Proxy Votes – VMCC General Meeting 21st November 2021

For those unable to attend the forthcoming General Meeting on the 21st November 2021. None of the Wessex Veteran and Vintage Section Committee will be attending. However Neil Lewis the North East Area Rep has made the following offer to take forward Members Proxy votes at the meeting :

“VMCC Proxy Votes and Attendance at the November 2021 General Meeting – NE Area Rep Note to Members.
Morning All,
For those that are unable to attend the November General Meeting I will be attending and can act as your proxy should you wish. Ideally it would be useful to have a photo or scanned copy of your “voting & proxy form 2021”.
Name – Neil Lewis
Membership number – 51501
I have spent sometime reflecting on the journal’s pages 36 to 52. I have shared this with section leaders in the north east, but some members are not connected to sections for those individuals as well as section members I have reproduced my e-mail below.
1/ I plan to attend the General Meeting, so I will be able to act proxy to anyone from the North East Area (or beyond). It behoves us all to exercise our right to vote and would encourage you, your section and non-section aligned members to do so. Either by attending the general meeting or using the clubs on-line or hardcopy form for voting & proxy from 2021.
2/ Clearly any votes for which I represent members as a proxy, when the voting and proxy form 2021 clearly states For, Against or Abstain, I am bound to vote as indicated on the form as your representative at the meeting.
3/ I feel only fair to record my present views on how I intend to vote and would also use any proxy votes indicated to me as Proxy, and would ask you all to reflect on my thoughts before making up your own mind.
4/ My views on pages 36 to 52:
On page 37 Mario Costa-Sa, writes “… discussed with the proposing members…” , in my view as a participant in two proposed resolutions, it was not a discussion, merely a statement they would be included in the on going re-writing of the Articles and By-laws. I also find in the open statement the comment about goodie bags being given to attendees to be inappropriate, for such a serious meeting and rather at odds to the sentiment the club is short of money and needs to avoid unnecessary spending.
On page 38 many points are fair and represent work in progress, but for finance transparency – I would point out the last set of account on the VMCC web site are for May (though I have seen June’s in confidence).
On page 39, in the box Cliff Harris say ” currently we are making a modest surplus” this is only true for the months since May, the club will still loose approximately £100,000 in the financial year end in September 2021, (based on the limited information shared with Area Reps).
On page 40 the “SWOT” analysis, many of the points are qualitative estimate and are not deeply routed in hard facts, it is not really a statement of universal truths so much a view from the ivory tower that the AH has become.
Page 42, The forward plan, my general observations are no theme has a three year plan, because in November you should not include the current year 2021 (may be in January or February). Some important element of the clubs historic and current activities are omitted, making the whole thing incomplete. And the board are obliged by 3.5.1, to propose budgets and plans, no budget is proposed within the pages, one might expect the differentiator between Must, Should and Could to be driven by such budget variation (say based on different income and expenditure expectation) but the document is silent on this. MoSCow (must, should and could) analysis is frequently used when specify IT systems, but it needs a clear statement of the context used for each category, none is shared within the document, leaving this section open to many interpretations.
Plan 1, the start and end point of individual activities, is hard to understand, e.g. in 2022 one bullet say “find ways to organise more vintage and veteran events” – it unclear are we to have more “central events” in 2022 or merely some suggestion. Importantly 2022 writes of simplify the club’s constitution, given the way the current one is ignored as it suits the board (eg introducing a new way to raise resolutions without notice in the journal, as per part 7 of the by-laws), I fear this will stifle all remain criticism mechanisms within the club, ensuring the club is run top down by the board rather than bottom up by the members. The 2023 section includes the important financial issue of overheads, but it is unclear if this is a start or a finish. No plan is shown for 2024.
Plan 2, the sections for 2022 and 2023 say nothing new it already called out in Plan 1.
Plan 3, again a mixture of start and ending tasks, importantly the line in November 2021 on affiliations in 2022, the board on a cost cutting bases re-aligned many long standing affiliation including LARA when a group of members raised the cash themselves the ability to attend as the VMCC was withheld by the board. Many members believe in the affiliation with LARA, FBHVC and MAG the withdrawal from these is a real possibility, will the board really take the wider view on this and seek members views.
Plan 4, these rides are only what the sections are doing anyway. I see no effort to create four vintage runs over and above, merely a “joining on” to existing established events run by sections, this would appear to be simply taking ones watch then telling you the time. I do not think many sections will volunteer to put on additional national events (accepting many already successfully run events which attract members and guest from across the club any beyond). This is a good example within the document of a plan not being resourced, this really mean it is unreal, since no one is sign-up to deliver the outcome implied.
Plan 5, the forward elements for 2022 and 2023 are mere words, the statement lack verbs, along with resources, dates, costs and outcomes.
Plan 6, the library takes up a lot of the space within Allen House, but many members regard it as a jewel that must be upheld and enhanced. This plan could be read in many way between the lines, I fear the lack of detail is an attempt to avoid a difficult discussion over what is likely to happen. This is an area were more detail is needed, before any vote for action should be requested.
Plan 7, is no plan is offered for the future so how can the board expect a vote for a 2022 plan when none is given. Accepting the accompany text does give some targets for 2022, but with no explanation on how the ideas are to be developed, when the income will be realised and importantly at what margin. Revenue targets are easy to develop the challenge will be creating a positive margin, when competing with low overhead on-line niche businesses.
In conclusion, without plans for IT expenditure, Allan House building and staffing levels, sections interactions and support, marque specialists, affiliations (that is my current list) and the above comments especially the lack of focus on budgets, resources and timelines for activities, the document is far from complete. I fear as one of my fellow area reps put it “my view is not just (the document is) far too long and disjointed but is so full simultaneously of holes and erroneous assumptions that I fear it can only be returned to its authors marked “rework and resubmit”. Whilst I agree with much of the what the board has done to trim our cloth to what we can afford, their indifference to work with groups of members, their attitude to the existing articles and by-laws and the kick and hope nature of these plans means, I can only vote Against all of the resolutions and would do so with any proxy votes marked as Proxy.
I know this is a message, but without making my position clear I felt it would be wrong to offer myself as a proxy as set out in the existing By-laws. If anyone want to contact me to discuss further please e-mail or call me.”

For those members wishing to place their Proxy votes in Neil’s hands, Neil’s email address is : northeast@vmcc.net

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