Ecf Silver member letter

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
John Reyes
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Ecf Silver member letter

Post by John Reyes » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 am

This is what michael and myself have sent out to the silver members

Dear Silver Members

This letter comes to you from Michael Farthing and John Reyes, the two silver member representatives on the ECF Council, which meets for the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 13 October. A shorter letter this time but with important questions. Please do read!

In general the AGM does not make financial decisions which are the responsibility of the April Finance Meeting. However, this year there is a request from the Board to revise the budget for the current year and the provisional plans for future years. There is an accompanying proposal for an increase in membership fees above that previously outlined in April. As your representatives this is an area where we expect to be guided by your reactions and, given the significance of the changes, we really do need you to tell us what you think about each of the planned areas of increased spending and the consequential likely effect on membership fees. There will be voices in many directions but it would help us immensely to know what you all think and adds to our credibility in the meeting if we have a goodly number responding.

Full papers are available at http://www.englishchess.org.uk/about/ec ... and-board/. Here is a summary of the main items on the agenda together with our current views. We have not followed the order of the agenda but deals with the potentially more divisive question of budget first.

Finances
The Board is proposing increases to the budget for the current (2018-9) year as follows:

International Spending £17,500
Women's Chess £10,000
Office support £12,000
Development Officer £10,000
Total £49,500

Of this £18500 would come from ECF trust funds and £26000 from ECF reserves (for this year, but the continuing costs in future years would be financed from membership fee increases). The remaining £5000 is envisaged to be self-financing by the Development Officer from increased membership and is partly a bonus payment that is dependent on this. The development officer's principle role would be to increase membership.

The increase in international spending essentially funds players to participate in elite tournaments including the Olympiad, the World Chess Championship cycle and Norm tournaments for titles. There is an element for elite development training and analytical support. £3000 of the increase is to support senior chess.

The women's chess budget would total £15000 (ie £10000 increase on the current £5000) Of this, £10000 would be used for support of women in tournament chess (the British Chess Championships and the English Women's Championship) and £5000 (the trust fund contribution) for social support of clubs and other organisations that have a programme for encouragement of women to participate in chess.

The £12000 extra for the office support is to cover an increase in staffing (£6000) and partly in anticipation of salary rises (£6000) to compensate for a fall in the level of salary being paid as compared to equivalent jobs elsewhere.

The anticipated increase in membership fees for silver members involves a rise from £23.50 this year to £27 next year (increased from the proposal of £25 presented at the last Finance Meeting) with a plan of a further increase the following year to £30. Full figures for other levels are available in Paper C29.13 on the ECF website.

We are purposely making no recommendation to you one way or the other. This is a matter of what each member believes is appropriate and we want to hear from you. It may also be that some of you will be in favour of some increases and not others. We will seek to have separate votes on different items of expenditure should this seem appropriate.

Elections
This year the President (Dominic Lawson), Chief Executive (Mike Truran), Chairman of Council (Mike Gunn), Chairman of the Governance Committee (Robert Stern), and one member of the Finance Committee (Ian Reynolds) are up for election and all the current incumbents are standing for re-election and are unopposed.

Traci Whitfield (Junior Chess) and Alex Holowczak (Home Director) have both decided to stand down from their roles. Alex has made this decision because of the high burden the post demands at a time of year when he has significant other commitments. With the encouragement of the Board and of Traci he has agreed to stand instead for Director of Junior Chess and is unopposed.

Chris Fegan was appointed to the Board as Director of Women's Chess earlier in the year and is now standing for election by the Council. There has been some criticism that he was given this role as a man when there were two women applicants for the post. The Board has stood by their decision that the best qualified person was appointed and in this election Chris is unopposed.

This leaves the only contested position that of Director of Home Chess, to replace Alex Holowczak. There are two candidates, Tim Wall and Adrian Elwin and their election addresses are on the website. We do not have great knowledge of either candidates, though both have been active in running chess activities. We shall be guided by any (reasoned) recommendations we receive from silver members and also by how the candidates present themselves at the meeting.

In ECF elections there is always an option to leave a particular post unfilled if none of the candidates convince Council representatives of their worth. This option has occasionally been taken by Council, but we would not vote this way unless we received a very strong response from you. [For the avoidance of doubt, an orchestrated submission of identical Emails will not constitute a strong response].

Other Items
We do not feel there are any other items of great significance. Full details can be found on the ECF site and if anyone has other concerns then please do raise them with us.

Michael Farthing and John Reyes
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:36 am

John Reyes wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 am
The development officer's principle role would be to increase membership.
Wouldn't increasing the number of people playing competitive chess be a better objective? You increase membership by getting Yorkshire to phase out their separate grading system and requiring that Yorkshire players join the ECF to retain grades. That doesn't increase the playing base. Neither does extending membership to more activities in the junior sphere.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Roger Lancaster » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:29 am

Thanks, Michael and John, and your comprehensive communication has been posted in its entirety on the Watford club website. It deserves wider currency and maybe other clubs with suitable websites could do the same?

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:47 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:36 am
John Reyes wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 am
The development officer's principle role would be to increase membership.
Wouldn't increasing the number of people playing competitive chess be a better objective? You increase membership by getting Yorkshire to phase out their separate grading system and requiring that Yorkshire players join the ECF to retain grades. That doesn't increase the playing base. Neither does extending membership to more activities in the junior sphere.
It's not my job to explain Board thinking, but my reading of the documents published shows that the anticipated increase from Yorkshire is acknowledged and will not be counted to the success of this venture, nor to the bonus element of the development officer's remuneration.

Nick Grey
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 pm

Looks late in asking then again I'll expect I will get one soon. My association want views because of a meeting tomorrow.

As my club mainly bronze & above I ought to say. roger to pay five times more than anyone.
Some Lancashire members at least 2 times Certain others 10 times.
On Yorkshire a lot are great. Happy to buy a drink too.

If only real service is grading then those that play most pay most. My view.

Too much focus on increasing membership whereas some of us are encouraging social chess without playing a rated game.

i'm waiting for a quiet Friday to call to renew - so who knows I may get that tomorrow or on the 12th.


Nick

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:37 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 pm

i'm waiting for a quiet Friday to call to renew - so who knows I may get that tomorrow or on the 12th.
Well Nick, use your loaf and think again!
The coming two Fridays may be quiet for you, but do you really think they are quiet for the Office when the AGM is on the 13th?
Leave it to the 19th.
[If you do it earlier I'm sure you'll get excellent helpful and friendly service - but they are busy and on the days that they are not, he is even more so].

Nick Grey
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:43 pm

That's the trouble when the office hours are very old. But hopefully my offices will be fine as lots work from home on Friday. They are excellent.
Only free time I have & want to enter a couple of tournaments before their discounts run out.

The call takes 90 seconds & is the best service I get every year from ECF.

Andrew Zigmond
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Location: Harrogate

Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:13 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:36 am
John Reyes wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 am
The development officer's principle role would be to increase membership.
Wouldn't increasing the number of people playing competitive chess be a better objective? You increase membership by getting Yorkshire to phase out their separate grading system and requiring that Yorkshire players join the ECF to retain grades. That doesn't increase the playing base. Neither does extending membership to more activities in the junior sphere.
As somebody actually on the ground there I'm not convinced there will be a huge influx of new ECF members from Yorkshire. The Yorkshire league has been ECF graded for six years now, as have several of the larger satellite leagues. While a few more have come into the fold following the demise of the Yorkshire grading list my hunch would be that these are the ones where most of the participants are ECF members anyway. I don't think any Yorkshire based league has a huge number of players who only play in that league and never outside.

Regarding the wider issue of increasing the playing base, the Council Papers section of the ECF website has a number of interesting documents that set out the board's strategy going forward, although the document that was presented at the September meeting still appears not to be in the public domain.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

Reg Clucas
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Reg Clucas » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:28 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 pm
If only real service is grading then those that play most pay most. My view.
How would you propose to implement that?

NickFaulks
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:54 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:21 pm
If only real service is grading then those that play most pay most. My view.
True, but if the only real service is grading, then membership fees should be about a tenth of what they are.

Nick Grey
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Nick Grey » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:17 pm

My fide or ECF is only grading & maybe a tax.
The other costs are organisational to those running chess.
Too much political speculation which also seem to be jollies in Fide.
Whilst those that have been in Batami & play locally I think you will be pleased of another Kingston v Surbiton match on 29th October.

Martin Crichton
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Martin Crichton » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:44 am

I have just renewed and downgraded my membership from silver to bronze.

I only had Silver membership because I plyed in the London superrapid play in 2016 and a certain club sponsor was paying for my membership...(seems that funding has now dried up due to poor club administration of finances)

Anyway as I play all my FIDE rated games under IRL and as I only play league chess I don't see any point in being a silver member anymore....just hope I won't now start getting loads of bronze member ECF emails in my inbox :)
Member of "the strongest amateur chess club in London" (Cavendish)

my views are not representative of any clubs or organisations.

John Reyes
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by John Reyes » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:59 pm

Martin Crichton wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:44 am
I have just renewed and downgraded my membership from silver to bronze.

I only had Silver membership because I plyed in the London superrapid play in 2016 and a certain club sponsor was paying for my membership...(seems that funding has now dried up due to poor club administration of finances)

Anyway as I play all my FIDE rated games under IRL and as I only play league chess I don't see any point in being a silver member anymore....just hope I won't now start getting loads of bronze member ECF emails in my inbox :)
you not meet angus French yet lol!!

I am gutted you have to do that, but we are glad, that the membership, has a say in meeting and fees etc!

you should see how many members have got back to us?
Any postings on here represent my personal views only

Angus French
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Angus French » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:37 pm

Martin Crichton wrote:
Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:44 am
...just hope I won't now start getting loads of bronze member ECF emails in my inbox :)
Umm, Andrew at the ECF Office has just kindly sent a message for Bronze members about the upcoming AGM. Copy also available here. Feedback very welcome!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Ecf Silver member letter

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:53 pm

Angus French wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:37 pm
Feedback very welcome!
We wonder, though,about the need for extra staff resource at the Office. Shouldn’t the move to a new membership system have
freed-up considerable resource (we understand the old system was cumbersome to operate)?
That charging individual by individual would be cheaper to operate than charging at the level of chess organisations was always cloud cuckoo land. You also have to ask why three year membership has been scrapped. Subscriptions to magazines can cope with periods of longer than a year.

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