The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

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Si
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The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Si » 7 Nov 2008, 1:50pm

Prompted by the other thread....a question to all of those who take part in their DA/Section/Member Group....(and indeed for any other member that has an interest)...

1/ What would you like to see the CTC HO doing for the DAs/Sections/Member Groups that it doesn't currently do, such that they could be improved?

2/ What would you like to see the CTC HO doing to the DAs/Sections/Member Groups that it doesn't currently do, such that they could be improved? Note, I ask this as a separate question to the first because judging by some comments some people have found a few groups to be similar to "old boy's" clubs that aren't welcoming to newcomers- in this case the CTC might be asked to take action to make them more open to new riders if practicable.

3/ What would you like to see it stop doing that you think might be hindering DAs/Sections/Member Groups ?

I ask this question only out of my personal curiosity - it has not come from HO.

Karen Sutton
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Postby Karen Sutton » 7 Nov 2008, 5:08pm

To be honest I don't think National Office can do much to make existing groups become more welcoming to new members. A group who is happy with their limited numbers and don't wish to change in order to accomodate new people is going to simply attract more of their own kind and survive in that fashion, or it will simply wither and die.

This is why it is good that new groups are now able to set up without having to go to the existing group in any particular area to more or less "ask permission".

I was present at a DA AGM a few years ago when the matter of a proposed new group was raised. There was a vote as to whether the new group should be allowed to set up. I recall that the people proposing the group were expected to go to the DA Committee meeting in order to put their case forward for the new CTC Group. The meetings were held in a smoky working men's club in a run down area of Manchester.

The members who wanted to start the Group lived in New Mills, in the High Peak, right across the Greater Manchester area from where the DA meetings were held. Understandably they didn't turn up. The vote at the AGM decided that they must be prepared to go to the meetings if they wanted to be a CTC group. They subsequently set up an independent group. We still don't have a CTC Group in that area.

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zenzinnia
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Postby zenzinnia » 8 Nov 2008, 5:14pm

I remember a couple of years back I tried to set up a new 'group' since there was nothhing very close and teh town seemed ideal. Anyway it all seemed very complicated and very hard to contact members in the area to try and get things going. In the end I gave up but I might have another go one day. I wanted to set something up because I join CTC so I could be part of a local 'group' to meet and ride with local cyclist but there was nothing and I was supprised.

It would have helped if there was a way to contact all local memebrs within a certain distance, or even if someone could have told me how many there were, and some better guidance on what to do. Just something that explainmed the structure would have helped or a forum to ask questions - but now we have that things should be easier.

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Postby Karen Sutton » 8 Nov 2008, 6:17pm

zenzinnia wrote:
It would have helped if there was a way to contact all local memebrs within a certain distance, or even if someone could have told me how many there were, and some better guidance on what to do. Just something that explainmed the structure would have helped or a forum to ask questions - but now we have that things should be easier.


I recall that a couple of years ago one of our local CTC Groups wanted to promote a special event. Some arrangements were made via National Office for all the CTC members in that particular area to be contacted, but I don't recall how this was done. Perhaps asking staff would be a good idea. Otherwise a notice in 'Cycle' would perhaps do the trick. There have been new groups set up recently and it is done by fixing a date and venue for a meeting where local interested members meet up to see if there is enough interest to start a group. This meeting is advertised by CTC in Cycle, and also I think in newsnet. You could also advertise it in local bike shops This might be good as it may attract other cyclists who are not CTC members, thus swelling your ranks and gaining more members for CTC

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zenzinnia
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Postby zenzinnia » 9 Nov 2008, 1:45pm

Karen Sutton wrote:There have been new groups set up recently and it is done by fixing a date and venue for a meeting where local interested members meet up to see if there is enough interest to start a group. This meeting is advertised by CTC in Cycle, and also I think in newsnet. You could also advertise it in local bike shops This might be good as it may attract other cyclists who are not CTC members, thus swelling your ranks and gaining more members for CTC


I think this is my point. Firstly you need to know other local CTC members who are interested but if there isn't a group already how do you meet them. How closely do members read Cycle - if they arn't in an active grooup they are unlikely to read the groups section. Newsnet wasn't running at the time and I think it could be a good way of getting things going but if the membership database could be used to target everyone in an area who is signed up for Newsnet and send them a dedicated message it would be far more succesful and wouldn't require everyone else needing to recieve details. I would have thought that sending an e-mail or letter to everyone on the dateabse with specific postcodes would be easy - I do simillar all the time at work - it might not get precise coverage but it would be a good start.

I also think starting with a meeting is propably the wrong way to start too. Much better to start with a ride.

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Postby E.C.Ryder » 9 Nov 2008, 5:58pm

Most DA`s have a Registration Officer and they get a list of new members in their area every few months from the CTC, whether an indivdual could get this information I really don`t know.
My Section `sorry` Group always welcome new riders whether they are CTC or not. Non-CTC members are given 6 / 7 outing then they can either join or leave.

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Postby Karen Sutton » 10 Nov 2008, 10:13am

In my earlier post I didn't suggest contacting the relevant Membership Registrar for your area to ask for details of your local members as I'm fairly sure we are not allowed to pass on that information. As a recently elected Membership Registrar I will need to find out about this. I'll post again here when I get an answer.

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Postby Jimmy The Hand » 10 Nov 2008, 10:32am

zenzinnia wrote:I think this is my point. Firstly you need to know other local CTC members who are interested but if there isn't a group already how do you meet them.

Our local section was relaunched a few years ago and the secretary got an article in the local papers, contacted the local radio and had a 10 min interview on air and via the local DA did a mailshot to all CTC members in the immediate area we had about 30 people turn up for the meeting and now have around 12 regulars riding

zenzinnia wrote:I would have thought that sending an e-mail or letter to everyone on the dateabse with specific postcodes would be easy

Theoretically that's true, however I don't think it's NO's role to set up local groups. I would say that if you want to set up a group you should contact the Local Groups Officer at Guildford and get the contact details of your local DA/MG and get them involved, they have the contact details of members and the finances to pay for a mailshot, if they don't give you the support you need then contact your Local councillor.

zenzinnia wrote:I also think starting with a meeting is propably the wrong way to start too. Much better to start with a ride.

I'm not sure about that, my feelings are that people may look at it and think I'll be to slow, I won't be able to keep up, they'll slow me down, the ride will be to far/not far enough so they won't turn out whereas at a meeting those problems can be addressed without embarrassment.

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Postby Karen Sutton » 10 Nov 2008, 10:35am

OK,
I've just spoken to the Local Groups Officer (or rather the stand in Local Groups Officer as there isn't yet a replacement for Alex, who left in August).

As I thought, the Membership Registrars cannot give out details of members. However an informal group of CTC members can start up without going through all the procedures listed in the Rules Handbook. Obviously you would still need to let people know that a new group is proposed. Newsnet seems to be the way to do that. You could then just advertise a ride to start things off.

I'd suggest contacting CTC to ask about putting something in Newsnet. There has recently been a proposal to have 'regional' editions of Newsnet, in order that items of news which are applicable to a particular area can go out in that area's edition. I don't know how far off that is though.

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Postby Karen Sutton » 10 Nov 2008, 11:11am

Jimmy The Hand wrote:
zenzinnia wrote:I would have thought that sending an e-mail or letter to everyone on the dateabse with specific postcodes would be easy

Theoretically that's true, however I don't think it's NO's role to set up local groups. I would say that if you want to set up a group you should contact the Local Groups Officer at Guildford and get the contact details of your local DA/MG and get them involved, they have the contact details of members and the finances to pay for a mailshot, if they don't give you the support you need then contact your Local councillor.



Actually not all DA/MG have much in the way of finances. There is a huge variation in their funds. Smaller DAs/Member Groups may only have the grant provided by CTC which is half a percent of the adult standard membership per year for each CTC member who lives in their area. For groups in areas where there are not many CTC members the grant is often not worth claiming. Having said that, it is possible to apply to CTC for funds to cover a specific item of expenditure, which would cover this.

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Postby Cycleking » 4 Dec 2008, 1:42pm

Karen Sutton wrote:OK,
I've just spoken to the Local Groups Officer (or rather the stand in Local Groups Officer as there isn't yet a replacement for Alex, who left in August).

As I thought, the Membership Registrars cannot give out details of members. However an informal group of CTC members can start up without going through all the procedures listed in the Rules Handbook. Obviously you would still need to let people know that a new group is proposed. Newsnet seems to be the way to do that. You could then just advertise a ride to start things off.

I'd suggest contacting CTC to ask about putting something in Newsnet. There has recently been a proposal to have 'regional' editions of Newsnet, in order that items of news which are applicable to a particular area can go out in that area's edition. I don't know how far off that is though.


This is a crazy "rule". It seems to follow the data protection law to the letter; I can appreciate that local groups shouldn't bombard local members with information, but this facility should be available via NO, surely this is one of the purposes of the organisation? This would encourage all members to join local groups. I'm sure nobody objects to an occasional flyer/email informing them about what's going on in their area. The primary purpose of the Data protection Act is to prevent misuse of the info, not to prevent other members of the organisation contacting them!

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Postby georgew » 4 Dec 2008, 7:46pm

Cycleking wrote:


This is a crazy "rule". It seems to follow the data protection law to the letter; I can appreciate that local groups shouldn't bombard local members with information, but this facility should be available via NO, surely this is one of the purposes of the organisation? This would encourage all members to join local groups. I'm sure nobody objects to an occasional flyer/email informing them about what's going on in their area. The primary purpose of the Data protection Act is to prevent misuse of the info, not to prevent other members of the organisation contacting them![/quote]

Speaking as Registration Officer for my DA, I would think it inappropriate (and very likely illegal) to pass on this info to an individual. All member lists are distributed from HQ under the protection of the Data Protection Act and I would view your suggestion as infringing the Act. You could ask the Registration Officer to contact members asking if they are interested on your behalf however, which seems a reasonable alternative.

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Postby millimole » 3 Jan 2009, 7:37pm

georgew wrote:
Speaking as Registration Officer for my DA, I would think it inappropriate (and very likely illegal) to pass on this info to an individual. All member lists are distributed from HQ under the protection of the Data Protection Act and I would view your suggestion as infringing the Act. You could ask the Registration Officer to contact members asking if they are interested on your behalf however, which seems a reasonable alternative.


Quite a few years ago when I was my DAs Registration Officer (or whatever the post was titled) there was an astonishing disregard of the provisions of Data Protection legislation, and the stick I got for attempting to stem these abuses was just one of the reasons for my coming adrift from my DA.
Based on this limited experience I, frankly, would not trust local organisations with member lists, and I feel that the way in which HQ might distribute personal data must be spelt out much more clearly to the membership.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby belgiangoth » 9 Apr 2009, 11:44pm

I think that the CTC could help by providing web-hosting for the DAs. This would mean that it would be easier to find groups and there would be a simple way to post rides and contact people, all kept centrally. They could have an "accredited" and a "pending" or "being formed" distinction so as to encourage new groups.

I'm interested in the 0.5% of membership of nearby members. How would they split it if you had a "under 30s" and a "60+" group in the same area? Would the two be required to merge?
If I had a baby elephant, it would point out that there is no evidence for planing. Then it would eat all my bananas.

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Re: The CTC and its DAs/MGs - changes?

Postby Karen Sutton » 13 Apr 2009, 10:29pm

belgiangoth wrote:I think that the CTC could help by providing web-hosting for the DAs. This would mean that it would be easier to find groups and there would be a simple way to post rides and contact people, all kept centrally. They could have an "accredited" and a "pending" or "being formed" distinction so as to encourage new groups.

I'm interested in the 0.5% of membership of nearby members. How would they split it if you had a "under 30s" and a "60+" group in the same area? Would the two be required to merge?


To address the first point you make: There is already a list of contacts for groups arranged by geographic area. It is on this website in the area entitled "Local Groups". It would be ideal to have new groups listed according to their status in the process of formation but that would require constant updating and continual communication between the volunteers and CTC National Office. There is a limited amount of time available for the CTC staff member responsible to do this work and I don't think it is reasonable to expect this type of input. The list is in the process of a great deal of updating at present due to new groups being set up and the change in status of many existing groups. With regard to CTC doing web hosting; this has been suggested for the groups who don't currently have a web presence, but I don't know whether this is something being seriously considered.

With regard to your second point; I'm unsure as to what 0.5% of nearby members you are referring to but the answer to whether the two groups described would be expected to merge then the answer is simple. There would be absolutely no reason to expect them to merge unless they agreed mutually that this would be what they wanted to do. They might consider this if the numbers were too small to support the two sets of Officers needed for two Member Groups, in which case they may decide to have one committee structure with two rides programmes.

One of the reasons CTC have instigated change in the way groups can be set up is so that there can be several groups, possibly in close proximity but running different types of rides and events. The two groups you describe would have their own characteristics but would obviously not be in competition as they would attract members wanting something different. This is the way forward for CTC groups; we need to cater for the differing requirements of members or Local Groups will just fizzle out. Often it is impractical to expect one group to run rides to suit every requirement. So the answer is for those members who want something different to start their own group. If there are members of an existing group who feel that there is scope for different types of rides within the group there would probably be support from the Group to start new initiatives within the existing structure. In the CTC Group I belong to there are several families who want to do rides including children on tandems with their parents. The group already has a full programme of full day rides. So now, approximately once a month, there is a "Leisure Ride". This is slower and shorter than the other rides and is suitable for families and others wanting a more leisurely ride.