Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

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hondated
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Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by hondated »

Just sitting looking through Cycling Weekly and read an article about Big Foot C.C which interested me as I use to live not too far away from them. At that time the club never existed and I am pleased to read how successful it is now. Long may that be so.
Now as successful as they are I don't suppose that they have thousands of members like the CTC so its got me wondering how the CTC can offer their members such a significant membership discount.
I know that they state that they have reduced privileges for the reduced cost but is that an option us CTC members we have as well.

http://bigfootcc.co.uk/join-the-club/

I am not looking for an argument but I do want fairness for everyone.
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Si
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by Si »

What they are offering appears to be normal affiliate membership (even though they dress it up as something special). I suspect that affiliated clubs now outnumber Member Groups so we will probably see lots more affiliate members. Affiliate clubs have several advantages over MGs in that there is less red tape and anyone can ride with them, not just CTC members/ CTC affiliate members. However an affiliate group will not receive a payment per member from N.O. as MGs do, and where as affiliate members can ride on MG rides, they can't vote at MG AGMs/EGMs, etc. But they do have 3rd party insurance.

A lot has been said about the charity conversion, certain redundancies, etc etc being the end of the CTC as we know it. In reality it may well be the rise of the affiliates that has most effect on the CTC. If handled correctly this could be a really good thing for both the CTC and cycling in general...however, that's if it is handled correctly. It would be interesting to hear what the grand strategy is concerning affiliates and where N.O. see us being in a few years time.

As to whether it's fair to CTC members....depends which benefits you want and what value you put on them. And, of course, MGs can convert to affiliate groups: see Rob's thread about the HoE.
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hondated
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by hondated »

Si wrote:What they are offering appears to be normal affiliate membership (even though they dress it up as something special). I suspect that affiliated clubs now outnumber Member Groups so we will probably see lots more affiliate members. Affiliate clubs have several advantages over MGs in that there is less red tape and anyone can ride with them, not just CTC members/ CTC affiliate members. However an affiliate group will not receive a payment per member from N.O. as MGs do, and where as affiliate members can ride on MG rides, they can't vote at MG AGMs/EGMs, etc. But they do have 3rd party insurance.

A lot has been said about the charity conversion, certain redundancies, etc etc being the end of the CTC as we know it. In reality it may well be the rise of the affiliates that has most effect on the CTC. If handled correctly this could be a really good thing for both the CTC and cycling in general...however, that's if it is handled correctly. It would be interesting to hear what the grand strategy is concerning affiliates and where N.O. see us being in a few years time.

As to whether it's fair to CTC members....depends which benefits you want and what value you put on them. And, of course, MGs can convert to affiliate groups: see Rob's thread about the HoE.

Thanks Si for such a fulsome reply and I am somewhat wiser now.
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by thirdcrank »

Si wrote: ... they can't vote at MG AGMs/EGMs, etc. But they do have 3rd party insurance. ... As to whether it's fair to CTC members....depends which benefits you want and what value you put on them. ....


Somebody more on the ball than I am - eg gaz - will be able to quote the %age turnout for voting over recent years. Whatever the exact figures, in broad terms it's been tiny. OTOH, who's ever met a CTC member who didn't say "I'm only in it for the insurance"?

Apologies for some pretty selective quoting but those bits are at the heart of this, IMO.
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Si
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by Si »

True, voting at national AGM has been exceeding low, but I assumed that voting at M.G.'s AGMs was somewhat better, leastways, it is at mine.
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by robgul »

I too saw the Bigfoot article in CW this week (although my only reason for buying it was the 4pp preview feature about the Shakespeare AUTUMN 100 sportive at Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 13 September - gratuitous plug as I organise the event!)

Back to Bigfoot - does seem to be a success story on a par with Stourbug in the W Midlands ... have to say I was amused by the "special deal" for CTC Affiliate Membership .. just the standard out of the box price. I was also surprised at the compulsory induction session for members, and the rather draconian messages about non-members only being able to ride if invited by a member.

Whatever, the club has obviously done a lot for cycling ... be interesting to know the % split between the compulsory insurance membership options : BC, CTC & LCC

... and back to Si's comment on CTC HoE - loads of positive stuff from lots of people about our decision to go CTC affiliated

Rob
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by robgul »

Reflecting on the original post on what is in essence "value for money" . . .

Full CTC Membership is £41.50 per year
Concession Full CTC Membership (> 65, <18, unwaged) is £27.00 per year
Affiliate CTC Membership is £18 per year (plus a possible affiliated club individual membership ... CTC HoE's new club will be a nominal £1 until 31 December 2016)

Benefits of membership as listed on the CTC website are below - I have underlined those that I understand Affiliates do not enjoy, and made some comments :

- £10m Third party insurance cover - Protects you on and off-road, including Sportives and Time trialling
- CTC Incident line - Legal team ready to support you in the event of an accident [Most household policies have this sort of cover]
- Campaigning for cycling - CTC fights for local and national cycling issues
- Supporting our cycling projects - Helping to get 1000s of people cycling every year
- Cycling News and features - Award-winning ‘Cycle’ magazine and weekly e-newsletter
- Rides and events - A warm welcome at over 600 Cycling groups and 1000s of cycle events
- Bike and cycling product advice - Reviews, features and advice from everyday cyclists [In the mag, not received, but no longer from the Technical or Touring departments]
- Routes, competitions and ideas to help you get the most from your cycling
- Discounts offered by 100s of cycle and outdoor shops across the country [Most LBS will offer a discount if you just have a bike! The listed CTC Member discounts from nominated suppliers are seldom good value in the marketplace and the CTC shop has disappeared.]
- Access to CTC Cycling Holidays and Tours
- Access to specially tailored cycle theft, and specific cycling travel insurance [The same principles relating to discounts apply here - as numerous threads in this and other for have discussed]

So, to go back to the question on fairness ... it seems that the additional £9 or ££23.50 over the Affiliate rate doesn't actually buy very much.

As the OP, I'm not looking for an argument ... just analysing the facts.

Rob
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by admin »

The problem we have is that cycling is an activity that doesn't need any particular facilities (e.g. swimming pools, air fields, sports centres) and general cycling doesn't need membership for insurance or legal reasons (e.g. time trial association, road racing, track racing). You really don't have to be a member of anything to go cycling on an ordinary bike.

So we don't have any big reason for people wanting to ride a bike to "have to" join CTC. The closest is the rule that you have to be a member to join local CTC group rides: the existence of member groups, and their rides, is perhaps the only strong reason why people feel they have to fork out annual membership. But, as we're seeing, this is resulting in more loosely-affiliated groups forming, whose members are affiliate CTC members who gain most of the benefits for less than half the cost.

Overall this means the CTC has to appeal to its members, so they join because they want to, not because they have to. I joined the CTC because it was "the national touring cycling club" and for the organisation's knowlege of cycle routes, foreign touring information, and technical information. The latter two have now been mostly superseded by the World Wide Web, so the only thing keeping me a member is the feeling that I belong to an important club that has a proud history. If I was less sentimental I should probably have stopped paying the annual subscription some years ago.

CTC is no longer simply a club for cycling enthusiasts, it is now a charity that benefits cyclists in a more general, more vague way. This change will certainly affect who joins, and how they join, in future. I see the "membership" perhaps growing but each member paying less as the benefits of membership become less for each individual. Now CTC is a charity I'd love to see it really expand on the whole "Space for Cycling" campaign, and start to really appeal to ordinary people who aren't cyclists but who would like to feel safe using bicycles for local transport. The question is how to persuade those people to donate enough to keep CTC's work going. We're now effectively competing with Sustrans for supporters.
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by thirdcrank »

admin wrote:... cycling is an activity that doesn't need any particular facilities ...


Quite - to the extent that those we do get are dismissed as "farcilities" by many of us.

At broadly the same time as the charity conversion saga (I use that word because it was a long time in coming and is still being argued by some) the CTC has gone from being seen above as the campaigner for cyclists' right to ride on the road, to something else which is not really clear. Sustrans is seen as synonymous with segregation and British Cycling has a much higher public profile with just about everything else.

Associate membership may become something of a financial lifeline, as others have implied without using the same words: keep the funds coming in from those cyclists who wish to be part of a club. (And only keep up their membership for the insurance.)
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Si
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by Si »

cycling is an activity that doesn't need any particular facilities


I don't think that it is as straight forward as this, although I may be biased by the places I work and people I work with.

For the keen cyclists / club cyclist / hipster / etc the statement is broadly true but for a lot of people who have traditionally felt excluded from cycling it isn't. Their approach to cycling can be much more like going to a local leisure centre to do an activity...they may not have their own bike, know where to ride, etc so they want to be given the kit and looked after. The problem for the CTC is that these people won't join because of the price and because the image that the CTC projects (real cyclists) is alien to them. They may well, however, join an affiliate if it is portraying cycling as something that 'normal' people like them can do and shows them how to get started, lends them the kit, etc.

The keen cyclists / club cyclist / hipster / etc will always be a small minority. If the CTC wants to crack cycling for the masses it is the non-"keen cyclist" that it needs to target. If, on the other hand, it just wants to look after tourers, then it needs to show them that it has something to offer because it won't last long otherwise.
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

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thirdcrank wrote:Somebody more on the ball than I am - eg gaz - will be able to quote the %age turnout for voting over recent years.

My past calculations of turnout on AGM voting were somewhere around the dizzy heights of 6% at some point in the charity saga when a Goretx jacket was on offer, 2-3% is more common. It is worth noting that when I've calculated such figures it has been on a very simplistic basis of number of votes cast as a percentage of the total membership. The total membership includes affiliated members who cannot vote.

Si wrote:True, voting at national AGM has been exceeding low, but I assumed that voting at M.G.'s AGMs was somewhat better, leastways, it is at mine.

Which comes as a bit of a surprise from where I'm sitting as the current version of the Member Group Handbook allows any full CTC member to attend and vote at any MG AGM :wink:. There are many different types of MG and I only have any first hand experience of the geographic (DA) variety. It's some considerable time since I last dabbled in local CTC politics but AGM turnouts around the 2% mark (of geographic CTC membership, not the DA's active participating membership) were not uncommon.

robgul wrote:... and back to Si's comment on CTC HoE - loads of positive stuff from lots of people about our decision to go CTC affiliated


And if the Special General Meeting on 23 September decides not to wind up the MG .... ? :wink:
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by gaz »

admin wrote:We're now effectively competing with Sustrans for supporters.

Not just for supporters.

One of the local councils with whom I have some loose connections put out a tender for a "cycling promotion" scheme. When I was asked who might be approached to "bid" both CTC and Sustrans came to mind.
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by thirdcrank »

gaz wrote: ... The total membership includes affiliated members who cannot vote. ...


As well as coming up with the goods on the AGM figures etc :D this is a member benefit which isn't mentioned in robgul's detailed list, presumably because it's not listed on the CTC www. How much do people value this? Arguably, not much if many people who have stumped up for full membership do not use their votes. Nothing unusual in that in many organisations.

Reflecting on robgul's list and his comments:-

Re the CTC Accident Line, it offers representation to obtain compo on a "no win, no fee" basis. I think we've established before that the same hopefully high standard of legal service is offered by Slater and Gordon to anybody who approaches them. The benefit to (full) CTC members is that the CTC has a collective conditional fee agreement with this company. No win, no fee normally involves the client paying money upfront to buy after the event (ATE) insurance to provide indemnity against the risk of losing the case and becoming liable for both sides' costs. The CTC's agreement takes care of that on behalf of the member.
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by Si »

Which comes as a bit of a surprise from where I'm sitting as the current version of the Member Group Handbook allows any full CTC member to attend and vote at any MG AGM :wink:. There are many different types of MG and I only have any first hand experience of the geographic (DA) variety. It's some considerable time since I last dabbled in local CTC politics but AGM turnouts around the 2% mark (of geographic CTC membership, not the DA's active participating membership) were not uncommon.


I tend to view an MG as the people who actually ride with it rather than the people just in that area. Of the (few) MGs that I know they seem to calculate their membership in this way too. Although how often you have to ride with the group to be counted as a 'member'...who knows?
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Re: Is this correct and fair to CTC members !

Post by robgul »

Si wrote:
Which comes as a bit of a surprise from where I'm sitting as the current version of the Member Group Handbook allows any full CTC member to attend and vote at any MG AGM :wink:. There are many different types of MG and I only have any first hand experience of the geographic (DA) variety. It's some considerable time since I last dabbled in local CTC politics but AGM turnouts around the 2% mark (of geographic CTC membership, not the DA's active participating membership) were not uncommon.


I tend to view an MG as the people who actually ride with it rather than the people just in that area. Of the (few) MGs that I know they seem to calculate their membership in this way too. Although how often you have to ride with the group to be counted as a 'member'...who knows?


Indeed CTC HoE MG has around 1,100 "members" listed in the report that the Secretary receives from time for the defined catchment area postcodes - reality is that we have around 40/45 riders, of whom about 25/30 might be described as "regulars" (and about 6 of those don't live in the catchment - I'm one of those)

... and the comment up-thread about the CTC HoE SGM motion being lost . . . . there is a Plan B :wink: (and don't ask what it is . . . 'cos we're not saying 8) )

Rob
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