BMC Board of Directors: January 2019 meeting summary

Posted by Dave Turnbull on 21/01/2019

The main matters discussed by the BMC Board of Directors during its January 2019 meeting.

This was an additional meeting of the BMC Board held on the evening of 9 January. It was necessary in order to provide a timely opportunity to consider a number of matters which needed to be progressed well ahead of the 2019 AGM. Ten directors attended and the main matters covered were as follows:

Terms of Reference for Board and National Council
and Memorandum of Understanding between them

These documents were reviewed in detail and some modifications suggested in the context of the inter-dependencies. The amended versions will be available for the forthcoming Area meetings, as well as for final consideration by National Council and Board in February: they will be presented for information at the AGM, where the Memorandum of Understanding is to be signed by the President and Chair.

Articles of Association
Andy Syme joined the meeting by phone for this item. The latest draft was reviewed and an agreed Board view was provided in response to each of the detailed points raised by the Governance Working Group and legal advisors. The Board agreed with the discontinuation of the Treasurer role as proposed by the Organisational Review, noting that there will be new means for ensuring full and regular communication on financial matters between the Board and National Council. In relation to the Vice-President roles, the Board’s view was that National Council should consider whether there continued to be purposes that could helpfully be fulfilled by such a role in the context of National Council’s work. It was agreed that it would be helpful for the Articles to include a facility for the Board to co-opt one non-voting member for a limited time in circumstances where that would contribute to effective and efficient governance: it was noted that such a facility is common within other organisations’ Articles of Association.

Organisational Development Group
Dave Stanley joined the meeting for this item and facilitated the Board’s review of the ODG’s project plan for activities up to April 2020. Inter-relationships between some of the workstreams and the financing of workstream recommendations was discussed; it was recognised that emerging business-critical recommendations with financial implications would require early consideration by the Board.  In the context of next steps relating to strategic planning, it was agreed that early work being undertaken in relation to vision, mission and values could form the basis of a discussion session during the AGM weekend. Arising from consideration of Workstream 4 (Corporate Structure), it was agreed that the BMC will develop a Welsh language policy, and that this will be taken forward as an operational matter in parallel with this ODG workstream.

Financial matters
Updated financial projections were reviewed, noting that deficits are currently projected for 2019 as well as for each of the two subsequent financial years. A more detailed discussion is scheduled for the next meeting, with a proposal in relation to subscription increases for 2020 to be developed in time to be considered by Areas and National Council ahead of the 2019 AGM. The proposal would be in the context of the value being provided for members, with the BMC having kept subscriptions unchanged for several years whilst many other membership organisations have applied modest inflationary increases.

Land acquisition policy
The policy had been considered in detail at a previous Board meeting and was now approved with the inclusion of relevant statements about land disposal.

Competitions
A detailed paper was included within the documents for the meeting. The significance of the issues covered was noted, including the possible need for a risk register approach to be developed for this area. Detailed discussion was deferred to the next meeting when more time would be available.

At this January meeting, a range of views and perspectives were aired and explored in some detail in reaching an overall view that will inform the work of finalising the governance documents. It is envisaged that from February onwards, the balance of time within Board meetings will shift towards strategic matters and away from detailed reviewing of governance documentation.

Gareth Pierce – Chair, BMC Board of Directors

READ: Minutes of the January 2019 Board of Directors meeting


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Anonymous User
02/02/2019
As a former Vice President and keen observer of BMC business I would be very concerned should the VP role be discontinued. The reasons are as follows:
To deputise for the President. (This could be written into the Articles). To attend the Board in the Presidents absence.
To share the work load and learn the organisations business.
To build expertise and nurture future board members.

I am concerned that the tone of this summary may antagonise members who could see it as confirmation of their fears of the membership being marginalised.

The proposed abolition of the Treasurer position needs further explanation. This proposal could be viewed in a similar light to the VPs.

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