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Peter Shepherd

MYA Fees 2020, Can I have a say?

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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£14.00 pa the reserve fund has risen year on year and is now at twice the value it was when the Acquaint magazine was withdrawn (currently in excess of £29K) something which brings into question the ability of this administration the ability to budget the fees it does receive correctly.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.

 

 

 

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 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?

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Thanks Phil for your most helpful and full response to the Sub question. It all makes financial sense to me but, although you mention the point in the early part of your reply, you don’t then deal with the dreadful communications that causes many people to draw wrong conclusions. How an organisation like the MYA can exist let alone prosper without some form of regular Newsletter or similar communication method defeats me. Acquaint sadly stopped ages ago and only a vacuum has replaced it which is pretty poor.  Will this be addressed at the AGM? 
Thanks.

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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? 

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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!

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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

Edited by Peter Shepherd
Treasures Actual Figures report August 2019

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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.

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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.

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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

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Hi Phil again

Referring only to the Newsletter point about no news and nobody to distribute it, both are incorrect. The former is in my opinion the typical business response of a company losing touch with its customers/members etc and the latter is wrong because a member volunteered to do the job but, after a brief email chat, there has been no response from the MYA since January 2019! Clearly the MYA hierarchy does not want or value telling its members what’s going on. Very sad.

Paul

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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!

 

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One of the issues regarding communication to members which appears to be the main moan. It is happening but perhaps not clear to members how to follow it.

You would find that if you subscribed to the websites, or just the main MYA and your District website, there would be some flow or reports and results, news and district news to your inbox. Almost every day something is posted somewhere on an MYA website. For example, yesterday a reminder of the Clive Hand Trophy IOM, a report and results from the r36 Nationals and Bournville, results from the sextant trophy for 6M at lee valley. Easier still just follow the MYA on Twitter or facebook.

We do also have page that collates the latest district and class news where we can pull it in. https://mya-uk.org.uk/district-and-class-news/

As far as whats going on in Council,  reports are published in the members area.

If members want MYA to put this into a monthly newsletter and ping it to members inboxes then perhaps that's what needs to be done.  Just bare in mind it will generally be old news. Or we print it for £#### a year when you can read it on the websites. 

An Acquaint or similar is an entire different thing.

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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.

 

 

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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!

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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!

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Could I ask for a little clarification , please ?   In the Facebook thread that Peter started when he felt that he was being ignored, another member added a comment which in part said " . A group of 5 clubs have put forward a motion to reduce the fees to £10 but council have, once again, refused to put it forward.  "   

 Firstly is this the case ?    As I read the Constitution , doesn't it say that if more than  two clubs make a submission to Council , then a motion has to be put before the membership at the AGM,  Clause 12 c)

(c) Council shall have the right to veto a motion submitted by one or two clubs. However a motion submitted by three or more clubs acting in unison shall be placed directly on the Agenda.

What is the actual position on this .

 

 

 

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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!

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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.

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Hi Phil

Trying very hard to step back and keep a sense of perspective about this thread, I have always found myself glazing over when Rule 17, 6, 12b gets quoted and lose interest quickly! My fault I know but I bet I’m not alone. I am much more motivated to refer to the Communication issue.
 So, in this context, another thing that makes me glaze over is being told to “look at the website” - and that’s not only re the MYA. I and many many others are not going to trawl through a website searching for things that I might find interesting. Again that’s probably poor on my part but it’s life nowadays. If an Organisation wants (really wants) to communicate with its members or shareholders or customers or whatever, then the messages it wishes to pass on must be sent (probably repeatedly!) to those recipients in a form they can digest. The days of sending paper via  snail  mail at a huge cost are hopefully over, so an emailed Newsletter seems a good start to me. Those members who don’t have access to emails for this process could get helped by their clubs passing on such communication. Finding suitable content for such a publication needs to be considered - but any suggestion that it is just not there must be ludicrous. 

So, I reached this broad conclusion about a year or so ago and to approach the MYA, get an apparently interested reply and then get silence for the next 9 months or so is very disappointing. I conclude that either the MYA does not really put communication high up its priority list or they do but they don’t want me to do it. Either option is up to the MYA of course. It’s also up to me to stop paying my  sub at whatever level! Perhaps this might get aired at the AGM via some appropriate clause in the Rules? All the best. Paul.

 

 

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Dear Tiggy Cat

Perhaps I can answer your question factually?

 We need to go back a bit – so - prior to the 2018 AGM Council submitted two motions to the membership for AGM voting, one concerning subscriptions for junior members - raised under Constitution para 11.1, and one raised under Constitution para 12a(b) wishing to reduce the Council voting quorum (Constitution para 10d) to (in reality) very few council officers rather than the existing Constitution number (of 50% of 15) – or if you want the (frightening) motion precisely –‘’A majority of the Executive Officers plus any Officers with entitlement to vote and in attendance at a scheduled (physical or electronic) meeting shall constitute a quorum".

 Three clubs including my own (Gosport) submitted within the requisite time frame a valid and carefully constructed motion amendment to these motions.

 Whereupon Council immediately (a) refused to accept and (as it is required to do) publish to the membership this motion amendment properly submitted under Constitution 12c, and (b) withdrew its own original motion in breach of Constitution para 12.5(b).

The three clubs were in reality powerless other than to protest orally at the AGM and when the AGM finally arrived members at the meeting then spent fruitless time discussing the matter (with Council Officers defending the indefensible) to the extent that all present lost the will to live and nothing was concluded.

 

------------------------------

Now to 2019:

Council again proposed for AGM consideration a motion under 11.1 wishing to reduce the junior membership rate to nil.

A valid amendment motion under 11.1 and 12.a(c) was submitted by 5 clubs to Secretary to MYA Council within the required time frame and which motion reads as follows:-

 ‘’Amendment to AGM motion 1

Submitted on behalf of 5 clubs in accordance with Constitution 12.a(c).

"The junior membership subscription shall be half the affiliated membership subscription, which for 2020 shall be reduced from £14 to £10."

Reason:

Junior membership will be paid for by parents, who are unlikely to mind paying subscriptions on this fair principle, often used by many clubs.

The reduction is proposed to prevent further build up* of MYA funds at a time when Council’s future spending proposals have not yet been made clear to the membership.

*End of year MYA bank balances from MYA treasurer annual reports

2015    £9731

2016    £11,527

2017    £18,321

2018    £19,304

2019    £24,795 - this figure is as the treasurer’s 1st September report, with little change expected by the end of year to 30th September.

Roger Stollery, on behalf of Guildford, Gosport, Lee Valley, Frensham Pond Sailing Club - MYG and Abington Park model yacht clubs.’’

----------------------------------------

Again, information was promptly received back from Council via StC that the wording in this motion amendment was unacceptable to it in that format, although its text and meaning seems very clear to the full Committees of the 5 clubs involved but apparently not to Council members.

 It is hoped that common sense may prevail and that Council will not once again be in breach of the Constitution so that the membership may discuss this subject in full detail and a proper conclusion reached.

I would perhaps make the point that it is not a matter whether the affiliated membership fee be £10 (or indeed £5 or £25 or £14). What matters is that the membership as a whole has confidence that whatever subscriptions, levies or other fees that the membership contributes to MYA are being used properly, wisely and for the benefit of the membership as a whole.

Whilst Council needs to have sufficient funds for its programme of which members need to approve, the income must be appropriate to the plan and not over budgeted to simply build up or bolster the MYA’s bank balance unnecessarily.

Next, and as a retired Chartered Accountant, I am horrified by what he reports and must draw members’ attention to Phil’s words in his recent posting:

‘’With regards to next years budget plan…..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.’’

How the rates of membership for 2020 can be demanded / set and published to the membership – effectively as a fait accompli - in September without the near final result for 2019 and a comprehensive budget for the relevant year being fully discussed in detail and agreed by Council well prior to that time is a mystery to me. This is surely a case of the cart being put many miles before the horse?

I note too that Phil in his post indicates the membership now stands in excess of 1,800. Members may be interested to know that the membership of MYA stood at 1,800 back in 2015 and indeed 1,798 way back in 2012!

Regards

Chris Durant

MYA Vice President

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Lets remember that there are many volunteers within the sport, and consistent criticism of them may considerably reduce this.

They may not be perfect but without them we would not have the sport we are all passionate about.

The closing date for nominations for officers is the 31st Oct......

 

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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.

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20 hours ago, philholliday said:

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.

Chris,

The original response to Tiggy Cat, was quite clear in the council's position if read fully.

Phil's response re the budget is not correct as the budget was discussed at the Sept Council meeting and the Treasurers Report, our plans and the 2019 Budget figures indicated that the reserves allowed us to keep the affiliation fee at the 2019 level, which is why the council voted to not put a motion forward to amend the affiliation fee.

I would expect, like every year, that the last 12 months events and future 12 month plans will be discussed at the AGM and then members will be offered the chance to re-elect the council members standing or choose from the other nominations. Did I mention that this council made the decision to rotate the AGM to allow greater access to members?

The closing date for nominations for officers is 31st October.........

Must go, got to catch up on the Parliment channel :)

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Chris Durrant,

 

Thank you very much for your concise answer to my question.   .    Another question , this time to Darin.  If a properly formed and supported resolution is presented to Council , under clause  12.c are they not required to put it forward to the AGM?..      Perhaps I am being a bit dim, but reading said Constitution, it doesn't say " as long as the Council agree with the motion"  or "if the Council  don't think it necessary they can ignore it"..

 

As to the remark about what you expect will ( might? could arise?) at the AGM, the general impression given so far is that the Council actually want very little to be discussed at the AGM, rather for it to be a simple rubber stamping exercise for decisions that have already been made by them.

So far, the general impression is that the Council is driving a cart and horses though the Constitution , which is the instrument  that gives them the power to act on behalf of those 1800 members of the MYA whose interests they are supposed to represent.. 

Edited by tiggy_cat
clarificatio

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Ian,

12 (c) Council shall have the right to veto a motion submitted by one or two clubs. However a motion submitted by three or more clubs acting in unison shall be placed directly on the Agenda.

When read as part of Clause 12 it in effect means that if a motion is sent to the council by the 31st of August by 3 or more clubs then this will be presented at the AGM.

With regard to the AGM, I can assure you that there is always, and will always be lively debate and discussion about a whole host of items related to the agenda.

We usually all end up smiling, but the members do get their say.

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