President of the British Mountaineering Council, Rehan Siddiqui has released a statement announcing that a recent vote of no confidence in the Executive Committee of the BMC on the grounds of the “wilful and deliberate withholding of future policy decisions from the members in attendance at the Annual General Meeting ,” and hence their "poor governance" will be discussed at this year's AGM on 22nd April.
The "future policy decisions" have been understood by the BMC to refer to the 'Climb Britain' rebrand decision that was announced in July last year (UKC News Report) and subsequently retracted (UKC News Report) following heated online debate and consultations with members. The statement released by the BMC responded:
'At the time of the AGM (16 April 2016), any potential name change was a work in progress and it was not until the Executive Committee meeting of 18 May 2016 that a decision was reached to Trademark the name ‘Climb Britain’ and put it to the BMC’s main policymaking body – National Council – for consideration and a decision on 18 June 2016. The National Council voted unanimously in favour of the rebrand with one abstention.'
The statement continues by highlighting the BMC's prompt reaction to negative responses from members:
'Once member disapproval became apparent, the BMC admitted that this Sport England funded rebranding had been a mistake and reacted quickly to rectify this – which shows that the BMC’s democratic process does work. The Executive believes that during the rebranding it acted at all times in good faith and in accordance with the rules of the BMC as laid down in its Articles of Association.'
After emphasising that the motion is not a vote on issues specifically pertaining to the Olympics nor IFSC governance, Mr Siddiqui outlined the constitution of the Executive Committee before addressing the points of action to be discussed at the upcoming AGM:
'The BMC fully accepts that there are a number of important and pressing issues which require attention. These include:
- Questions relating to organisational governance, accountability and decision making, and how this aligns with best practice in comparable organisations.
- The BMC’s financial strategy; review of membership and commercial income streams and organisational policy on Government grant income (Sport England and UK Sport).'
'In addition, the impact and funding requirements in relation to the Olympics will also be considered alongside the BMC's relationship with international organisations, the UIAA and IFSC.'
Mr Siddiqui stated that the BMC will address these issues and other concerns through an independently chaired and comprehensive Organisational Review process beginning in April 2017 that will report to the BMC AGM in April 2018. The details of this review will be published by the BMC in mid-April and will be available for discussion over the AGM weekend in April 2017.
'This far-reaching independent review was instigated by National Council on 11 February 2017 before the no-confidence motion was filed.'