ECF Finance Council Meeting, Zoom, 24/04/2021
The ECF is well-used now to the idea of Zoom meetings, and they look set possibly for it to become the norm. The 2021 Finance Council Meeting is thus set to be held by Zoom on 24th April 2021, with the usual matters for a finance meeting, and some more unusual ones. I (Steve Mann) intend to attend this meeting as YCA delegate to the ECF, and have e-mailed YCA officials for opinions on the main points being voted on, but do not intend to send out a blanket e-mail to club secretaries and captains, as the response is usually very low, and there is little of a contentious nature on the agenda this time; nevertheless, YCA members are welcome to express any opinions as guidance on how the YCA should vote.
(Meeting papers can be found at https://www.englishchess.org.uk/about/ecf-council-and-board/.)
Agenda items 1 to 5 are the usual items more to do with the bureaucracy of running the meeting, than anything of interest.
Item 6, Finance Director’s Report and Draft Annual Accounts
The impact of Covid on the ECF is summarised in a separate notice, which carries links to relevant documents on the ECF website. Quite why the accounts for the year ended 31/08/2020 are being submitted in draft form only seems not to be explained, and may cause some criticism. That said, the year has been an unusual one, and there has been a transition from the former Finance Director to the new one, so perhaps nobody should complain.
Item 7 Fees for 2021/22
The Board is asking to keep fees as at present, which would mean the third season at the present rates. There seems no justifiable reason to vote against this.
Item 8 Budget for 2021/22
Obviously, it is difficult to budget for a season regarding which there are so many unknowns and imponderables. In reality, the Board needs to be able to play things “by ear”, so, whilst Council is asked to approve the budget put forward (see ), the next agenda item reflects the uncertainties of present times.
Item 9 Authority of Variation
Essentially, the Board is asking for permission to change to budget mid-season, in response to unfolding circumstances. This seems expedient.
Item 10 Voting Register
The number of votes a member organisation has is normally determined by the number of results submitted for gradingin the previous season, subject to a minimum of 1 vote. (Typically the YCA gets 3.) The impact of the Covid pandemic would be that for 2021-22, most organisation would be reduced to the minimum. Further, some would become liable to pay the £60 organisation membership show which normally the do not have to pay. The proposal is being put forward, therefore, that the following be inserted after at the end of article 22 of the Articles of Association:
It seems appropriate to vote in favour of this.
11 Proposals from the Governance Committee on Directors’ Tenure of Office
This arises from the Northern Counties CU submitting a proposal to a previous meeting. The problem was that there was a guiding principle in place, but without it being adequately incorporated into the wording of the rules, which thus were in practice not explicitly regulated by that principle. This is the subject of a separate notice.
12 Voting Allocations of Council Members
Hitherto, totalling of results submitted for game fee (affecting voting rights as in item 10 above) encompassed only over-the-board games, and encompassed only standard rate games (as 1 unit) and rapidplay games (as ½ a unit), and. This proposal follows on from the idea of grading on-line games and also blitz games. This would bring into scope such newer forms of play as may to some extent in the future replace standard over-the-board chess. The proposed counting value for each category of game is as per the following table:
The proposal also defines the relevant terms, which hitherto were defined only within the grading system:
13 County Championship, 2021, and
14 County Championship Team Rating Limits
These two items are described in a separate notice.
15 Arrangements for the October 2021 Annual General Meeting
At the 2020 AGM, the 2021 AGM was scheduled for 16 October 2021, in London, but the Articles were also changed so that Council could decide to hold a meeting by Zoom. This meeting is thus effectively having to decide whether to switch to Zoom, which seems the preferable option both in terms of caution regarding Covid 19, and in terms of cost.