An update on the new Interim Executive and Board matters

Posted by Jon Chittenden on 11/09/2020
The North York Moors. Photo: Shutterstock

An update on the new Interim Executive role, Board updates on recent resignations, plans for moving forward including a statement from National Council.

We are pleased to announce that Paul Davies took up the Interim Executive role from 1st September and will work closely with Dave Turnbull, Nick Colton and the Senior Management Team in articulating operational and financial plans that deliver the updated strategy for 2021 and onwards.  Paul is interim line manager for the Development team and is leading the work of specifying the requirements of a new senior post provisionally titled Head of Operations and Development.

Under normal times, the Board would call a general meeting at which new members to the Board can be elected or ratified by our members. However, COVID-19 means that we will need to seek new ways for members to be properly involved in this process. We will be communicating shortly about the means available to us as an organisation if we need to hold these meetings and elections virtually.

Over the past couple of weeks, the resignation of multiple board members will have caused understandable concern amongst the BMC membership. Whilst there has been some speculation on the reasons for the resignations, the Board and outgoing members have all agreed that they do not wish to comment further on the matter.

In specific reference to the resignation of Huw Jones, the Board has asked that Huw provide clarification of his accountancy certificate and we shall provide an update on this as soon as possible.  

The Board is establishing a review process to address how the BMC scrutinises information about prospective candidates for Director roles to ensure they will provide the greatest level of support for the organisation, including some process aspects relating to disclosure of interests.

The Board is also setting up a review of how members can best engage with the organisation to constructively raise concerns in a fair and transparent manner which respects all parties involved. More details of this review process will be shared shortly.

As with all individuals, businesses and organisations, this year has presented unprecedented challenges and this looks set to continue throughout the winter. During this period, it is critical that we as a members’ organisation are able to function effectively and whilst all members have the right to hold the organisation and the Board to account, this must be done appropriately and sensitively as National Council has emphasised below.

 

Statement from National Council

The resignation of Huw Jones, caused largely by unacceptable behaviours on social media, comes at what the Council sincerely hopes will be the end of an era when Past Presidents Rehan Siddiqui, Nick Kurth, and many of the current Directors have all been subjected to allegations and aspersions, often in an unpleasant and seemingly vindictive manner, online and via email.

Volunteers work hard on behalf of us all. Attacks such as those seen in recent weeks not only affect our volunteers; and their families, friends and colleagues; they also undermine the culture of volunteering that is at the heart of the BMC and mountaineering in general.

The Council recognises that members have a right, and a duty, to engage in healthy debate and constructive criticism in order to take the BMC forward as a broad church that encompasses people with a diverse range of views and interests. Where members have concerns, there are appropriate channels to report them: however, National Council is clear that personal attacks and allegations made via social media are totally unacceptable.

Two of the BMC values that were agreed by members are respect and community. National Council calls on everyone to conduct themselves in accordance with the BMC’s values, so that volunteers will remain willing to give freely of their time and work on behalf of, and benefiting, us all.


More FAQs about the BMC and Covid-19

🌳 Can I start climbing / hillwalking? Yes, but be cautious in your actions, respectful of local communities and vigilant in avoiding transmitting the virus. Read our latest advice for July here and for the general return to climbing here

🌳 What's the situation in Wales? Read the full October update here

😷 When and how will the walls reopen?  In England it's July 25th Read the ABC's advice for walls and watch their live update here

✈️ Can I now travel abroad again? Get the latest answers to going abroad with travel restrictions now easing

🛒 Is the BMC shop open? Yes - we officially reopened at the start of July!

🏡 Do you have any advice for clubs and huts? The latest club huts update and all you need to know

📜 Will the BMC keep running smoothly? Read more or watch our weekly live updates from our CEO

🚗 What have the BMC access team been doing during this time? Read on

As the climbing walls, crags and mountains start to open, we wanted to say thanks to every BMC member who supported us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t have made it without you.

If you liked what we did, then tell your friends about us: www.thebmc.co.uk/join


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12/09/2020
The social media storm was a result of the Box's failure to communicate effectively with its members
14/09/2020
Did the NomCom verify Huw’s accountancy qualifications and consider them acceptable? Because if they did I would have expected that to have been recorded, in which case it would be easy to bring this issue to a conclusion by the BMC confirming this.

Who was on the NomCom at the time?
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