Today, 29 September, marks the end of an era for BCA. After more than a decade in the post, Glenn Jones, our Membership Administrator, has decided to retire and will be leaving us today. In Glenn’s own words “work no longer figures in our plans”.
I’m sure all BCA members will join me in thanking Glenn for performing an extremely efficient job for BCA this last 11 years. He has succeeded in making the task all-but invisible to BCA Council, and I for one, have frequently been grateful to know when passing an enquiry on to him that it will be efficiently dealt with and is one less thing to worry about. I wish both Glenn and Bev every happiness in their retirement.
Membership Administrator is not a post which BCA can afford to have unfilled and so I am also very pleased to be able to announce that Wendy Williams will be taking over from Glenn, starting on Monday next week. Many BCA members will already know Wendy who has dealt efficiently with bookings for Hidden Earth and Eurospeleo for many years.
Nick Williams Ac. Hon Sec., BCA
The Welsh Government have issued a consultation paper entitled “Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources”. CCC asked all cavers to make representations to the Welsh Government. BCA’s response in support of CCC to the Welsh Government can be read here.
11 September 2017
BCA has recently emailed its members for whom it has an address to check that they were working in advance of issuing the ballot paper. 6% of those messages bounced back and they will get their ballot paper by post. Several members have reported that the message ended up in their junk folder. So could you check yours to see if it has gone there? The ballot paper itself should be issued next week starting 21st August by email.
David Cooke & Bob Mehew
BCA Ballot Sending Officers
17 August 2017
The text of a pre ballot email issued to check on email addresses was as follows:
At the recent AGM several proposals to amend the BCA Constitution were passed including the removal of the sentence which some have held is an impediment to BCA campaigning for the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to apply to caving. That has triggered a ballot of all members since changes to the Constitution must be ratified by the entire membership. The ballot is currently being organised. To save money email addresses will be used wherever possible, hence this email to you. Since this will be the first time we have used the entire email address list that we hold we felt it was worth sending this pre-ballot email to check that the addresses were working. We will collect any bounced messages and revert to using the post to issue ballot papers for those with a failing email address. Your ballot paper will be issued by late August with a return by date of 23rd September. The results will be announced at BCA Council meeting on 7th October. You don't need to do anything now but if you wish to read up on the proposals, the AGM Minutes are available at http://tinyurl.com/GoToBCAagm You can opt-out of receiving administrative emails, such as this, or opt-in to receiving the BCA Newsletter by altering your email preferences via the members' section of the website at BCA-Online at http://tinyurl.com/GoToBCAonline If you have any questions please don't reply to this email but contact the Secretary at secretary at british-caving.org.uk instead.
13 August 2017
BCA’s Executive met immediately after the AGM to consider the ballot to seek BCA’s membership approval for various constitutional changes including the removal of the sentence which some have held is an impediment to BCA campaigning for the Countryside and Rights of Way Act to apply to caving. It then considered that it would be possible to organise the ballot to start in early August. However due to unexpected demands, that has not proved possible. The Executive has agreed to a firm plan to issue the ballot by late August with an end date of 23 September.
Ballot papers will be distributed either by post or email and in a change to initial thinking, ballot forms can be returned by email as well as by post. As part of the security measures, each posted ballot paper or email accompanying the paper will contain an 8 digit security code number unique to each member. It is important that members enter this code correctly on the returning ballot form, otherwise the form will be considered invalid.
The results will be announced at BCA Council meeting on 7 October.
The July 2017 Newsletter is now available.
Members will recall that the result of the recent postal vote of the membership returned a clear majority in favour of BCA campaigning for CRoW to apply to going underground.
Following publication of the result at the beginning of January, BCA’s Council agreed that we should move forward as quickly as reasonably possible and requested that BCA Executive lead on this. An initial meeting was held at the end of January and in principle it was felt that the most effective course of action at the moment is likely to lie in close liaison with Natural England and DEFRA, rather than clear opposition to their approach. Indeed their existing guidance has been “clarified” a number of times in recent years and it is reasonable to assume that further “clarification” may be forthcoming if handled correctly.
In this respect careful diplomacy and measured pressure are key. This is not something we are going to achieve overnight, or indeed in the next few months but it is clear that this is currently the best way to bring about the desired result.
While this is going on, we will also be taking the opportunity to prepare our case, should our work with Natural England and DEFRA prove fruitless.
The letter accompanying the voting paper detailed a number of actions BCA would take. Work either has begun, or will begin soon, on all these. The only exception is that we will not yet be seeking a change in the Constitution. This is for two key reasons. Firstly we are not yet in a position to actually campaign for a change in the law and, therefore, do not yet need to make a change. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there is a considerable cost and workload associated with any change, so it is sensible to include any other potentially desirable changes at the same time. A number of possible items have been proposed, but these are currently still at the planning stage. It is hoped that some or all of these can be combined with the CRoW change before the latter becomes necessary.
Damian Weare (BCA Secretary)
13 March 2015
The results of the recent poll on CRoW have been received.
The question was: Should BCA, on your behalf, campaign for The Countryside and Rights of Way Act to apply to going underground? and of the 2,270 votes case, 4 were found to be invalid. Of the remainder 1402 (61.9%) votes “yes”, and 864 (38.1%) voted “no”.
The full report from Electoral Reform Services is available for anyone who is interested.
Thank you, on behalf of BCA Council, to all who those members who voted. Council's January meeting will now consider how to proceed from here.
Damian Weare, BCA Secretary - 22nd December 2014