ECF meeting reports

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
John Swain
Posts: 411
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Location: Nottingham

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Swain » Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 11:01 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:49 pm
This will in turn potentially see more delegates going to council with different ideas and perspectives.
Would it not be just as likely that the collectors of proxies would have a field day?
The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. A respectable scenario is where an organisation canvasses the opinions of its members and then instructs the proxy how to vote if its own representative is unable to attend; however, one collector of proxies who scooped up ten votes from eight organisations at the October 2023 AGM told me that only two of these bodies gave him a steer - the others just allowed him to use his best judgment.

If clubs gain representation on the ECF Council, this may help to promote more of an interest in ECF affairs. Clubs often meet all-year-round and so can more easily call a meeting to discuss particular issues or the merits of candidates for election, in contrast to once-a-year congresses.

John Reyes
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Location: Manchester

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Reyes » Tue Jan 23, 2024 1:27 pm

John Swain wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 11:01 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:49 pm
This will in turn potentially see more delegates going to council with different ideas and perspectives.
Would it not be just as likely that the collectors of proxies would have a field day?
The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. A respectable scenario is where an organisation canvasses the opinions of its members and then instructs the proxy how to vote if its own representative is unable to attend; however, one collector of proxies who scooped up ten votes from eight organisations at the October 2023 AGM told me that only two of these bodies gave him a steer - the others just allowed him to use his best judgment.

If clubs gain representation on the ECF Council, this may help to promote more of an interest in ECF affairs. Clubs often meet all-year-round and so can more easily call a meeting to discuss particular issues or the merits of candidates for election, in contrast to once-a-year congresses.
i just want to said it it was me you was talking about this and i do go and asked the people how to vote, but they all know i'm been doing the role for a while and i judge people on what they are like.

I always been a judge of things as for example when i was doing the silver members role with Tim wall, i voted for what the members told me and Tim voted for what he thought and did not care about the members.

I am Worried about the gold-silver merger but with who will be the reps, as i hope i'm one of them as well as gavin as he been the best person to work with bar Michael Farthing.
Any postings on here represent my personal views only and also Dyslexia as well

John Swain
Posts: 411
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Location: Nottingham

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Swain » Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:06 pm

John Reyes wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 1:27 pm
John Swain wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 11:01 pm


Would it not be just as likely that the collectors of proxies would have a field day?
The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. A respectable scenario is where an organisation canvasses the opinions of its members and then instructs the proxy how to vote if its own representative is unable to attend; however, one collector of proxies who scooped up ten votes from eight organisations at the October 2023 AGM told me that only two of these bodies gave him a steer - the others just allowed him to use his best judgment.

If clubs gain representation on the ECF Council, this may help to promote more of an interest in ECF affairs. Clubs often meet all-year-round and so can more easily call a meeting to discuss particular issues or the merits of candidates for election, in contrast to once-a-year congresses.
i just want to said it it was me you was talking about this and i do go and asked the people how to vote, but they all know i'm been doing the role for a while and i judge people on what they are like.

I always been a judge of things as for example when i was doing the silver members role with Tim wall, i voted for what the members told me and Tim voted for what he thought and did not care about the members.

I am Worried about the gold-silver merger but with who will be the reps, as i hope i'm one of them as well as gavin as he been the best person to work with bar Michael Farthing.
I am also worried about the gold/silver merger. As one of the organisers for many years of the Nottingham Rapidplay (a week on Sunday - 4 February - quick plug!!) and the Nottingham Congress, I am concerned that this may have a damaging effect on the number of players we attract. There are many players who are happy to play in the local league and who support our Rapidplay and/or Congress but aren't bothered about entering FIDE-rated events. They therefore don't need gold membership. I hope that the new rate for gold and silver combined will not result in such players simply taking out bronze membership, participating only in the Nottinghamshire league.

You say that you are "Worried about the gold/silver merger" yet I see from the voting list that you cast ten votes in favour of merging silver membership with gold. I understand that only two of these organisations gave you a steer.

https://ecf-council.org.uk/index.php?si ... tingRecord

We can also see that you failed to use your six votes as silver rep (your silver rep colleague, Gavin Cartwright, not surprisingly, used his six votes in favour of "No change" which is in line with the majority view expressed by silver members in the ECF poll).

The vote was 136-122 in favour of Board Option 2 (merging silver and gold).
Last edited by John Swain on Tue Jan 23, 2024 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

John Reyes
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Location: Manchester

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Reyes » Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:24 pm

John Swain wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 2:06 pm
John Reyes wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2024 1:27 pm
John Swain wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm


The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. A respectable scenario is where an organisation canvasses the opinions of its members and then instructs the proxy how to vote if its own representative is unable to attend; however, one collector of proxies who scooped up ten votes from eight organisations at the October 2023 AGM told me that only two of these bodies gave him a steer - the others just allowed him to use his best judgment.

If clubs gain representation on the ECF Council, this may help to promote more of an interest in ECF affairs. Clubs often meet all-year-round and so can more easily call a meeting to discuss particular issues or the merits of candidates for election, in contrast to once-a-year congresses.
i just want to said it it was me you was talking about this and i do go and asked the people how to vote, but they all know i'm been doing the role for a while and i judge people on what they are like.

I always been a judge of things as for example when i was doing the silver members role with Tim wall, i voted for what the members told me and Tim voted for what he thought and did not care about the members.

I am Worried about the gold-silver merger but with who will be the reps, as i hope i'm one of them as well as gavin as he been the best person to work with bar Michael Farthing.
I am also worried about the gold/silver merger. As one of the organisers for many years of the Nottingham Rapidplay (a week on Sunday - 4 February - quick plug!!) and the Nottingham Congress, I am concerned that this may have a damaging effect on the number of players we attract. There are many players who are happy to play in the local league and who support our Rapidplay and/or Congress but aren't bothered about entering FIDE-rated events. They therefore don't need gold membership. I hope that the new rate for gold and silver combined will not result in such players simply taking out bronze membership, participating only in the Nottinghamshire league.

You say that you are "Worried about the gold/silver merger" yet I see from the voting list that you cast ten votes in favour of merging silver membership with gold. I understand that only two of these organisations gave you a steer.

https://ecf-council.org.uk/index.php?si ... tingRecord

We can also see that you failed to use your six votes as silver rep (your silver rep colleague, Gavin Cartwright, not surprisingly, used his six votes in favour of "No change" which is in line with the majority view expressed by silver members in the ECF poll).

The vote was 136-122 in favour of Motion 2 (merging silver and gold).
i thought i would have voted as the same way as gavin but forgot to press send.

i will reword it. i think the cost of the gold and silver will be around £33 and that is for people who play congress chess, and you can see the number of people who are silver member is good and also the free silver membership does help.

if you feel to stand as a rep, then you should. my issue is that with the silver rep i have worked with

Michael Farthing and Gavin Cartwright has been two of the best people i have work with

last year rep was as useful as a chocolate fireguard and my working with Tim wall, i will leave for a other day as i have heard from other people about him saying stuff about me after the AGM and also he has a history with this.
Any postings on here represent my personal views only and also Dyslexia as well

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 1891
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Jan 24, 2024 10:16 pm

The only observation I'd wish to make here is that John Reyes (whom I'd commend on his good work in this capacity) et al are elected as members' representatives rather than their delegates. It's maybe an old-fashioned distinction but representatives - an obvious case being Members of the House of Commons - are elected to use their best judgment rather than necessarily being bound by the wishes of their electorates whereas delegates are expected to do as their electorates instruct. With that in mind, while I disagree with Tim Wall on other issues, I would argue that he was entitled to vote his proxies as he saw fit - and those who gave him their proxies should have realised this. Whether one gets many plaudits for a course of action one was "entitled to" follow is perhaps another matter.

Mike Gunn
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Mike Gunn » Tue Jan 30, 2024 12:47 pm

John Swain wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 11:01 pm
Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:49 pm
This will in turn potentially see more delegates going to council with different ideas and perspectives.
Would it not be just as likely that the collectors of proxies would have a field day?
The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. ...
My understanding is that our current proxies system is a consequence of Company Law under which you cannot limit the number of proxies that a single person can hold. Technically, clubs have always been able to join the ECF as "other organisations" (with board approval).

Currently club members are represented through the counties and leagues that they are a part of. In my experience these organisations do consult clubs on matters that come before council and I'm not sure what the case is for increasing the influence of clubs (which choose to affliate) in this way.

John Swain
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Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:35 pm
Location: Nottingham

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Swain » Tue Jan 30, 2024 1:03 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 12:47 pm
John Swain wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2024 11:01 pm


Would it not be just as likely that the collectors of proxies would have a field day?
The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. ...
My understanding is that our current proxies system is a consequence of Company Law under which you cannot limit the number of proxies that a single person can hold. Technically, clubs have always been able to join the ECF as "other organisations" (with board approval).

Currently club members are represented through the counties and leagues that they are a part of. In my experience these organisations do consult clubs on matters that come before council and I'm not sure what the case is for increasing the influence of clubs (which choose to affliate) in this way.
My concern was not that individuals can collect lots of proxy votes but that some organisations seem to give a blank cheque to the same individual indefinitely to vote as they think fit because they appear to be a sensible "good egg" and don't bother to consult their members at all or give their proxy a steer.

It has not been my experience that club members are consulted over ECF matters, but I accept that this may vary from area to area.

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 1891
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Feb 04, 2024 1:47 pm

John Swain wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 1:03 pm
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 12:47 pm
John Swain wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2024 2:39 pm

The proxy system is just one of the many unsatisfactory aspects of the present regime. ...
My understanding is that our current proxies system is a consequence of Company Law under which you cannot limit the number of proxies that a single person can hold. Technically, clubs have always been able to join the ECF as "other organisations" (with board approval).

Currently club members are represented through the counties and leagues that they are a part of. In my experience these organisations do consult clubs on matters that come before council and I'm not sure what the case is for increasing the influence of clubs (which choose to affliate) in this way.
My concern was not that individuals can collect lots of proxy votes but that some organisations seem to give a blank cheque to the same individual indefinitely to vote as they think fit because they appear to be a sensible "good egg" and don't bother to consult their members at all or give their proxy a steer.

It has not been my experience that club members are consulted over ECF matters, but I accept that this may vary from area to area.
If the last sentence is intended as a criticism of clubs, that's probably unfair as clubs don't typically have a vote on Council where the majority of votes are held by congresses, counties and leagues. In my experience, counties and leagues are unlikely to have contact details for all who play chess under their auspices, making consultation difficult. Congresses do but, just to raise one point, a proportion of congress entrants aren't ECF members who shouldn't properly be consulted so congress organisers would have to trawl through ECF membership records to separate sheep from goats. Even then, it might be relevant whether the sheep were gold, silver or bronze in colour.

John Swain
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Location: Nottingham

Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Swain » Sun Feb 04, 2024 10:40 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2024 1:47 pm
John Swain wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 1:03 pm
Mike Gunn wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 12:47 pm

My understanding is that our current proxies system is a consequence of Company Law under which you cannot limit the number of proxies that a single person can hold. Technically, clubs have always been able to join the ECF as "other organisations" (with board approval).

Currently club members are represented through the counties and leagues that they are a part of. In my experience these organisations do consult clubs on matters that come before council and I'm not sure what the case is for increasing the influence of clubs (which choose to affliate) in this way.
My concern was not that individuals can collect lots of proxy votes but that some organisations seem to give a blank cheque to the same individual indefinitely to vote as they think fit because they appear to be a sensible "good egg" and don't bother to consult their members at all or give their proxy a steer.

It has not been my experience that club members are consulted over ECF matters, but I accept that this may vary from area to area.
If the last sentence is intended as a criticism of clubs, that's probably unfair as clubs don't typically have a vote on Council where the majority of votes are held by congresses, counties and leagues. In my experience, counties and leagues are unlikely to have contact details for all who play chess under their auspices, making consultation difficult. Congresses do but, just to raise one point, a proportion of congress entrants aren't ECF members who shouldn't properly be consulted so congress organisers would have to trawl through ECF membership records to separate sheep from goats. Even then, it might be relevant whether the sheep were gold, silver or bronze in colour.
It's so easy to be misunderstood! I realise that clubs are not represented on Council, except via other bodies further up the food chain. I phrased my comment poorly; I meant to say that "it has not been my experience that club members consult over ECF matters, but I accept that this may vary from area to area."

I was not criticising clubs. I have only been a member of four clubs, Bolton, Cambridge University, Cambridge City and, since 1986, Gambit (Nottingham) and so I cannot say what happens at clubs in general. Nor was I having a tilt at any of these four clubs, including my present one. I was merely trying to say that I have never experienced a club meeting prior to an ECF April Finance meeting or an October AGM where we have stopped to scrutinise what is on the Agenda and then lobbied our ECF representative.

It's not clear what the ECF is proposing, so we need to see what the precise details are. It seems that the idea is to create a class of club membership which might result in more representatives turning up at ECF meetings. Would lots of club members want to discuss in depth the ECF motions rather than play friendly games, internal club competitions and league matches? I suspect that some clubs would be keen to do so, but perhaps not the majority. Furthermore, would even the more active clubs find someone willing to turn up to a Saturday afternoon ECF meeting, even one via Zoom, and cast perhaps a single vote, only to be swamped by the sixteen-vote barons?

Roger Lancaster
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:36 pm

Lest anyone forget, ECF minutes read "It was proposed that the democratic reach of the Council be expanded by allowing clubs of an an appropriate size to apply for membership. MT noted that the Board would also be proposing that the membership fee be removed. The meeting approved the change in principle subject the necessary paperwork being put in place for April’s Finance Meeting".

Pardon my curiosity but why does the Board believe that "the democratic reach" of Council will be expanded by admitting larger clubs? If there is a problem, it's surely that a considerable proportion of those currently entitled to vote don't do so. Instead, many give proxies to a small band of eager collectors - some of whom, it has been suggested, disregard any voting instructions they may have received - who consequently have a disproportionate voting influence in Council. In my humble opinion, the Board's proposal will succeed only if the behaviour of the newly-enfranchised voters differed from that of existing voters, that is, representatives of the clubs in question actually attend meetings (if only remotely) and actually vote. Since the profiles and even the names of the club representatives will almost certainly closely resemble those who are already Council members, I would take a good deal of convincing that the proposal would do anything more than increase the pool of votes for hire.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:22 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2024 11:36 pm
Pardon my curiosity but why does the Board believe that "the democratic reach" of Council will be expanded by admitting larger clubs?
There's perhaps also a question as to what counts as a "club". Would 4NCL squads qualify.

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Stephen Westmoreland
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Stephen Westmoreland » Mon Feb 05, 2024 9:40 am

At a club level, there may not be the interest from members. It is difficult enough getting people to attend local AGMs.
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Hok Yin Stephen Chiu
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by Hok Yin Stephen Chiu » Mon Feb 26, 2024 3:41 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2024 10:16 pm
The only observation I'd wish to make here is that John Reyes (whom I'd commend on his good work in this capacity) et al are elected as members' representatives rather than their delegates. It's maybe an old-fashioned distinction but representatives - an obvious case being Members of the House of Commons - are elected to use their best judgment rather than necessarily being bound by the wishes of their electorates whereas delegates are expected to do as their electorates instruct. With that in mind, while I disagree with Tim Wall on other issues, I would argue that he was entitled to vote his proxies as he saw fit - and those who gave him their proxies should have realised this. Whether one gets many plaudits for a course of action one was "entitled to" follow is perhaps another matter.
I am inclined to agree. At the end of the day, various arguments in this thread over whether someone is a delegate or representative, feels like we are unnecessarily stretching arguments of Edmund Burke and his views of the English Constitution, into the realm of voluntary chess organising. In practice, these terms are really two sides of the same coin, at the end of the day, if an electorate of any sort felt that they were being misrepresented, the individual in question would be replaced - regardless of whether one is a delegate or representative, on any given piece of paper.
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John Swain
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Re: ECF meeting reports

Post by John Swain » Mon Feb 26, 2024 9:07 pm

The Governance Committee has published minutes for the first time:

https://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-cont ... y-2024.pdf

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