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CPS committee changes debate


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#101 mobile

 
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 17:53 PM

I have heard privately that Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown are intending to stay on as CPS Trustees and stand for election as Chairman and de facto Vice-Chairman again.

I understand that they won't make any accountable commitments to improve on what they are doing at the moment.

Apparently, they consider that everything will settle back to service as usual when they are re-elected.


A very sad day for the CPS, our hobby and our wild plants in the UK, folks :sarcastic_hand:

Vic

Presumably there is nothing to stop people from standing against them, so if there are any CPS members who think they can do better then perhaps they should give it a go. Things won't change if people are not interested in changing them. Vic, you are the only one who has publicly made his feelings known about Steve and Paul on this thread. I don't know if that simply means that you are the only one who feels this way, or whether others are just keeping quite, but if it's the former then things aren't going to change.

#102 Jerry

 
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 18:28 PM

Presumably there is nothing to stop people from standing against them, so if there are any CPS members who think they can do better then perhaps they should give it a go. Things won't change if people are not interested in changing them. Vic, you are the only one who has publicly made his feelings known about Steve and Paul on this thread. I don't know if that simply means that you are the only one who feels this way, or whether others are just keeping quite, but if it's the former then things aren't going to change.


I think that we have now gone full circle. The reason why people are not standing is becasue the AGM is so inaccesable to the majority of the members. So the thing that stops them is geography. This does not equate to a lack of interest.


Hi Jerry

Both myself (CPS meetings organiser) and the new promotions officer live 193 miles away from where the AGM is being held this year. We will both be attending so if travelling is a problem, maybe we could help with a van share.

Regards Dianne Riddiford
CPS Meetings organiser


Thank you Dianne - I have a massive electric wheelchair and enough bloody equipment to sink the Ark Royal. It is why Chester is so convenient for me.


I still cant see the problem with having a meeting at Chester - i know there are rules but this is a society of like minded individuals who should be having fun. This is not the Freemasons! Surely rules can be bent? If i was a committee member I think that at the moment I would be thinking "is this really worth it?" - I volunteer and then get shot at! So wouldn't one massive special AGM be a way of "put up or shut up"! Then either Vic has the necessary facts and support to alter the personel or he doesnt and the current committee are re-elected with the memberships full backing. I really dont see the problem!

#103 mobile

 
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 18:44 PM

I think that we have now gone full circle. The reason why people are not standing is becasue the AGM is so inaccesable to the majority of the members. So the thing that stops them is geography. This does not equate to a lack of interest.

Postal or online vote?

#104 Flick

 
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 18:53 PM

Presumably there is nothing to stop people from standing against them, so if there are any CPS members who think they can do better then perhaps they should give it a go. Things won't change if people are not interested in changing them.


Absolutely!! All the committee posts are up for renewal at the AGM and there are vacancies. Those who put their names forward have as much chance as the existing committee. We need interested members of the CPS to come forward. Please.

I have already said that you do not have to attend the AGM in person to apply for a post on the committee. Just write or email the committee beforehand. If I can help, just ask.

Flick

Still present Treasurer, CPS

#105 Vic2

 
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 21:52 PM

Vic, you are the only one who has publicly made his feelings known about Steve and Paul on this thread. I don't know if that simply means that you are the only one who feels this way, or whether others are just keeping quite, but if it's the former then things aren't going to change.

I wouldn't be doing this if I was the only one, mobile.
Or if there weren't viable alternatives waiting in the wings.

(I would deserve to be written off as a crank with a grudge if I was!) :flag_of_truce:

There are quite a few others, some in very influential positions, who are more than slightly dissatisfied with the CPS under Steve and Paul's leadership.

It's just no-one else is willing to risk being unpopular with Steve and Paul, as they have been around a long time, are genuinely affable men and know lots of people in the CP world.

I 'volunteered' to be the sharp point of the sword, if you will, on account of my shy and retiring personality, :sarcastic_hand: my inside knowledge of what is going wrong and my heartfelt wish to see the CPS climb back to serving its membership and charitable aims very well.

I have nothing to lose: The CPS Trustees have put me into permanent exile for speaking up inside the Committee and now - regretfully - outside.
But our hobby and our wild CPs have everything to gain from my exposure of the truth.

Everyone knows there's a serious problem in the CPS. It's only when everyone knows that the problem is its leadership - and acts to solve it without fear of being ostracised - that things will get better.

That's why I've proposed that CPS elections take place as a secret ballot for individual posts involving a democratic majority of the membership, with checks in place to ensure that no-one slips through on a mass vote or as the sole candidate.

It's better to have vacant leadership posts, than have them blocked by self-interested, neglectful people. No matter how nice and well-connected they are.

Ultimately, the CPS membership will get the service they vote for.
If members don't vote against Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown as leaders and Trustees, they've only got themselves to blame for the inevitable poor service that will follow.
They're clearly not doing it to help you, after all.

Vic

Edited by Vic2, 31 March 2011 - 22:14 PM.


#106 Vic2

 
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Posted 31 March 2011 - 22:43 PM

Postal or online vote?

Dennis is really good with the postal stuff, but that means a lot of extra work for him.

An online vote would be simpler. Several possibilities present themselves:

  • The CPUK forum software can conduct anonymous polls.
    Since CPUK mods know the IP address of posters, it should be possible to prevent repeat voting and votes from non-CPS members, with a little cooperation between the two.
  • Facebook
  • Email
  • Other polling websites, e.g. 38Degrees
I could help with this - I'm MCSE trained and a firm believer in democracy :crazy_pilot:

However... call it male intuition or a gut reaction, if you want, but... I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be considered too Satanic, and too partisan, by certain Trust-worthy elements in the CPS hierarchy :P :flag_of_truce:

I'll-Get-my-Coat of Letchworth :sarcastic_hand:

Edited by Vic2, 31 March 2011 - 22:55 PM.


#107 mobile

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 05:25 AM

Dennis is really good with the postal stuff, but that means a lot of extra work for him.

An online vote would be simpler. Several possibilities present themselves:

  • The CPUK forum software can conduct anonymous polls.
    Since CPUK mods know the IP address of posters, it should be possible to prevent repeat voting and votes from non-CPS members, with a little cooperation between the two.
  • Facebook
  • Email
  • Other polling websites, e.g. 38Degrees
I could help with this - I'm MCSE trained and a firm believer in democracy :crazy_pilot:

However... call it male intuition or a gut reaction, if you want, but... I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be considered too Satanic, and too partisan, by certain Trust-worthy elements in the CPS hierarchy :P :flag_of_truce:

I'll-Get-my-Coat of Letchworth :sarcastic_hand:

The alternative, which is what happens currently, is members like myself and I guess many others who cannot attend the AGM do not have a say in who runs the society... not very democratic.

#108 mantrid

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:31 AM

An online vote would be simpler. Several possibilities present themselves:

[list]
[*]The CPUK forum software can conduct anonymous polls.
Since CPUK mods know the IP address of posters, it should be possible to prevent repeat voting and votes from non-CPS members, with a little cooperation between the two.


ISPs use dynamic IP addresses that change all the time, not many people would have static IP addresses. So this wouldnt work.

You would need to use something unique like a membership number or email address and have it encrypted in the database so not even the database administrator would not know who the vote came from.

#109 Phil Green

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:18 AM

ISPs use dynamic IP addresses that change all the time, not many people would have static IP addresses. So this wouldnt work.

It must be possible, because the pitcher-plants forum Plant/Pitcher of the Month contest has online voteing and it only allows you to vote once - then it knows and doesn't even show you the voting options afterwards.

As a CPS member, I also think private (secret - sounds sinister) voting for all members should be the way to go.

#110 Vic2

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:53 AM

ISPs use dynamic IP addresses that change all the time, not many people would have static IP addresses. So this wouldnt work.

You would need to use something unique like a membership number or email address and have it encrypted in the database so not even the database administrator would not know who the vote came from.

Good point, as ever mantrid :P

Nevertheless, CPUK login names are unique and password-protected; I'll hazard a guess and say most CPS members are online and could become CPUK members, if they aren't already (4,000+ members at last count?)

If the CPUK names were matched against the CPS membership list, you have the basis of an electoral roll.
Both are in electronic form (CPS' is an Excel spreadsheet, as I recall), so the task shouldn't be too onerous.

I think CPUK can be trusted to be independent overseers to maintain anonymity and integrity.
If they're able to take on the work, of course!
(You mods are such luvverly people, you know that? :flag_of_truce: Personally, I don't believe a dicky-bird of what they say about you... :sarcastic_hand: :wink:)

Dennis could catch the (hopefully) few members who aren't online? (Sorry, Dennis) :crazy_pilot:

I gaze into my crystal ball - it's cruel to mock an affliction, btw :wink: - and see truly democratic elections shaping up for the CPS... :yes:

It'll need a change to Society Rules 12 and 13 to take place in this way, of course.

But an online voting presence could be construed as a voting presence at the AGM, which would solve that constitutional problem.

And I can't see how the CPS could object to anything that makes the elections more democratic and encompass many more members than can physically attend the AGM.

I don't think the Royal Horticultural Society or Charities Commission would object at all, do you?

Vic

P.S.
Yes, I volunteer to help with the extra work, of course! :yes:

Edited by Vic2, 01 April 2011 - 10:31 AM.


#111 Alexis

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:09 AM

Online voting makes sense, but I think it would have to be off the forum, on a special CPS page. The only issue would be informing 4000 members - what if only 200 members vote?

#112 dennisB

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:24 PM

Hi

If we did this it would have to be in the member's only area of the CPS website not on CPUK which is separate from the CPS. Around 25% of CPS members don't have access to the internet so there would need to be separate arrangements for them. Candidates would need to get a proposer and seconder and put some words together to enable members to decide who to vote for.

As has been said, this would require a change to CPS rules and would itself have to be voted on. Perhaps someone would like to propose and second it at the upcoming AGM.

Whether all this is necessary is a mute point. In the past there has been little competition (I can't remember any) and when someone has volunteered for the committee they generally have their hand snatched off.

Dennis

#113 pwilson

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 13:05 PM

Hi

If we did this it would have to be in the member's only area of the CPS website not on CPUK which is separate from the CPS. Around 25% of CPS members don't have access to the internet so there would need to be separate arrangements for them. Candidates would need to get a proposer and seconder and put some words together to enable members to decide who to vote for.

As has been said, this would require a change to CPS rules and would itself have to be voted on. Perhaps someone would like to propose and second it at the upcoming AGM.

Whether all this is necessary is a mute point. In the past there has been little competition (I can't remember any) and when someone has volunteered for the committee they generally have their hand snatched off.

Dennis


Dennis,

All rule changes have to be submitted in advance of the AGM in writing (we can assume that email = writing) at least ten days before the AGM so it's too late for this year unfortunately. Then each rule change has to be carried by a minimum 2/3rds majority. We can do it by SGM but I really despair if true CPS members think that arranging a special general meeting is a good use of society funds.

Phil

#114 pwilson

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 13:10 PM

Absolutely!! All the committee posts are up for renewal at the AGM and there are vacancies. Those who put their names forward have as much chance as the existing committee. We need interested members of the CPS to come forward. Please.

I have already said that you do not have to attend the AGM in person to apply for a post on the committee. Just write or email the committee beforehand. If I can help, just ask.

Flick

Still present Treasurer, CPS


Technically I'm the contact for rule change proposals and applications to stand for a committee post. Anyone can PM me from here or contact me via the society website. We have been looking at this and intend to formalise it a bit more than it is at the moment in the rules.

Phil

#115 pwilson

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 13:55 PM

I wouldn't be doing this if I was the only one, mobile.
Or if there weren't viable alternatives waiting in the wings.

Neat but blatantly transparent piece of rhetoric. Logically if there are others waiting in the wings we ought to be able to see them. Nope - nothing there... Unless of course you refer to other ex-members...

(I would deserve to be written off as a crank with a grudge if I was!) :P

Quod est demonstrandum

There are quite a few others, some in very influential positions, who are more than slightly dissatisfied with the CPS under Steve and Paul's leadership.

Well don't be shy. Name some names and let's see how keen you are. It's a nudge and a wink with you. You imply and assume and lay everything out as facts.

It's just no-one else is willing to risk being unpopular with Steve and Paul, as they have been around a long time, are genuinely affable men and know lots of people in the CP world.

Don't patronise the membership.

I 'volunteered' to be the sharp point of the sword, if you will, on account of my shy and retiring personality, :flag_of_truce: my inside knowledge of what is going wrong and my heartfelt wish to see the CPS climb back to serving its membership and charitable aims very well.

Your heartfelt wish is to see the CPS brought to its knees. Quod est Demonstratum.

I have nothing to lose: The CPS Trustees have put me into permanent exile for speaking up inside the Committee and now - regretfully - outside.
But our hobby and our wild CPs have everything to gain from my exposure of the truth.

Another lie. The trustees did not put you into permanent exile. The trustees had no part in this except as committee members. It was a joint and unanimous decision by the committee to ask you to sign a declaration, put to you by a committee member (dennis) and not a trustee. You refused and you were pretty rude about that too as I recall. We offered you a nice easy way back to becoming a member but you wouldn't accept this because it would have involved keeping your mouth shut. And why did we do this? Quod est Demonstratum.

Why don't you put the declaration on this forum as you said you would? Because you don't want the people on this forum to see that what we asked was perfectly reasonable and what any normal person would do without hesitation or needing to sign any declaration. You call it a gagging order. I call it a demonstration of reasonable behavour. Of course if you don't publish I'll be happy to do so since I still have the document.

Everyone knows there's a serious problem in the CPS. It's only when everyone knows that the problem is its leadership - and acts to solve it without fear of being ostracised - that things will get better.

Everyone knows that YOU think there is a serious problem. That is not the same as "everyone" knowing it.

That's why I've proposed that CPS elections take place as a secret ballot for individual posts involving a democratic majority of the membership, with checks in place to ensure that no-one slips through on a mass vote or as the sole candidate.

It's better to have vacant leadership posts, than have them blocked by self-interested, neglectful people. No matter how nice and well-connected they are.

Ultimately, the CPS membership will get the service they vote for.
If members don't vote against Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown as leaders and Trustees, they've only got themselves to blame for the inevitable poor service that will follow.
They're clearly not doing it to help you, after all.

Clearly you have a problem with authority which is why one of your gripes is against the trustees of the CPS and its chairman and vice-chairman (sic). I put it to you that you do not even have the feintest clue what the trustees even do. Go on! Prove me wrong!

You have no right to propose anything concerning the CPS.

You have no right to criticise the CPS.


You have no right to even comment on the CPS.

There is a way however. Just sign the declaration, keep your mouth shut and come along to the next AGM (you are too late for this one) and stand against the chairman for the committee. I speak for myself of course here and not my fellow committee members who you have offended massively. But if you signed the declaration we presented to you last year then I for one would vote to allow you to rejoin the CPS.

Go on Vic. Come back and save us! :sarcastic_hand:
Phil

#116 Phil Green

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 15:12 PM

Dennis,

All rule changes have to be submitted in advance of the AGM in writing (we can assume that email = writing) at least ten days before the AGM so it's too late for this year unfortunately. Then each rule change has to be carried by a minimum 2/3rds majority. We can do it by SGM but I really despair if true CPS members think that arranging a special general meeting is a good use of society funds.

Phil

Phil - rule 12 states that members should be notified of an AGM at least 14 days in advance.

Now I don't know about everyone else, but I've had no notification by post, and as Dennis has stated that around 25% of members have no internet connection, I assume (could be wrong ?) that those 25% have not been notified at all ??

I've also had no email about the AGM, like many others (although I see some did get one).

The post on here telling us about the AGM http://www.cpukforum...showtopic=40920 was only made on the 29th March. That is only 11 days before the AGM not the 14 supposed to be given. But as this notification of the AGM is STILL not on the CPS web site! does the 11 days notice even count ?

So is the upcomming AGM even legal in the first place ?

Regards voting online - even though 25% have no internet acces. The remaining 75% would still be far more than are currently able to attend (or do) an AGM, so would obviously be far more democratic.

#117 pwilson

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 16:08 PM

Phil - rule 12 states that members should be notified of an AGM at least 14 days in advance.

Now I don't know about everyone else, but I've had no notification by post, and as Dennis has stated that around 25% of members have no internet connection, I assume (could be wrong ?) that those 25% have not been notified at all ??

I've also had no email about the AGM, like many others (although I see some did get one).

The post on here telling us about the AGM http://www.cpukforum...showtopic=40920 was only made on the 29th March. That is only 11 days before the AGM not the 14 supposed to be given. But as this notification of the AGM is STILL not on the CPS web site! does the 11 days notice even count ?

So is the upcomming AGM even legal in the first place ?

Regards voting online - even though 25% have no internet acces. The remaining 75% would still be far more than are currently able to attend (or do) an AGM, so would obviously be far more democratic.

Hi Phil,

Dennis did send out email notifications of the AGM but it was in the form of an events calendar. I missed this one myself, particularly as apparently all the emails went out starting Dear Dave. Dave Ahrens probably thought this very good though. :-)

Are you an e-member or a postal member? If the former then you won't have had any notification by post. I can't answer for Dennis but I'm sure he sent out postal copies.

As for online voting, it seems quite arrogant to me to suggest that the 25% of members who are not online should be written off. There has to be some sort of compromise such as a combination of the two. Even so, if you propose on line voting you have to come up with a way to do it that is cheap, is not open to abuse and that can be verified for accuracy. That's really this issue for me I think. Not only would we need to demonstrate that such a system cannot be abused but we'd need to be prepared to show this if challenged.

And the other real issue is who would manage all this and in particular set it up? I think I can speak for everyone on the committee at the moment that we don't always have an easy job and fitting in CPS business with personal and work life is never easy to manage. To me this sounds like a massive and job for someone, both to set up and test and to verify and collate.

I'm not rejecting the idea of online or secret postal ballots but I do think you all need to get some sort of sense of perspective here. This is the Carnivorous Plant Society and primarily we all joined the committee not for some sense of glory or self promotion but because we think that we might actually be able to offer something back for once. If that's not good enough then maybe it's time we all gave up. Vic said, "Ultimately, the CPS membership will get the service they vote for(sic)". I beg to differ. You get from the society what you put into it. It doesn't matter in the end who does what on the committee as long as it all happens. And generally it does I think, despite what Vic might like to claim.

Phil

#118 Tim Bailey

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 16:41 PM

Hi Phil,

Dennis did send out email notifications of the AGM but it was in the form of an events calendar. I missed this one myself, particularly as apparently all the emails went out starting Dear Dave. Dave Ahrens probably thought this very good though. :-)

Are you an e-member or a postal member? If the former then you won't have had any notification by post. I can't answer for Dennis but I'm sure he sent out postal copies.

As for online voting, it seems quite arrogant to me to suggest that the 25% of members who are not online should be written off. There has to be some sort of compromise such as a combination of the two. Even so, if you propose on line voting you have to come up with a way to do it that is cheap, is not open to abuse and that can be verified for accuracy. That's really this issue for me I think. Not only would we need to demonstrate that such a system cannot be abused but we'd need to be prepared to show this if challenged.

And the other real issue is who would manage all this and in particular set it up? I think I can speak for everyone on the committee at the moment that we don't always have an easy job and fitting in CPS business with personal and work life is never easy to manage. To me this sounds like a massive and job for someone, both to set up and test and to verify and collate.

I'm not rejecting the idea of online or secret postal ballots but I do think you all need to get some sort of sense of perspective here. This is the Carnivorous Plant Society and primarily we all joined the committee not for some sense of glory or self promotion but because we think that we might actually be able to offer something back for once. If that's not good enough then maybe it's time we all gave up. Vic said, "Ultimately, the CPS membership will get the service they vote for(sic)". I beg to differ. You get from the society what you put into it. It doesn't matter in the end who does what on the committee as long as it all happens. And generally it does I think, despite what Vic might like to claim.

Phil


Dear all

Going back to a special meeting at the EEE, unfortunately I can't see how we can fit it in. All the Committee members for a start will be busy throughout both days running the event. The only time would be on the boat trip, when I personally want to vegetate after 9 months of solid work and to enjoy the good company.

PS I will send out another plea in the EEE section, and to postal and E members, but only one member has so far offered to help out at the EEE. We are not looking for members to work the whole day, but to put a shift in or two, mainly to answer questions from the public and keep an eye on the CPS display and National Collections in the Main Marquee.

Tim

#119 mobile

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 16:54 PM

Without a method of postal or online voting the committee will still be voted in by the minority... not a fair system in my opinion. Having followed this thread from the start, I can't help but think that nothing will change, as it's hard to see much commitment to changing anything, simply reasons why it couldn't be changed.

Edited by mobile, 01 April 2011 - 17:02 PM.


#120 dennisB

 
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Posted 01 April 2011 - 17:39 PM

Hi

just to get matters straight, Members were notified about the AGM in the 2011 Events Programme which was sent out either by post or email several weeks ago. All new members receive a copy of the Events Programme as part of their new members pack. We only put on CPUK as a reminder for members.

Cheers

Dennis