UKBouldering.com

BMC No Confidence Motion (split from the Why aren't you a BMC member? thread) (Read 15887 times)

Sidehaas

more Offline
  • **
  • menacing presence
  • Posts: 172
  • Karma: +8/-0
I've avoided most of the internet discussion on all of this as there is just too much crap going on in the world - I like my internet climbing reading to be more positive or at least less serious!  However, I've taken note today since Summit came through and with it the voting form.
I am instinctively opposed to the anti-change / stuck-in-the-past brigade in most walks of life, so my views on this were always likely to be in one direction. However,  having read Martin Wragg's summary of the situation that came along with the voting form, I just don't see how the proposers even think they have a leg to stand on.  Assuming we take his summary as the complete  truth (and as the BMC's legal advisor I think we must) then it completely clear that the reasoning given in Bob Pettigrew's motion is simply false, and the governance applied followed all the rules, therefore the motion as it stands should be thrown out. There doesn't seem much room for judgement,  regardless of your views on the broader direction of the BMC, branding etc.

As an aside I can't help feeling it is telling that this has come from an exclusive outdated club like the AC, but perhaps that has already been said.

GraemeA

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1680
  • Karma: +67/-6
  • FTM
    • The Works, it's the Bollocks
As an aside I can't help feeling it is telling that this has come from an exclusive outdated club like the AC, but perhaps that has already been said.

It appears that the AC Committee are against the motion (I talked with one of it's members) and that the whole thing is being pushed by one of the signatories but not the motion's proposer.

The question is who is the ogre in the room?

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5986
  • Karma: +393/-7
  • insect overlord #1
Assuming we take his summary as the complete  truth (and as the BMC's legal advisor I think we must) then it completely clear that the reasoning given in Bob Pettigrew's motion is simply false, and the governance applied followed all the rules, therefore the motion as it stands should be thrown out.

I think I am correct in saying that Martin is also the Alpine Clubs legal adviser. The danger is that irrespective of the wording of the motion, many members who are disaffected in one aspect of the BMC or another may choose the opportunity to vote for the motion as a kind of protest vote.

mrjonathanr

more Online
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2769
  • Karma: +111/-5
Quite. Look what happened last time.

Teaboy

more Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 721
  • Karma: +32/-1

The question is who is the ogre in the room?

I'd have guessed at him even without the clue! Hopefully he'll crawl down from his current position, possibly with the guidance of Bonners given his position.

DAVETHOMAS90

more Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Dave Thomas is an annual climber to 1.7m, with strongly fragrant flowers
  • Posts: 735
  • Karma: +97/-2
  • How wrong can you be? Martin Perry in Hard XS.
having read Martin Wragg's summary of the situation that came along with the voting form

I'm not a fan of the BMC - although I respect and applaud the great contribution made by many staff members - and as such, I'm not a member.

Would it be possible for someone to post up details of the summary?

To me, the basis for the motion seems quite clear, irrespective of what people may want to read into it - WRT due process - or lack of it - on a point of governance.

The position may lack sufficient supporting evidence, but I think that a lot of the responses here are pretty defensive/irrational, not particularly addressing the basis of the motion with strong argument either.

It would be great to see additional information if that's possible - but heh, I'm not a member  ;)

Muenchener

more Offline
  • *****
  • Trusted Users
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 2399
  • Karma: +107/-0
I'm not a BMC member either Dave. I haven't climbed regularly in the UK for twenty years and have no actual opinion on whether or not the BMC is well run. I have only actually met one of the proposers of the motion; it was a long time ago and I didn't know him well even then. So, having established my excellent credentials and wealth of insider knowledge:

The manner in which the proposers of the motion are going about their campaign is an attempt to drag the BMC kicking and screaming into the 1970s and therefore should be resisted tooth & nail.

The motion refers to "wilful and deliberate withholding of future policy decisions", and yet its proposers are engaging in wilful and deliberate avoidance of open public discussion in favour of - one hears - addressing meetings of the Oread, letters to the Vagabond etc. The whole thing looks like an attempt to stage a coup by drumming up enough club members to win an AGM vote, rather than to address serious issues via open discussion in the public forums that actually exist in this century.

I've been on climbing club committees and seen the type many times - people for whom petty committee politics have replaced climbing as their actual primary sport. They should be stopped.

That should hopefully be sufficiently subjective, impressionistic and fact-free for you  :)

Sidehaas

more Offline
  • **
  • menacing presence
  • Posts: 172
  • Karma: +8/-0
having read Martin Wragg's summary of the situation that came along with the voting form



Would it be possible for someone to post up details of the summary?

To me, great to see additional information if that's possible - but heh, I'm not a member  ;)

You should join. Here it is:

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/DownloadHandler.ashx%3Fid%3D1441&ved=0ahUKEwiGneCxhOfSAhUqKcAKHfZ2CsIQFggaMAA&usg=AFQjCNHHg24aVwv9det-XZvv_PBelTSYgg

petejh

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3147
  • Karma: +335/-15
That report by Martin Wragg is informative.

So...

Firstly, in his conclusion he states that:  'There is no connection between the proposal to adopt the brand name Climb Britain and the inclusion of competition climbing in the 2020 Olympics'.

That may be what the BMC solicitor believes, but a great many people will find it much harder than he does to believe this.. For starters, it's surely impossible without having been present in the meeting rooms of the consultancies involved with the re-brand, to know the exact thinking and intentions. And it isn't difficult to see why the Climb Britain brand could be conflated with the inclusion of sport climbing in the olympics.. when you have the timing; and the similarity with other 'xyz UK' or 'xyz Britain' sports teams; and when you have media reports explicitly stating that the rationale for the BMC's re-brand is linked to the Olympics - http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1040189/japan-and-british-mountaineering-groups-set-to-change-names-to-reflect-climbing-being-included-on-olympic-programme

FFS  ::)  :-\
 
I'm not in favour of the old-fart's power games - they've had their day in the sun and they should disappear, and stop trying to tell the younger generation how to play the game. But people being told there was no link between the rebrand and the Olympics.. It doesn't add up to me and a lot of other people; and obviously some good governance would have pre-empted the obvious link with Olympics being made and they could have headed it off.. or better still, never gone down that Climb Britain road in the first place and saved everyone a lot of unnecessary hassle.

Secondly, he concludes:
'When a decision was made about a brand name it was made in accordance with the constitution.'

and

'Accordingly there is no governance issue arising from the brand decision.'

That isn't a very wide-ranging view of what constitutes good governance - 'as long as decisions are made within the constitution'. How about asking where was the good sense - which surely is a pre-requisite of 'good governance' - to realise that the membership should have been consulted early on in any re-brand proposal and not just 'National Council', who clearly voted out of step with the membership.

And finally..

'Unrelated governance issues have been identified and National Council resolved to set up a working group to review governance and report before BMC received notice of the No Confidence motion.'

So... on top of the poor governance (in spirit if not law) connected with the re-brand.. there has also been identified other poor governance.


So there was poor governance, just not (in the BMC's view) the poor governance that some people (don't) want. I'm not getting a warm feeling here BMC!

« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 04:16:14 pm by petejh »

Offwidth

more Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 654
  • Karma: +30/-2
    • Offwidth

To me, the basis for the motion seems quite clear, irrespective of what people may want to read into it - WRT due process - or lack of it - on a point of governance.

The position may lack sufficient supporting evidence, but I think that a lot of the responses here are pretty defensive/irrational, not particularly addressing the basis of the motion with strong argument either.


I guess you can be forgiven coming late to this. The original draft of the motion was backed by some seriously big names (a few of whom claimed no knowledge of the motion when contacted) and a series of points of misinformation that has been challenged directly with the actual facts. This was followed by Leo's letter to the Vagabond, which was little better (now deleted but preserved on internet histories and copied on a UKC thread) . The actual motion has no clear details at all, other than being something to do with the rebrand (all governance issues critiqued in the BMC legal advice). It's all happening a year later than it should (an EGM should heve been called if its that important and Bob was serious) and with a complete refusal of any of the Signatories to debate publicly, other than Steve W (who said something different again to the motion).

Bob's been very busy collecting proxy votes and a whole load of people stand to lose their jobs/roles if this is not taken very seriously. In the meantime the organisation won't be as focussed as it should on repairing those aqueducts etc, you take for granted.

galpinos

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1493
  • Karma: +54/-0
That report by Martin Wragg is informative.

.......

And finally..

'Unrelated governance issues have been identified and National Council resolved to set up a working group to review governance and report before BMC received notice of the No Confidence motion.'

So... on top of the poor governance (in spirit if not law) connected with the re-brand.. there has also been identified other poor governance.

So there was poor governance, just not (in the BMC's view) the poor governance that some people (don't) want. I'm not getting a warm feeling here BMC!

Ru responded to your second point on the other channel:

Quote
There was a recent attempt to rationalise the articles of association by making a matrix that specified which body (exec/NT/staff etc) was responsible for a long list of types of decision. This was abandoned when it was decided that the best draft didn't in fact accord with the articles. This is one of the reasons that a governance review has been initiated because squaring the articles with the companies act was very difficult when trying to make the matrix. I'm not aware of any decisions actually taken that do not accord with the articles.

and

Quote
Yes, that's the same thing I'm referring to. Martin is not saying that actual decisions were taken that weren't in accordance with the articles. Rather an attempt was made to define the split between the NC and the exec and this failed on its first attempt.

PS If you would like to pen an academic paper on the practical solutions to governance issues that arise when a membership organisation is constituted as a company limited by guarantee with specific reference to the tensions between the legal duties of a board of directors (as set out in the Companies Act 2006 and other places) and the desire for policy decisions to be taken by an elected council of member representatives, then the BMC would be most interested.

These responses were in this thread:

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=659967&v=1

petejh

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3147
  • Karma: +335/-15
That's useful thanks.

The BMC's explanations for the whole Climb Britain re-brand I'm sure still don't add up for a lot of people. Whether or not it's a case of 'poor governance' - in spirit it seems to be; in law, god (or Ru) knows - it is a case of poor leadership and poor judgement. That much is obvious.

And whether or not that's a case for a no confidence vote ...

Offwidth

more Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 654
  • Karma: +30/-2
    • Offwidth
That report by Martin Wragg is informative.

So...

Firstly, in his conclusion he states that:  'There is no connection between the proposal to adopt the brand name Climb Britain and the inclusion of competition climbing in the 2020 Olympics'.

That may be what the BMC solicitor believes, but a great many people will find it much harder than he does to believe this.. For starters, it's surely impossible without having been present in the meeting rooms of the consultancies involved with the re-brand, to know the exact thinking and intentions. And it isn't difficult to see why the Climb Britain brand could be conflated with the inclusion of sport climbing in the olympics.. when you have the timing; and the similarity with other 'xyz UK' or 'xyz Britain' sports teams; and when you have media reports explicitly stating that the rationale for the BMC's re-brand is linked to the Olympics - http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1040189/japan-and-british-mountaineering-groups-set-to-change-names-to-reflect-climbing-being-included-on-olympic-programme

FFS  ::)  :-\
 
I'm not in favour of the old-fart's power games - they've had their day in the sun and they should disappear, and stop trying to tell the younger generation how to play the game. But people being told there was no link between the rebrand and the Olympics.. It doesn't add up to me and a lot of other people; and obviously some good governance would have pre-empted the obvious link with Olympics being made and they could have headed it off.. or better still, never gone down that Climb Britain road in the first place and saved everyone a lot of unnecessary hassle.

Secondly, he concludes:
'When a decision was made about a brand name it was made in accordance with the constitution.'

and

'Accordingly there is no governance issue arising from the brand decision.'

That isn't a very wide-ranging view of what constitutes good governance - 'as long as decisions are made within the constitution'. How about asking where was the good sense - which surely is a pre-requisite of 'good governance' - to realise that the membership should have been consulted early on in any re-brand proposal and not just 'National Council', who clearly voted out of step with the membership.

And finally..

'Unrelated governance issues have been identified and National Council resolved to set up a working group to review governance and report before BMC received notice of the No Confidence motion.'

So... on top of the poor governance (in spirit if not law) connected with the re-brand.. there has also been identified other poor governance.


So there was poor governance, just not (in the BMC's view) the poor governance that some people (don't) want. I'm not getting a warm feeling here BMC!

Nothing new and the counter arguments have all been debated here and on UKC.

It's possible the Marketing organisation partly duped the BMC (Moff and others were consulted as part of the survey and nowhere was a possible rebrand explictly brought up).

The rebrand was mainly about recruiting from non traditional areas like indoor walls ( the marking group again may dirty in this, the BMC more likely naive than Olympics-pushing Bond villains). You are right many members are suspicious... conspiracy theries are surprisingly popular. The BMC membership has voted numerous times at area meetings and AGM's to reject motions from Bob and others aimed at distancing the BMC from the Olympics. Yet it remains a live and divisive issue.

The BMC in the rebrand followed a process consistent with their articles and after mass feedback which was mainly negative quickly moved to review the decision. They apologised for their mistake and overturned the rebrand when area meeting input was obtained. The spirit of governance was clearly met, eventually.

Ru has discussed at length the very real legal difficulties in the complexity of the BMC constitution that make a workable governance model very tricky indeed, but they are having a look again (given what he says ... good luck on that).

Yes the BMC is imperfect (what organisation isnt)  but is this a heroic campaign or a disgruntled minority trying dirty tricks to remove an exec they don't like?

petejh

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3147
  • Karma: +335/-15
Quote
The BMC membership has voted numerous times at area meetings and AGM's to reject motions from Bob and others aimed at distancing the BMC from the Olympics.

As evidence of the direction its membership wishes the BMC to take this is near to worthless. You and I know that the people who turn up at area meetings and AGM's are a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of the membership. A large strategical decision like aligning or not with the Olympics should be taken after consulting as many members as possible. This is the internet age, not the village committee age.

Quote
The BMC in the rebrand followed a process consistent with their articles and after mass feedback which was mainly negative quickly moved to review the decision. They apologised for their mistake and overturned the rebrand when area meeting input was obtained. The spirit of governance was clearly met, eventually.

Agreed.Eventually. But it's hardly difficult to predict some pretty major resistance to a quite radical re-brand of a long-standing brand. Hence why it's so difficult to understand why they didn't just consult the membership.... before?!?! Poor leadership. Not that I really care as much as it might seem - just call poor leadership what it is and don't try to pull the wool.


For sure the motion of no confidence reeks of grudges adn power games. I'm not in favour. But there is a case to be answered rather than let it get ignored in the stand against OAP alpinists.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 04:58:02 pm by petejh »

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5986
  • Karma: +393/-7
  • insect overlord #1
Firstly, in his conclusion he states that:  'There is no connection between the proposal to adopt the brand name Climb Britain and the inclusion of competition climbing in the 2020 Olympics'.

That may be what the BMC solicitor believes, but a great many people will find it much harder than he does to believe this.. For starters, it's surely impossible without having been present in the meeting rooms of the consultancies involved with the re-brand, to know the exact thinking and intentions. And it isn't difficult to see why the Climb Britain brand could be conflated with the inclusion of sport climbing in the olympics.. when you have the timing; and the similarity with other 'xyz UK' or 'xyz Britain' sports teams; and when you have media reports explicitly stating that the rationale for the BMC's re-brand is linked to the Olympics - http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1040189/japan-and-british-mountaineering-groups-set-to-change-names-to-reflect-climbing-being-included-on-olympic-programme

FFS  ::)  :-\
 
I'm not in favour of the old-fart's power games - they've had their day in the sun and they should disappear, and stop trying to tell the younger generation how to play the game. But people being told there was no link between the rebrand and the Olympics.. It doesn't add up to me and a lot of other people; and obviously some good governance would have pre-empted the obvious link with Olympics being made and they could have headed it off.. or better still, never gone down that Climb Britain road in the first place and saved everyone a lot of unnecessary hassle.


Pete,

The driver behind the Consultancy report funded by Sport England was to help prepare the BMC for cuts in Sport England funding. Similarly funded exercises were undertaken at numerous other Sporting bodies to help them prepare then in the same way. A re-brand was not an expected outcome - a tarting up of the logo was what was expected. However, after their research the consultants felt a re-brand was justified to reach a wider commercial audience (ie outside the Outdoor Industry etc)  and attract younger climbers for whom the British Mountaineering Council name was unknown and offputting. I have read the reports and can assure you that the Olympics was not the driver behind the re-brand.

petejh

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3147
  • Karma: +335/-15
I think you (they, BMC, whoever) probably need to get that message out more clearly to more people then Simon.

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5986
  • Karma: +393/-7
  • insect overlord #1
I think you (they, BMC, whoever) probably need to get that message out more clearly to more people then Simon.

They kept saying and everyone assumes otherwise. You doubted Martin Wragg who is a respected lawyer. Sometimes things are as they are stated and appear to be.

Offwidth

more Offline
  • ****
  • forum abuser
  • Posts: 654
  • Karma: +30/-2
    • Offwidth
Blame the articles that are difficult to change and that Bob is trying to exploit. Id love to see wider consultation (even to non members... the horror!).

Anecdotally the climbers I know are much more pro Olympic than the BMC members I know who are more pro Olympic than the  members who go to meetings. I think the Olympic format is a crock of shit so have no bias other than supporting the democracy that allows the organisation (I volunteer extensively for) to function. I'm also very suspicious of the likes of Schlerosis who end up gettting re-elected time and again to lead competitive sport organisations but I'm assured he is not as bad as Bob paints him (hard to be worse!)

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5986
  • Karma: +393/-7
  • insect overlord #1
So there was poor governance, just not (in the BMC's view) the poor governance that some people (don't) want. I'm not getting a warm feeling here BMC!


This isn't my area but the governance dilemma as I understand it all stems from the National Council being responsible for policy (strategy) but being unaccountable for those policies and their consequences and the Board of Directors (the Exec) being responsible for carrying out policy as directed and then being legally responsible for the outcomes under company law even if they didn't devise those policies.

This has muddled along when there general agreement about matters but is viewed as problematic in terms of governance and also becomes problematic when the shit hits the fan over vexatious issues. Also defining what is and isn't policy and execution is also tricky and can be argued at length at National Council meetings. A matrix to allocate how it was all divvied up failed to reach a conclusion in November.

In most organisations the Board of Directors has the prime responsibility for making decisions as it has the prime accountability for the consequences. The BMC set up is a bit weird.

petejh

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3147
  • Karma: +335/-15
Yeah no shit, when the setup of the BMC governance is explained in those term, it is very weird! And this is the best we can do? It's not that surprising balls-up happen.

Is it really that difficult to just make the policy(strategy)-making body also the legally responsible body? It can't be. Who stands to lose out?

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5986
  • Karma: +393/-7
  • insect overlord #1
Yeah no shit, when the setup of the BMC governance is explained in those term, it is very weird! And this is the best we can do? It's not that surprising balls-up happen.

Is it really that difficult to just make the policy(strategy)-making body also the legally responsible body? It can't be. Who stands to lose out?

How do you get turkeys to vote for christmas?

(Speaking as a former turkey)


petejh

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 3147
  • Karma: +335/-15
Pay them cash money. Simple.

BMC turnover 2.9million per year. Surely it could afford pay a board of directors.

Oldmanmatt

more Offline
  • *****
  • forum hero
  • I swear I was only 20 last week.
  • Posts: 4142
  • Karma: +201/-6
  • 47! How the f#Łk did that happen?
    • The Boulder Bunker climbing centre
Pay them cash money. Simple.

BMC turnover 2.9million per year. Surely it could afford pay a board of directors.

Half of that goes on Sharks salary...
[emoji12]

Ru

more Offline
  • *****
  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 1565
  • Karma: +70/-0
Is it really that difficult to just make the policy(strategy)-making body also the legally responsible body? It can't be. Who stands to lose out?

No, it's easy to do that. Just change the articles. But if you did that the board would not be obliged to run *any* decision past anyone. The whole point of the national council is that it represents the member's views so that BMC policy cannot be dictated by the board. Take the rebrand decision. Your "governance" issue with this decision is that the exec asked the member's representatives (the national council) what they thought (which is required by the articles), but not the members themselves (not required). And now you suggest the solution is to make it so that the board wouldn't even need to do that. So in answer to your question, the members would lose out. And as the BMC is a membership organisation, that is viewed as bad.

shark

more Offline
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • Posts: 5986
  • Karma: +393/-7
  • insect overlord #1
The theory is that it represents Members but the practice is that National Council reps get very little direction from Areas let alone the wider membership. There is an avalanche of papers that is very hard to interpret unless you are a longstanding insider. As a NationalCouncilrep i felt very much like a bored cog in a needless machine that slowed up decision making and was costly to organise re venues and expenses.

There are alternative safeguards that can be put in place to rein in a Board or make it more accountable.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 07:55:47 pm by shark »