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Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I am new to all this but ponder the following:

I had the rules sent me by Gill Lowinger on the morning of the 20th instant unfortunately she chose not to answer any of the points I made in my mailing to her either this day or on the 14th October.

As company secretary she should have.

Why did not one member call for a referendum under rule 15i) of the club rules this mess could have been avoided had that been done and proper arguments put forward.

I suppose the GC have said no to a referendum but that would not have shown them up in a bad light given the major changes proposed.

Rule 15i)

Any Club Member may request the General Committee to authorise a postal referendum of all Club Members on a major issue, by notifying the Secretary at least three weeks prior to the meeting. The Member shall be entitled to attend the meeting in order to present his request, but the decision shall rest with the General Committee. The result of such a referendum shall be published in the Club Journal

Chris
 

Magnetoman

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
When the CE based system went live on October 13, a greeting email was sent to all VOC members who had a valid email address. in the 'old' system.
For what it's worth, on October 6 I received an email from webmaster998 with an attachment saying a new website would be "going live soon," and on October 20 I received an email from Stuart Wood with "a special message from the chairman," so presumably the VOC has a valid email address for me. However, I didn't receive the October 13 email referred to above (or any other recent emails from the VOC). I checked my 'junk' folder back through September but found nothing there, either.
 

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I found nothing worth looking at on new forum after registering. One of our section members said that he was looking for information among the new pdf structure which he said seems poorly constructed not at all intituitive as to what is there now in the old forum. Personally I have not been back since registering it all looked so inferior.
Chris
 

Martyn Goodwin

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I am new to all this but ponder the following:

I had the rules sent me by Gill Lowinger on the morning of the 20th instant unfortunately she chose not to answer any of the points I made in my mailing to her either this day or on the 14th October.

As company secretary she should have.

Why did not one member call for a referendum under rule 15i) of the club rules this mess could have been avoided had that been done and proper arguments put forward.

I suppose the GC have said no to a referendum but that would not have shown them up in a bad light given the major changes proposed.

Rule 15i)

Any Club Member may request the General Committee to authorise a postal referendum of all Club Members on a major issue, by notifying the Secretary at least three weeks prior to the meeting. The Member shall be entitled to attend the meeting in order to present his request, but the decision shall rest with the General Committee. The result of such a referendum shall be published in the Club Journal

Chris
For the record on February 27 2021 I made a formal request under rule 15i for a referendum of members to be conducted in regard to the proposed changes to the then forum and its web site.

Contrary to the rule, the exec decided for reasons unclear NOT to proceed with my request.

Here is the text of my request.

"February 27, 2021
The Secretary,
Vincent H.R.D. Owners Club
P.O. box 680,
Orpington, Kent BR6 8WS, UK
Dear Secretary,
There is some disquiet amongst the general membership, and in particular those VOC members who are users of the existing VOC forum. The matter of concern is that the existing VOC forum is under imminent threat from the current review of the club’s IT systems.
In the minutes of the last GCM it was clearly stated that there was no threat to the existing forum but since then there has been considerable amounts of information ‘leaking’ from the administration of the VOC that this is NOT so and that serious consideration is being given by the club’s exec to shutting down the existing forum.
As this involves up to 1,269 current users, of the existing forum, being 66% of total club membership (MPH #865, page 4), it must be seen as major issue and as provided for in section 15 (i) of the clubs rules I request that a referendum of all members be conducted to determine if members wish for the existing forum to be retained.
May I suggest possible options for referendum responders?
  1. Keep the existing forum as it is, with all content remaining intact.
  2. Shutdown the existing forum, replacing it with something else.
  3. Abstain – I have no interest in this matter
I am happy to volunteer to assist the VOC in the preparation and management of the referendum if required.
Thank you
Martyn Goodwin, Member No. 18925AC"

And here is the formal reply I received on March 1, 2021 in which my request was denied.


"Dear Martyn,
Following a full meeting of the Executive Committee I am responding to your request for a referendum.
The disquiet among certain forum users has been caused by misinformation about the Club’s proposed move to a new platform.
The Forum is not under threat and we have committed to move the threads to the Forum on the CE website. The Forum will continue on Club Express.
Like your suggested questions, your numbers are somewhat skewed. Of the 1,269 members who are registered users, only 160 have visited in the last 30 days. Of them most of the 15 who have commented on the VOC IT thread are mainly concerned with preserving the threads, which we have already committed to maintain.
You are out of time to request a referendum before this GCM but for the above reasons I would not recommend that we hold one.
I think the feelings of the majority will be clear by the end of the GCM.
Gill Lowinger
Hon. Secretary
Vincent HRD Owners Club
PO Box 680
Orpington
Kent BR6 8WS"
In the last day or so I was given access to the 'new' VOC site where I found the so called 'Archive' of the 'old' forum. There are NO THREADS from the old forum there. What is there is a massive collection of pdf files that you cannot access on line. All you can do is download them to your device, one at a time, then read them there. There is no way that you can interact, respond to or join into ANY of the information (its false to call them threads). Despite the claim in the hon,. secretary message - what is currently on the 'new' VOC site IS NOT preserved threads.

Contrary to the assurance of the Secretary, made I assume on the behalf of the VOC Exec, the 'threads from the 'old' forum have not moved, as forum threads, to the 'new' forum. Clearly the threads have NOT been continued within the 'new' CE based forum.

And of course, this entire sad situation has been EXCLUDED from the agenda of the AGM.

Martyn Goodwin.
 
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Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
The forgoing being so Martyn what do you see as the way forward I have heard from one of our members that in his attempts to access the pdf they are totally inferior to his needs and as you describe are not threads at all. A thread is a continuation that is interactive a .pdf is by implication a complete and unalterable document.

Chris
 

John Cone

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I received an email dated the 6th October telling me something exciting was going to happen soon. The second email. was on the 20th October from Stuart but nothing else, no links to log in, no sweet fa.
 

Martyn Goodwin

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Our club WAS at a cross roads before the AGM where it had the opportunity to restore the confidence of the membership - confidence so badly damaged over the last year and dealt a massive blow at the last GCM.

Alas that opportunity was not taken and at the AGM again we were berated with another unfounded personal attack which by the way had nothing to do with the matter under consideration.

And in regard to the elephant in the room - the club forum - at the AGM yet again the gag was applied. It is now very clear that the interests of a few override the interests of the members generally.

Here is the formal reply I received from the hon. secretary in reply to my request to raise a item of Other Business at the AGM in accord with the procedure set out in the agenda that the hon. secretary had distributed earlier.

"Dear Martyn,
As I’m sure you are aware it is much too late to raise a motion at the AGM. In any case this is not really an AGM matter.
The threads have been imported into CE as Documents and though not live they are searchable by subject and author.
We will not be disabling the CE Forum. There will not be a link to the ‘old’ Forum.
Functionality of the ‘old’ Forum is not affected.
Please note the VOC address is no longer PO Box 680. Our new address is VOC HQ, Unit F, r/o 29 Station Road, Desborough.NN14 2RL
Gill Lowinger"

At the AGM, again personal abuse was allowed. In regard to fee increases the outcome was not the result of a AGM vote but a decree. And in regard to the issue of the future of the forum and its content the gag was applied and the meeting immediately declared closed clearly to frustrate any membership input.

What was the Best Club in the World is, sadly, no longer.

Martyn Goodwin
 
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Gary Gittleson

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I was struck by a thought yesterday, after the AGM. The club has some 2500 members but only 68 of them attended the forum, either in person of via Zoom. That's 2.72% ! I'm not sure what to make of that, but I think it's a problem. And now it seems that even that sliver of the membership, ostensibly empowered with a voting rights, has been prevented from steering the club away from the cliff.
 

Chris.R

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
There has to be a sensible way forward for the club which will take some planning no doubt by better minds than mine:

I have written to both Gill and to Phil in the last few days, neither has responded to my letters I have a suspicion that the club secretary is picky about what she answers and what she does not, perhaps she did not like my explaining to her in my last missive the difference between a pdf and a thread just in case she did not know.

I sent a copy of that mail to Phil principly since he had in earlier correspondence with me said "give me some credit trust me" it seems that the old well loved forum is having certain functionalities removed from it and that is indeed more than misunderstanding as Gill called it, and certainly not trustworthy as Phil would like me and the membership to believe.

Therefore what should have been done and what needs now to be done is to call a referendum of the whole membership regards the VOCs association with Club Express at all.

Chris
 

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