Please find the full report from the Independent Panel who attended our Special General Meeting on Monday September 18th 2023 reprinted below. This is also available to download as a PDF at the bottom of this post. The club would like to thank England Athletics and the Independent Panel for their time and efforts in participating in our SGM process. The Committee hopes that this brings closure on the matter; allowing our club to move forward to deliver the experiences, opportunities and coaching our athletes desire.
Bristol SGM Panel:
We would like to thank the meeting chair (Simon Jones) for allowing the SGM to be run in a way that allowed everyone to express their views on what has been a difficult issue within the club.
Having considered all the evidence and attended the SGM, the panel feel that holding a Vote of No Confidence as proposed would not be in the best interest of the club going forward.
Although we consider the AGM to be compliant with the constitution, in hindsight the AGM could have been delivered better.
We don’t consider the AGM to have been in contravention of the current constitution & it had been delivered using the same model for the last 3 years.
Therefore, we feel that the AGM was compliant with the constitution and does not need to be run again.
The panel would like to make some recommendations and some suggestions that should help the club going forward. They are as follows:
Bristol & West AC should either consider updating the constitution or create supporting appendices with clear details regarding future AGMs. This should provide a checklist to work through and include clarity of timescales, communications and outline who is responsible for the various requirements of the AGM.
The constitution should be amended to include how AGM results will be scrutinised and by whom.
We suggest independent scrutineer(s) should review the results – e.g., not a committee member nor a family member of a committee member.
Within the constitution, rules on volunteering and other membership status need to be clarified.
A clear table should be produced that defines the membership types, the voting rights, other rights, criteria for attaining these, etc. This should be placed in paragraph 7 to replace current wording.
AGM Format & Considerations:
Details of the format of the AGM should be included in a schedule and that hybrid meetings are to be initiated.
Serious consideration should be given on how a physical meeting can be employed to create a social event as well as a technical exercise.
Whilst not a formal requirement within the constitution, it was a convention that bios are provided. This should be included in the AGM schedule checklist.
The schedule checklist must be explicit as to the timeliness and detail that is to be delivered with clear levels of communication and who is responsible with timescales?
It was also felt that the club should look at ways to canvassing the views of all parties and ensure that regular communications are maintained.
Training for Volunteers:
The committee and/or the safeguarding team should look into formalising training for volunteers to ensure they have the correct level of knowledge and support to carry out their role. The club should follow a safe recruitment process and examples of this can be found on England Athletics dedicated resource site - Club Hub.
Details of the panel findings should be shared with the wider membership on receipt of this document.
Bristol & West AC should schedule a meeting with EA in 4-6 weeks to provide an update on how the club are progressing with the recommendations listed above.
After this meeting, an update should again be shared with the wider membership highlighting what changes have been made or are in the process of being made.