas the approx 4.5 FTE A&C team are core funded). I think Ian was pointing out the formal volunteer support base (committees, local area teams etc) is much larger for Access and Conservation.

 dan gibson 17:37 Fri
In reply to Iamgregp:

> I'd love to see what the people at the IFSC who worked so hard to get climbing into the Olympics would make of this comment.

Well what do you think?

Does climbing need the Olympics? 

 Ian W 17:45 Fri
In reply to Offwidth:

A bit of both - as you rightly point out, the staff costs for A&C are pretty well 100% met by subs / core income, the staff for comps are largely met via external sources. There is also a huge reliance on volunteers at comps (as you are well aware from personal involvement!) but the local on the ground work in A&C is as far as i can see, almost measureless to man.

NB - its a couple of years since i looked at the BMC accounts with more than a cursory glance, but trying to define what the net spend and share of the purse of each section was never clear, and i suspect things havent improved since, so I would take any claims of the share of the pot with a pinch of salt. simply too difficult to accurately ascertain.

 Offwidth 17:51 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

Of course it doesn't, but the opportunity (and risk of the BMC opting out) is also obvious. I'd add that there have been endless debates on the topic with most votes at local area meetings supporting the BMC Olympic involvement by large margins. The politics around the 2018 Motion of no Confidence and the 2019 Governance Options AGM voting involved the Olympics and the membership were massively supportive of the executive plans. 

 Iamgregp 17:54 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

No, I don't think climbing needs the Olympics.  

But I don't think climbing being an Olympic sport will be negative either. 

I think the revenue generated from it will be transformative for the IFSC and allow them to do more, the UK Sport money that has gone towards funding our medal hopes in the sport has been hugely beneficial and I think if we have British athletes in medal positions this summer it'll be a huge cause for celebration and an inspiration for many young people.

If people involved in climbing don't like it being an Olympic Sport then that's fine, don't watch it and go out climbing instead!

It's a misconception that the Olympics goes out and picks a sport and decides that they want it in the Olympics.  The International Federations have to apply, submit all sorts of bids, spend a huge amount of time, money and effort on satisfying the criteria and hope that their sport is accepted.  The IFSC has done this and been successful in their bid, albeit by being forced to agree to the combined event format.  They should be recognised for their efforts on this.

 john arran 17:56 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

> Does climbing need the Olympics? 

Does climbing need Stanage. Or for that matter, El Cap?

The answer to all of the above is "Of course not, what a bloody stupid question!"

 dan gibson 18:35 Fri
In reply to john arran:

I'd prefer to lose the Olympics than El Cap.

Thank you. 

In reply to dan gibson:

> I don't have a chip on my shoulder

Then you proceed to write 23 out of the 118 messages posted in this thread.

 dan gibson 18:46 Fri
In reply to Iamgregp:

I don't oppose climbing being in the Olympics as long as funding from other aspects isn't diverted to fund it.

I don't expect to see money flow the other way though.

Look how rich the Premier League is in football, then look down a couple of divisions to see clubs going out of business. 

 dan gibson 18:48 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

> Then you proceed to write 23 out of the 118 messages posted in this thread.

It's called having an opinion about the direction of a democratic organisation that I'm a member of. 

In reply to dan gibson:

You expressed that opinion super clearly. 25 times now. You might want to read the definition of having a chip on one's shoulder because it is very clear that you hold a genuine grievance on competition funding. 

 Marek 18:57 Fri
In reply to dan gibson:

> I'd prefer to lose the Olympics than El Cap.

I didn't realise there was a choice to be made. One of the great thing about 'climbing' is how much variety there is, not just in type of geology and geography, but in disciplines and the people. Loosing *any* of that will lead to 'climbing' being diminished.

Full disclosure: I'm a bit of an Olympics hater, but I also see how much pleasure it bring to other people and I'm cool with that because climbing and BMC is not just about 'me', it's about 'we'.

Post edited at 19:09
 dan gibson 19:19 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

> You expressed that opinion super clearly. 25 times now. You might want to read the definition of having a chip on one's shoulder because it is very clear that you hold a genuine grievance on competition funding. 

Only 25 times? I better up my input a bit.

But in all seriousness I'm cool with you disagreeing with my views, for me these forums are all about discussion, disagreements and education. I'm open to changing my views.

Chip on my shoulder? That's kind of abusive you know.

In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Have we ID'd the rucsac yet?

In reply to dan gibson:

I don't necessarily disagree with your views, it's how you're expressing them that just grates a bit. I agree that access is certainly more important to me than competitions, I just don't see this issue the same way as you. In my view, having a single powerful organisation representing all of climbing is going to be able to achieve much more in access negotiations than a smaller BMC that has left the publicly visible side of climbing to some other NGB.

 dan gibson 20:32 Fri
In reply to Alkis:

If the way I'm expressing my views is causing you such stress, you could always scroll past them, or even leave the discussion, there's no need to carry on the way you are. 

In reply to dan gibson:

A bit hard when it's a quarter of all posts in a rather interesting thread that goes into a fair amount of detail into the inner workings of the organisation (thanks Simon, Steve and Ian at the very least!). All I'm saying is that you don't have to respond to *every* post in the thread saying basically the same thing over and over again. :-P

In reply to Offwidth:

> It's not quite correct (4 and a bit FTE staff under GB Climbing)

So one of those listed has since left and been replaced by Lorraine Brown?

> and the funding for those staff is mainly Sport England (whereas the approx 4.5 FTE A&C team are core funded).

Are you disputing Simon’s figures earlier that said there was a net cost to the BMC of £268k PA for running GB Climbing? This is a pretty crude measure as the CEO has been chosen for his performance sport credentials so he’s no doubt spending some time on this, the Deputy CEO’s title includes GB Climbing Lead and they must use their share of IT, facilities, HR, events etc   

> I think Ian was pointing out the formal volunteer support base (committees, local area teams etc) is much larger for Access and Conservation.

Well quite, a lot of volunteer work makes sure the access work gets done leaving funds to pay for GB climbing. 

I’m not down on GB climbing, competitions or the Olympics I’m just concerned it’s a drain on BMC resources and it’s untrue to say it’s self funding on grants. Besides, a lot (all?) of those grants are performance based, what happens if, in 2024, no one qualifies for the Olympics and funding’s cut will the BMC pick up the shortfall? It’s astonishingly hard to qualify for the Olympics in climbing and we are lucky to have a generational talent like Shauna. If GB climbing is so important the BMCs fortunes what happens when our Olympic prospects fall behind those of GB water polo with their guaranteed entry to the Olympics and 6000 participants? Climbing has a rich enough history and is a unique enough sport to not need the Olympics when it comes to lobbying and access. The Countryside alliance manage it as do the Ramblers association. A boost to membership would obviously be a benefit but is that happening given no one is even standing for the role of indoor climbing rep in the upcoming elections. 

 spenser 08:48 Sat
In reply to Tyler:

The BMC doesn't need GB climbing to do good work in the access arena (as we've seen over the last 70+ years before GB climbing existed). Now that there is a visible GB climbing presence the BMC needs to keep hold of it (by doing a good job of running it) to prevent a situation where the representative body comes into conflict with the governing body in a way that negatively impacts access. 

Like it or not climbing is in the Olympics, we have to play with the cards in our hand, not the cards we had 10 years ago. To me the best way of doing that is to commit to supporting the development of competition climbing while continuing to do all of the other good stuff around access, conservation, technical and training. 

 wbo2 08:55 Sat
In reply to UKC/UKH News: if the BMC doesn't 'own' competition climbing someone else will, and it will be increasingly difficult for the BMC to have much influence on climbing walls and people climbing inside.  Who then has influence on those 'sport climbers' when they want to go outdoors? 

All this discussion of course is based on one man's interpretation of someone's CV, so interpreted to match their suspicion, agenda

In reply to UKC/UKH News:

His background suggests he knows his way around the world of sports administration and funding, which is important  for the BMC as a whole and not just the competition aspect. It also suggests he has effective leadership and administrative qualities. These are what is required from a CEO. If you read past the netball it shows a long involvement with the outdoors, including having been an active rock climber, for those who seem to think that's important. Give the man a chance.

 Offwidth 09:59 Sat
In reply to Tyler:

That value seems to be a pre covid guestimate including the non staff expenditure spit according to the proportion of staff. You can't do that as many non staff expenditure items are non proportional and some are fixed (irrespective of if that area was in the BMC or not). As Ian says its very difficult to work out.  Non staff costs in the 2020 accounts will be much lower than normal as many events, meetings and travel were cancelled.

On the ongoing staff numbers it's indeed about 5 (my error...I was muddling in my head if we were talking about the current staff list and 2020 accounts for the 2021 AGM). A lot of what the new staff lead is doing was done by the Deputy CEO and/or CEO before (who both also do a lot of access and conservation work). There is also a more robust committee structure backing the GB climbing staff: the CCPG chaired by Rab (as a highly trusted volunteer and ex President).

I never said the grants made the GB Climbing work self funding, I said it is unfair to just count heads and ignore the grant income when looking at subs. It's also very important to remember Sport England grants have nothing to do with the Olympics, they are really about participation. Olympic funding comes through UK Sport and for Shauna that isn't through the BMC.

Post edited at 10:01
In reply to spenser:

> The BMC doesn't need GB climbing to do good work in the access arena (as we've seen over the last 70+ years before GB climbing existed). Now that there is a visible GB climbing presence the BMC needs to keep hold of it (by doing a good job of running it) to prevent a situation where the representative body comes into conflict with the governing body in a way that negatively impacts access. 

> Like it or not climbing is in the Olympics, we have to play with the cards in our hand, not the cards we had 10 years ago. To me the best way of doing that is to commit to supporting the development of competition climbing while continuing to do all of the other good stuff around access, conservation, technical and training.

You've replied with a load of truisms that don't address any of my points "Like it or not climbing is in the Olympics", I do like as to happens! "we have to play with the cards in our hand, not the cards we had 10 years ago", well durr! The question isn't whether we should support GB Climbing but whether the support that is being given is proportionate given the constraints the BMC has? How much do we support it? Is £268k reasonable? Is £500k, what happens if GB Climbing does not meet its objectives and loses funding? You say "BMC needs to keep hold of it", why? What happens if it doesn't? What's the mechanism by which the "representative body comes into conflict with the governing body in a way that negatively impacts access"? Most competitions in the UK are run by walls who are members of the ABC, international comps are organised by the IFSC and the biggest comp of all is owned by the IOC. Is the BMC in conflict with all of these or is the truth of its that influence the BMC has on comps extends as far as subsidising GB Climbing?

My replies might make it sound as though I'm rabidly anti-comp or anti-BMC and nothing could be further from the truth its just that asking the for specifics about why what is happening is good for the membership is met with platitudes and little else.

Post edited at 10:50
 neilh 10:44 Sat
In reply to Offwidth:

That number does appear to be very high for non staff expenditure ……so not sure it really stack up.

I prefer Sharks analysis that the aim should be to have competition climbing self funding and that is how the new structures appear to be heading.in any organisation it can take time to get there, but it appears as though that is happening. The sooner the better for all concerned.

In reply to Offwidth:

> That value seems to be a pre covid guestimate including the non staff expenditure spit according to the proportion of staff. You can't do that as many non staff expenditure items are non proportional and some are fixed (irrespective of if that area was in the BMC or not). As Ian says its very difficult to work out. 

I think we are all agreed that the whole thing is too opaque to get a true figure but its fair to say that the costs are substantial?

> Non staff costs in the 2020 accounts will be much lower than normal as many events, meetings and travel were cancelled.

I'd have thought staff costs would be as least as affected as non-staff given furlough but this is irrelevant to the discussion

> On the ongoing staff numbers it's indeed about 5 (my error...I was muddling in my head if we were talking about the current staff list and 2020 accounts for the 2021 AGM).

Thats the problem when things get political, is it 19,000 extra nurses or 40,000? 40 new hospitals or 6? 4 staff or 5?

> I never said the grants made the GB Climbing work self funding, I said it is unfair to just count heads and ignore the grant income when looking at subs. It's also very important to remember Sport England grants have nothing to do with the Olympics, they are really about participation.

So if they are about participation why are they going to GB Climbing not the access fund or the diversity and inclusion work?

Post edited at 10:47
In reply to wbo2:

> if the BMC doesn't 'own' competition climbing someone else will

Someone already does, the IFSC, the walls and the IOC. The BMC owns the team and some youth comps and some selection comps. I'm not sure which of them take the lions share of the GB Climbing budget (or even if youth comps come from that budget) but I think we can guess.

> and it will be increasingly difficult for the BMC to have much influence on climbing walls and people climbing inside.  Who then has influence on those 'sport climbers' when they want to go outdoors? 

What exactly is the nature this influence exactly? If BMC reduces funding for GB Climbing what about that will change how much influence the BMC has on people climbing indoors? 

 UKB Shark 11:15 Sat
In reply to Tyler:

> I’m not down on GB climbing, competitions or the Olympics I’m just concerned it’s a drain on BMC resources and it’s untrue to say it’s self funding on grants. Besides, a lot (all?) of those grants are performance based, what happens if, in 2024, no one qualifies for the Olympics and funding’s cut will the BMC pick up the shortfall? It’s astonishingly hard to qualify for the Olympics in climbing and we are lucky to have a generational talent like Shauna. If GB climbing is so important the BMCs fortunes what happens when our Olympic prospects fall behind those of GB water polo with their guaranteed entry to the Olympics and 6000 participants?

The funding from Sport England which the BMC has long been a beneficiary of aren’t as specifically performance based as UK Sport which is a new arena for the BMC as a consequence of Olympic inclusion. Sport England rely more on the general figures of their massive annual participation survey in how they direct funding or at least that was the case a few years ago. 
 
You are right to flag up the big risk of ramping up grant funded spend on comps and talent development and then see the rug pulled with the BMC left holding the baby and presented with difficult decisions. 

When on National Council there were often assurances that when grant funded jobs were created that when the funding stopped the position would be made redundant but down the line I noticed that was never the case when that came to pass.

With more professional and strategic management in charge and hopefully a Board which has primacy contingency plan B’s will be made, care will be taken with obligations and contractual commitments and more decisive decisions will be made if the worst comes to the worst. 

With the current developments I think a spotlight should be shone on this area before everybody goes giddy with the Olympics.

If Paul McKeon the new Financial Officer is reading I’d encourage him to examine these risks.

 UKB Shark 11:32 Sat
In reply to Offwidth:

>It's also very important to remember Sport England grants have nothing to do with the Olympics, they are really about participation.

Well yes and no. Sport England helped fund youth and talent development programmes which you’d like to think has helped the development of likes of Shauna, Will and Molly to become world class

 Offwidth 11:52 Sat
In reply to Tyler:

So where are we? Back to my earlier point the BMC is really the staff and army of key volunteers. Governance functions just produce a legal structure and facilitate the work. If the leadership really messes up, the volunteer army and members will force a reversal as they did with Climb Britain.

On your participation question the BMC puts in bids and Sport England has recently been much more favourable to GB climbing style bids. A hillwalker post was funded in the past and there is no reason why such more access and conservation linked posts won't be funded in the future.

On the p word, BMC politics have become very dirty in recent years as some of the old guard tried to exploit  low AGM turnout by non-public distribution of dishonest letters. The motion of no Confidence (MoNC) did disrupted the staff and much volunteer effort but the huge increase in member AGM votes during the MoNC show the massive support for the governance changes. I'd really hope different political views can still be embraced within the organisation, as the Presidential candidate hopes, but not some of the most dishonest behaviour.

Post edited at 11:54
 Offwidth 12:03 Sat
In reply to UKB Shark:

Yes sure but my point is there is grant money from elsewhere that specifically funds climbers capable of Olympic qualification or those who have qualified. Sport England funding was dishonestly linked with Olympic funding in the dirty tricks around the MoNC. Our supported competitors are all also climbers in their own right. That this links to more  traditional climbing is perhaps most clearly illustrated in Climbing Blind.

In reply to Mark Kemball:

> I suspect many climbers do not realise just how important to the future of our sport the BMC's support of youth and competition climbing is.

As a matter of interest what is meant by the "future of our sport", assuming many climbers even view climbing as a sport? 

 neilh 14:55 Sat
In reply to UKB Shark:

Grant funded jobs.  Sometimes you have to be ruthless and understand that these jobs go and are short term. The person who fills that role should also understand that.

Sounds to me that those grant funded jobs were already in existence before they became grant funded so to speak. 
 

Grant funded jobs are not good for a lot of people but suit some. Seen it in other areas and they are insecure to say the least.  
 

I am sure you would agree. But that is the nature of that type of funding. It comes with the territory.  

 Offwidth 15:44 Sat
In reply to neilh:

Why does it sound like that? I'm not aware of anyone who was permanent in that team who is now grant funded.

I do agree with your job security point. One of Sport England's aims is for funding to become self sustainable, seemingly in a period of less than a decade. I think this is a politically dangerous naive attitude that needs lobbying against: there is no universal silver bullet that will magically increase other income to fill the gap for most of the sports where grant income currently supports posts. If anything the UK needs more participation grant support and certainly much better Public Health investment; as it's way cheaper to fund that, than deal with the consequences of poor health in the NHS.

 neilh 16:12 Sat
In reply to Offwidth:

Because posters have suggested they  are still there when the funding has gone.

it suggests they either had before or after a role.

It’s a clever use of grant funding money if you see what I am saying. 
 

the BMC will not be the first or last to do this. 

Post edited at 16:15
 Offwidth 16:31 Sat
In reply to neilh:

Fair enough. Good employers will always fund gaps between grants for successful staff.

 neilh 18:16 Sat
In reply to Offwidth:

That’s fine. But may then not fit in with what members want. Clash of interests. 

 Offwidth 19:29 Sat
In reply to neilh:

I thought we mutually agreed that the idea was OK for a good employer. I still have no knowledge of this actually happening in the BMC. Members seem pretty satisfied from surveys.

 spenser 19:48 Sat
In reply to Tyler:

My point RE: Playing with the cards in our hand was that your posts read as though you didn't want climbing to be an olympic sport and would prefer that to change (seemingly not the case based on this response).

My knowledge of the BMC's finances aren't sufficient to say how much is feasible in terms of how much to spend out of subs so what's reasonable is difficult to say. 

My concern about the BMC and a hypothetical NGB coming into conflict relates to lots of possible situations:

Inappropriate requests to landowners to bolt crags losing us access entirely given that the NGB would not have any organisational interest in trad climbing.

Landowners (particularly government) seeing the BMC as not representing the community and so ignoring any requests for access discussions.

Confused inputs into government policy around access and conservation.

Conflicting approaches to addressing safety issues arising with equipment.

I work as an engineer, I spend a lot of time thinking about how things can go wrong and how to avoid it so my mindset may be over cautious.

In reply to spenser:

> My point RE: Playing with the cards in our hand was that your posts read as though you didn't want climbing to be an olympic sport and would prefer that to change (seemingly not the case based on this response).

I think you are just reading what you want to read  

> My knowledge of the BMC's finances aren't sufficient to say how much is feasible in terms of how much to spend out of subs so what's reasonable is difficult to say. 

That’s my whole point, this whole debate is informed by empty rhetoric like “commit to supporting” and “climbing needs comps” and “many climbers do not realise just how important to the future of our sport the BMC's support of youth and competition climbing is” and no one is allowed to question what any of this is supposed to mean?

> My concern about the BMC and a hypothetical NGB coming into conflict relates to lots of possible situations:

> Inappropriate requests to landowners to bolt crags losing us access entirely given that the NGB would not have any organisational interest in trad climbing.

Either you’re confusing competitons with sport climbing or you’ve not watched a climbing competition since 1989.

> Landowners (particularly government) seeing the BMC as not representing the community and so ignoring any requests for access discussions.

Do you think land owners would know the difference between the BMC and some notional other org? They negotiate with whoever approaches them and they are won over because of the personability of the person stood before them offering to build a style not because they represent an organisation that sends Johnny Volume around the world to compete. You are creating another imagined scenario, you could just as easily imagine a scenario where landowner looks at an organisation representing Olympians and thinks, ‘hmm, there’s money to be made here’. Personally I don’t think it matters one way or another.   

> Confused inputs into government policy around access and conservation.

I don’t think an organisation for Olympians will be looking at access and conservation.  

> Conflicting approaches to addressing safety issues arising with equipment.

You’re back to just saying stuff now, this is just nonsense.  There are a myriad of organisations looking at equipment safety already like the UIAA etc.

All the above ignores the fact that I’ve never said comps shouldn’t be part of the BMC just questioning whether the resource allocation is equitable. If the BMC did reduce its funding by 50% and GB Climbing chose to take its ball home how would they make up the shortfall of losing the remaining 50%?

Post edited at 21:13
 spenser 22:26 Sat
In reply to Tyler:

I interpreted your post that way, my comment was made in good faith.

The concerns cited above were all based on the idea of the NGB's scope creeping beyond what it actually needs to be. Two independent bodies with an agreed balance of responsibilities would address some of those concerns in future.

The safety issue thing was concerning areas where there are shared interests, tech committee had input around the issue with Fixe top anchors in cooperation with the ABC and the UIAA for instance, an NGB would logically have an interest in/ be expected to have an interest in issues like that. 


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