Numpties guide to "The BHS Situation"

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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16 February 2009
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
Hoping someone can shed light!

Apparently there is "a situation" with the BHS, right?? I've seen a few posts on here and other places, and there's a bit of a crisis going on, or so I gather, but I'm really being a total numpty and really don't know what it is all about!

Would like to be enlightened. Not that I give a hoot TBH, BUT as a BHS Gold Member I guess I should be concerned......... or should I??

What's going on? (in simple terms, if possible!! :) )
 

JennBags

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14,802
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West Sussex
I've had a quick trawl through the very long thread. In essence, the BHS appears to be treating it's long serving staff very poorly, it's sacked a few. There have been some accusations of bullying which is coming from the top down.
They've altered their article of association (illegally?).
They've not been transparent or clear about the recruitment of key board members, or of trustees.
There appear to have been some financial irregularities, claiming of expenses which could be considered dubious, plus the general wasting of money by purchasing a horsebox for 130k for use at events and a puppet for 28k which is now broken.
Generally poor governance.
Various other accusations, I am thinking of attending the meeting myself.
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
As a BHS member who has received the voting docs I'm a bit clueless as to what's going on too. Read some of the long thread but still unsure what to do re voting. I won't be able to go to the meeting. Don't like ignoring things like this but it all sounds very complicated!
Oh I'm glad its not just me then! I'm only a BHS Gold member coz of the insurance it provides when I'm out hacking, and for no other reason basically! Awful I know.
 

Velcrobum

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Joined
17 October 2016
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798
OK a small bit of what has been going on at BHS.

BHS sacked a longstanding member of staff who took them to an employment tribunal. They lost and the judge was rather scathing about BHS. Google Mrs Sheila Hardy v The British Horse Society. Another longstanding employee was sacked after whistle blowing her concerns that the recently resigned CEO was claiming car allowance despite having been banned from driving for speeding (while Slow and Wide was being promoted) the Chairman of Trustees did not share this with the other trustees! The Chairman of Trustees shared the name of the whistle blower with the CEO this is illegal. No sanction was taken against the CEO she just refunded the money, given that the commander of HMS Elizabeth II has been removed from duty for using an official car "out of hours" when he was not aware that he should not, this reflects badly on the Trustees of BHS.

Add to this an attempt to make very significant changes to the Articles of Association at the January 5th 2019 meeting. This was challenged at the meeting as to the legality of the change, the members present were assure by the COO that the BHS had taken legal advice and this was OK. Subsequently it was confirmed that the BHS legal advice was indeed incorrect and the changes proposed have been dropped.

There have been questions asked and as yet not answered by BHS about cost and running costs of the large HGV Classroom lorry, justification of spending £20,000 on a horse puppet, justification of the BHS presence in China which apparently required a lot of people to fly Business class. This question was raised at the 5.1.19 meeting the answer was it is self financing but nowhere in the accounts can this be found. The accounts are not detailed to it is not possible to find out what OUR MONEY is being spent on as it is mainly membership money that funds BHS.

The Charity Commission is now scrutinising the BHS.
 

SO1

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Joined
29 January 2008
Messages
3,553
I feel that this sounds important. I can't attend the meeting and I don't know anyone who is going.

The difficulty is that there is only one side to the story and it very hard to make a decision on who to give the proxy to without hearing both sides.

I expect for legal reasons the BSH are unable to answer all the allegations. Charity governance is complex and a strong Chairperson or Trustees can push the staff into doing things that are not always the best for the beneficiaries of the charity. I have worked for charities for over 20 years and have seen passionate trustees with limited knowledge of operations such as IT, marketing, finance push for change that experienced staff who are experts in their area of work would not always recommend.

New CEO's have a tendency to like to restructure and that includes often removing long standing staff and volunteers in attempt to get the change and legacy that they want. I expect any new CEO will be under pressure to make changes for the better, a new CEO may not necessarily protect long standing staff and volunteers any better than the old one! I don't think there is ever a situation when people say "hey what we are providing is great, lets just continue to do this" and that does put pressure on Senior Management to make big changes or push through ideas that are very visual so that people can see they are doing something!

What would be useful for me would be a very factual few bullet points about what the old guard has been alleged of doing and how they have responded to members concerns.

A lot of the focus seems to be around one high profile person being allegedly unfairly dismissed and I need to feel confident that this vote of no confidence would still have happened if that person had been reinstated or not been dismissed in the first place and I am not convinced that is the case at the moment.
 
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
26
Hoping someone can shed light!

Apparently there is "a situation" with the BHS, right?? I've seen a few posts on here and other places, and there's a bit of a crisis going on, or so I gather, but I'm really being a total numpty and really don't know what it is all about!

Would like to be enlightened. Not that I give a hoot TBH, BUT as a BHS Gold Member I guess I should be concerned......... or should I??

What's going on? (in simple terms, if possible!! :) )
There is a good open page with several links that might be useful. https://www.facebook.com/groups/646758525781802/?ref=group_header
 
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
26
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
26
I feel that this sounds important. I can't attend the meeting and I don't know anyone who is going.

The difficulty is that there is only one side to the story and it very hard to make a decision on who to give the proxy to without hearing both sides.

I expect for legal reasons the BSH are unable to answer all the allegations. Charity governance is complex and a strong Chairperson or Trustees can push the staff into doing things that are not always the best for the beneficiaries of the charity. I have worked for charities for over 20 years and have seen passionate trustees with limited knowledge of operations such as IT, marketing, finance push for change that experienced staff who are experts in their area of work would not always recommend.

New CEO's have a tendency to like to restructure and that includes often removing long standing staff and volunteers in attempt to get the change and legacy that they want. I expect any new CEO will be under pressure to make changes for the better, a new CEO may not necessarily protect long standing staff and volunteers any better than the old one! I don't think there is ever a situation when people say "hey what we are providing is great, lets just continue to do this" and that does put pressure on Senior Management to make big changes or push through ideas that are very visual so that people can see they are doing something!

What would be useful for me would be a very factual few bullet points about what the old guard has been alleged of doing and how they have responded to members concerns.

A lot of the focus seems to be around one high profile person being allegedly unfairly dismissed and I need to feel confident that this vote of no confidence would still have happened if that person had been reinstated or not been dismissed in the first place and I am not convinced that is the case at the moment.
The issues are much more than 1 person. There's a useful page on facebook now that's open to all. https://www.facebook.com/groups/646758525781802/?ref=group_header
 
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
67
Hoping someone can shed light!

Apparently there is "a situation" with the BHS, right?? I've seen a few posts on here and other places, and there's a bit of a crisis going on, or so I gather, but I'm really being a total numpty and really don't know what it is all about!

Would like to be enlightened. Not that I give a hoot TBH, BUT as a BHS Gold Member I guess I should be concerned......... or should I??

What's going on? (in simple terms, if possible!! :) )
Here's something just posted on FB page cited above - This explains part of the reasons for the vote of confidence.
 

Attachments

Joined
22 April 2019
Messages
30
I feel that this sounds important. I can't attend the meeting and I don't know anyone who is going.

The difficulty is that there is only one side to the story and it very hard to make a decision on who to give the proxy to without hearing both sides.

I expect for legal reasons the BSH are unable to answer all the allegations. Charity governance is complex and a strong Chairperson or Trustees can push the staff into doing things that are not always the best for the beneficiaries of the charity. I have worked for charities for over 20 years and have seen passionate trustees with limited knowledge of operations such as IT, marketing, finance push for change that experienced staff who are experts in their area of work would not always recommend.

New CEO's have a tendency to like to restructure and that includes often removing long standing staff and volunteers in attempt to get the change and legacy that they want. I expect any new CEO will be under pressure to make changes for the better, a new CEO may not necessarily protect long standing staff and volunteers any better than the old one! I don't think there is ever a situation when people say "hey what we are providing is great, lets just continue to do this" and that does put pressure on Senior Management to make big changes or push through ideas that are very visual so that people can see they are doing something!

What would be useful for me would be a very factual few bullet points about what the old guard has been alleged of doing and how they have responded to members concerns.

A lot of the focus seems to be around one high profile person being allegedly unfairly dismissed and I need to feel confident that this vote of no confidence would still have happened if that person had been reinstated or not been dismissed in the first place and I am not convinced that is the case at the moment.
There is a good open page with several links that might be useful. https://www.facebook.com/groups/646758525781802/?ref=group_header
Read more at https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/...the-bhs-situation.776092/#QOYRfHEbxfy2tQJ4.99
 
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Leo Walker

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19 July 2013
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Northampton
I stopped following after the in fighting in the Facebook group and random splinter groups forming and all sorts of cloak and dagger allegations being made. It came up in my newsfeed again the the other day and the behaviour of members in the group towards a BHS Trustee who was trying to help, was disgusting. I was appalled to see people behaving like that after starting the group because of concerns over bullying.

I'd have grave concerns about taking anything said by members at face value having witnessed what has gone on so far. Which is a shame, as it looks like there may be issues that need addressing, its hard to tell amongst the vitriol, and there certainly seems to be personal agendas going on.
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
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Cambridge
much the same really I've had to block a few people on that page which I think has doubled my block list! Though I was equally aghast at the suggestion that people should put up with bullying in order to enable change from within.
 

Velcrobum

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 October 2016
Messages
798
I stopped following after the in fighting in the Facebook group and random splinter groups forming and all sorts of cloak and dagger allegations being made. It came up in my newsfeed again the the other day and the behaviour of members in the group towards a BHS Trustee who was trying to help, was disgusting. I was appalled to see people behaving like that after starting the group because of concerns over bullying.

I'd have grave concerns about taking anything said by members at face value having witnessed what has gone on so far. Which is a shame, as it looks like there may be issues that need addressing, its hard to tell amongst the vitriol, and there certainly seems to be personal agendas going on.

I think you might be referring to an ex trustee and yes certain postings were challenged but I have obviously missed the vitriol, bullying and personal agendas. Given a lot of what has been discussed has been backed up by a "paper trail" which is all available to members of the group IMHO I feel that the issues with BHS are real and do need to be addressed. I do not know if you were at the January 5th meeting? I went with a very open mind and was appalled by what was said by Trustees and senior BHS staff. Certain claims were made that were challenged from the floor. Those claims have subsequently been shown to be false. This board and senior BHS staff appear to have been dominated by the ex CEO who has now resigned hopefully the new CEO will lead not dominate so BHS can move forwards and with 4 new trustees to be elected in July things are looking up.
 
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
67
I stopped following after the in fighting in the Facebook group and random splinter groups forming and all sorts of cloak and dagger allegations being made. It came up in my newsfeed again the the other day and the behaviour of members in the group towards a BHS Trustee who was trying to help, was disgusting. I was appalled to see people behaving like that after starting the group because of concerns over bullying.

I'd have grave concerns about taking anything said by members at face value having witnessed what has gone on so far. Which is a shame, as it looks like there may be issues that need addressing, its hard to tell amongst the vitriol, and there certainly seems to be personal agendas going on.
Yes there are issues that need addressing. Maybe you can help.
 
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
67
I've had a quick trawl through the very long thread. In essence, the BHS appears to be treating it's long serving staff very poorly, it's sacked a few. There have been some accusations of bullying which is coming from the top down.
They've altered their article of association (illegally?).
They've not been transparent or clear about the recruitment of key board members, or of trustees.
There appear to have been some financial irregularities, claiming of expenses which could be considered dubious, plus the general wasting of money by purchasing a horsebox for 130k for use at events and a puppet for 28k which is now broken.
Generally poor governance.
Various other accusations, I am thinking of attending the meeting myself.
Well put. Generally poor governance. The lack of respect for and response to issues raised at the 5 January meeting has, in my opinion, led to the planned meeting and vote of no confidence.
 
Joined
29 March 2019
Messages
67
I think you might be referring to an ex trustee and yes certain postings were challenged but I have obviously missed the vitriol, bullying and personal agendas. Given a lot of what has been discussed has been backed up by a "paper trail" which is all available to members of the group IMHO I feel that the issues with BHS are real and do need to be addressed. I do not know if you were at the January 5th meeting? I went with a very open mind and was appalled by what was said by Trustees and senior BHS staff. Certain claims were made that were challenged from the floor. Those claims have subsequently been shown to be false. This board and senior BHS staff appear to have been dominated by the ex CEO who has now resigned hopefully the new CEO will lead not dominate so BHS can move forwards and with 4 new trustees to be elected in July things are looking up.
I agree but I think it will take more than 4 new faces. Speaking for myself, I lack confidence in the people who were dominated as you say by the ex ceo and the behaviours and attitudes of the executive who were picked and trained by that ceo.
 

JanetGeorge

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Shropshire/Worcs. borders
I stopped following after the in fighting in the Facebook group and random splinter groups forming and all sorts of cloak and dagger allegations being made. It came up in my newsfeed again the the other day and the behaviour of members in the group towards a BHS Trustee who was trying to help, was disgusting. I was appalled to see people behaving like that after starting the group because of concerns over bullying.

I'd have grave concerns about taking anything said by members at face value having witnessed what has gone on so far. Which is a shame, as it looks like there may be issues that need addressing, its hard to tell amongst the vitriol, and there certainly seems to be personal agendas going on.
Leo - you are talking about a former Trustee - active when the trouble started doing not very much, it seems. Fred is the one trying to bully others into listening to him - although he is rather remiss at answering questions. There will always be 'fall-outs' when people are passionate about a cause but the few who started a splinter group are back in the fold and we are working well together. Several members - including the former Trustee - ARE presenting their views agressively and appear to have the aim to be divisive and disruptive. It is clear from some of the posts here that members are kept in the dark.
 
Joined
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67
INJUSTICE - I posted the following on the BHS Facebook page with a link to an information page. It was deleted and I am blocked from posting. "As a long serving member and former local Chair, who signed the petition, I respectfully request the right to use this space to provide access for members to further information about the important matters behind the requisitioned meeting. Members deserve the chance to understand the whole picture and make up their own minds on the very important vote." https://www.facebook.com/groups/646758525781802/?ref=group_header
 

JanetGeorge

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Shropshire/Worcs. borders
INJUSTICE - I posted the following on the BHS Facebook page with a link to an information page. It was deleted and I am blocked from posting. "As a long serving member and former local Chair, who signed the petition, I respectfully request the right to use this space to provide access for members to further information about the important matters behind the requisitioned meeting. Members deserve the chance to understand the whole picture and make up their own minds on the very important vote." https://www.facebook.com/groups/646758525781802/?ref=group_header
That realy shows a big part of the problems we are concerned about. The Chairman claims no to know WHY there is a Vote of No Confidence - and then gags members who know!
 

ester

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Cambridge
I really dislike the deleting of comments, but then the members group isn't whiter than white on that either with regards to hitting the mute button:rolleyes:.
 

JanetGeorge

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Shropshire/Worcs. borders
I really dislike the deleting of comments, but then the members group isn't whiter than white on that either with regards to hitting the mute button:rolleyes:.
We're about as white as we can be, ester - there have been 3 new posts deleted in the last week - none of which had ANYTHING to do with the Group's aims. If we allowed these to stay, it would be dozens of shared for sale, etc posts to distract people from what they want to know about.
 

ester

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I was talking about mutings over the last few weeks/months, I didn't mention the deletion of posts? I just don't think people can be up in arms about the BHS about it when doing similar themselves. It's pretty hypocritical.
 
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