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Minutes of meeting of Chess Scotland

Grangemouth Community Education Unit
Sunday 16th December 2007

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Present: S. Hilton, D. Wilson, G. Clarke, A. McCulloch, P. Thomas, J. Hughes, C Pritchett, J. Shovlin, A. McFarlane, A. McDonald and C. Hampton.

There was no formal agenda to the meeting called by the President, which was to discuss the Junior Review and the Consultant's report.

The first part of the meeting digressed at first with various topics being discussed.

The meeting discussed co-ordination of the event calendar. This not only affected junior events but senior events as well.

Craig Pritchett indicated that he was not yet in a position to give a full update on the progress of applications to various charitable bodies by the Scottish Junior Chess Association Trust, but hoped to be clear about outcome on 4 applications by end-January. He stressed that there was no guarantee that the trust would be successful in any application. He reported that the fund was currently seeking to expand its trustee base and professionalize its approach to fund-raising and marketing. He also confirmed that the trust was fully independent and would entertain any application for funds that met its charitable purposes.

 

 

There was a proposal (included as an Appendix to these minutes) from Chris Hampton and Angus McDonald for a joint working party concerning the harmonization of the activities of Chess Scotland and SJC. They stated that they were doing this as individual members of Chess Scotland and not as members of SJC.

 

George Clarke raised a point of order at this point. He was under the impression that the meeting was called to discuss the consultant's report and felt that this proposal was not part of the discussion.

 

Donald Wilson said the meeting was about more than just the Report. Chris and Angus were proposing this motion as individual members, the proposal concerned junior chess and the activity of Chess Scotland, and as such it was worth discussing.

The meeting could discuss the proposal, but could not make any decision one way or another on it the proposal would be taken to the next full meeting of Council.

 

The meeting discussed some parts of the report.

The meeting discussed some parts of the report, particularly references to the importance of CS and CAS/SJC joint working and membership.

The spirit of the meeting was that wherever possible, Chess Scotland and Chess Academy Scotland / SJC should rationalize the organization of the CS national championships and seek cooperative outcomes, recognizing that the current range of events offered by both bodies for juniors, contained some possible overlap. There was some constructive discussion on specific events and how rationalization might take place. CS expressed no objection to anyone organizing its national championships on its behalf, but stressed that this must be done in an orderly and inclusive way stressing across the board teamwork. Phil Thomas (Chair CAS/SJC) said that he would take these points back for discussion with fellow CAS / SJC members.

This issue would again be considered further by the full CS Council.

The meeting discussed membership structure. The President said that he was opposed to compulsory membership, and was looking into some form of automatic membership. A proposal was made in the 1990's for compulsory membership and was overwhelmingly rejected then. The Secretary said that he felt that that would be the case today if proposed. The Secretary asked what would happen to Life members if there was a change of membership structure.

Appendix

Formation of a Joint Working Party

Proposed by Chris Hampton ( Edinburgh ) & Angus McDonald ( Aberdeen )

We, the undersigned, respectfully submit a composite motion linking a set of proposals broadly concerned with the harmonisation of the varied modes of chess governance in Scotland and the reconciliation, where possible, of bodies experiencing some level of friction in terms of the philosophic assumptions which drive their respective organisations. It is requested that the motion be adopted "as is" unless there are substantive reasons offered for opposing its adoption in principle. In placing the motion before the Board and members of CS for consideration, we do so in our own cognizance as individual members of CS. We trust that it will be taken as an indication of our desire to further the interests of Chess players - particularly young players -rather than promoting the sectional interests of the organisation or organisations we happen to currently espouse.

 

WE RESPECTFULLY PROPOSE:

1/ That a joint working party be set up with immediate effect to explore common interests as between Chess Scotland, Chess Academy Scotland (SJC) and Scottish Junior Chess Association Educational Trust.

2/. That no conditions be laid down as to terms of reference of any discussions that may occur, the duration of those discussions or the frequency of them

3/. That representation from each organisation shall be equitable and appropriate to the matters under discussion

3/. That membership of the working group shall be flexible but with a suggested maximum of four per organisation at any given time.

4/. That individual representation at any given time be determined on the basis of (A) the subject matter or matters on the table for discussion and (B) the known experience and expertise of individual representatives in such matter or matters

5/ That each organisation has sole discretion as to whom it appoints and the term for which the individual is appointed

6/. That, while the discussions are tri-partite, other accredited organisations may be invited to be represented as and when appropriate on a consultative basis

7/. That all interests germane (pertinent) to any discussions must be declared

8/. That any joint agreements reached are merely recommendations and carry no force unless formally adopted (ratified) by the represented organisations

9/. That all discussions be minuted for distribution to secretaries of relevant organisations

10/. That the agreed aim of the process is the rationalisation of service provision through (a) the avoidance of pointless duplication,(b) the ending of boundary disputes,(c) taking stock of the strengths of individual organisations (d) the achievement of clarity and transparency in the mode of operation of each and every organisation involved directly or indirectly associated with the process

11/. That it be appropriate, in fact, desirable that each and every organisation consult fully with its constituent membership before bringing specific recommendations to the table

12/ That the JWP may voluntarily disband upon the withdrawal of one or more organisations from the discussions on the grounds that its aim is to be inclusive of all interests - an aim that will be clearly sabotaged by such a negative action

13/ That, to avoid conflicts of interest and to achieve mutuality, the charitable status of two of the organisations and the statutory status of the third be taken into account in any discussions that may take place with respect to the marketing of the brand of each organisation. (In effect, the discussions will place SJCAE and CA-S on a par with CS despite the current and obvious disparities of size and financial "clout" and function)

14/ That, notwithstanding the above proviso, the question of subsidiarity may not be ruled out of open-ended discussions on future governance of Chess organisations whether local or national in Scotland

15/ That recommendations, once adopted on a tri-partite basis, can be implemented by each and every organisation within a time-scale appropriate to that organisation.

16/ That failure of any organisation or organisations to follow through on an agreed recommendation within an acceptable time-scale shall, all other things being equal, be interpreted as a failure of will rather than as a breach of trust!

17/ That a quorum meeting be not less than two representatives (delegates) from each organisation

The above composite motion is itself the product of considerable discussion among certain individuals who feel the need to raise the level of debate to the point where rapprochement is not simply on our Christmas wish-list but a conceivable, believable and achievable outcome of future on-going discussions between the relevant organisations. It is felt that the present 'stalemate' places those not party to the "ins and outs" of current disagreements in a very unsatisfactory sort of limbo-somewhere between hell below and heaven above.

Suggested discussion areas include the following:

1/ International representation

2/ Affiliation (with whom, by whom)

3/ Partnership

4/ Corporate sponsorship

5/ Training and coaching

6/ Accreditation (coaches, arbiters etc)

7/ Grading

8/ Financial management

9/ Insurance issues

10/ Trustees - responsibilities of

11/ Marketing, branding promotion

12/ Press and publicity

13/ Localisation - regional support for local initiatives

14/ Schools (curricular issues)

15/ Universities and Colleges - influence of, research findings of, etc)

16/ Funding bodies

17/ Networking with other charitable or not for profit organisations

18/ Cultural exchanges - Erasmus and the European dimension

19/ Technology - the Internet - digital demonstration boards - interactive training

20/ assistance for the physically/mentally impaired etc

21/ Supporting the supporters- volunteers-parents-teachers

22/ Health and safety issues

23/ Child protection and disclosure issues

24/ Keeping a flexible agenda should not be interpreted as unfocused discussion at any particular meeting!!! There is no reason, in principle, why video-conferencing can't be employed but obviously discussion should be recorded audially if not on video itself.

 

Chris Hampton, Edinburgh

Angus Macdonald, Aberdeen ,

 

16th December 2007

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Notice of Dec 16 meeting and links

 


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