Open Letter to BSA from Mr Sturt

Spotlight United Kingdom

Open Letter to BSA from Mr Sturt


Dear Member,
My name is Andy Sturt, for the last 30 years I have been a member of the BSA, I am a Level 4 Surfing Coach, as well as served as English and British Team Manager. I am writing this letter to inform you the wider membership of grave concerns I have with the management style of the incumbent BSA Executive Committee. I am not alone in my concerns with the BSA as has been witnessed on the Facebook website.
I prefer to keep this letter brief and focus on just one area of mismanagement which I believe to be a black and white issue and in favour of the rank and file member.
Election of Officials
There is as we speak a Phase Two Election in which the BSA has invited members to apply for a position on the BSA Executive Committee. The fact there is a Phase Two process should raise a question as to what was Phase One?
The BSA election process should follow the Articles of Association (Articles)  http://www.britsurf.co.uk/articles-of-association , ‘Appointment of Officials’ paragraph 24. Phase One of the election did not follow the protocol of the above by way of not having 45 days between the nominations closing and the voting process taking place. This is also happening with Phase Two. Nominations close at midnight 15 Mar 2010 and voting starts the very next day for seven days.
Notification of the election was also not complied with in accordance with the Articles, ‘Notices’ paragraph 78. Notification was simply placed onto the website and no correspondence to a single member was carried out.
As there was an inadequate form of communication regarding the Election only one application was received at the BSA Head Office. Two subsequent applications were received at the office one day after the application deadline, however the Executive Committee decided that these were inadmissible for the election and removed their applications. Common sense employed here would have seen a discretionary decision to include the two candidates at this point. Despite protestations from the two barred candidates the voting procedure started the very next day, in contravention to the Articles. A total of 4 votes were cast over a one week period from the whole of the BSA membership for this one candidate. The present Executive duly installed this single candidate onto the Committee.
Why aren’t the Executive employing the the election process that is laid down in the Articles. These very Articles were rewritten by the present Executive Committee, and voted in as new Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association at the 2008 AGM. This present Committee was installed by the correct voting process (2 Executive Committee members have since resigned) where all the protocols were adhered to and an independent election officials employed to verify the counting of votes. As you can see from BSA website the present Executive have somewhat changed the goalposts and made up their own rules as to the election process. http://www.britsurf.co.uk/election-news/357-bsa-election-procedures-for-march-2010
As a further point of note, two of the current Executive were co opted onto the Committee by the then Executive because of quorate issues and have not been voted in by the membership as required in the Articles after 120 days in post. Since they weren’t elected as such themselves. Do we actually  accept the legitimacy and legality of the Executive? Which then asks the question do they have the mandate of the membership?
What are the Executive hiding by lack of communication and lack of visibility of the management systems within the Association?
You may think that this is all rather trivial, this is only the tip of the iceberg of a number of questionable decisions that the BSA Executive Committee have made. There is a working party of which I am part of, who have had several meetings. These meetings have been convened to discuss without prejudice the best form of action that the membership have available to them with regard to the management style of this present committee. Each member of this working group has individually voiced their concerns to the BSA Executive which has generally been met with no response at all or a rebuff pointing us to the information on the website. The working party feel this is wholly inadequate of a transparent committee.
The working party now would like to see an Executive Committee member call an EGM to hear the concerns of the membership or this working party will ask the Chairman to call an EGM on presentation of the required number of members signing the petition to call.
There has been for some time disquiet amongst the wider surfing community with regards to the present management of the BSA. I believe in the BSA as our National Governing Body, I believe it is there for the benefit of the surfing member and I believe the BSA has a strong future. What I don’t like is the perceived image from the surfing community, potential sponsors  and more worryingly the funding agencies.
We need full members to sign up to the petition to call for an EGM. If you are passionate about the BSA and would like to see the changes that are required then all you need to do is email your request for an EGM to me at andy.sturt@hotmail.com I ask that you do this and not just sit back and allow the Executive to continue in this vein.
Remember these are the points that have been broadly covered in this letter
1) The legitimacy and legality of the Executive.
2) Its lack of accountability and transparency in its conduct of the BSA’s business.
3) The name of the BSA continues to be brought into (international) disrepute. The current election is just the latest manifestation of this.
Thank you for your time.
Andy Sturt

Errant Surf

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