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BMC Resolutions shout out 📣 (Read 14632 times)

shark

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BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
April 15, 2024, 06:06:42 pm
If you signed the petition for the BMC resolutions can you email me your membership number and postcode to: simon@simonleeconsulting.co.uk

Whilst we have sufficient numbers signed up to include the resolutions (ie over 382) the BMC Office was unable to verify a substantial number from the Change petition info as being BMC members so I need this additional info for the unverified signatories. The deadline is April 27th.

I have also sent a further new 29 new signatories for verification today. If youíd like to add yourself to the list the petition is here:

https://chng.it/WRLdt7wGJ2

This will give the membership the opportunity to vote at the online BMC AGM.

shark

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#1 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
April 19, 2024, 09:42:40 am
Update

Quote by me on UKC

Quote
I sent the details of 411 signatories for the subsidiary resolution and 461 signatories for the financial disclosure resolution and was completely confident that at least 382 but Iím told that for the subsidiary signatories only 151 were verified, 45 came up with a match but werenít current members and a staggering 195 werenít matched at all. Similarly for the financial disclosure only 177 were verified, 50 came up as match but werenít current members and 214 werenít matched at all. Iíve requested further info from the office to try to understand how it went so wrong.

So in terms of what went wrong I now understand that the Change location isnít as exact as I assumed it was as it was often drawn from the IP address and often comes up with a nearby post district. I have asked that given this that the verification by location is relaxed more ie member name matches approximate location but this isnít seen as acceptable.

Of the 45 Ďnon membersí I have received emails from 7 of them so far including our famous alpinist. I donít know whether their middle name is on the database or not. I donít know the reason for the other six being counted as non members. I have agreed with the Office to park that for the time being.

Thank you to everyone who has emailed me. This has enabled me to gather the membership numbers of 62 signatories for both resolutions who were classified as non members or no matches in the verification process. Keep the emails coming.

Additionally there are 58 new signatories for both resolutions of which I have the membership numbers of 20 of them. Please sign the petition if you havenít already.

I have chased those I know via Facebook and will email those in the CC handbook who I can name match.

I wanted to publish a list of the 200 or so names of the unverified signatories so others can chase them for member numbers on my behalf but that appears to conflict with GDPR and a post I made on UKC to that effect was pulled.

I will submit the updated back to the Office on the 27th which is the deadline. I have made a request that if the verification thresholds arenít met that the Office sends out emails to the unverified to see whether confirmation can be ascertained that way

Iíd like to thank Arun, Josh and Thom for the work they have carried out so far and the further work that is heading their way. We are working in less than ideal circumstances to unclear rules. Iíd like to stress that I believe they are working diligently as neutral parties.

I wonít be able to devote as much time to this as I have recently in the run up to the deadline as I have a significant birthday tomorrow and off to Kalymnos on Monday.

Thank you everyone who has supported me and the campaign so far.

shark

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#2 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
April 26, 2024, 11:03:46 am
I have just submitted updated verification info to the Office for many of the unverified signatories as well as the details of 71 new signatories for both resolutions.

The total number of signatories stand at 512 for financial disclosure and 462 for the subsidiary.

It remains to be seen whether the signatories that are validated exceed the required threshold (382) for either or both resolutions. Therefore, I have formally confirmed I wish to progress the resolutions through Members Council as well (requiring only 25 signatories, validated number already well exceeded) whilst the validation process is taking place.   

For reference the resolutions are:

1.The Board is required to publicly disclose a full and detailed breakdown of the finances for GB Climbing for the financial years 2022 and 2023 and its budget for 2024 within 6 weeks of this AGM and is urged to be more open and transparent in its affairs and more responsive with specific requests for information

2. The Board is required to set up GB Climbing as a financially independent body that is no longer subsidised by the BMC. It would also be desirable if the Board made any subsidy, loan or bailout to this new body subject to a reserved matter that is included in the articles.

Thank you everyone who signed and in particular everyone who took the trouble to dig out and send me their membership number (150+ people)

Simon

shark

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#3 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 03, 2024, 09:07:33 am
Back from Kalymnos but off on my travels again later today and weather permitting will have no signal from tomorrow till Sunday 12th

I was told that the Peak MC reps were gagged at Weds eveningís meeting. It was pointed out to me this was a missed opportunity by MC as the article: 11.8.2 MC includes "may refer the resolution to members through area meetings for discussion & feedback" prior to accepting or rejecting.

Certainly a primary role of MC reps is to feedback from Council meetings and this was pointed out pointedly by at least one attendee from what I heard.

I gather one of the reps said that the published rebuttal document wasnít endorsed/approved by Members Council despite the article saying it had been.

I chased Andy Syme again for feedback on MCís position last night by email and he replied this time saying he would provide a formal response today. Iíll share when I get it.

Regarding verification I requested when I submitted the updated spreadsheets that the criteria was relaxed in light of the better understanding of how Change worked such that if there was a unique name on the BMC database that matched the Change list and the person was in the vicinity of the postcode or part postcode then that person should be approved. I also requested if the threshold wasnít hit then a email was sent out to any no match names to ask whether they had signed the petition.

Iím told that the deadline for supporting papers is the 27th May. Iíve done a lot of work already on a paper detailing about the background to previous recommendations at the BMC for a subsidiary and how it might work. If I can find time Iíll do a rebuttal to the published rebuttal document*. Iíve already indicated some of the flaws it contains online.

I will also be away weather permitting with no signal 18-26 May so wonít be able to attend the Open Forum on the 21st May. I encourage everybody to go particularly if you have questions on the resolutions process, the finances and the published rebuttal document.

At the suggestion of the CEO a few/couple of weeks ago I had agreed to having an Open Forum just for the Resolutions but have heard nothing back on this since.

Finally it has been confirmed that the BMC has sought and received legal advice on whether the subsidiary was a special (75% majority required) or ordinary resolution (50%). As I have always said and contrary to that stated by Andy Syme, Offwidth et al it is in fact Ordinary albeit with a couple of caveats which Iíll explore if it gets on the agenda. Good to see sense has prevailed here too. It has been in short supply.

*Rebuttal paper
« Last Edit: May 03, 2024, 09:17:21 am by shark »

shark

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#4 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 03, 2024, 04:50:02 pm
Itís all over.


Dear Simon

The BMC Staff have now validated the member votes in support for your 2 resolutions as detailed below. Validation of membership is an important part of the integrity of this process; Article 11.11 allows the board to verify that all signatories are valid voting members. To ensure this the BMC have spent a considerable amount of staff hours and resource ensuring the validation is accurate. 

 Resolution 1

Validated Members 320

Validated not Members 42

Unvalidated 146 

 Resolution 2

 Validated Members 279

 Validated not Members 39

 Unvalidated 140

In both cases the resolutions failed to reach the threshold defined in Article 11.8.1 that would require them to be raised at the AGM.

The Membersí Council understand that the subject areas are important to you and others and appreciate the effort made to go through this process.   I also thank you for taking the time to present your proposal to Council on 28 April, having written formally to the Council on 26 April 2024, to review your proposal under Article 11.8.2.  

The Council have considered your resolutions at the Council meeting on 28 April and reached the following conclusions:

Resolution 1

Council fully supports the principle of transparency of accounts both in line with our legal obligations and to ensure members understand where money they contribute, or the organisation receives, is used.

The 2023 accounts and 2024 budget will be published before the AGM and the Board has already committed to providing a clear explanation to members of the GBC and wider financial position as part of the AGM paperwork.  In addition, the members will have opportunities to discuss any concerns further at the Open Forum in May or at the post AGM ĎDrop-Iní Discussions already advertised.

The 2022 accounts have already been finalised and posted in the 2022 financial audit.  The Council accepts the opinion of the CEO and Chair of the Board that it would be an unacceptable cost in staff and volunteer time to re-open and restate the accounts to provide the information required, and such effort would not move the BMC forward or be a use of BMC resources that would benefit Members. 

The Council therefore rejected the proposed resolution.

Resolution 2

The Council recognise the need to discuss the future of GB Climbing within the wider BMC structure.  This has already started, is being facilitated at the current round of Area Meetings, as well as in the Open Forum in May and will be discussed with staff and stakeholders and at the post AGM ĎDrop-Iní, which we encourage you to be part of. 

The proposal made would, in the opinion of Council, be very detrimental to a significant section of our membership.  Holding a vote at this time could also significantly damage the BMCs reputation with partners and potentially further jeopardise the funding we receive.  This would not be in the interests of the BMC or its members.  As is detailed in the implications paper.

The Council fully supports the proposals and process of consultation outlined by the Chair and President in the statement published on 28 April https://thebmc.co.uk/bmc-member-update .

The Council therefore rejected the proposed resolution.

In line with Article 11.8.2 (b) ďThe decision of the Council is final in this regard and the proposed resolution, or materially similar resolutions, may not be raised again under Article 11.8.2 until at least 12 months have elapsed since the date of the submission of the first resolution to the Council under this Article 11.8.2.Ē The date of submission is recorded as 26 April 2024; i.e. the date you sent the email requesting Council review.

Whilst recognising you may be disappointed with these decisions Council hopes that you can agree that we have followed the processes defined in the Articles and made our decisions based on what we collectively believe are the needs of the whole of our diverse community of Members and participants across our range of activities.

kind regards

Andy

Andy Syme ‑ President​​​​

Email: President@thebmc.co.uk

Web: https://thebmc.co.uk

Working for Climbers, Hill
​Walkers
​& Mountaineers since 1944

Manchester

M20 2BB

shark

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#5 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 03, 2024, 04:53:32 pm
Thank you everyone who voted and gave other support. I donít have anything else to say at this point

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#6 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 03, 2024, 09:58:22 pm
That is absolutely fucking shameful. I am astonished and will not be renewing my membership.

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#7 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 03, 2024, 10:19:29 pm
Essentially saying ĎWe are not going to let our members vote on this because we are afraid it might passí is a pretty horrible thing for a membership lead organisation to be writing!

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#8 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 03, 2024, 11:58:56 pm
Following the huge damage of the Motion of no Confidence, including the withholding of ~£150k grant funding (even though that motion was lost by a very large majority at the AGM), Council set the 0.5% membership level for future membership motions to the AGM, to prevent further risks of that type.

As an alternative, motions need only 25 members to go to Council who can approve it for AGM if they agree.

The subsidiary motion was unanimously opposed on Council as they felt it had significant extra cost, significant transition costs and significant extra risks to the organisation; and because they felt it disenfranchised Competition members to an extent.

If Council had to support every motion like this there would literally be no point in such a Council decision and as such the 0.5% rule we have to follow would be equally meaningless.

Detailed financial declarations will be made in May after Audit is signed off by the Board (when we have agreed accurate 2023 accounts). As such the finance motion will pretty much be met before the AGM.

Despite this formal position it's obvious Simon has highlighted numerous issues that most of us on Council feel need looking at for future AGM motion submissions (and especially the communications of that process) to try to prevent such a mess happening again.

It would be really sad if members left or reduced their contribution, because of this result. I would encourage some careful thought on the matter, given the good work that has continued through the difficult times in the last few years, especially in Access & Conservation. The importance of the BMC is the core staff and volunteer cohorts, not the governance structure.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2024, 12:13:35 am by Offwidth »

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#9 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 06:53:26 am
I think that's a pisstake of a response. I could have swallowed not accepting the subsidiary motion. Not agreeing to the financial resolution is a joke and pretty hard to defend.

shark

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#10 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 07:26:28 am
Quote
If Council had to support every motion like this there would literally be no point in such a Council decision and as such the 0.5% rule we have to follow would be equally meaningless.

Not everything was done to try and validate.

I requested that the validation criteria was relaxed in recognition of Change worked such that if a name was unique on the BMC database then if it matched a signatory with a postcode within 5 or 10 miles of the BMC recorded address. Iím fairly sure this didnít happen.

I also requested that if the thresholds werenít met that a last ditch email was sent out by the BMC Office to the non matched names to ask if they had signed the resolution. This definitely didnít happen.

Given the numbers submitted (512 for financial disclosure and 462 for the subsidiary) a common sense view is that there were at least 382 members in there. MC as a members representative body should have supported inclusion on the AGM agenda on that basis and are out of touch IMO


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#11 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 07:58:29 am
Sorry Offwidth, thatís rather patronising.
I have yet to see anything other in any BMC response.
Clearly, the BMC no longer values the views of the membership.
Change is hardly a new thing, nor is it untrusted.
The bar set at such a high number of members requesting/responding, whilst refusing to accept a petition on Change, seems clearly designed to make it as hard as possible for members to act.
Do you expect them to pick up pen and paper and write in?
It seems Simon suggested plenty of quite straight forward ways to further  verify signatures and yetÖ

Sham.

And shame.

Dac

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#12 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 08:36:41 am
I too am very disappointed with the BMCís responses and communications throughout this whole process. For what I had thought to be an organisation that represented the interests of its members it appears intent on maintaining a very condescending Ďwe know bestí attitude.

2 things continue to confuse me:

If the BMC response to 1st proposal is in essence ďwell weíll be doing this anywayĒ, then why has so much time and effort been put into opposing it? (I am aware the response will be ď weíve done everything to support, ect, ectĒ but that is not how it appears.) The BMC could have gone, yup 25 names easily, weíll talk about that one, rather than complaining about how much staff time has been needed to check names on a petition.


Secondly, reading the response:

ďThe decision of the Council is final in this regard and the proposed resolution, or materially similar resolutions, may not be raised again under Article 11.8.2 until at least 12 months have elapsed since the date of the submission of the first resolution to the Council under this Article 11.8.2.Ē The date of submission is recorded as 26 April 2024; i.e. the date you sent the email requesting Council review.Ē

The date of submission is 26 of April? This has been rumbling along for far far longer than that. Why do I suspect the date of 26 April has been chosen as the latest date that could be justified, meaning that insufficient time would exist to raise similar resolutions between 26 April 2025 and the 2025 AGM. Which may well be imperative if in the next 12 months comp climbing continues to spend money like a drunken sailor, and a clear explanation of GBC and wider BMC finances turns out to be a couple of vague pie charts.

Frankly that date of 26 April feels like bullshit, and naked attempt the stifle any debate for the next two years.

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#13 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 09:05:10 am
It would be really sad if members left or reduced their contribution, because of this result. I would encourage some careful thought on the matter, given the good work that has continued through the difficult times in the last few years, especially in Access & Conservation. The importance of the BMC is the core staff and volunteer cohorts, not the governance structure.

It is sad. It is also easily avoided, but you (ie the BMC) have chosen to patronise, obstruct, and stifle members voices at every turn.

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#14 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 03:57:03 pm
Following the huge damage of the Motion of no Confidence, including the withholding of ~£150k grant funding (even though that motion was lost by a very large majority at the AGM), Council set the 0.5% membership level for future membership motions to the AGM, to prevent further risks of that type.

As an alternative, motions need only 25 members to go to Council who can approve it for AGM if they agree.

The subsidiary motion was unanimously opposed on Council as they felt it had significant extra cost, significant transition costs and significant extra risks to the organisation; and because they felt it disenfranchised Competition members to an extent.

If Council had to support every motion like this there would literally be no point in such a Council decision and as such the 0.5% rule we have to follow would be equally meaningless.

Detailed financial declarations will be made in May after Audit is signed off by the Board (when we have agreed accurate 2023 accounts). As such the finance motion will pretty much be met before the AGM.

Despite this formal position it's obvious Simon has highlighted numerous issues that most of us on Council feel need looking at for future AGM motion submissions (and especially the communications of that process) to try to prevent such a mess happening again.

It would be really sad if members left or reduced their contribution, because of this result. I would encourage some careful thought on the matter, given the good work that has continued through the difficult times in the last few years, especially in Access & Conservation. The importance of the BMC is the core staff and volunteer cohorts, not the governance structure.

It's a bit of a joke to ask members to give careful consideration after the complete piss take of a response Simon got. Maybe the BMC could do some careful consideration itself first?

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#15 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 06:19:18 pm
I think that's a pisstake of a response. I could have swallowed not accepting the subsidiary motion. Not agreeing to the financial resolution is a joke and pretty hard to defend.

I naively expected support being possible for the financial motion but I wasn't aware then that the 2022 data just wasn't in a good enough state to provide anything like the same information we intend to publish for 2023 (where all the really problematic loses were). The headline 2022 accounts are available on the links below.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/DownloadHandler.ashx?id=2244
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Handlers/DownloadHandler.ashx?id=2243


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#16 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 04, 2024, 06:57:39 pm
Iíve not actually bothered to read the BMC accounts before but that is a vanishingly small amount of actual information and gives no indication of what money was actually spent on.

I assume that the 2023 accounts are going to have much more detail?
Dave

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#17 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 05, 2024, 12:00:56 am
The 2022 annual report summarises GB climbing income and expenditure in pie charts (although this didnít include their share of non-core office costs): it's why I linked it alongside the 2022 accounts.

Yes, 2023 accounts will be much more detailed. However, Council have been told we can't produce anything close to equivalent detailed information for 2022. Once Council were informed this we were stuck, as we can't accept a motion that we know will place big extra workloads on an understaffed finance team, on a very difficult task which might even prove to be impossible to achieve. All this to highlight financial management wasn't tight enough in 2022: something we already know.

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#18 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 05, 2024, 06:38:49 am
The BMC response does a very poor job of explaining that position, or even taking a swag at how much time that would be. Doesn't inspire much confidence that the approach to communication has changed with the change in leadership. Also, far more importantly, can someone please teach whoever writes the reports that pie charts are shit for basically everything.

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#19 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 05, 2024, 10:29:10 am
Pie charts really help some people, really annoy others, and many sit in between.

A fun pro-pie blog (with some  anti-pie views referenced):

https://www.displayr.com/why-pie-charts-are-better-than-bar-charts/

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#20 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 05, 2024, 10:34:57 am
The 2022 annual report summarises GB climbing income and expenditure in pie charts (although this didnít include their share of non-core office costs): it's why I linked it alongside the 2022 accounts.

Yes, 2023 accounts will be much more detailed. However, Council have been told we can't produce anything close to equivalent detailed information for 2022. Once Council were informed this we were stuck, as we can't accept a motion that we know will place big extra workloads on an understaffed finance team, on a very difficult task which might even prove to be impossible to achieve. All this to highlight financial management wasn't tight enough in 2022: something we already know.


Thanks for taking the time to respond. I donít have a problem personally with the motions not going to the AGM but I donít think it has been handled well and certainly the concerns raised by Simonís motions are pretty valid.

I do hope that the accounts and explanation of the financial information are more detailed this time around. I am in a small mountaineering club and our members would not be happy with the lack of clarity and detail if we presented our accounts to them in this manner.

Also just to be clear I have no intention of leaving the BMC and I didnít think the subsidiary idea was good. I just want better financial clarity and for GBClimbing to be financially self supporting etc

Cheers Dave

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#21 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 05, 2024, 02:09:56 pm
The 2022 annual report summarises GB climbing income and expenditure in pie charts (although this didnít include their share of non-core office costs): it's why I linked it alongside the 2022 accounts.

Yes, 2023 accounts will be much more detailed. However, Council have been told we can't produce anything close to equivalent detailed information for 2022. Once Council were informed this we were stuck, as we can't accept a motion that we know will place big extra workloads on an understaffed finance team, on a very difficult task which might even prove to be impossible to achieve. All this to highlight financial management wasn't tight enough in 2022: something we already know.


Thanks for taking the time to respond. I donít have a problem personally with the motions not going to the AGM but I donít think it has been handled well and certainly the concerns raised by Simonís motions are pretty valid.

I do hope that the accounts and explanation of the financial information are more detailed this time around. I am in a small mountaineering club and our members would not be happy with the lack of clarity and detail if we presented our accounts to them in this manner.

Also just to be clear I have no intention of leaving the BMC and I didnít think the subsidiary idea was good. I just want better financial clarity and for GBClimbing to be financially self supporting etc

Cheers Dave

The most polite and reasonable UKB poster, has just echoed much of what has been, more stridently, posted by others, though out various threads on both channels.

Iím sorry Dave, theyíre not listening and hide behind weak excuses.
Itís obviously far worse than is being admitted. 🤷🏻‍♂️

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#22 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 05, 2024, 06:26:22 pm
We will all see soon enough, when the AGM papers are released  later this month. What could possibly be the point of telling lies within that timetable? Simon has outlined the approximate losses already (based on leaks)... he just forgot to take into account the cost savings and extra commercial income.

Council saw extensive information on provisional finances for the 2023 accounts two months back (with way more detail than normal). These would have been public already if a more complex audit than normal hadn't thrown a spanner in the works.

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#23 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 06, 2024, 08:49:29 pm
Hi Offwidth, I personally have no problem with pie charts. What I would like to understand better is the breakdown of some of the larger slices of pie in the expenditure section on the 2022 Financial Report. From a total of £4.412M expenditure:

30% - £1.305M - Administration Costs including governance Costs, AGM and Area meeting support.

26% - £1.148M - Membership Support Costs including the costs of the insurance programme.

2% - £93K - Trading support Costs to enable travel insurance sales.

The limited itemisation here is weird and rather random.

Could we have a more regular itemisation of Administraion Costs? eg. Wages, Buildings, Utilities, Legal, Travel.

That way we would be able to consider if these seemed reasonable for an organisation of
the BMC's size. How much are governance costs seeing as they are specifically mentioned? Likewise AGM and Area meeting support?

It is unclear what "Membership Support Costs" are and why including "the costs of the insurance programme" this would amount to £1.148M. What is money actually being spent on?

Why does the insurance programme not simply have a listed cost. Similarly why does the travel insurance incur "Trading Support Costs". If the insurance sections of the BMC are operating at a loss then could we simply be clear and quantify this.

A clear itemised breakdown of expenditure would go a long way to helping us all understand what on earth is going on.



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#24 Re: BMC Resolutions shout out 📣
May 06, 2024, 09:59:06 pm
It is unusual because if you track back a few years (accounts and annual reports) the financial details were more extensive. I'm afraid I can't give more details for 2022 as Council don't have them and we have been told chasing such details down is impractical (reliable Council members sit on the Board and the Finance and Audit Committee so it would be a massive conspiracy if this wasn't true).

I've already said the 2023 accounts, due for release soon, will cover a lot more detail than previous years. So from proportions compared to the sub-totals in the 2023 budget you should get a good indication of the situation wrt your questions  for 2022. The BMC can also answer questions on 2023 if things are unclear (there is an Open Forum on May 21st and a Q&A at the AGM on June 12th). The headline losses for 2022 are known, as was the reduced level of the reserves at that time (and headline GB Climbing income and costs except office costs).

I should add the situation we face is far from good,  but it is where we are. Personally I'd rather members focus on factors that still need work, especially GB Climbing stakeholder relationships and building back reserves. Also on the financial side, we know we are facing above inflation increases in Insurances costs yet again in 2024. There is also real pressure in 2024 on departmental expenditure, staff workloads and keeping as many meetings as possible online (and if anything problematic that's extra crops up, on subs).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2024, 10:09:28 pm by Offwidth »

 

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