Another British Horse Society c**k-up

Joined
26 September 2018
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76
Who is monitoring how hard earned donations to the BHS are being used? There are rumours that the puppet seen at Badminton cost over £20,000. It also takes 3 people to operate it. Yet to see it out at subsequent events. BHS are spending their donations like money grows on trees. JanetGeorge - Very different from your time at the BHS! I wonder what the return on investment is for the puppet and horsebox?
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Red-1

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Yorkshire
As a former long standing member of staff of the BHS I have seen so many decent members of staff leave because of harassment, bullying and politics. There are currently many members of staff who are too scared to speak up for fear of losing their jobs. The turnover is incredible and the amount of money wasted on compromise agreements and pay offs is disgusting. The IT system is massively flawed, the ‘new’ education system is based around making money and everytime the staff on the ground raise an issue it is ignored. It is those who ‘answer the phones’ to the ‘great unwashed’ as a former Director once called the loyal members who really care, who are loyal to the core values of the charity and yet go ignored on a daily basis. Very pleased to have left but ever so sad it has come to this. Something needs to be done.
I almost clicked like, as I like that you dare to speak out now you have left, but I can't bring myself to click like as it is awful reading. I hope you are happy wherever you work now.
 

JanetGeorge

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The problem with an EGM - although it would be easy to requisition - it would be easy enough for her to gather enough proxies to throw it into touch. National publicity in the mainstream media is probably the first step - need to find the 'right' journalist and sleect the 'sexiest' bit of the dossier to get a GOOD story. And of course, find the 'right' people who are prepared to go public - it will be a brave step for most.
 
Joined
26 September 2018
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Well - I am wading my way through a massive dossier - covering things that have gone wrong since the female version of Donald Trump became CE. By blood pressure is rising by the minute!
The first time I heard someone call the CE a narcissist I thought it couldn't be true. However I recently came across this article and I can identify every method that she uses https://thepowerofsilence.co/11-manipulation-methods-narcissists-use-get-inside-head/. It's very similar to Donald Trump - particularly when she claims everything is fake news. There are too many facts that are coming out to continue to claim fake news
 

onemoretime

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12 April 2008
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Lets not forget they have employed a full time driver for the lorry. If that person is staying away with the vehicle salary would be another 40k plus. Will be next lot of accounts before running costs will be revealed. Not a user friendly or inviting layout either. Another long term member who is NOT impressed with how the society is progressing. I really do not see BHS as a welfare charity any more, they do not support any needy horses that I can see.
:eek: Agree with this.
 
Joined
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295
I'm currently a BHS member. This thread was making me think I should cancel it in protest but with the comments about what members can do/an EGM I'm wondering would it be better to stay and see if there'll be some action I can take as a member.
 
Joined
26 September 2018
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16
Sorry to go back to the accounts again (http://apps.charitycommission.gov.u...210504&SubsidiaryNumber=0&DocType=AccountList) but I want to understand how our donations are being used and I believe figures talk facts.

To recap, we have identified last year, BHS spent £70k on termination and £105,629 on legal, professional and audit fees. As there was such an increase from the previous year (+220%), we can assume that these costs are unforeseen costs, therefore they are not standard legal, professional or audit fees. Are these additional costs attributed to tribunal costs, composing confidentiality agreements, resource into investigations and keeping allegations under wraps?

I appreciate the above is speculation.

However, let us find some facts. The BHS cannot deny the high turnover of staff. For the voluntary sector the average staff turnover in 2017 was 10.9% (XpertHR). Within one of the largest departments in the BHS, I am led to believe that 33% of the staff left in 2017, and this year already over 50% have left the same department. I am also led to believe that 5 directors have resigned their position within an 18-month period (XpertHR quoted 3.1% turnover for management in 2017).

Even if half of the above is true (does anyone know where staff turnover is captured?), this highlights a significant problem. Why are so many people leaving? One of the leading recruitment consultants in the UK (Monster) states that bullying can result in greater employee turnover. I also reference again that an independent report on the BEF revealed there is bullying by the member bodies. Who heads up one of the key member bodies? The CE of BHS. (If any of you missed this please read the following – the BBC covered this here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/equestrian/43409111 and even Horse & Hound covered this https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/new...ependent-review-bullying-elitism-found-646843 for the full report read here https://www.bef.co.uk/repository/do...ederation_Independent_Review_Final_Report.pdf, https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/equestrian/43409111)

I believe bullying has to be the reason for the high turnover of staff in the BHS.

However, back to my original point. The reason for wanting to keep quoting the accounts is because this is factual evidence and publicly available for us all to see. If we are to get to the truth, we have to gather facts.

Does anyone have any idea how we can calculate the recruitment costs? I cannot decide whether this would sit within HR or within the individual departments?

Let’s get the true picture of how our donations are being spent, why so many people are being forced to sign confidentiality agreements and why so many people are voting with their feet in regard to the way the BHS is being led.

If anyone has any other ideas for getting all of the hard facts together, please keep this thread going
 

JanetGeorge

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I am still trying to figure the increase in staff at the top end. I remember it well from my day - there was Chief exec (Hywel Davies - until he was sacked), me as Head of Pr/Politics, heads of Approvals, Access, Education, Riding Schools and Safety - and of course a Head of Finance and the Book Shop Manager. That was it. Each had a small team - 2-4 people. Then there were Regional Managers, and Area PRO's. When I took over as Acting CE, I wasn't 'replaced' - the fantastic Nicola Gregory just took on more work and got an extra assistant. Everyone I worked with was capable and good to get on with - and we worked as a team British Horse was produced 'in house' - apart from the actual printing. Now that WAS 18+years ago. Income has increased considerably (doubled) - how much of that is REAL money??? membership hasn't increased anywhere NEAR that much. Looking at top paid staff - one on 50,000-60,000, and 2 on 40-50.000. Last year, there were 6 on more than £60,000 and 1 on over £130,000. Inflation?? When you look at a comparison with other leading horse welfare charities, the BHS - with an income of 101/4 million - highest paid % of income - 1.41% - the Blue Cross, RSPCA, Pony Club, WHW, Brook, - ALL have much lower figures (although most have more income.) The Pony Club with an income 3 million more, has 0.56% as highest paid %.

And the number of senior employees coming and going is frightening. With most of them being forced to sign confidentiality agreements, of course. That sort of nonsense was unheard of in my day. IF you can't sort out a problem with a staff member, particularly one you appointed, you go through the proper routes - you don't pay them off to shut up!! Obviously a small part of the work done should be confidential - dealing with welfare cases that may have a court case pending is just one - but the obsession with confidentiality in a MEMBER organisation that is a CHARITY stinks to high hell.
 

honetpot

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Often when there is a problem with your company where its likely to go to a tribunal which could get expensive and either side could win, but it could end up in the news you are offered a financial package. If you take it they have to pay for your solicitors advice and you sign an agreement that its never discussed. They can also not discuss it or give you a bad reference, that is part of the deal.
So the extra legal costs and termination fees probably come from there. Sometimes its just easier to take the money than fight. The fact they had so much turnover in one dept makes me think it was bullying, and it was rife.
The problem with solving the problem this way is that the bulling continues. It makes me think that the bully is senior management and there is no process put in place to monitor their performance and put in conditions of their future performance, so they can sack them without giving them a huge pay out.
Where is a journalist when you need one???
 
Joined
26 September 2018
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I have heard that the reason why the CE wasn’t present at some of the key events this year (such as Badminton and Windsor) was because she was being investigated for bullying. However, when the bullying comes from the top how is it ever going to be fairly and independently investigated?

In my opinion there is no smoke without fire. I agree with you Honetpot, we need a good journalist who can find the truth.
 
Joined
29 September 2018
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5
I have heard that the reason why the CE wasn’t present at some of the key events this year (such as Badminton and Windsor) was because she was being investigated for bullying. However, when the bullying comes from the top how is it ever going to be fairly and independently investigated?

In my opinion there is no smoke without fire. I agree with you Honetpot, we need a good journalist who can find the truth.
That is sadly true although I believe the outcome was there was no case to answer to
 

Orangehorse

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Gosh, this is sad and sorry reading. I too have been a BHS member for years and I am always trying to defend the organisation and encourage people to join, but to say that it is "disappointing" to read the report is a massive understatement.
 
Joined
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Gosh, this is sad and sorry reading. I too have been a BHS member for years and I am always trying to defend the organisation and encourage people to join, but to say that it is "disappointing" to read the report is a massive understatement.
Is is very sad Orangehorse. However thanks for joining in and letting us know your thoughts. Everyone... we have reached over 11,000 views! This is fantastic news but we still have a long way to go. Please share this thread with all your friends and family. A big thanks to JanetGeorge for starting this! I don't expect everyone to join in but if we can help people make informed decisions then I believe we are helping. However, most importantly I am hoping if we can get enough support we can prevent people like Wendy being unfairly treated. Keep this thread going!
 

Rowreach

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So JG returns to the forum after a long absence, simply to start this thread, and then new people (clearly ones with a vested interest in the topic) arrive and start stirring the pot .....

I was the first to reply to the thread, I said the BHS was a clique and it always has been, from way back, as those of you who were involved with it should acknowledge.

Financial improprieties?? No doubt. It's the same with other large horsey organisations - in fact I tried to expose some of those a few years ago, and got resolutely silenced, having spent a lot in legal fees and losing business in the process (back to the clique thing there).

I started a thread on here a while back, having seen the article in the BHS magazine about the large publicity wagon, the recruitment of a full time driver, and the intention of buying another, smaller box. Not much interest then.

How about a letter to Mr Clunes? I'm sure he wouldn't want to be associated with an organisation that is as rife with discontent and irregularities as people are suggesting?
 

JanetGeorge

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Ruddy 'quote' function still not working properly - so in answer to you, Rowreach. Sorry I've been absent - partly health, partly the fact the old software drove me bonkers, and partly because my FB pages kept me busy when I was able to get the time to sit at the desk! I don't think cliquishness is much of a problem at the BHS - perhaps more so at British Dressage from some of the stuff I'm hearing. But I suspect the problem is the same in both areas (and others). Power - and misuse of power. And people either don't care enough - or give in under pressure. This song says it all.
 
Joined
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76
I am still trying to figure the increase in staff at the top end. I remember it well from my day - there was Chief exec (Hywel Davies - until he was sacked), me as Head of Pr/Politics, heads of Approvals, Access, Education, Riding Schools and Safety - and of course a Head of Finance and the Book Shop Manager. That was it. Each had a small team - 2-4 people. Then there were Regional Managers, and Area PRO's. When I took over as Acting CE, I wasn't 'replaced' - the fantastic Nicola Gregory just took on more work and got an extra assistant. Everyone I worked with was capable and good to get on with - and we worked as a team British Horse was produced 'in house' - apart from the actual printing. Now that WAS 18+years ago. Income has increased considerably (doubled) - how much of that is REAL money??? membership hasn't increased anywhere NEAR that much. Looking at top paid staff - one on 50,000-60,000, and 2 on 40-50.000. Last year, there were 6 on more than £60,000 and 1 on over £130,000. Inflation?? When you look at a comparison with other leading horse welfare charities, the BHS - with an income of 101/4 million - highest paid % of income - 1.41% - the Blue Cross, RSPCA, Pony Club, WHW, Brook, - ALL have much lower figures (although most have more income.) The Pony Club with an income 3 million more, has 0.56% as highest paid %.

And the number of senior employees coming and going is frightening. With most of them being forced to sign confidentiality agreements, of course. That sort of nonsense was unheard of in my day. IF you can't sort out a problem with a staff member, particularly one you appointed, you go through the proper routes - you don't pay them off to shut up!! Obviously a small part of the work done should be confidential - dealing with welfare cases that may have a court case pending is just one - but the obsession with confidentiality in a MEMBER organisation that is a CHARITY stinks to high hell.
Current senior management team includes: Chief Executive, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Finance, Director of HR, Director of Education, Director of Membership, Director of Safety, Director of Access, Director of Welfare, Director of Marketing, Director of IT, Director of Fundraising, Director of Business Development. Unsure of the current staff count but it was last quoted as 120 permanent employees. A rather top heavy structure don't you think?
 

Jangigs

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Joined
24 September 2018
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3
A top heavy organisation far too many chiefs and not enough indians. One director actually said the reason they were given the job was because the CEO knew she could control her. I feel having been privy to what happened the present CEO ended up in her position by stealth. Started by volunteering to help with marketing, coopted on to board of trustees. Next came demise of Chairman and guess who became chairman. Finally out with the then CEO. The vacancy not advertised, her words, she was asked by board to run the organisation. Her exact words. I witnessed so many good staff leave and a culture of fear grow
 

JanetGeorge

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It's weird just how many lousy CE's BHS has had in the last 20 years. Of course, in the '90s it was a much wide organisation - until BD, BE, etc went solo. HD had to try to handle the aftermath and he was probably the first to try to rig Board elections - and of course was sacked. I was the whistle blower and for a while, it worked. Then ruddy KD (I jumped before she started.) But she drove out some VERY good people very quickly. Not sure what happened after her before the current witch wriggled in. There was certainly NO communication with members about anything important. And good people were driven out because they tried to wriggle out from under her thumb. People are coming to me with more 'dirt' - it will take time to build a solid case - but I do NOT intend to give up!! If you can help, please message me or e-mail - janetgeoge@irish-draught.net. I WILL respect totally any information given in confidence.
 
Joined
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i had been a member of the Horse and Pony Breeds committee my first chair was Col York then JLC and finally the past President of the BHS Pat Campbell. We were informed that the committee was to be wound up on the grounds that as we represented the interests of all PIOs and the BHS only did ID horses and ponies. Having read this forum it is clear that as the policy of the committee was to have presentations and discuss issues and then go back to our Board or Executive with this knowledge but we did not make decisions that were imposed on the committee. At every meeting every member was asked about current welfare issues. I think the BHS realised we did not necessarily support the party line and were unlikely to be manipulated. Miss the BHS Policy Director L Hackett
 
Joined
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76
i had been a member of the Horse and Pony Breeds committee my first chair was Col York then JLC and finally the past President of the BHS Pat Campbell. We were informed that the committee was to be wound up on the grounds that as we represented the interests of all PIOs and the BHS only did ID horses and ponies. Having read this forum it is clear that as the policy of the committee was to have presentations and discuss issues and then go back to our Board or Executive with this knowledge but we did not make decisions that were imposed on the committee. At every meeting every member was asked about current welfare issues. I think the BHS realised we did not necessarily support the party line and were unlikely to be manipulated. Miss the BHS Policy Director L Hackett
I think a lot of people miss him.
 
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