Another British Horse Society c**k-up

PAK

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Violettears - and others - Asking questions & showing an active interest, in my opinion, is a right and a responsibility of members. It should be welcomed.
 

JanetGeorge

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A friend of mine was at the meeting and told me that it was just a few individuals who had a personal agenda. It’s got far too personal if you ask me. Come on you lot, there are over 100,000 members allegedly, that’s a lot of horsey people who think bhs do good!
Lol, I think your friend was listening to LP twitching! The BHS Members Group was strated on FB on Monday - it has over 160 members already and at LEAST 95% have answered the question: "Are you concerned about the management of the BHS?" have answered yes - and many elaborated further.
 

onemoretime

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Lol, I think your friend was listening to LP twitching! The BHS Members Group was strated on FB on Monday - it has over 160 members already and at LEAST 95% have answered the question: "Are you concerned about the management of the BHS?" have answered yes - and many elaborated further.
totally agree Janet. There are a lot of reasons for members to be concerned about. Not least the cavalier attitude with members money!
 
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I wish it could be confirmed that there are 100,000 members or whether figures are being massaged like the accounts! The mere fact that accounts not discussed at such an important meeting is surely not legal, how on earth are members to know what is truth and what is not. Never ever known anything like this situation and I've been a member for as long as I can remember. I am so worried about what is going on. How do we go about getting a vote of no confidence in the whole lot.
 

PAK

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I wish it could be confirmed that there are 100,000 members or whether figures are being massaged like the accounts! The mere fact that accounts not discussed at such an important meeting is surely not legal, how on earth are members to know what is truth and what is not. Never ever known anything like this situation and I've been a member for as long as I can remember. I am so worried about what is going on. How do we go about getting a vote of no confidence in the whole lot.
Hi Karen - I share your concern. Some suggestions - have a look at the thread BHS Meeting Update for the news since 5 Jan. Join Facebook at British Horse Society Members' Group. People there are trying to raise awareness and help change the situation for the better. We are not trying to tear this down; we are trying to make it better. We love the BHS but we don't love the way it is being run.
The petition that was submitted at the meeting was about a vote of no confidence in the Chair and the Board. Additionally we have found some recent public information about the membership. As of January it said
1882 Life, 40 Friend, 18167 Gold Family (not sure of how many votes per family, 66426 Gold Adult, 10248 Gold Jr (note sure if all ages can vote) total of 96763 Potential votes. For further clarification, BRC members are automatically BHS members with votes. Statements have been made that there is no double or triple counting. Must say I remain to be convinced. Not only is it poor practice not to present or discuss the accounts; try reading them. Clear as mud. In recent years, year after year of losses, but total reserves appear relatively unchanged. The income from BRC flows through BHS accounts but it is unclear where the payment to the insurance provider is made.
Join us.
 

honetpot

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Hello everyone, I have been following all this.. been a bhs member for a long time and i find it bad that it seems to be a few individuals who want to spoil all the good work that bhs does... and not talk about that in the last few years they have gone right up in my opinion. A friend of mine was at the meeting and told me that it was just a few individuals who had a personal agenda. It’s got far too personal if you ask me. Come on you lot, there are over 100,000 members allegedly, that’s a lot of horsey people who think bhs do good!
About the membership figures

I asked who was allowed to vote before the meeting....I didn't get a reply
I asked at the meeting....I didn't get a clear response. It seemed to suggest that BRC members are allowed to vote as well, although they are members of a separate organization.
I have asked for a breakdown of who is allowed to vote, divided by membership and age......and guess what despite being assured the IT could get the figures at the touch of a button, I haven't had reply.

Now whether you think are reasons are valid or not, under Charity law you have to know who is allowed to vote. I can show you the document. I emailed the BHS the document and the questions I wished to ask before the meeting so they should have sorted the figures for the meeting.

They should have had the Accounts for the meeting, the Treasurer should have been present to answer questions.
They should have had asked for items for the Agenda, I emailed them with mine. So nothing was a surprise.

Now I have meeting to a few AGM's in my time, from the Village Hall, to sports clubs and never seen this shambles. If the Village Hall can hold a proper AGM, or this case GM, why on earth can not they. For goodness sake they have 140 staff employed, surely someone must have been available to sort the paperwork.

They have a turnover of £11m, but made a loss.
With no clear accounts, and money mixed from BRC and BHS, its not clear what is charitable revenue and what is earned from trading and where it comes from. This is not to comply with anyone's whim but with charity law.

What they spend the money on is whole different argument, which could be a matter of opinion. Its remains unclear from the accounts as filed for 2017 where the money is being spent and from what budget.
I have a job where I have to account for everything and have an audit trail.
I try and deal in facts and the facts to not show the BHS in a good light.
 

Red-1

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For further clarification, BRC members are automatically BHS members with votes.
Is this true? After being a member on and off since 1985, and consistently since 2007 until I stopped last year, I am interested in what happens with the BHS. I am a horse owner former professional, interested in welfare, interested in access... and a member of a BRC since 1998, fully paid up all that time.

I am not aware of being informed about any meeting or vote apart from what I have seen on here. This is the first time I have even heard that I could have voted. If I am entitled to vote then surely they should at least inform me of the meeting?

Was there a slip in a magazine or something? I have certainly not had any email.
 

honetpot

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I have asked for a breakdown of who is allowed to vote in writing before and at the meeting and I have not had a response.

The room was full and it was difficult to hear, BRC was mentioned, and the COO ,'said everyone can vote'. So I have asked again for clarification and not got it.

The BHS, seems to be including BRC in all its publicity in growth of members, where I always thought the two were separate. Bridleways members get a 30% discount to join the BHS

The BRC is a private company, its account on Companies House is dormant, but its finances and office staff are run through the BHS, this is long standing.
I have included the last page of the BHS Strategic Plan, which mentions BRC.

Its all as clear as mud.
 

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Red-1

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Mysterious indeed.

If BRC members are indeed allowed to vote, then surely if they are not informed of any vote, or meeting, then surely any vote done at said meeting would be null and void?

I am not well up on the rules concerning charities, but surely it can't be allowed to have a vote without informing voters?

Confused.com.


ETA, I had a look at the document you attached, and I am still not sure what they mean.

The text says, under what they are measuring... "measuring growth in numbers of BRC members who join as members of the British Horse Society, the increase in number of BRC clubs, the increase in BRC members and number of participants in BRC events."

So, are they measuring all BRC members, who automatically become members of the BHS when they join as a benefit of the BRC, or are they measuring people who join a BRC and then also chose to become a BHS member by paying extra, or indeed, those who are already BHS members and then join a BRC?

I think grammatically it could be any of those options.

It would seem that BRC have over 34,000 members, so not a small organisation, according to this document...

www.bhs.org.uk/~/media/bhs/files/pdf-documents/brc/brc-club-starter-pack.ashx

This document also states that The BHS Board of Trustees is legally responsible for BRC finances.

It would be good to know if what was said at the meeting was correct, about BRC members having a vote. If the question was posed then *should* be on the minutes?????? Although on another document the BHS seem to be referring to the minutes as "notes" rather than minutes. Was the meeting not officially minuted?
 
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Velcrobum

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The chair stated at the start of proceedings that the meeting would be minuted and introduced a lady who was sitting in the corner of the room behind the CEO. I didn't write her name down.
 
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Do you think the missing mins are with BHS private solicitors for checking . Given thier current reputation for not being open and honest with the membership I wonder if they are checking how little they can get away with putting in them .
 

PAK

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About the membership figures

I asked who was allowed to vote before the meeting....I didn't get a reply
I asked at the meeting....I didn't get a clear response. It seemed to suggest that BRC members are allowed to vote as well, although they are members of a separate organization.
I have asked for a breakdown of who is allowed to vote, divided by membership and age......and guess what despite being assured the IT could get the figures at the touch of a button, I haven't had reply.

Now whether you think are reasons are valid or not, under Charity law you have to know who is allowed to vote. I can show you the document. I emailed the BHS the document and the questions I wished to ask before the meeting so they should have sorted the figures for the meeting.

They should have had the Accounts for the meeting, the Treasurer should have been present to answer questions.
They should have had asked for items for the Agenda, I emailed them with mine. So nothing was a surprise.

Now I have meeting to a few AGM's in my time, from the Village Hall, to sports clubs and never seen this shambles. If the Village Hall can hold a proper AGM, or this case GM, why on earth can not they. For goodness sake they have 140 staff employed, surely someone must have been available to sort the paperwork.

They have a turnover of £11m, but made a loss.
With no clear accounts, and money mixed from BRC and BHS, its not clear what is charitable revenue and what is earned from trading and where it comes from. This is not to comply with anyone's whim but with charity law.

What they spend the money on is whole different argument, which could be a matter of opinion. Its remains unclear from the accounts as filed for 2017 where the money is being spent and from what budget.
I have a job where I have to account for everything and have an audit trail.
I try and deal in facts and the facts to not show the BHS in a good light.
They have lost money year after year. I think the last surplus was made when Patrick Print signed the accounts!
 

PAK

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Is this true? After being a member on and off since 1985, and consistently since 2007 until I stopped last year, I am interested in what happens with the BHS. I am a horse owner former professional, interested in welfare, interested in access... and a member of a BRC since 1998, fully paid up all that time.

I am not aware of being informed about any meeting or vote apart from what I have seen on here. This is the first time I have even heard that I could have voted. If I am entitled to vote then surely they should at least inform me of the meeting?

Was there a slip in a magazine or something? I have certainly not had any email.
Yes Red this is true. A BRC member is a voting member of the BHS and by law you should have been informed. If you read the previous posts you can find out about the deceptive, in my opinion, means of "communication". Well done Janet for shining the public light on this matter. If she had not done so, it would have been practically impossible for us to ever call an EGM to get valid questions answered.
 

PAK

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Red - and others - go to the thread BHS Meeting Update to find out more and join the Facebook page BHS Members Support Group. Now is the time for all good riders/breeders/horse lovers to herd together to be heard!
 

honetpot

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Do you think the missing mins are with BHS private solicitors for checking . Given thier current reputation for not being open and honest with the membership I wonder if they are checking how little they can get away with putting in them .
I got an email from the COO, Sarah saying that the minutes would be out by close of business on Friday 11th Jan, in answer to my question about how the membership was made up sent by email.
You were there. We were told that the IT was working well and the numbers could be retrieved easily. If she made a mistake and misunderstood how the membership is made up, fair enough but we need to know.

I have attached a document from NPS , that shows who gets what and who is entitled to vote, just for information.
 

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Red-1

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Yes Red this is true. A BRC member is a voting member of the BHS and by law you should have been informed. If you read the previous posts you can find out about the deceptive, in my opinion, means of "communication". Well done Janet for shining the public light on this matter. If she had not done so, it would have been practically impossible for us to ever call an EGM to get valid questions answered.
I was not informed. I do not get the BHS magazine as part of my Riding Club membership, so would not have seen an envelope from there.

I do get the occasional magazine from BRC, but I have not heard about, or seen, any envelopes re a meeting or vote in there.

As all members of the BHS were also emailed, why did this not happen for BRC members?

So, any vote would have been unlawful, if BRC members were not informed?
 

PAK

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I was not informed. I do not get the BHS magazine as part of my Riding Club membership, so would not have seen an envelope from there.

I do get the occasional magazine from BRC, but I have not heard about, or seen, any envelopes re a meeting or vote in there.

As all members of the BHS were also emailed, why did this not happen for BRC members?

So, any vote would have been unlawful, if BRC members were not informed?
Yes unlawful but thankfully it did not happen on the 5th DESPITE the statement from the chair that he had enough proxy votes to pass the changes without a vote. Three cheers for those who were on the front foot and submitted the petition. Without them, this would have passed and once passed, would be very difficult to undo.
 

PAK

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I got an email from the COO, Sarah saying that the minutes would be out by close of business on Friday 11th Jan, in answer to my question about how the membership was made up sent by email.
You were there. We were told that the IT was working well and the numbers could be retrieved easily. If she made a mistake and misunderstood how the membership is made up, fair enough but we need to know.

I have attached a document from NPS , that shows who gets what and who is entitled to vote, just for information.
Do you think the missing mins are with BHS private solicitors for checking . Given thier current reputation for not being open and honest with the membership I wonder if they are checking how little they can get away with putting in them .
Are the minutes with the solicitors? I doubt it but it would be nice to think they were. HOWEVER, there is nothing to prevent them from issuing communication to say that they were sorry the minutes were not available as promised and that they would be available on some date or "soon". I strongly suspect that the person (SP) that gave the date of 11 Jan completely underestimated to work and importance of these minutes or notes.
 

Zebedee

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BRC MEMBERS ARE NOT VOTING MEMBERS OF THE BHS UNLESS THEY ARE ALSO BHS MEMBERS.

They are also NOT included in the BHS membership numbers. Sorry to appear shouting, but it's important that this is clearly understood.
 

Velcrobum

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Thank you Zebedee for posting this information, sadly at the meeting it would appear that some of the statements/responses from the front of the room were incorrect which IMHO calls into question how much else information given to the membership has been incorrect or not the full information. Sadly Britsh Dressage has also followed a similar path.

Addition:- Having just checked my notes it was stated that all members of BHS were voting members this includes junior members.
 
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Zebedee

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Thank you Zebedee for posting this information, sadly at the meeting it would appear that some of the statements/responses from the front of the room were incorrect which IMHO calls into question how much else information given to the membership has been incorrect or not the full information. Sadly Britsh Dressage has also followed a similar path.
I wasn't there, but I would hazard a guess that either the question or the answer was misunderstood. :(
 

Blazingsaddles

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Hello everyone, I have been following all this.. been a bhs member for a long time and i find it bad that it seems to be a few individuals who want to spoil all the good work that bhs does... and not talk about that in the last few years they have gone right up in my opinion. A friend of mine was at the meeting and told me that it was just a few individuals who had a personal agenda. It’s got far too personal if you ask me. Come on you lot, there are over 100,000 members allegedly, that’s a lot of horsey people who think bhs do good!
Please expand. Why has the BHS gone up in your estimations in the past few years?
 

PAK

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BRC MEMBERS ARE NOT VOTING MEMBERS OF THE BHS UNLESS THEY ARE ALSO BHS MEMBERS.

They are also NOT included in the BHS membership numbers. Sorry to appear shouting, but it's important that this is clearly understood.
Thank you Zebedee - I have seen and heard information to the contrary. But I believe you- so you might consider stopping the shouting.
 
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Hello everyone, I have been following all this.. been a bhs member for a long time and i find it bad that it seems to be a few individuals who want to spoil all the good work that bhs does... and not talk about that in the last few years they have gone right up in my opinion. A friend of mine was at the meeting and told me that it was just a few individuals who had a personal agenda. It’s got far too personal if you ask me. Come on you lot, there are over 100,000 members allegedly, that’s a lot of horsey people who think bhs do good!
I think so, too. They do so much to educate drivers on how to drive around horses, safely. I saw a virtual reality film on their facebook page which was really good in showing the dangers that horse riders encounter on the roads.And I know a bit about some of the work they do with treating ponies at mobile clinics using the lorry that the insurance company provided after they asked their customers to vote for their favourite charity. I haven't been a member for very long but I really like what I've seen so far from the BHS.
 

honetpot

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I wasn't there, but I would hazard a guess that either the question or the answer was misunderstood. :(
I asked the question.
I also asked the question by email before the meeting, so the answer should have been clear, they should have prepped for the meeting. I was also told at the meeting that IT system was 'working well' and they could generate the figures easily.

I have asked since the meeting and not had a reply. I have said before if we misheard her or misunderstood what she said, all is required is a break down of the figures, in a simple spreadsheet. Job done.

My husbands club breakdown their membership by age and gender, just to see if they, they are losing or gaining members in certain groups.

The BHS query about membership is about voting rights.
Who is allowed to vote, and if children, say under sixteens are allowed to vote, who in reality votes for them.The constitution is a mess and its not clear.
 
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For me the one big, HUGE red flag - is that they want to increase the number of people that can call for an EGM from 12 to 250+. 12 is an easily achieveable number. How many folk know 249 other members? The only reasonable reason I can see for this would be if this had been getting abused by the membership calling multiple EGMs annually and thus wasting money. I haven't seen any signs of this.
So why do they want to make calling an EGM so much more difficult? It doesn't signal to me an operation that is wanting to be open and accessible to their members.
 

honetpot

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I think so, too. They do so much to educate drivers on how to drive around horses, safely. I saw a virtual reality film on their facebook page which was really good in showing the dangers that horse riders encounter on the roads.And I know a bit about some of the work they do with treating ponies at mobile clinics using the lorry that the insurance company provided after they asked their customers to vote for their favourite charity. I haven't been a member for very long but I really like what I've seen so far from the BHS.
First of all I think your opinion is valuable, but you have no idea of what we have lost.

There are people on the FB page who have worked for volunteers for years in welfare and access, people who you never see and hear about. They say they have been discouraged, had support removed and not listened to, and in some cases driven away.


Now I deal in facts.
2017 Accounts
In the accounts they spent £138,000 on a lorry, its a HGV, its a commercial verchule, so will need not only a HGV driver but also need servicing more often than say a privately used 7.5tonne horsebox.
Where is the budget is the driver costs ( about £200 a day) or the cost of servicing and repairs?

Castration clinics,
'In 2017 we held seven more Healthcare Clinics as part of the BHS/BEVA collaboration - with 349 high
risk horses attending - 134 of which were castrated in line with our policy on responsible breeding.'
It doesn't give a cost per castration, but even if its £250 castration, its £3,350.

If you pay £69 on your Gold membership, and your 3rd party insurance is say, £10, and its the insurance of last resort, if you have other insurance they will use that first. Where is the other £59 going? Would you like to know?

I have been a member for 40 years and I have learnt so much since last Saturday, and I am appalled. If you are happy with what you get now, just imagine how happy you would be if it was better.
 

honetpot

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For me the one big, HUGE red flag - is that they want to increase the number of people that can call for an EGM from 12 to 250+. 12 is an easily achieveable number. How many folk know 249 other members? The only reasonable reason I can see for this would be if this had been getting abused by the membership calling multiple EGMs annually and thus wasting money. I haven't seen any signs of this.
So why do they want to make calling an EGM so much more difficult? It doesn't signal to me an operation that is wanting to be open and accessible to their members.
I can get the point if... There wasn't 140 potential employee members who can vote and it was going to give a better representation of the members.

How many are based in headquarters, and apparently they can all vote, no conflict of interest? Most votes are done on a show of hands.
How many can be paid to attend? Would you want to turn up for work if you had voted against something your bosses wanted?
No voting by remotely despite spending over £1m on IT in 2017.

The Trust Board wants to restrict the selection of Trustees even further. They have an interview panel now, you can be put forward by members but you may not get in. Yet they can co-opt non-members on to the Board, who doesn't have to be a member. So potentially the Board could be loaded towards one view or objective.

So how will that make them more representative of the membership?

The database of members is only accessible to Head Office, no split secure email account lists( did I mention over £1 million on IT) hence the FB page.

FB is at the moment now the only way for members to communicate with members, so how do you inform or canvas members. ( A big thank you to H&H for letting this run) Or even find out what they are thinking?
What they would like the charitable part of their money spent on? China? So far not, we are polling.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/membersBHS/
We are a small admin team, answer the questions and its easier to join the group.

I can not believe some of the calibre of the people who have joined. People who are passionate, and committed about welfare, access and education for the horse owner, pooling ideas and experiences.

I suppose my big wish is that BHS HO and Trust Board, listen to the members who attended the meeting and expressed their concerns, do not shoot the messenger, do not see us as trouble makers and react in a positive away. Call their own EGM, that is run in proper manner worthy of a great UK charity, so that matters that concern members of great experience can be discussed and hopefully resolved.
 
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