Sneaky BCU Changes

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Poke
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Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by Poke » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:32 pm

A friend e-mailed me this the other day. It looks like the BCU are trying to sneak through some changes at their forthcoming AGM. Particularly concerning for the Welsh and Scottish contingent is this right of veto, which I assume means if a member of the WCA or SCA does something the BCU doesn't like (eg. take a pro-active approach to access), they can be binned off rather too easily.

Does anyone else know any more about this?
2 years ago, the British Canoe Union changed its trading name to British Canoeing and at the same time England lost its identity as the Canoe England name was retired.

This change has caused much confusion for many people involved in canoeing as it is no longer possible for people to identify when things are being done on behalf of the whole of the UK and when they are being done exclusively by/for England.

At this year's AGM it is proposed to change the name of the company from BCU to British Canoeing, removing reference to the Union which has worked so well for canoeists across the UK for many years.

It is also proposed to introduce a right of veto by the Board on the appointments made by the Home Nations of their representatives on the Board.

If, like me, you are concerned about these changes and would like to stop the process before it is too late then please complete this short survey to register your concern. If you don't agree please also complete it to allow a balanced view to emerge.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6P9DHHR
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Seedy Paddler
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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by Seedy Paddler » Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:38 pm

Calling Notice and papers are available -https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/abou ... /AGM-2016/

There is no right of veto rather a name change to remove Union and replace with Company - lets face it we were never a Union and they are the Articles of a Company.

Name change to British Canoeing was effective almost 2 years ago and they are now formally moving onto a single branding. Not really bothered about branding but it seems the marketing folk are.

Changes to Board include a requirement for all Board appointees to be endorsed by the next AGM (Article 16c), in reality window dressing as it is liable to be a single motion however does open up the Company to the potential that an organised group of dissenters could effectively ensure that the Board do not get a vote of approval. However as Board remains structured (Article 48)with 6 nominated appointments from National Councils (i.e. England 3; Wales 1; Scotland 1 Northern Ireland 1) the CEO and up to 5 "Independent Directors appointed by the Board". The aspects of Director management and retiral, replacement are largely unchanged (best to look at Appendix 6 document as it is a track changes on current articles).

The issue remains as it has always been there is a lack of National identity and separation between British and English affairs - rather similar to Westminster. It has been recommended in the past that Canoe England should be established as an autonomous body with BCU/British Canoeing restricted to matters of British affairs - principally International interfaces with ICF/IOC. In which case it may be more of a union of National organisations. To date the internal politics of Englandshire and their confusion on the extent of England within Great Britain rather than England is Great Britain continue to perpetuate the situation.

CD

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by dougdew99 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 4:25 pm

Unfortunately, there will be little or no representation by rank and file canoeists at the AGM, because as a group we are about as apathetic as it is possible to be. I attended one AGM and found no one there who was not a BCU functionary. The meeting was a joke as a result.

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:22 pm

It is also proposed to introduce a right of veto by the Board on the appointments made by the Home Nations of their representatives on the Board.
I couldn't find this in the agenda

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:27 pm

The trouble with the AGMs is that they are to conduct the organisation's business as a registered company and are structured as such. They are not set up as a dialogue between the board and the membership; if they wanted something like this it would need either a separate meeting or an addition to the agenda, it is not a requirement of the Companies Act.

The Annual Report can be quite general and you will see it does not invite comment, the critical item for the meeting is the company account which you will see is reporting a loss for the second year running.

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by SimonMW » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:59 am

What's really needed is an entirely new organisation to give competition.

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by Strad » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:59 am

SimonMW wrote:What's really needed is an entirely new organisation to give competition.
I've just been struck by a big bucket of deja vu. :-)
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by StoneWeasel » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:03 pm

Strad wrote:
SimonMW wrote:What's really needed is an entirely new organisation to give competition.
I've just been struck by a big bucket of deja vu. :-)
22 years I have been paddling and for 22 years I have heard calls for another organisation to challenge BCU ;)

Problem is setting up a competitor organisation sounds like a lot of work and hassle and most people just want to go paddle.

Denzil

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by John K » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:56 pm

Whatever the perceived shortfalls, the insurance and waterways licensing gives the BCU a massive amount of traction.

Even if there was a band of dedicated people prepared to put in the graft to set up a new organisation I don't know how they'd ever get past this hurdle.

The BCU obviously knows this too and I suspect that this adds to their complacency.

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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by Poke » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:17 pm

Adrian Cooper wrote:
It is also proposed to introduce a right of veto by the Board on the appointments made by the Home Nations of their representatives on the Board.
I couldn't find this in the agenda
Good shout. Neither could I. I said it was sneaky...

My buddy explains:
“It is quite subtle but the change is item 9 under the special business section of the agenda.

This changes article 48 to remove reference to appointment by the national associations. With this removed then the only remaining methods for appointment of directors are an ordinary resolution of the members; or a resolution of the board.

The first of these methods requires a general meeting which will most likely be the next Annual General Meeting so there could be a long delay during which a seat on the board would be vacant. This process would also raise the possibility of an appointment from one of the 4 nations could be voted down which would not be good.

The second of these methods would be a resolution decided within the board. If a home nation director is being appointed then it is likely that their predecessor will not be present at the meeting so the nation making the appointment will either not be represented (in the case of Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales) or will have reduced representation in the case of England. Any decision by such a process to not appoint a representative nominated by a home nation would be a veto by the rest of the board.

The right of the national associations to appoint their representatives on the highest decision making body of the BCU (The old council prior to incorporation and the board since) has always been respected within the rules governing the management of the organisation, until the version being proposed now. This change has been proposed without any proper discussion with or agreement by the national associations and as such it should be unacceptable to the membership.

It was explained that this is just tidying up of an error in the 2014 articles. When they were produced reference to appointment was removed from section a) of the relevant paragraph in article 48 but not from b). In my view the error was in removing the reference to appointment from the first sentence and a correction should be to reinstate that. At the moment there is a reference to rely on so that national associations can appoint (as has happened twice since 2014, albeit not immediately as the wording requires) but with all such references being removed then there will be no effective right for national associations to appoint their representatives."
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Re: Sneaky BCU Changes

Post by dougdew99 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:37 pm

Here is an example of an organisation, which has a good relationship with an active membership, does.

http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?id=3533

To be fair, I believe that the BCU has tried this approach in the past but gave up because nobody was interested.

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