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BMC Resolutions shout out 📣 (Read 15524 times)

teestub

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#50 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 09, 2024, 07:10:50 pm

Have you done any accounting? This seems extremely unlikely from the small exposure I've had to finance and accounting.

Helping Randall to hide the McLaren on the Lattice accounts? 😂

Offwidth

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#51 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 09, 2024, 08:28:57 pm
Also Offwidth. I find your continual attempts to shield the BMC behind the fact that it's heavily supported by volunteers extremely hard to jusify.

A small percentage of people that we meet in life are takers. That's just how it is, people realise this over time and the takers aren't widely respected as a result. The vast majority of people help or volunteer with something. Whether it's charity, clubs, schools, community, sports, politics or whatever, most of us volunteer our time in some fashion or other. The notion that volunteers should be regarded as being in anyway special or holy is nonsense. Nearly all of us are volunteers for something or other. Being a volunteer should not make you immune to criticism. It one hundred perecent should not make the organisation you are volunterring for immune to criticism. The volunteers should be as outraged as the rest of us if not more about the state of things at the BMC. If any of the organisations that I volunteer for were behaving this poorly I would be kicking up so much shit you wouldn't be able to see me for the brown cloud.

That's not what I'm saying though. I'm saying staff and volunteers just got on with things, since 2017, during several real crises. The first big one was the disruption then financial fallout of the Motion of No Confidence (when grants were stopped, despite a huge majority backing the BMC leadership). The second was covid and furlough. The third was during a cost of living crisis which was unlucky to correspond with: some seriously poor financial planning , control and oversight; and also serious stakeholder problems in GB Climbing. Six of us wrote to say this last March, got Council to back us  and have been pressuring for improvement ever since. After a year of struggle, and some senior departures, at last there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, since budgets are still tight, members leaving now because they are angry with BMC mismanagement (and encouraging others to leave) will hurt staff and key volunteers' ability to work at maximum efficiency. So since things are looking much better I'd just ask them to think carefully before doing so.

If you don't believe the 2022 statement ask questions at the open forum in a couple of weeks. Or have a quiet chat with David, Tarquin or Bill who have been Council Finance and Audit reps in the last few years... I trust all three. David was the first to warn the FAC about over ambitious membership growth targets (who then dropped put of Council for a few months) and Tarquin and Bill were part of our letter writing 6.

remus

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#52 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 09, 2024, 08:43:20 pm

Have you done any accounting? This seems extremely unlikely from the small exposure I've had to finance and accounting.

Helping Randall to hide the McLaren on the Lattice accounts? 😂

That's a legitimate business expense right?

Oldmanmatt

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#53 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 10, 2024, 02:58:01 am

Have you done any accounting? This seems extremely unlikely from the small exposure I've had to finance and accounting.

Helping Randall to hide the McLaren on the Lattice accounts? 😂

That's a legitimate business expense right?

If you plaster it with huge Lattice logos, probably.

Squirrel!👉

shark

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#54 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 15, 2024, 10:23:50 pm
Thanks everyone picking up on the finance issue in my absence. The inability to provide a breakdown for 2022 should have prompted bigger questions by Members Council rather than meek acceptance.

I’m afraid further very bad news about the 2023 outturn is on its way that beggars belief. I understand releases from the Board, MC and the CEO are expected over the next couple of days.

This will lay bare the extent of the Board’s complete lack of financial control over the organisation and members money they are custodians of and responsible for.

It is an absolute disgrace.


« Last Edit: May 16, 2024, 07:54:49 am by shark »

El Mocho

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#55 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 09:08:43 am
For context, I have spent €2.5M on paint alone over the last 12 months.

Farrow and Ball has gone up a bit in the last 12 months yeh. Think it cost that much to do our front room.

Shark, thanks for keeping on with this. I suffer from a rose tinted view of the BMC in the past and view of how it could be in the future, combined with a little Offwidthitis where every BMC employee I've met seems like a great, hard working person (except Niall  ;)) means I'd be likely to stick my head in the sand and assume everything would end up fine in the end... To keep kicking the ants nest (or whatever you want to call it) must be becoming unpleasant and tedious.


shark

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#56 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 09:30:22 am
Thanks Ben

Being kicked in the nuts by MC currently feels like the last straw from a personal perspective.

Some say it’s too fucked to fix. I can see how it can be rescued in terms of drastic actions to take to stop the cash burn and rebuild from there but the politics of having competent leadership in place with experience of business recovery and being given that sort of mandate still appears a long way off when the Board are still quibbling over trivia.

Oldmanmatt

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#57 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 11:35:57 am
Thanks Ben

Being kicked in the nuts by MC currently feels like the last straw from a personal perspective.

Some say it’s too fucked to fix. I can see how it can be rescued in terms of drastic actions to take to stop the cash burn and rebuild from there but the politics of having competent leadership in place with experience of business recovery and being given that sort of mandate still appears a long way off when the Board are still quibbling over trivia.

In one respect, Offwidth is right. The past is the past and there (at the moment, pending further revelations) is no reason to believe the organisation is beyond salvage.
End the BS and platitudes, come clean, investigate properly (external audit?), publish the action plan and remedials and watch the support grow. Does anybody want to see the BMC die? I don’t (never did cancel my membership, decided you can’t argue for reform and leave).

Tony

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#58 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 02:54:00 pm
Does anybody want to see the BMC die? I don’t (never did cancel my membership, decided you can’t argue for reform and leave).

Firstly, I’m glad to hear this.

I would suggest that your posts in this thread do not demonstrate “financial illiteracy” [I commend the excellent quote] but, rather,  highlight the support you and your business receives through well developed policies, procedures and governance learnt from across the group of companies and their experienced leadership.

I’d also point out that (much like E grades…) we don’t expect finances to scale linearly; scaling from your €100M, the BMC would require a CEO’s signature on every bill of more than £450. That doesn’t seem like a good use of time.

Given the God awful job of ensuring any sort of sensible governance/oversight the previous incumbent did, I doubt it would have helped in any case.

I completely agree with voices as disparate as the Council and Remus that Nails is delusional if Nails thinks they could get anywhere near approximating the spending split *retrospectively* within the BMC within a day with the (evident) haphazard accounting that occurred in the period. From the noises being made, I suspect the paper trail may simply be impossible to reconstruct (at least without excessive expense - [dubious] finance IT system “migration” was mentioned). As Remus says HMRC only cares about tax its owed from the organisation overall.

The Council and the new leadership have taken a sensible and pragmatic approach. The best thing members can do now is to support and encourage the Council to constructively hold the Board to account.

tomtom

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#59 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 03:29:02 pm
Email just come in from the BMc. Presumably all members will get it: copy pasted below.


Dear Members,

This is a painful message for me to write as one of my first major communications to you all.

My approach from starting the role in February 2024 has been to operate with honesty, openness and transparency and the purpose of this open letter is to lay out the financial situation of the BMC, following our annual audit.

Regrettably, today, I need to announce that the BMC made a larger than expected loss of £625k in 2023 and we have finished the financial year with our reserves down to £217k.

These losses are significant and place a considerable amount of strain on the organisation, far beyond what was understood in February 2024 and the starting point I envisaged coming into this role.

Since February, we have undertaken an enhanced audit of our accounts and procedures to be able to gain clarity on what has occurred in 2023 and why. This identified several misstatements that require adjustments for the end of year balance.

A significant area of our losses relates to the funding of our performance operations. For this we apologise and recognise swift and impactful change was and is needed.

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.

2.    Inaccurate accounting of VAT resulting in additional cost to the BMC.

3.    Profit reconciliation across several areas including bad debtors and fees for services owed. 

4.    Loss of insurance income in July 2023.

5.    The costs of restructuring, redundancies, and staff departures due to not tracking ambitious growth targets.

This year, the BMC will be focused on resetting and bringing stability to the organisation. The immediate actions we have taken are focussed on ensuring our funded activity operates within its means plus additional areas of cost saving:

1.    Restructuring GB Climbing department to bring costs in line with grants received, resulting in a reduction of 4.6 full time equivalent (FTE) roles since the end of 2023.

2.    The ending of the contract for ‘Unit E’ Performance Centre.

3.    Reducing Competition, Training and Education and Marketing budgets.

4.    Restructure of the BMC online shop from 1 August, with reduction of 1 FTE role.

5.    Reducing office overheads. 

6.    Pausing recruitment for non-essential positions.

To move towards better processes and more transparency in our financial systems we are working with an interim financial leader. We will be separating out the financial reporting of grant income from membership and commercial income as part of our accounting systems. This will be reflected in a clearer and more transparent structure between our grant funded and membership funded activities. 

The Board of Directors have recognised the need for urgent change in our risk and audit oversight and have approved structural changes to the operations of our funded areas.

I have updated and consulted with Members Council, your elected representative group, on the status and looked for support and direction from them.

We will be publishing the detailed audit as part of the annual report for the AGM, and I would welcome your questions and engagement in the upcoming events listed below.

Having identified and addressed the issues that have led to this position, I am optimistic that, while the starting point is further back than I had hoped, we can commence building reserves back, remaining absolutely focussed on representing the interests of our community.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your support, which currently is more important than ever. My commitment to you is to take care of this wonderful organisation to the best of my ability.

Warmest regards,
Paul Ratcliffe


BMC CEO 


Wellsy

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#60 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 03:50:14 pm
625 grand huh?

Wonder if Matt can find any space in the paint budget to cover it...

Oldmanmatt

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#61 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 03:54:07 pm
625 grand huh?

Wonder if Matt can find any space in the paint budget to cover it...

I wish.

Dire, isn’t it. I see Simon is saying the people responsible have not resigned or been removed. I’m interested to know if that’s correct. Offwidth?

Will Hunt

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#62 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 03:57:44 pm
Almost 3.5 CragX footbridges  :ohmy: :wavecry:

Steve Crowe

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#63 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 04:02:39 pm
Exactly how many new members will the BMC need to recover that loss. #deathspiral

Wellsy

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#64 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 04:10:29 pm
Almost 3.5 CragX footbridges  :ohmy: :wavecry:

Lol

teestub

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#65 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 04:15:12 pm
Dang I thought Offwidth was talking a couple hundred g’s, must have used more taxis in Innsbruck than they originally thought!

steveri

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#66 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 06:43:17 pm
It’s dreadful but I actually take a bit of heart from some of it:
  • recognise the problems
  • take some concrete actions
  • use plain language

Now just the small matter of fixing things properly.

And if shark’s mission ultimately failed, he’s responsible for getting some of the dirty washing aired. Not surprising they wanted to handle things their own way, rather than his. The new CEO must be used to turbulent currents and capsize recovery. People like Andy Say are doing all the right stuff. Comps is changing, some of the parents/people on that side give a consistently good impression. Follow through with all that listening and give them a bigger vote.

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#67 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 08:22:07 pm

5.    The costs of restructuring, redundancies, and staff departures due to not tracking ambitious growth targets.



I'm not quite sure what all this means exactly, but it doesn't sound like any of it was handled in a great way or had a happy ending.

'Not tracking ambitious growth targets' - basically sounds like someone didn't follow the money... or the lack of it.

Well done to Shark for putting his head above the parapet and pointing out that the Emperor wasn't wearing any clothes...

mrjonathanr

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#68 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 09:18:17 pm

5.    The costs of restructuring, redundancies, and staff departures due to not tracking ambitious growth targets.



I'm not quite sure what all this means exactly, but it doesn't sound like any of it was handled in a great way or had a happy ending.

To me it means they spent from a projected budget that never materialised, due to exaggerated assumptions about membership revenue. Now, addresssing that deficit engenders costs of its own.

shark

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#69 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 09:39:53 pm

Dire, isn’t it. I see Simon is saying the people responsible have not resigned or been removed. I’m interested to know if that’s correct. Offwidth?

The Board has primacy ie responsibility and accountability stops with them. Under their watch £1million has been spaffed away over the last two years with nothing to show for it.

The two main players on the Board are the Chair and President. Neither have tendered their resignations.

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#70 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 09:49:16 pm
No way back from this. They've surely got to go ASAP.

Just glad no Access roles are going.....

teestub

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#71 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 10:27:47 pm
Sure it takes a while to get the accounts sorted, but v convenient that this comes out too late for any AGM resolutions to be submitted.

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#72 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 10:36:20 pm
Yeah, total shit-show. No surprise.

The train-wreck of the finances is a risk inherent when you attract managers to build an opaque empire in a 'glamorous' (using the definition very loosely!) - read 'expensive' - niche like elite sport, funded/incentivised with 'free' money unconnected to the department's own profit & loss; while trying to combine that kind of setup within a decent, boring, steady-income, historic grass-roots member's organisation reliant for funding on members subs. It was bonkers to mesh the two together as I've said for the last 5 years. The two ethos are unlikely to mix well. It seems like merging organisational oil and water. Even less likely to succeed when any financial oversight of the flashy expensive full-time professional part is mostly done by part-time volunteers from the boring steady mundane voluntary part. Madness.


Btw..
Throughout this debate Offwidth was attempting to obstruct progress of Shark's proposals and bewilder with his usual pomposity and political BS'ing, by claiming Shark's proposed motions shouldn't be allowed due to 'being founded in a misrepresentation of the facts' (or words to that effect). Even I didn't expect any such 'misrepresentation' to actually turn out to be an underestimation of the deficit.   ::)


The MC failed in their role to: 'act as a representative body of the members, consulting with and constructively challenging the Board of Directors, and holding the Board to account on behalf of the members.

While the board utterly failed in their role: 'responsible for overall operation of the organisation, as well as setting and implementing organisational strategy in consultation with Members' Council.'

Without resignations to signal accountability it's an unavoidable MONC isn't it?

 :shit:


 


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#73 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 10:53:19 pm
With so many gyms in Sheffield and high quality ones at that. Why would they pay for Unit E??


The BMC, to me, has always been about outdoor climbing, mountaineering and out doors pursuits including access and promotion of the ‘great outdoors’.


Some people will disagree with this, but I’d love to see new executives at the board who are brave enough to drop competition climbing altogether.



Tony

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#74 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 16, 2024, 10:56:26 pm
Throughout this debate Offwidth was attempting to obstruct progress of Shark's proposals and bewilder with his usual pomposity and political BS'ing,

You’re really playing the populists card here Pete.

There is a difference between disagreeing and obstructing.

Tbh, you generally come across more pompous (self-righteous?) than Offwidth, and I find it unlikely that a person capable of (apparently) understanding complicated financial instruments, such as yourself, has been “bewildered” by anything Offwidth has written. Cut the ::shit::

 

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