CHESS SCOTLAND (CS) MINUTES OF COUNCIL MEETING
Prudential Offices, Craigforth, Stirling Sunday 20 February 2005
Members of Council:
JM Glendinning (chair), G Anderson, DM Bryson, GA Clarke, R Coleman, S Collins, T Donohue, S Emery, G Grant, I Mackintosh, A McFarlane, LR McKenzie, J Montgomery, A Plato, C Pritchett, R Tweedie, D Wilson and K Stewart (minutes).
L Barnes, F Petrie, J Shovlin
Apologies had been received from the following: - K Emery, DL Gillespie, D Griffin, A Howie, J Hughes, D Leslie, P Macnab, W Marshall, M Mathie, N Mathie, S O'Donnell, D Officer, L Shovlin , P Woods
The Minutes of the previous Council Meeting, 21 November 2004, were approved.
The President pointed out that an appointment to the post of Executive Director was still required and appealed for volunteers from Council, at least to take on part of the task. No nomination was forthcoming but Council agreed that the President should approach other possible candidates.
J Dempsey (representing Glasgow Montrose Winter Tournament) has resigned from Council and S Collins intimated that the congress no longer wished to be a congress representative. J Shovlin offered to join Council as representative of the Fair City congress and this was agreed by Council.
A McFarlane as Director of Home Chess reported that preparations for the congress in Oban were not proceeding as fast as hoped, largely due to uncertainty over the venue. The dates were planned as 2-10 July. There was strong local support for the event. It was agreed that this should go ahead. It would be necessary to limit costs because the reserve in the Congress Fund had been fully used by the 2004 congress after sponsorship funds did not materialise. Plans are to hold the Congress in Ayr in 2006 and Perth in 2007.
SCOTTISH CHESS MAGAZINE
S Collins reported that the much-delayed October/November issue had recently been published and that the December/January issue should go to the printer in a week or so. He regretted the delays but wished to continue to edit and improve the magazine. The nature of the magazine was discussed at some length including issues such as the nature of content, relation to website content and various ideas to resolve some of the problems. I Mackintosh offered to set down his experience with the electronic version of the SCCA magazine. There was also discussion of the finances; the Treasurer indicated that whether it broke even depended on a number of accounting assumptions. It was agreed that the priority was to bring publication back up to date.
The President indicated that he felt there was a need to make some constitutional changes in addition to those which might emerge from the junior chess discussions. Areas for attention included clarity on where support for directors who encountered problems should come from - the constitution had been framed to ensure focus on strategic objectives but neither strategy group nor executive group had functioned. In addition, the Executive group did not include all Directors and the Council could not practically deal with day to day issues.
To address the question of support for difficulties encountered by directors two ideas were suggested – the creation of a management board or the creation of an auditor who would monitor and respond. The discussion developed on the Management Board approach and centred on the roles of any Board created, the Council and the Annual General Meeting.
It was agreed that Chess Scotland should adopt a policy of formally agreeing a business plan on either a one year or three year basis.
It was observed that an annual business plan is submitted to the Scottish Executive. The timing of the process was such that in previous years no suitable council meeting date was available to discuss or approve the plan. Since the recent agreement by the Executive to 3 year funding, annual plans were being submitted later and it would be feasible for Council to agree it at their meeting on 9 April. There was an expectation that an earlier submission would be needed when the 3 year plan was being reviewed, with submission expected in November 2006.
It was felt that the process should be that the AGM would elect the Directors (at least) in July or August of any year, the directors would create a business plan (including fees) for the year beginning in the following May which would be agreed by the Council in February of that year and would be responsible for carrying out that plan up to the following July/August when new director elections took place. The newly appointed directors would inherit the business plan and carry it out. The timing would need to change for the 2007-8 business plan to meet expected Scottish Executive grant application deadlines.
It was agreed that the existing annual plan submitted to the Executive would be circulated to Council and that the plan for 2005-6 would be circulated for discussion at the 9 April Council Meeting.
Other aspects mooted included
the possibility of e-voting for elections at the AGM,
whether directors elected at Council at present should be elected at the AGM instead, or should perhaps not be directors,
the scope to enhance the AGM from simply being the formal approval of report and accounts and appointment of directors to engage more with members in for example considering specific issues flagged in advance.
It was agreed that the President would put forward a paper to the next meeting indicating options for the constitution.
SCOTTISH JUNIOR CHESS (SJC)
G Grant reported that a very good meeting had been held on 6 February between representatives of CS and SJC. Unfortunately it had not been possible to produce an agreed report in time for the Council meeting but agreement had been reached on most matters (which she summarised) though there remained some sticking points relating particularly to voting and finance. There followed an extensive discussion during which a number of questions covering various issues were answered by G Grant and F Petrie. Amongst the areas raised were:
the exact purpose of any separate bank account (in connection with which it was suggested discussion with the Finance Director would be useful)
brand – a clear shared view did not emerge and further rationale was sought, including the suggestion that the branding of other Scottish sports organisations be looked at
how the internet would work in more detail
how any junior council fitted into the annual business plan process
the desire for the report to strongly reflect one organisation
In the light of the constructive and largely amicable discussion, the President asked that the group should produce a document providing clarity and rationale on the points raised in discussion and resolving the outstanding points of disagreement, and submit the document in time for circulation to Council members by mid March. In particular, it was asked that the group should review the annual business plan including budget and fees and propose any changes they would want to see so that the 9 April Council Meeting can discuss and hopefully agree the junior proposals and make the necessary adjustments in agreeing the business plan, including budget and fees for 2005-6.
In the light of earlier discussion it was agreed that the discussion of the budget (including fees) would be deferred until 9 April.
J Montgomery informed Council that Ayrshire plan to hold a congress in late 2005. This is primarily as a preparation for the planned hosting of the Scottish Championships in Ayr in 2006 but may become an annual event
C Pritchett reported that the award for the Cherie Booth best Girl Player of the Year would take place in Aberdeen on 25 February. This had been arranged at short notice in order to make possible the attendance of Peter Peacock, Scottish Minister for Education.
The next Meeting of Council will be held on 9 April 2005.