AGM Minutes

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Michael Farthing
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AGM Minutes

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:24 pm

Both the draft minutes of the AGM and details of card votes are now on the ECF website.

Nick Grey
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:29 pm

Only draft minutes? What sort of admin expenses & costs is that?

J T Melsom
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:47 pm

If you read the minutes you will note that the usual secretary was unwell, so the record has been produced by a non ECF employee. I don't know for certain but I believe the minutes are described as draft because they need to be approved by Council as an accurate record.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:08 pm

J T Melsom wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:47 pm
If you read the minutes you will note that the usual secretary was unwell, so the record has been produced by a non ECF employee. I don't know for certain but I believe the minutes are described as draft because they need to be approved by Council as an accurate record.
Correct (almost) on both counts. I say almost because the usual minute taker had scheduled treatment.

Nick Grey
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:04 pm

A bit late if a scheduled treatment for not making arrangements & potential increased costs.
It shows a lack of volunteers overall.
Of course if we have Council making these decisions it is no wonder we have a lack of a coherent strategy & budget with many contrary views/
Seems strange to have significant reserves in an annual budget of this size when government recommend no more than 1 month for a primary school & even less for a secondary school.
Looks like an issue with fee increases going forward so I'll leave that to those elected to deal with that.

J T Melsom
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by J T Melsom » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:19 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:04 pm
A bit late if a scheduled treatment for not making arrangements & potential increased costs.
Clearly as the minutes were produced, arrangements were made. No evidence at all that the volunteer replacement resulted in additional costs, but naturally the minutes may have taken longer. Nigel Towers should be thanked for his efforts as stand-in. But why bother with the facts :roll:

Nick Grey
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:39 pm

Thanks to Nigel then.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Michael Farthing » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:16 am

J T Melsom wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:19 pm
Nick Grey wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:04 pm
A bit late if a scheduled treatment for not making arrangements & potential increased costs.
Clearly as the minutes were produced, arrangements were made. No evidence at all that the volunteer replacement resulted in additional costs, but naturally the minutes may have taken longer. Nigel Towers should be thanked for his efforts as stand-in. But why bother with the facts :roll:
The minutes have been present for some time though I am not sure how long: in any case, pretty prompt. A resume was published extremely quickly. The card vote has taken longer to compile and appeared today because the volunteer responsible was not of the same quality. But hey - we have what we can get.

Nick Grey
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:45 am

Michael as you were in attendance in the capacity of Voting registration officer & seemed not to be ready for that task I take it that you are the volunteer responsible that was not of the same quality as last time.

Perhaps next meeting & next years AGM will seem to be a lot smoother

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:15 pm

I personally thought that the minutes were very detailed and allowed me to understand a few things a lot better. We can't compare the record of card votes with anything we have previously because such a summary has never been published before.

I understand the primary role of the voting register officer is to compile the list of current voting members of council together with which individual currently holds the votes and that was completed prior to the meeting within the normal timescales. Michael was more than `ready for the task`, to use Nick's words. I suspect Nick has taken a typically self deprecating Michael comment at face value but the sanctimonious criticism is out of order and Nick should apologise.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:27 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:15 pm
I personally thought that the minutes were very detailed and allowed me to understand a few things a lot better. We can't compare the record of card votes with anything we have previously because such a summary has never been published before.

I understand the primary role of the voting register officer is to compile the list of current voting members of council together with which individual currently holds the votes and that was completed prior to the meeting within the normal timescales. Michael was more than `ready for the task`, to use Nick's words. I suspect Nick has taken a typically self deprecating Michael comment at face value but the sanctimonious criticism is out of order and Nick should apologise.
It has been a while since I posted in 100% agreement with one of Andrew's posts, but I certainly do with this one.

Angus French
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Angus French » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:59 pm

For what it's worth...
ECF Article 28 wrote:Votes on a poll shall be counted by tellers appointed by the meeting who may themselves vote if so entitled. In respect of a vote by poll where the vote is in respect of election to an office or post, the Tellers shall keep confidential the details of all votes cast except for the totals thereof. In respect of all other votes by poll the chairman shall cause to be published on the Company’s website as soon as reasonably practicable following the meeting details of how the votes of each member were cast. At the end of the meeting the Tellers shall deliver any ballot papers to the chairman.
So ultimately it's the Chairman (of the meeting) who has responsibility for publishing the details of card votes. But in the case of the recent AGM presumably Michael volunteered (at some point) to produce the report.

Anyhow, a couple of other matters:

1. For both card votes for which breakdowns are reported, the total votes counted by the tellers and announced at the meeting were incorrect. This is of concern because: a) it's not first time it's happened recently (at the 2015 AGM it was incorrectly announced that David Openshaw had been elected Director of International Chess when in fact Malcolm Pein had received a greater number of votes); and b) you wonder whether the result of the election for Director of Home Chess was correctly calculated - the announced result of this (in accordance with the Articles, no breakdown is given) was close at 146 votes (Adrian Elwin) to 134 (Tim Wall).

2. We still await the card vote breakdowns for April's Finance meeting. These were acknowledged to be missing at the AGM...

Nick Grey
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:24 am

Michael I apologise - thanks Andrew and David for pointing it out. My words were harsh and I was bang out of order.

I forget that I cannot hold ECF & Council to account in the same way as Local Government Officers. I'm a Finance Manager but also have been on lots of stints of election counting. it is not great. I usually take the I'll cover the office on Thursday and Friday instead as the 24 hour city is not OK on transport.

There is a point in having procedures & previous as Angus has pointed out. I'll comment no more on the AGM.

Best wishes for all at the next Finance Meeting, and in our chess. I've got 6 days in a row coming up which I'm thankful for. And hope you all have a lot of chess too.

Paul Buswell
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Paul Buswell » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:53 am

Am I alone in feeling uncomfortable that the ECF President voted (albeit by proxy)? Perhaps I'm old-fashioned but I'd prefer a non-executive President not to vote, other than from the chair with a casting vote.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: AGM Minutes

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:03 am

Angus French wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:59 pm

Anyhow, a couple of other matters:

1. For both card votes for which breakdowns are reported, the total votes counted by the tellers and announced at the meeting were incorrect. This is of concern because: a) it's not first time it's happened recently (at the 2015 AGM it was incorrectly announced that David Openshaw had been elected Director of International Chess when in fact Malcolm Pein had received a greater number of votes); and b) you wonder whether the result of the election for Director of Home Chess was correctly calculated - the announced result of this (in accordance with the Articles, no breakdown is given) was close at 146 votes (Adrian Elwin) to 134 (Tim Wall).
I don't agree, Angus.

In any vote there is always the potential, and indeed, strong likelihood, of minor errors. The recorded vote is in very good accord with the vote on the day and in any case the margins were wide. Had the votes been close there was always the option of a recount: Tim accepted the result of the contested election graciously and I'm sure had confidence in the count.

You also assume that the fault lies with the counting on the day rather than with the published result. The published document purposely does not make that claim. The published results were checked several times, but only by myself. I did consider seeking an independent verification but decided that the differences were so small as not to warrant further delay (finding a volunteer, sending them the ballot cards and waiting for it to be done). The document went to Mike Gunn, Chairman of Council, who was also happy to accept that level of disagreement. There was, and still is, the opportunity for any representative finding that their vote is incorrectly recorded to draw attention to that. Mike has given guidance that the ballot papers will be retained at least until Council has approved the minutes at its next meeting.

I accept that an independent post-meeting check of the election ballot has not taken place (and, I believe, never has done). The only reason for the check on the card votes was because that is an inevitable by-product of preparation for publication. It might be that, in future, post-meeting checks should be considered in cases where majorities are small - I will raise that for discussion in Governance. (For clarity, I am not saying this should or should not happen - when I say "for discussion" I mean "for discussion").

However, the essential point is that minor errors happen even with the most careful of tellers and even after rechecking. I have every confidence in the tellers on the day as, I'm sure, have most representatives.

De minimus non curat lex.

Edit: It occurs to me that some not present at the meeting might think I was a teller on the day - I was not.
Last edited by Michael Farthing on Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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