SCA President?

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neilfarmer
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Re: SCA President?

Post by neilfarmer » Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:04 pm

Hi Chris,
Have looked into this and your view is not that of the board, as I shall (probably poorly) try to explain below.....!
ChrisE wrote:
5.6 wrote:including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position
This does not make any exception excluding positions where only one person is standing.
Full article 5.6 wrote:The President, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Association shall be elected by postal ballot of the Full Members of the Association. Ballot papers for any nomination for President, Treasurer or General Secretary including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position will be circulated with the notice calling the Annual General Meeting. Completed ballot papers must be returned to the Association's registered office not less than seven days prior to the Annual General Meeting and the result of the election will be announced at the Annual General Meeting.
The pen portrait is required as part of the ballot paper - if no ballot paper is required, no pen portrait can be part of it.


Not got round to 8.2 yet.....
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Re: SCA President?

Post by ChrisE » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:20 am

Neil thank you for taking the time to start going through the points and replying.

I do disagree still with the board on the point on 5.6. However I can understand how the board might form that opinion. Personally I feel that although, an election is not required, the articles still require the ballot papers as part of 5.6, where as 5.7 (talking about not having an election if there is only one candidate) does not make any reference to ballot papers, thus I read that the articles don't excuse the ballot papers not being sent out in the case of a single nomination.

I do also disagree with the points on not announcing the nominations now going against the articles on not announcing the results. Here are my points:
1) Announcing the election results is not the technically same as announcing the nominations
2) If you take the assumption that they are the same, the only point from the articles on results that I can find is below:
Nominees for the position of President must be members of the Board for a period of not less than 1 year immediately prior to the date of the Annual General Meeting at which the results of the election will be announced. All nominees for the position of any type of director must be a Full or Recreational Member of the Association.
Which states results must be announced at the AGM.
It does not however state that they cannot be also announced early in the case of a single nomination, just that if they were the must be announced at the AGM as well.
Also consider the example of politicians speeches where we here in advance that "today the PM will announce that ... in his speech at ...".



And to seedy paddler this is the point the board are telling us that they won't announce the nominations, hence the discussion. It is not anything along the lines of the conspiracy theory when the board have already stated they are intending to do what we are disagreeing with.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:39 am

neilfarmer wrote:Hi Chris,
Have looked into this and your view is not that of the board, as I shall (probably poorly) try to explain below.....!
ChrisE wrote:
5.6 wrote:including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position
This does not make any exception excluding positions where only one person is standing.
Full article 5.6 wrote:The President, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Association shall be elected by postal ballot of the Full Members of the Association. Ballot papers for any nomination for President, Treasurer or General Secretary including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position will be circulated with the notice calling the Annual General Meeting. Completed ballot papers must be returned to the Association's registered office not less than seven days prior to the Annual General Meeting and the result of the election will be announced at the Annual General Meeting.
The pen portrait is required as part of the ballot paper - if no ballot paper is required, no pen portrait can be part of it.


Not got round to 8.2 yet.....
That's a fascinating interpretation.
neilfarmer wrote:
MikeB wrote: While the nominations closed after the publication of Paddler, so being more explicit may not have been possible at that point, is there any reason why it is so secret that it can't be published on the w/site now? That is easy enough to arrange....... it doesn't suggest the openness and transparency we are promised.
Mike, we have to be open and honest and follow the articles of association, or we would indeed be held accountable. That is why we cannot announce the election of the new president, even now, even though there is only one nomination. It would not be right....

The election results of all Board Members are announced to the whole membership at the same time, at the AGM.
The election process is conducted as defined in the Articles of Association and is scrutinised and Independently verified by the Honorary President, who acts as returning officer. The role is to ensure that the election process is fair and in accordance with those articles.
Quite so - I'm a company director myself in the"real world" and breaching company law would be a serious thing. However, I'm not asking for the name of the elected president. I want to know who has been nominated. The Articles make it crystal clear - "The President, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Association shall be elected by postal ballot of the Full Members of the Association. Ballot papers for any nomination for President, Treasurer or General Secretary including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position will be circulated with the notice calling the Annual General Meeting. Completed ballot papers must be returned to the Association's registered office not less than seven days prior to the Annual General Meeting and the result of the election will be announced at the Annual General Meeting"

Please explain to me how the Members are able to participate in the democration process of electing the person we, the Members, wish to be the President - by election (that's the word used in the calling notice for the AGM), using the proxy form which is (of course) provided when we dont know who the Candidate is?

How does the association intend to inform it's Members of who the nominated person is?

Why was nothing made public inviting nominations?

Mike.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Adrian Cooper » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:46 am

Not that it’s anything to do with me, I’m with Chris on this one:
‘’Ballot papers for any nomination for President, Treasurer or General Secretary including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position will be circulated with the notice calling the Annual General Meeting. ‘’
Makes it clear that all nominations should be on the ballot papers irrespective of how many there are.
‘’In the event of only one nomination being received for a vacant position on the Board that nominee will be elected unopposed at the General Meeting’’
Details what happens in the event of only one nomination.

There doesn’t seem to be a get-out for the information being provided to members. And I agree, I just can’t see why this information would be withheld. Presumably it will be contained in the full details of the meeting 14 days in advance.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Fast Pat » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:38 pm

neilfarmer wrote: Mike, we have to be open and honest and follow the articles of association, or we would indeed be held accountable. That is why we cannot announce the election of the new president, even now, even though there is only one nomination. It would not be right....
Neil, I only see the SCA as being "open and honest" up to a point, sadly it seems to be following Canoe England there.

For the last three weeks I have been waiting for a response from the Coaching and Development Manager, who responded to an initial enquiry but now seems to have gone cold, directing me as to where I can find the SCA Memorandum. Everyone in this thread seems keen on following the Articles of Association, but the Articles (Clause 4.2) and the membership form both ask that "I agree to be bound by the Memorandum and Articles of Association". These are two separate documents and only the Articles are on the website. My reason for wanting a copy of the Memorandum is that this should state clearly the objects of the company, which should hopefully include somewhere a statement of "serving the members interests", the Articles simply sets out the rules which govern the administration of the company.

So can I have a link or a copy of the Memorandum please?

Pat

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:50 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:Not that it’s anything to do with me, I’m with Chris on this one:
‘’Ballot papers for any nomination for President, Treasurer or General Secretary including the names and pen portraits of all candidates for each position will be circulated with the notice calling the Annual General Meeting. ‘’
Makes it clear that all nominations should be on the ballot papers irrespective of how many there are.
‘’In the event of only one nomination being received for a vacant position on the Board that nominee will be elected unopposed at the General Meeting’’
Details what happens in the event of only one nomination.

There doesn’t seem to be a get-out for the information being provided to members. And I agree, I just can’t see why this information would be withheld. Presumably it will be contained in the full details of the meeting 14 days in advance.
I have no problem with there only being one nomination. Other than being somewhat concerned that there is only one - it couls be suggested (heaven forbid) that this is apathy democracy at work. As no-one bothered to come forward from the Membership to suggest other candidates. Note to self and others. Read the Articles every night.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by neil.farmer » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:46 pm

I have had to seek guidance on 8.2. I would also suggest that to move forward, we stop dissecting the language of the articles of association, go to the AGM & perhaps suggest improvements to be tabled for next years AGM? I can't make the AGM this year unfortunately.

wrt the president being elected from the board, the reason for this, in my understanding is to ensure that experience is brought to the board - the SCA could not afford to have someone stepping in at this stage, building experience & then resigning before the term was up...
The election of the role of President is governed by 5.4,5.6 and 5.7.

5.4 stipulates a restriction as to who is eligible to stand for the office of President
5.6 stipulates that it should be a postal ballot, and the details of the candidate should be on the ballot paper. In this case no ballot, so no ballot paper, so no details of candidate. It also stipulates that the results will be announced at the AGM ( to all the membership at the same time)
5.7 stipulates if there is only one nominee , that candidate will be elected at the AGM unopposed.

So, in summary, if the candidate is eligible, according to the restriction in 5.4, if only one candidate was nominated, there would be no ballot, no ballot paper and no pen portrait and the candidate would be elected at the AGM unopposed. The result will be announced at the AGM, to all the membership.

The clause at 8.2 really was to deal with the voting between candidates, so isn’t really relevant.
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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:28 pm

Thanks Neil - valid point re the AGM and analysis of the "wording". Is the AGM the place to do that though? But, I take your point. What I (and indeed Catherine) find slightly strange however is why there has to be such secrecy over who the nominated person actually is - and indeed we both voice the same concern over the apparent lack of publicity in recent months / weeks reminding Members that the President position is up for nomination.

We are constantly promised greater communication and transparency - I would really like to see evidence of that when it comes to things like this.

As mentioned earlier, I have no problem with there being only one nomination. I can even live with the argument that as there is only one nomination there is no need for a "pen portrait" of that person.

This is intended as a constructive comment btw.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by neil.farmer » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:40 pm

More than fair enough. I think what has happened is that this has been the position (rightly, wrongly or ambiguously) since the last major Mem-Arts review in 2009. No one since then has brought it up, thus this is the accepted norm. It is English so notoriously ambiguous & unreliable!!

Anyway, having listened to feedback, the pen portraits of the (at this stage unelected) president & ordinary member are (or will be shortly) up on the SCA website.
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Re: SCA President?

Post by neil.farmer » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:41 pm

We will look at the MemArts for the future.
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Re: SCA President?

Post by mintokames » Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:09 pm

Nicely dealt with Neil.

Thanks

Rob

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:08 am

neil.farmer wrote:More than fair enough. I think what has happened is that this has been the position (rightly, wrongly or ambiguously) since the last major Mem-Arts review in 2009. No one since then has brought it up, thus this is the accepted norm. It is English so notoriously ambiguous & unreliable!!
And of course what keeps the legal profession in business - (not to mention the pedants among us).
Anyway, having listened to feedback, the pen portraits of the (at this stage unelected) president & ordinary member are (or will be shortly) up on the SCA website.
Thank you for this feedback - I'm delighted to read this, and note the update here http://www.canoescotland.org/Home/AboutUs.aspx
neil.farmer wrote:We will look at the MemArts for the future.
Can't ask more than that.

Regs, Mike.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:33 am

The explanation which Neil has been provided with works on the assumption that there are a series of ballot papers for each of the candidates, clearly not the case, but maybe a ballot paper for each of the positions, I’m guessing this still might not be the way it is done. I would have thought there would be one sheet of paper with all the stuff on it and instructions for boxes to be ticked. In which case all of the points about ‘’any nomination’’ ‘’all candidates’’ and ‘’each position’’ would apply. The idea that just because there is only one nomination for one of the positions the membership are provided without any information until the matter is concluded just seems bizarre. It’s the sort of thing you might expect from a litigation lawyer, not from a membership organisation.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Fast Pat » Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:06 am

neil.farmer wrote:We will look at the MemArts for the future.
Neil

You seem to be viewing the Memorandum and Articles as one document, they are not, they are two separate documents and as I said earlier it is the Articles that are on the website. So in the interests of this transparency of which you speak, could you please put the Memorandum up that members are being asked to swear allegiance to?

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Fast Pat wrote:
neil.farmer wrote:We will look at the MemArts for the future.
Neil

You seem to be viewing the Memorandum and Articles as one document, they are not, they are two separate documents and as I said earlier it is the Articles that are on the website. So in the interests of this transparency of which you speak, could you please put the Memorandum up that members are being asked to swear allegiance to?
I may be corrected on this, but I read the Memorandum AND Articles as being the "Articles of Association" - as per the BCU equivalent referenced here - http://www.bcu.org.uk/about/memorandum- ... sociation/ which link to a document merely entitled "Articles of Association".

My own understanding of company law suggests this is fine - and while I accept the limitations of Wiki as a definitive source, that seems to suggest likewise. As indeed does http://www.companylawclub.co.uk/topics/ ... cles.shtml in which we find the statement "Many companies would benefit from the simpler documentation in the form of just a set of articles (in place of the existing memorandum and articles)"

While I'm more than happy to argue the use of the words contained in some of the SCA documentation, notably with regard to the original subject matter, on matters "legal" I have yet to find the SCA to be illegal. And I am content that the Articles are broadly inline with what I would expect.

Mike.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Fast Pat » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:05 pm

MikeB wrote:
Fast Pat wrote:
neil.farmer wrote:We will look at the MemArts for the future.
Neil

You seem to be viewing the Memorandum and Articles as one document, they are not, they are two separate documents and as I said earlier it is the Articles that are on the website. So in the interests of this transparency of which you speak, could you please put the Memorandum up that members are being asked to swear allegiance to?
I may be corrected on this, but I read the Memorandum AND Articles as being the "Articles of Association" - as per the BCU equivalent referenced here - http://www.bcu.org.uk/about/memorandum- ... sociation/ which link to a document merely entitled "Articles of Association".

Mike.
Mike if you compare and contrast the Memorandum and Articles on the BCU link, you will note the key difference to the SCA Articles - namely in the BCU it clearly states what the objective of the Company is. You are quite right that you can have a combined M&A but that is not what the SCA Articles are - they are just the rule book for the governance (the articles)- not what the objective of the Company is. Given the drafting within the SCA Articles it is clear that there is a seperate Memorandum - if there isnt then the published Articles are a nonsense!

My reason for trying to secure a copy of what the written objectives of the SCA are, is to see if they make reference to "serving / meeting the needs" of the membership, which I suspect it will not - placing it on a similar footing to the CE/BCU memorandum, so in effect we are all hoodwinked into joining a "members organisation" that actually isnt.

Within CE / BCU memorandum's objectives the only mention of members is "Information Service (xix) To provide and supply information and advice to Members concerning the practice of competitive and recreational canoeing by means of books, periodicals, magazines, journals, leaflets, advertisements, or any other appropriate methods." By way of contrast compare that with the M&A of British Cycling "to support and protect the interests of their members, by all such lawful means as the National Council of the BCF may from time to time think fit". I know which organisation is representing its members the best. And with funding pressures from Sport England / Scotland the way in which these "members organisations" respond to its members needs becomes more important than ever.

Pat

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:27 pm

Fair point Pat - The Articles certainly reference a Memorandum, something I however put down more to an omission to remove than anything else. That is a little surprising given they appear to have been drafted by McLure Naismith. And yes, I agree that there doesn't appear to be any reference as to the purpose of the Organisation - although the w/site's "What we do" page http://www.canoescotland.org/Home/AboutUs/WhatWeDo.aspx does make reference to "Represent our members’ interests within Scotland and, through the BCU, in the UK"

I had a conversation recently with a chap from SS who was certainly of the view that the SCA is (in their view) seen as being a Member's Organisation. I believe we should of course encourage the Board to remember that they, and the SCA, exist to serve the Members - and that we are of course the people who elect them in order to serve those interests.

Mike.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:40 pm

And, interestingy, the BCU memorandum and articles, when you view the actual document is only the articles with no memorandum.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:42 pm

MikeB wrote:..... the SCA, exist to serve the Members - and that we are of course the people who elect them in order to serve those interests.

Mike.

Difficulty, of course, is that the majority of the funding comes from sportscotland with aims defined by sportscotland. And sportscotland doesn't have to serve the interests of SCA members, or even paddlers in general.

I've not got my head around who decides what sportscotland's aims are. Maybe the Minister for Sport?

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:02 pm

Let us not forgot that we live in the People's Republic of Scotland - - - with wee Eck in control, what "we" want may well be low on the agenda and his minions certainly haven't made a name for themselves in that context!

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:09 pm

MikeB wrote:Let us not forgot that we live in the People's Republic of Scotland - - - with wee Eck in control, what "we" want may well be low on the agenda and his minions certainly haven't made a name for themselves in that context!

... my point exactly.

I have a suspicion that it's a self-supporting spiral - sportscotland are guessing what "we" want and the Association always agree violently with whatever SS say.

Here "we" includes a lot of people sitting watching sport on television.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:35 pm

Maybe so. But, I'm very much in favour of SS money, even if it doesn't directly benefit Recreational paddling. Mike.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Robert Craig » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:59 am

Difficulty I find for myself is to be in favour of SS money but not in favour of SS objectives. I'd like to work to change the SS objectives more towards grassroots and less towards the elite. But I don't know where to start. It needs a debate, not me ranting. But a debate among taxpayers, chaired by the Minister for Sport - dream on.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Jim » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:28 am

Yes, but lets not overlook the hand me down benefits to recreational paddlers from having an elite.....

For one thing there are branches of the sport that go to the olympics, so everyone knows something about the sport we do, even if it is very different to the bit we actually do. That publicity is essentially free for recreational members because it attracts it's own dedicated funding.

The elite also needs grass roots to supply new young elite to replace the prematurely broken ones retiring at the top - I don't know what proportion of beginners can be expected to turn out to be any good at competition, but it seems to me that the elite need to maintain a large pool of grass roots paddlers for it's own existence. Lessons can probably be learned from premiership football - something I have no interest in but have been repeatedly told that part of the reason Trafford United have been successful for so long is that they have always maintained a youth team where other clubs went through a phase where they disbanded their youth teams and tried to just buy in talent from abroad. I beleive that SS already understand the importance of grass roots for supplying talent to the elite, their goals might be different but I'm sure recreational paddlers can feed from the scraps?

Before we get carried away with this discussion, and in case I am already wrong: - what exactly are SS objectives for grassroots?

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Re: SCA President?

Post by Robert Craig » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:46 am

Jim wrote:- what exactly are SS objectives for grassroots?
Nothing at all for grassroots paddling, as far as I can make out. The SS website lists out their objectives for the SCA - and they are worth a read and very simple. Nearest approach to grassroots is a target for the number of UKCC level 2 coach trainees.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by neilfarmer » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:09 am

Fast Pat wrote:For the last three weeks I have been waiting for a response from the Coaching and Development Manager, who responded to an initial enquiry but now seems to have gone cold, directing me as to where I can find the SCA Memorandum. Everyone in this thread seems keen on following the Articles of Association, but the Articles (Clause 4.2) and the membership form both ask that "I agree to be bound by the Memorandum and Articles of Association". These are two separate documents and only the Articles are on the website. My reason for wanting a copy of the Memorandum is that this should state clearly the objects of the company, which should hopefully include somewhere a statement of "serving the members interests", the Articles simply sets out the rules which govern the administration of the company. So can I have a link or a copy of the Memorandum please?
In principle, the purpose of a 'memorandum' is an understanding between members to bring a company into existence. This was the case in 2000 when the SCA club became a limited company. It is understood that the memorandum is not valid since the adoption of the 2009 articles and clarification has already been sought from the Company Secretary in order to confirm this. Any references to the memorandum will likely be removed from future versions of the articles. There is such, no document to give you. Further questions regarding this should be sent to the Hon.Sec of the SCA.
Fast Pat wrote:Neil, I only see the SCA as being "open and honest" up to a point, sadly it seems to be following Canoe England there.
It is funny & depressing to read this. The SCA is 'open and honest' and does engage with its members. No matter what we do, there will always be criticism and that is not a bad thing. But, sadly, I am now at the stage where I am starting to be put off volunteering for the SCA. It may be an election and as board members we do represent the membership, but we also have a responsibility to the company. I also actually have a job, family life and recreational interests of my own and cannot spend my entire life debating points on forums and going round in circles.....perhaps CanoeEngland have it right.....
Last edited by neilfarmer on Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SCA President?

Post by neilfarmer » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:15 am

Robert Craig wrote:
MikeB wrote:Let us not forgot that we live in the People's Republic of Scotland - - - with wee Eck in control, what "we" want may well be low on the agenda and his minions certainly haven't made a name for themselves in that context!
... my point exactly.

I have a suspicion that it's a self-supporting spiral - sportscotland are guessing what "we" want and the Association always agree violently with whatever SS say. Here "we" includes a lot of people sitting watching sport on television.
I do not think that is fair at all. for many reasons:

The SCA recreational side gets a lot of support from SportScotland - the Braan campaign was a very good and clear example of that.

SportScotland give 'ringfenced money' to the SCA under the performance banner - they are very specific as to how that is spent, that is not the "Association" 'agreeing violently with whatever SS say', that is us bidding for money and doing with it what we said on the bidding application - a very different situation to what you describe above.

SportScotland give the SCA a 'block grant' and do set guidelines as to how the NGB's are organised - that applies to all NBG's and is meant to ensure that they are 'correctly run' - the board retreats were initiated under this form of guidance.
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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 17, 2013 3:32 pm

neilfarmer wrote: In principle, the purpose of a 'memorandum' is an understanding between members to bring a company into existence. This was the case in 2000 when the SCA club became a limited company. It is understood that the memorandum is not valid since the adoption of the 2009 articles and clarification has already been sought from the Company Secretary in order to confirm this. Any references to the memorandum will likely be removed from future versions of the articles. There is such, no document to give you. Further questions regarding this should be sent to the Hon.Sec of the SCA.
Fair enough - much as I thought.
neilfarmer wrote: - - now at the stage where I am starting to be put off volunteering for the SCA. It may be an election and as board members we do represent the membership, but we also have a responsibility to the company. I also actually have a job, family life and recreational interests of my own and cannot spend my entire life debating points on forums and going round in circles.....perhaps CanoeEngland have it right.....
A pity to be reading this - but given the recent experiences of me and many others, again, I urge the Association to ask itself "WHY" is this happening.

As regards the comment about a responsibility to the company, let's remember why the company exists - it exits, at the simplest definition "to serve the needs and interests of it's Members!" It doesn't matter how you define this purpose - if it wasn't for the Members, the SCA would have no purpose. Remove Competition - remove Coaching - remove all the various disciplines, in whatever form, and the SCA has no purpose. Without the Members engaging in all these aspects of the organisation, there is no need for the organisation.

Now, that is in no way intended as a call-to-arms to split the organisation, it is merely intended as a reminder of the purpose of it. We, the Members, when raising points of interest, discussion and challenge, are, I suggest, attempting to ensure that the organisation which represents us does so in a way we agree with, and feel that we get value from.

And I fully accept that there are many things the SCA does very well indeed. Communication and transparency are crucial in further development and in improving the perception of such "good work".

There are many different types of Leadership and there are many different types of Power. The most effective ones involve engagement.

Mike.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by neilfarmer » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:29 pm

MikeB wrote:
neilfarmer wrote: - - now at the stage where I am starting to be put off volunteering for the SCA. It may be an election and as board members we do represent the membership, but we also have a responsibility to the company. I also actually have a job, family life and recreational interests of my own and cannot spend my entire life debating points on forums and going round in circles.....perhaps CanoeEngland have it right.....
A pity to be reading this - but given the recent experiences of me and many others, again, I urge the Association to ask itself "WHY" is this happening.

As regards the comment about a responsibility to the company, let's remember why the company exists - it exits, at the simplest definition "to serve the needs and interests of it's Members!" It doesn't matter how you define this purpose - if it wasn't for the Members, the SCA would have no purpose. Remove Competition - remove Coaching - remove all the various disciplines, in whatever form, and the SCA has no purpose. Without the Members engaging in all these aspects of the organisation, there is no need for the organisation.

Now, that is in no way intended as a call-to-arms to split the organisation, it is merely intended as a reminder of the purpose of it. We, the Members, when raising points of interest, discussion and challenge, are, I suggest, attempting to ensure that the organisation which represents us does so in a way we agree with, and feel that we get value from.

And I fully accept that there are many things the SCA does very well indeed. Communication and transparency are crucial in further development and in improving the perception of such "good work".

There are many different types of Leadership and there are many different types of Power. The most effective ones involve engagement.
Very much agree with what you say. However, when you become a director of the company, you have a legal responsibility to do "what is right for the company". I may be wrong, but don't think so.

Could not agree more, if members do not engage, there is no point to having the organisation. It is however a little bit about expectations. The board are volunteers and are genuinely struggling to deal with the multitude of issues that are presenting themselves, many of which we cannot discuss. Sometimes unpopular decisions are made, the reasons cannot always be discussed in open forums. Sometimes interpretations are made (like the announcement of the president), again not every decision can be publicly debated and explained. A lot has to be about trust - if we elect the board, we have to trust them, if we do not (trust them), we need to stand as alternatives or perhaps work through the representatives to get feelings to the board.

What concerns me, a lot, is that in every case that is brought up on the forums in public, we precede the issue with something such as ....I only see the SCA as being "open and honest" up to a point..... These debates take time, that I for one cannot afford to give at this level. The evidence for the SCA not being open and honest is just not there! However, I hope that members can discuss important issues at the AGM and we can move forward in the next years in a far more positive manner!
Neil Farmer.

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Re: SCA President?

Post by MikeB » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:03 pm

Yes - a company director's primary responsibility is to "do what is right for the company" - and again I say that this particular company exists ONLY for the benefit of the Members. Thus, the director's must do what is right for the Members. I fully understand of course that sometimes the decisions made may well be unpopular - in which case it's incumbent on the organisation to consult during the process, and then explain why a decision has been reached.

I note the reference to working through the (elected) reps - but I've also had a conversation with a director who was clearly very focused on the overall strategic thinking of the board, so I hope that a balance is found.

I'm not convinced that the AGM of any organisation is the platform to cover the areas you've mentioned - but I note the suggestion.

With apologies for repeating myself, I'd suggest that (for many people) the preface you've quoted is a response to perception. The discussion we've had within this thread proves my point. I just can't see why it was necessary to have a veil of secrecy over who was to be the new president - and while I welcome the details eventually being provided, I also note this was done essentially within the timeline specified for such. I also fail to understand why such an important appointment wasn't more widely advertised as being up for nomination.

So - that's my perception. And indeed it's a perception shared by another ex-director. And that perception is one of the reasons I declined the suggestion to stand for the board, and indeed part of why I am no longer prepared to volunteer my time for the SCA as a member of the TC. So I understand exactly where you are coming from.

And yes, these debates take time and I for one appreciate your engagement here. It is, after all, the only way it seems possible to engage in an open debate with the SCA. I have had numerous rewarding, insightful and engaging conversations with some of the other directors, but having an open discussion is also extremely valuable as it offers the opportunity for others to engage. For balance, I should of course also record that some other debates I have engaged with (one of course being "accidentaly", left me disgusted with what I read, another part of why I was not prepared to become involved on the SCA board.

Mike.

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