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British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:40 am
by John K
I've been paddling for a while, but only recently joined British Canoeing. I see there's an AGM coming up, but I don't really know enough about how the organisation works to make much sense of the proposals. I've posted in "Whitewater and Touring" as we don't have a general section, but I guess some of it would be more applicable to "Competitions" although that's not very relevant to me.

Apparently we have a chief executive, a chairman, a president, several vice presidents and an assortment of directors which seems like a lot of chiefs. What does the president do? I see that there is an election scheduled between Albert Woods and Ivan Lawler. Neither of whom I know, but both appear to be pillars of the paddling community (but mostly competition orientated?). There doesn't seem to be any information in the AGM about why they are standing or why they should get my vote. Any opinions?

Ivan Lawler has a proposal about elite athlete welfare that seems sensible having had a quick read through. Is there opposition to this?

Is the EGM anything to be concerned about, or is it just procedural?

As a recreational whitewater kayaker and canoeist should any of this concern me anyway?

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:11 am
by Adrian Cooper
The AGM is very much to satisfy the requirements of company law, there is a report on their activities and a motion to agree the accounts. It is quite dry which is why so few people attend. If they extended it to be of interest to the membership beyond the simple legal requirements, they might just get a few more people along. The EGM looks like simple business, you might just have noticed that the make-up of the board has changed in recent years to include people who appear to have no interest in the sport, this is a requirement of Sport England or Sport UK to diversify the boards of NGBs. You will note the new chief exec was something big in golf.

The 'executive' are the people who do the work so the chief executive runs the staff. The board give direction, I really don't know what we need the president and vice presidents for. Albert Woods has been doing the job for donkey's years in spite of running his own company and being on the boards of various related governing bodies like the ICF and probably the European one too. Ivan Lawler was/is a great competitor in racing and people who know him say he is a good cove. I've not met him but I have no reason to doubt he would have the sport's best interests at heart.

Does any of this impact on recreational canoeists? I suspect very little.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:34 am
by Adrian Cooper
Albert Woods

President - British Canoeing
Director and executive committee - International Canoe Federation
President - European Canoe Association
Director and trustee - Canoe Foundation
Honorary Life Vice President British Olympic Committee after serving during the 2012 Olympics

I know little about the workings of these organisations but I think the jobs are spread a little thinly

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:22 pm
by twopigs
Adrian Cooper wrote:The AGM is very much to satisfy the requirements of company law, there is a report on their activities and a motion to agree the accounts. It is quite dry which is why so few people attend. If they extended it to be of interest to the membership beyond the simple legal requirements, they might just get a few more people along. The EGM looks like simple business, you might just have noticed that the make-up of the board has changed in recent years to include people who appear to have no interest in the sport, this is a requirement of Sport England or Sport UK to diversify the boards of NGBs. You will note the new chief exec was something big in golf.
Good point Adrian. I recently attended a club AGM held in a venue with a bar. The other club of which I am a member always make the AGM a social event - last year a couple of members talked about their exploits in the Grand Canyon and the Zambesi. So maybe BC could have the AGM at a river and folks could go paddling as well?? Obviously with so many rivers they could pick a different river every year.
Does any of this impact on recreational canoeists? I suspect very little.
I think buried in the annual report is the crucial membership number - a little over 30,000. Coaches are a bit over 10,000 of those. So why aren't the other 970,000 members? Something to do with BC not being very relevant to recreational canoeists??

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:32 pm
by Adrian Cooper
When I was chairman we held the AGM at a pub and got the business over quickly so we could have a pub quiz with prizes. We have also had people speaking about their trips.

If only BC was near a suitable venue for something canoe related.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:19 pm
by Brian Chapman
This year's AGM follows on from the official launch of the British Canoeing (English) strategy - same hotel just a couple hours earlier. Might be good to have a wide cross section of views present to feed back on teh strategy for the next 4 years.

Also, attendance and relevance are a vicious circle. Nobody from recreation attends so nobody talks about recreation, therefore nothing about recreation is on the agenda so nobody from recreation attends. Realistically you could replace recreation with almost any canoeing discipline in the above sentence and it would still be true. There is only one way to break the cycle and discussion at the strategy launch could well be the start of a process.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:00 pm
by Adrian Cooper
Yes, that way to break the cycle is for the board to have an agenda which reflects the interests of recreational paddlers.

Let's be honest, the AGMs are so dry you only get 20-30 people along. We get that for our club AGMs.


On the subject of the "official launch of the British Canoeing (English) strategy", where is this publicised? I haven't seen it crop up in anything I have read. Maybe it hasn't had sufficient prominence to attract me attention.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:12 pm
by Adrian Cooper
AGENDA
ORDINARY BUSINESS
1. Welcome by Professor John Coyne CBE, Chairman, British Canoeing*
2. To appoint tellers for the meeting
3. To adopt the minutes of the 36th Annual General Meeting
4. To consider matters arising from the minutes of the 36th Annual General Meeting
5. To ratify the appointment of Life President.*
6. To announce the appointment of the President*
7. To ratify the appointment of Directors appointed since the 36th Annual General Meeting.
8. To adopt the 37th Annual Report of British Canoeing for 2015/ 2016
9. To adopt the accounts for the financial year 1.11.15. to 31.10.16.
10. To appoint ‘Haysmacintyre’ as the Auditors forthe financial year 1.11.16 to 31.10.17, and to authorise the directors to fix their remuneration
11. To consider the motion proposed by Teresa Gregory and Ivan Lawler MBE

There doesn't appear to be room for discussion of any sports disciplines. As I said, rather dry.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:43 pm
by twopigs
I was having an "official launch of the British Canoeing (English) strategy" I think I'd publish it a month in advance - so that I could get considered feedback. Will there be a British Canoeing (Welsh) strategy? But if you want paddlers to turn up something has to attract them .... a free beer might tempt a few in!

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:06 pm
by Adrian Cooper
I can see you haven't done Google yet.

Canoe Wales strategic plan is 2015 - 2018

The English strategy has been ongoing as a consultation for a few months, this is presumably the launch of the outcome. Regional consultation meetings took place last summer.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:09 pm
by Mike A
A commitment to talk about acess, strategy to improve access, to include statement that they are going to fight to support the recognition that historically there is a right of navigation, and how they plan to do this / engage members, would help.

Oh and focussing on sport for all / membership, rather than elite or other specific groups ( this girl can etc)

But they should make the agm relevant. I appreciate it's a legal requirement but we are meant to be group of people passionate about paddlesport

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:55 pm
by ali
Access was one of the issues that there was up for discussion at the regional consultations. However, at the one I attended only one person went to speak in the access group ( you got to choose which detailed discussions you wanted to join after the general discussion). You just have to hope those who are good at commenting from their computer did so via the survey's BC sent out at various stages in the process.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:32 pm
by cp
Don't hold your breath, I went to the consultations, filled in thr survey, listened to David Joy make all the right noises then all he had done is put up the membership fee, I have tried to get to speak with him to find our why but the office staff will not put you through. I do not see any change with the change in leadership.

Chris

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:17 pm
by John K
Apparently, unlike every other member of staff displayed on the web site, David Joy doesn't have an email address...

Image

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:57 am
by Ivan Lawler
Reading through this chain as I was dropped a message asking me to explain a couple of things.

I am attending the AGM and have been nominated for the role of President. I have done this pretty much for all the reasons you have discussed in the chain.I feel that my views are not represented on the Board. There is only one person who gets to sit in on Board meetings and other high level meetings who is not one of the inside gang. This person is the President, he has no voting rights but can air his and his publics views. I chose to oppose Albert because the section of the sport I love is , in my opinion, being run very badly. On the outside we are all powerless to change anything (I have tried hard!) so this Presidential role is my ticket to get a voice heard on the inside .

I am under no illusion that I may not be the best person for the job as far as other disciplines and areas of the sport are concerned. Without doubt there would be someone from each discipline who could represent them better as they are more directly aware of the issues that concern them. What I will say is that I will be prepared not only to support the issues I understand well but also those that come to me through members.

None of this is really the issue here though. At the moment if you don't like the job I do as President you have the ability to nominate a person of your choice and he can be voted in at the next election (every 2 years). Any one from any area can stand and represent whatever they choose. This is the right we are standing up for at this election. We are ALL about to lose the right to vote for the one position at Board Meetings that can speak directly for us.

It is not clear on the ballot process but the upshot is this.....IF you don't vote against Albert Woods being given a newly formed Life President role then you will AUTOMATICALLY be losing your right to vote for your own choice of President , the only person you have influence over! This role would, if the Life President role is created, become "appointed" by the Board who would of course install their own man.

Your vote against the formation of the Life President role is not a vote for me, it is a vote to retain the small area of influence we have remaining to us to create the sport we want. Ultimately if you are successful in preventing the role from being created you may well have to suffer me being President for 2 years before you can organise your group to get its own man elected.

I hope this has answered the question I was asked!

PS David Joys email address is david.joy@britishcanoeing.org.uk

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:14 am
by Poke
Oof, some clear communication to the ‘masses’ (of recreational/ww boaters – if UKRGB counts as that anymore).
You’ve got my vote already...
So, how exactly can I vote?
Is it possible to vote without actually being at the AGM?

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:30 am
by John K
Ivan Lawler wrote:It is not clear on the ballot process but the upshot is this.....IF you don't vote against Albert Woods being given a newly formed Life President role then you will AUTOMATICALLY be losing your right to vote for your own choice of President , the only person you have influence over! This role would, if the Life President role is created, become "appointed" by the Board who would of course install their own man.
As well as the a Life President the proposal appears to keep the existing role of President, but renamed Honorary President. Am I right in saying that an Honorary President would be appointed by the board rather than elected by the wider membership? If this is true then British Canoeing have certainly not made it clear enough.
Poke wrote:Oof, some clear communication to the ‘masses’ (of recreational/ww boaters – if UKRGB counts as that anymore).
You’ve got my vote already...
So, how exactly can I vote?
Is it possible to vote without actually being at the AGM?
If you're a member then you should have had an email entitled "British Canoeing AGM and EGM papers" which includes proxy forms and a ballot paper.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:24 am
by Poke
John K wrote:If you're a member then you should have had an email entitled "British Canoeing AGM and EGM papers" which includes proxy forms and a ballot paper.
I am a member, but they don't have my e-mail address.
I don't suppose there's a link to follow from which the necessary papers can be printed?

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:44 am
by davebrads
I think this is really important. If you agree, then please publicise it to your clubs/colleagues and encourage as many people as possible to use their proxy vote.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:09 pm
by John K
Poke wrote:
John K wrote:If you're a member then you should have had an email entitled "British Canoeing AGM and EGM papers" which includes proxy forms and a ballot paper.
I am a member, but they don't have my e-mail address.
I don't suppose there's a link to follow from which the necessary papers can be printed?
They're on the BC web site

https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news ... eting-agm/

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:11 pm
by John K
Make sure you remember to cross out the bit that says "...the chairman of the meeting or, failing him,..." if you want your proxy to actually get your vote.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:12 pm
by John K
John K wrote:As well as the a Life President the proposal appears to keep the existing role of President, but renamed Honorary President. Am I right in saying that an Honorary President would be appointed by the board rather than elected by the wider membership? If this is true then British Canoeing have certainly not made it clear enough.
It seems that this is indeed the case. Looks like Ivan gets my vote too.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:06 pm
by Ivan Lawler
If anyone on here would like the cheat sheets we have created to help you through the voting process then please email me

sales@ultimatekayaks.co.uk

Thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in this topic.

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:27 pm
by stormkayaker
Ivan,

Filling in Proxy Form to give you my proxy vote

An address is needed - can you supply this on UKRGB or by pm please,

Cheers and well done for being prepared to act

Paul

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:10 pm
by John K
Ivan's address is

47 Chobham Road,
Ottershaw, Surrey,
KT16 0QE

I checked that he's happy to have it made public by the way. :)

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:54 pm
by tjclare
Filling in my proxy form now. Will do what I can to publicise this as well!

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:42 pm
by Ivan Lawler
Many thanks to everyone on this page for all your support and for the time taken to fill out forms and send them in. I hope in the future we will all be able to benefit from the efforts you have made! Fingers crossed!

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:44 pm
by Robert Craig
John K wrote:Make sure you remember to cross out the bit that says "...the chairman of the meeting or, failing him,..." if you want your proxy to actually get your vote.

This is extremely odd wording

Re: British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:15 pm
by John K
Yes, and a cynical person might think that it's possibly an attempt to get proxy votes for the chairman by stealth.

The ballot papers for the President election refer to "the undersigned" but don't have anywhere indicated for a signature which is also a bit unusual...

British Canoeing AGM

Posted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:29 pm
by John K
I've had confirmation from BC that ballot forms do not need a signature.

They will also accept proxy forms with a typed signature if you're just annotating the PDF and emailing it (so you can still email your forms if you don't have a scanner)