Silver Members Rep Email to the members

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John Reyes
Posts: 305
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Silver Members Rep Email to the members

Post by John Reyes » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:15 am

From: "Michael/John Farthing/Reyes - English Chess Federation" <>
Date: 3 October 2017 at 13:37:52 BST
Subject: ECF AGM - Silver members' letter

Dear Silver Members
This letter comes to you from Michael Farthing and John Reyes, the two silver member representatives at the ECF Annual General Meeting, which is to be held on Saturday 14 October. The agenda is quite short this year with largely uncontested elections, but with two important constitutional changes proposed.
Please do take the trouble to Email us, even if you have only a few comments to make. Our direct Email addresses are and which should be used in preference to a direct reply: these go via the ECF office and causes delay and extra work for the office at a very busy time for them. We do record all your responses and our voting reflects these. We also use the information to inform Council of how silver members have responded, which in itself can have an influence. Normally we do seek to reply individually to all comments received but on this occasion that may not be possible due to other commitments [um.. ok confess: family holiday]. For this reason this letter has been written as soon as the agenda has been published and is being sent out earlier than usual. Some Council papers have not been published yet but should appear on the ECF website over the next few days. Please send us any feedback you may have on these too.
Also, we requested those who normally respond to us but did not do so last time to let us know why. Thanks to those who did this and apologies (from Michael) that he didn't send acknowledgements. However, the results were clear: our letters should be in the body of the Email and not an attachment.

Full papers are available at ... and-board/ and the relevant papers for this meeting begin with the code C27 .

Elections and Appointments
Following changes to the Articles of the ECF this year, for the first time, only a few board positions are subject to election as a three year rolling system has been introduced. Three directors stand for re-election and are unopposed. There is also a contested election for one position of non-executive director between the currently serving Julie Denning and Peter Hornsby, active in university events. A feature of ECF elections is that even unopposed candidates face a formal election and it is possible to vote for “Not the above candidate”. If this gets a majority the post is left unfilled. This has been known to happen, but this year we feel the Board has worked well together and we do not intend to exercise this option. In the case of the non-executive director we feel that both are good candidates but Julie Denning has worked way beyond what might be expected from a non-executive director in assisting the Board and our intentions are to vote for her: she is far too good to lose.
The Chairman of Council (Mike Gunn), the FIDE delegate, Malcolm Pein (known to many as the editor of Chess magazine), a member of the Finance Committee (Ray Clark) and of the Governance Committe (Andrew Leadbetter) face re-election, all unopposed. Also facing confirmation as a member of the Governance Committee is a Board nominee: someone by the name of Michael Farthing.
Your feedback is invited and can yet sway our decisions.

Voting Reform
At the Finance Committee meeting in April the proposals brought forward by the Board and Governance Committee to increase the voting say of direct members of the ECF (that is, individual members rather than organisations) did not get sufficient support to suggest the necessary constitutional amendments (requiring 75% in favour) could be achieved. However, a more modest proposal has been put forward to increase the total number of votes of direct member representation from 10 to 40 giving direct members' representatives about 12% of the total vote in Council.
Some other changes are also included: the requirement that a representative should belong to the same category of membership that he or she represents is lifted (though of course, this would be known to the membership and might affect who they choose in an election). This change has been felt necessary because finding representatives is difficult: for next year no elections for these posts are to be fought and bronze members have only one rep and gold next year will have none. Also, for this reason, though the number of votes are being increased the number of representatives will remain the same.
These changes are less reforming than we would like but we believe they are realistic and we shall be supporting them (unless, of course, you all tell us otherwise).

Transparency of Voting in Council
Uncontroversial matters at Council are decided by a show of hands: only if there is doubt about the result is a formal vote taken. The current Articles provide that the way individual representatives vote in a formal vote will be secret unless the Chairman directs otherwise. Traditionally, they have almost always been secret. Many representatives, like ourselves, do report back on how they vote but there has been concern that this is not universal and there is a proposal to change the articles to make all formal 'card' voting public. An exception is made for elected positions where there was a fear that undue pressure might be placed on representatives by some candidates. We believe there is a difference between individual voting (as for example in a general election) which should be secret and voting by representatives (as for example MPs) which should not. So our recommendation is to support this change.

Board Strategy
A strategy paper by the Board was presented at the last Finance meeting but because of some unease amongst representatives was referred back for further consideration. It will be represented, but at the time of writing is not available to us.

Annual Accounts
The ECF Annual accounts will be submitted for approval, but again, they are not currently available

Platinum membership
Platinum membership of the ECF was conceived as a way keener members, in return for rather modest extra benefits (a free diary and copy of the ECF yearbook) could pay a higher subscription to help support the work of the ECF. A paper has been produced by Stephen Woodhouse (a non-executive director) recommending some changes to ensure that the amount of extra subscription can be legitimately seen as a donation and therefore attract the associated tax benefits. This all looks sensible and straightforward to us, but the tax experts amongst you (or indeed anyone) might like to comment.

A fairly light and uncontroversial agenda this time we think. Hopefully it will leave a bit of time for a drink and a chin wag before the journey home.
Michael Farthing -
John Reyes -
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Mike Truran
Posts: 2385
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:44 pm

Re: Silver Members Rep Email to the members

Post by Mike Truran » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:28 am

Just a minor amendment if I may - the strategy paper has been available on the ECF website for a while now.

John Reyes
Posts: 305
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Silver Members Rep Email to the members

Post by John Reyes » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:27 pm

at the time when we wrote this, it was not up at the time, but I can see it is now!!

Any postings on here represent my personal views only

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