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CPS committee changes debate


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#41 Flick

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:02 PM

First things first the financial allegations made by Vic2 are serious.


Vic's allegations are blatently untrue.
The CPS books are ALWAYS available at the AGM. The balance sheet is reported in the Treasurer's report and is therefore available in the newsletters and on the web site. The full accounts are available from me anytime - just ask. If a member requests that I bring the books to a meeting - no problem. If a member asks a question or needs clarification - no problem. It has been like that since I have been Treasurer.


Where are the e-mails asking what any of us could contribute? Its a simple thing but by getting more involved it removes the "them and us" atmosphere which is what this whole thread is feeding on.


We ALWAYS need volunteers. All of us are just that - amateur volunteers who give up our time for the CPS. We need more committee members, we need more people to get involved rather than stand back and criticise. The more of us there are to do the work, the easier it is. We have had committee members from all parts of the British Isles - from Scotland to Devon, from Wales and the East - not a problem where you live - volunteer and we will be very glad of your assistance.


The Website: We are aware that the website requires updating and Darren is working on this. Up to now we have depended on such web expertise as can be provided free by volunteers - some of whom have left at short notice. Contact Darren if you could help. We could of course spend a few thousand getting a professional to do it for us.


Come on then - please contact us if you can help Darren.


I hear on the grapevine - not from them, incidentally - that Andy and the mods have been taking a severe earbashing in private for CPUK's fair-minded support of free speech.


Another of Vic's untruths. Some committee members (two, including me, that I know of) asked for the thread to be moved to allow free speech and to move this discussion away from the peat consultation thread as the postings were detracting from that important issue.


Just for the record I do not believe or agree with anything Vic says.

Andy


For the record - neither do I.


But I do remember the enormous value the CPS has added to CP interests over many years and appreciate what they still do for a very modest subscription.
I am not interested in comments from people who are expressing very personal and sometimes obviously plain nasty opinions - and such people are usually those who find it difficult to work with others on a committee, but blame others.


Well said and thank you.


I can never make the AGM, as I supsect is the case for many others, so it's hard to have a voice


I will happily present views of members who cannot personally attend and ask questions on their behalf - just ask me.


Lastly, all committee posts are ALWAYS up for renewal at the AGM. If anyone fancies being on the committee, I will be happy to help - there are posts that will need filling.

Flick
Present Treasurer of the CPS

#42 mobile

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:07 PM

As an eMember the website it is my primary portal, yet the information is so outdated that it is not worth me visiting. I personally feel that it is worth some investment, be it in members time of CPS funds, to bring it up to modern standards. It is well within the scope of a web developer to add renewal date information to eMembers details on the website and send out notifications to the registered email address. Once I have read the journal, I do not pin the envelope to my wall as a reminder of renewal date, or indeed seek out emails with it on! And, why can't I request seeds via the website - again this is quite a basic thing to implement. Why isn't eMembership renewal instant after PayPal payment, like it is on many other sites? I am more than happy to put forward proposals for improvements for the site, but is the internet officer capable of implementing them? Could he implement the membership renewal notification and seed bank request?

The website is the 'shop window' for the CPS. Many potential new members will seek out the site and quite frankly I think they would be put off. Do you monitor the number of hits and the duration that people stay on the site?

I live 582 miles from where the AGM is being held. Are you going to hold it further north, or even a central location, in future years so that member who live north do not have to travel so far?

#43 Flick

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:47 PM

It is well within the scope of a web developer to add renewal date information to eMembers details on the website and send out notifications to the registered email address.


Here's hoping there will soon be some volunteer help coming forward.......

And, why can't I request seeds via the website - again this is quite a basic thing to implement.


Have you asked me or the Seedbank Manager Sheila? If you are unable or unwilling to send your seed request by post - ask. I take payments by PayPal when Sheila has previously been contacted regarding seed requests - not a problem.

Incidently, the seedbank is running normally whilst Sheila recovers.

I live 582 miles from where the AGM is being held. Are you going to hold it further north, or even a central location, in future years so that member who live north do not have to travel so far?


I will take that as a formal request to the committee meeting before the AGM.

Can you help the Society personally? Could you perhaps agree to monitor the web site and advise us of issues on a regular basis? That would be helpful. The web site is beyond my personal expertise.

Do other members feel that we should pay for our website?

Personally, I am sure there are members who could devote the time and expertise to assist. Good thing - it doesn't matter where you are geographically, anyone can still volunteer to help with the website and get involved.

Flick
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#44 mobile

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 13:01 PM

Can you help the Society personally? Could you perhaps agree to monitor the web site and advise us of issues on a regular basis? That would be helpful. The web site is beyond my personal expertise.

I could help with this. If you give me some access I could even help with updating some of the content for you, if needed. Although I have a website and am familiar with coding, I am not that familiar with databases, which would be required for automatic renewal notifications and a possible online seedbank request form, but I know that there are members of this forum with such expertise.

#45 Jerry

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 13:58 PM

I will put my money where my mouth is ......................... I hereby volunteer that any help on the website or Graphic design that I can give i will. I also propose that if allowed there become a West of Egland and Wales CPS group. Where we can just discuss and then maybe send someone to the AGM in the future. Blimey if the Womens Institute has over half a million members then I am sure that locally we can drum up interest. I mean this hobby of ours has to be better than Dame Vera Lynn banging on about Dover!

ALso just a little thing - Why not have the AGM at Chester? Lots of us will be there - it can be held on that boat or a nice pub and it removes the stuffiness. Surrey is 200 miles from me!!!! Since we are in the majority going to Chester then......... something about Mohammed and the mountain springs to mind here!

Edited by Jerry, 27 March 2011 - 14:03 PM.


#46 Flick

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 14:01 PM

I

could help with this. If you give me some access I could even help with updating some of the content for you, if needed. Although I have a website and am familiar with coding, I am not that familiar with databases, which would be required for automatic renewal notifications and a possible online seedbank request form, but I know that there are members of this forum with such expertise.


Thanks. Sounds good. Realistically, as I am sure you will understand, the only way you could have actual access is to become a committee member. Would that appeal to you? I am sure you could easily get a proposer and a seconder. Meantime, why not send an email to the committee suggesting you want to help Darren, our Web Site Officer? email: committee@thecps.org.uk

The database was professionally built and updated. It is maintained by Dennis, our Membership Secretary, who also modifies it. As far as I am aware, he has been working on methods of renewal notifications. I am sure he will comment, if not, you could ask him that question.

At the request of the committee, I have been looking into setting up Standing Orders and also Direct Debits to help solve the renewal issues. These matters will be discussed at the committee meeting before the AGM because there are serious personal implications for the trustees and disadvantages with both proposals.

Regarding the seedbank requests being online, I personally do not have a problem with that. All PayPal payments are notified to me as Treasurer anyway. The final decision on that would rest with the Seedbank Manager and the Web Officer and of course the rest of the committee.

Flick
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#47 Flick

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 14:15 PM

I will put my money where my mouth is ......................... I hereby volunteer that any help on the website or Graphic design that I can give i will. I also propose that if allowed there become a West of Egland and Wales CPS group. Where we can just discuss and then maybe send someone to the AGM in the future. Blimey if the Womens Institute has over half a million members then I am sure that locally we can drum up interest. I mean this hobby of ours has to be better than Dame Vera Lynn banging on about Dover!

ALso just a little thing - Why not have the AGM at Chester? Lots of us will be there - it can be held on that boat or a nice pub and it removes the stuffiness. Surrey is 200 miles from me!!!! Since we are in the majority going to Chester then......... something about Mohammed and the mountain springs to mind here!


Thanks. Sounds good. Realistically, as I previously posted and I am sure you will understand, the only way you could have actual access is to become a committee member. Please send an email to the committee.

The Meetings Organiser and the new Promotions Officer both live in or near Wales. If you have something to bring to the committees' attention, why not ask them? They could raise issues on your behalf. Or put it in writing?

I am not sure how you get together a group - maybe ask for other members to come forward through this forum? Then you could send a delegate to the AGM?

The date of the AGM has to be before the EEE in Chester, we couldn't leave it that long to hold it. No reason we can't have a discussion though - formal or informal.......

Flick
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#48 mobile

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 15:31 PM

Flick, with all due respect, I an willing to offer assistance but as a CPS member, not a committee member. If it is a requirement to be a committee member in order to contribute then I suspect that this will put people off.

#49 Flick

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 18:03 PM

Flick, with all due respect, I an willing to offer assistance but as a CPS member, not a committee member. If it is a requirement to be a committee member in order to contribute then I suspect that this will put people off.


I appreciate that, offering assistance is one thing (and very welcome), however actually changing website content is another. Becoming a committee member is not hard. It just means that you offer some genuine committment and loyalty (not that I think you wouldn't if you just helped) but as a charity, we deal with money etc that isn't ours and look after members' interests. The amount of time that you wish to contribute can be variable. We, the committee, work as a team, and we all do our different roles according to the demands and the time we have available. The more members of a team we have, the less demand and stress there is on any one individual.

You don't have to be Web Site Officer......you could be assistant.....in fact one of several assistants that pool their ideas and resources?

I would hope that becoming a member of the committee wouldn't put people off. Some have joined us and left after a short time if they find it is not for them, no worries. Others have been around for a while. All have a part to play.

Please email the committee and offer your services, I am sure you would be made very welcome.

Flick
Present Treasurer CPS

#50 ada

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 19:19 PM

I have been a member of CPS for decades - longer I suspect than most of the complainers.
I simply want to say that people should remember that in the past, the CPS was virtually the only source of authentic information, plants and seeds and communication with other enthusiasts that existed in the UK and come to that, Europe. It was miles ahead of anything else available at that time.
Things have now moved on and there are now numerous good sources of plants, many more published books and of course, the internet.
The internet has changed so much and I think the only valid issue with the CPS is the website.
The problem here is that people are making comparisons with professionally or commercially operated websites and obviously the CPS falls short of those standards. But unless you are prepared to volunteer, and have the necessary expertise, and above all the commitment to maintain it on a very regular basis, you have little scope for complaint. I can't help and I don't complain.
But I do remember the enormous value the CPS has added to CP interests over many years and appreciate what they still do for a very modest subscription.
I am not interested in comments from people who are expressing very personal and sometimes obviously plain nasty opinions - and such people are usually those who find it difficult to work with others on a committee, but blame others.

I agree with what sumatra(stephen?) says,when i joined the cps,it was the only means of getting any information or access to plants at all.
Since then things have moved on so fast it is almost unbelievable,especially to the younger members of this forum.

I have also been the secretary of a club(pigeon racing)so i know what effort and commitment it takes to keep an organisation running.
There will always be people who have" their say "or knock what others try to do for everyones good.
With the computer age well and truely here,everthing is almost instantanious.
The cps needs to move with the times, perhaps integrate more with a more active forum?
or lets face it die as it is in its present state.
There are people on cps forums who can bring the society into the 21st century,they just need the chance and encouragement from the people in charge now.
Some people are more "hands on" when it comes to show stands etc,some are more computer savy.It needs a blend of each to move the society forward instead of bickering over the net.
I will always be a member while ever i grow plants because i remember the good it did for me in my early days with cp's.
That is not to say it isn't doing good now,i think the new "blood" has made an excellent start to modernising the cps with the journal.

It is just the web site that badly needs updating and maintaining to todays standards,this alone would attract more members i think and could pay for its self.

Anyway that's my opinion, i cant help with the computer side of things(hell i've only just got paypal)and still use cheques.
ada

#51 mobile

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 19:30 PM

Flick,

There are several comments about the state of the CPS website in this thread and think that it is safe to say that members are typically not satisfied with it. Could I ask you to pass these views to the committee?

#52 Vic2

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 23:59 PM

Vic's allegations are blatently untrue.
For the record - neither do I.
Well said and thank you.
Flick
Present Treasurer of the CPS

No, they're not. That's proven. Even the CPS Secretary confirmed it on this thread. The CPS is sitting on a mountain of members' cash - for years - with no plans to use it for CP conservation, one of your principal charitable objectives.

N.B. This is in no way a criticism of Flick, an excellent Treasurer.
If it wasn't for her sorting out the finances, the Society wouldn't even know it had many thousands of member's money for promoting its charitable aims.
It's what (isn't) being done with it - year after year after year - that is the problem.
Flick can't authorise spends without the Committee. And the Committee can't authorise spends without the definite approval of - you've guessed it :biggrin: - the Chairman, Vice-Chairman (and Trustees) of the CPS, the Rt. Hons Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown. Who can't be bothered to give their input.
Result: No initiatives by the CPS, for years.
All those attempted, e.g. a previous EEE in the UK proposed by members in the South-West (including Derek Clavell-Bate and Phil Wilson), withered from total lack of response from Chairman and Vice-Chairman when the Committee - which included me then - tried to get behind the idea.

Until Tim came along, teamed up with Dennis and effectively took on the roles of Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Hooray!! :clapping: The CPS, its members and the UK CP hobby owe you big time, boys! :yes:

I'm not going to bother with the rather desperate attempts to discredit me by Flick.
Simply a case of: If you can't attack the message, attack the messenger.

I will state - yet again - that I have never, ever told any untruths.

I have been very careful not to do so, as that would simply allow the CPS to
divert attention from the proven and appalling neglect by the CPS Chairman and Vice-Chairman.

Speaking of which... :rolleyes:

The CPS Chairman and Vice-Chairman have still not bothered to respond in any way in their own defence, or in defence of the Society they were elected to represent.

The evidence over several years confirms that Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown do not give one whit for their Society, other than what they can get out of it for themselves.

Steve and Paul like attending the Chelsea Flower Show and Gardener's World Live for free, arranging plants and chatting.

They have failed to attend Committee meetings and failed to respond to all attempts to contact them regarding CPS business.
But I have never, ever known them to fail to claim their free tickets.

Quod erat demonstrandum:
Seeing is believing.

Steve Cottell has till 28th March (today!!) to respond to serious allegations made by the Society.
I personally bet that he cannot even be bothered to reply and save his reputation, let alone the Society's.

IMHO, Steve Cottell is the worst Chairman the Society has ever had.
Soon to be proven yet again.


Vic

Edited by Vic2, 28 March 2011 - 08:44 AM.


#53 Vic2

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:17 AM

I just thought I'd add a few comments as membership secretary.
Steve has been a tremendous chairman of the society for many years who has worked tirelessly for the good of the society.
Regards to all
Dennis

Regards to you too, Dennis :biggrin:

Sadly, I have to prove that what you said above is untrue.

At the Committee meeting before the 2009 AGM, Phil Wilson proposed a motion criticising the poor performance of Steve Cottell as CPS Chairman, which was seconded by Flick Foreman and myself.
This has been posted before and was unchallenged by the CPS. Probably because it's true :rolleyes:

I don't know why you're defending the CPS Chairman, Dennis, but you know he's an unmitigated disaster in this role. (We've talked about it in better times).

I admire your steadfast loyalty to him, but you must know it's misguided.
Would Steve raise a finger to defend you or the Society in return?
Will he or Paul come to your or the Society's aid on this thread?
I very much doubt it. They can't be bothered.

Go well, and the best of British with the EEE. (I'm still willing to help with the graft!!) :clapping:

Vic

Edited by Vic2, 28 March 2011 - 09:33 AM.


#54 myself

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:21 AM

My opinion is .

I dropped out of the cps a while ago due to the fact the cps is in such a mess . My money is better spent being a sponsor of the forum where you get more benefits for your money .

#55 David Ahrens

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:56 AM

It may be better if this thread is quietly brought to a close. It seems to have degenerated into a slanging match in which no side is winning.

#56 mobile

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:44 AM

It may be better if this thread is quietly brought to a close. It seems to have degenerated into a slanging match in which no side is winning.

I disagree. Whilst there may be some 'slanging' going on, I believe that comments from others are valid and constructive, so should be allowed to continue. If the debate goes outside of the forums rules then it is the forum moderators role to intervene. Locking the thread could/would be seen as blockings peoples freedom of speech.

#57 JaniceB

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:11 PM

It may be better if this thread is quietly brought to a close. It seems to have degenerated into a slanging match in which no side is winning.


I disagree.

I do believe that the CPS website is dreadful and has been for quite some time. A total revamp could well attract new CPS members. However I don’t believe that the poor website is the whole problem. Attracting new members is one thing but will these new members continue to support a Society that has, in my experience, little or no regard for its Membership?

I can’t understand people supporting the present CPS Chairman when I know that his apparent disregard for the membership has lost the Society members. Any Society must be open to the views of its members and above all the Committee must be accessible to the membership. I realise that the Committee have lives outside the CPS and it may take time for them to reply to emails but it is simply not acceptable to ignore them. If you can’t find time to read and reply to member’s concerns and suggestions you should not be doing the job!

#58 DaveC

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:58 PM

Ah, here we go again. Just as the thread is gaining some positivity and progressing towards solutions for at least some of the CPS' problems along comes Vic to stir up a load of (insert your own word here) and start pointing the finger again.

Vic, rather than continually going over the same things time and time again how about just letting it go?! Maybe it's time to accept that as you're not a member the committee is under no obligation to answer any of your accusations and despite certain people not coming to the society's defence this in no way infers guilt.

Also, I take my hat off to Jerry and Carl for offering their time and skills. I'm glad to see that there are a few out there that can offer some constructive criticism and then their help to put things right rather than just point out faults. Unfortunately I have absolutely no expertise to offer but thanks again to all who give up their free time for mine and everyone else's benifit.


Dave

#59 Flick

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 17:06 PM

Flick,

There are several comments about the state of the CPS website in this thread and think that it is safe to say that members are typically not satisfied with it. Could I ask you to pass these views to the committee?


Absolutely. I will email all the committee and also bring it up at the meeting before the AGM.

Regarding the prospect of holding the AGM further North, do any members have any ideas for suitable venues?

I'm glad to see that there are a few out there that can offer some constructive criticism and then their help to put things right rather than just point out faults. Unfortunately I have absolutely no expertise to offer but thanks again to all who give up their free time for mine and everyone else's benifit.


So am I. If everyone just keeps on critiscising, makes me wonder if I want to carry on, what is the point? I could just turn up at meets and events and buy plants.

Please don't say you have no expertise.........you enjoy carnivorous plants and want to help the Society, those are the only qualifications you need to volunteer. Most of us are in no way experts, we just do our best and give up our time. Some of us (not me) are clever though :-) We have vacancies for General Committee Members, why not put yourself forward?

Talking of potential General Committee Members, how would it be if we got them from different parts of the country? That way more districts and members would be represented at meetings and the AGM? Please come forward if you would be interested.

Vic, rather than continually going over the same things time and time again how about just letting it go?! Maybe it's time to accept that as you're not a member the committee is under no obligation to answer any of your accusations and despite certain people not coming to the society's defence this in no way infers guilt.


Well said!! Actually much better said than the words I was going to use. I have been thinking all day about how to express how I personally feel about Vic and his constant sniping. None of it could have been written here!

Go well, and the best of British with the EEE.


Does that mean you are not coming to the EEE Vic?

Flick
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#60 mobile

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 19:00 PM

If you can’t find time to read and reply to member’s concerns and suggestions you should not be doing the job!

I would like to thank the committee members who have taken the time to reply to this thread. I do get disheartened though when in the past I have attempted to contact other committee members and get no reply.