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BMFA Country Members

Their voting rights

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john stones 1 Moderator03/07/2015 20:25:43
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Never really took much notice before about articles of association and the like, I've always been happy enough paying my fees and for the most part being supportive of the BMFA. Myself and others have been given a say in the NFC, Country members have not. We have Country members amongst our club membership so I shall start asking the BMFA Monday why this is the case. Most of these people join as Country members simply because it's convenient ( they don't go meetings or fly much) I will happily take the blame for them not naming our club as their lead club to remove that from the equation. Unless there are genuine reasons why they do not get a vote on this and other matters that may crop up in future, then to me they're being short changed. I have seen threads on here before with Country members grumbling, is it time they received some backing from the clubs ?

What's your opinion ?

John

Dave Hopkin03/07/2015 20:29:54
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100% Agree

The BMFA constitution needs changing to allow country members a vote in matters, wasnt it our septic cousins who said "No taxation without representation"?

Don Fry03/07/2015 21:02:46
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No, that was the current government denying UK residents, but EU citizens, voting rights in the upcoming referendum. Rant over.

kevin b03/07/2015 21:53:50
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As a country member myself, it would be interesting to know what percentage of the BMFA membership we represent.

Are we entitled to that information under the freedom of information act ?

vote smiley.jpg

Now then. What anniversary have we just been celebrating ? Ah, yes. Magna Carta.

Former Member03/07/2015 22:27:39
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[This posting has been removed]

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator03/07/2015 22:36:58
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Kevin,

you cannot make a request under the Freedom of Information Act to BMFA - well you can make it, but they are under no legal obligation what so ever to respond and share any information with you.

The reason for this is the act only applies to public bodies - e.g. government departments, NHS, local councils, universities etc. etc. It does not apply to private or public companies, organisations or societies.

BEB

MattyB03/07/2015 22:37:16
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Apparently around 10k of the 35k total are country members, though no-one seems to know the exact numbers. This has obviously increased steadily in recent times as ARTF and RTF products have become more popular and quiet electric models have facilitated park flying in smaller areas where clubs do not operate.

I can only assume that in early years of the BMFA almost everyone joined through a club, so this governance model worked fine. It's remained unchanged primarily because there have not been any major decisions that needed member input for many years - it works fine for deciding the annual subs and what biscuits to buy at the AGM(!), but is totally unsuitable when faced with something all members will want to voice an opinion on like the NFC. The good news is that there seems to be a lot of positive energy from members to get this changed both from outside clubs and within; I will be pushing for both my clubs to get a proposal presented at area council once the NFC vote is all over, and I suspect the same will be happening right across the various BMFA areas. Come at this from multiple different directions and the chance of implementing a fairer, more representative system should be pretty good.

Edited By MattyB on 03/07/2015 22:41:52

ChrisB03/07/2015 23:25:06
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It would be interesting to know the ratio of country members to affiliated club members. In my club we use the minimum 5 members approach to club affiliation. We have 90 members of which the same 30 or so attend the meetings, the same 30 fly regularly and attend events.

The rest fly occasionally and there can be times when everyone at the field are complete strangers who've never met.

As membership secretary, there are 20 or so members I've never met, who renew subs through the post and its always hard work just collecting the annual subs and certainly wouldn't have them all in and sorted by the BMFA renewal deadline. Usually it takes much chasing to get everyones subs in.

For those reasons we stick to the minimum or thereabouts required to affiliate and obviously represent the membership accordingly. I don't think being a country member means you are voiding your rights/interests. If people want to get involved they can/will reardless of their membership status, as there are many avenues to do this on a range of topics. However; most of our members are, like many, only interested in flying at our site on their own as they see fit, without getting involved in any club matters, events, shows or anything to do with the hobby in general. This is a trend i've noticed in recent years, mostly with newbys flying ARTF models until they find something better to do.

As an example I spent 6 months teaching a raw beginner, he flew well and had one aircraft. His car was a saloon. Once he'd gone solo I mentioned that now he was solo he could expand his fleet and even buy an aeromodellers car..i.e. estate, MPV etc...He looked at me and laughed as if to say..fool.!..Six months later I bumped into him at the field, having his first flight for 3 months, all ok. I noticed he now owned a big estate car. I asked him if he had expanded his fleet and guess what...he was now restoring a classic car and needed the car for transporting parts. When it came to sub's renewal, he didn't.

He is one of many in the hobby today who are just passing through for a couple of years and don't want to commit to anything and don't want to get involved or enthused. A couple of ARTF's and a site (which mostly means a club) to fly from and thats that.

Edited By ChrisB on 03/07/2015 23:41:55

Craig Carr04/07/2015 00:13:59
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 03/07/2015 22:36:58:

Kevin,

you cannot make a request under the Freedom of Information Act to BMFA - well you can make it, but they are under no legal obligation what so ever to respond and share any information with you.

The reason for this is the act only applies to public bodies - e.g. government departments, NHS, local councils, universities etc. etc. It does not apply to private or public companies, organisations or societies.

BEB

Beb, I think Kevin was just being facetious....

Cuban804/07/2015 00:25:16
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Posted by MattyB on 03/07/2015 22:37:16:

The good news is that there seems to be a lot of positive energy from members to get this changed both from outside clubs and within; I will be pushing for both my clubs to get a proposal presented at area council once the NFC vote is all over, and I suspect the same will be happening right across the various BMFA areas. Come at this from multiple different directions and the chance of implementing a fairer, more representative system should be pretty good.

Edited By MattyB on 03/07/2015 22:41:52

I agree completely with your sentiments, but don't forget that the vast majority of BMFA members really couldn't give a flying fig for all of this, regrettably, I don't know where any groundswell of opinion will come from.

I wonder what percentage of BMFA members (certainly not Country members) will actually have their opinion taken into account tomorrow? At risk of repeating myself, the 200 or so in the clubs I belong to are all out of it for starters.

Cuban804/07/2015 00:36:46
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Posted by ChrisB on 03/07/2015 23:25:06:

As membership secretary, there are 20 or so members I've never met, who renew subs through the post and its always hard work just collecting the annual subs and certainly wouldn't have them all in and sorted by the BMFA renewal deadline. Usually it takes much chasing to get everyones subs in.

Edited By ChrisB on 03/07/2015 23:41:55

I've been Membership Sec of our club for quite a while now, and we used to have this problem of late payers. I believe that some people thought that as they wouldn't be flying until the Spring they'd leave coughing up their subs until April or May.The answer was simple, we put our £54 club sub up by £15 and then offered a £15 discount on all renewals received before January 1st. Members now chase me to pay before the deadline!yes

kc04/07/2015 08:17:57
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BMFA should be 'one member one vote' that will solve the country members problem and bring a democratic result to the NFC idea. Nothing else is acceptable!

ChrisB04/07/2015 08:51:58
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Good idea Cuban, I've heard of that before. I might see if we can give that a go if the lack of timely payment continues. Its just a few members in fairness, but still frustrating. The other thing is when people decide they are'nt renewing, it would be nice to know out of curtosey.

I think KC you are probably correct. I can't see any other way and it does seem reasonably logical. However, its rare that really big issues such as the NFC come up. Any constitution should be flexible enough to allow for such mid-year changes.

Former Member04/07/2015 09:26:01
8085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

MattyB05/07/2015 22:47:38
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Interestingly the top table comitted to reform of the voting system at yesterday's NFC EGM. This is great news, but I've experienced this before in a business environment and it doesn't always get actioned when other "more important" things come along. It will be up to members (though not country members, they have zero power at present) to put pressure on through their area committees to make sure it happens. Let's get active!

john stones 1 Moderator05/07/2015 22:53:39
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Absolutely agree Mattyyes

John

Tomtom3905/07/2015 23:11:46
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Be great to see some more representation at area level. Last one I went to only had three other people apart from area committee members and the leading topic was the NMFC!

john stones 1 Moderator07/07/2015 18:00:05
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My e-mail was a day late but I sent it. Reply came very promptly and am told the will to look at this is there, so i'll shut up now. smiley

John

Peter Jenkins08/07/2015 21:49:55
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Actually guys, if you read the articles of association, country membership is specifically available only to those who are not club members. So, I think the BMFA has made an error in allowing this to arise in the first place. From some of the posts that have been made, it would appear that a good many country members are also members of at least one club. There should be have been a system that picked up this anomaly. However, as this is all going to be reviewed then perhaps it will all be resolved. So, if you are a Country Member who is a member of a Club, then you have accidentally put yourself in a position that should not have existed and ended up not having a vote and allowed to do so by the current BMFA system.

MattyB11/07/2015 15:52:28
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Posted by john stones 1 on 07/07/2015 18:00:05:

My e-mail was a day late but I sent it. Reply came very promptly and am told the will to look at this is there, so i'll shut up now. smiley

John

Personally I will be drafting some ideas for how the AoA should be changed and taking them to the area - sorry, but after the way the NFC vote was handled I don't feel particularly trusting that this will get looked at unless the wider membership insist on it.

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