UKC

/ OPINION: The BMC - Rolling with the Times?

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UKC Articles - on 23 May 2018
The Open Forum event., 4 kbWriter, journalist and former Vice President of the BMC, Ed Douglas, reflects on the changing faces of climbing, mountaineering and ultimately our governing body ahead of the AGM on 16th June.

Whatever happens to the BMC, the energy and renewal that have always existed in climbing will continue. It's part of the deal. It's why I still love it. I hope the BMC has now found the right formula to tap into all that enthusiasm.



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turtlespit - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Interesting article.  Given the following quote "For most members, the organisation is a service provider...", I've always wondered how many people join the BMC simply because they need rock climbing travel insurance.  

Howard J - on 23 May 2018
In reply to turtlespit:

Certainly a great many are 'accidental' members as a result of joining a climbing club.  Some of these take an interest in the BMC, many do not.

I think it's probably also the case that most climbers, even those who are individual members, don't pay it very much attention (me included).  They'll claim the discount in shops, and they may go to it when they need insurance, as you suggest.  Other than that I suspect they're happy to let it carry on working in the background, without getting involved.  Occasionally a local issue might prompt a larger attendance than usual at an area meeting, but even so its probably only a tiny number of local members, let alone of local climbers.  The Climb UK debacle was an exception in that it attracted a lot of attention from a lot of members, but that was very unusual. 

This is Ed's point.  People join the BMC for various reasons but then don't take much interest in it, and least of all in the boring but necessary admin stuff.  But they don't need to join at all, so unless the BMC remains relevant to them they'll simply drift away.  To me, this provides a far greater assurance that members' interests will be respected than complicated constitutional structures.

 

Post edited at 15:35
Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Good article Ed.  Much needed.

I'd make two points.  

'The BMC has no choice but to revise its articles so they comply with the Companies Act (2006) and with Sport England's code of governance'.  Well, no.  The current Articles are NOT in breach of the Companies Act (or has the BMC been illegal for the last 25 years?  ) and the BMC certainly CAN elect to not comply with the Sport England Code if it so desires.

And with respect to NGB status even Sport England admit that any body can be the NGB of its 'sport' so long as the participants recognise it as such.  What is at stake is the Sport England 'recognition' of NGB status.  And of course a rebel organisation could tip-toe out of the shadows and steal the hearts and minds of competition climbers and claim to be an alternative NGB.

And my third point is that I don't feel like an old fuddy-duddy  

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Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Turtlespit and Howard.  You  want to be careful.  Someone will be along shortly to tell you off for calling BMC members 'plebs'

Graeme Alderson on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> 'The BMC has no choice but to revise its articles so they comply with the Companies Act (2006) and with Sport England's code of governance'.  Well, no.  The current Articles are NOT in breach of the Companies Act (or has the BMC been illegal for the last 25 years?  )

Wow, the BMC have/have been in breach of a 12 year old Act for 25 years

Andy Say - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Now Graeme, don't be a silly-billy! 

I am trying to make the point that the articles were put together in 1993, by the then, and the current, legal advisor to the BMC, and that they have subsequently been amended to keep them up to date (last time in 2014 I think).  So one would hope that we have actually been 'legal' all the time?  Or just WTF has been going on.

It was disappointing to me that initially the impetus for the changes was explained as all about 'complying with the Companies' Act' when any cursory glance at the 750 pages of that Act would tell you that actually we were not in breach. 

But, hey....I don't want to be boring.

1
Paul Evans - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

OK Andy, just to clarify, I agree with you that the current BMC articles are not in breach of the 2006 Companies Act. However, that does not mean there is not an issue. Specifically the shadow director issue, described in section 251 of the 2006 Act. And analysed in detail in the WBD advice to ORG. Now agreed, people might not have described a somewhat arcane legal issue in quite the right language.  That doesn't mean it's not a real issue, and a valid reason for change. I know you (and some others) don't see this as a significant risk. Others have different views. And I don't want to be boring either...but I suspect most of our audience will be yawning or asleep by now. 

Paul

eroica64 - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thank you Ed for a useful summing up of a hellish complicated and very annoying topic.

eroica64 - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

"any cursory glance at the 750 pages of that Act ..." Jeez I so do not want to get involved in this.

 

slab_happy on 23 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

If you don't think it's necessary in order to comply with company law, then why *does* Proposal B consistently remove power from the NC and give it to the Board? (Without making any alternate provisions for member representation, unlike Proposal A.)

See Paul's summary here:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/the_tier_one_proposal_for_the_bmc-685300?v=1#x8787413

Rich - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Good article - thanks.

I got the recent newsletter "it's your BMC & we need your vote" which says the ERS will be emailing all members on 18th May with voting details ... nothing has arrived and presumably they must have my email details or I wouldn't have got the newsletter?  Nothing in the post either.

 

 

betathief - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles: I clicked on my email and read a few things that are way above my head. I’m not uneducated, but I also do not have an in depth knowledge of all the background, twists and turns, as well as the legal side. There’s just too much for a normal member to take in. No wonder most don’t vote, I won’t be.

 

Jim 1003 - on 23 May 2018

What a load of bollocks......join the Austrian Alpine Club, annoyingly I am a member of the BMC too as I'm in my local club....

 

Post edited at 21:39
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Mark Kemball - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Rich:

It is quite possible that the BMC does not have your correct email, - email the office, or maybe your email provider thinks it's junk mail...

Rich - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Mark Kemball:

Thanks Mark

I've checked spam and they have got the correct email address ... insurance reminders, newsletters etc prove that.  

paul__in_sheffield - on 23 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

A glance at the pics in the article might suggest the BMC isn’t rolling with the gender equality times. All male panels (or ‘manels’) are a bit last century (or maybe the century before).

Word on the street is that manels will be compulsory if the Edwardian gentlemen adventurers of an option B persuasion get their way in the vote ;-)

5
UKB Shark - on 23 May 2018
In reply to Rich:

> Thanks Mark

> I've checked spam and they have got the correct email address ... insurance reminders, newsletters etc prove that.  

Sorry you’ve not received it. It’s being done by a third party (Electoral Reform Services). Can you fill in this form: https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm

Thanks

 

1
Paul Sagar - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks for a really well-written, informative, and helpful article. Appreciated!

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to eroica64:

> "any cursory glance at the 750 pages of that Act ..." Jeez I so do not want to get involved in this.

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Rich:

> I got the recent newsletter "it's your BMC & we need your vote" which says the ERS will be emailing all members on 18th May with voting details ... nothing has arrived and presumably they must have my email details or I wouldn't have got the newsletter?  Nothing in the post either.

The BMC have elected not to send out AGM details and proxy voting forms by post.  I don't know why and think its a risky decision.

1
mysterion on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Refreshing to see such a non-ideological article/discussion on here

Simon - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

You can vote (or at least register) online here:

https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

Not sure why it's not more visible for members, I had to have a good fettle to find it.

Si

1
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 24 May 2018

In reply to...

Great article by Ed.

I'd like to add: please do vote. We need 75% of the votes to be in favour of one option. If they're not, then we have to keep doing this - with all its impact across our work - from improving our membership to promoting crag care. 

How to vote?
This year, the voting is being handled by the Electoral Reform Services. This means that they are independently contacting all our members - by email if we have an email address for you or by post if not. This is why the normal voting cards weren't in Summit magazine, as everything is going through ERS to maintain full independence of the voting process. 

What if I haven't got the email?
A personal email is being sent to you direct from ERS. This has a personal link, so you won't even need your membership number to vote. That email was sent on Friday 18th May. If you haven't got it, please check your spam filter. 

If your email is lost in the ether, you can get your security details resent here: http://www.ersvotes.com/thebmcagm2018

If you think we might have an old email for you, then please use this form here:

https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

ERS will be sending out two reminders and we'll be sending out a couple of emails too. 

More info

On voting: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/how-to-vote-bmc-agm

If anyone has any issues, please get in touch with office@thebmc.co.uk. 

 

1
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Simon:

Maybe they only want UKC users to vote? 

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myserable old git - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Is it true that we all have to climb in blazers?

1
spenser - on 24 May 2018
In reply to myserable old git:

No, you're supposed to wear Tricounis and tweed breeches too. A flat cap may be considered an acceptable adornment if one is folically challenged.

bensilvestre - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Great piece, and I think more online voting options is certainly a good idea especially with the younger members. Within the bmc and in a broader capacity as well.

Alun - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks, this article reminded/convinced me to get of my arse and vote. Which I have just done. For Option A.

1
Don Jebus - on 24 May 2018
In reply to betathief:

I totally agree, had a quick look, don't have a clue what most of it is about. I would also say that I'm not exactly un-educated, can't image what someone who does struggle with large documents would think (say people who are dyslexic, eg Mr Moffatt, one of our all time best climbers)? Is it done this way to keep the riff raff out...?

 And why would I need to vote to approve the previous AGM notes and such? If they want better participation from members in voting, then they need a clear and easy format to find out what the vote is about, and not expect people to dig through the entire AGM notes. Between working, climbing and rest of life I don't have time to do that.

I have to say that I would like to vote on the issues in the article, but I wont be as I'm not voting for something I don't understand.

3
Howard J - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Don Jebus:

> I totally agree, had a quick look, don't have a clue what most of it is about. ... Is it done this way to keep the riff raff out...?

I don't believe so, but these are of necessity complex legal matters which are not easy to summarise in plain English and not aways easily understandable even then

>  And why would I need to vote to approve the previous AGM notes and such?

It is standard practice at any formal meeting such as an AGM to confirm that the minutes of the previous meeting are correct.  Usually this is a formality, but if there are any errors these can be noted. The minutes are after all the formal record of what was discussed, so if they are not accurate the consequences could be serious.  If you don't know or don't care you don't have to vote on this particular topic (or any other) you can abstain or leave it to the proxy to use their discretion.

> I have to say that I would like to vote on the issues in the article, but I wont be as I'm not voting for something I don't understand.

That is the great difficulty with matters like this.  Democracy requires that they are put to the members for a decision, but few care and fewer still understand them.  However this means that relatively few votes can turn a vote one way or the other, which makes them vulnerable where a small pressure group can have a disproportionate influence.  At least 75% of the votes cast are required, so the more numbers who vote the better.  So, boring and difficult as it may be, please make the effort to understand at least the broad issues, and cast a vote.

 

1
Don Jebus - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Howard J:

> I totally agree, had a quick look, don't have a clue what most of it is about. ... Is it done this way to keep the riff raff out...?

I don't believe so, but these are of necessity complex legal matters which are not easy to summarise in plain English and not always easily understandable even then

I understand that it is necessary for complex legal matter, however much like when I bought my house (and most other people) and all the documents came in legal speak, so my solicitor interpreted them for me. I know that the best way is to read it direct, but that's not always possible. And maybe saying it's done to keep the riff raff out was a bit over the top, but it certainly doesn't help people to engage.

It is standard practice at any formal meeting such as an AGM to confirm that the minutes of the previous meeting are correct.

Fair do's on the AGM notes, just seemed a bit odd to ask that when trying to get a whole load of new participants who were not at the AGM (hence online voting) and most probably don't understand a lot of what was said anyway. But it is optional as you said, so I'll leave it to the proxy.

please make the effort to understand at least the broad issues, and cast a vote.

I will certainly do my best, as the BMC is something that I believe in and wouldn't want to change for the worse.

 

Rob Parsons on 24 May 2018
In reply to Howard J:

> ...  At least 75% of the votes cast are required, so the more numbers who vote the better. 

That's a non-sequitur.

(I'm all for everybody who wants to vote doing so, of course.)

 

 

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> That's a non-sequitur.

> (I'm all for everybody who wants to vote doing so, of course.)

Big Lee - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

I didn't get the email either FYI. I've had the same email since the last century and get all the other BMC emails. Thanks for posting the link though. Sounds like ERS need to get their finger out. 

Rob Parsons on 24 May 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

Why weren't conventional paper proxy forms sent out, as for every previous AGM? Why are BMC members who are either without access to email (there will be some), or whose email addresses aren't registered with BMC (there might be many of those) being disenfranchised in this way?

Any reps from the BMC care to comment?

2
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

This year, the voting is being handled by the Electoral Reform Services. This means that they are independently contacting all our members - by email if we have an email address for you or by post if not. This is why the normal voting cards weren't in Summit magazine, as everything is going through ERS to maintain full independence of the voting process. 

A personal email is being sent direct from ERS. If you think we might have an old email for you, then please use this form here:

https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

ERS will be sending out two reminders and we'll be sending out a couple of emails too. 

More info: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/how-to-vote-bmc-agm

If anyone has any issues, please get in touch with office@thebmc.co.uk or happy to chat on here. 

1
Rob Parsons on 24 May 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

> This year, the voting is being handled by the Electoral Reform Services. This means that they are independently contacting all our members - by email if we have an email address for you or by post if not.

Thanks; I wasn't aware that there was a 'by post' back-up. If that all works, and if nobody is missed out, then fair enough.

Robert Durran - on 24 May 2018
In reply to bensilvestre:

> Great piece, and I think more online voting options is certainly a good idea especially with the younger members. 

Is there a postal option for old farts? I go climbing partly to get away from endless login/forgotten password nightmares? 

 

Alex Messenger, BMC - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hi Robert

Good news: there's no endless login / forgotten password nightmare. Just click on the personal link that's been emailed to you and you'll be straight in. 

Super easy, takes (much) less time than finding a pen.

3
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Well I'm not a BMC Rep but I understand that there was supposed to be some cost implication cited about not sending out AGM papers by post as has always happened before (and as the Articles actually require).

I eagerly await my printed Agenda and associated papers.....

5
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

> This year, the voting is being handled by the Electoral Reform Services. This means that they are independently contacting all our members - by email if we have an email address for you or by post if not. This is why the normal voting cards weren't in Summit magazine, as everything is going through ERS to maintain full independence of the voting process. 

Alex.  That's bollox.  'Voting' is not being handled by ERS; the registration of proxy votes is.

And no - not 'everything is going through ERS'.  What happens to paper proxy forms sent in by mail to the CEO.  And where are they and how do 'ordinary members access' them?

Could you explain why one of the NW Area Reps to National Council has not been contacted by ERS by email.  Or post?

I'm not having a personal dig at you, Alex: you are repeating what you have been told.  But this is just cock-up after cock-up.

 

10
spenser - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Hi Andy,

Alison Cairns explained briefly at the Peak area meeting last night that members could get paper proxy forms posted out to them, they need to call the office before 1PM on 14th June.

Alex Messenger, BMC - on 24 May 2018

In reply to Andy Say:

Yes, when I said voting, that was short for proxy voting. We're changing to digital (proxy) voting, which can only be a positive thing. 

We're encouraging everyone to vote through the ERS system. But if you really can't vote online (probably unlikely to be UKC-ers) then get in touch with the office and they will send out a paper proxy form. This is a last resort for our members who don't have access to the web. 

If you haven't been contacted yet by ERS, then also get in touch with the office. There could be a variety of reasons, from a typo in your email address to it just being lost in a sea of GDPR emails. 

You can also fill in this form if you think we might have an older email for you:

https://intouch.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm/

It's never been easier to (proxy) vote than it is now. Next stage... tackling that complicated AGM language, but that's a job for another time. 

 

 

1
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

> Yes, when I said voting, that was short for proxy voting. We're changing to digital (proxy) voting, which can only be a positive thing. 

> We're encouraging everyone to vote through the ERS system. But if you really can't vote online (probably unlikely to be UKC-ers) then get in touch with the office and they will send out a paper proxy form. This is a last resort for our members who don't have access to the web. 

> If you haven't been contacted yet by ERS, then also get in touch with the office. There could be a variety of reasons, from a typo in your email address to it just being lost in a sea of GDPR emails. 

> You can also fill in this form if you think we might have an older email for you:

> It's never been easier to (proxy) vote than it is now. Next stage... tackling that complicated AGM language, but that's a job for another time. 

If you visit UKC that will all work out fine.....

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to spenser:

> Hi Andy,

> Alison Cairns explained briefly at the Peak area meeting last night that members could get paper proxy forms posted out to them, they need to call the office before 1PM on 14th June.

Cool.  So all that members have to do is go to their Area meeting or keep a bloody good oversight of UKC, or be a regular visitor to the BMC website or they won't get a sniff?

13
slab_happy on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Alex is giving out information which will work for people who read UKC, to people reading UKC. Are you seriously complaining that his post on UKC doesn't include information for people who don't read UKC?

As explained above, the Electoral Reform Services are contacting people by e-mail if the BMC has an e-mail address for them, by post if not.

If there are people who are BMC members who can only be contacted by owl or via a secret dead-letter drop outside Minsk, they're probably being unfairly discriminated against, I agree.

1
Ewan Russell - on 24 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

I didn't recognise the British Cycling Ed Douglas talks about.

I must admit I have always felt British Cycling is a lot more intrested in encouraging particpation at all levels of sport. Never really felt that the BMC cares in the slightest about the low end of the sport. When I go on British Cycling I get "Get your kids on two wheels with HSBC UK Ready Set Ride" When ever I go on a BMC wesbite it just seems to be predominatley adverts for things I don't want. If I look at the 9 things on the BMC scrollbar(?is that the name?) there is no mention of inspring children or engagment projects.

 

1
Rob Parsons on 24 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> As explained above, the Electoral Reform Services are contacting people by e-mail if the BMC has an e-mail address for them, by post if not.

Yes, but there are obviously  questions to be asked about the fallibility of the process. 'Big Lee' above writes: 'I didn't get the email either FYI. I've had the same email since the last century and get all the other BMC emails. Thanks for posting the link though. Sounds like ERS need to get their finger out.'

What's happened in that case? Are there others like it?

 

 

 

1
Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> If there are people who are BMC members who can only be contacted by owl or via a secret dead-letter drop outside Minsk, they're probably being unfairly discriminated against, I agree.

Good.

Andy Say - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Thanks for posting the link though. Sounds like ERS need to get their finger out.'

> What's happened in that case? Are there others like it?

Oh yes!  But to be fair to ERS (and they ARE reputable and might be reputationally concerned by some of this farrago) they can only work with the data that BMC provides.

danm on 24 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

The different ways people can hear about the vote and get the info to do so:

Direct email link

This thread and it's twin on UKB

Postal proxy vote for those without email

BMC website article

Summit magazine article (all members received this unless they've opted out)

BMC Facebook (80,000+ followers) plus anyone who shared it (I have, have you?)

BMC Twitter and IG feeds.

I've probably missed a few others but that seems pretty broad and better than just proxy forms included in Summit, which made it difficult for people away from home to vote with.

slab_happy on 24 May 2018
In reply to Rob Parsons:

Agreed -- due efforts need to made to ensure the process actually works and fix any omissions.

But that's different from posting info on UKC being some sort of dastardly plot to oppress and exclude people who are not on UKC or accessible by *any of the numerous other channels* (e-mail, post, area meetings, Summit, Facebook, etc.) being used to disseminate info.

Post edited at 20:16
1
steveq100 - on 24 May 2018
In reply to Ewan Russell:

> I didn't recognise the British Cycling Ed Douglas talks about.

> I must admit I have always felt British Cycling is a lot more intrested in encouraging particpation at all levels of sport. Never really felt that the BMC cares in the slightest about the low end of the sport. When I go on British Cycling I get "Get your kids on two wheels with HSBC UK Ready Set Ride" When ever I go on a BMC wesbite it just seems to be predominatley adverts for things I don't want. If I look at the 9 things on the BMC scrollbar(?is that the name?) there is no mention of inspring children or engagment projects.

At present, encouraging growth of participation is not in the BMC objects (due in part to concerns about increasing pressure on the environment), however, some of the sport England funding that option A would help to maintain goes into youth development and training so that young people coming into the sport can get support and learn to do it safely with respect for the environment. Another reason for voting option A

1
spenser - on 24 May 2018
In reply to steveq100:

Said funding also supports training courses for novice BMC members, and subsidises club gear/ websites/ huts, all of which are useful things for clubs to use when helping people move outdoors.

Edit for Andy: I'm not wholly convinced that ERS are reputable given that the proxy votes from the IMechE SGM are currently subject to a legal challenge...

There were also a significant number of clubs represented at last night's meeting (and I would hope the other meetings), representatives can brief out to membership about postal proxies.

Post edited at 22:36
Jen Mason on 25 May 2018
In reply to Howard J:

> Certainly a great many are 'accidental' members as a result of joining a climbing club.

About one third of the members are signed up in this way... ...and I, for one, really resent it. I shall make my resentment known in the vote, and would encourage others who have been signed up by proxy, without their explicit consent, to do likewise.

In 2018, it really is time for the category of club members to be phased out in favour of an organisation consisting of individual members only. If the BMC understands that unwilling members might be holding them back, hopefully they will rethink their approach. 

10
slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

> About one third of the members are signed up in this way... ...and I, for one, really resent it. I shall make my resentment known in the vote

Genuine question -- which way would you be voting to communicate that? Maybe I'm missing something, but neither option seems to me to be more pro- or anti- club membership in its content.

(The only connection I can see is that one of the Proposal B proposers is Bob Pettigrew, who I believe is very pro-clubs as the core of the BMC. But I'm not sure there's any difference in the content of the proposals on this front -- can anyone correct me on this?)

Also, if you want, you and other members of your club could always organize to get your club to de-affiliate from the BMC. Affiliation isn't something being forced on clubs without their agreement; if you collectively decide the benefits aren't worth the costs, you don't have to stay affiliated.

> In 2018, it really is time for the category of club members to be phased out in favour of an organisation consisting of individual members only.

Maybe that's a discussion that needs to be had in the future, although a lot of people (not just Bob Pettigrew!) feel very strongly about the role of clubs as part of the BMC (and I'm a member of an affiliated club as well as an individual member, so I have a foot in both camps here). But it doesn't seem to be part of the conflict that's going on at the moment.

Post edited at 07:17
Big Lee - on 25 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

I like Ed Douglas's cycling example with multiple national bodies. I can't see how some decisions could be made without everybody under one roof.

I could probably give a good counter example though of what happens when control is handed from climbers partly over to bureaucrats. Norway has a significant problem with trad routes being retro-bolted right now. I feel totally powerless to do anything about it because the national climbing institutions are too weak and too many decisions are made by bureaucrats rather than those elected by climbers. There are guidelines on bolting that are similar to the UK but decisions to bolt are being made by local clubs or individuals who just take their own approach. I worry that a unified BMC partly run by Sport England will be a toothless as a fractured BMC. Are Sport England, an organisation obviously associated with sport, going to care about strict bolting polities, or is there going to be a slow erosion in this respect? I have no doubt that things won't change in the short term but I worry about a gradual erosion of trad ethics with time, as I'm seeing in Norway.

I'll probably vote tier 3 as tier 1 seems a shot in the foot, but I'm worried the tier 3 option will be a slow bleed. It seems a lose-lose situation whichever way I vote, although I don't really understand the legalities. 

Jen Mason on 25 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> Genuine question -- which way would you be voting to communicate that?

By registering abstentions; effectively counting as a vote against a proposal when the figures are totted up, and making it harder for either to achieve the required 75%. Option B is never going to win anyway, but honestly I couldn't care less about how the BMC chooses to govern itself. 

> Also, if you want, you and other members of your club could always organize to get your club to de-affiliate from the BMC.

I'm sure most members of my clubs appreciate  their BMC membership, to a greater or lesser extent. This isn't about them. It's about whether or not it's right for someone to be signed up to an organisation, against their expressed wishes, solely on the basis of their membership of other organisations.

Realistically the only choice I'm left with is to leave both my clubs.

> Maybe that's a discussion that needs to be had in the future... .

Why? Trade unions were prevented from doing something similar over 30 years ago.

 

 

4
Ian W - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

> I worry that a unified BMC partly run by Sport England will be a toothless as a fractured BMC. Are Sport England, an organisation obviously associated with sport, going to care about strict bolting polities, or is there going to be a slow erosion in this respect?

Then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!

Sport England do not "run" sports; they provide funding for NGB's to carry out projects aimed at expanding / improving participation with the general end game of improving public health. The only thing they ask is that if you want their money, you have to meet certain governance requirements. Where on earth did you get the idea that sport england might "partly run" a "unified" BMC?

 

Post edited at 08:09
slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

> I worry that a unified BMC partly run by Sport England will be a toothless as a fractured BMC. Are Sport England, an organisation obviously associated with sport, going to care about strict bolting polities

Proposal A doesn't mean that the BMC is going to be "partly run by Sport England" just because it meets the Tier 3 standards (just like Proposal B doesn't mean it'll be "partly run by Sport England" because it meets the Tier 1 standards -- assuming that Proposal B does actually meet them).

I'm guessing Sport England don't care at all about strict bolting policies, and indeed probably don't know what bolts are, but they're not going to have any more say in bolting policies than they did before.

> I can't see how some decisions could be made without everybody under one roof.

Agreed, and I think bolting policies are a good example. It's essential that everyone's under one roof. You don't have a separate sport climbing organization deciding to bolt somewhere and a trad organization trying to object, for example.

Big Lee - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Ian W:

> Where on earth did you get the idea that sport england might "partly run" a "unified" BMC?

I think you're taking me out of context there, or I've used a poor choice of words. I meant a BMC that stays unified as one entity (ie no separate body dealing with competition climbing). I didn't mean to imply that Sport England are unifying the BMC. I got the impression from Ed Douglas's article the BMC membership would lose some control with the tier 3 option.

1
Postmanpat on 25 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

  This is an excellent article which explains the background and context of the issues very well, but it seems to be missing a paragraph (or I am  missing a paragraph!). There seems to be no description of what Tier 1 and Tier 3 actually are.

  Can somebody explain succinctly?

Post edited at 08:40
Big Lee - on 25 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> Agreed, and I think bolting policies are a good example. It's essential that everyone's under one roof. You don't have a separate sport climbing organization deciding to bolt somewhere and a trad organization trying to object, for example.

Yeah that's basically what I'm seeing in Norway.

slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

> I got the impression from Ed Douglas's article the BMC membership would lose some control with the tier 3 option.

Yeah, the article says:

> As I said, those opposing the BMC's preferred Tier 3 option see it as bowing a knee to Sport England and reducing the role of members in the organisation. They believe the money Sport England offers, less than fifteen per cent of the BMC's budget, comes at too high a price. They argue that choosing the lighter Tier 1 option means the membership stays in control,

Which is true as a statement of what the Tier 1/Proposal B proposers are arguing.

But what they're arguing is not actually true, at least according to various people who've done the soul-destroying work of reading the documents.

Paul Evans did a good breakdown here, to which there's been no response:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rocktalk/the_tier_one_proposal_for_the_bmc-685300?v=1#x8787413

Both proposals shift powers from the NC to the Board -- for Proposal A, because the governance codes (and the interpretion of company law by lawyers involve) require that the Board has ultimate decision-making power.

(For Proposal B, I don't know why they're doing this and whether it's because they think it's legally required, as they haven't commented.)

However, Proposal A adds various measures and checks and balance designed to protect member control (e.g. the Reserved Matters which the Board can't decide without approval of the NC and/or the full membership). Proposal B doesn't.

As far as I can see, Proposal B is worse for member representation.
 

1
slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

There's a decent summary here:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-agm-sport-england-tier-1-3-relationship

If you want to get into the exact requirements for each tier, the Code for Sports Governance is here -- you can read the Tier 1 requirements starting on page 18 and Tier 3 starting on page 24:

https://www.sportengland.org/media/11193/a_code_for_sports_governance.pdf

Tier 2 doesn't have requirements because it's for organizations transitioning to Tier 3, basically.

Mike Highbury - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   This is an excellent article which explains the background and context of the issues very well, but it seems to be missing a paragraph (or I am  missing a paragraph!). There seems to be no description of what Tier 1 and Tier 3 actually are.

>   Can somebody explain succinctly?

^Apparently not!

slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Mike Highbury:

I put the links in so people can read for themselves, but fair enough! Okay, let's have another go ...

As I understand it:

Tier 1: designed for small groups getting small one-off grants. No ongoing grants allowed (so nothing that continues year to year), no funding of staff salaries (so no clubs officer, etc.), total value of grants has to be than £250K.

Tier 3: designed for big organizations, all national bodies expected to be in Tier 3. High standards of governance required.

 

Ian W - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

> I think you're taking me out of context there, or I've used a poor choice of words. I meant a BMC that stays unified as one entity (ie no separate body dealing with competition climbing). I didn't mean to imply that Sport England are unifying the BMC. I got the impression from Ed Douglas's article the BMC membership would lose some control with the tier 3 option.

No, what I was really getting at was the assertion that the running of the BMC was in any way influenced by SE, apart from governance compliance. Where did you get that idea.........

Offwidth - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Postmanpat:

The problem with understanding what the alternate Tiers are is much bigger than the definitions in two important respects. Firstly its only a small part of both the proposals (eespecially for Option A). Secondly, although Option B has a Tier 1 label, what its proponents say (or more importantly dont say) here and especially what they say in private communications is incompatible with that definition (all the Tiers have the main power vested in the Board) and no one  has stated Sport england have confirmed the valid Tier 1 status of Option B

Robert Durran - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Big Lee:

> I'll probably vote tier 3 as tier 1 seems a shot in the foot, but I'm worried the tier 3 option will be a slow bleed. It seems a lose-lose situation whichever way I vote, although I don't really understand the legalities. 

My thoughts too I think; my heart is probably split but my head says tier 3.  But I must say that just the word "sport" in Sport England rings alarm bells for me.

Now, if I could only work out how to actually vote.........

 

slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

> By registering abstentions; effectively counting as a vote against a proposal when the figures are totted up, and making it harder for either to achieve the required 75%.

But how is the BMC going to know that this is an objection to the existence of club memberships? (Given that neither of the proposals involved has anything to do with club memberships.)

john arran - on 25 May 2018
In reply to slab_happy:

> But how is the BMC going to know that this is an objection to the existence of club memberships? (Given that neither of the proposals involved has anything to do with club memberships.)

It's anti-establishment, Brexit-type logic. And look where that's getting us!

1
Mike Highbury - on 25 May 2018
In reply to john arran:

> It's anti-establishment, Brexit-type logic. And look where that's getting us!

Having read the extraordinarily tedious contributions from committee members, I should hate this stuff, I really should. But one member one vote and no vote counts for more than any other, no, not again. 

Alex Messenger, BMC - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

Hi Robert - do let us know if you're having issues voting.  We can't help with the details of the AGM agenda, but we can help if you haven't got your email. 

Jen Mason on 25 May 2018
In reply to john arran:

> It's anti-establishment, Brexit-type logic. And look where that's getting us!

Indeed. But when people feel they are not being listened to, what else do you suggest? 

2
Alex Messenger, BMC - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

Hi Jen

I agree with you, club membership is different to our individual memberships. 

We'd very much like to take a look at all our membership categories and evolve them to fit what people want now and in the future. This will take a bit of time, member surveys, member focus groups and then some development. 

The option that will lead to new club membership developments is option A. This is because Sport England money helps clubs directly by funding our clubs officer, as well as courses for clubs, money for club websites, huts etc. 

If you want changes there, please don't abstain. We need 75% majority in favour of one option to put all this behind us and get on with it. 

john arran - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

> Indeed. But when people feel they are not being listened to, what else do you suggest? 

How about raise it an area meetings? If your ideas are widely supported then I'm sure they will be raised nationally. I can't see how throwing spanners can be a solution to anything, simply because you haven't yet thought of any constructive course of action.

 

 

1
Andy Say - on 25 May 2018
In reply to john arran:

> How about raise it an area meetings? If your ideas are widely supported then I'm sure they will be raised nationally. 

Well, John you can do that now.  I'm really not so sure how that would play under the Option A Articles.  I suppose you could raise it at Area, then it goes to National Council, they persuade the President and the NC Directors,, they trot along to the Board, the Board considers it and decides.

It's a bit easier if you have a National Council that can actually make decisions isn't it

6
Andy Say - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

Alex,

The way the proxy vote form has been put together you have to vote 'abstain' if you disagree with both proposals.  Simoon Lee has already explained that he's had it explained to him that 'abstain' equals 'against'.  Though it doesn't say that anywhere on the form.

'If you want changes there, please don't abstain. We need 75% majority in favour of one option to put all this behind us and get on with it.'

So what do you do if you don't want change?  It is the members' choice whether do abstain or not..

 

Graeme Alderson on 25 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

Surely membership categories would be one of those reserved issues.

Gerald Davison - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Alex Messenger, BMC:

Got my voting letter from ERS and have voted.  Simples.. as those annoying meerkats would say.

slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> Surely membership categories would be one of those reserved issues.

It is one of the Reserved Matters in Proposal A, yes. Can't be changed without the approval of the NC and/or the voting membership.

slab_happy on 25 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> It's a bit easier if you have a National Council that can actually make decisions isn't it

Pity you decided to remove that in the Proposal B articles, then, isn't it?

Seriously, why are you ignoring all the people who've pointed out -- clause by tedious clause -- that Proposal B removes all decision-making power from the National Council, without adding any alternate measures for member representation, and is substantially *worse* for member representation than Proposal A?

I realize it's much easier to go round shouting that Proposal B is a heroic stand for member power and hope that nobody reads the damn thing.

1
Whitters - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

I may be missing something here, what exactly is it you object to? 

Howard J - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

> About one third of the members are signed up in this way... ...and I, for one, really resent it. 

I find that really extraordinary.  Clubs affiliate to the BMC because it provides benefits to their membership as a whole, not just to individuals.  For example:

Insurance: club members have the assurance of knowing that the people they are climbing with are covered by 3rd party liability insurance.  If a club member drops a rock on my head permanently injuring me and preventing me from working again I have some chance of getting compensation. If the club membership category were abolished then I would be urging my club to consider making having insurance a condition of membership, but that involves more admin for the club and (probably) more cost to the member.

Huts: Many clubs only make their huts available to other BMC clubs or members.  Whilst membership is no guarantee of good behaviour it does at least provide some degree of accountability and traceability.  Would they continue to do this if club members were not automatically BMC members? It would considerably increase the admin for both if users on a club meet had to show they were individual BMC members.

If you really don't want to be associated with the BMC then you could persuade your club to de-affiliate, find an unaffiliated club or form one yourself.  If your objection is simply being automatically enrolled then I find that selfish - you want the benefits of being in an affiliated club without contributing to them.

 

Post edited at 13:08
1
Jen Mason on 25 May 2018
In reply to Howard J:

> I find that really extraordinary. 

Why? Extraordinary that someone disagrees with you?

> Insurance: club members have the assurance of knowing that the people they are climbing with are covered by 3rd party liability insurance.  If a club member drops a rock on my head permanently injuring me and preventing me from working again I have some chance of getting compensation.

Comparing NGB/NRB memberships with participation surveys indicates 20-25% of the regular climbers you share the cliffs are uninsured anyway, but I digress. 

> If you really don't want to be associated with the BMC then you could persuade your club to de-affiliate, find an unaffiliated club or form one yourself.  If your objection is simply being automatically enrolled then I find that selfish - you want the benefits of being in an affiliated club without contributing to them.

The two things are entirely separate. I don't have a problem at all with affiliated clubs, but I would like individual club members to be able to opt out of BMC club membership. The club would submit the names of members who wanted to be BMC club members, but also submit a figure for the number of anonymous club members who wanted to opt out of the benefits of BMC membership. All club members would still pay the capitation fee, as now, and all would be insured whilst climbing with the club. Club members who had opted in to BMC membership would be insured at other times too. The ones who had opted out would need to make additional arrangements if they required cover for non-club activities. The suggestion is anything but selfish, and there are no greater admin demands on club officers.

1
Whitters - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

I disagree that it would put no greater admin demands on club officers. For a start they would have to determine who wants in and out, not a huge demand but another thing for them to do.

Then you have the issue of determining what a club meet is. That would be an absolute minefield legally.

 

I don't get why it is you want to opt out, what is the issue with being part of the BMC?

UKB Shark - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> The way the proxy vote form has been put together you have to vote 'abstain' if you disagree with both proposals.  Simoon Lee has already explained that he's had it explained to him that 'abstain' equals 'against'.  Though it doesn't say that anywhere on the form.

Based on what I was told what I said on the other thread was that it was equivalent to a no vote - I did not say that "it equals against". There is a difference. It is equivalent insofar that by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion so it is the only way of registering opposition given the way the voting is structured as it will count in the totting up of the votes on whether 75% is achieved or not. 

Ticking to abstain can also mean just that as well - it doesnt have to mean opposition.   

This is not satisfactory situation in my opinion although it does at least allow those voters who wanted to register opposition in a meaningful way can do so by voting to abstain.

It was not clear to me that abstentions count in the voting pool but the Peak Area NC reps and others in the room at the Area Meeting confirmed that was case and were adamant when I expressed doubt. Abstaining means declining to vote so it seems unusual to me that abstentions can effect the outcome.

I think I will go and lie down now.

Post edited at 15:57
James Mann - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> Well, John you can do that now.  I'm really not so sure how that would play under the Option A Articles.  I suppose you could raise it at Area, then it goes to National Council, they persuade the President and the NC Directors,, they trot along to the Board, the Board considers it and decides.

> It's a bit easier if you have a National Council that can actually make decisions isn't it

Andy,

I’m afraid that this is nonsense being peddled here. Area meetings will still be a forum for issues to be raised by members under either proposals. Generally, these meetings are a place for local issues to be addressed locally and for matters of national interest to be discussed in a consultative way. The idea that members voices will silenced under proposal a is totally disingenuous. You are using the complexities and confusion surrounding the proposals to portray untruths as fact. I know that many of us feel strongly about this matter but we must be constructive. 

James Mann

Jen Mason on 25 May 2018
In reply to Whitters:

> I don't get why it is you want to opt out, what is the issue with being part of the BMC?

I'm not going to discuss specifics, but errors and omissions at the BMC have resulted in potentially quite significant harm. I'm not interested in seeking the legal redress to which I am probably entitled, but equally I no longer wish to be any part of the organisation.

1
Howard J - on 25 May 2018
In reply to Jen Mason:

It appears you have a very personal and specific grievance against the BMC, so fair enough. However what you are suggesting is really just a different tier of BMC club membership which provides only third party insurance cover.  I believe this would involve clubs and the BMC in additional admin, and I'm not sure how many people without your personal reasons would want to pay the same capitation fee without receiving most of the benefits of BMC membership.

However we are in danger of hijacking this thread so if we are going to continue this discussion perhaps we should move it to a new one.

Andy Say - on 26 May 2018
In reply to UKB and BMC Shark:

> Based on what I was told what I said on the other thread was that it was equivalent to a no vote - I did not say that "it equals against". There is a difference. It is equivalent insofar that by voting to abstain you become part of the voting population for that motion so it is the only way of registering opposition given the way the voting is structured as it will count in the totting up of the votes on whether 75% is achieved or not. 

Why is 'abstaining' the only way of registering opposition?  And of course at the end of the day if 50% of the members are opposed to the proposals and have to vote 'abstain' then they can be described as 'don't care's' can't they? 

> Ticking to abstain can also mean just that as well - it doesnt have to mean opposition.   

> This is not satisfactory situation in my opinion although it does at least allow those voters who wanted to register opposition in a meaningful way can do so by voting to abstain.

I am pleased you are unhappy, Simon.  (And don't mean that in a bad way , I mean your concern does you credit!).  Presumably Alex will be putting something up pretty damn pronto on the website.  But, of course; a lot of members have already voted......

> It was not clear to me that abstentions count in the voting pool but the Peak Area NC reps and others in the room at the Area Meeting confirmed that was case and were adamant when I expressed doubt. Abstaining means declining to vote so it seems unusual to me that abstentions can effect the outcome.

Well I'm glad they know as this particular Area NC Rep is completely in the dark

 

1
Andy Say - on 26 May 2018
In reply to James Mann:

>You are using the complexities and confusion surrounding the proposals to portray untruths as fact. I know that many of us feel strongly about this matter but we must be constructive. 

James, are you telling me that currently BMC members cannot take an issue to their Area and that issue will be raised at NC who can make a decision upon it (or at least give an answer)?  I could give you concrete examples of that actually happening.

I'm unsure exactly what that process will be replaced with under proposal A.  Possibly the one I outlined before? 

I actually think that one of the problems that has arisen in recent years is a sort of disengagement between the Areas and National Council.  Anything that can remedy that has to be a good thing!

 

4
Andy Syme - on 26 May 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I'm unsure exactly what that process will be replaced with under proposal A.  Possibly the one I outlined before? 

The process will remain the same until and unless the Phase 2 proposes a better way.  Assuming it doesn't change then the only difference between now and the NC Recommended Articles is that if the NC decided it was something that the members supported the final decision would be with the Board. 

So the only difference comes down to whether you think the Board would, after recommendations from the NC, decide not to do something without a good reason.  The Board that will be up in front of the AGM every 3 years for re-election/re-approval, as opposed to the NC that generally remain for 5 years through uncontested Area re-elections.

> I actually think that one of the problems that has arisen in recent years is a sort of disengagement between the Areas and National Council.  Anything that can remedy that has to be a good thing!

The biggest problem with the NC at the moment is there are too many people who like talking, but too few who like doing.  We need the NC to be active and driven so that people actually think it is an effective organisation worth engaging with. 

Andy Say - on 27 May 2018
In reply to Andy Syme:

> The biggest problem with the NC at the moment is there are too many people who like talking, but too few who like doing.  We need the NC to be active and driven so that people actually think it is an effective organisation worth engaging with. 

You know that we share quite a bit of common ground there, Andy

Andy Say - on 27 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

 

I think everyone realises that there will be NO winners here due to the shambolic way we have approached a major decision point for the BMC. 

 

I was really tempted to just walk away from the pack-mentality evinced recently on this forum.  I have decided that I WILL still engage with ‘discussion’ on UKC in the run-up to the BMC AGM but have laid down a few ground rules for myself.

 

  1. I will only respond to those who I have a reasonable chance of identifying as a real, identifiable  person.
  2. I will only respond to those who are able to discuss issues without resorting to personal abuse and pettiness.
  3. I will only respond to those who do seem to actually have at least a cursory grasp of the detail of the issues being discussed
  4. And, perhaps most importantly – I will only respond to those for whom I have retained some respect.  

 

I DO hope no offence will be caused if I stop responding to some posters.

 

6
olddirtydoggy - on 27 May 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Non of this is even slightly important.

4
Jim 1003 - on 11 Jun 2018
In reply to Andy Say:

> I think everyone realises that there will be NO winners here due to the shambolic way we have approached a major decision point for the BMC. 

> I was really tempted to just walk away from the pack-mentality evinced recently on this forum.  I have decided that I WILL still engage with ‘discussion’ on UKC in the run-up to the BMC AGM but have laid down a few ground rules for myself.

> I will only respond to those who I have a reasonable chance of identifying as a real, identifiable  person.

> I will only respond to those who are able to discuss issues without resorting to personal abuse and pettiness.

> I will only respond to those who do seem to actually have at least a cursory grasp of the detail of the issues being discussed

> And, perhaps most importantly – I will only respond to those for whom I have retained some respect.  

> I DO hope no offence will be caused if I stop responding to some posters.

If you apply that criteria to yourself, nobody is going to be able to reply to your posts..... 


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