I hope you will forgive the intrusion of this email following my
election as one of the CTC Councillors for the East Midlands. Whilst it
would be impossible for me to meet all the members in the region, I can
be contacted by email and would welcome any comments you have about the
work of the CTC. You will have to forgive me if I do not always respond
immediately, like many of you I am a volunteer.
My main purpose in writing to on this occasion is about the main matter
for discussion at our January Council Meeting which looked at the
formalities involved in reuniting the CTC “Club” and the CTC “Charitable
Trust”. This is to be achieved by the “Club” becoming a charity and then
re-absorbing the assets of the Trust, so that we once again become a
single body governed by the Council, as elected by members.
This involved Councillors scrutinising proposed changes to the
Memorandum and Articles of Association which have to be updated to
comply with the latest Company's Act as well as the requirements of the
I perhaps have the distinct advantage over some of the other Councillors
in that I have been able to come to the subject with a completely open
mind and I have been able to spend quite a lot of time since my election
in October assessing what has been going on, not only to satisfy myself
but to make sure I could adequately represent CTC members in the east
Midlands. I can now make it clear that my study of the subject has lead
me to conclude that, beyond reasonable doubt, this is the correct course
for the CTC going forward.
All but two of the Council agree with this and Council is urging members
to support the necessary resolutions at the AGM. This is to be held in
Loughborough, so many of you should be able to attend and cast your vote.
There is a group of members who oppose the merger, wishing to see the
“Club” remain independent. They have a website where they set out their
arguments at http://www.savethectc.org.uk
<http://www.savethectc.org.uk/> . I
have no doubt that these members are honourable, but I believe their
concerns to be mistaken. The CTC has, I think, answered all the points
raised in a special area of its website devoted to this matter which can
be found at http://tr.im/LrZM
and I have set out my thoughts in a blog
My conclusion is that there is nothing that we do at the moment, or that
I can foresee the CTC and its members wanting to do, that it will not be
able to take forward as a unified charity.
Opponents of the change have also suggested that Council members have a
vested interest in changing to charitable status. Two of the advantages
of charitable status that I have been able to identify should give you
complete reassurance about my position:
a) the trustees of a charity (which is what the Councillors will become)
are not entitled to any remuneration apart from out of pocket expenses;
b) the standards expected in law of charity trustees is higher than that
required of company directors.
The suggestion has also been made that the accounts of the CTC hide a
subsidy from the Club to the Charity to cover losses on contracts with
government bodies, such as the “Cycle Champions” initiative. The income
and expenditure accounts relating to these contracts has been vetted by
our auditors, the bodies funding the contracts and some Council Members
(including a member co-opted for his financial expertise) and all
concluded that the contracts they examined had covered their costs and
provided an income towards the finances of the CTC as a whole.
The accounts show that the “Club” made a donation to the “Trust” of
£453K for the year ending 30/9/09. Whilst some describe this as a
subsidy, it has to be appreciated that the Trust funded most of our
campaigns, right to ride work, volunteer development and promotion
(including the internet site), the total cost of which was £994K. The
difference was covered from the resources available because of the
financial opportunities and advantages open to the Trust as a charity.
Other points about various problems the CTC has had, such as with the
membership system, have also been raised. I have yet to find an
organisation that did not have its problems. Both council and staff are
working hard to improve all aspects of the organisation and, whilst it
will never be perfect, it will be easier to move forward without the
administrative burden of maintaining and reporting on two separate
I believe it is vital that we become one again. If the “Club” were to be
managed separately, as some seem to wish, then there could easily be a
conflict of interest between Council members and the trustees of the
Trust. Such problems would eventually, I believe, result in the
In my view we are much stronger united than divided and I urge you to
vote, either at the AGM or by proxy vote, for the proposed changes.
Please feel free to let me know your questions or views