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strathspey@strathspey.org:27412

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  • mlbrown

    mlbrown Sept. 18, 2001, 6:27 p.m. (Message 27412)

    Re: RSCDS restructure AGM motion

    To reply to the 2 points that Jan has made:
    
    1) She, and probably the majority of the members do not want the book or the
    bulletin - but at least they do get something for the money, and the total
    costs, including the postage are not much of the Society's budget. And we
    are not talking about not producing the book and the bulletin, merely
    producing a smaller number, with a corresponding increase per unit - say
    2,000 books sent to 2,000 individual addresses, rather than 15 - 20,000 sent
    to a few hundred addresses (say 1,500 because of the HQ members?)
    
    Anyway it is not a case of getting bogged down in details of costing, but it
    is a case of putting together a financial model and seeing how robust it is.
    Annual members who pay their subs and receive two items they don't
    necessarily want are I believe one thing ( and something which I can sell to
    my branch members every year) - paying their subs and just getting a piece
    of cardboard are something entirely different. What are the consequences if
    we lose 50% of our annual members?
    
    2) One of the major costs for the Society is the cost of the Exec Council
    meetings - we hold 2 a year with over a hundred people present at each
    meeting - most of the time it rubber stamps the decisions made by
    sub-committees, and the time is spent in trying to find out why the
    committees have made certain decisions, and then arguing about them - it is
    a cross between a debate and a law court (with the conveners of the
    committees feeling like the accused!) The majority of the people attending
    say nothing, and those who do speak often wonder whether they are wasting
    their time. The Society does not pay the first £20 of expenses, but with
    some people having to stay overnight, and people travelling from the South
    of England, some of the costs for individuals are significant.
    
    With a much smaller group of representatives meeting the costs for such
    meetings would be reduced - the costs / time for those attending locally
    based area meetings would be much less (even from York it is an all day job,
    whereas if the meetings were held in Leeds I could be there and back in an
    evening) - with smaller groups attending each meeting more people would be
    encouraged to speak (I think with area meetings the average attendance would
    be between 10 and 20) -
    
    In summary
    a) the costs would be genuinely reduced,
    b) the cost to the Society would be reduced, and
    c) people would be much more actively involved.
    
    Malcolm
    
    (It would also be more democratic, in that at present the large branches
    with hundreds of members have one voice on the Exec, as do those branches
    with 30 or 40 members, but we don't want to bring politics into the
    argument!)
    
    
    
    
    > To pick up on a couple of Malcolm's earlier comments -
    >
    > I don't think the discussion of restructuring the Society for
    > the future should always get bogged down over the cost of sending
    > out books and bulletins.
    >
    > I, for one, have never used the dance instruction books which
    > are sent - I wouldn't bring myself to actually throw them away,
    > but they are stuffed at the back of cupboards and I would prefer
    > not to receive them at all.  NB I'm just a dancer not a teacher
    > so I don't feel I need my own full copy of dance instructions
    > (especially with music which I can't play!).
    >
    > Also, I hardly do more than flip through the bulletin when it
    > arrives - in fact, this List is a far better source of fuller
    > and more up-to-date information anyway.  So, I would prefer not
    > to receive the bulletin either, but to have its contents
    > available on the RSCDS website where I would be able to refer
    > to it but it isn't cluttering up my house.  The same would go
    > for HQ Newsbriefs.
    >
    > So there's some costs saved straight away.  Even at present
    > membership rates, HQ could still have the same amount of money
    > from me and I wouldn't have lost anything I wanted in the first
    > place!
    >
    > Perhaps I'm not representative, I expect you'll all tell me so!
    >
    > Malcolm's cost-saving suggestions mostly seem common-sense and
    > presumably can be applied whatever the new management structure
    > looks like - indeed, why haven't they been applied before now?
    > I would argue with one, however... Doesn't experience suggest
    > that adding an extra (regional) layer of bureaucracy would have
    > quite the opposite of a cost-saving effect?
    >
    > I would support Andrew's outline of the Bristol Branch motion
    > for the AGM as a way forward for managing the RSCDS.  I think
    > we should bite the bullet now instead of trying some form of
    > compromise/deferring tactic for a few years, during which
    > things may get steadily worse.
    >
    > Best regards,
    >
    > Jan
    > Beaconsfield, UK
    > RSCDS London Branch
    >
    >
    >
          

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