Thanks to everyone who voted and replied to this thread. The comments were enlightening and can be broadly summarised as follows.
• Those who agreed with the proposition that joint/family members are full members and should therefore receive a membership card by default. This is the model adopted by the National Trust and other charity organisations.
• Those who suggested that the terms of the joint/family membership were clear and fair, specifying that only the principle signatory had the right to get a card by default.
• Others raised the question of how much the CTC saved by only sending out a single card by default. Was the money saved on a joint family membership (£60) vs 2 single memberships (2 x £43 = £86) reliant on the saving of the issuing of a membership card(s) to be viable?
• It was suggested that the joint/family membership was inappropriate in this day and age and only single memberships should be available.
• Some people took disagreed strongly with the proposition that the policy of only sending out a card to the principal signatory might be discriminatory against women, either intentionally or unintentionally. The initial proposition was based on the idea that men are considerably more likely to cycle than women and are thus more likely to be the principal signatory in a joint/family application; ergo, their predominantly female partners will disproportionately receive fewer membership cards by default. The point was made that it is up to the couple to decide who makes the application.
• Arguably the most telling comment is the actual poll voting, as of the 4th August, standing at 27 to 2 for the proposition that all full members should receive cards.
The question of joint cost is worth considering here further. A joint/family application with 2 members is £26 cheaper than 2 single memberships. There are 6 magazines a year at a cover price of £18 (6 x £3) with second class postage at about £7.20 (6 x large letter second class). This sums to £25.20, just under the saving on the joint membership. If the CTC are holding back on issuing additional cards by default for the sake of the £0.80 difference, then they could consider looking at the price of the joint membership. If cards could be given to everyone paying £60.80 for a joint membership, who would complain?
There is also another issue here, and that is on membership numbers. As a political organisation the CTC wants membership numbers as large as possible. I strongly suspect that they have made the joint/family membership price relatively low to encourage joint applications. You can imagine the scenario in many households, “I am joining the CTC, oh look you can join (and the kids) as well for only an additional £17
”. Every single name on the joint application will be claimed by the CTC as a full member and membership numbers mean political clout (as well as the additional £17). The cheaper joint/family membership is very much in the CTC's interest.
In conclusion, it seems that members of this forum broadly agree (strongly agree on the poll) with proposition that every full member should get a membership card by right. We shall use the complaints procedure highlighted to us by gaz to take this up with the CTC quoting this thread.
Thanks again to all for your time.