The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
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The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby admin » 14 Jan 2010, 5:43pm

Reply to this topic for general comments about this page on the main CTC site: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Please start a new thread, with a suitable subject, for particularly complicated or controversial discussions relating to this page.

If this thread gets excessively long, or new topics emerge within the discussion, the moderators may also split this thread into separate topics.

glueman
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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby glueman » 16 Jan 2010, 10:44am

What are the drawbacks to becoming a members charity?

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Simon L6
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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby Simon L6 » 16 Jan 2010, 11:20am

the really interesting thing about this page on the National Office website is that it goes to great lengths to tell us about the benefits that have accrued from the structure we have.

Except, of course, that the claim that members have benefitted is codswallop. Members do not benefit from the Trust. That's the point.

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby bikepacker » 16 Jan 2010, 11:28am

Is it now getting to the point where legal action may need to be taken to counter the lies that are coming out of HQ? Maybe it will take a court action for these people to start being honest with the members.
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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby glueman » 16 Jan 2010, 11:31am

As the devil has all the best tunes and loiters in the detail, I thought it worth asking the question.

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby Fonant » 16 Jan 2010, 11:41am

glueman wrote:What are the drawbacks to becoming a members charity?


According to the Cass advice, the main disadvantages are:

  • Implementation costs and management of transition
  • Need to protect incomes linked to old structures such as legacies.

There may well be others!
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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby glueman » 16 Jan 2010, 11:50am

Fonant wrote:
There may well be others!


Indeed. Based on revenue and outgoings on Simon's chart the issues may go deeper than implementation costs and legacy protection. I can see why the tidying up metaphor is being aired - so long as you ignore the wrecking ball that's been swinging through the house, the good housekeeping analogy kind of makes sense. It really is peculiar that a representative sample of members haven't been involved in drafting these proposals. As a member's club you have to ask, 'why?'

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby John Catt » 16 Jan 2010, 12:27pm

glueman wrote: It really is peculiar that a representative sample of members haven't been involved in drafting these proposals. As a member's club you have to ask, 'why?'


How would these members be selected? If selected at random how would we get them to participate? If not at random how do we know they are representative? Isn't the Council elected as the representatives of the members?

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby Fonant » 16 Jan 2010, 1:15pm

John Catt wrote:
glueman wrote: It really is peculiar that a representative sample of members haven't been involved in drafting these proposals. As a member's club you have to ask, 'why?'


How would these members be selected?


Using the normal survey methods, probably at random as you suggest.

John Catt wrote:If selected at random how would we get them to participate?


The same way we get members to participate in other surveys, such as the one about the website, the regular membership surveys from the past, and the current one about lorries.

In fact past membership surveys are used as arguments in favour of becoming a charity, based on the result that most members think CTC should be "for all cyclists". But you can read that as either being "CTC should work for all cyclists, even non-members" or "CTC should encourage all cyclists to join the club". The former suggests a charitable organisation, the latter doesn't.

John Catt wrote:Isn't the Council elected as the representatives of the members?


Yes, they are, and I hope Councillors are busy asking the membership what they think. Or at least reading this discussion board :)

Council members also seem to have some personal interest in the change, if only to avoid these disadvantages of the current structure:

  • Some risk that the apparent “control” of a charity by a membership organisation contravenes charity law with implications for dual hatted trustee/Councillors.
  • With particular issues difficulties in the issues relating to the management of conflict of interest.
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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby John Catt » 16 Jan 2010, 5:40pm

Fonant wrote:The same way we get members to participate in other surveys, such as the one about the website, the regular membership surveys from the past, and the current one about lorries.

In fact past membership surveys are used as arguments in favour of becoming a charity, based on the result that most members think CTC should be "for all cyclists". But you can read that as either being "CTC should work for all cyclists, even non-members" or "CTC should encourage all cyclists to join the club". The former suggests a charitable organisation, the latter doesn't.


I take it you have looked at the "How does the Council test whether its ongoing plans and activities are in line with members’ expectations?" http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5362#six

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby Fonant » 16 Jan 2010, 7:29pm

John Catt wrote:I take it you have looked at the "How does the Council test whether its ongoing plans and activities are in line with members’ expectations?" http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5362#six


Yes, I have, as I think this is very important. CTC as a charity (competing with Sustrans?) is a different thing to join than CTC as a club, and membership numbers might change significantly when the status changes - either up or down.

I don't see any mention of membership surveys about converting to a charity. I do see that members want CTC to work for all types of cyclist, and that we should be targetting the young, new cyclists and families to join as members, but I don't follow the logic that this means strong support for charitable status. The evidence for membership consultation doesn't seem very strong.
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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby toontra » 16 Jan 2010, 8:09pm

I was always under the assumption that the CTC was an organisation primarily to benefit it's members. That's certainly why my father joined in the 30's and why I joined when I took up cycling recently.

Trusts are useful devices for certain activities, but members are not allowed to directly benefit from a Trust's activity (as Simon correctly states). That would therefore seem contrary to the very nature of the organisation, at least from my perspective. "Furthering the Cause of Cycling" is so general that, whilst maybe a noble stance, will inevitably include elements with which members may disagree. For example, I personally am anti-Sustrans, and any attempt to duplicate their work would be a complete turn-off for me.

If I want to make a charitable donation I'll do so. If want to join a cycle club it will be for a very different reason.

In my opinion this is a mess.

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby John Catt » 16 Jan 2010, 11:40pm

toontra wrote:I was always under the assumption that the CTC was an organisation primarily to benefit it's members. That's certainly why my father joined in the 30's and why I joined when I took up cycling recently.

Trusts are useful devices for certain activities, but members are not allowed to directly benefit from a Trust's activity (as Simon correctly states). That would therefore seem contrary to the very nature of the organisation, at least from my perspective. "Furthering the Cause of Cycling" is so general that, whilst maybe a noble stance, will inevitably include elements with which members may disagree. For example, I personally am anti-Sustrans, and any attempt to duplicate their work would be a complete turn-off for me.

If I want to make a charitable donation I'll do so. If want to join a cycle club it will be for a very different reason.

In my opinion this is a mess.


Your understanding of what counts as charitable may be out of date. The reason that the Trust was set up was that some of the activities of the CTC did not meet the criteria re. "public benefit" as then defined for charities. The 2006 act changed that, and in particular http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publicbenefit/default.asp included C2 g) the advancement of amateur sport. Hence most of our member benefits, in that they promote the amateur sport of cycle touring, meet the criteria for charitable status.

Sustrans aims to:

* reduce the environmental and resource impacts of transport
* enable people to choose active travel more often
* provide car-free access to essential local services
* create streets and public spaces into places for people to enjoy.
http://www.sustrans.org.uk/about-sustrans


These are not the aims of the CTC, which is very much about promotiong cycling to and with its members and to the public at large.

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby Simon L6 » 17 Jan 2010, 8:56am

John - I'm taken aback by the assertion that most of our member benefits are charitable

1. Which benefits?
2. Why?
3. Why are the revised Mems and Arts careful to make benefits discretionary?

I'm aware that there is speculation on the CTC website about this, but it all looks a bit far-fetched to me.

And, to state the obvious, if the Club can be turned in to a charity, why is it being taken over by the Trust? Gift Aid can be claimed within the present structure, as the Minority Report, which you will have seen, makes clear. What your saying is that the only reason for the Trust taking over the Club is that the Club is a cash cow........

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Re: The proposals, benefits, drawbacks etc.

Postby drossall » 17 Jan 2010, 4:41pm

Simon L6 wrote:Members do not benefit from the Trust. That's the point.

Members cannot directly benefit from the Trust. However, if the members wish the sort of activity that the Trust carries out to take place, and can therefore support it either with or without certain financial benefits from being a charity, it could be argued that charitable status is beneficial to members.

At least, that is how I read what is being argued.