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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.