EDINBURGH, May 29th 2017
One year ago, in Portsmouth, the Central Council considered a motion calling for the establishment of a group that would review all activities of the Council, and make recommendations for modernization. That motion was passed with overwhelming support, indicating a Council eager for change.
Today, in Edinburgh, that group – the CRAG – presented its three motions for reform. Taken as a grou0p, they prepare the Council for future change (in 2018). There were three motions. The first proposed that the Council receive the report. This is a relatively mild proposal, indicating that the council will receive the report, but does not, in itself, make any commitment to any future actions. The meat of the proposals was in the two following motions (B and C).
Motion B was the more substantial, and effectively set up a shadow operation for one year, where the existing Officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary) – who are also the trustees of the legal Charity, would be joined by a group of 4 other people, to work towards developing the rule changes that would be put to the Council in 2018, and which would effectively transform the council into a more responsive body, with (hopefully) enhanced relevance to the average ringer.
This new Executive (comprising 5 trustees and 4 non-trustee executives) would be able to use the officers/trustees to implement the actions that they decide on, thus ensuring continuity between the present and possible future organizations.
Phil Barnes likened the process to taking a journey without having to commit to a destination. If we like the way things are going in May,2018, then we can continue the journey – perhaps with some modifications – and if we don’t like the way things are going, we can still turn back.
Key points are that:
- Any ringer will be able to enter their name to be an officer of the organization (this is already the case: Rule 12.ii states:
The President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Assistant Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, and Public Relations Officer shall be ex-officio members of the Council if not already Life or Representative Members.)
- Any ringer may put their name forward for appointment to a Work Group.
- The Council will begin to use a planning and objectives process to make certain that all efforts are coordinated, and contribute to the plan.
Rather surprisingly, most of these changes (indeed, all of the changes that are being proposed for 2017/2018) do not require any rule changes. This is what will allow the Council to operate on two pretty-well parallel tracks for this year.
There were some dissenters with details of the motions, but even they declared themselves supportive of r the aims of the reforms.
Much more, of course, remains to be worked out in the weeks and months ahead. In particular, the importance of ongoing consultation and feedback from those ringers who are not members of the Council, was stressed.
So, for now, the work of the CRAG is finished, and it is now up to the leaders of the Council, together with the extra members of the executive, to do the work (or to form groups to get it done), ready for 2018.
Lancashire sounds like it is going to be an exciting time – and it will be open to anyone who wants to attend. Book your trains, and boats and planes, and hotels early!