No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

TonyR
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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby TonyR » 6 Oct 2015, 7:12am

I wonder how the National Trust gets round it? I get all sorts of benefits from my membership that must add up to more than 25% of my membership fee - free parking and entry at National Trust properties, free National Trust magazines worth £12 (20% of the membership fee) and reciprocal entry rights at many overseas properties.

Psamathe
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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby Psamathe » 6 Oct 2015, 10:03am

drossall wrote:Yes, for charities that are membership organisations, the money provided by members has to be a genuine donation to qualify for Gift Aid. If you're getting a service in return, it's not a donation. 25% is, I think, a rule of thumb because members often get some kind of benefit, and because there's nothing wrong in principle with asking people to join in order to receive the organisation's services. However, there needs to be a distinction between charitable donations and payments for service.

I've never tried it but if you tried to buy 3rd party insurance cover for cycling I can't see it costing less that £25 (if only to cover the quote/admin/policy management costs for the insurance company). So it strikes me that to achieve the 25% needed for Gift Aid CTC may have to cut member benefits to the extent that they would lose a lot of their membership - I'd guess to the extent that the membership income loss may easily exceed the Gift aid gain.

But with membership loss so the CTC also loses credibility and "voice" - i.e. if it had only 10 members but they were very wealthy and happy to pay for the entirety of the CTC, the CTC could not have the same claims to represent the interests of a particular type of cyclist. At the moment they have some claims to represent a particular sector of the cycling community (though BC seem to have claimed a lot of that when it comes to public prominence). Lose too many members (or even have a membership in decline beyond natural variation) and you lose that voice. Which is one reason why their handling of the Technical Officer changes shows extreme poor management that should have resulted in those responsible seeking employment elsewhere. They unnecessarily created something that tarnished their reputation and will have allowed competitor organisations to gain broader hold.

Ian

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby drossall » 6 Oct 2015, 11:21pm

TonyR wrote:I wonder how the National Trust gets round it? I get all sorts of benefits from my membership that must add up to more than 25% of my membership fee - free parking and entry at National Trust properties, free National Trust magazines worth £12 (20% of the membership fee) and reciprocal entry rights at many overseas properties.

I think it's probably more complex in reality than my simplistic statement, but the principle applies. It's always more complex when you try to apply such principles to reality.

Here's an interesting NT page about entrance fees, for example. In essence it say that, if you give them a bit extra as a donation, they can claim Gift Aid on the whole payment. If that seems odd, it's hardly their fault. Presumably HMRC believe that that is the best interpretation of Parliament's intention.

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby SA_SA_SA » 11 Oct 2015, 6:01pm

TonyR wrote:How many members does the CTC have? 60, 70,000? And they can't even muster two or three technical enquiries from them? Given that its very unlikely most will be aware of the change and its possible implications, it points very much more to the interest in technical enquiries drying up rather than people thinking its not worth sending them in any more. And given there are plenty of forum and web resources where you can get instant gratification on your question, its not really surprising.


Alternatively, more people will know CJ is gone now surely, those asking would be more likely to know surely, and perhaps don't see the point of asking the new part time columnist in Cycle.

Why would Cycle magazine only start raiding the forum after CJ left if there weren't enough Q&As when he was there?

Surely its the head office's job to defend themselves with truthful actual figures, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...
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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby admin » 14 Oct 2015, 10:41am

TonyR wrote:I wonder how the National Trust gets round it? I get all sorts of benefits from my membership that must add up to more than 25% of my membership fee - free parking and entry at National Trust properties, free National Trust magazines worth £12 (20% of the membership fee) and reciprocal entry rights at many overseas properties.


I think that's because providing free parking and free entry to National Trust properties doesn't cost the National Trust anything. So while you benefit, there is no cost to the charity: your membership fee / donation is directed mostly towards charitable spending (such as maintaining properties and paying staff to do so).

While for CTC, employing people to provide services to members only (e.g. a Technical Officer, or a Touring Advisor) is a cost to the charity for providing a member-only benefit. A technical officer would be legitimate spending of charitable donations only if their advice was made available to anyone, member or not. Or if the cost to the charity of providing the member services was very low or free.

I could be wrong. It's perhaps more likely that the rules are so vague that it's more about getting the correct phrasing when talking to HMRC about Gift Aid, or having the right contacts or influence at a senior level...

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby PH » 14 Oct 2015, 11:31am

There may also be some historical element, I know they tightened up a lot of the rules in the last few years, maybe those that had Gift Aid status before this kept it whereas new charities applying for it were refused. Admins point about it having a cost or not may play a part, but the magazine is being counted at it’s value (£18pa) rather than it’s cost which I understand is around £3 to £4.
Either way, it was publicised by those opposed to the charity conversion that the Gift Aid wouldn't be forthcoming at the same time as NO were claiming it as a major advantage. For anyone who thinks this is off topic, do the sums and think how many staff could be employed if the membership fees were eligible

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby Psamathe » 14 Oct 2015, 11:48am

I think the Gift Aid aspect to CTC getting rid of their Technical Officer is probably something of a side issue. If you pro-rata the portion of Technical Officers time spent on helping only members (assuming he refused to help any non-members), then I doubt it would impact the Gift Aid calculation significantly.

But far more significant is that the organisation had a capable, knowledgable employee who knew the industry and cycling community and was highly respected by the industry and cycling community. If an organisation cannot make effective use of such a person where his skills are highly relevant to the organisation's work then it is a complete management failure.

In my business days we had capable people and as the business developed so they were no longer needed in their role. But we never even considered redundancies but migrated their role. For example, we had a very skilled Technical Support person who over time did not have enough support work to full his time. So we gradually broadened his role and then, once he had demonstrated he could take on the new responsibilities moved him across to sales - all done in an open manner, discussing changes with him and having full agreement on those changes (and never mentioning/threatening/etc. anything about redundancy). And the knowledge he had acquired in his technical role helped massively in his subsequent sales role - so his skills were being fully utilised. Just a matter of asking, discussing, etc.

So to my mind the CTC has demonstrated a big management failure over this issue.

Ian

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby PH » 14 Oct 2015, 12:15pm

Psamathe wrote:I think the Gift Aid aspect to CTC getting rid of their Technical Officer is probably something of a side issue. If you pro-rata the portion of Technical Officers time spent on helping only members (assuming he refused to help any non-members), then I doubt it would impact the Gift Aid calculation significantly.


I agree that the role of Technical Officer wouldn't have been seen as a member benefit, and as the member benefits are such that Gift Aid is so unlikely anyway it wouldn't have made any difference. But the redundancies were presented as a cost saving measure, with the money needed for other functions, so it's relevant to ask if the GA had materialised as promised would such cost savings have been needed?

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby mjr » 14 Oct 2015, 1:40pm

admin wrote:I think that's because providing free parking and free entry to National Trust properties doesn't cost the National Trust anything. So while you benefit, there is no cost to the charity: your membership fee / donation is directed mostly towards charitable spending (such as maintaining properties and paying staff to do so).

Providing car parking costs money. It might not be enough to cause the NT a problem, though.
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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby PH » 14 Oct 2015, 7:20pm

mjr wrote:
admin wrote:I think that's because providing free parking and free entry to National Trust properties doesn't cost the National Trust anything. So while you benefit, there is no cost to the charity: your membership fee / donation is directed mostly towards charitable spending (such as maintaining properties and paying staff to do so).

Providing car parking costs money. It might not be enough to cause the NT a problem, though.


Good point, I suppose that even if someone gets more than 25% benefit, it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone does so maybe the average is less than that.

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby admin » 23 Oct 2015, 6:01pm

mjr wrote:Providing car parking costs money. It might not be enough to cause the NT a problem, though.


Yes, but the car parking is available to members and to the general public. Allowing members to park for free doesn't cost the trust anything more than lost parking fees, given that the car park already exists and is already maintained for the public to use.

A members-only car park would be different, as that would cost money to provide and would be a member benefit not available to the general public.

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CJ Back? (or not :( )

Postby AlaninWales » 9 Dec 2015, 2:17pm

Looks like CJ is not so dispensable after all! On 9 Dec 2015 http://www.ctc.org.uk/cycle/lighting-uptime
9 December: A guide to cycling lights
Winter: time to plug in those rechargeables or check out your dynamo setup. Chris Juden presents a guide to lighting and the law.

It’s that time of year again – and a long time since 2002, when Cycle magazine last tackled this subject in its entirety. A lot has changed.

It certainly has! But technical advice to the members is still necessary, nice to see The Management have recognised this. If perhaps not a permanent return then some freelance article?
Oh...
This was first published in the October / November 2014 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine.

I guess there has been no technical progress or legal change in the last year or so ... and none is ever anticipated.

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Re: CJ Back? (or not :( )

Postby TonyR » 9 Dec 2015, 3:19pm

AlaninWales wrote:Looks like CJ is not so dispensable after all! On 9 Dec 2015 http://www.ctc.org.uk/cycle/lighting-uptime
9 December: A guide to cycling lights
Winter: time to plug in those rechargeables or check out your dynamo setup. Chris Juden presents a guide to lighting and the law.

It’s that time of year again – and a long time since 2002, when Cycle magazine last tackled this subject in its entirety. A lot has changed.

It certainly has! But technical advice to the members is still necessary, nice to see The Management have recognised this. If perhaps not a permanent return then some freelance article?
Oh...
This was first published in the October / November 2014 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine.

I guess there has been no technical progress or legal change in the last year or so ... and none is ever anticipated.


Do you know if that is a newly commissioned piece or just a piece that has been in the pipeline for an issue since before That Day?

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Re: No more CTC technical officer ** NO HOAX **

Postby AlaninWales » 9 Dec 2015, 3:56pm

Well it says "This was first published in the October / November 2014 edition of CTC's Cycle magazine." so it appears to be regurgitated

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Re: CJ Back? (or not :( )

Postby CJ » 14 Dec 2015, 8:18pm

TonyR wrote:
AlaninWales wrote:Looks like CJ is not so dispensable after all! On 9 Dec 2015 http://www.ctc.org.uk/cycle/lighting-uptime
9 December: A guide to cycling lights


Do you know if that is a newly commissioned piece or just a piece that has been in the pipeline for an issue since before That Day?

It's old and regurgitated. But what do you care?

TonyR wrote:Does it bother me that the equipment reviews in the magazine might not be as thorough? Not really because there are plenty of other places to go...

And from what I hear on the grapevine about declining membership (I mean REAL members, the ones who pay the bills, not the loss-leader affiliate so-called members), it seems that when people have to go those other places, they really go!
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