R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:04 pm

A lot of the responses are only bordering on slanderous. Does anyone have more information not presented here to justify the opprobrium being heaped on the trustees?

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by 58panel » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:12 pm

well said /\

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by SimonMW » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:14 pm

Sounds like a Greek tragedy.

Not belittle it all, but I amazed at all of this over a canoe club. By that I mean, what on earth were the committee thinking? I mean, didn't it occur to them even slightly that there might, just might be a bit of a backlash about this?!

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by simonj » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:30 pm

Hi Adrian,

agree this might sound a bit one sided and I would really appreciate it if the committee would give their response here, or anywhere come to that. It would be good to hear what they have to say.To answer your earlier point/question, the club had certainly not run out of funds prior to being dissolved and nor were the club members consulted on closure as required by our constitution.

Hope that helps.

Simon

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by GlennT » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:41 pm

Adrian, I assume you meant libel, ie to publish something false and malicious, as opposed to slander, which is to say something false and malicious. Either of which is the vehicle by which you defame or maliciously damage someone's reputation.

Your assumption here is that this is what is being perpetrated against a very small number of DKC committee members by various contributors to this thread. As you are somewhat removed from this situation geographically, in the south east of England, I presume you are not fully up to speed with what is happening here in the north east apropos DKC.

Let's hope that the facts do emerge soon and it may well be that this 'thread' plays some part in bringing that about. At the moment, it is apparent that efforts have been made to 'gag' the majority of DKC members through the use of an injunction for reasons best known to the very small number of committee members involved in this tragic tale.

Transparency seems to be key to resolving this issue. If those committee members are acting lawfully then surely they would have no concern with this whole business being laid wide open to scrutiny?

G

58panel
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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by 58panel » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:49 pm

Is the internet the best place to do this ?

I have see the other thread on SOTP the response to it reads a little different to the majority on hear

Best of luck and hope it all gets sorted out for the Club

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by kirstyrichardson » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:02 pm

58panel wrote:Is the internet the best place to do this ?

I have see the other thread on SOTP the response to it reads a little different to the majority on hear

Best of luck and hope it all gets sorted out for the Club
The reason for posting this initially was to inform people that the club has been dissolved and for anyone with property that they believe to still be in the DKC clubhouse to contact the receiver asap to claim this property. The club had a number of people who were students or people who work away and therefore may not have been informed via letter that the club is in receivership and therefore need to claim their property asap. Therefore in my opinion the internet was the best place to inform people.

I agree there are 2 sides to every story and as someone has already said it would be nice for the committee to actually speak to its members on a personal level and not via solicitors letters which is what has happened for the past 3 months.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:37 am

GlennT wrote:Adrian, I assume you meant libel, ie to publish something false and malicious, as opposed to slander, which is to say something false and malicious. Either of which is the vehicle by which you defame or maliciously damage someone's reputation.

Your assumption here is that this is what is being perpetrated against a very small number of DKC committee members by various contributors to this thread. As you are somewhat removed from this situation geographically, in the south east of England, I presume you are not fully up to speed with what is happening here in the north east apropos DKC.
Sorry, libel is the term, I stand corrected.

I am not assuming anything. The assumptions appear to be being made by other posters. Yes, I am removed from the situation, I have a prurient interest in the subject but, like presumably, most contributors, I have few or no facts to go on. I was merely reminding people that they are probably in the same position whilst heaping scorn on the trustees. It would be interesting if the court appointed administrator fully endorsed the action.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by willbailey » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:43 am

simonj wrote:Hi Adrian,

agree this might sound a bit one sided and I would really appreciate it if the committee would give their response here, or anywhere come to that. It would be good to hear what they have to say.To answer your earlier point/question, the club had certainly not run out of funds prior to being dissolved and nor were the club members consulted on closure as required by our constitution.

Hope that helps.

Simon
That's the point simon we tried and tried holding an sgm ,the constitution was followed to the letter. they put off for weeks eventually having one it ran over because of the many topics it was supposed to reconvene in 2 weeks and nothing we contacted the charities commission and spoke to the bcu we had no choice
held the follow on meeting having invited all the committee nobody turned up but the summonses 18 in total they had chance after chance so no the cub did not run out of money and 80+ paddlers most whom are youngsters and over 50 years as a club THEY WOULD NOT LISTEN people tried phoning the committee members to resolve but were told they would be served with an injunction if they called again

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Big Henry » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:29 pm

simonj wrote:In the last special general meeting which we set up and announced to the membership as required, a court official appeared and served injunctions on a large number of members to prevent them from attending the meeting. The effect of this unbelievable action (court injunctions taken out against 17 (I think) members of a club by some members of its committee) was that the meeting was inquorate and could not complete the business of trying to resolve the issues.
I've never been served an injunction, but I would have thought that a sound legal justification would be needed for one to be served, especially against 17 or 18 people, and not just "we don't want them there". So can anyone state exactly what justification was given for these injunctions?

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by 58panel » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:38 pm

This is getting boring now
If the initial post was to inform persons of the situation
Would you all not agree this has been done?
All you are achieving now is going around in circles
For the interest of all parties evolved would it not be best to leave it at that until the case has been resolved in the correct manner

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by I-smell-a-rat » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:27 pm

This is getting boring now
Over 3000 views of this thread suggests otherwise!
can anyone state exactly what justification was given for these injunctions?
This is the information I have been provided with.

The Charity Commission gave the following written advice to the members who were unhappy with the way the committee were running the club;

"Where a charity's Membership are dissatisfied with the actions or administration of its trustee body (in this case the Committee), they are free to call a General Meeting to discuss and agree what they wish to do. Clearly this process has been begun already and it remains up to the members, at the reconvened SGM, to decide on electing a new Committee - or taking any other action needed. This process does not require the consent or presence of the current Committee, only that the SGM is quorate in terms of members present - whatever decision it reaches should be recorded in the minutes and become effective immediately."

On this advice, the members subsequently arranged for a Special General Meeting to be held and duly informed the members of the organisation and the Committee.

At this meeting, none of the Committee attended but sent a legal representative on their behalf. A notice of an injunction application was served on a number of members, seeking to prevent the members from holding this and subsequent meetings, to prevent them from forming a committee and from passing resolutions in relation to the management, assets or business of the organisation.

Am I the only one who sees this as rather unusual behaviour for a Committee which was already in the process of dissolving the club? It appears that there were a significant number of willing and well qualified members who would have gladly given their own time, knowledge and experience, free of charge, in order to save the club and ensure that it was preserved for the benefit of future generations.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by willbailey » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:32 pm

Thanks smelly !

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:41 pm

And we still have no reasons offered as to why the club was shut down.

Are the members of the club actually members of the charity or are these just the trustees?

Would the trustees be ultimately responsible for any losses incurred by the club?

What was the financial position, were the trustees in a critical position?

Who owns the assets?

What did the injunctions seek to prevent?

What is a quorum for the SGM?

How was the 'legal representative' able to stop the meeting which the Charity Commission said was OK?

Whilst it is suggested loads of people were prepared to volunteer to run the club, the committe comprised only five people and the chairman's post was vacant (according to the website). Is this correct?

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Steve B » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:56 pm

I-smell-a-rat wrote:At this meeting, none of the Committee attended but sent a legal representative on their behalf. A notice of an injunction application was served on a number of members, seeking to prevent the members from holding this and subsequent meetings, to prevent them from forming a committee and from passing resolutions in relation to the management, assets or business of the organisation.
This makes no sense. An injunction isn't granted without good reason, and certainly not to prevent the members of a club from exercising the right they have (as explained above) to call a committee to account. One can imagine conduct which might lead to an injunction being granted but that would be just wild speculation. The only possible conclusion is we don't know the facts.
Steve Balcombe

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by I-smell-a-rat » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:14 pm

@Adrian Cooper;

They are all extremely pertinent questions. Questions which I believe the members had been asking the Committee for months! The members would be VERY interested to hear why the club was shut down. They would also be VERY interested in the current state of the club's assets.

@Steve B;

As far as I can see, an injunction was not granted. An injunction was applied for by the Committee. A hearing was set by the Court to decide whether the injunction would be served and enforced. It was notice of this hearing which was served on the members.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:35 pm

And this is going round in further circles. I got the impression Mr Rat would be the bringer of new information, it now looks as if he knows nothing and is not a member of the club.

Does anyone know anything or is this whole thing just speculation?

Apart from the obvious voluntary winding up order.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by I-smell-a-rat » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:37 pm

@Adrian Cooper;

You seem to be missing the point completely.

The only people who know exactly what has gone on are the members of the Committee. For reasons unknown, they do not appear to want to explain their actions to the members they represented.

It would appear that an awful lot of members are completely in the dark about why these three or four Committee members have closed an extremely popular and well regarded club.

To quote you in a recent post on another forum discussion,
there are loads of clubs out there supported by loads of members who gain enormously by being part of their club
Boom! You've hit the nail on the head. That is why the members of the former Durham Kayak Club are so annoyed and would like the people responsible for taking all this away from them to answer some questions.

Hopefully, a lot more facts will emerge over the coming weeks. The Committee may have genuine and completely justified reasons for doing what they have done. If only they would tell us all what these reasons were!

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by 58panel » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:55 pm

I-smell-a-rat wrote:@Adrian Cooper;

You seem to be missing the point completely.

The only people who know exactly what has gone on are the members of the Committee. For reasons unknown, they do not appear to want to explain their actions to the members they represented.

It would appear that an awful lot of members are completely in the dark about why these three or four Committee members have closed an extremely popular and well regarded club.

To quote you in a recent post on another forum discussion,
there are loads of clubs out there supported by loads of members who gain enormously by being part of their club
Boom! You've hit the nail on the head. That is why the members of the former Durham Kayak Club are so annoyed and would like the people responsible for taking all this away from them to answer some questions.

Hopefully, a lot more facts will emerge over the coming weeks. The Committee may have genuine and completely justified reasons for doing what they have done. If only they would tell us all what these reasons were!



I Hope so and will look forward to reading the full apologies on hear and the other forums a few posters have went on and started malicious and character deformation threads without all of the facts or at least backing them up
Seriously from someone who has no involvement with the club or still has no idea what is going on there yous are not doing yourself any favors or portraying yourself in a very good way posting threads on open internet forums discussing problems which should be resolved in house through the correct procedures
Best of luck resolving the issue

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by cswalker » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:08 pm

I-smell-a-rat
Interesting that you are also a brand new registered user at the start of this topic AND are hiding behind an interesting username...

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by dgg2dwp » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:13 pm

@58panel
You suggest that this is resolved "in house" and not on a public forum. How would you suggest they go about this now that the club no longer exists?

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by 58panel » Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:19 pm

Court ?

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by kirstyrichardson » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:58 pm

58panel wrote:Court ?
If you can offer any suggestions how the members could fund taking this matter to court, then as a member of the club I would be willing to listen. Personally, I would rather donate my hard earned cash to a deserving local club than continue to line the pockets of the British legal system.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:06 am

Apart from calling special meetings, has anyone 'phoned Owain Harris and asked him, politely, what are the basic reasons? I'm sure someone must have done this; what did he say?

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by willbailey » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:50 am

One of our members did trying to reason and come to conclusion that we could all be happy with shw was met with the threat of an injunction if she was to call him again the mans a PRATT !

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by blackgold » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:43 am

kirstyrichardson wrote:
58panel wrote:Court ?
If you can offer any suggestions how the members could fund taking this matter to court, then as a member of the club I would be willing to listen. Personally, I would rather donate my hard earned cash to a deserving local club than continue to line the pockets of the British legal system.
Very well put, sometimes its better to walk away and use your time and money to be constructive, it does not stop you from speaking out. A new dynamic club with passionate members will speak louder than court cases. Have an annual paddle to remember what was done, open it up to all on the forum. just my opinion.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by RizzRat » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:33 pm

What might be a question worth asking is who has funded the injunction if there is one??? They cost a lot and there must be good reason for one to be granted?

Plus to wind up the club must be unable to meet its liabilities within so many days (refer to Companies Act) or not be able to pay a debt within 21 days of the service of a statutory demand.

Essentially - you cant just wind something up it has to meet certain criteria.

Do not throw good money after bad - start your own club - I suggest Durham Kayak Club 2.0
Generally p!ssing people off since 1984!

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Adrian Cooper » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:59 pm

I understand this is a voluntary winding up which can be at the discretion of the 'owners' of a business. They could do this for a variety of reasons.

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by JonT » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:24 pm

I have no knowledge of Durham or DKC at all, but I am and have been involved in officer roles in a couple of sports clubs so I want to see if there is anything that I need to learn from this to prevent a similar situation arising in my club(s).

Volunteer club officers, (and charity officers) are generally very aware of their responsibilities; especially to look after the club assets (money), to comply with tax, charity and other laws, to protect themselves from un-acceptable personal exposure and to run the club/charity for the best benefit of the members. There is a lot that can go wrong in all of that, from simple disagreements and arguments through ignorance, mistakes, incompetence, negligence, to far more serious actions, and that is why all the checks and balances are in place, (committees, minutes, constitution, meetings etc). There should not be any need for prolonged secrecy however, consitution, minutes and accounts must all be available for scrutiny.

I hope that this thread is the result of disagreements or mistakes, and poor communication, and that it will soon be made clear, but some posts seem to suggest that there is more to it that this. If there is, then in the interests of all volunteer club/charity officers, it must be investigated properly and not by innuendo.

Thanks to Kirsty and the others for bringing this to our attention, but currently there is lots in this thread that does not make sense, and I am sure we will all wait for more detailed and accurate information with great interest and open minds.

...and of course I hope a new club rises from the ashes, that is even better than before...!

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Re: R.I.P Durham Kayak Club

Post by Fast Pat » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:31 pm

My understanding from a short discussion with a member of DKC on the riverbank on Saturday morning is that the winding up order was sought on the basis that the "club was going to be sued". The majority of the active club members have no knowledge of anyone suing the club and for what reasons they might be being sued - the suggestion is that allegedly an interested party wants to gain access to the clubs assets - the clubhouse and reserves - to operate for commercial gain.

What struck me is that as an affiliated club to the BCU with insurance cover costs for a legal case would be covered – unless of course negligence was involved – perhaps the regional PDO should get involved and try to get to the bottom of this?

All the above is obviously one side of the argument, but it does seem unusual that the former committee members who have taken this action do not want to put across their side and wish instead to hide behind injunctions.

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