April Council meeting 2019

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Mike Gunn
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:06 pm

Nick, you are quite right: I could have ruled amending the motion in this way out of order but it seemed to me that it was achieving the same aim (female participation) but without several (probable) defaults so my judgement was to let it be voted on (and the motion came very close to being passed, of course).

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:55 pm

"According to the report by the Gold members' representative, the proposal became that a county fielding a female player got an extra board point. Nothing about whether the female player had to satisfy the same eligibility requirement as the male players."

How was it actually worded? There could be ambiguity, so that if you did a Birchall and fielded an entirely female team, you would be leading 16-0 before a pawn was moved!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:54 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:55 pm
How was it actually worded?
The report emailed to Gold members said this.
After some debate, there was an amendment proposed by Tim Wall and agreed by delegates so that the motion actually voted on was:
'A team in the County Championships shall receive one extra point if it fields at least one female player in the National Stage, starting from the 2019/2020 season.'

Angus French
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Angus French » Mon Apr 29, 2019 5:59 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:53 pm
My impression was that the eligibility requirement remained.
This was also my understanding - i.e. that the part of the proposal to waive the qualification requirement was removed.
NickFaulks wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:53 pm
On a more general point, I was surprised that the pre-announced motion could be replaced without any warning by one to which it bore no resemblance.
Had Council members been able to consult on the amended proposal I wonder if it might have been approved? I wrote down that there were 88 votes for the amended motion and 91 against with 34 declared abstentions.

Paul Cooksey
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Paul Cooksey » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:30 pm

I think so Angus. I decided I would abstain, other things being equal, before the meeting. But I am also a bit cautious about anything proposed at the last minute, and that probably true of some other people too.

Generally I have been quite impressed by Chris's work so far as Women's Director. A shame he was not able to find a rule change that worked for the county championship, but the more ideas he generates the better.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:30 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:30 pm
A shame he was not able to find a rule change that worked for the county championship, but the more ideas he generates the better.
I don't think there's more than 10 to 12 counties able and willing to enter teams into the Open Championship, and that's in a good year. So any rule changes would have been the rest of the ECF dictating additional conditions on an event they wouldn't enter anyway.

TimWall
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Re: April Council meeting 2019

Post by TimWall » Wed May 01, 2019 2:46 pm

My report on the ECF Finance Council meeting, 27 April, 2019

This is the report I sent out to NCCU Counties and committee members of Durham County Chess Association, and Northumbria Junior Chess Association, who I was representing at the meeting:

"Firstly, I put forward the NCCU resolution on membership fees:

'(a) Increases in ECF membership fees for the 2019/20 season should be limited at maximum to a rise in line with CPI inflation rate, and preferably to no increase.

(b) That the ECF investigate with great haste the best and quickest way to release trust fund monies to support their proposed youth development plan, and to publish these facts for membership's awareness as soon as possible.'

The resolution was defeated on a card vote as follows:
For 93
Against 190
Abstentions 8
(9 votes not cast)

There was a lively and mostly amicable debate, in which the resolution was (broadly) opposed by ECF officers, and supported by a good proportion of the delegates from the floor. Although most of the points made were reasonable, some did not make a lot of sense to me.

For example, Stewart Reuben wondered whether taking more money from the charitable funds for junior development would deter potential donors from leaving money in their wills - but surely that's what they would want the money spent on. Separately Finance Director David Eustace asked how CPI rate increases would be implemented if the figure was not a round number (eg a 45 pence increase), which I thought was also a spurious attempt to muddy the waters. I countered that increases could be rounded up or down as appropriate.

In general, in my view, the split was between those who really care about the rank-and-file membership, and those who, frankly, don't care so much.

In my remarks (I relied mainly on my oral presentation, having earlier posted Bill O'Rourke's Power Point presentation
ECF Council meeting April 27th 2019-WOR & TW.pdf
(199.93 KiB) Downloaded 14 times
online on the EC Forum) I stressed that this resolution came out of a situation where numbers of congress players are down, and clubs and leagues are not growing. Adding extra membership fees without extra services risks some members dropping out of competitive play.

I also strongly made the point that the £1 million plus in the Chess Trust (c. £450,000), the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust (c. £660,000) and the old BCF PIFs (thought to be total some £275,000) could be more aggressively spent than currently. For example, the JRYCT reserves are trending up, not down. I also pointed to the fact that the Chess Trust does not publish minutes of its meetings, and that there are no reports yet on the £40,000-a-year Accelerator Programme, funded by money from BCF funds, which currently helps 7 talented children, my sources tell me.

The 2 ECF directors on the board of the Chess Trust (CEO Mike Truran, and FD David Eustace) denied there was any problem with transparency of the Chess Trust, but at the same time stressed that the ECF did not control the trusts.
In general, they appeared somewhat evasive and defensive in their answers.

Overall, I got the impression that the ECF Board was playing a game of 'smoke and mirrors' over the accounts of both the ECF in general and the trusts in particular.

After the NCCU proposal was defeated, the other principal vote was on the proposal to cap the International Directorate budget at £30,000 pa (moved by Bronze and Silver member reps). I cast my 2 votes and 11 other proxy votes against this. As I understand it, we do not have an objection to spending on international teams, merely that this is levied through higher membership fees. I could have voted the other way, to demonstrate our discontent about the way ordinary members' fees are being raised excessively, but it seemed to me that this was the wrong target, and could be misinterpreted as northern chess organisations and members being against England teams being properly funded, which is not the case.

The International Budget cap resolution was lost by a big margin:
65 For
230 Against
5 Abstentions

Then the 2019-2020 membership fees were voted through on a hand vote, by 26 votes to 6. They included one amendment, that Junior Game Fee be reduced to £6, down from £7.50, to be in line with the Junior Silver membership fee.

It was decided not to take an indicative vote on next year's budget (2020-21).

The overall 2019-20 budget was approved on a hand vote by 27 votes to 2.

I was able to move an amendment to a Women's Chess Director resolution, which called for all County Championship Open teams (in the national stages) to include at least one female player (and deduct one point from their scores if they did not).

My amendment was aimed at giving teams a reward for fielding female player(s), rather than penalising those who don't. The amendment was accepted by Chris Fegan, and read:

'A team in the County Championships shall receive one extra point if it fields at least one female player in the National Stage, starting from the 2019/2020 season.'

It was narrowly defeated on a card vote:
For 88
Against 91
Abstentions 34
(Clearly, a lot of card votes were not used, as the maximum number available was 300.)

It is also worth noting that the Board was split on this issue, with some Directors voting against this, in my opinion, quite progressive reform.

I would be happy to answer any questions regarding the meeting.

Best regards,
Tim Wall
Representative to the ECF Council, Durham County Chess Association and Northumbria Junior Chess Association'

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