Author Topic: AUK FINANCES AND WEBSITE PROJECT was: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT  (Read 29562 times)

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #300 on: September 21, 2018, 11:59:08 pm »

Very true. Increase them for what though? If what needs paying for hasn't been touched by inflation then they shouldn't increase just for the sake of it. If they were increasing to fund a new initiative we all agreed with then fair enough. But they're being increased just to cover this project.

The subs are being increased to fund what was a new initiative several years ago, namely an IT upgrade with new website, this was brought forward by the membership and processed in line with the clubs constitution (i.e. democratically, along previous agreed lines etc where the agreement of the majority carries for all).

Therefore they are increasing it to fund a new initiative we all agree with.

Fair enough for you?
www.milehousebarn.co.uk - Cycle Frienldy B&B in Nantwich, Chehsire

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #301 on: September 22, 2018, 05:49:52 am »
Seems to me the Chairman doesn't give a f**k about the members and will just continue to do what he wants , this seems to include changing the rules to allow him to do what ever he wants

I am seriously considering canceling my events for 2019.  As this is no longer a club but a dictatorship! !!!

Hear, hear!

The current chair is great and AUK has been making leaps and bounds since he started; it's much better-run than any of the other cycling organisations I've had the dubious pleasure to be involved with.  Like Greenback I haven't ridden much recently and like him I'd rather get the magazine online, bit like him I'll most certainly keep my membership running.

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
    • AUK results
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #302 on: September 22, 2018, 07:46:08 am »
Not even so much as a Reader's Digest special salutation:

Dear MR SMITH

Ah yes, that's down to me.  That salutation should have included your firstname but something went astray.   I'm afraid that MailChimp is a bit of a dark art for me, and there is probably a delegate position for someone who has a better grasp on the technology than me.  On the plus side, I don't think there were speling mixtakes.  I do hope I got those numbers right.

I'm so ancient that I indeed once used to work for a mail order company, and fitting variables into a pre-printed form was at the cutting edge then.

Mine just started:

Dear

No title, no names. Thought everyone's email was equally lacking.

Strikes me as indicative of the contempt thats been shown to the membership. Anonymous donors to the board's folly.

In  nutshell - the board knows best, board will do what they decide to do, and the board will increase their take for their hard efforts.



Cheers.
Hmmm. How much do you think they are paid?

Its the principle of it. At a time when fees have to be raised because there isn't enough to fund the project that is now, quite simply put, a financial disaster, at a time when rules are being reinterpreted to suit the desires of the board, they are taking more. Be it 50p or £50, when more is being asked to be given, its a little tasteless don't you think? Clearly they don't.

When the project was conceived and then given the go ahead was the whole scenario different to what it is now? I wasn't there then, but certainly in the last couple of years I think it has. The membership has not been consulted since, just given delayed reports of what the board has done and what the board will be doing.





Rule 77

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #303 on: September 22, 2018, 07:47:16 am »

Very true. Increase them for what though? If what needs paying for hasn't been touched by inflation then they shouldn't increase just for the sake of it. If they were increasing to fund a new initiative we all agreed with then fair enough. But they're being increased just to cover this project.

The subs are being increased to fund what was a new initiative several years ago, namely an IT upgrade with new website, this was brought forward by the membership and processed in line with the clubs constitution (i.e. democratically, along previous agreed lines etc where the agreement of the majority carries for all).

Therefore they are increasing it to fund a new initiative we all agree with.

Fair enough for you?

Fair enough  :)

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #304 on: September 22, 2018, 08:39:50 am »

Very true. Increase them for what though? If what needs paying for hasn't been touched by inflation then they shouldn't increase just for the sake of it. If they were increasing to fund a new initiative we all agreed with then fair enough. But they're being increased just to cover this project.

The subs are being increased to fund what was a new initiative several years ago, namely an IT upgrade with new website, this was brought forward by the membership and processed in line with the clubs constitution (i.e. democratically, along previous agreed lines etc where the agreement of the majority carries for all).

Therefore they are increasing it to fund a new initiative we all agree with.

Fair enough for you?

Had the members been told that the IT project would bring the club to the point of bankruptcy, would they still have agreed to it?

No, it’s not ‘fair enough’.
R10000 x 2   RRtY x 7    SR x 7    E = 128

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #305 on: September 22, 2018, 11:56:05 am »
Audaxes do still represent better value than other similar cycling events, and charges have remained static for a long time. But there's a tension between those who see Audax as club runs with added validation and those who see them as better value versions of more commercially-minded events.

Someone from a club or CTC background would be doing 100 km weekend rides, and wouldn't be paying anything beyond membership fees. They might be paying for events open to members of other clubs; the club 10 or 25 mile TT, or a touring competition/ treasure hunt, or a reliability trial. An Audax is an extension of that, a long ride, which is timed, and has a navigation element.

In time trialling there's a ladder of participation and achievement, from club 10 to National Championship. The national championships are most keenly contested at shorter distances, and the participants are an elite. The 24 always has spare places, so the field is more mixed. It's possible to hear of the 24, be inspired, and enter at the first opportunity. 'Rival' 24 hour events are much more costly, as they are commercial events, which aren't the top of a pyramid of club events.

PBP has a similar function to the 24 within cyclotouring. It has the capacity to inspire, and to draw participants to the activity. It's the top of the French cyclotouring pyramid, and it's supported by the lower tiers of cyclotouring clubs. LEL is much the same, but with a lack of qualification rides.

Those drawn straight to PBP or LEL from a background of commercial rides won't appreciate the pyramid structure. They're buying straight into the peak of the pursuit. Those events are good value to them, at perhaps a half or a third of what could be done commercially. PBP has stayed pretty stable in terms of price, although the weakness of the £ has impacted on costs for UK participants. LEL has had marked increases in price at every running.

AUK is good at retaining those who are attracted to it through flagship events. People find the combination of comradeship and adventure compelling, and it gives them stories to tell themselves and others. The magazine provides a forum for storytelling, as do the various social media outlets, such as here.

The various critiques of the IT project have a validity deriving from the pathway that led to AUK. If Audax is a stage of evolution from club run to PBP, then it's not obvious that it should cost much, or that it should need much in the way of supporting facilities. Charges for rides will be levied at varying rates according to membership status, and at the AGM the treasurer will hopefully announce a positive balance, meaning no increase in subs.

Those who come to Audax from commercial events will find Audax more sociable, as the fields are smaller, and the rides are more frequent. Once they get used to the Spartan ethic, those converts start to evangelise. Their mates put up the usual objections; Audaxers wear sandals and are weird; there's no signposting; bus stops and garage forecourts are seen as a luxury; the participants are too white, too old and too male; and so on. That leads to demands for change, at least in altering those perceptions.

There's also a geographical tension. Demand is highest in metropolitan areas, and the supply of Audaxes is easiest in rural areas. Organising is done by those at the edge of conurbations, or in towns with easy access to good riding areas. The combination of these various factors spike in the provision of costlier rides with better facilities from the London fringe. These garner more media attention, and give a heightened impression of a trend. There's then an interest in where that trend might lead.

I suppose the two extreme outcomes would be AUK being absorbed into Cycling UK, as OCD has been absorbed into AUK, or AUK including 'commercial' and charity events into its validation structure. I think that the situation will become clearer after PBP 2019.

PBP had been on a steady development path since it became based in St Quentin, but the coming of the velodrome seems to have disturbed the equilibrium. There were creaks in the structure in 2015, as the organisation reached its limits. I'll be interested to see how 2019 works out.

Many 'communitarian' organisations face the same problems as AUK, an erosion of the base of the pyramid, coupled with an influx of evangelical converts seeking solace from a sense of community. There are plenty of committees divided between the old-timers who want to concentrate on maintaining the roof of the meeting hall, and evangelists who want to recruit new members through novel means.

 

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #306 on: September 22, 2018, 12:26:05 pm »
It's an external service called MailChimp. They send tens of millions of emails a day.

1. Spam filters may have moved it to the junk folder.
2. It's delayed due to a technical problem between Mailchimp and your email provider and the systems will try again periodically so there may be a temporary delay.
3. They don't have your correct email address.
4. It's a conspiracy and they purposely didn't email you.

I’ve still not had the email. It’s definitely not 1 or 3, so it must be either 2 or 4...

Hmmm!


Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #307 on: September 22, 2018, 12:34:03 pm »
It's an external service called MailChimp. They send tens of millions of emails a day.

1. Spam filters may have moved it to the junk folder.
2. It's delayed due to a technical problem between Mailchimp and your email provider and the systems will try again periodically so there may be a temporary delay.
3. They don't have your correct email address.
4. It's a conspiracy and they purposely didn't email you.
5. There is no email, it's a joke and you're not in on it.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #308 on: September 22, 2018, 01:59:33 pm »
It's an external service called MailChimp. They send tens of millions of emails a day.

1. Spam filters may have moved it to the junk folder.
2. It's delayed due to a technical problem between Mailchimp and your email provider and the systems will try again periodically so there may be a temporary delay.
3. They don't have your correct email address.
4. It's a conspiracy and they purposely didn't email you.
5. There is no email, it's a joke and you're not in on it.

6. Something else I hadn't thought of.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #309 on: September 22, 2018, 03:27:55 pm »
60 people have just approved a Motion of Confidence in the price hikes - including two who want to make voluntary donations thru a crowdfunding arrangement  :o

(over on Facebook)

(and they weren't all called Christine Crossland)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
    • AUK results
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #310 on: September 22, 2018, 04:46:42 pm »
Has this means of vote been written into the AUK constitution now?

Can I start a poll here with a vote of no confidence, and would it hold the same weight?
Rule 77

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #311 on: September 22, 2018, 04:55:50 pm »
I hadn't considered the impact of Facebook as a rival power-base. It all adds to the interest.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #312 on: September 22, 2018, 04:59:46 pm »
Has this means of vote been written into the AUK constitution now?

Can I start a poll here with a vote of no confidence, and would it hold the same weight?

It would hold the same weight yes. Doubt you'd get the same number of respondents though.

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
    • AUK results
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #313 on: September 22, 2018, 05:09:20 pm »
Its all bollocks really.

What the board has done is set a precedent for them doing whatever the hell they want to do in the name of "it's what we need to do to safeguard the future", and nothing that me or anybody else can do is gonna change that. Even if the board all step down, or got ousted, could this even be retracted?

Don't get me wrong, precedents can achieve many good things. I fear though that in this instance, it has sprung open a door which can never be shut.

Rule 77

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #314 on: September 22, 2018, 06:28:23 pm »
Has this means of vote been written into the AUK constitution now?

Can I start a poll here with a vote of no confidence, and would it hold the same weight?

It would hold the same weight yes. Doubt you'd get the same number of respondents though.
Yes & yes.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #315 on: September 22, 2018, 06:44:44 pm »
What the board has done is set a precedent for them doing whatever the hell they want to do in the name of "it's what we need to do to safeguard the future",
It hardly needs a precedent. Doesn't the Board have a legal duty to take whatever steps it believes are necessary and prudent (and allowed under the constitution) to "safeguard the future"?   Even if the Board are mistaken in that belief I don't think it alters their legal obligation (but IANAL)

Even if the board all step down, or got ousted, could this even be retracted?
..... I fear though that in this instance, it has sprung open a door which can never be shut.
I don't buy that.  The constitution of the club (or Articles of the company if you prefer) can always be changed by the membership, subject to the necessary majority.

Is it too far-fetched to imagine a future board looking back at this and saying "rather than pissing folks off with a substantial increase to catch up with 10 years of no increases" we should write into the constitution "that membership fees will go up every year by a %age equal to the RPI (or CPI or whatever)"
 


bairn again

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #316 on: September 22, 2018, 06:51:10 pm »
I met yesterday with the Chairman of an organisation which has 17,000 members who subs are £30 pa and who have over £400k in the bank.  They plan to close down in 2019 as they have so few volunteers. 

The outcome here looks to me like the least worst option in difficult circumstances. Only time will tell of course. 

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #317 on: September 22, 2018, 06:56:02 pm »
60 people have just approved a Motion of Confidence in the price hikes - including two who want to make voluntary donations thru a crowdfunding arrangement  :o

(over on Facebook)

I wonder how much of the membership think the price rise will cover a complete IT refresh rather than a fraction of one that still leaves us entirely dependent on the (allegedly) “could fail at any time” aukweb for almost everything*.

It’s that part that I find most depressing.  Even with a quarter of a million quid spent  it won’t even have achieved the most fundamental goal it was set out for.

(* AIUI Phase 1 is just a pretty website that depends on old site for all event data and for event entry. Phase 2 just adds some membership admin tools)

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #318 on: September 22, 2018, 07:44:49 pm »
I met yesterday with the Chairman of an organisation which has 17,000 members who subs are £30 pa and who have over £400k in the bank.  They plan to close down in 2019 as they have so few volunteers. 

The outcome here looks to me like the least worst option in difficult circumstances. Only time will tell of course.

I think we're at the end of a period when many people retired early, and looked to volunteer. The retirement age is going up, and large organisations with final salary pensions have shed workers, and replaced them with contractors.

That transitional period was a bit exceptional, and we may be seeing the end of a golden age for volunteering. I do the odd day for the local wildlife trust, and there are many volunteers who are still actively seeking work, and are keeping their CVs topped up, and their references current.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #319 on: September 22, 2018, 08:01:28 pm »
I met yesterday with the Chairman of an organisation which has 17,000 members who subs are £30 pa and who have over £400k in the bank.  They plan to close down in 2019 as they have so few volunteers. 

The outcome here looks to me like the least worst option in difficult circumstances. Only time will tell of course.

I think we're at the end of a period when many people retired early, and looked to volunteer. The retirement age is going up, and large organisations with final salary pensions have shed workers, and replaced them with contractors.

That transitional period was a bit exceptional, and we may be seeing the end of a golden age for volunteering. I do the odd day for the local wildlife trust, and there are many volunteers who are still actively seeking work, and are keeping their CV topped up, and their references current.

I think you're right about this. My WASPI contemporaries will be working till they're knackered.

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #320 on: September 22, 2018, 08:30:44 pm »
I met yesterday with the Chairman of an organisation which has 17,000 members who subs are £30 pa and who have over £400k in the bank.  They plan to close down in 2019 as they have so few volunteers. 

The outcome here looks to me like the least worst option in difficult circumstances. Only time will tell of course.

I think we're at the end of a period when many people retired early, and looked to volunteer. The retirement age is going up, and large organisations with final salary pensions have shed workers, and replaced them with contractors.

That transitional period was a bit exceptional, and we may be seeing the end of a golden age for volunteering. I do the odd day for the local wildlife trust, and there are many volunteers who are still actively seeking work, and are keeping their CVs topped up, and their references current.

Not sure of your analysis.

I'm 56 and expect I'll be working until I'm 137. I organise an event and have quite a few people offering up their time who seem to be in work.

Maybe it's different down South where we still have jobs.

However, why do people volunteer to run organisations where every decision they take is second guessed by armchair experts?



Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #321 on: September 22, 2018, 08:57:30 pm »
I met yesterday with the Chairman of an organisation which has 17,000 members who subs are £30 pa and who have over £400k in the bank.  They plan to close down in 2019 as they have so few volunteers. 

The outcome here looks to me like the least worst option in difficult circumstances. Only time will tell of course.

I think we're at the end of a period when many people retired early, and looked to volunteer. The retirement age is going up, and large organisations with final salary pensions have shed workers, and replaced them with contractors.

That transitional period was a bit exceptional, and we may be seeing the end of a golden age for volunteering. I do the odd day for the local wildlife trust, and there are many volunteers who are still actively seeking work, and are keeping their CVs topped up, and their references current.

Not sure of your analysis.

I'm 56 and expect I'll be working until I'm 137. I organise an event and have quite a few people offering up their time who seem to be in work.

Maybe it's different down South where we still have jobs.

However, why do people volunteer to run organisations where every decision they take is second guessed by armchair experts?

I still volunteer (I am retired).  But, to be fair, very few of the board's decisions have attracted any scrutiny at all. Just this one, involving a few hundred thousand squid.

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
    • AUK results
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #322 on: September 22, 2018, 09:16:44 pm »
Precisely - its the eye watering sums that have suddenly become necessary. (Cue the clever dick explaining that actually, in corporate terms £1/4m is chump change)

And despite all assurances that Phases 2 and 3 are not expected to incur such problems, the IT contractor will at that point have the Alt- F4s so far up our Ctrl-Alt-Del's that if they do incur problems, the board will have no choice but to invoke their powers of omnipotence once again.

And to boot, if what grahamparks suggests is true - phase 1 has been nought but an overpriced vanity exercise. A flash facade wholly reliant on the crumbling infrastructure that is on a precipice of catastrophe.  Pat Butcher in a tutu and all the slap in Paris, is still Pat Butcher.

This should have gone to ballot.
Rule 77

Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #323 on: September 22, 2018, 09:33:54 pm »

Not sure of your analysis.

I'm 56 and expect I'll be working until I'm 137. I organise an event and have quite a few people offering up their time who seem to be in work.

Maybe it's different down South where we still have jobs.

However, why do people volunteer to run organisations where every decision they take is second guessed by armchair experts?




It's a mystery. I'm mercurial and unreliable, so most unsuited to administration. However, I do have some social science training, and it's never completely worn off.

I've been most struck by the contrast between the UK and France.

My partner Heather was involved with LEL from 2001 to 2017, so I've been to a lot of the meetings, and seen the evolution of that. I also became quite interested in the organisation of PBP and of the Semaine Federale, which count volunteers in the thousands. There seems to be a lot more status in committee work in France, and more tolerance of the gap between intention and result.

My analysis of the relationship between retirement and volunteering is partly influenced by what's happening in France, where they're going down the same road as we are, but rather later. I've been seeing the same key volunteers at PBP for the last three editions at least, and concern was raised in the brochure we got after 2015 about that. Where will the new generation come from?

From 2001 to 2009 Heather was able to recruit enough volunteers for LEL from family and friends of participants, but 2013 and 2017 saw the recruitment of volunteers from abroad. That's one of the factors which force the entry fees up. I don't really see any way around that. A shoestring event is completely scalable, each additional entrant cost the same. 'TLC' events aren't, as they require step-changes in provision.

The really interesting events are those which straddle 'shoestring' and 'TLC'. It's fascinating to read the reports which don't want to criticise the organiser, but want to convey the misery the writer feels they have been through. That demonstrates the problem of being British.

But once the 'authorities' are sufficiently distant, they're fair game.

j_a_m_e_s_

  • Prisoner 17091
    • AUK results
Re: AUK CHAIRMAN STATEMENT
« Reply #324 on: September 22, 2018, 09:50:20 pm »

But once the 'authorities' are sufficiently distant, they're fair game.

The same could be said for the spending of monetary reserves.....
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