Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

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patricktaylor
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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby patricktaylor » 20 Apr 2010, 11:11am

thirdcrank wrote:... 2. The caucus style of operation is the norm in local govt., where councillors are elected to form policy and implement it, not to run a debating society ...

The debate takes place between the ruling party and the opposition in committee meetings, often in front of the local press. It's partly this public scrutiny of opposition arguments that makes Local Government such a sound model of democracy, such as you won't find to the same degree in Health, Policing etc. But as I say, employees are completely out of the policymaking and advocacy loop, except to advise. Once something has been democratically decided, of course, they are then charged with delivery - but only then.
Last edited by patricktaylor on 20 Apr 2010, 11:14am, edited 1 time in total.

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby Kevin Mayne » 20 Apr 2010, 11:13am

Sorry, Greg is wrong in his posting about the next Council meeting

CTC Council meetings are open to members but standing orders require those wishing to attend to register in advance and there is a limit of six observers, normally allocated on a first come, first served basis. This allocation has existed since long before I worked for CTC and I have no idea why the level was set at six but there has not been demand to this point.

If more than six people apply Council can consider temporarily lifting standing orders but it would be extremely useful to know numbers, not least for the very practical reason that we are using hired premises and we have to arrange facilities with the venue.

As the Secretary to Council is currently stuck abroad behind an ash cloud I suggest anyone wishing to attend emails cycling@ctc.org.uk where it will be passed on.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby Regulator » 20 Apr 2010, 11:24am

Kevin Mayne wrote:Sorry, Greg is wrong in his posting about the next Council meeting

CTC Council meetings are open to members but standing orders require those wishing to attend to register in advance and there is a limit of six observers, normally allocated on a first come, first served basis. This allocation has existed since long before I worked for CTC and I have no idea why the level was set at six but there has not been demand to this point.

If more than six people apply Council can consider temporarily lifting standing orders but it would be extremely useful to know numbers, not least for the very practical reason that we are using hired premises and we have to arrange facilities with the venue.

As the Secretary to Council is currently stuck abroad behind an ash cloud I suggest anyone wishing to attend emails cycling@ctc.org.uk where it will be passed on.


I'm not quite sure where you suggest I am wrong. Members do have the right to attend Council meetings. The six observers bit can be easily waived, if Council so wishes. I see no reason why Council would not want members to attend - after all, we have an obligation to be open and transparent in our dealings.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby Regulator » 20 Apr 2010, 6:45pm

Just checked the Standing Orders and Resolutions in Force...

...no specific number given for the number of observer allowed at a Council meeting. Not quite sure where the Chief Executive got the figure six from.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby gaz » 20 Apr 2010, 7:20pm

thirdcrank wrote:...As an aside, at some point after my earlier post, that election address was replaced on the CTC Desktop with something else which made no reference to that experience in local govt...


There's still a fair bit in an old 2008 edition of newsnet which also invited members to attend Council Meetings, with no mention of limits, although pre-booking was implied.
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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Apr 2010, 7:21pm

patricktaylor wrote:...
The debate takes place between the ruling party and the opposition in committee meetings, often in front of the local press. ....


I can't claim to have attended a huge number of council meetings, but on the occasions I have done so, the debate has been very limited, and certainly nothing where any minds or policies were going to be changed. On one occasion I attended a full highways committee meeting (decisions are often taken by a very small number of appointed members - effectively an ad hoc sub-committee) on an issue that had dragged on for a long time and been to judicial review and all sorts. There were a couple of dozen angry residents - I attended because I had objected on behalf of the CTC, but the cycling element was only a small part. The relevant item was reached on the agenda and approved very quickly. There was a rising murmur of anger as it dawned on people what was happening. The Chair announced something on the lines that there were members of the public present who were obviously aggrieved and who deserved an explanation. The explanation was that the majority had voted to accept the reports and the committee was moving onto the next item. It may sometimes be different, especially when a local party is is split, but I think in general, the arguing is done in the caucus, behind closed doors.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Apr 2010, 7:36pm

gaz wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:...As an aside, at some point after my earlier post, that election address was replaced on the CTC Desktop with something else which made no reference to that experience in local govt...


There's still a fair bit in an old 2008 edition of newsnet which also invited members to attend Council Meetings, with no mention of limits, although pre-booking was implied.


Thank's for the link gaz. This is what I see as the relevant bit from David Robinson's column as the then newly elected Chair of Council (with my emphasis.)

... My day job was as a teacher, but that was 11 years ago. Politics has, however, dominated my life and I served for 21 years as a Chester City Councillor and eight years as a Cheshire County Councillor. I almost got elected to parliament too! Cycling has been my passion for 25 years and I became a cycling and sustainable transport advocate within local authorities – though not always successfully.
My principle mode of transport is cycling and that’s where my main interest lies – in promoting cycling and improving conditions for cyclists.
Now I want to use my experience in local government for the benefit of CTC. I am keen to enhance the visibility of the CTC Council and strengthen our relationship with the membership and staff. I want CTC to embrace the full range of cyclists and become the democratic body most cyclists feel is for them. Achieving this is ambitious and perhaps controversial. However, who else but a cycling organisation with 130 years of history should be at the forefront of the cycling movement? ...


My previous reference was to the, now deleted, election address but both pieces were very clear declarations of intent. Politicians are often criticised for not sticking to what they said they would do so we can't really grumble when they do. Of course, there's nothing obvious there about converting to charitable status, where the membership of the CTC would end up with a lot less democratic influence, but I'm sure there's a reason for that.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby patricktaylor » 20 Apr 2010, 8:35pm

thirdcrank wrote:
patricktaylor wrote:...
The debate takes place between the ruling party and the opposition in committee meetings, often in front of the local press ...

I can't claim to have attended a huge number of council meetings ...

I've attended hundreds! I've heard some of interesting debates too. The political caucus you refer to exists within each party, and officers (employees) are not present there, as they are in council meetings to provide information and to advise. Officers are never political, which is why I made the comparison with the CTC, where the officers (staff) are being asked to go political. They are being asked to influence a vote.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby workhard » 20 Apr 2010, 11:05pm

The CTC is a club, the CTC Trust is a charity. Neither is the CTC County Council or other local authority hence the comparison between council officers and ctc staff is not particularly helpful. Local authority staff acting politically is governed by statute law. Laws that were introduced, iirc, to curb, amongst other things, separate loyalties and prejudicial service as covered in the ?widdecombe? Report.

CTC staff are ordinary employees of an ordinary employer and generally the employer has the right to expect that staff will carry out the tasks assigned to them. The alternative is an anarchic workplace.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby irc » 21 Apr 2010, 12:26am

workhard wrote:CTC staff are ordinary employees of an ordinary employer and generally the employer has the right to expect that staff will carry out the tasks assigned to them. The alternative is an anarchic workplace.


But the staff are supposed to work for the members. When there is a debate amongst the members about the future direction of the club it is not the job of employees to push either side of the argument. Let's remind ourselves of what the employees are being asked to do

"You have friends, families, contacts and clubmates who care about cycling and CTC but may not regard voting as relevant to them, it is your job to get them to vote. To avoid complexity they can complete the form with just one tick, giving their proxy to the Chair of the meeting."

How is persuading friends, families, contacts and clubmates to vote a certain way a work related task? I can't think of any other scenario where an employer (other than a political organisation) would expect employees to campaign in this way to swing a vote.

The for camp have had a more than fair say through the magazine and targetted e-mails. They are obviously not confident in the forcve of their arguments being enough when they resort to these measures.
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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby drossall » 21 Apr 2010, 8:16am

I think that's the point. They work for the Council and are directed through the Chief Executive. They don't work for the members in the sense of the members being able to instruct them, and if you can't give staff instructions then they don't meaningfully work for you.

It would be a nightmare if they could, since not all members would want them to follow the same instructions...

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby patricktaylor » 21 Apr 2010, 9:16am

workhard wrote:... CTC staff are ordinary employees of an ordinary employer and generally the employer has the right to expect that staff will carry out the tasks assigned to them. The alternative is an anarchic workplace.

If anything is anarchic it's the campaign. The involvement of staff has made it even more so than it was when the emails began.

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby Ron » 21 Apr 2010, 2:18pm

workhard wrote:Having decided that they want to steer the ship in a particular direction the ships officers (council) have've now issued orders to the crew (staff) to set course for merger. The passengers (us) may not all agree with the ships destination, something or other about icebergs and the crew have been told to articulate support the Captain's decision and persuade disgruntled passengers that the officers know what is best for us. Down in the crews quarters there is talk of mutiny and they've told some of us un steerage that they ain't happy. But the ship sails on.

Amusing analogy, but I would have thought "(us)" would be the owners or at least charterers of the ship, certainly not "passengers". :)

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Re: Email from Peter Hayman to "CTC member in Scotland"

Postby irc » 21 Apr 2010, 2:29pm

drossall wrote:I think that's the point. They work for the Council and are directed through the Chief Executive. They don't work for the members in the sense of the members being able to instruct them, and if you can't give staff instructions then they don't meaningfully work for you.

It would be a nightmare if they could, since not all members would want them to follow the same instructions...


Is it not more like employees of a PLC being told by the Chief Exec to lobby shareholders to vote for a certain motion at the AGM. It wouldn't happen. If I was a shareholder and a company employee told me how to vote I'd be telling them none to politely it was none of their business which way I vote.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?