The Blake Society has just published in its webpage their minutes of their AGM last 20 January.
It’s a pity that so few paid Blake Society members attended and had the chance to see what the Committee that supposedly serves and represents them is capable of, so if you want to know what happened precisely at that AGM, please refer to my former blog entry, “A Time of Bullies”, of 22 January 2017: https://blakecottage.com/2017/01/22/a-time-of-bullies/
These new minutes of course do not record how I was shouted into silence, the Treasurer’s mention of my role in the Blake Cottage appeal, or the fact that I had to correct him and Mr Heath regarding the actual date of the setting up of the Blake Cottage Trust.
They make this curious claim, though, regarding one of my objections to their minutes of the 2016 AGM:
“She [that’s me] claimed that there had been no election because no vote had been held, despite her objection to one of the candidates. There had therefore been no lawfully elected Executive Committee during the year. The Chair and Secretary repeated the point made at the previous AGM: paragraph 16(5) of the Society’s constitution requires a ballot only when the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies on the Committee, which had not been the case.”
Apart from the fact that nothing was “explained” to me, since they didn’t allow any kind of dialogue in what was simply a display of silencing tactics, I think that the Blake Society Committee should read its Constitution again, because what paragraph 16(5) of their Constitution says is: “Nominations for election to the Executive Committee must be made by members of the Charity in writing and must be in the hands of the secretary of the Executive Committee at least 14 days before the annual general meeting. Should nominations exceed vacancies, election shall be by ballot.”
This is not quite what we’re talking about, is it? I mean, namely, the BS members’ right to object to the election of Trustees who betray public Trust through the mismanagement, poor performance and/or unethical behaviour. The Constitution doesn’t say anywhere, in any way, that members cannot excercise such a righ.
The Constitution’s paragraph 16 (2) also says, regarding Annual General Meetings, that: “All the members of the Charity shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.”
This is obvious. If members didn’t have such a right, why on earth would the Committee bother to go through the motions of asking for their members’ vote?
More importantly, where, if not at the AGM, do members of the Blake Society have the opportunity to call the Trustees to account?
In a document that the Secretary, Mr Antony Vinall, circulated among the Trustees on 23 October 2012, regarding governance options for the Society should it engage in major fund raising projects, he refers to “the Society’s present governance arrangements, under which members elect the Chair and Executive Committee at the AGM, where they also have the opportunity to call them to account.”
And that’s as it should be. Nominations exceeding vacancies or not have nothing whatsoever to do with every member’s right to excercise this crucial right.
I don’t expect an answer, since the Blake Society Committee never responds to uncomfortable questions, but still I will ask whether if they don’t believe that their members deserve any respect, and what exactly do they think they are doing when lying in their minutes and manipulating information in this way.
Since they go on showing no respect whatsoever, for anybody, I will continue on writing my testimony of what happened with the Blake Cottage appeal. You can read chapter III in the section in this webpage titled “My Testimony”, or clicking on this link: chapter-iii-my-testimony-blake-cottage