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Peter Shepherd

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Peter Shepherd last won the day on November 17

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  1. I left this thread alone for a while largely because the only response it initiated from members of the MYA Council was personal attacks, largely ignoring points raised. Your first paragraph once again deliberately misses the point, largely the people who play golf are not Rory McKilroy they are like our the majority of members who go out and play a round for the enjoyment of it, but of course it once again gives you a convenient way to attack the messenger. I did not say that I wanted the MYA to do more to retain members as "opposed to promoting the sport to new members" I suggested that if you want to grow the "sport" then you need to put a similar effort into retaining members as you are to gaining them in the first place, you seem to have interpreted the constitution statement "To encourage and promote model yachting in all its branches and to act as the national body for the organisation of the sport." as referring only to promotion externally which of course it does not say it does say "encourage" which I interpret to include internally to existing members, clearly your interpretation is somewhat different, once again you pick only the parts of a constitution clause which suit you. Not seminars with death by power point attended by only the very enthusiastic but theory sessions prior to going on the water discussing how to position your boat to advantage yourself for the start etc and then practical run throughs with discussions afterward as to what we might have done to improve our situation. Could you direct me to the MYA framework "teaching notes" for this kind of session? Would you like to suggest how a district that has had it's club contact details stripped from the previous councillor and then the replacement isn't given any help in accessing the clubs is supposed to advertise his own position? It is the MYA that has organised itself into districts and so ultimately if the MYA wants this to continue then more effort is required than here is a lump of funds go sort yourselves out which is what you seem to be suggesting is the current position.
  2. Why should the fee not be £14.00? Please put a value on how much you consider the elements that the MYA provides are worth-ignore that we currently have a surplus. Let me start, How much would you pay to advertise a boat for sale on a dedicated central sport specific site? 50p, £1.00, £5.00 what do eBay charge? Lets start with this, before we look at how much other items are worth. It seems odd to me that you are even asking me to put a value on the elements that make up the MYA Fee, surely you understand that it is the role of council to budget appropriately on behalf of members, if by asking this question you are saying that you are clueless as to what actual elements are costing, then I refer you to the attached spreadsheet for the years 2011 to 2018. Given that E bay appears to have a far wider catchment of Model Yachters than the MYA's Forum then the comparison of charges seems to me to be largely irrelevant. Is there not a benefit for advertising boats internally to keep them amongst members who are likely to sail them in competition that outweighs the MYA charging for the service, however I would think that advertising on E bay, given the far superior numbers using the site, is likely to provide an owner with a better return.
  3. Despite the fact that largely the questions I have asked throughout this thread have gone unanswered, I am quite prepared to have a go at answering yours Darin although most of them appear to be asking my opinion, and indeed some of my answers may yet throw up more questions. Do you think there is any link to the fact that those clubs (in the main )are in a district that cannot find a volunteer to be a councillor? Yes if this is the case then there probably is a correlation so my question would be why can't they find a volunteer? Is it because there is precious little support (other than the aforementioned financial one) from the MYA or perhaps the support is there but the MYA is not getting this across to potential volunteers? Perhaps the lag time of 6 months between the actual notice being given by a volunteer Councillor and the re-advertising of the post might have something to do with it. Perhaps using communication systems such as bulk email accounts designed for their simplicity rather than with all the technical bells and whistles would enable those who do volunteer not to feel completely out of their depth straight away. Would a central source of information keep them keen? Would a district source of information keep them keen? Would regular race reports keep them keen? etc etc etc (all of the following questions appear to be you banging the drum for all the things you do) and nobody says those things aren't appreciated, however I presume here that you are suggesting that you already provide these in the form of the MYA website, support of the District websites and the emailing of Race reports to those who subscribe, although here I feel our approach would differ. My starting point would try to be more inclusive in that having joined the MYA and participating in the hobby/sport, I would want to hear all of the relevant information regarding the classes I have chosen to participate in, so instead of pleading with people to sign up to the updates, why not sign up everyone and give them the option of unsubscribing, however you would then have to put in place a system whereby you send only the relevant information for the classes sailed, whether this is by paying for a multi user bulk email provider and giving access to class captains or distributing the contact information to those class captains and providing support in a bulk email use, otherwise the effort you put into the websites etc. is largely only going to be seen by those of us keen enough to go and look for ourselves In my club from time to time we have run informal teaching days for our skippers, concentrating largely on the start, the upwind mark rounding, the downwind rounding and final leg, the emphasis for all these days has been about how to approach each of these elements by using the rules to your advantage, a written framework along these lines of specific relevance to radio sailing produced and revised after each rule change period. If it could be made to be used as a teaching framework I think it would be of immense benefit across all the levels of Model Yachting having the ability to reach a wider cross section of participants giving them the tools to improve their race techniques and perhaps enabling them to get more out of their participation and thereby making them more inclined to stay.
  4. A couple of points here, firstly Darin maintains that the amendment has nothing to do with communication or planning, however if the MYA Executive were effectively communicating it's planning for the future to the membership then perhaps the clubs involved in the production of the amendment wouldn't have felt it necessary to do so. Indeed just following the correct protocols for sending out motions and amendments would be a start. Phil Holiday makes the point that people come and people go but membership numbers remain largely the same, what are the numbers of members who disappear each year as a percentage of the overall membership? When the old method of membership recording was in place the amount of pink highlighting (members not renewing) seemed inordinately high year on year. It seems to me that a lot of emphasis has been placed on gaining new members, perhaps a similar effort towards retaining existing members is needed for the membership numbers to grow, otherwise we just seem to have a revolving door policy. On the other hand it maybe that Radio sailing is just something which at first glance seems deceptively easy and it is only after you have tried for a while that you find that to successfully compete in races around marks requires a greater level of skill and knowledge than just sailing about (with the wind) and so with what appears to be a so race centric MYA, members are almost bound to come and go. Whether it is desirable to retain members not so committed to racing their yachts is I suppose a matter of opinion although it is my contention that the MYA should support the full range of Model Yachting disciplines. Darin makes the point that he doesn't see the reserves as excessive, however these have been increasing almost every year since the Acquaint ceased publication, if we could see a progressive in depth budget with policies to drive model yachting forward, rather than just allocation large sums against district budgets without reference to the districts, some of which clearly do not spend those sums for whatever reason this should be done with submitted budgets from the District on an annual basis. I am not saying the Districts should not have the help of some central funding to assist with their administration and to promote the sport/hobby, indeed as a club Abington Park have used MYA funds to build free sailing yachts to promote one facet of our sport to 60 youngsters in the local park over the summer which prior to District funding the ability to do so wouldn't have been available. It almost appears as if the membership fee is agreed by council and then the budgets are set to fit the fee, which seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse, surely realistic budgets should be set and then this would produce a membership fee level based upon the requirement for that year. If indeed the MYA Executive wants to be progressive, which I surely hope they do, then come up with the progressive idea's to move our hobby/sport forward budget realistically for them, set an appropriate fee and I am sure you will then have the backing of almost the entire membership.
  5. Phil So the fact that I offered myself for the position of Acquaint Editor prior to the deadline for nominations counts for nothing then? I think that Alf's point was that the MYA Council is a "shambles like Westminster" being criticised from outside, I suggest the best way you could stop the criticism is to work to the Constitution, follow the protocols, consult with the membership on changes the executive would like to make and amend the Constitution as you go. The original premise of this post still stands which is "Can I have a say on the level of fee's levelled by the MYA" in 2020?" it has been consistently stated that previous administrations have not brought a motion to the members when not seeking to change the membership fee, but then previous administrations haven't taken the reserve fund into a world where we need "aspirational budgets" to justify it! It's not all bad news, I note from the August 2019 meeting minutes that the MYA teams intend to be transparent:- Quote "Transparency of teams working for/on behalf of the MYA. Please be transparent with any decision your team may make, but not necessarily day to day general workings."
  6. Phil I am not sure of the point you are trying to make here, the council acts as a co-ordinated group. or at least should do, so when decisions are made where the procedure of committee or the issuing of motions, voting forms etc do not follow the constitution then of course it is the entire Executive that comes under scrutiny. The continual claiming by the members of the council here that individuals are being targeted and abused is in my opinion merely a tactic to try to diminish the level of the debate to a "he said she said one". As you agree the amendment to the council motion needs to be voted upon first and that you accept voting submissions by post and email, I assume it will be sent out as part of the voting forms to Club Secretaries so they can have a say on the amendment or the motion? As an aside I noticed that the Acquaint Editor role hasn't been included in the list for nominations, despite it clearly still being an Executive Council post in the constitution, is this error likely to be rectified?
  7. Darin Are you seriously suggesting the membership won't understand the whole sentence? "The junior membership subscription shall be half the affiliated membership subscription, which for 2020 shall be reduced from £14 to £10." Are you clutching at straws or what?
  8. Darin I am sorry I don't see any criticism of any one individual here, all I see is a lively debate about the rights of the membership to have an MYA council which is determined to act within the Constitution whilst overseeing the sport in which we all partake, if the council were to do this then they might find more support amongst the wavering membership. The MYA Executive should act on the memberships behalf and be governed by their wishes, personally I think the problems are arising because actions are being taken by the council without reference to that constitution and when some members point this out they are accused of "spin doctoring " or now attacking individual volunteers. If the council truly feel that clauses within the constitution are stifling the progress of change within the MYA they can bring amendments before the membership either at AGM or by EGM and explain their position in order affect a change. the processes of Governance of unincorporated bodies of which the MYA is one are laid out in it's constitution if as a council you find these unacceptable then amend them by motions to the membership or work within the rules.
  9. Phil In the past I have suggested in the past targeting emails with regard to the interest groups in the MYA, every year I diligently fill out the membership form which asks me all sorts of information including what classes of yacht my club members sail/own what happens if anything to this information? Is it used or published by the MYA in anyway at all? At one point I was in receipt of the MYA's information of Six Metre owners with the intent to cross reference this with the known registered boat owners however the two lists bore very little relationship to each other, I am not sure if this is a class wide issue or was just specific to the 6M class. With respect, three membership wide emails in the form of a newsletter about the administration of the MYA is hardly bombarding the membership, sending 13 posts updating a single event in quick succession is, even if it was a Worlds! Please don't stop sending the mails just because some members shut the door in your face, look at the positive you have 854 members who were interested enough to open the mail. To pick up on Paul I too have volunteered for a specific role to assist the MYA when a volunteer was asked for, at least you received a response! Perhaps we don't move in the right circles!
  10. Phil So is not your aspirational budget not news? Can you really hand on heart say that you have communicated this to the membership in clear terms explaining why you have set high figures and why they haven't been spent, I am not asking for a newsletter packed with historical racing results, or articles which might well have been entitled "Mr President, what did you do on your holidays?" I want to know that the MYA Executive has a clear and positive message for a way forward across the wide ranging facets of our hobby/sport. I want to feel that the elected members of the council are a safe pair of hands for our wider hobby/sport and that they're values represent those of the wider membership, this is not a feeling I get when the Council continually fudge the clauses in the constitution, the fees instance is not the only one, instead of amending those clauses and bringing them before the membership at an AGM. There are hints of a constitutional review being undertaken but instead of presenting us with "a brand new spanking " constitution without consultation which will be a lot of information and implications for everyone why not try to amend the current one, evolving it piece by piece into something which the council feel they can work within and is acceptable to the membership. Just to mention one problem which even Darin Ballington agree's exists, the difficulty of communication with the membership. Post Acquaint we were promised an improvement in this area and yet no effort has been put into replacing the direct communication with the membership the Acquaint provided, why not use an email newsletter sent directly to members inboxes "where known" after each Council meeting expanding upon the bare bones of the minutes explaining the thinking behind decisions made and perhaps by doing so engaging with the membership directly, this was after all the original purpose of the Acquaint. Surely it can't be a lack of funds that prevents this from being set this up? My experience with the Footy class leads me to think that just putting something on a website or in a forum is not enough motivation for most people to find it, you need to send an email directly to prompt the interaction you desire.
  11. Phil You make my point rather eloquently for me, year on year since the ceasing of the publication of the Acquaint overinflated budget figures have been set to try to justify a membership fee of £14.00 and year on year those budget figures have not be spent to the tune of thousands of pounds which now finds itself in the reserve which it would appear is now trying to be justified with even larger budget figures! You seem to be missing the point at the September council meeting David Rose reported the Actual figures as of August 2019 which is the report I used, containing once again a serious underspend of approximately £7000 adjusting for the increased memberships. In simple terms if we collectively all put in £7,000 too much then individually we all put in about £4.00 to much for what the MYA needs to spend in a year. Ok so you could say, as I have heard in the past well it's just the price of a high street coffee and pastry which is true, however the procedure of justifying the membership fee by fixing budgets some 30% higher than they need to be doesn't lead to good housekeeping on the part of the MYA, especially as appears to be the case they are just looking around for things to spend the money on. With regard to the Acquaint I was at the council meeting where it was decided that it was no longer viable and I can only report that we were given the very strong indication by the then Chairman that nobody in the room was to come forward and volunteer to be editor, which certainly left me with the impression that the fate of the Acquaint had already been decided away from the meeting and that it didn't have the support of the majority of the then council. I am not the one advocating a return to the Acquaint however currently it is being mooted by the MYA the need for a newsletter so that the Council can get across what it is doing for the Model Yachting (Radio Sailing if you like) community, oddly enough this is how the Acquaint started out under Mike Clifton I believe. I just wanted to correct you if your belief was that losing Charles Smith was the reason behind the Acquaints demise, subsequent events where Charles has gone on to edit three copies of the Vintage Model Yacht groups publication each year with full editorial control and their numbers are going from strength to strength would tend to lead one to think that it wasn't the workload involved that led Charles to part company but rather the lack of support from within. Glad to hear that the Executive isn't in the business of employing people can I suggest that the words "engage" or "contract out" are used in future to avoid alarm bells ringing amongst some of the membership. Once again I have attached the pdf of David Rose's report so that the membership can see the host of erroneous items being allocated a budget and then not purchased. actualbudegtspend2019.pdf
  12. Just an aside Phil but as the MYA is acting as an unincorporated body you aren't able to take on employee's! well you could but then HMRC might well then treat you as a company and charge you tax, still that might justify the £14.00 fee. I am sure the membership are going to be most happy to hear some of their fee is going to the Tax man.
  13. Phil I am sorry to disagree with you but I don't find the 11.1 clause ambiguous at all, it clearly states the Executive SHALL bring a motion regarding Fees before the membership. It says nothing about whether the executive intend for the fees to stay the same or not, by bringing a motion you give the membership a chance to respond with amendments which may or may not be accepted by the membership. With regard to the second sentence which the executive seem to think entitles them to ignore the first this surely is intended to come into effect if the executive is unable to put forward a motion, what reason apart from "we didn't intend to change to fee" do you have for not giving the membership a chance to vote on their fees for the following year? I am also sorry to take issue with your figures, reading the Budget report prepared by David Rose the Actual budget figure for the year for 2019 was £16,886 not the £32K you quoted, (where did you get that figure?) of which the MYA by August 2019 had only managed to spend £8932 so the current reserve even at your reported figure of £24,795 is in fact almost three times what it appears is required to keep the MYA afloat for a single year. These aren't my figures they are from David Rose's report to the August 2019 Committee meeting see attached pdf report. Indeed assuming a pessimistic membership of 1500 and an optimistic budget of £10,000 per year this would give a membership fee required of £6.66 pa less than half the current figure! That is why the membership need to vote on the issue. I very much disagree that the demise of the Acquaint was inevitable, it was made inevitable by the attitude of the then MYA Executive in that they believed or were persuaded that they could spend the money it cost publishing the Acquaint by replacing it with "technology" based form of communications. In an atmosphere of little or no support for a published Magazine amongst the Executive is it any wonder nobody has come forward to offer their services as editor! Sadly the promised electronic communications were devoid of any content regarding the planned way forward for the MYA and stopped after just three issues in the first year. I ask why would the membership want to get involved when they have very little idea of what the executive are planning from one moment to the next, I would suggest a structured plan for the future of each of the facets of the MYA presented at each Executive Committee meeting and added to as new policies are brought forward and as aspirations and goals are achieved these can be removed or at least this is the way most of the committee meetings in other spheres I have attended worked. In this way you might be able to start to build a trust between the Executive and membership which sadly seems to be so lacking at the moment. regards Peter actualbudegtspend2019.pdf
  14. Things have moved on since I initially tried to post this thread, I then posted a message on Facebook when the last thread didn't appear, I have now received a message to my enquiry as to why my original thread didn't appear on forum in which I am assured by Austin that no such Thread request was received although I am sure I tried to post it correctly. As it would appear to be a technical glitch I can only apologise for suggesting that the MYA didn't want any healthy debate over their failure to bring forward a motion for the membership fees for 2019 and once again in 2020. My original post ran something like this although I didn't keep a copy (a mistake I won't make again) and as things have moved on I have added some more detail to the argument for a Fees motion. The MYA Executive is required by the constitution clause 11.1 to submit a motion to an AGM for Membership Fees for ALL classes of subscription for the following year. By having not done so they remove the ability of Membership to have a say on the level of fees year on year, a fundamental principle of running an association such as ours which is intended to be a gathering of like minded individuals for the betterment of their shared interest. "11.1 Membership subscriptions for all classes of membership for the following year shall be proposed by Council in a Motion to the Annual General Meeting." Whilst the membership fee has largely remain static at £14.00 pa the reserve fund has risen year on year and is now at twice the value it was when the Acquaint magazine was withdrawn (currently in excess of £29K) something which brings into question the ability of this administration the ability to budget the fees it does receive correctly. I was asking someone from the MYA Executive to explain their reasoning behind not properly submitting a motion as per the requirement of the Constitution, perhaps someone will come back with a more reasoned argument that the second sentence absolves them of their responsibility in the first. "Should Council fail to make such a proposal the membership subscriptions shall remain at the then current level." Effectively the argument put by Terry Rensch was that this sentence allows them to deliberately fail to put forward a motion regarding fees. This position conveniently gives the membership no say in whether they wish to continue to add to the already swollen reserve fund of the MYA.
  15. In 2016 the Footy class has tried to include as many skippers as possible into a new format Footy Champions League http://www.sailfootyuk.com/2016-champions-league.html . A thought that struck me was that the league results could form the basis of an invitational Champion of Champions meeting at the end of the year taking place between say the top 20 skippers qualified from the Champions League. Talking to a few skippers I have been able to discuss it with there has been some favourable comments towards the idea and so I thought I would throw it open to a more general public. Your comments and idea's would be greatly appreciated.
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