BHS Meeting Update

PAK

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7 December 2018
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275
You might be interested to know that out of the 101 votes that were carried out in person at the AGM, over 30 votes came from BHS staff and trustees. According to the Chief Operating Officer there is no conflict of interest.
Well done for winning an adjournment BHS members!
Thank you for adding that detail.
The statement "no conflict of interest" by the COO is astonishing. I am sure this will of interest to others.
 

honetpot

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I would like to know who was paid to be there, with a wage or expenses.
Some members travelled the length of the country to be there at a cost and inconvenience to them. I did not travel as far but its certainly cost me £60 to attend. For any vote, most of which are carried out by a show of hands paid employee members are likely to be a large part of the voting members, and this certainly has to be thought about for the future.
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
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275
I am in the process of setting up a British Horse Society Members' Group on Facebook for exactly that purpose. I have the necessary IT skills - but not so good on design. Is there anyone who would like to create a banner for the top of the Group page?
Powerpoint would do it - but so would something like Irfanview. Just needs the name of the Group - British Horse Society Members' Group and a pretty horse pic - ideally a group on a bridleway.
Have you see my first try for a page banner? Have you created the page yet?
 
Joined
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Good that you went. That in and of itself, was brave. I would very much appreciate a copy of your notes. You can send them via messaging on this site. Thank you.
Thank you PAK. I'm just writing up all of the notes as we speak. There's quite a bit to get through as you can imagine but I will share the notes with all of you as soon as I can.
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
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275
I am in the process of setting up a British Horse Society Members' Group on Facebook for exactly that purpose. I have the necessary IT skills - but not so good on design. Is there anyone who would like to create a banner for the top of the Group page?
Just found the page. Excellent work. How are you planning on spreading the word? Let me know how I can help. Well done!
 

Orangehorse

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25 November 2005
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11,019
Meeting adjourned, so there was no vote, so my Proxy Vote wasn't used.

Ahhh, that is an old, old trick. Arrange a meeting, all those wanting to speak have to make elaborate arrangements for this one important meeting. Arrive, the meeting opens, then the Ones In Charge propose a vote to adjourn the meeting to another date, thus making it very difficult for the "objectors" to get to the second meeting. But that doesn't matter to the professionals who will get paid, and probably their expenses too ……………………...
 

honetpot

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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.
 

Velcrobum

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17 October 2016
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1,482
Meeting adjourned, so there was no vote, so my Proxy Vote wasn't used.

Ahhh, that is an old, old trick. Arrange a meeting, all those wanting to speak have to make elaborate arrangements for this one important meeting. Arrive, the meeting opens, then the Ones In Charge propose a vote to adjourn the meeting to another date, thus making it very difficult for the "objectors" to get to the second meeting. But that doesn't matter to the professionals who will get paid, and probably their expenses too ……………………...
The chair intimated that there were a lot of proxy votes in favour of the changes. The vote to adjourn was done via a paper vote from members present on the day. This was called by an ex trustee according to the constitution/articles of association, the reason being that there was a lot more information presented to the meeting than had been available to members. It was also felt that the changes should be divided up into separate voteable sections. It remains to be seen what the board chooses to do.
 

honetpot

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6,114
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Cambridgeshire
People who were there who were in favour of the changes, seemed to be very, 'anti' the people who were against that attended the meeting.
There were comments about members not attending AGM's in the past.
The BHS has 140 members of staff, as a part of their employment package they can have their BHS membership paid.
Votes as a rule are done as a show of hands. The COO has said there is no conflict of interest.
I have asked how many employee members were paid to attend the meeting with either salary or with expenses.
I have asked what constitutes the voting membership of the BHS, in writing. This will form part of the basis for the amounts needed to call for an EGM. The answer on the day was very vague and seemed to include BRC.
I have asked for a breakdown of membership totals, with who is entitled to vote.
Apparently the IT system, is working well and they can get the numbers at a press of a button.

At the AGM part of meeting there was no Treasure present.
No accounts given.
No list of items to be discussed on the Agenda
Many points of concern were raised by the members present, but just putting up their hands. including a culture of bullying in the workplace, and fraud, lack of communication with members, and lack of accountability in spending and transparency in the accounts.

Does this sound like a when run anything, never mind a Charity with a turnover of 11m, but shows a loss in the accounts? This is with the tax benefits of a charity.

We need to have these matters discussed in full, in an EGM, we no longer hold AGM's, before any changes can be made to the constitution.

On the facebook group we have uploaded documents so you can decide for yourself.
If you do not agree with what I had said please pm me, I am always interested other peoples views, we need to communicate or we will not understand.
 

Lovethebeach

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Joined
18 June 2016
Messages
65
Thank you for all this work you are putting in, I have applied to join the FB group, I do wonder though - on H&H we are relatively anonymous, on FB members of groups are visible to other members? so BHS could find which of their members are against them ? I'm not worried as, even though a member for over 30 years and an ABO volunteer, if they want to ban me so be it. Their loss lol !!
 

Chica

Active Member
Joined
7 October 2018
Messages
32
I find it so sad that valuable members and volunteers worry that they might get asked to leave or become somehow banned if they are seen to be expressing concern or somehow being disloyal . In fact BHS should be reaching out and doing this engagement work with its members rather than than a group of determined enthusiast's . They should be showing us that they want to listen and then evidencing that they have listened . Rather than sharing with us at the meeting on Saturday thier negative views re the social media users they should be modernising thier engagement work and making better use of social media platforms . Unfortunately they would rather write a glossy strategy doc with no consultation with members at all and that of course is only one example .
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
People who were there who were in favour of the changes, seemed to be very, 'anti' the people who were against that attended the meeting.
There were comments about members not attending AGM's in the past.
The BHS has 140 members of staff, as a part of their employment package they can have their BHS membership paid.
Votes as a rule are done as a show of hands. The COO has said there is no conflict of interest.
I have asked how many employee members were paid to attend the meeting with either salary or with expenses.
I have asked what constitutes the voting membership of the BHS, in writing. This will form part of the basis for the amounts needed to call for an EGM. The answer on the day was very vague and seemed to include BRC.
I have asked for a breakdown of membership totals, with who is entitled to vote.
Apparently the IT system, is working well and they can get the numbers at a press of a button.

At the AGM part of meeting there was no Treasure present.
No accounts given.
No list of items to be discussed on the Agenda
Many points of concern were raised by the members present, but just putting up their hands. including a culture of bullying in the workplace, and fraud, lack of communication with members, and lack of accountability in spending and transparency in the accounts.

Does this sound like a when run anything, never mind a Charity with a turnover of 11m, but shows a loss in the accounts? This is with the tax benefits of a charity.

We need to have these matters discussed in full, in an EGM, we no longer hold AGM's, before any changes can be made to the constitution.

On the facebook group we have uploaded documents so you can decide for yourself.
If you do not agree with what I had said please pm me, I am always interested other peoples views, we need to communicate or we will not understand.
Well said!
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
I suggest that everyone keep your ears & eyes open. It is very likely that there will be another attempt to change the constitution and make it very very difficult in future for members to get answers to questions. If it wasn't difficult enough already!
Don't forget the new facebook page BHS members page. Just answer 2 questions to join.
 

PAK

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Joined
7 December 2018
Messages
275
Here's what I just received - THIS MEETING WAS NOT POSITIVE!!!!!
To: All BHS members who attended the General Meeting on Saturday 5 January 2019 or who submitted a proxy vote.



Sent on behalf of the Chairman and Board of Trustees of The British Horse Society



Thank you to all the members who took the time to attend Saturday’s General Meeting and to those members who submitted a proxy vote.



The business of the General Meeting was to discuss and vote on the proposed changes to The British Horse Society constitution.



Following the presentation regarding the proposed changes to the constitution members were given the opportunity to ask questions and responses were given. It became clear that those present felt that they would like more time to consider the information that had been provided, before voting on the proposed changes to the constitution. As was within their right the members in the room called for an adjournment of the General Meeting. Following a separate vote the meeting was adjourned.



A date for the reconvened meeting will be set and an announcement made to all members.



Prior to the start of the General Meeting, 12 members submitted a request for an additional General Meeting to be held, this was referred to as an EGM. Following the adjournment of the General Meeting, held on Saturday 5 January, and subsequent presentation and questions in the Members Meeting, the 12 members rescinded the request for a General Meeting. The 12 members felt that the way that the General Meeting had been conducted was positive and that more information on the proposed changes had been provided.



The notes from the General Meeting will be published in due course.



Best wishes



David Sheerin

Chairman of the Board of Trustees
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
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275
From the source of the petition
With regard to the call for an EGM delivered to the CEO of the BHS on the morning of Saturday 5th Jan 2019, an EGM can only deal with the subject matter, in this case "Loss of confidence in the Chairman and Board of Trustees of the BHS" no other subject matter can be included or discussed. In order to allow for thorough questions a general meeting would have to be held after the EGM. The decision of the group who tabled the summons was to withdraw the EGM covenant as it was felt that with at least 2 meetings in the offing it could lead to voter fatigue and loss of support. The BHS resolution has been adjourned, consequently any 12 members of the BHS can still table another EGM with specific proposals at any time until the resolution is carried.
 

GHamlet75

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Joined
26 September 2018
Messages
76
Let’s be open with what happened BHS.

An adjournment would not have been needed to be called if the BHS had provided enough clarity on the changes to the constitution in advance of the vote. As it was, there were still plenty of questions and concerns unanswered by the end of the meeting.

As PAK mentions above the withdrawal of the EGM request was not due to the reasons stated in the email that was sent.

BHS – all your members are asking for is honesty.
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
Messages
275
Let’s be open with what happened BHS.

An adjournment would not have been needed to be called if the BHS had provided enough clarity on the changes to the constitution in advance of the vote. As it was, there were still plenty of questions and concerns unanswered by the end of the meeting.

As PAK mentions above the withdrawal of the EGM request was not due to the reasons stated in the email that was sent.

BHS – all your members are asking for is honesty.
Thank you! Would be able to share a specific example of something raised at the meeting that was not "positive"? Or something that was not answered and needs to be?
 

Chica

Active Member
Joined
7 October 2018
Messages
32
I'm struggling to recall much positive about how the meeting was conducted other than the successful adjournment vote of course . Oh and the lunch they provided that was a nice surprise . I think what was meant was that it was a positive to have more time for the board to get their act together and come up with a clearer proposal. If the board continue to twist the truth and to use a smoke and mirrors approach we will never have true engagement or a BHS fit for its members .
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
Messages
275
I'm struggling to recall much positive about how the meeting was conducted other than the successful adjournment vote of course . Oh and the lunch they provided that was a nice surprise . I think what was meant was that it was a positive to have more time for the board to get their act together and come up with a clearer proposal. If the board continue to twist the truth and to use a smoke and mirrors approach we will never have true engagement or a BHS fit for its members .
Well said.
 

GHamlet75

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Joined
26 September 2018
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76
The changes to the board and the nominations committee are as clear as mud. 'Could' and 'that's our intention' were phrases used regularly. But when the detail started to unravel it was evident that things had not been clearly thought through nor had they been formally documented. For instance - the Fellows were told they 'could' get a casting vote on the nominations committee. Then it was backtracked because it was noted that this change hasn't formally been documented in the proposed constitution changes and therefore would need to go through another formal proposal. The list goes on
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
Messages
275
The changes to the board and the nominations committee are as clear as mud. 'Could' and 'that's our intention' were phrases used regularly. But when the detail started to unravel it was evident that things had not been clearly thought through nor had they been formally documented. For instance - the Fellows were told they 'could' get a casting vote on the nominations committee. Then it was backtracked because it was noted that this change hasn't formally been documented in the proposed constitution changes and therefore would need to go through another formal proposal. The list goes on
Thanks for the specifics!
 

Velcrobum

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17 October 2016
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We can think about that or words to that effect were used frequently by the chair when valid points/criticisms were aired by the floor during the vote meeting. As others have said there were more questions than answers and those questions remain unanswered. I hope the board have listened and act accordingly ie to divide the various changes into separate voted items also give the membership all the information that was presented at the meeting. I would also prefer any major vote like this to be done by an independent agency.
 

PAK

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7 December 2018
Messages
275
We can think about that or words to that effect were used frequently by the chair when valid points/criticisms were aired by the floor during the vote meeting. As others have said there were more questions than answers and those questions remain unanswered. I hope the board have listened and act accordingly ie to divide the various changes into separate voted items also give the membership all the information that was presented at the meeting. I would also prefer any major vote like this to be done by an independent agency.
In my opinion,the email about the positive meeting is the latest in a very long list of evidence that they are not listening. This is a self reinforcing system of self interest who will not listen. As for an independent agency to handle the vote, I think the likelihood of that happening is about the same as having an independent investigation.
 
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