Club committee.

Arch

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A bit of a long one this, so get a cuppa and tell me what you think ??

I'm in the middle of a long and slightly heated exchange on our clubs FB page about a rule change that the club brought in early last year. Not long before last seasons (19-20) AGM, which is held in early March, there were strong rumours that keepnets were going be banned except for in organised competitions. At the time, I said that a change in the club rules can only be approved at an AGM involving a vote by the membership in attendance. This was dismissed at the time by those in charge.

Obviously due to the Covid pandemic, our AGM got cancelled. Three months later, low and behold, there in our new book, No keepnets allowed. OK, not much can be done now, so I'll wait until next years AGM and table a proposal to have a vote on removing the rule. Our club rules state that

"Any proposal that requires a change of the rules must be made in writing to the Secretary at least two weeks before the AGM"

I've been told that a Committee member did write a letter to the Secretary, and the vote to ban keepnets was taken at committee level.

So to this years AGM. I inquired as to whether an AGM of some sort would be going ahead more than 14 days before the published date of the said AGM, to be informed that it was unlikely that one would be held. Fair enough, another year until I can get a proposal in to have a vote to remove the keepnet ban. At this stage, our Secretary got involved and basically shut the discussion down by saying, and I quote.


"The members can suggest rules, and the members can elect a committee at an AGM. Nothing about members voting on rule changes.
There is of course the part about rule changes being suggested by the members in writing before an AGM - there's been no rules broken there.
As a team we have collated rule suggestions off members whilst on the bank (and through Facebook comments etc) and have voted on those as a committee.
No rules broken or the club being run in an irresponsible fashion"


There is more, but it's not relevant. My interpretation of our club rules are that important decisions are made at an AGM, not committee level.

Now, my argument isn't that keepnets were banned, and I'll state now that I like to use a keepnet, and I'm not inferring the the club isn't ran well. It's to do with the way the decision to ban keepnets was made. I believe that a vote should have taken place at an AGM because this is a club rule, and then let the membership decide whether a ban on keepnets was appropriate or not. As the last two AGMs have had to be cancelled, my belief is that a changing of any rule, not just the ban on keepnets, should have been postponed until a time when an AGM can/could have be held.

So, there you go. A little long winded and I'm sorry for the rant, but I'm a bit of a stickler for the correct procedure.
 

Dave Spence

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I also agree, sounds like you have a commie club mate😝
 

Team KDB

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Could you set in motion and call for an Extraordinary General Meeting for when you are allowed to meet in large groups to discuss the rule change.
 

Sam Vimes

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Everything depends on the exact wording of the club constitution and any associated documentation. It certainly doesn't sound like a particularly good way of going on, but there's a fair bet that many clubs have overlooked parts of their written constitutions in the last year. The vast majority will not have had a proper committee meeting in over a year. In most cases, committee members will be the same as they were more than a year ago. The only exceptions being those that have passed away. Both things are often in contravention of constitutions.

Whilst I can understand the annoyance at the introduction of a less than universally accepted rule change, I tend to think that committees need to be cut some slack in the current circumstances. For those that are aggrieved enough, they will have their chance to get at, or on, the committee in the future. Get really organized and you could easily take control of the club. However, it often seems that most folks are happy to complain but actually attending an AGM, let alone being on the committee, and they vanish like smoke in a gale. I ended up on a club committee largely to boost coarse angler numbers to counter the dominance of game anglers. They never actually meant any harm to coarse anglers, but the odd ill-conceived decision was made that made life unduly difficult for coarse anglers.

In the case of your steamrollered keepnet rule. Did the membership suddenly expand last year? I know that many clubs did experience a surge of new and relatively inexperienced anglers. Was there an incident, or incidents, involving inexperienced anglers, keepnets and damaged or dead fish? If that was the case, then perhaps the committee was acting with the best of intentions, even if they have overlooked some constitutional procedure.
 

JLK

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Club committees by their very nature are generally full of old timers who generally have nothing else to do but moan and make up stupid rules and regulations.

Like that keepnet ban. Perfectly acceptable in matches but not for pleasure fishing. That will be due to some members who just can't see past their own blinkered few on the use of keepnets.

As above have said. This should have stayed as is until this could have got discussed and voted on at an AGM.
 

Pompous git

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Agree with arch, the rule should have been discussed at an AGM.

Don`t like to slag of committees because a lot of members are not prepared to put the time in. They should not though put
themselves above the law.
 

BoldBear

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Club committees by their very nature are generally full of old timers who generally have nothing else to do but moan and make up stupid rules and regulations.

Like that keepnet ban. Perfectly acceptable in matches but not for pleasure fishing. That will be due to some members who just can't see past their own blinkered few on the use of keepnets.

As above have said. This should have stayed as is until this could have got discussed and voted on at an AGM.
Do I see a bit of ageism crawling in there? :)
If you don’t want pensioners running your club then it’s up to the membership to vote someone different onto the committee. Trouble is no one seems to want to put in the hours.

I don’t think the rule to ban keepnets except for in matches is a bad rule at all, and all of the clubs in my area have incorporated this exact same rule, and they don’t all have old (and more experienced) anglers filling up their committees :D

In this case when your normal AGM was cancelled; Your committee should have called an ‘extra ordinary AGM’ later to discuss this rule change with its members to confirm the rule change however in extreme cases like this where they can’t meet with the members at all; they are entitled to make a temporary change (until a meeting with the members can be called to confirm the change) if they seriously thought that the fish may be at risk. They were voted in to run the club ‘for’ the clubs members and that includes its fish welfare so in my view you should cut them a little bit of slack until the club can meet again at least.

Keith
 
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Cobweb

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I served as Secretary and subsequently the following year when I indicated that I would not be standing for re-election ( I had a full time job then and was under 40) was re-elected to the committee, and then nominated and then co-opted unanimously as Chairman of a management committee with 1000 members. I agree with @sam Vines in that much depends on the memorandum and articles of association of the club, it's constitution, and rules. The Secretary would normally be the custodian and arbiter in cases of dispute, but each member would be (usually) either handed their own copy, and/or shown where/how to access one at any time. Also members would be entitled to receive notification of any changes, usually in advance

Someone mentioned that serving on a committee is a time consuming task, but it was a labour of love for me for at least 6 days a week after work and at weekends

Like you I am puzzled as to why, given that meetings of members together in person had to be suspended, any rule change could be proposed and passed without first (a) giving due notice to members in advance, and (b) obtaining their approval at a duly convened meeting. Given that lockdown has been in force, other practical options would still be still available, postal notification and voting being just one of them.

Of course much would depend on the rule book, and somewhere in my memory the phrase "quorum" is nagging away at me Whatever, commonly it is not just the committee that has the power to convene an EGM, but without access to the membership names and addresses it would be a difficult task. Again your membership rules would be the reference
 

Arch

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A little more context from me. I've been a member of this club for 30 odd years give of take a few years off for my match fishing career. I've also served on their committee in the past, and partaken in all the duties a committee member is expected to do, so I do know a little of what's involved. I think one of the current committee were in the club back then.

Just to reiterate, it isn't the banning of keepnets I'm concerned about, it is the way it was carried out. I believe a decision should have been made at an AGM. Or if the committee decided to make a decision at committee level, it would then be ratified at the earliest available time for an AGM or EGM.
 

Arch

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Just out of interest, would the decision to increase the membership fees be something that the committee would do, or would that have to be decided at an AGM ??
 

Sam Vimes

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Just out of interest, would the decision to increase the membership fees be something that the committee would do, or would that have to be decided at an AGM ??
In the average club, I'd expect that to be an AGM issue. However, these are extraordinary times. I wouldn't see a small inflationary increase without an AGM as going beyond the pale in such circumstances, especially when many AGMs are completed without the attendance of anyone other than committee members. It may not necessarily be entirely proper, but it wouldn't be unreasonable. Some aspects of normal club procedure simply can't be adhered to properly at the moment. It's simply a matter of being pragmatic. All you can do is hope that your committee is sensible and reasonable.
 

OldTaff

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I agree with Arch that such rule changes and the setting of fees both should b3 matters for AGM and a full membership vote
 

Cobweb

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Just out of interest, would the decision to increase the membership fees be something that the committee would do, or would that have to be decided at an AGM ??
If the decision needs the approval of the members that would have to be at a formal Meeting. Convention dictates what happens at an AGM and regular annual agenda items will appear as matters to be dealt with. That may or may not include an item covering membership fees (your club's member handbook should tell you about that).
 

Dropon

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I think some how there as been a get together of some committee members and a decision was made to alter the rules. This should not have happened and surely is against the constitution rules.
An extra ordinary should be called to see what notes the secretary noted in the minutes of the meeting, alas this is not possible in the present times we are in.
Whether it’s a good rule or not is not relavent ,what is most important is the principle of how the rule was changed.
Best of luck Arch with your challenge. Perhaps the response will be some one is always quick to complain but slow to offer their time and help.
 

Dropon

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Ps I would send a letter to the secretary informing him/her that you intend to pursue this further as and when you are able to do so.
 

Arch

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I think some how there as been a get together of some committee members and a decision was made to alter the rules. This should not have happened and surely is against the constitution rules.
An extra ordinary should be called to see what notes the secretary noted in the minutes of the meeting, alas this is not possible in the present times we are in.
Whether it’s a good rule or not is not relavent ,what is most important is the principle of how the rule was changed.
Best of luck Arch with your challenge. Perhaps the response will be some one is always quick to complain but slow to offer their time and help.

One of the responses I've had is "If you don't like it, don't renew your ticket"

Nice.
 

Arch

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Thanks for the replies. I'm not really sure how things will go if I'm honest. It's almost like a bunch of mates have got together and now run a club, and what they say goes with no regard to the correct procedures. I'll give them their due, they'll all stick together.

I re-joined 4 years ago and couldn't make the AGM for that season and we haven't had one for the last 2 seasons. At no time since I joined have I been party to the club accounts, and as far as I'm aware, neither has anyone else. Over 600 members, paying £50 a year. A lot of money to account for. For the record, I don't believe anything untoward is happening but it would just be nice to see where the membership fees are being spent.
 

Total

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Thanks for the replies. I'm not really sure how things will go if I'm honest. It's almost like a bunch of mates have got together and now run a club, and what they say goes with no regard to the correct procedures. I'll give them their due, they'll all stick together.

I re-joined 4 years ago and couldn't make the AGM for that season and we haven't had one for the last 2 seasons. At no time since I joined have I been party to the club accounts, and as far as I'm aware, neither has anyone else. Over 600 members, paying £50 a year. A lot of money to account for. For the record, I don't believe anything untoward is happening but it would just be nice to see where the membership fees are being spent.
Was this the Prince Albert Mob Arch?:unsure:
 
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