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About philholliday

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    MYA Vice Chairman
  • Birthday 31/03/1950

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  1. philholliday

    IOM's wanted

    Datchet Water RSC are looking for some IOM's that could be refurbished and used as loan and demonstration boats to encourage more "big boat" sailors from the club to join in with our radio sailing activities. Anything will be considered but funds are limited. If you have something suitable then contact me on 07776 231402 or email phil@k7yachts.com
  2. Yet again you cherry pick individual words or phrases to suit your argument. I resisted the temptation to respond to your earlier post yesterday but your continued misrepresentations today are becoming boring and offensive. You pick on the word "sport" as used by Darin and insinuate that this is a problem. What sort of twisted mentality can not look at what we do and not see the boats sailing? Sailing is a global sport, represented in the Olympic Games for over a hundred years, and, incidentally, one at which GBR excel. I am proud to have been part of the sport for over 60 years and the efforts of this council and its volunteers has resulted in our branch of the sport being formally recognised by Sport England what more of an endorsement do you need? You even imply that golf is a hobby and not a sport, I am sure that Rory McKilroy and a few million others would disagree. You want council to do more to retain members as opposed to promoting the sport to new members and yet the simple fact is that all organisations have a natural turnover of members for a variety of reasons and the upfront promotion of the sport is vital to keep new blood coming in and this is why it is the no 1 aim of the MYA as stated at the very beginning of our constitution, a constitution to which I believe the likes of yourself, Chris Durrant, Roger Stollery etc had a hand in writing. Nowhere does that same constitution mention retention of members and for a very good reason. Retention of members is a very individual thing and once someone joins one of our clubs their early experiences are entirely done to that club and its members, if they stay or if they go has nothing to do with an annual affiliation of £14 or £10 it is all about their experiences with fellow club members. Maybe they just get fed up with the constant arguing and bickering at the pond side that we hear about. In my own clubs we have only lost members in the last three years for reasons of illness but then at the pond side we have great camaraderie and excellent support for each other. Member retention is important but the prime responsibility for this is at the grass roots of our sport - our clubs and its members , you and me. You suggest following your example of informal teaching days (seminars ?). A great idea and one which the MYA trialled in 2018 for race team training with a good degree of success but in 2019 when this was continued the response was so low that the events had to be cancelled. It is being taken up by some districts and is probably better held at this, more local, level and many clubs run their own training and coaching. There is no need for the MYA to be acting as "Big Brother" in this area, the framework exists and if funding is needed to assist with training then the district budgets are there to help. You quote a lag time of 6 months between a DC giving notice and the position being advertised. Why is this an issue for the council? a DC is appointed by the District Committee and sits on council on their behalf. The council do not select, appoint, or dismiss the DC's this is entirely an issue for the district and its clubs. If the usual DC is, for whatever reason, unable to attend a meeting then the district council are encouraged to send an alternative representative.
  3. A very welcome post from Roger who has highlighted the main issues facing us right now. 1) How do we communicate better? 2) How do we grow the sport? No doubt everyone will have their own view on how to achieve these goals, my views are set out below. 1) A printed paper newsletter distributed nationwide is impractical in todays society on both cost, administration, and environmental grounds so an electronic newsletter that can be downloaded and printed in limited numbers for distribution to non computer owners (if needed) is an obvious solution. This is currently in hand. A suitable volunteer to put this newsletter together on a regular basis (bi-annually or quarterly depending on content submission) has come forward and will be looking to get the first edition out in the near future. The success of this will depend entirely on the content submitted and will rely on clubs and districts being proactive in submitting their news for inclusion. As Roger so rightly states if you volunteer to help be it at club, district, or national level you will find it both interesting and rewarding and it need not take up too much time , after all, how long would it take for you to send in a short club report every 3 months? Alternatively you could collect all the club reports from your district and forward them as one to the newsletter editor. 2) Promoting (Growing) the sport is the main stated aim of the MYA but numbers have been relatively static for several years. People come and people go but the numbers change very little. I am of the view that the MYA affiliation fee is somewhat irrelevant in this process as over the last 15 years the fee has varied between £5 and £15 and the membership numbers when the fee was £5 were actually 20% less than they are now. If we want to grow our sport we need to market it to a wider audience and we need to do this in a professional way. This will take expertise that the current council do not have and without a suitable, knowledgable, volunteer we will need to outsource the marketing skills needed. Right now we have the perfect opportunity arising to market our sport. We have not only a major event (Worlds @ West Kirby) coming up as a showpiece to get peoples interest, but also we have a ready supply of affordable boats through the DF organisation. In my opinion 2020 will be the best opportunity that we have had to make our sport more visible in a decade. Lets all get behind this and make a difference.
  4. My point is quite simple. Your posts are predominantly laying criticism at the feet of others, especially council either collectively or individually. Your comments are frequently only stating part of the truth in order to bolster your false arguments or are pure speculation about actions that are yet to be taken. Council, at all times, have, and will, act within the written constitution of our organisation. The Acquaint Editor position has not been filled for several years which is fairly logical as we don't have an Acquaint to edit, so under Constitution para 9.4 there is no one for re-nomination or re-election, Para 12(e) only asks that a "request for nominations of Officers" is sent out, it does not state that each officer position should be specified. So unless I have missed something in the Constitution I do not see what you are going on about. I'm not surprised that you have been turned off Alf but its a good job that some of us are happy to get on with it rather than trying to find something to be negative about and have a whinge. At least we have a written constitution to argue over unlike the poor ********s in the Palace of Westminster.
  5. It is worth remembering that this forum is here for healthy debate by those members that wish to do so. Rubbishing other contributors and trying to imply a co-ordinated effort by a group to undermine the due process of our AGM is, quite frankly, a childish act by those who should know better. As I have previously stated my comments on this forum are my own and made without discussion with others. The discussion is here in the open for all to see. I am sure the same applies to Mike who is a long time member of our sport and contributes greatly at both local and national level. Chris's procedural lecture on how amendments are treated is absolutely correct and no one has sought to do anything differently other than requesting the author to consider the wording. Chris will be well aware that the author(s) were notified of receipt of the amendment and a statement to the effect that it will be included in the AGM agenda. Quite frankly - End of Story.
  6. In response to Tiggy_Cat Unfortunately there has been some partial quoting and mis quoting of this and I will try to give some clarification. You are correct in quoting 12(c) but you must also read 12(b) which stipulates when any motions need to be submitted. The only motion received by 31st August was not relevant to this particular discussion. On 17th October an amendment to the only Council motion at AGM which states "Junior members, as defined in the constitution, will receive free affiliation to the MYA when joining through a member club and included within their membership returns" was received by the Secretary to Council. The amendment as originally submitted proposed " The Junior membership subscription shall be half the affiliated membership subscription, which for 2020 shall be reduced from£14 to £10". I am not aware of any further changes to this amendment submission. The initial view of council was that the first part of the proposal is fine as it is an amendment to the motion itself but that the second part is not as it does not refer to the motion. In addition the wording of the amendment could be interpreted as ambiguous - does the phrase "which for 2020 shall be reduced ....." refer to the Junior membership subscription or to the affiliated membership subscription? Council referred the submission back to the author to consider the wording along with the councils thoughts about the second phrase. At no time has council refused to put this submission on the agenda as the final date for such submissions and the final agenda publication have not yet been reached. If no changes to this submission are made before the deadline then, in accordance with the constitution, it will be placed on the agenda.
  7. I have done some more research into the communication issues particularly in relation to the recent request for someone with expertise to help with promotion and marketing. With no body on council with any experience in this area we decided to go to our membership first for help before maybe spending money on an outside source. Council, via our Digital Communications Officer Austin, emailed everyone in the membership who has given us a valid email for communication purposes . This is a total of 1551 valid addresses out of a total membership currently in excess of 1800. Of these only 861 were opened by the recipient and 7 recipients actually unsubscribed from all MYA emails. Why would you tape up your letter box to prevent the postman from delivering your mail? This helps identify some of the problem. Council are accused of not communicating and yet well over half of the membership either do not give the MYA a communication channel or do not open their mail when it drops on their doormat. Do the same 50%+ not subscribe to the various platforms available? if so it is no wonder that we are accused of not communicating even though we are doing the best we can. Maybe we should send individual notices via snail mail at a cost of nearly £1 a time (plus a lot of admin) that would soon use up our reserves!
  8. Austin has posted with ref to communication and I bow to his expertise in this field. He has demonstrated that all the information is out there if you know where to look. So is the problem less about the communication itself and more about education ? Your suggestion for direct mail to all members should definitely be considered for major items such as AGM issues especially relating to finance and constitution matters however I do think that we should be careful not to bombard our members with too many emails as this is likely in my experience to cause members to "turn off" and then maybe miss the important stuff. With regards to next years budget plan I would hope that this is indeed put front and centre in communications to the membership but this is not in my remit alone. The budget is being prepared by our treasurer David Rose and when completed will be discussed by council as a whole and then made available to the wider membership. Looking back through AGM documents for the past decade or so I am struggling to find a budget being presented to the membership anywhere and it would seem that this administration is being innovative in doing so. Perhaps this is a result of listening to our members and trying to improve communication and dialogue with them- something council are continually being accused of not doing!
  9. Before this discussion degenerates into a mini Palace of Westminster style exercise in spinning facts I think it is worth while taking a slight step backwards and look at the individual points raised with a view to a solution rather than trying to imply blame or worse on individuals trying hard to improve our sport to the best of their abilities. References to " justifying the membership fee by fixing budgets some 30% higher than they need to be " and "overinflated budget figures have been set to try to justify a membership fee of £14.00 " implying a deliberate act by the administration to set an improper budget are inflammatory and untrue. Paul's reference to "the MYA hierarchy does not want or value telling its members what’s going on" implies that members regard themselves as members of MYA Council whereas it is really the other way round - MYA Council are the servants of the MYA members. Council is proposed, voted in, and voted out, from and by, its members. I cannot speak for previous administrations of which I was not a member and it is worth saying here that my posts on this forum are my own and are made without consultation with other council members. This administration has aspired from the outset to be open and transparent and this is evidenced by the timely posting of meeting minutes and other information on the website . The information is all there for all members to see and yet we are still being criticised that we don't communicate with our members, obviously something isn't working but what? Do we need to send out detailed instructions to members on how to view and follow the various website items? Maybe members are expecting much more to be going on than is really the case and we need to make a weekly news post to say "Nothing has happened this week" Positive suggestions please. If as Paul says I am wrong about "no news and no one to distribute it" then where is the news? Obviously there is news out there be it club racing, district events, or national events. The bigger the event then the greater the chance of a report being submitted and posted and yet again I would point out that Austin posts all reports that are sent to him. Many club websites are very good at staying up to date with their own activities, district sites have all recently been upgraded and local webmasters are looking after them, class websites are very good at reporting class specific issues, Facebook, Twitter etc, carry a lot of content much of which is already automatically linked to other platforms so do we need a comprehensive link between these various platforms to bring all the news items to the attention of the wider membership? Is this even possible, and who can do it? If anyone feels they have the knowledge, time, and enthusiasm to move this forward then I (and council) would love to hear from them. Setting a positive , aspirational, budget which is targeted at improving and expanding our sport has to be a good thing and especially when the said budget does not impact negatively on our members pockets. In 2018 the income versus expenditure was very close with just £812 surplus or less than 50p/member. In 2019 the budget was set based on the 2018 experiences but due to the reasons already stated this has resulted in a bigger surplus. For 2020 I expect there will be more expenditure than in previous years as we take advantage of the major world championships to promote our sport and I fully expect that to result in a reduction of the reserves currently held. Lets continue this discussion and maybe we will get more members offering their views. At the end of the day this is what we are all wanting - better communication!
  10. Clearly we must agree to disagree on clause 11.1, however I will reiterate that non submission of a fees motion by council has been used by previous administrations in the past so why is it a problem now? All my figures come from the budget projections and budget report to the council meeting in September 2018 (last meeting prior to the 2018 AGM) I do not recognise the figures that you quote. It is a fact that the budget set for 2019 would, if met as predicted, have resulted in a DEFICIT of £3250 (i.e. reduced the bank balance) In reality we have had an increase in the bank balance because:- 1) We have increased our membership (+£918) 2) District Councils have underspent their promotional budget (£2547) 3) Racing event levies higher due to increased participation (£620) 4) Regional conferences/seminars not supported/cancelled (£1500) 5) Racing promotion and development budget underspend (£1000) Plus other sundry items adding up to another few hundred pounds. A closer look at this shows an increase in membership and an increase in national events both good indicators that our sport is healthy and attracting more participation. Your figure for the spend to August 2019 I cannot find. In fact at the August (electronic) council meeting there were no financial discussions at all. However at the September meeting the figures for the year show an actual spend of £22046 with a surplus on the year of £4679 (These figures are all on the website for members to view, you don't have to take my word for it) The Acquaint demise is another topic where we may have to disagree although how you can expect a publication to appear when there is no editor and no content submission is beyond me. I take your point about employment, however, employment can take many different forms and it is perfectly possible to "employ" an outside specialist company without creating a direct employment situation that would naturally attract the interest of HMRC.
  11. It is worth noting, and indicative of the problem, that with an AGM pending nomination forms were sent out to all club representatives and not one new nomination for any council position has been received to date. It would seem that the membership is quite happy to keep the existing people in place ad infinitum and throw criticism at them rather than get involved. It has ever been thus!
  12. Your feedback Paula is most welcome and communication is repeatedly brought up in meetings as our biggest failing and our biggest priority. Why do we seem to be failing in our communications to our members? The demise of the Acquaint was inevitable with no one prepared to come forward to edit the magazine and a constant battle to get fresh copy from the clubs and districts. Our DCO Austin puts everything that is sent to him onto the website and this should be a regular port of call for members wishing to stay up to date, however the original Acquaint problem remains in that very little is sent to Austin in the way of reports or news. Those who are interested mainly in racing and the results tend to get their information promptly from club and district websites and any inclusion of this information in any form of newsletter would simply be regurgitating "old" news. At council level we put all meeting minutes on line promptly for the members to view. The idea of a regular (monthly) news bulletin has been discussed but yet again we come back to the same 2 problems, content is not being submitted and there is no one to assemble these non existent articles into a news letter and post it on the website. We have not had a full council for some time and those of us that sit on council all do several jobs to cover the necessary work load to keep the organisation moving forward. I am effectively retired and so I have the roles of Vice chair, International Officer, and Personal Sail Number Secretary as well as picking up anything else that needs doing at short notice. My previous post mentions both Austin (DCO) and Jen Hand (Sec to council) who both put in an incredible amount of their time daily to MYA business but they are not unique, all members of council devote a lot of time to MYA matters. This sort of explains a little of the background but doesn't really give you a solution. The basic problem is a lack of volunteer manpower so do we now look to outsource a newsletter? Great idea as it solves 1 problem, but how do you solve the second? i.e. content. No outside contractor would be able to chase up content effectively without knowledge of our sport and the personel involved. Suggestions please, or would you like to volunteer?
  13. philholliday


    Poole Radio A Class Championship An annual series originally run by the Poole club here in UK now run by the class owners group.
  14. As a member of the current executive I feel it incumbent upon me to respond to the post from Peter Shepherd as it is clear that he, and presumably others, are not aware of the plans and aspirations of this administration for the future of our organisation and our sport. Clearly we have not communicated well with our membership otherwise this would not be necessary. Firstly let me address the constitution clause 11.1. In common with other elements of our constitution this clause is ambiguous and contradictory and depending on your point of view can mean almost anything. General discussions at events around the country have indicated that no one is looking for a reduction in affiliation fees, in fact most people regard the fee as very low and so council have not considered any reduction in the fee and at the same time have not been seeking an increase either so what is the point of a vote? By failing to introduce a specific motion for membership fees council have complied with constitution paragraph 11.1. This has been done by previous administrations without challenge so what is different now? Council have proposed a motion that junior affiliates should pay £0 from 2020 instead of the current level of fee. This will have a very limited effect on the overall income but may help increase the number of junior affiliates. For some obscure reason an amendment has been proposed to make the juniors pay half of the full fee and at the same time reduce the full fee from £14 to £10 - how this can benefit anyone, and especially our sport's development, is beyond me. The current balance in the MYA bank account is £24283 (30th Sept 2019) and not the figure quoted by Peter. The budget prepared in 2018 for this year showed a requirement of £32k and so the reserves currently held are less than 12 months budget, a level that most would consider to be a minimum prudent level to maintain. This years budget has, in fact, been underspent across the whole spectrum of activities and coupled with an increase in membership has resulted in a small increase in the balance. One event alone, a seminar for the hosts of the major events had to be cancelled due to poor response saving the £1500 budget. Many members may not have noticed the incredible amount of work that has gone into our websites and forums by our DCO Austin Guerrier and whilst Austin is a professional in this area he has given his time and expertise to the MYA free of charge. In order to maintain this high level of professional IT it is prudent of council to have a contingency sum in place in the event of Austin needing additional resource or in the event that he should retire and we have to seek the help of an outside professional. 12 months ago council expected that we would need to employ an administrator to look after the day to day running of the MYA and budgeted accordingly. We have been extremely fortunate to have Jen Hand step up to volunteer for the Secretary to Council role and she has done a brilliant job keeping everything (and everyone) in order. That explains our increased bank balance, not because the membership fee is too high but because your council has been prudent, planned ahead, made contingencies for the unexpected and then managed the expenditure carefully. Individuals have donated their time and expertise freely to advance the MYA and we are now in a stable financial position to move forward. So, what lies in store for the next 12 months? The prime role of the MYA is to promote our sport and next year will see potentially the biggest ever radio sailing event in the world being held in the UK with both the Marblehead and 10 Rater World Championships being organised on our behalf by the Birkenhead Club and held at West Kirby. This will be both the best ever, and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to promote our sport to the widest audience and the MYA must take full advantage of this opportunity. We will be taking a bigger stand at the RYA Dinghy Show in March and will be looking to gain as much publicity as possible from the Championships themselves with professional quality video, reporting, maybe TV etc. It is a sad fact that despite putting out requests to our membership for help with this advertising and promotion no one has come forward with an offer to help and we will probably have to employ outside help to enable us to do this. This has not yet been costed, but inevitably some of the reserves will be used. This will be in addition to our ongoing programme of training seminars, financial support for districts and classes, banners, flags, membership packs and, of course, better and brighter yearbooks. Just a few of the things your council do, and all by volunteers. I hope this goes some way to explaining the position that we are now in and that members will support the council by voting NO to any amendments to the AGM motion to give juniors free membership, and YES to the motion itself. Or maybe the proposers of the amendment would like to reconsider?
  15. This discussion raises two questions in my mind, 1) the phrase "alters course" implies a conscious input from the skipper, should a gust induced lift be regarded as changing course? Without accurate observing from a third party this will always degenerate into an argument with no winner 2) at what point is the ROW boat too close to alter course whilst still giving room? Again this is a judgement call where both skippers involved will have their own (differing) opinion. The reality of the situation is that the give way boat has put himself in a very vulnerable position and is trying to use the nuances of the rules to get himself out! Moral of this story - talk to each other in plenty of time and if you are the give way vessel be prepared to tack or duck whilst you still have time.
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