SCA drama

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SCA drama

Post by Kizzie_St-As » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:40 pm

http://canoescotland.org/events/highlig ... al-meeting

If any SCA members have somehow missed this and it's associated debates on Facebook, it's worth reading through carefully and voting. You don't need to attend the meeting, you can use your proxy form, essentially a postal vote.
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Re: SCA drama

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Nov 03, 2014 12:22 pm

It's really nothing to do with me, not being an SCA member but it is a shame there wasn't more discussion aimed at trying to make the whole system better. When you read the proposals and counter arguments, they all seem rather thin. ''We would like you to change this because we think it will be better'' ''You can't change that because then it will be different''

I was particularly disappointed with the comments about directors being obliged to work in the ''best interests of the company''. The SCA became a company in 2000 and presumably this was the point at which the directors became obliged to work for the company rather than for the membership.
There are direct and substantial conflicts between how the SCA Board is required to act in accordance with the Companies Act and the SCA Articles of Association versus what is proposed by the group of members.
Of course, if passed, this would not relate to the ''group of members'' but the whole membership.

Incidentally, the BCU (BC) already acts in a way which is completely opaque to its membership. I'll wager the Board didn't even know about the new logo.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by jriddell » Mon Nov 03, 2014 1:54 pm

I'm voting against all of the motions as the board have suggested. At best they would require an expensive redrafting of the Articles of Association and at worst would stop Sport Soctland funding.

It mostly seems to be slalomists grumpy that their favourite coaches have resigned (not the fault of the SCA board) and that Sport Scotland have stopped any development funding and are funding only performance (a political issue nothing the SCA can control).

I also note that the sprint commitee recommend against it, the competition director who is on the slalom committee has recommended against them as part of the board, the chap who's put his name forward for the empty director's post and is on the slalom committee also recommends against them. The treasurer who was voted on by slalomists last year seems to have resigned and left the SCA unable to pay its bills which doesn't make me want to support these any more.

Lots of discussion at
https://www.facebook.com/SCOTTISHCANOEI ... ESOLUTIONS

And really people need to stop moaning about the SCA being a company rather than a society. It's a technical difference. It remains entirely non-profit and run for the interest of members.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by AliMoon » Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:33 pm

There's also the issue of this being brought to the SCA to for discussion at the AGM, yet the Board went ahead and took them as Special Resolutions for the members to vote on.

Maybe the outcome could have been very different if there had been a reasonable discussion with the board and members at an AGM?

Of course, I have emailed the SCA Director to confirm if this is true (as has been reported by multiple people), he promptly passed me on to the Secretary, who he said would be better suited to answer my question. He is still yet to reply, even after contacting Margaret Winter to help chase him up for me.

This was all last Tuesday morning. I might be getting impatient but I wouldn't think that a week is an unreasonable time to expect a reply in 2014.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Seedy Paddler » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:25 pm

At best they would require an expensive re-drafting of the SCA Articles of Association, a requirement that is central to the proposals lead by the Board on SCA Re-structuring. So at best through debate the Members may provide an element of guidance on what could and should be changed. certainly more transparent and less liable to abuse than the current Board proposal to have Nominees for the Board vetted by the Board and subsequently selected by the Board for ratification through and AGM.

At worst we could lose funding from SportScotland, funding mainly provided to the performance programme, a programme that has seen a high turnover in staff, 4 coaches in less than a year. A system that has seen 70-80% of eligible young athletes refuse to participate in the scheme. Where current squads are below plan in numbers and circa 40-50% did not meet the published entry criteria. A programme where the Performance Director does not engage with the Technical Committee, nor many of the voluntary coaches. Should the programme not deliver then funding will be cut, is it such a risk to further funding to actually want to talk about the issues and look to resolve or should we all bury our heads in the sand!

Yes I don't support all the motions, however I do see value in open and frank discussion. Are we trying to come up with a last minute gazumping of the AGM? I hardly think so the proposals were submitted as per Article 8.1 in early August, to date we have received no communication, acknowledgement nor request for clarification from the Board - apart from the emails sent to the membership.

A vote of confidence in the voluntary works supporting the SCA, may be window dressing but to refuse on the grounds that they have mentioned it in reports and have awards and argue that it would damage the SCA. Remember this is the Board that without documenting background nor minuted discussion recorded a formal vote of confidence in the staff at a Board Meeting in April. despite the same plaudits on staff in the 2013 Annual Reports, comments in paddler and the presentation of awards to members of staff.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Jerry Tracey » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:31 pm

There appear to be three fundamental questions at the heart of this controversy:

1) Should it be the role of the SCA board to formulate and implement policy from the top downwards?

2) Should the SCA revert to being a voluntary members association, instead of remaining a company covered by the companies act?

3) Should offers of funding from Sport Scotland or other agencies always be accepted, even if the price is handing over effective congrol of our association?

I believe that issues such as these should be fully and openly discussed, instead of being suppressed through TINA (there is no alternative) responses from the board.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by jriddell » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:43 pm

> 1) Should it be the role of the SCA board to formulate and implement policy from the top downwards?

I don't see how it could be otherwise, but I entirely agree the membership should be encouraged to take part in a discussion on policy which is why I welcome the opportunity here.

> 2) Should the SCA revert to being a voluntary members association, instead of remaining a company covered by the companies act?

Goodness no, I've no desire to be liable for what other members may do. I really don't see why people have a problem with being a non-profit company.

> 3) Should offers of funding from Sport Scotland or other agencies always be accepted, even if the price is handing over effective control of our association?

They control the performance programme objectives. What else do they control?

> Remember this is the Board that without documenting background nor minuted discussion recorded a formal vote of confidence in the staff at a Board Meeting in April.

Great to know they have confidence in the staff. Especially since this is the board which includes people voted on by slalomists last year.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:21 pm

Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the proposals (or indeed the manner in which the board has decided to bring them forward) the fact remains that this is clearly the latest in a long and ongoing line of dissatisfaction with the SCA.

We don't have to go back too far to recall votes of no-confidence being discussed - multiple directors resigning - some after only a few months in post - issues over UKCC back in the day and the resultant closure of the SCA forums - then we had Coaching being a bit upset not to mention having an entire Touring Committee resign and the people who stepped in afterwards (I was one) all chose not to stand for re-election following the boards decision to insist on all comms being self-funding. A significant (in SCA terms anyway) voter turnout of marginally under 10% voted 150 to 50 to replace a Gen Sec - and recently there was another coup which displaced the treasurer. Sadly, neither person stayed in post long, for a variety of reasons.

Spookily enough, that core-funding issue is one of the proposals being put forward in the special resolutions. Although I also note the board has been a little disingenuous and said that "no committee has ever asked for core funding support". Not the case. Touring asked for it a year or so back, with the board voting against it despite us having identified that all the technical comms could easily have a small fund to cover basic operating costs, this being easily achieved if the Membership fee were increased by only £1 per member per annum.

I would suggest these proposals are the latest symptom of the Membership's lack of belief in the current board. The board has built a very carefully created infrastructure which makes it very difficult indeed to actually create any change. Perhaps a little more focus on the Members and a little more communication and engagement, and there'd be rather less obvious dissatisfaction with the ways things are run.

I do hope people vote. Whichever way they chose to. Mike.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:10 pm

jriddell wrote: The treasurer who was voted on by slalomists last year seems to have resigned and left the SCA unable to pay its bills which doesn't make me want to support these any more.

Lots of discussion at
https://www.facebook.com/SCOTTISHCANOEI ... ESOLUTIONS
Not quite 100% accurate - the treasurer was of course voted on by the Members, not just by the slalomists - I can affirm this having cast my vote in that particular election, and I'm most certainly not interested in slalom. And while he did indeed subsequently resign after a very short period, the previous treasurer, Kelso Riddell, was decent enough to step (back) into the post. Bill paying was, as I understand it from reading the board minutes, not an issue although of course action had to be taken to ensure it could happen. But as Kelso is your father, I'd expect you to know all this.
AliMoon wrote:There's also the issue of this being brought to the SCA to for discussion at the AGM, yet the Board went ahead and took them as Special Resolutions for the members to vote on.

Maybe the outcome could have been very different if there had been a reasonable discussion with the board and members at an AGM?
A common thread I'm afraid - open discussion with Members isn't something our board is renowned for. The previous Gen Sec did encourage this it has to be said, and created numerous opportunities for that to happen. It must also be noted that engagement was somewhat low - perhaps however that is a symptom and not a cause.
Seedy Paddler wrote:At best they would require an expensive re-drafting of the SCA Articles of Association, a requirement that is central to the proposals lead by the Board on SCA Re-structuring. So at best through debate the Members may provide an element of guidance on what could and should be changed. certainly more transparent and less liable to abuse than the current Board proposal to have Nominees for the Board vetted by the Board and subsequently selected by the Board for ratification through and AGM.
Protectionism. Back in 2012 I had email correspondence with someone who wrote thus - "Do not under- estimate the degree of difficulty. The big problem is that the current "Office Bearers" have built an awful lot of protection around themselves. It is no good trying to replace one person at a time, the others gang up and swamp you. This is the first I've seen on this. I was so pig sick of trying to get something done, as was (another director) that we both declined to stand for re-election to the Board."
Seedy Paddler wrote: At worst we could lose funding from SportScotland, funding mainly provided to the performance programme, a programme that has seen a high turnover in staff, 4 coaches in less than a year. A system that has seen 70-80% of eligible young athletes refuse to participate in the scheme. Where current squads are below plan in numbers and circa 40-50% did not meet the published entry criteria. A programme where the Performance Director does not engage with the Technical Committee, nor many of the voluntary coaches. Should the programme not deliver then funding will be cut, is it such a risk to further funding to actually want to talk about the issues and look to resolve or should we all bury our heads in the sand!

Yes I don't support all the motions, however I do see value in open and frank discussion. Are we trying to come up with a last minute gazumping of the AGM? I hardly think so the proposals were submitted as per Article 8.1 in early August, to date we have received no communication, acknowledgement nor request for clarification from the Board - apart from the emails sent to the membership.

A vote of confidence in the voluntary works supporting the SCA, may be window dressing but to refuse on the grounds that they have mentioned it in reports and have awards and argue that it would damage the SCA. Remember this is the Board that without documenting background nor minuted discussion recorded a formal vote of confidence in the staff at a Board Meeting in April. despite the same plaudits on staff in the 2013 Annual Reports, comments in paddler and the presentation of awards to members of staff.
As with the persistent problems evidenced by the turnover of numerous directors (at least two Recreational Stream Directors in as many years) and board members, not to mention the loss of two Touring Committees in as many years, the board should sit down and take a very hard look at themselves, and they should ask themselves one question. That question is "WHY?"

I don't doubt that they think they are doing the right thing. I suggest that in the eyes of those Members who try and engage, and quite probably in the eyes of a great many others who just accept the status quo, they are not best serving the Members by the actions displayed over many years.

The great God is Sport Scotland - and the objective is medals and glory. However, a representative of SS told me that SS sees the SCA as a Members Organisation. Just a thought. If "70-80% of eligible young athletes refuse to participate in the scheme", something is wrong!

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Robert Craig » Sat Nov 08, 2014 12:39 pm

It did seem to me that, buried in the Motions as submitted, there was something good trying to get out - something on which it would be useful to vote.

I echo the worries by other posters: the directors of the SCA have to act "in the interests of the shareholders". But there's no mechanism to determine these "interests of shareholders". These "interests" are certainly not financial: so "maximise the profit" or "maximise the turnover" shouldn't be top of the list. I fear that they are, and I don't see what to do about it. It could well be that getting SportScotland funding isn't what the members want - or maybe it is - there's no way of knowing.

Other organisations do it better - they have an annual conference to discuss what the members want.

I've written separately to the Board about my worries about "the Board elects the Board" as well.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:32 pm

Just building on Robert's point of the "Board elects the Board" - we should, I believe, be concerned that this board intends that nominations to it are first vetted by them before being selected to be put forward for election. So, in voting to support the current board, there is a very real danger of voting for even less transparency and democracy as they push through further and more far reaching self-protectionist measures.

I note with interest that prior to the current president taking over, various SCA employed staff and several of the directors were occasional contributors to discussion on the only public forum available to us, UK Rivers, and on F/book. Since the current president, Eddie, took over, that has ceased entirely. Eddie works very hard indeed for the SCA, and I respect that enormously but he has form when it comes to keeping things close to his chest and isn't renowned for sharing and engaging.

Even the Access Director has not added further contribution to a post he started on Access on the Clyde here on the Guidebook - neither has he responded to a direct request for update.

What should the role of a director be? Of course they must ensure strategy and governance. But they must also represent the wishes of the "shareholders", us, the Members, and factor that into the strategic thinking. How can they do that? Easy - by engaging with the clubs and members on a pro-active basis. Do they? Well, the evidence suggests that there is room for improvement - and that, in part, is quite probably part of Slalom's reason for taking the stand they are taking.

Ironically, I actually support the SCA, in concept at least, and Sport Scotland funding is very worthwhile having. However, I find the actions of the current board more and more disturbing. Mary Connacher has been involved with the SCA for a very long time indeed. Voting for her may be a good choice. Whether she is an advocate for change, or likely to support the current state, I don't know.

I will however add that I was extremely irritated to hear that the guy voted on as Treasurer did not perform. If people are going to stand, then they might at least do the job they were elected to do.

Mike.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Jim » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:30 am

MikeB wrote:I will however add that I was extremely irritated to hear that the guy voted on as Treasurer did not perform. If people are going to stand, then they might at least do the job they were elected to do.
I find this kind of thing more than irritating, as far as I know there are at least 2 members of the current board whom had stepped down in the proper manner, but due to premature departure of their successors have agreed to return in order to allow the board to function properly.

Kind of makes me wonder if it might not be a good idea to vet candidates to make sure they aren't time wasters with unrealistic expectations who will quit as soon as they realize that their personal agenda is unachievable.... I can totally see why people are suspicious of the idea, but I am also concerned about the damage done by time wasters...

I do find the wording of the board's recommendations regarding the special resolutions quite condescending, but I understand they are the result of carefully checking the legal position in relation of each proposal, which was done to protect members interests.

Special resolution 7; I currently participate in WW recreation, sea touring, freestyle, polo, and I am presently starting in slalom too. So under special resolution 7 which technical committee(s) would be getting a percentage of my membership fees? From my point of view it makes more sense for technical committees not to be funded by central funds, but to raise their own funds from competition fees and events. However; this requires each committee to be able to retain the volunteers they need to do all the organizing, and from I can tell from the various discussions, this is the central issue behind the resolutions.

How can the technical committees attract and retain the volunteers they need?

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Robert Craig » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:04 pm

I wonder whether "single-issue-director-candidates" is a symptom of there being no other way to get heard? It's the only way the members can get to vote on anything.

Even this route may disappear as the candidate selection procedure changes .....

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:03 am

Well, some time ago, I was at what was a really constructive and positive meeting in Bridge of Allan where the then Touring Committee met with representatives of the board. The objective being to look at how sea paddlers could have a greater representation within the SCA.

The outcome of that meeting was an agreement to trial a split whereby what we could term as "inland" paddlers, in the context of those folk who like battering down rivers, as well as "open" boaters, would have a discipline specific Director - and those of us who paddle on salt water would have a director with a sea paddling interest and background.

Appropriate Directors were duly found and all looked like it was going very well, even to the extent that the "inland" side of SCA Touring was offering a number of trips on what was becoming their own calendar. We had agreed a concept where by it was of course perfectly acceptable for sea kayakers to use what are technically "inland" waters, notably the lochs. So it was all good.

And then, just when we thought we had significant progress, we got walloped with the demand to self-fund, with words like "deficit" and "subsidy" being used. And the board eventually voting to uphold this requirement. It was at that point that we decided enough was enough, and we handed back the whole thing so that the board could do whatever they liked with the Touring Calendar.

That nothing was done is unfortunate. The whole sorry tale was discussed at considerable length here - http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... 4&t=104351 - a thread I had occasion to remind myself of when someone mentioned it to me on a rather nice outing on the Clyde yesterday.

Seven of us had a most splendid paddle from Helensburgh to visit the remains of HMS Onyx and then the Sugar Boat - on which some of us landed! It was a grand wee day out, very relaxed and reminiscent of the glory days of Touring. That it was in part organised through the "shadow group" was both very rewarding and rather poignant at this time. It also produced several new "members" for this group. I would merely add that it was rather less hassle than it would have been were Touring still operating under SCA requirements, and no money changed hands.

Single Issue Directors? Yes, I'd agree with Robert - but that's also democracy and it's in part how we elect our MSP and MP's. The role of the director is to represent the views of the Members after all, as well as governance and strategy.

I see no reason why the board should "vet" and "select" candidates - one would hope the Members would vote based upon how the candidate matches the needs of the job. In the case of a specific skill requirement (like the Treasurer perhaps) then I can see why it might be quite important for the person to know how to do that - but for other positions, I question any need at all.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:16 pm

MikeB wrote: ..... I see no reason why the board should "vet" and "select" candidates - one would hope the Members would vote based upon how the candidate matches the needs of the job. In the case of a specific skill requirement (like the Treasurer perhaps) then I can see why it might be quite important for the person to know how to do that - but for other positions, I question any need at all.
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Re: SCA drama

Post by DaveBland » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:19 pm

MikeB wrote:I see no reason why the board should "vet" and "select" candidates
All sounds a bit "Hong Kong" to me too.
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Re: SCA drama

Post by Seedy Paddler » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:16 pm

Reminder to all that Proxy Votes need to be returned to the office Friday, so get them in the post pronto as with SAE on 2nd class it is getting too close to miss the post...

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Re: SCA drama

Post by jriddell » Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:10 pm

Word on the streets is this is the motions failed to pass with 280 voting against and 80 voting for. Mary C was elected as the new director. I've really appreciated the opportunity to discuss these issues.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Seedy Paddler » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:09 am

Yes the block proxy votes ensured that the debate was dead before it started and the Special Resolutions submitted by the Board were defeated. Interesting little aside as Board members attempted some blatant subterfuge to re-elect an old friend only to raise the issue that much of the SCA Business, Standing Committees and indeed Directors through the past year are actually incompetent appointments as they are in breach of the Articles.

Culminated in the rejection of a Vote of Confidence in the volunteer workers that support the Association, so circa 80% have no confidence in the voluntary work, the Board are similarly volunteers to be logical deduction 80% have no confidence in the Board - seems fair enough given their behaviour over this whole charade ;-)

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:25 pm

Quite.

I gather that a question was asked re the accounts and where they were to be found. The response, predictably, was "on the website". I then understand that not only could no one actually find these when attempting to do so on laptops, phones and tablets, but neither could one of the employed staff!

As regards the "old friend", I also note the name doesn't appear as an appointed director in the SCA news section, perhaps because there was a query as to whether the nomination and appointment were done in accordance with the Articles. That old friend of course was removed in a vote of "no confidence" some 18 months back. But it would seem that "admin" isn't his strong point either, based on comments in the Scotsman 5/9/14 on an unrelated matter.

He further stated “It doesn’t sit well with me that it was due to incompetence, but really it was. At no point did I sit down and think, you know I’m going to claim for something I have already claimed.”

I also understand that the new Disciplinary Procedure was approved - a more far-reaching and swingeing censorship medium would be hard to envisage. I further understand that the Hon President raised some concerns at the end of the meeting regarding the SCA's relationship with the Members. When someone of Duncan's standing in the world of Scottish canoeing, and within the SCA, breaks silence, the board should wonder why.

As I've said before, the SCA Board should sit down, take a long, hard look at themselves and what is happening, and ask one question. That question is "WHY?"

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:51 pm

Just to add grist to the mill, I note this from a Fbook post recently:

"Ok so now the AGM is over the CEO has chosen to confirm today that the £2,500 surplus made by slalom last year that Jonathon helpfully pointed out we should use for the riverbank lease has been absorbed into the SCA reserves and we are not allowed to spend it. So not only is the slalom committee not given any funding but it has to give fees to the SCA, pay to hire the room at grandtully, pay for the lease at Grandtully, generate cira £12,000 surplus from slalom people camping BUT NOW WE ALSO LEARN WE HAVE ALSO ADDED 2,500 SURPLUS to the general pot. Happy days."

No wonder that particular technical committee might feel a little pissed off. When I was involved with SCA Touring, we rather thought that would be the case with any fund raising we did.

No wonder people at the AGM were interested in reviewing the accounts in fine detail.

Normally, limited companies are accountable to the shareholders. The SCA is a limited company, and the Members are the shareholders. It beggars belief that the directors and the board are demonstrating so little accountability and transparency to their shareholders.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by quicky » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:52 pm

Does Scottish Limited companies work in the same way as English ones with accounts having to be viewable by the public if requested?

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:46 pm

Companies House will provide the accounts - a fee of £1 iirc. Quite what level of detail they will provide is unclear though, as I note they are described as "AMENDED EXEMPTION SMALL ACCOUNTS " and I'm unclear on what that includes. Equally, a Member can access the accounts via "self service" on the SCA website - the 2013/14 accounts (to 31 March 2014) are certainly there as of my search this evening. They were uploaded 22/10/14 under ref 000055. (Not sure why it seems they couldn't be found at the AGM I have to say.)

Part of the issue though is possibly the lack of specific detail - for example:

Committee Income (2014)£116,598 (2013)£97,671
General Income £5,606 £9,841

There's no split to indicate which committees have generated this income for example, or how much from each one, let alone how it was generated in the first place. A 19.4% increase is interesting.

On like note, I asked some years ago for a break down of board expenses in the context of their "retreat" which was held over a weekend in a hotel. The response was that the costs so incurred were included under a general board expenses cost code and therefore weren't readily available without considerable manual effort to identify them. Effort which was refused. I was offered the opportunity to come to Edinburgh and peruse the paperwork but I felt that was rather a waste of a day, not to mention 3 gallons of petrol. I suppose a FoI request could have served, but I chose not to. It's easy enough to work out the cost of x people staying on a delegate rate for 1 or 2 nights in a decent hotel anyway.

The lack of specific detail is rather inconvenient, but not improper of course as I suspect the requirements for statutory reporting and audit may be somewhat different from that which Members may hope to identify when seeking answers as to what their money is being spent on! Or indeed where the monies come from.

One such question may well relate to the net surplus, which shows £13,618 for 2014 compared to just £4,124 for 2013. When referenced against the quoted comment earlier from Slalom, one begins to see why Members may want specific answers at the likes of the AGM.

(Edit - I am reminded that the SCA wants to increase its reserves to meet Sport Scotland requirements - although I'd have to check exactly what that reserve requirement is.)

Again of course, a suitably worded FoI request could well produce the answers if necessary. Mike.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:49 am

Sorry, I don't understand the fuss.

The selfservice website is not very intuitive but it took me 4 clicks from the SCA homepage to viewing the accounts that apparently no-one can find. As far as I can tell it is identical to the accounts statement provided with the notice of the AGM and proxy voting form, which begs the question as to whether the person who asked the question at the meeting had even bothered to read the information pack that was sent out?

As for this nonsense about members being shareholders, I refer to paragraph 11 of the accounts document, "The company is limited by guarantee and does not have share capital. The liability of each member is limited to £1 in the event of the company being wound up."

The issue of members liability is actually quite important and has removed a potentially sizeable personal risk that members were probably never aware of in the old days.

But did we make a mistake way back in allowing the SCA to become a limited company subject to corporate governance principles and no longer able to be directly influenced by members at an AGM? It kind of depends on what you consider as improvements or otherwise I think?

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:08 pm

Jim wrote: As for this nonsense about members being shareholders, I refer to paragraph 11 of the accounts document, "The company is limited by guarantee and does not have share capital. The liability of each member is limited to £1 in the event of the company being wound up."

The issue of members liability is actually quite important and has removed a potentially sizeable personal risk that members were probably never aware of in the old days.
It may be nonsense - but the fact remains that although there is no share capital, in changing the basis of the organisation, the Members became the shareholders in every sense other than having a financial interest in how the "business" performs in the context of receiving a return on their shareholding. The protection so afforded makes complete sense and is the manner in which any well-run "members organisation" should be constituted. Even if the SCA were to be completely reconstituted tomorrow with a specific focus only on (hypothetically) slalom paddling, I'd expect it to possibly be a Limited Company.
But did we make a mistake way back in allowing the SCA to become a limited company subject to corporate governance principles and no longer able to be directly influenced by members at an AGM? It kind of depends on what you consider as improvements or otherwise I think?
No - because of the reasons you've already outlined regarding potential liability - and the Members still have influence through the appointment of directors who are there to serve and represent their interests. That the current board increasingly doesn't seem to want to listen to the Members is another matter. There's nothing wrong with the principles of corporate governance unless those principles are seen as paramount over and above the interests of the Members. As indeed Duncan (I understand) made clear at the AGM.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Seedy Paddler » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:57 pm

Jim
The question that was raised for detailed accounts, as per previous requests in previous years, including details on income/expenditure at Grandtully Centre and with the Technical Committees. It was raised in the Meeting that such accounts were available on the website amounted to circa 40 pages of information and was not practical for circulation, by the Gen Sec and the CEO. The CEO confirmed that such accounts had been available via self service. I had a copy of the published accounts and pointed out that they had been on the website but did not detail the level requested and amounted to 12 pages.

The Gen Sec and CEO repeated that detailed accounts had been published via self service - still no further details available. Is this a statement in error or a lie....

As a Company Limited by Guarantee we have no share value but we do have shareholders, each shareholder is legally bound to the £1 guarantee. As I raised in the plenary session on re-structuring, if we were to re-establish today then I would recommend that (as many Clubs are doing) we re-establish as a SCIO. Similar requirements on Board Members and Financial Reporting, greater protection as we have no guarantee, however we open further funding potential from other Charitable organisations and further potential to reclaim tax in the form of Gift Aid and Corporate Tax benefits to sponsors etc..

Considering the Chair introduced himself as having worked as a consultant to OSCR (Scottish Charities Regulator- the body that would approve a SCIO status), I was surprised to find out that this had not yet been considered in re-structuring and certainly required further consideration....

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:14 pm

I see.
There must be few of us to whom the detailed accounts would make any more sense.
Don't most companies just publish the profit and loss summary (usually a single page) to be accepted at their AGM?

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:27 pm

Seedy Paddler wrote:-----if we were to re-establish today then I would recommend that (as many Clubs are doing) we re-establish as a SCIO. Similar requirements on Board Members and Financial Reporting, greater protection as we have no guarantee, however we open further funding potential from other Charitable organisations and further potential to reclaim tax in the form of Gift Aid and Corporate Tax benefits to sponsors etc..

Considering the Chair introduced himself as having worked as a consultant to OSCR (Scottish Charities Regulator- the body that would approve a SCIO status), I was surprised to find out that this had not yet been considered in re-structuring and certainly required further consideration....
I have to say I've often wondered exactly why the SCA hasn't gone down the "Charity" route. It would, on the face of it, appear to meet the Charity Test outlined P4 of http://www.oscr.org.uk/media/1811/OSCR% ... dance1.pdf , specifically items b, h and i.

Mike

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Re: SCA drama

Post by MikeB » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:36 pm

Jim - this whole issue of "detailed accounts" is largely because some folk are energised by finding that (any) surplus their activities produce is being subsumed into the general SCA "pot" rather than being ring-fenced for their own use. Which is understandable.

Conversely, while the words "deficit" and "subsidy" are abhorrent, the principle also allows for the SCA to be able to underwrite an event which may run at a loss. As, I understand, WWPF has. Mike.

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Re: SCA drama

Post by Jim » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 pm

MikeB wrote:Jim - this whole issue of "detailed accounts" is largely because some folk are energised by finding that (any) surplus their activities produce is being subsumed into the general SCA "pot" rather than being ring-fenced for their own use. Which is understandable.
It is understandable.
Do they have their own detailed accounts to use a basis for their money back out of a central pot?
I cannot beleive SCA are deliberately trying to cripple the technical committees by removing their operating profits, such action will only make them more dependant on asking for central money to fund events up front instead of being able to use their funds. It would be the opposite of the self funding ethos SCA is trying to instill in the TCs. Someone must have made a mistake.

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