Another British Horse Society c**k-up

PAK

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7 December 2018
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275
I'm just a member. I had an e-mail this afternoon.
"Just a member" is what the BHS used to be all about. It was a grass roots (pun intended) organisation, well established locally, with a minimal regional and national hierarchy. The previous CEO who "left suddenly" started this kingdom building pattern with the new HQ and the current CEO, who leapt into the gap from the Chair, has galloped in the same direction by way of China!
 

PAK

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275
Here you go -
General Meeting - 5 January 2019



Dear Member,

The British Horse Society is a growing and evolving organisation. The Society’s membership, and also the public, expects The British Horse Society to demonstrate that they are a modern and forward thinking organisation that exists to fulfil the charity’s purpose.

In order to fulfil these expectations, and also to ensure compliance with the Charity Governance Code, the Board of Trustees is proposing changes to the Society’s constitution. These proposed changes focus on three key areas; the way in which Trustees join the Board, the way in which the Chair is appointed and the number of members required to call a General Meeting.

The effective governance of The British Horse Society is reliant upon all Trustees having the appropriate skills and knowledge, not only of the charity, but also the wider environment in which the Society operates. It is essential for the Board to stay informed and responsive and to navigate the complex and fast-paced challenges facing charities.

The suggested proposed changes to the Constitution demonstrate that the British Horse Society is addressing the requirements for Trustee recruitment, which will ensure the ongoing effective governance of the Society.

Resources & Downloads

The links below will take you to documents which will explain more about the proposed changes to the constitution and how you can vote at the forthcoming General Meeting.
The documents are also available to download via our website.
Further information on charity governance

If you would like to attend the General Meeting or have any further queries please email generalmeeting@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840500.

Kind regards,
The British Horse Society

Tel: 02476 840500
Email: generalmeeting@bhs.org.uk
Address:
Abbey Park, Stareton, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ
 

Reacher

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24 February 2010
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1,054
Yes I have one now. I did ask a question earlier today about whether we should send our proxy form in two directions as I don't trust anyone in BHS any more if they see an against vote.
I emailed scanned proxy gorm to bhs and said I was sending it to my proxy also. I received confirmation email that they had registered my vote to my named proxy.
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
Lol, and while they are talking about membership, as I understand it, only Gold Members CAN vote. SO, is the membership number claimed TOTAL membership - or just the Gold - voting - members?? Making the number too hign just makes it virtually impossible for members to request an AGM - given as it has to be ONE document signed by the membership calling for the meeting. How the hell do you get the same document to - say - 200 members to be signed, unless you set up a stand at a BIG show!
Yes it will almost impossible to trigger an EGM. And the requirement for AGMs was removed in 2009.
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
I got an email too, but nothing in it, completely blank (yes I double checked on my tablet too) just the subject that said agm and date.
Can anyone copy to here please?
General Meeting - 5 January 2019



Dear Member,

The British Horse Society is a growing and evolving organisation. The Society’s membership, and also the public, expects The British Horse Society to demonstrate that they are a modern and forward thinking organisation that exists to fulfil the charity’s purpose.

In order to fulfil these expectations, and also to ensure compliance with the Charity Governance Code, the Board of Trustees is proposing changes to the Society’s constitution. These proposed changes focus on three key areas; the way in which Trustees join the Board, the way in which the Chair is appointed and the number of members required to call a General Meeting.

The effective governance of The British Horse Society is reliant upon all Trustees having the appropriate skills and knowledge, not only of the charity, but also the wider environment in which the Society operates. It is essential for the Board to stay informed and responsive and to navigate the complex and fast-paced challenges facing charities.

The suggested proposed changes to the Constitution demonstrate that the British Horse Society is addressing the requirements for Trustee recruitment, which will ensure the ongoing effective governance of the Society.

Resources & Downloads

The links below will take you to documents which will explain more about the proposed changes to the constitution and how you can vote at the forthcoming General Meeting.
The documents are also available to download via our website.
Further information on charity governance

If you would like to attend the General Meeting or have any further queries please email generalmeeting@bhs.org.uk or call 02476 840500.

Kind regards,
The British Horse Society

Tel: 02476 840500
Email: generalmeeting@bhs.org.uk
Address:
Abbey Park, Stareton, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2XZ
 

JanetGeorge

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Joined
25 June 2001
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Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
Could anyone give me the link for information about the meeting. I have looked on the website and I can not find it.
lol, and it's not surprising you couldn't at the time because it wasn't put up until the 4th of December - once they realised a storm was brewing and they'd better cover their collective a*se.
 

Velcrobum

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Joined
17 October 2016
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801
D

Doesn’t that demonstrate that they are listening to members and responding appropriately - even when some of the vitriol directed against them on this forum hasn’t looked appropriate?
The members should not have to make a fuss about something the board should have been far more transparent about!
 

JanetGeorge

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Shropshire/Worcs. borders
D

Doesn’t that demonstrate that they are listening to members and responding appropriately - even when some of the vitriol directed against them on this forum hasn’t looked appropriate?
Believe me, I have LOTS more I could have put up here that that really WOULD appear to be vitriolic - sadly, it WOULD be justified. They have known this thread has been running since late September - it took 6 weeks for them to realise they HAD to be more open. I suspect that if they hadn't finally come out, there would be grounds for a Judicial Review.
 

View

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exiled Glaswegian
Well I have sent my proxy form in by email, and received confirmation that it has been assigned as requested.

Thank you to everyone for rattling cages and bringing this out into the open.
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
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275
D

Doesn’t that demonstrate that they are listening to members and responding appropriately - even when some of the vitriol directed against them on this forum hasn’t looked appropriate?
For a sample- read info in the public domain - the Sheila Hardy vs BHS employment tribunal
 

honetpot

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Location
Cambridgeshire
D

Doesn’t that demonstrate that they are listening to members and responding appropriately - even when some of the vitriol directed against them on this forum hasn’t looked appropriate?
Have you read this thread from the start?

They didn't fully inform members of the vote, it was about 2inches in British Horse, which would cost about £150 in advertising space. ( this has just given me an idea)
There was no information on the website, until the 4/10
There was no information on the BHS facebook page.
So when people finally realised the very small envelope hidden between the rest of the mailshot that was actually important, what information was given to inform people about the reason for the changes? None.
FAQ's have now been put on the website, on the 11/12. They raise more questions than they answer.

Most of the BHS's income comes from their members, whether you support how it is run or not, members should be kept fully informed of proposed changes, not through a last minute mailing, for a vote after Christmas. The fact this actually complies with a previous change is actually disgraceful, so apart from not emailing people where they have email addresses on file they have not broke their rules.
So everyone ring and give them your email address, so they haven't got that excuse.

There is no longer a AGM, so being able to call an EGM is the only way members will get the opportunity to voice their opinions. This is going to be made more difficult to call, in fact it does not even seem clear cut how many members will be need. Will it be a % of voting members, or the total membership.

This whole fiasco shows a lack of respect for members who provide most of the societies income and in turn employees salaries. The membership is what makes up the society and the intension seems to be to further disenfranchise it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
26 September 2018
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Very well said Honetpot

To add to this
1. No one knows the true total membership figure. Various numbers are banded around but with an unreliable membership database (which has cost the British Horse Society over £1million so far and with rumours it will cost over £1million to fix), how will members ever know how many votes they need? They are making this an impossible task to ever call an EGM. As the 'live' membership figure is never released in a timely manner, even if we think we have enough votes, you can be sure that the BHS will 'find' additional membership figures to make the % unattainable.
2. These days the biggest cost with any membership magazine is postage. By having the announcement intentionally as an insert would have added additional weight to the mailing (instead of using the already budgeted for magazine pages). Then of course you have the additional print costs of the insert and where applicable design costs too. If this was just for one person the cost would be minimal. However when you're posting out to approx 100,000 members, the additional cost will be significantly more than £150. This yet again demonstrates the charity's inability to use members' donations wisely. When is the BHS going to start spending our donations and income from our membership on horse welfare?
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
Very well said Honetpot

To add to this
1. No one knows the true total membership figure. Various numbers are banded around but with an unreliable membership database (which has cost the British Horse Society over £1million so far and with rumours it will cost over £1million to fix), how will members ever know how many votes they need? They are making this an impossible task to ever call an EGM. As the 'live' membership figure is never released in a timely manner, even if we think we have enough votes, you can be sure that the BHS will 'find' additional membership figures to make the % unattainable.
2. These days the biggest cost with any membership magazine is postage. By having the announcement intentionally as an insert would have added additional weight to the mailing (instead of using the already budgeted for magazine pages). Then of course you have the additional print costs of the insert and where applicable design costs too. If this was just for one person the cost would be minimal. However when you're posting out to approx 100,000 members, the additional cost will be significantly more than £150. This yet again demonstrates the charity's inability to use members' donations wisely. When is the BHS going to start spending our donations and income from our membership on horse welfare?
That is the central question. And one the Charities Commission is most interested in! We need to ask it in a concerted voice. I filed a complaint in Scotland yesterday. Someone needs to take up this effort for England and Wales & Northern Ireland. And Ireland too.
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
Messages
275
As they say, it's "throwback thursday". Here's a letter I wrote in 2014 on behalf of the BHS Ayrshire Committee. Sound familiar! And in response to this letter, I have a very interesting tape & transcript of the voice mail I received. The "caller" thought to have ended the call but it was still live & recorded onto my answering machine. Reported to the Chair and nothing happened!
 

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honetpot

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Cambridgeshire
Oh dear.
It’s clear from this that the change in the ‘ business model’ has been going on for a long time.
If it’s to be a business and we members are to be customers, with no say in the running of the BHS, the product is something we no longer have to buy.
If you want welfare there are other charities and some will also provide insurance.
If you want training there are other providers in the market.
There USP has gone, the only thing that was left was the fact that groups of like minded people, often with great experience could work together towards a common cause. This part seems to be being systematically dismantled.
The central office was the thing that was supposed to hold the strands together, and provide support, now in appears just to want the money but and be left to spend it as it sees fit. What resources it has have not been used to communicate with members in an effective informative even handed way.
We will have no say.
So vote against the changes and see if we can get our voices heard. Use it or lose.
 

PAK

Active Member
Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
Oh dear.
It’s clear from this that the change in the ‘ business model’ has been going on for a long time.
If it’s to be a business and we members are to be customers, with no say in the running of the BHS, the product is something we no longer have to buy.
If you want welfare there are other charities and some will also provide insurance.
If you want training there are other providers in the market.
There USP has gone, the only thing that was left was the fact that groups of like minded people, often with great experience could work together towards a common cause. This part seems to be being systematically dismantled.
The central office was the thing that was supposed to hold the strands together, and provide support, now in appears just to want the money but and be left to spend it as it sees fit. What resources it has have not been used to communicate with members in an effective informative even handed way.
We will have no say.
So vote against the changes and see if we can get our voices heard. Use it or lose.
Well said. If we can not turn this around now, I will not be continuing as a member as I have done for more than 30 years.
 
Joined
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836
I stopped being a BHS member a couple of years ago, I always supposed it was a good organisation with commendable aims. I am shocked to hear what has been happening behind the scenes and how good, hard working staff have been treated.

Even though I won't be there voting with you, I wish you all success in voicing the concerns of members and getting things back on track

It sounds like the types of shareholder revolts that make the headlines in the city!
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
I stopped being a BHS member a couple of years ago, I always supposed it was a good organisation with commendable aims. I am shocked to hear what has been happening behind the scenes and how good, hard working staff have been treated.

Even though I won't be there voting with you, I wish you all success in voicing the concerns of members and getting things back on track

It sounds like the types of shareholder revolts that make the headlines in the city!
Thank you. In my opinion, you are spot on. It is a shareholder revolt. Let's find a way to get some media attention! H&H might be coming to the meeting.
 
Joined
23 October 2018
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To save me trawling through this thread could someone please post Duncan Snook's email address.
I'm not sure if anyone in the Isle of Man received the email as I certainly didn't. BHS IOM is redundant!
 

honetpot

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Cambridgeshire
Well I am amazed, another email from the BHS actually asking us to vote and a link to request a new voting form. Which is great.
It’s just unfortunate it’s so late and unfortunately does not explain the issues behind the need for the changes, if there are any.
 
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