Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

SA_SA_SA
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Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby SA_SA_SA » 2 Aug 2016, 11:40am

Cycling-UKs penchant for soft projects (and perhaps viewing them as a source of income) seems risky to me: an unnecessary distraction from campaigning IMO. A conflict between keeping supplier of bids happy and campaigning goals? etc etc....

If such soft projects are not be avoided in future, could creating a new separate organisation to run them (indepentantly bidding for them, feeding no money back to main organisation avoid this)?
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Philip Benstead
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Re: Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby Philip Benstead » 3 Aug 2016, 9:31am

We had that in the recent past it was called

Cyclists' Touring Club and the CTC Charity
Philip Benstead | Life Member Former CTC Councillor/Trustee
Organizing events and representing cyclist in southeast since 1988
Bikeability Instructor/Mechanic

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Re: Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby Bez » 3 Aug 2016, 2:18pm

How would you define "soft"in this context and what campaigning goals are the ones you have in mind as needing protection?

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Re: Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby SA_SA_SA » 3 Aug 2016, 6:05pm

Philip Benstead wrote:We had that in the recent past it was called
Cyclists' Touring Club and the CTC Charity

But now we don't :( so some separation needed again IMO

Bez wrote:How would you define "soft"in this context and what campaigning goals are the ones you have in mind as needing protection?

The big bike revival seems a good example of a soft project.

As for campaigning goals: all of them surely need such protection (I don't count soft projects (ie requiring physical implementation by C-UK staff etc) as campaign goals)?
i,e, just the usual political/law campaign stuff (which must not be influenced by what the government wants)....
Vehicle law
Highway code stuff
Driving standards stuff

calling for the implementation of nice cyclist-only B/C roads/network (>=4m wide) (called cycle ways by other persons I think :) ), minimum legal build and maintenance standards for such paths etc

for 70mph dual carriageways built like motorways (eg more than 2 lanes per direction / motorway-style sliproad designs etc) to either be made into motorways (and thus invoke the current legal requirement for alternate routes) or to be tamed by having a speedlimit no higher than 60mph and slip roads to be tamed/removed etc, 2 normal lanes in each direction max, possibly reminders than slow vehicles/pedestrians will be present (the latter option doesn't of coarse preclude nice cycle alternatives being built).

retaining the right to use non-motorway roads (in case the dreamed of nice cycle-only alternatives are temporarily blocked/unsafe and, as principle, because otherwise I view it as theft by bullying/poor driving and that should not be rewarded). And once given away, hard to regain.

etc etc etc .
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Si
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Re: Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby Si » 3 Aug 2016, 6:30pm

In a certain city, not far from here, quite a lot is being done to promote cycling and it's drawing interest from a number of other cities and government bodies. It's trying to attack low levels of cycling in a holistic way rather than just a build it and they will come approach.

Until now Cycling UK has been rather conspicuous by its absence. sustrans has been heavily involved and British Cycling is now playing a lead role in part of it with a new form of cycle training/promotion (which seems to have really impressed SE and is in danger of being rolled out to other towns now). BC is very much doing what one might have thought that CTC/Sustrans would have done in the past....going into areas where cycling is rare and health is poor and getting bums on saddles. This enhances BC's reputation both locally (it was on the local BBC news the other evening) and further a field, thus giving it more political clout, and making it appear to be the organisation for normal people who just want to ride bikes. It's very much a soft project: it doesn't involve building infrastructure or changing laws, but it does get people cycling. And the project is costing BC very very little. It has not prostituted BC and made them dance to the government's song - the people supplying the funding are only interested in the success of the project itself.....no one has said "we are only going to continue to fund the project if you stop Chris Boardman complaining about crap infrastructure".

Cycling UK's aim now seems to be to open cycling to all parts of society rather than just producing more mamils. It ain't doing it here. However, it's just appointed a new person to work generating new Affiliate Groups in the city, and going into these hard to reach parts of society to get bums on saddles. And the more people on bikes, the greater the political will to build good infra' and to improve conditions for cyclists. It's noticeable, looking at the meetings of the local councils across the city...those with lots of cyclists in their areas are a lot more pro-cyclist than those with not many.....this should be fairly obvious but many seem to miss the fact that politicians tend to do stuff that wins votes, and if a lot of your local voters cycle then guess how you make them happy?

Thus 'soft' projects are important and being involved in them is beneficial to cycling in general and to the organisation that is getting involved.


Sorry, rambling, too much coffee, what was the question? And was there an answer in there somewhere?

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Re: Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby SA_SA_SA » 3 Aug 2016, 7:13pm

I am not a MAMIL! (a MAMNIL perhaps? :) ).

I am just suggesting separation between gov funded parts and non gov funded parts.
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Si
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Re: Soft projects: ringfence in new organation to avoid contamination

Postby Si » 3 Aug 2016, 8:29pm

Well, there has to be a bit of separation between different spheres of work just so that it's all easier to manage, and so that specific expertise is deployed where necessary. But I don't think that separation is necessary due to fears that using government money for a particular project would jeopardise the organisation's ability to confront government in other areas, or fears that that project may drag another down financially.....funding would be naturally separated and need to be closely monitored with strict expenditure monitoring anyway....you can't just say to someone like SE: "give us £5m and we'll do some cycling stuff", rather you need to specify exactly what you are going to do with it, where it's all going to be spent, what the return will be and how it will be monitored, all before the get-go. And then you'll have to report back where it's all gone and what the results were.

In the examples I have given, a similar process is followed, this includes staff costs so we shouldn't see staff from one project being pulled from another to plug gaps as that would be reflected in project funding reports and the funders would be seriously concerned. In the BC project I mentioned, all the delivery staff have been recruited specifically for the project and are paid out of the project's funding. If they did another similar 'soft' project then all costs would come from the new project's funding and any sharing of staff or resources would need that new project to pay for its share. So in a way these things naturally ring fence themselves as the money doesn't come from a big pot, rather it is injected in a series of project specific lumps.

Assuming that everything runs by the book and as planned.