Councillor's Viewpoint April 2012
New Chief Executive Officer
From my perspective the appointment of a new CEO represents a major change in the organisation. New relationships have to be established and a new strategy. Gordon Seabright comes to us from The Royal Horticultural Society, where he was responsible for the running of the Chelsea Flower Show and looked after 360,000 members.
Gordon's first task is to develop a full understanding of the organisation and produce a draft strategy for review by Council. Arriving at a time when the old strategic plan had expired and as we obtain full charitable status is propitious. It means that Gordan can undertake a fundamental review with very few historic constraints.
We managed to come to an arrangement with Kevin Mayne's new employers, the European Cyclists’ Federation, so that there has been a smooth handover.
The Charity Commission of England & Wales has explained why it rejected the CTC's application for charitable status. We had not made our Articles clear enough in our attempt to retain as much of the original document as possible. A technical point, but sufficient to temporarily derail the process. I hope the National AGM in May will approve the modest further changes required. Not to do so would be perverse, as the decision to become a charity has already been made, so that if these are rejected, we will be a charity, but without the tax benefits available to charities.
An increase to the basic subscription to £41 will be put to the AGM. However there are many other membership categories and concessions. Management Committee are carrying out a full review of both the concessions available and the rates, with the intention that membership should be affordable to everyone who wants to support the objectives of the CTC.
Good progress has been made. The main pages and functions of the site were demonstrated to Management Committee in March. Much content has still to be loaded, but there is a high degree of confidence that the new site will "go live" in May.
The restructure is now complete and the staff team can concentrate once more on promoting cycling. We were successful in obtainind funding for some new projects so that the team did not have to be reduced as much as had been anticipated.
The Times Campaign - "Cities fit for cycling"
The 8 point Time's campaign was launched in early February after consultation with the CTC and other kindred organisations. Whilst there was concern about undue stress on the "dangers" of cycling, the higher profile for cycling is to be welcomed. The 3 hour parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall, which attracted 77 MPs being seen as a great success.
Electronic communications with members
I'm pleased to report that my suggestion, that we should enable the CTC to use email to communicate with members, has been accepted by Council. An appropriate resolution to amend the Articles will be put to the AGM.