Another British Horse Society c**k-up

Zebedee

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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 think it would be very easy to read a bit too much in to this. I think most people are aware that a group of BE members (about 112 I think?) recently called for an EGM. That meeting cost BE around about £8k. I think that raised alarm bells somewhere in the BHS that if only 12 people were needed to call an EGM there was a huge potential for 'malicious' meeting calling, so they'ev come up with a very small percentage of members needed to call such a meeting. There is still some lack of clarity as to what form the document would need to take -but it has been confirmed that it wouldn't need to be one single document - it could be single requests sent in together. Could it be circulated by scanning a document, printing it, signing it, then scanning it forward to the next person? Even if scans weren't acceptable -and that would be surprising as scanned documents sent by email are considered acceptable for many other purposes - if everybody who supported the call for a meeting put their signed declaration in the post on the same day and sent it first class to a collator who then forwarded it I think a call for a meeting could still each the BHS within 72 hrs. With social media groups etc it isn't even that hard to contact 200 + people, and there still the good old telephone to spread the word as well.

So in short while I can see that it does look like a huge leap in numbers I personally don't see anything sinister about it. I would hope though that some middle ground re the numbers needed could be found, and that peoples concerns about this aspect at least could be put to rest.
 

Red-1

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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.
From the article in H and Hound, the actual number is 300 people. It states that it is 250+ rounded to the nearest hundred, so 300.

I would doubt that Horse and Hound got that wrong, but then there are no minutes as yet to confirm.
 
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Red-1

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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.
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.

It seems some of the concerns are about inefficiency then. The trouble is that if people have been upset from some perceived wrongdoing, when it is compounded by inefficiency it can look like information has been deliberately covered up.

The minutes (or 'notes' as they seem to now be referred to) will make interesting reading. I do not envy the note taker! But then, it was also filmed so presumably it can be a big effort to make the notes match the reality. I doubt the film will be made available. Probably cite data protection!
 

Zebedee

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It seems some of the concerns are about inefficiency then. The trouble is that if people have been upset from some perceived wrongdoing, when it is compounded by inefficiency it can look like information has been deliberately covered up.

The minutes (or 'notes' as they seem to now be referred to) will make interesting reading. I do not envy the note taker! But then, it was also filmed so presumably it can be a big effort to make the notes match the reality. I doubt the film will be made available. Probably cite data protection!
I totally agree re the perception of things being covered up, and where that is the case who can blame people for wanting to raise their concerns?

Oh yes - data protection is the new H & S...
 

Velcrobum

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It seems some of the concerns are about inefficiency then. The trouble is that if people have been upset from some perceived wrongdoing, when it is compounded by inefficiency it can look like information has been deliberately covered up.

The minutes (or 'notes' as they seem to now be referred to) will make interesting reading. I do not envy the note taker! But then, it was also filmed so presumably it can be a big effort to make the notes match the reality. I doubt the film will be made available. Probably cite data protection!
The chair at the start of proceedings stated that the meeting was being filmed "so that people unable to attend would be able to see and hear what was discussed and that the subsequent members meeting would not be filmed". As I put in an earlier post he also stated that MINUTES were being taken. I did not take extensive notes however others did. As others have said there were more very valid questions than answers in both meetings. Many of the questions coming from ex members of the board and these people know a darn sight more about BHS than most of us!!
 
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Please join our facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/membersBHS/about/

Its not for slagging people off, or personal attacks, its for exchange of information, a central point for public documents that maybe you would like to see. So that you can form your own opinion.

We are also looking for insights in to why the focus appears to have changed. I am trying to obtain a full copy of the BHS Strategic Plan
The BHS Trust Board are not communicating with members, so we are trying to fill the gap.
It was apparent from the meeting that a lot of the members there, that they and the members they represented been unhappy for a while in how the BHS treats its membership.
You may have that piece of information that helps for the picture of how this happened. Even if you are non BHS member you may have insights in accounts, and previous work with charities, including sports and animal charities,could give ideas for best practice.
Nice sentiments, but already this FB page has become personal and as you put it ‘slagging people off’. It is obvious it is for some self serving individuals who are on a Sour Grapes crusade. Why don’t the admins jump on the abusive comments. It has already lost it credibility. Good idea but it is now a shouting platform for people who have a personal axe to grind IMO...
 

PAK

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Nice sentiments, but already this FB page has become personal and as you put it ‘slagging people off’. It is obvious it is for some self serving individuals who are on a Sour Grapes crusade. Why don’t the admins jump on the abusive comments. It has already lost it credibility. Good idea but it is now a shouting platform for people who have a personal axe to grind IMO...
Hmm. Your comments seem a bit sour to me
 

honetpot

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Nice sentiments, but already this FB page has become personal and as you put it ‘slagging people off’. It is obvious it is for some self serving individuals who are on a Sour Grapes crusade. Why don’t the admins jump on the abusive comments. It has already lost it credibility. Good idea but it is now a shouting platform for people who have a personal axe to grind IMO...
Where people feel there is injustice, emotions do get inflamed. I think the person you mention is more concerned about how other people have been treated than themselves.

The Employment Tribunal findings of last year, that found in favour of the complainant , and cost the BHS a substantial amount of money, show that there is a HR and management culture with of lack of understanding of human resource management.
I seen nothing to show that they have learned from their mistakes, and there has been yet another case being decided on.

The way they have dealt with the membership before, during and after the meeting, to put forward the proposed changes shows scant respect for the membership. I went to the meeting to ask questions and left wondering what happened, to something I had been a member for 40 years of, for it to have gone so wrong.

I accept your opinion, but can not agree with you.
I have attached the Employment Tribunal file, if anyone would like to read it.
 

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Please expand. Why has the BHS gone up in your estimations in the past few years?
Hi Blazing Saddles, see Palimono Dreams comments, the bridleways work is tremendous, the education stuff is new and exciting, long overdue, I saw the new lorry at Badminton and Blenheim, way to go, and the road safety stuff is at last doing good, working with the police and driving instructors, you only have to read H and H to see they are doing something neatly every week. Brilliant stuff... we had one of their road awareness evenings near me, if this is the new bhs then I’m very happy with the way they spend my membership money. I know change is difficult to accept sometimes but get with it guys.
 

honetpot

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Hi Blazing Saddles, see Palimono Dreams comments, the bridleways work is tremendous, the education stuff is new and exciting, long overdue, I saw the new lorry at Badminton and Blenheim, way to go, and the road safety stuff is at last doing good, working with the police and driving instructors, you only have to read H and H to see they are doing something neatly every week. Brilliant stuff... we had one of their road awareness evenings near me, if this is the new bhs then I’m very happy with the way they spend my membership money. I know change is difficult to accept sometimes but get with it guys.
Its still uncertain what the lorry is being to be used for. If its a classroom its cheaper to hire a hall.
Its a commercial HGV and will have regular servicing, more often than a private use HGV lorry, depending on the mileage done. There is no costing's the budget for this or driver.

Bridleways, well the Bridleways groups, say they are unsupported by the BHS and are being approached by councils themselves, so they are attending meeting.
Le Trec dropped away, because if felt unsupported.

Its not about stopping change, its about spending what you have wisely.

Over £1m on an IT system last year that does not seem to send emails to all the members with email addresses logged.
Volunteers are used so effectively in the charity sector, yet BHS volunteers feel under valued. They are the bodies on the ground that clear the bridleways and go out to support people with welfare.
You are reading the headlines but on the ground, its not that rosy.
 
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Nice sentiments, but already this FB page has become personal and as you put it ‘slagging people off’. It is obvious it is for some self serving individuals who are on a Sour Grapes crusade. Why don’t the admins jump on the abusive comments. It has already lost it credibility. Good idea but it is now a shouting platform for people who have a personal axe to grind IMO...
Hi there - new on today - felt
Nice sentiments, but already this FB page has become personal and as you put it ‘slagging people off’. It is obvious it is for some self serving individuals who are on a Sour Grapes crusade. Why don’t the admins jump on the abusive comments. It has already lost it credibility. Good idea but it is now a shouting platform for people who have a personal axe to grind IMO...
Evening All ! New on here, but been a member of the BHS for 22 years and reading this stuff by Violettears has got me riled. I was at the meeting and it was a car crash from start to finish and not because of the people who had taken the time and been brave enough to turn up to challenge the chairman and the trustees! We live in a democracy and despite the room being filled with at least 30 plus staff and trustees the vote was massively in favour to adjourn - quite rightly! Just think about it - if everything was as rosy as you seem to think it is, would people really complain?! No of course not.... The biggest sadness I have is how far down the pecking order the focus on welfare (World Horse Welfare have just declared we are in a state of a national emergency of horses being dumped) is ... what do the BHS do, just castration clinics! Not enough. Oh and another thing - its obvious the AMERICAN CEO doesn't give a stuff about our BRITISH (as in BHS) Countryside with a massively under resourced Bridleway Department .... one things for sure BHS Board - the membership will not be silenced !
 
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What was good about the lorry at badminton and Blenheim? I saw it at the latter but there was just a group of people sat outside it, what did I miss?
YEP - Costs a bloody fortune and it's a complete white elephant .... And isn't the driver the husband of one of the staff members ??? Nothing like a bit of cronyism to add into the mix .... Of course I'm sure the erstwhile 'Highly Regarded" (I joke) AKA HR department oversaw a completely fair and transparent employment process .... a bit like the one for the former trustee, now turned up as a permanent, paid member of staff ... am I being cynical or missing something??

Hi Blazing Saddles, see Palimono Dreams comments, the bridleways work is tremendous, the education stuff is new and exciting, long overdue, I saw the new lorry at Badminton and Blenheim, way to go, and the road safety stuff is at last doing good, working with the police and driving instructors, you only have to read H and H to see they are doing something neatly every week. Brilliant stuff... we had one of their road awareness evenings near me, if this is the new bhs then I’m very happy with the way they spend my membership money. I know change is difficult to accept sometimes but get with it guys.
 

Zebedee

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Ok....Violetta Tears - odd to choose a name so similar to another user - especially one whose opinion you seem to strongly disagree with? Would you mind saying why you've done that> Makes for confusing reading at first glance.
 
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Ok....Violetta Tears - odd to choose a name so similar to another user - especially one whose opinion you seem to strongly disagree with? Would you mind saying why you've done that> Makes for confusing reading at first glance.
Hi Zebedee, was thinking the same thing... why choose my name, nearly?? And whoever Violeta Tears is, they have just got personal, and once again lose your arguments points. Why do you put up with such blatant anger and inability to stay calm. Unfortunately this just serves to highlight mine and Palimino Dreams observations about some of the people who are running a personal agenda. Sorry but there it is, I rest my case!
 

onemoretime

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What was good about the lorry at badminton and Blenheim? I saw it at the latter but there was just a group of people sat outside it, what did I miss?
I agree with you Ester, I saw the lorry at Badminton, we could not go in it just as you say, a group of people sitting outside. This lorry has cost a great deal of members money and has to have a pid driver each time it goes out. S Gazebo and a few chairs would do the same!
 

ester

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IIRC they had various boards up in the gazebos so no need for the lorry.

It also seemed a shame it was positioned at the top of the hill on the quiet bit of the course spectator wise, if you weren't physically fit enough to get up that hill you wouldn't have seen it at all.
 
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Why can't we be passionate in our debate and still be accepted as having a valid opinion . You see as I have said before maybe before Palomino Dream and Violetta Tears joined I like a two sided debate as that is what a debate is ! In addition they're invariable a little heated and at times can become personal . That is what passion does . I'm really driven by horse welfare and traning to promote horse welfare good horse care and horse sensitive schooling / horse training . I can get a little wound up when I hear of all the financial waste that is being promoted by our Board and CEO . More could be done if they looked more closely at the expenditure . I want the Board to be more challenging of the CEO and very large leadership team and insist on digging down further into the questions that we are raising . I want the BHS to prosper and to do an even better job on behalf of horses .
 

IMF

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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.
The lady who took the meeting minutes was Georgina - I believe Lynn Petersen's PA
 

IMF

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Can anyone point me to where all the BHS managers/Department Heads are listed as for the life of I cannot find this info on the Website!!
No I cant find this either - nor a list of the current trustees and their alignment- must be there somewhere but well hidden.
 
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It is very important that we keep pushing for answers to our questions and that we are not put off by those who say we are self interested or personal in our views . The only way to get things changed is to challenge . It is okay too to say what is going well and I do think the BHS does some very good stuff if it did not then I would not bother to fight for it as strongly as I'm .
 

OldNag

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Just received a letter from the BHS dated Friday. Looks like they have written to everyone who attended, or who sent a proxy. It explains about why the General Meeting was adjourned, and that the notes from the General Meeting will be published "in due course".
 
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