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Changing the BMC (Read 159886 times)

shark

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#825 Re: Changing the BMC
March 24, 2024, 09:23:15 am
Hi Dave

Yes would be nice to keep everyone in the same big tent as long as no one monopolises an unfair share of the space inside.

It’s already the case that the Board doesn’t understand competitions because the Board members don’t come from that background and each new member has to go on a crash course on everything involved ie selection rules and procedures, appeals, safeguarding, distribution and application of UKS and SE grants, IFSC Red S policy etc etc. The attempt to manage it by outsourcing to a sub board (the CCPG) and recruiting and trusting professionals from other sporting bodies has backfired spectacularly.

The subsidiary option is a compromise to provide some distance accountability and transparency. I’d much prefer if it was entirely independent. Do we really want the hassle, stress, distraction and expense of running an NGB especially when the Board for the most do not have the experience or genuine interest. For an insight into the difficulties at an NGB check this out: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2024/mar/14/swim-englands-toxic-culture-must-go-it-is-time-for-sport-to-prioritise-joy

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#826 Re: Changing the BMC
March 24, 2024, 09:35:59 am

I have been generally following the BMC threads here and on UKC and although I disagree with the idea of having GBClimbing as a separate entity I really do agree with the need for greater transparency and better communication in terms of finances. Yours and Simon’s debate here around what the actual level of the deficit is, was and should be just highlights this for me.

If the finances were open and communicated more clearly then there wouldn’t be the need for a discussion about how much the deficit actually was, this would just be a fact.

This is why I have signed the petition for more openness and transparency for finances.


I support the sense of the petition, just not the misrepresentation in the background (so can't sign it). In fact I've been urging more openness since I joined Council in 2021.



On the subject of having a subsidiary, nothing I have read has altered my viewpoint on this that it is a bad idea. I really think we need to endeavour to keep as much of the climbing and mountaineering activities in the UK within the remit of the BMC. I genuinely fear that by making it a subsidiary this makes it much easier for it to be completely separated at some stage in the future when the board of the BMC decides it really doesn’t understand competitions and doesn’t want to be responsible for them.

Just my thoughts as a BMC member

Dave

It's more than that it's a very expensive mistaken proposal at a time when we need focus on other serious and urgent issues that need fixing.

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#827 Re: Changing the BMC
March 24, 2024, 12:27:01 pm
I believe the best solution is for the BMC to remain both representative and governing body, but I signed both petitions because I’d like the issue discussed for this reason: the BMC currently does not look capable of being the NGB. Does it have the capacity to remedy this?

Davo

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#828 Re: Changing the BMC
March 24, 2024, 01:23:25 pm
Hi Simon

Thanks for the reply. To be fair I don’t exactly disagree with anything you have said it’s just I don’t like your solution!

I am not that bothered about the cost and time to the BMC of altering its structures as it is a member organisation and if the membership wish for change so be it.

My main concern is that I really don’t like the idea of segregating one part of what I personally consider the climbing and mountaineering world. I fear that the BMC and by inference climbers in general will lose influence in national discussions. I also fear that by leaving competition climbing to its own that both the comp climbing community and the usual climbing community will become divorced from each other. I understand that there is already a gulf between the two worlds but I am a climber and mountaineer who genuinely enjoys watching the comp climbing and finds it very inspiring (if a little hard to relate to). I also do the odd local casual comp and get my son to do the same. If it turns out he is any good at comps I think it would be great if he could do national comps etc and I don’t see a reason why we wouldn’t want national and elite comps to be governed and run by the BMC. As such I want the two worlds to stay under the same governing and representative body.

Personally I see this as a problem of management and personnel within the BMC and not so much a structural issue. If the board could get a few more people on it that had at least an interest in comp climbing I think this would help.

Anyway, I applaud your efforts here Simon. Maybe you should join the board of the BMC??

Cheers Dave

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#829 Re: Changing the BMC
March 24, 2024, 01:32:13 pm
I believe the best solution is for the BMC to remain both representative and governing body, but I signed both petitions because I’d like the issue discussed for this reason: the BMC currently does not look capable of being the NGB. Does it have the capacity to remedy this?

This.
With knobs on.

You really don’t need to know much more than the number of resignations and see the volume of chatter, to develop a cautious attitude to the BMC as an organisation. If we’d been presented with this kind of stuff, during due diligence, prior to entering into business with another party, I’m certain my entire board would have declined to proceed.
I hate corporate jargon, but the “optics” of this, uh, suck big ones.

I think Simon is absolutely correct to be miffed and every “explanation” (official or otherwise) I’ve read has seemed hollow and insincere. In my opinion, with what seems like obfuscation and certainty incoherent, messaging from the body, it’s starting feel like something other than “mistakes”.
Why can’t it be laid out clearly and decisively? Mistakes happen. Lay it out and state what will be done to avoid it in the future. Did I miss that? Has it been done?
Nobody outside the inner sanctum can really say what’s happened, how bad it is or see what’s to be done and “better than it could have been” doesn’t help. Where I’ve read the opinions of “insiders”, who appear to have broken ranks with the sanctum, they are universally negative and appear accusational (but guarded) of something deeper and darker.
FFS, clear it up.
Or would that be the end of the BMC? 
It can’t be that bad, surely?
It was a massive undertaking and huge culture change, nobody should be surprised by even quite large screw ups.

shark

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#830 Re: Changing the BMC
April 30, 2024, 09:01:26 am
UKC news item linking an article on the the BMC website published on Friday with linked papers on a delay in reporting year end figures, plans to split GB Climbing in two and a paper specifically rebutting my proposal to place GBClimbing in a separate subsidiary.

The proposal to effectively split GB Climbing into two parts can be categorised as the bits that UKSport are interested in (and funds) and those that don’t effectively creates a UK Sport outpost within the BMC which obviously works well for UKSport to the point where we might as well hand them the keys IMO.

I currently think we are reaching a tipping point. The direction of travel seems to be towards becoming “any other faceless, CEO led organisation” as one ukc poster puts it.

Membership concerns and interest and democracy no longer feel to me like they are a priority and more of an inconvenience.

Time for a subsidiary split off for recreational climbing?




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#831 Re: Changing the BMC
April 30, 2024, 11:19:59 am
It was time 5 years ago. As I said back then - the incentives change when UK sport money gets involved. Change the incentives change the behaviour, doing the membership/recreational stuff well just isn’t incentivised as much as building an empire ‘team GB’ of managers and coaches  :wank:

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#832 Re: Changing the BMC
May 02, 2024, 09:11:45 am
Hi Simon

I’ve been generally following this stuff and I applaud you for your efforts. I think due to your efforts the BMC are attempting to make some significant changes and improvements. I don’t like the way your resolutions have been handled by the BMC and I think your resolutions should go to AGM. I’m a BMC member via a club.

I have read the latest BMC stuff and am just wondering what your specific objections to them are? I can appreciate that one of the documents would feel like a personal attack on your resolution but I don’t read it that way myself. I don’t agree with all that it says but I just see it as a different opinion to yours that needs to be put forward and discussed at the AGM.

The papers seem to give better financial accountability and to segregate financially comp climbing which doesn’t seem unreasonable. If you wouldn’t mind detailing your objections that would be much appreciated

Cheers

Dave

shark

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#833 Re: Changing the BMC
May 02, 2024, 10:42:18 am
Thanks Dave,

I need to go through it all properly (not sure when though!) but in general the rebuttal document is high on assertion and low on fact.

To quote a former Directors reaction: “Some of that is fundamentally incorrect and some just inappropriate”.

My gut instinct is that the CEO £200k in kind figure is highly questionable as it contrasts so starkly with the £81k shared costs figure provided by the previous CEO and I strongly suspect doesn’t subtract the £100k? or so of grant income that the BMC gets for covering GBC’s admin costs.

There is also the notion that it is acceptable to bake in a contribution of £386kpa to GBClimbing before extras!  whose participants are perhaps 1% of the membership. Elite mountaineers or elite rock climbers get buttons.

Also what is the money being spent on? In general empire building rather than direct support to athletes to gain comp experience - surely a priority in performing well in comps.

There are also references to problems with grant funding. I had a conversation with the BMC’s governance contact at UKSport and specifically asked her what would be problematic about moving to a wholly owned subsid set up and the only thing she raised was that it would be a nuisance reassigning the contracts to the new body. So things like the compliance with the Code of Spirts Governance objection I’m taking with a pinch of salt unless the BMC can identify which parts of the code and why and back that up with testimony from UKS.

As for keeping it internal I’d like to be trusting but it leaves far too much scope for funny business due to lack of transparency.

That’s just an initial brain dump and as I said I need to go through it more systematically and pick a few brains.

Davo

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#834 Re: Changing the BMC
May 02, 2024, 05:20:39 pm
Hi Simon

I have read it again and I do agree that the figures seem very high and given the money doesn’t go to the actual athletes I am not sure where the money is going.

I still don’t want comp climbing split off completely from the BMC but I do want to understand better and more clearly where the money is going and what on. I think with good financial transparency and clarity would come better management.

Dave

shark

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#835 Re: Changing the BMC
May 02, 2024, 07:38:45 pm
Don’t forget grant income. The expenditure and shared costs apportionment is in excess of £1million pa.

shark

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#836 Re: Changing the BMC
May 28, 2024, 06:56:37 pm
Annual report and Accounts now out. No sign of the detailed Auditors Report promised by the CEO,

First glance at the format is that little has changed and therefore no detailed breakdown of allocation of expenditure by GB Climbing or how grant income was allocated. So same old, same old ie clear as mud.

Plenty of excuses in the chair's report if you are interested.

Headline figure only of £950k by the BMC to support GBClimbing (ie above and beyond grant and other income) so little doubt of the scale of support there on £4.85m overall expenditure. No indication whether that includes the cited £200k shared costs in the rebuttal letter for example.

As for the £625k loss the annual report says this:
The BMC made a larger than expected loss of £625k in 2023. The main reasons for these losses are grouped as follows:
1. Reconciliation of grants relating to GB Climbing and poor controls of budgets resulting in additional cost to the BMC. £361,284
2. Inaccurate accounting of VAT resulting in additional cost to the BMC.£61,420
3. Profit reconciliation across several areas including bad debtors and fees for services owed. £62,037
4. Loss of insurance income in July 2023. £41,627
5. The costs of restructuring, redundancies, and staff departures due to not tracking ambitious growth targets. £102,816

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-annual-general-meeting

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#837 Re: Changing the BMC
May 29, 2024, 01:10:46 pm
Just clicked on the link  to vote ahead of the AGM to be informed that voting has been suspended! Seems weird...

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#838 Re: Changing the BMC
May 29, 2024, 01:17:11 pm
Same here, when I looked yesterday there didn’t seem to be anything contentious, unless we can vote not to receive the accounts until we get some better ones 😂

 

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