Stalemate at CTC after vote on charitable status?

Members approve move to become charity - but not the mechanism to make that happen

by Simon_MacMichael   May 17, 2010  

CTC_logo.jpg

Members of CTC narrowly voted to convert the national cyclists’ organisation into a charity at its AGM in Loughborough on Saturday. But with a separate motion to make the requisite changes to its constitution failing to achieve the required backing of 75% of the vote, it appears there is now stalemate between supporters and opponents of the move.

Voting took place at the end of a hard fought and sometimes fractious campaign by both the “yes” and “no” camps, with the CTC Council arguing that the organisation, which already has a charitable arm, would become more efficient if it were converted to full charitable status, pointing out that it would also benefit from gift aid.

Meanwhile, opponents, who set up a Save the CTC website, claimed that the proposal would “mean that members will be further disenfranchised and the assets of the Club will be put at risk.”

Both points of view received extensive coverage in the CTC Magazine ahead of the AGM, and were also robustly debated in Loughborough ahead of the vote.

A message on the organisation’s official Twitter feed afterwards said “CTC is a democracy and just like in the election sometimes there isn't a majority and clear answer.”

That referred to the vote on motion 10 of the agenda, which provided for the CTC’s memorandum and articles of association to be altered to enable it to achieve charitable status, as well as changes required by the Companies Act 2006.

The motion was proposed on behalf of the CTC Council, which said that their legal advisors had “been through the documents and identified the minimum changes needed to satisfy company and charity law while retaining all elements included by previous CTC AGMs,” and added that the “review has not attempted to completely review or re-order the M&A, a process that might be recommended at a future date.”

However, the motion only secured the backing of 60.89% of those among the membership who voted, well below the 75% threshold required, following what CTC on Twitter described as a “heated” debate.

Earlier, 54.7% of members who voted had supported item 8 on the agenda, which only required the support of a simple majority (more than 50%) to be passed, which provided that “this AGM agrees that that Cyclists’ Touring Club should be registered as a charity and merge with CTC Charitable Trust to form a single, unified membership organisation with charitable status.” A subsequent motion to authorise the Council to register CTC as a charity with the relevant bodies was also passed.

It’s not yet clear what the full implications are of the result of the vote regarding changing the memorandum and articles of association and whether they mean that the proposed switch to charitable status will not now go ahead. We’ve asked CTC for clarification and will bring you their response as soon as we have it.
 

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

"Earlier, 54.7% of members had voted in favour of item 8 on the agenda"

I think not. Only a tiny % of the membership, less than 5%, actually voted, of those who voted 54.7% voted in favour of item 8 and the margin would have been much closer had several hundred proxy votes not been given to 'Yes' campaign to use as they wanted.

If would be comic if it wasn't so sad.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [389 posts]
17th May 2010 - 8:15

2 Likes

Thanks for pointing that out Workhard, I've made a couple of amendments to reflect that we're only talking about those who voted.

Having taken people to task in recent weeks following a certain other vote over the issue of eligible voters vs votes cast, I shall now go cook up some humble pie Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8497 posts]
17th May 2010 - 9:14

2 Likes

I would have voted if i knew what the hell was actually going on! All i see is 2 groups of old-guard whine-ing a lot about who has done what and not clearly stating how it effects the subscribers (ie. ME!).

Workhard, you clearly on a particular side in this. Any chance you can bullet point the main effects to the 'subscriber' for me. Particularly....

# Third party insurance
# Specialist legal advice if you have an accident

Cheers,
Rich (member by way of local cycling club membership)

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [423 posts]
17th May 2010 - 10:32

2 Likes

STATO wrote:
I would have voted if i knew what the hell was actually going on! All i see is 2 groups of old-guard whine-ing a lot about who has done what and not clearly stating how it effects the subscribers (ie. ME!).

Workhard, you clearly on a particular side in this. Any chance you can bullet point the main effects to the 'subscriber' for me. Particularly....

# Third party insurance
# Specialist legal advice if you have an accident

Cheers,
Rich (member by way of local cycling club membership)

Yep, I'm partial to sorting out the mess having been a member for a long time. Though my beard is tiny and I don't wear sandals to cycle.

I'm not against the change, per se, but against the change now. Why? There is a great deal of poor practice in evidence; poor accounting processes and systems, a broken goverance model, a pittance paid to member groups (18p per member per year) out of members subs, lack of accountablity e.g. all income goes to the trust all expendture is paid for by the club. In effect the membership is a cash cow being milked to pay/subsidise 'professional' charity workers to lobby Westminster and deliver Govt. contracts. How many of those will exist in the current economic climate under the current shower?

The gist of the answer regarding benefits is this:-

Once the CTC Club and Trust merge ANY and ALL members benefits become entirely discretionary. Too generous a protfolio of member benefits will result in HMRC saying 'no' to gift aid on member subs. Professional advice suggests HMRC would regard the current situation as too generous!

The new charity does not have to act in the interests of the members, indeed it may not, in some circumstances do so, if this conflicts with its 'public interest' obligations under charity law.

Specific observations on the subjects you raised;

The specialist legal advice.. you know the lawyers that provide this also do so outside of the CTC arrangements? As in anyone can phone them up whether a CTC member or not? See http://www.rjw.co.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/expert-guides/accident-and-in... You are aware that the CTC makes a profit out of its collective conditional fee agreement with RJW?

The 3rd party insurance is a nice little earner too given the mark up is alledged to be in the region of 100%!

But then all profits currently go to the Trust!!!

Point is the current member benefits could be provided to members for about £18 a year, but it ain't about member benefits it is about a source of income to be spent on....

Maybe LCC or someone with a spot of flair will cash in on this and allow affiliated membership.

Really, though?

posted by workhard [389 posts]
17th May 2010 - 11:13

2 Likes

Here's the statement of the CTC Chair David Robinson on the CTC website this morning:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopModules/Articles/ArticlesView.aspx?TabID=0&...

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
17th May 2010 - 12:50

2 Likes