Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

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jamesw2
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by jamesw2 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:29 pm

morsey wrote:
Is that following correct constitutional process

jmmoxon wrote:
will be accepted at the discretion of the Chairperson.

There we are then.
I'm not a lawyer and I am assuming that the rules for companies limited by guarantee are fundamentally the same as for other private companies but I don't think it is quite that simple.
If this is the AGM of Canoe Wales a registered company limited by guarantee then it is where the members appoint directors, approve the accounts, put forward resolutions (motions) to make changes to the way the company is run etc. While it is no longer a statutory requirement for a private company to have an AGM, if they choose to have one then it has to be conducted according to the companies act (2006) and the articles of association of the company.
Assuming that there is nothing in the memorandum of association or articles to say otherwise, then so long as they follow the correct procedures any member should be able to put forward a resolution to be considered at the AGM. A simple post on a website can't override that right.

It is the members who own and guarantee the debt of the company (£1 each). The board is appointed by the members to run the company on behalf of those members.
If the chairman or directors can veto what resolutions can be put to the AGM then they have taken all control of the company away from the members including the ability to remove the offending director(s) which can't be right.

I may be completely wrong but it would be interesting to hear from someone who has professional knowledge about company law.

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Pam Bell
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Pam Bell » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:31 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:57 pm
So long as CT are clear that they are not charging for paddling, there's no problem. They have now stated "The facility fees charged at Tryweryn are for the use of the facilities on the site, but not passage on the water itself" so if they update other wording such as 'river pass' to avoid ambiguity, that should be it.
Clear updated wording (matched by actions) sounds good to me!

MikeVeal
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by MikeVeal » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:41 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:57 pm
Part of the problem people have with paying for car parks, riverside paths, access across land, management of releases*, maintenance such clearing vegetation, etc, is that on most rivers we don't pay for these facilities, but that's because they don't exist.

*Releases would happen anyway, but not necessarily at the times we want them. There is a hydro electric station at the dam, and that could probably make more money by timing releases for maximum electricity price.
Yes, but in this case the land in question is specifically managed to allow access. The paths were created specifically for us and are largely maintained for our benefit. I'll admit that I've never been, so I'll ask, am I correct in thinking that the features aren't all natural? That some are created and maintained by CT?

This is private, not public land. They can charge as much as they like for whatever they like (as long as the whatever is legal). If you don't like it, don't use the land.

CT exists for our benefit. I don't understand the mentality of wanting the facility but not wanting to pay to ensure it keeps running for many years to come.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:49 pm

Just to add something to the mix; the shuttle will not generally accommodate canoes. If you want to paddle the lower river, beyond the parking, there is little to offer the average paddler. They change in the top car park, run their own shuttle, have almost no path apart from the grass having been trodden down, change at Bala and use the toilets in the Bala car park. For this, non members get to pay £14 per person.

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:56 pm

MikeVeal wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:41 pm
I'll admit that I've never been, so I'll ask, am I correct in thinking that the features aren't all natural? That some are created and maintained by CT?

......................

CT exists for our benefit. I don't understand the mentality of wanting the facility but not wanting to pay to ensure it keeps running for many years to come.
Most of the features are natural, particularly the falls but the river has been altered substantially over the years mainly to benefit the rafters rather than the paddlers. There is a long rapid called the Graveyard; when I first went there it was a graveyard, now it is not, it is a straight run through.


I see your term 'the facility' but of course it is a collection of facilities. If CW had done something like was done at Symonds Yat, just move the rocks around and then let people use it or like BC have done at the Dart, just buy a strip of land and allow members to access there no-one would be complaining. What there is is a collection of teaching blocks, slalom control huts, showers, toilets, carparks, etc all of which need maintenance and upkeep and for which they are making a charge even though I suspect the majority of paddlers make little use of. As a consequence, whereas they could make a small charge for parking and access to the river would be for free, they really are asking for a payment to paddle the river contrary to their stance that rivers are free publicly navigable routes.

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Chalky723
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:26 pm

I shall continue to pay to park my car on their land - not a problem!

D
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Chris Bolton
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:57 pm

MikeVeal wrote:
Chris Bolton wrote:
Part of the problem people have with paying for car parks, riverside paths, access across land, management of releases*, maintenance such clearing vegetation, etc, is that on most rivers we don't pay for these facilities, but that's because they don't exist.
Yes, but in this case the land in question is specifically managed to allow access.
Mike, sorry if my point was ambiguous - I'm not justifying not paying, I'm trying to understand/explain why some people think they shouldn't. I agree with your main post above; we should be prepared to pay for the facilities.
Adrian Cooper wrote:If you want to paddle the lower river, beyond the parking, there is little to offer the average paddler. They change in the top car park, run their own shuttle, have almost no path apart from the grass having been trodden down, change at Bala and use the toilets in the Bala car park. For this, non members get to pay £14 per person.
Adrian, I haven't been there while the current charges applied (except on a course that included them), so I don't know how they're structured. I take it from your post that it's a single charge for any paddler, irrespective of which of the facilities you use, rather than the option to pay for car parking and walking to the river only? It would be fairer if the charges could be split, and it might be more obvious to people what they're paying for, but then I suppose policing who uses the changing rooms etc would become complex.

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Chalky723
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Chalky723 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:05 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:57 pm
It would be fairer if the charges could be split, and it might be more obvious to people what they're paying for, but then I suppose policing who uses the changing rooms etc would become complex.
Coin slots on the changing room doors & toilet doors would be a simple & fair way. Or hiring a key...

I happily pay to park my car and walk up & down the side of the river with the other occupants.

Sometimes we do it with boats on our shoulders - I'm not convinced that it's fair to add another £7/£14 per occupant based on that fact alone.

Plus, I'm pretty sure the people you see walking up & down the river are a darned sight more likely to be using the toilets than many of the paddlers!!! Why aren't walkers charged a "per person" rate too - obviously a quid or two lower given that they're unlikely to be using the changing facilities.....

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Franky
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Franky » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:29 pm

Chalky723 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:05 pm
Why aren't walkers charged a "per person" rate too - obviously a quid or two lower given that they're unlikely to be using the changing facilities.....
Walkers go there because it's pleasant and there's a cafe and it's free. Start charging, and the place will empty of them. Takings at the cafe will plummet, and what you get will be a system that is perfectly fair, but unworkable. Whenever I've been, the cafe has been full of dog walkers, afternoon-outers and the families of paddlers and rafters.

twopigs
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by twopigs » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:07 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:57 pm

*Releases would happen anyway, but not necessarily at the times we want them. There is a hydro electric station at the dam, and that could probably make more money by timing releases for maximum electricity price.
It is only 5 MW so not much money to be raised!
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Adrian Cooper » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:21 pm

But it's FREEEEEE!!!!!!

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DaveBland
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by DaveBland » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:28 pm

MikeVeal wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:32 pm
There are two distinct and separate issues here:
1/ By charging, are CT undermining our argument on a historic PRN existing.
2/ Does the charge make sense, and who should pay.
Perfectly put.
dave

Mark Dixon
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Mark Dixon » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:29 pm

I went to Treweryn with our club last weekend and was very impressed with the staff there, on previous trips its been pretty clear that paddlers were tolerated and most of effort went towards rafts. The attitude has turned around and with shuttles every 30 minutes, friendly faces and shuttles outside of the alloted times a paddler is getting very good value for money IMO, we had a hot-dog raft and they even tied it on top of the other rafts occasionally and took us up.
Well impressed!!
Mark

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Chalky723
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Chalky723 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:19 am

Franky wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:29 pm
Chalky723 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:05 pm
Why aren't walkers charged a "per person" rate too - obviously a quid or two lower given that they're unlikely to be using the changing facilities.....
Walkers go there because it's pleasant and there's a cafe and it's free. Start charging, and the place will empty of them. Takings at the cafe will plummet, and what you get will be a system that is perfectly fair, but unworkable. Whenever I've been, the cafe has been full of dog walkers, afternoon-outers and the families of paddlers and rafters.
Indeed - but they are using the "facilities" & not being charged for it. Which gives the impression that the £7/£14 is a launch fee not a facilities fee.

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MikeVeal
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by MikeVeal » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:40 am

Chris Bolton wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:57 pm
Mike, sorry if my point was ambiguous - I'm not justifying not paying, I'm trying to understand/explain why some people think they shouldn't. I agree with your main post above; we should be prepared to pay for the facilities.
No worries Chris, I guess I should clarify my position too.
I'm not trying to justify the charges, only the fact that CT have a right to charge what they like for access to their land.
I'm trying to say that if you want to access the river from their land, then you should pay their charges. If you don't want to pay, you shouldn't use their land.

I think that crossing land to access a river without the permission of the landowner (and without a statutory right to do so) harms the access campaign. After all the crux of the campaign is "We don't need permission to navigate the river, we only need permission to cross land at the access & egress". If the angling fraternity can demonstrate that we consistently ride roughshod over land owners rights at access/egress, they divert the debate away from the main issue.



Adrian Cooper wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:56 pm
Most of the features are natural...
Thanks for setting me straight Adrian.
Adrian Cooper wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:56 pm
I see your term 'the facility' but of course it is a collection of facilities. If CW had done something like was done at Symonds Yat, just move the rocks around and then let people use it or like BC have done at the Dart, just buy a strip of land and allow members to access there no-one would be complaining.
There is still a cost in owning a piece of land and opening it up for public access. There will be management costs, perhaps they have a mortgage to pay off too.
Adrian Cooper wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:56 pm
...they really are asking for a payment to paddle the river contrary to their stance that rivers are free publicly navigable routes.
No they are not, they are very clearly saying that if you want to cross their land to access the river, you must pay. What the fee is used for (the tangible facilities) and whether you use that is irrelevant. They are entitled to make that charge.

I'm not justifying the charge, it seems daft to charge so much just to carry your boat, but I guess they weighed up the options and decided that this was the simplest/fairest/easiest/most polkerdot/least christmassy. If they charged for parking, and again for changing, and again for the shuttle, then it would become more expensive to collect the money. If people were able to pick and choose, they would choose not to use some parts, e.g. changing. As the changing facilities have to be maintained anyway for other parts of CT's business, then costs of other "stuff" would need to rise in order to keep the changing viable... and we're back to the model of paying for bits of the facility you don't use.

When you pay for entry to Disney Land, would you expect to get in fro free because you don't want to go on certain rides?

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Adrian Cooper » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:22 am

I can only assume that they are happy with their business model but I have to say that, as a club, we used to go there quite often but now, really not so much and I am guessing the charges have an influence. As a canoeist I usually paddle the lower river and the £7 just to park my car sounds a bit dear even though I am used to London prices. It's half that at Bala and they have tarmac!

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John K
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by John K » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:25 am

Chalky723 wrote: Indeed - but they are using the "facilities" & not being charged for it. Which gives the impression that the £7/£14 is a launch fee not a facilities fee.
The "facilities" fee clearly includes a launch fee, and it's perfectly legitimate to charge paddlers to use private land to access a river. I think that CW have got themselves in a bit of a twist and in trying to find the right way to describe it have ended up with a description that is a bit weasely and unclear. They'd be better off just calling it a launch fee.

How about something like:

"In order to secure, develop and maintain the National White Water Centre, Canoe Wales has a taken a lease on the surrounding land. This is a significant commitment and to remain viable the National White Water Centre is run on a commercial basis. As part of this, there is a charge for anyone using any part of the centre to access the river. Parking and the use of our other facilities is included in this fee at no extra cost"

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Mike A » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:09 am

It's not easy to solve, with wording that doesn't lead to landowners introducing charges everywhere for paddlers to launch. The problem at CT is that not eveyone uses or wants to use the facilities beyond the car park, so why are we being charged for the facilities that are not needed or used?

But, then we get into a discussion of how is it right that a walker can walk to a river along a path for free, but that the paddler had to pay for exactly the same facility?

How would climbers react if hill walkers could walk up a mountain for free but if you climbed from the same starting point to the same finish point they were charged?


Europe has a better way of dealing with courses akin to CT - they just throw the boulders in and then let pceople get on with it. Its all the uneccessary infrastructure that ups the cost. It was the same with the proposed course at Padiham. Initially it was just changing the course a bit, then it became adding a car park, and building, and toilets etc - pretty soon the costs were so high that the project was dropped.

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by jmmoxon » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:01 am

jamesw2 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:29 pm
morsey wrote:
Is that following correct constitutional process

jmmoxon wrote:
will be accepted at the discretion of the Chairperson.

There we are then.
I'm not a lawyer and I am assuming that the rules for companies limited by guarantee are fundamentally the same as for other private companies but I don't think it is quite that simple.
If this is the AGM of Canoe Wales a registered company limited by guarantee then it is where the members appoint directors, approve the accounts, put forward resolutions (motions) to make changes to the way the company is run etc. While it is no longer a statutory requirement for a private company to have an AGM, if they choose to have one then it has to be conducted according to the companies act (2006) and the articles of association of the company.
Assuming that there is nothing in the memorandum of association or articles to say otherwise, then so long as they follow the correct procedures any member should be able to put forward a resolution to be considered at the AGM. A simple post on a website can't override that right.

It is the members who own and guarantee the debt of the company (£1 each). The board is appointed by the members to run the company on behalf of those members.
If the chairman or directors can veto what resolutions can be put to the AGM then they have taken all control of the company away from the members including the ability to remove the offending director(s) which can't be right.

I may be completely wrong but it would be interesting to hear from someone who has professional knowledge about company law.
There does need to be some control over what is considered at an AGM, but I don't know if that statement was added before or after Pam's motion was sent in...

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by scottdog007 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:09 pm

I went up not long ago with a large group. Now I don't mind paying for something towards running costs, but we only wanted to do the bottom section, a few did the top. I think £7 is too much and when I heard others in my group were charged £14, I just thought that is well over the top and they have lost my support on this.

I note you can pay for parking only, so next time I will be doing this and jumping on to the river.

I still needed to pay £4 parking at Bala. And to make it worse the parking machine would only use old one pound coins :-(

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Franky » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:30 pm

All I can say reading this thread is that there's no pleasing some people.

£7 is 2 pints of beer - for a day's paddling on continuous, technical grade 3+ when nothing else is running, with regular shuttles to the top and changing rooms and showers should you want them. If you wouldn't pay £7 for that, what would you pay £7 for?

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Franky » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:36 pm

Mike A wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:09 am
It's not easy to solve, with wording that doesn't lead to landowners introducing charges everywhere for paddlers to launch.
It couldn't lead to that, because law-abiding paddlers only launch from public rights of way, which landowners can't charge to use. The whole point about the Upper Tryweryn is that there are no public rights of way leading to it. People seem to be forgetting this.

In the back of some people's minds seems to be the assumption, "We have a right to access the Upper Tryweryn", but we don't. Our argument is that we have a right to *navigate* it, but if we can't legally get on it, that right is irrelevant.

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John K
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by John K » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:53 pm

As suggested in CW's letter and Adrian Cooper's post above it may not actually be as cut and dried as that though.

Granted it would be simpler if it was, but if this was any other land owner claiming that the only access was across his land for which a charge was payable, you can be sure that we would be looking very closely at the situation.

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John K
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by John K » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:01 pm

Franky wrote: It couldn't lead to that, because law-abiding paddlers only launch from public rights of way, which landowners can't charge to use.
There are many places where we access across private land with permission without any fee being charged. In fact I can only think of two places where a fee is charged for access to a river and they are both operated by paddlers.

Whilst charging per paddler might be a legitimate choice for land owners to make I don't think it would be very popular as a general principle.

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John K
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by John K » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:04 pm

jmmoxon wrote:On WCA website it does say (which was posted on 11th Aug):
"Any member of Canoe Wales can also submit a motion to be included on the agenda at the AGM. As per the Canoe Wales Articles of Association, these motions must be submitted within 42 days of the meeting and will be accepted at the discretion of the Chairperson. The deadline for submitting a motion for the 2017 AGM is 19 August 2017."
That doesn't necessarily make it correct though. Someone would need to check the constitution (or memorandum and articles of association) to be sure.

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Mike A » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:13 pm

John K wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:53 pm
As suggested in CW's letter and Adrian Cooper's post above it may not actually be as cut and dried as that though.

Granted it would be simpler if it was, but if this was any other land owner claiming that the only access was across his land for which a charge was payable, you can be sure that we would be looking very closely at the situation.

More so when non paddlers have free access to the very same launch spot.

I am happy to pay for facilities I use, used to be a season ticket holder at CT, but just think there needs to be a smarter way to sell this.

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by Chris Bolton » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:54 pm

Someone would need to check the constitution (or memorandum and articles of association) to be sure.
The Articles of Association are posted on the Canoe Wales Website
They don't appear to me to include the words (reported by Mike M as having been posted on the CW website) "...and will be accepted at the discretion of the Chairperson".
7.5 Notices of motion put forward by Members for the Annual General Meeting must be received by the Company at least 42 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting.

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John K
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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by John K » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:13 pm

In which case it would appear that the Chair of Canoe Wales may be attempting to exercise powers that he does not hold.

Is there a general rule that all NGBs are required to be crap at this sort of stuff?

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by jmmoxon » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:51 pm

Amazing the similarity of discussion to when they introduced parking charges in 2010 (charging for paddling the river having been dropped in 2008 - from £14):
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=64141

& background to the current charges:
http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/ ... ales-board

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Re: Access and facility charging at Canolfan Tryweryn

Post by jamesw2 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:41 pm

Someone would need to check the constitution (or memorandum and articles of association) to be sure.

The Articles of Association are posted on the Canoe Wales Website
They don't appear to me to include the words (reported by Mike M as having been posted on the CW website) "...and will be accepted at the discretion of the Chairperson".

7.5 Notices of motion put forward by Members for the Annual General Meeting must be received by the Company at least 42 days before the date of the Annual General Meeting.
This is exactly the point I was trying to make in my post.
The bit about being "accepted at the discretion of the Chairperson" is in a news item on the CW website reminding people about the AGM.

This isn't the AGM of a small canoe club, it is the official AGM of a limited company and as such needs to conducted absolutely 'according to the book' and in this case the only 'book' that counts is the companies act and the articles of association. Unless CW can show that the chairman has the right to veto resolutions then what they have done is at best incompetent and at worst illegal.

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