Chess for Schools : Memorandum of Understanding

Discussions regarding the 70,000 Free Chess Sets for Schools in England.
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Adam Raoof
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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Adam Raoof » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:16 am

"Perhaps it would be easier to ask two succinct questions :-

1. Why won't the board give an assurance to council that it will not enter into another contract of MoU with Holloid without council's permission if it does not intend to enter into such an agreement?

2. Why does the board think that seeking council approval prior to signing a future agreement with Holloid would be inappropriate, given the mess the board created by signing the previous MoU without council's approval?"

I accept the need for an EGM to answer these questions.
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Sean Hewitt

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:52 am

Adam Raoof wrote:"Perhaps it would be easier to ask two succinct questions :-

1. Why won't the board give an assurance to council that it will not enter into another contract of MoU with Holloid without council's permission if it does not intend to enter into such an agreement?

2. Why does the board think that seeking council approval prior to signing a future agreement with Holloid would be inappropriate, given the mess the board created by signing the previous MoU without council's approval?"

I accept the need for an EGM to answer these questions.
It's odd, isn't it? The ECF board didn't want an EGM on this subject, or so Adam claimed. He (they) thought it was unnecessary. Yet when the pertinent question is asked, suddenly an EGM is needed!

I think that we can safely take it that this means that the board is unwilling (or unable) to explain why it won't give the assurance being sought; nor why it thinks seeking council approval would be "inappropriate"? Very disappointing.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:03 am

Sean,
Lets not shoot the messenger here.

I too feel that an EGM will not achieve anything in this area. Adam has put a case as to why the ECF Board has acted in the way it has (although he is obviouly limited in what he can say in certain areas). I accept what Adam has said. However, it appears that this is not sufficient for you. You have every right to feel that way, so assuming you have the sufficient votes then there will be an EGM. There is no point continuing to go round in circles, lets just accept there will be an EGM and see what happens.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:34 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:Sean,
Lets not shoot the messenger here.

I too feel that an EGM will not achieve anything in this area. Adam has put a case as to why the ECF Board has acted in the way it has (although he is obviouly limited in what he can say in certain areas). I accept what Adam has said. However, it appears that this is not sufficient for you. You have every right to feel that way, so assuming you have the sufficient votes then there will be an EGM. There is no point continuing to go round in circles, lets just accept there will be an EGM and see what happens.
Matthew,

Adam is not the messenger. Adam is part of the board which made this decision.

I agree that there will now be an EGM but the point I am trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to make is that this EGM is unnecessary given the sensible nature of the undertaking being sought (unless anyone thinks the board should be allowed to enter another MoU with Holloid!).

The fact that the ECF are not able to explain their intransigent position, and would rather hold an EGM than offer an explanation, speaks volumes.

The EGM notice will be sent to the ECF in a little over 2 weeks time. We need this delay to ensure that the ECF don't hold it at Canterbury (as I believe they intend to do) which would make it difficult for Northern / Midlands Reps to attend.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:57 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:I agree that there will now be an EGM but the point I am trying (perhaps unsuccessfully) to make is that this EGM is unnecessary given the sensible nature of the undertaking being sought (unless anyone thinks the board should be allowed to enter another MoU with Holloid!).
I think the ECF board should be allowed to do whatever they think is best. If you think they will get that so badly wrong that it will seriously damage the ECF, then you should be calling an EGM to get them removed from office, not to force them to act in a particular way in a particular area. I doubt you would succeed though.
Sean Hewitt wrote:The EGM notice will be sent to the ECF in a little over 2 weeks time. We need this delay to ensure that the ECF don't hold it at Canterbury (as I believe they intend to do) which would make it difficult for Northern / Midlands Reps to attend.
How many people do you think would want to attend in person, rather than appointing a proxy?

Sean Hewitt

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:04 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:The EGM notice will be sent to the ECF in a little over 2 weeks time. We need this delay to ensure that the ECF don't hold it at Canterbury (as I believe they intend to do) which would make it difficult for Northern / Midlands Reps to attend.
How many people do you think would want to attend in person, rather than appointing a proxy?
Rather fewer in Canterbury than in a central location.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Matthew Turner » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:18 pm

Sean
I believe that Adam was saying that there would not be another MoU with Holloid. However, making a specific commitment to this effect was not sensible, otherwise people would campaign on there own particular topic and hang the threat of calling an EGM over the Board. This seems to be a perfectly reasonable and logical position.
However, you clearly feel this is insufficient. I guess you think that there is more of a chance of the ECF signing a second MoU with Holloid than I do. That being the case you will have to go ahead and call an EGM. Lets hope it is 'successful'

Richard Haddrell

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Richard Haddrell » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:14 pm

Adam Raoof wrote:Go on then, ask me some specific questions about the Board meeting...
Am I alone in thinking this evasive? Just tell us what happened, Adam. You've done it before. Is there a reason you can't do it now?

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Carl Hibbard » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:26 pm

I suspect the board just want's to let this farce run purely on the grounds that some more sets "might" turn up as long as you don't spend money and don't hold your breath?
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Carl Hibbard

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Chess for Schools : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Adam Raoof » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:44 pm

Richard Haddrell wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:Go on then, ask me some specific questions about the Board meeting...
Am I alone in thinking this evasive? Just tell us what happened, Adam. You've done it before. Is there a reason you can't do it now?
I am sad that you think asking people for their questions is 'evasive'. The only reason I did not post my version of what was said at the meeting was that so much of it was confidential, and the rest was rather unspectacular.
Adam Raoof IA, IO
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Don’t stop playing chess!

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Adam Raoof » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:22 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:Adam I am not sure anything said at a board meeting dealing with matters concerning the game of chess or its administration warrants being confidential unless it concerns specifics relating to an individual board member/ employee or indeed an ECF member. The board represents its members and should be totally open about its dealings. If you have been asked to remain silent then please say so.
Nobody has asked me to be silent. The office review deals with, er, the office staff. Hence a certain amount of discretion has to be shown.
Adam Raoof IA, IO
The Chess Circuit - https://chesscircuit.substack.com/
Tornelo - https://tornelo.com/chess/orgs/chess-england
Simon Williams "The Ginger GM" - https://gingergm.com/ref/106.html
Don’t stop playing chess!

LozCooper

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by LozCooper » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:18 am

Richard Haddrell wrote:
Adam Raoof wrote:Go on then, ask me some specific questions about the Board meeting...
Am I alone in thinking this evasive? Just tell us what happened, Adam. You've done it before. Is there a reason you can't do it now?
To be fair to Adam, he doesn't take the minutes and like myself spends more time on the forum providing helpful dialogue and information than ever happened before we were elected to the board. Until there is a majority of board members in favour of the forum then it will remain the personal choice of board members how much they wish to contribute. Clearly Adam has given more than his fair share of help to people with questions. Ironically, he has a far bigger workload than probably all of us as Home Chess is such a vast area.

One thought I have on the EGM is that whilst I can understand Sean's concerns it appears the board have no intention of signing another MoU without a drastic transformation from Holloid in terms of production but wish to reserve the right to do so if business does pick up substantially. I'm still relatively new to the Board/Council set up and so am still learning about what should be decided at Council and what should be decided at Board level.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:32 pm

LozCooper wrote:One thought I have on the EGM is that whilst I can understand Sean's concerns it appears the board have no intention of signing another MoU without a drastic transformation from Holloid in terms of production but wish to reserve the right to do so if business does pick up substantially. I'm still relatively new to the Board/Council set up and so am still learning about what should be decided at Council and what should be decided at Board level.
If that's the case Loz (and I'm delighted if it is) then the board could simply give the undertaking being sought. If the drastic transformation then subsequently happens, the board could then tell council about it and put a motion to sign a new agreement. The undertaking does not kill off CfS, but it does put the brakes on. They can always be taken off again if appropriate.

If there is a specific element in the wording of the undertaking that is the issue I am sure this could be negotiated, but if the board really is minded as you describe I can't understand why it refuses to give any kind of undertaking, preferring instead the expense and inconvenience of an EGM.

We will not be requesting the EGM until 10th July (earliest) so as to avoid it being held in Canterbury. It also gives time to discuss alternatives. If you want to chat what might be agreeable you've got my number. I stand by my view that an EGM is unnecessary if the board does not want to sign a new deal with Holloid. If that's the case, some form of acceptable undertaking should be doable.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:26 am

I'm delighted to report that the board have now given an undertaking (good until the AGM) that it will not sign a new agreement with Holloid and so we will no longer be calling an EGM.

The board says that it still believes that after the AGM it is for the board to decide whether to sign another contract or not. I think that this would be such a big decision that it should be made by council and will table a motion to the AGM to that effect.

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Re: Chess for Schoolds : Memorandum of Understanding

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:14 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:I'm delighted to report that the board have now given an undertaking (good until the AGM) that it will not sign a new agreement with Holloid and so we will no longer be calling an EGM.

The board says that it still believes that after the AGM it is for the board to decide whether to sign another contract or not. I think that this would be such a big decision that it should be made by council and will table a motion to the AGM to that effect.
I live in hope that the Board will have terminated things by then, thus rendering this particular discussion redundant.

We don't seem to have heard very much recently about the thousands of sets that Holloid were supposed to be producing by the end of July, using their brand new machines. Have they actually manufactured any sets since the April Council Meeting?

There are still a couple of weeks to go, of course.

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