Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
bikepacker
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby bikepacker » 13 Jan 2010, 10:45pm

simonconnell says:
"The proposal is an attempt to tidy up CTC's structure, and this will address some of the more valid issues which have been raised. It's consistent with the overall aims of the CTC, and it'll deliver tax benefits which members are entitled to."


The CTC structure would not need tidying up if it hadn't been for the last 10 years of mis-management. The main issues that have been raised show that the great and the good of the club are completely out of touch with the membership.
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby Karen Sutton » 13 Jan 2010, 11:52pm

workhard wrote:Meic raises a good point. I suspect many members don't know their local CTC councillors from Adam himself and that makes it difficult to form a judgement on which councillor, if any, to give a proxy to. The use of pseudonym's in forums like this doesn't help much either, though complaining about that would be rank hypocrisy on my part.

I believe I've at least met and ridden as part of a group with and thus chatted briefly to Greg Price and Barry Jordan either on a FNRttC or last year's 'CTC Ride to Pride'. Both left +ve impressions on me anyway. Not sure if I've met John Meudell or Richard Bates though Richard is well known as a local cycling advocate and activist.

Either way I'll be emailing all the London and South East Councillors to ask their opinions/position on this.


It's a good job I'm going to the AGm and not sending a proxy vote. My Councillor is Chair of Council.

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Simon L6
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby Simon L6 » 14 Jan 2010, 8:12am

simonconnell wrote:For the record I am supportive of the unification proposal. I think the crux of the matter has been overshadowed by what has become a heated debate along far wider lines. The proposal is an attempt to tidy up CTC's structure, and this will address some of the more valid issues which have been raised. It's consistent with the overall aims of the CTC, and it'll deliver tax benefits which members are entitled to.

Except that it won't - because the members are not entitled to the tax benefits. The Trust wil get the tax benefits and spend it 80% of it on projects that are not accounted for. And, according to CASS, the tax benefit will be £57,000 (of which a little under £12,000 would be for Campaigning). Given that the Club has donated £750,000 to the Trust this year (of which £170,000 went to campaigning, which is fair enough) members will be forgiven for wondering why we just don't cut out the middleman and save over half a million quid.

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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby robgul » 14 Jan 2010, 9:33am

bikepacker wrote:simonconnell says:
"The proposal is an attempt to tidy up CTC's structure, and this will address some of the more valid issues which have been raised. It's consistent with the overall aims of the CTC, and it'll deliver tax benefits which members are entitled to."


The CTC structure would not need tidying up if it hadn't been for the last 10 years of mis-management. The main issues that have been raised show that the great and the good of the club are completely out of touch with the membership.



What goes around, comes around - sadly. One only has to read the Winged Wheel book (history of the CTC's first 100 years IIRC) to see the thing has been a mish-mash of indifferent management and in-fighting from day one.

Rob

Karen Sutton
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby Karen Sutton » 14 Jan 2010, 9:48am

simonconnell wrote:
workhard wrote:Meic raises a good point. I suspect many members don't know their local CTC councillors from Adam himself and that makes it difficult to form a judgement on which councillor, if any, to give a proxy to. The use of pseudonym's in forums like this doesn't help much either, though complaining about that would be rank hypocrisy on my part.

I believe I've at least met and ridden as part of a group with and thus chatted briefly to Greg Price and Barry Jordan either on a FNRttC or last year's 'CTC Ride to Pride'. Both left +ve impressions on me anyway. Not sure if I've met John Meudell or Richard Bates though Richard is well known as a local cycling advocate and activist.

Either way I'll be emailing all the London and South East Councillors to ask their opinions/position on this.


I agree that many members probably don't know their local Councillor, but all the details are on the website - http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4409

I don't go by a pseudonym for the exact reason you highlight.

For the record I am supportive of the unification proposal. I think the crux of the matter has been overshadowed by what has become a heated debate along far wider lines. The proposal is an attempt to tidy up CTC's structure, and this will address some of the more valid issues which have been raised. It's consistent with the overall aims of the CTC, and it'll deliver tax benefits which members are entitled to.


Simon, when you say "heated debate along far wider lines" it sounds as though you believe the debate on here is concerned with issues which are not pertinent to the consideration of the merger, and that we are concerning ourselves with issues which have no bearing on the subject. I'm sorry if that's not what you meant but it's how I read it. Yet the issues highlighted by Greg Price and Simon Legg are very relevant. You seem to be one of the Councillors who regard this as a tidying up exercise which should go through on the nod.

When the vote was taken to form the Charitable Trust, voters at that AGM (myself included) could not have known what was going to ensue. It seems that some Council members believe that because the Trust was formed that voters will naturally be in favour of the merger. But circumstances are now very different this time. One Councillor I have spoken to says that the vote is just to approve something which has already happened, and that whether the vote is yay or nay the merger has already gone ahead as far as the running of CTC on a day to day basis is concerned. To read that Council has decided that this is a good way forward does not mean that the members will believe the same.

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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby glueman » 14 Jan 2010, 10:21am

I read the debate on 'wider lines' as meaning comments thrown into the mix from people like myself. The charity issue can be represented as a private spat between two factions talking elevated politics, internal committe problems the general membership shouldn't trouble themselves with. Indeed previous changes within the club have gone through on the nod without the kind of debate we are seeing here.

As an enthusiast for a devolved, bottom up kind of club I'm for giving members value for money. The tidying up exercise is precisely the kind of thing members have looked the other way from and hoped for the best for too long. It's time for the benefit of the doubt to end and quantifiable outcomes to take their place.

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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby Regulator » 14 Jan 2010, 11:01am

Karen Sutton wrote:
simonconnell wrote:
workhard wrote:Meic raises a good point. I suspect many members don't know their local CTC councillors from Adam himself and that makes it difficult to form a judgement on which councillor, if any, to give a proxy to. The use of pseudonym's in forums like this doesn't help much either, though complaining about that would be rank hypocrisy on my part.

I believe I've at least met and ridden as part of a group with and thus chatted briefly to Greg Price and Barry Jordan either on a FNRttC or last year's 'CTC Ride to Pride'. Both left +ve impressions on me anyway. Not sure if I've met John Meudell or Richard Bates though Richard is well known as a local cycling advocate and activist.

Either way I'll be emailing all the London and South East Councillors to ask their opinions/position on this.


I agree that many members probably don't know their local Councillor, but all the details are on the website - http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=4409

I don't go by a pseudonym for the exact reason you highlight.

For the record I am supportive of the unification proposal. I think the crux of the matter has been overshadowed by what has become a heated debate along far wider lines. The proposal is an attempt to tidy up CTC's structure, and this will address some of the more valid issues which have been raised. It's consistent with the overall aims of the CTC, and it'll deliver tax benefits which members are entitled to.


Simon, when you say "heated debate along far wider lines" it sounds as though you believe the debate on here is concerned with issues which are not pertinent to the consideration of the merger, and that we are concerning ourselves with issues which have no bearing on the subject. I'm sorry if that's not what you meant but it's how I read it. Yet the issues highlighted by Greg Price and Simon Legg are very relevant. You seem to be one of the Councillors who regard this as a tidying up exercise which should go through on the nod.

When the vote was taken to form the Charitable Trust, voters at that AGM (myself included) could not have known what was going to ensue. It seems that some Council members believe that because the Trust was formed that voters will naturally be in favour of the merger. But circumstances are now very different this time. One Councillor I have spoken to says that the vote is just to approve something which has already happened, and that whether the vote is yay or nay the merger has already gone ahead as far as the running of CTC on a day to day basis is concerned. To read that Council has decided that this is a good way forward does not mean that the members will believe the same.




I think it would be helpful clarify at this stage that Simon Connell is not a Councillor or a member of CTC Council*. He is an advisor to Council.



*as not all members of Council are Councillors

bikepacker
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby bikepacker » 14 Jan 2010, 11:59am

It appears that the CTC have acquired a lot of advisors. Advisors to the Council. Advisors for Charity Membership. Advisors on Legal Issues, And maybe even Advisors on how to outwit the Membership.

Would it be possible to see the exact (I really should not the word 'exact') costings, including all expenses (again maybe I should not have used the word 'all')regarding these advisors?
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Simon L6
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby Simon L6 » 14 Jan 2010, 12:41pm

bikepacker wrote:It appears that the CTC have acquired a lot of advisors. Advisors to the Council. Advisors for Charity Membership. Advisors on Legal Issues, And maybe even Advisors on how to outwit the Membership.

Would it be possible to see the exact (I really should not the word 'exact') costings, including all expenses (again maybe I should not have used the word 'all')regarding these advisors?

In Simon C's case minimal if not zero. And there is a role for advisors, particularly if they bring a bit of expertise that the Council lacks, and, even more so if they do it for love. And Simon C does it for love.

I think we can reasonably expect the CTC to be run economically, but to be prepared to pay for advice if it's needed - CASS were brought in with the best of intentions, and however much I disagree with their conclusions the report does distill some matters. And, like any good critic, if you look for what's not there you learn even more. It goes almost without saying that the concerns expressed about the remoteness of the Trust from the core activities of the Club don't get a look-in.

All organisations have their moments - they spend more on this or that than we would think reasonable. I'm still puzzled by the £388,000 loan. The purpose behind putting up my cheesy little pie charts was to show how little was spent on some things. Right to Riders may grumble about the lack of support and training, but, hey, they cost diddlysquit. And as for member groups.................

To return to Simon C's point. The crux of this, the real crux of this is that members are being asked to sign a blank cheque - having already donated and loaned, in property and cash, nigh on three million quid to the Trust.

workhard

Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby workhard » 14 Jan 2010, 5:07pm

If the structure simply needs tidying up why not consider winding up the trust and reverting to the single 'club' structure that seemed to serve the needs of the club's membership pretty adequately for a very long time.

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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby drossall » 14 Jan 2010, 5:55pm

I don't see how that could be possible. Once assets belong to a charity, they can only be used for the benefit of that charity, or passed to another with similar aims. The non-charitable "club" could not take back the assets, therefore.

workhard

Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby workhard » 14 Jan 2010, 8:30pm

drossall wrote:I don't see how that could be possible. Once assets belong to a charity, they can only be used for the benefit of that charity, or passed to another with similar aims. The non-charitable "club" could not take back the assets, therefore.


Not strictly true or at least something of an oversimplification at least as I understand the Law and tax positions as a trustee of a couple. Some agencies have, in the past, transferred assets to trading subsidiaries and disposed of the asset that way but the tax implications are complex and significant.

One alternative is for the club, of course, to be an entirely separate charity in its own right with a different governance structure to that of the current CTC but with similar aims with a trading subsidiary company to handle all the sordid money grubbing. The existing Trust and the new club charity could then merge with the club charity subsuming the trust.

Or live things as they are; take some time to sort out the governance and accountability issues and the financial relationship between the current Club and Trust and then merge the two.

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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby PaulB » 14 Jan 2010, 9:37pm

I have read through the various posts on this subject and do not claim to understand much of it. Like most members, of a certain age, I joined the Cyclists' Touring Club to share the joys of touring on a bicycle with other like minded people. The campaigning and pseudo political posturing was not on my agenda. The recent snow has seen the Automobile Association lobbying the Government to provide more grit. People join the AA so that they can be rescued if their car breaks down. I doubt many car drivers join the AA or RAC to campaign for motorists' rights. The Ramblers have also wandered (sorry) into the pressure group club too as well as the Countryside Alliance et al.

It begs the question as to what do you want the CTC to be. Like others have mentioned, my income has taken a nose dive this year so I am looking at all expediture. I have cancelled subscriptions to several cycling magazines and cut back in other areas. When my CTC membership comes up for renewal I shall think very carefully as to whether I still wish to belong to it.

I ride a bike for pleasure - usually day rides - but I like to read about others who have the time and personal circumstances to tour extensively. The magazine no longer gives much space to the touring side of things and although the promotion of cycling is desirable, I'm afraid 'CYCLE' ends up in the recycling bag the day it arrives - or shortly after. I want to belong to a cycling CLUB not a pressure/political/charity organisation. Maybe some of us need to leave and form a Cyclists' Touring Club!

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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby robgul » 14 Jan 2010, 9:44pm

PaulB wrote:I have read through the various posts on this subject and do not claim to understand much of it. Like most members, of a certain age, I joined the Cyclists' Touring Club to share the joys of touring on a bicycle with other like minded people. The campaigning and pseudo political posturing was not on my agenda. The recent snow has seen the Automobile Association lobbying the Government to provide more grit. People join the AA so that they can be rescued if their car breaks down. I doubt many car drivers join the AA or RAC to campaign for motorists' rights. The Ramblers have also wandered (sorry) into the pressure group club too as well as the Countryside Alliance et al.

It begs the question as to what do you want the CTC to be. Like others have mentioned, my income has taken a nose dive this year so I am looking at all expediture. I have cancelled subscriptions to several cycling magazines and cut back in other areas. When my CTC membership comes up for renewal I shall think very carefully as to whether I still wish to belong to it.

I ride a bike for pleasure - usually day rides - but I like to read about others who have the time and personal circumstances to tour extensively. The magazine no longer gives much space to the touring side of things and although the promotion of cycling is desirable, I'm afraid 'CYCLE' ends up in the recycling bag the day it arrives - or shortly after. I want to belong to a cycling CLUB not a pressure/political/charity organisation. Maybe some of us need to leave and form a Cyclists' Touring Club!


Exactly : and if there is a new club can we have a "Chairman" (whether male or female) rather than "Chairperson" or "Chair"

Rob

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Simon L6
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Re: Are we looking forward to being a membership charity?

Postby Simon L6 » 15 Jan 2010, 8:30am

I appreciate the frustration, but, before we depart for pastures new please consider

- it's perfectly possible to defeat the Special Resolution - it's just a question of gathering in the vote
- it's perfectly possible for Council to get the finances under some kind of control - they just have to summon the will
- leaving won't help those who have paid their life memberships - the staunchest club members, some of them volunteers of long service and all of them having paid substantial sums of money to what they hoped was a well-run Club

My man or woman on the inside tells me that today's Newsnet marks the beginning of the 'real' National Office campaign. We await instructions..........