Jump to content

Dulwich Society SGM - Pressing for rule changes r.e. traffic policy


Recommended Posts

Split from Latest One Dulwich update topic

 

Another missive from the shape shifting anti LTN lobby, who continue to claim some kind of mandate to talk for the Dulwich community. They were comprehensively defeated this week in their efforts to extend their influence into the Dulwich Society at a Special General Meeting ( with an attendance of over 300) they had instigated by a factor of over 2 to 1. This is further indication to me that far from the popular front their literature suggests them to be, they are a vocal activist minority.

The meeting was interesting on many levels. A section of Dulwich Society members, many of whom feature regularly in raising the traffic issues that One Dulwich highlight with the council, were pressing for a number of rule changes to the Dulwich Society, one of which would strip the possibility of anonymity for Dulwich Society volunteers who contribute to the traffic subcommittee of the charity. As a properly run charity, the Dulwich Society publishes minutes of its meetings and operated with a level of transparency that I don't see in the anti- LTN lobby. The trustees continue to publish names for the overwhelming majority of their business, but when it comes to contentious local issues with a history of harassment, they want the option in very limited instances to protect their volunteers. Almost as if to illustrate this need in live action, one supporter of these potential rule changes actually loudly ‘outed’ the surname of a speaker in the meeting who expressly stated she didn’t want to use her surname to protect her from potential online trolling. 

The local Conservative presence pressing for these rule changes was strong – two of the most prominent local members of the party were working the queue on the way in to drum up support, and formally spoke in the meeting. The trustees of Dulwich Society revealed that they had tried to engage with them in person over the proposed rule changes over a period of months, but they had refused, opting instead for a costly Special General Meeting, which distracted from the actual work of the charity. The stress the trustees experienced dealing with these issues over a period of months was evident – one seemed close to tears talking about the strain it put on his family.

The most extraordinary moment came when a former Conservative mayor of Lambeth stood up and accused the Conservatives driving these rule changes in the Dulwich Society of using divisive tactics. I don't doubt that people opposing the LTN's have a range of political views, as has been illustrated on these threads, but could it be that local Conservatives, who lost the last local elections despite campaigning on virtually the single issue of the LTN’s, see that stirring up local feeling about traffic issues might be a path to electoral success? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, DulvilleRes said:

1. This is further indication to me that far from the popular front their literature suggests them to be, they are a vocal activist minority.

The 1,200 registered residents around Dulwich on the One Dulwich website would probably argueotherwise...

 

4 hours ago, DulvilleRes said:

one of which would strip the possibility of anonymity for Dulwich Society volunteers who contribute to the traffic subcommittee of the charity.

Just out of interest are any other subcommittee's that may deal with contentious local issues that are afforded anonymity?

 

By way of a reminder DulvilleRes - you were calling for the "outing" of whomever is behind the One Dulwich group in your previous posts so I can't help but think a lot of this is laced with a massive  slab of hypocrisy - that you are quite happy to protect and defend anonymity for people who are claiming to represent the community at the table of the Dulwich Society when it comes to traffic matters yet scream that One Dulwich don't represent the community and should be stripped of their anonymity.

I must admit your postings and the actions of the Dulwich Society do make me wonder why those transport sub-committee members so want to protect their anonymity (sorry I am not buying the trolling element) - I think it will make many wonder if they are linked to the council or the local Labour party, maybe part of the cycle-lobby, maybe have a conflict of interest or maybe their online presence is as part of one of the many pro-cycling lobby groups in the local area - who knows but thanks for highlighting this issue as I am sure most of us were not aware.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DulvilleRes

they didnt say they want names. .look at number 4 

Dulwich Society SGM May 2024

A Special General Meeting of the Dulwich Society called at the request of 34 members will be held at 7:30pm on Monday 20 May 2024 at Alleyn's School, Townley Rd, SE22 8SU. The formal business of the SGM will precede the AGM which will now start at 8:30pm.

Agenda
Introduction
SGM meeting rules and procedures (also applicable to the AGM)
Motion propositions on behalf of the petitioners
Response on behalf of the Society
Questions from the members
Motions to be voted:

  1. Where the Dulwich Society is expressing views to stakeholders or others on issues where there are clear differences of opinion among Dulwich residents, it must make clear to such stakeholders and the wider community that it does not represent local residents associations, residents or businesses.
  2. Any revised Constitution put to members at the forthcoming AGM should include a provision giving members the right to seek direct election at AGM to any of the Dulwich Society’s delegated committees.
  3. Any revised Constitution put to members at the forthcoming AGM should contain the same rights for members to call a Special General Meeting as are set out in para 13.1 of the current Constitution, including in particular a provision setting thirty members as the maximum number required to call such a meeting.
  4. Any revised Constitution put to members at the forthcoming AGM should include a requirement that the minutes of all committee meetings are published in a timely manner, with only such redactions as are needed to make sure the publication of the minutes does not breach the Society’s policy on data protection.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

What's a shape shifting anti lTN body ? 

The Dulwich Society, like the One Dulwich and other groups represents the views of some of the residents but not all and each has their place at the table and not one of them should be more important than another. 

Personally I don't give a hot who is and who isn't anonymous, everyone can decide whobthey want to know about their actions IMHO 

Edited by Spartacus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, DulvilleRes said:

Another missive from the shape shifting anti LTN lobby, who continue to claim some kind of mandate to talk for the Dulwich community. They were comprehensively defeated this week in their efforts to extend their influence into the Dulwich Society at a Special General Meeting ( with an attendance of over 300) they had instigated by a factor of over 2 to 1.

Whilst I think it was clear that the Dulwich Society response, or lack of it, to the LTN actualisation was a stimulus to those putting forward the agenda of the Special General Meeting you should note, see above, that no parts of the 4 proposals were linked to LTN issues. They were about the governance of the Society and were wholly appropriate, given that the Society had proposed to make very radical changes to its 60 year old Rule Book, but whose existing Rules did not allow lay amendments to those Rules to be debated at a general Meeting. [In fact the New Rules were written to align with Charity Commission recommendations on Rules for the type of Charity which the Dulwich society is.]

Actually, nothing as regards the LTN was 'defeated' at the meeting. 

After saying that the Society was in favour, in principal, of the declared intentions associated with the LTN introduced during Covid (reducing local pollution, encouraging active travel) it has not, I believe, made any public comments about the actualisation of the LTN in delivering those intentions, nor of the consultation, or lack of it associated with it.

It always recognised that issues to do with traffic were contentious and were divisive within the wider Dulwich Community and within the Society itself. As this thread clearly exemplifies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at the Dulwich Society meeting (I'm a member of over a decade's standing) and IMO the Chair and trustees behaved badly.

Threatening the members with an en masse resignation if they didn't vote for their proposals was a real low. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DulvilleRes- that escalated quickly...is this, per chance, another case of the pro-LTN lobby spinning things to such an extent that it bears no semblance to the facts? We have seen this type of behaviour before.

 

We eagerly await your reply....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Whilst we wait for DulvilleRes to answer some of the points raised above. Here is a letter from a long-standing member of the Dulwich Society sent to members of the Executive Committee:

 

I  attended the AGM and SGM on Monday expecting to gain some understanding of the issues regarding the proposed new rules of the charity as the information in the letter giving notice of the meetings was very confusing. From the beginning of the meeting it was clear that this was not an environment for informed decision making. A Chair is there to facilitate, not dominate, and should not use his position as an opportunity to impose his own views. In addition,  holding the two meetings together, which the members had wished to avoid, resulted in rushing things through, constant checking of watches and reminders that we had to be out of the building by 10.  The  long inappropriate speech at the beginning left inadequate time for the discussion  which was necessary in order to make informed decisions. There were deliberate attempts to promote guilt in the members for wasting money which could be better spent elsewhere, quoting £2000+  as the cost of providing the meeting.  The instruction from the Chair on how we must vote, and the threat that all trustees would resign and the Society would cease to exist at 9.45 pm  if we did not comply, was outrageous.

I cannot imagine that any decision obtained in this way can possibly be acceptable in law.
 Correspondence relating to the SGM request shows that the Members acted in accordance with all the rules and  the correct time frame, giving a very clear account of their reasons for requesting such a meeting. Yet the Chair repeated that no notice was given of the  SGM request, and 'Nobody bothered to turn up to the meeting'  arranged by the trustees on  April 14th,  when in fact members had notified him that no one would be attending. Unfortunately the rather peevish inaccurate  version has now been posted on East Dulwich Forum.  
          I am a very long time member of Dulwich society, and  am shocked at the way in which this has unfolded  with such lack of  regard for the members and such an undemocratic approach. Working in the best interest of the Charity includes respecting its members, and listening to any concern which they may raise, it is not just about saving money. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@DulvilleRes any response?

1 hour ago, Glemham said:

The instruction from the Chair on how we must vote, and the threat that all trustees would resign and the Society would cease to exist at 9.45 pm  if we did not comply, was outrageous.

This hardly seems very democratic.....is someone trying to influence the Society members unfairly to force their personal agenda?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The trustees of Dulwich Society reported a huge surge in membership in the weeks leading up to the Special General Meeting. Who these new members were, it is hard to say. However, if the influx was in support of the group of Dulwich Society members looking to extend their influence via the SGM, it failed; they were comprehensively outvoted. Whether co incidental or not, there is a heavy overlap of names between this minority grouping within the Society, and local activists in anti LTN issues. Were they One Dulwich? With an organisation as opaque and unaccountable as One Dulwich are – in stark contrast to the Dulwich Society – it is hard to say. it constantly surprises me that One Dulwich's cheerleaders on this forum seem to know nothing about how they are run, or crucially who funds them. It is hard to take these cheerleaders seriously when they seem unable or unwilling to ask or answer basic questions such as this.

I found it extraordinary that this grouping in Dulwich Society pushing for change refused to meet with the trustees to discuss their concerns, opting instead for an expensive Special General Meeting; this indicates to me a certain kind of needlessly combative approach to what is fundamentally an apolitical local charity. This perception was reinforced by the conduct of some supporters of this grouping in the room – hectoring, aggressive and ultimately unneighbourly, and certainly a hostility you wouldn’t want to tolerate in any organisation. 
Whilst I can’t talk for the trustees, as regards resigning, if they took the view that actually something extraordinary was happening to much loved local institution that was best dealt with by the Charity Commission, I wouldn’t blame them. 

But the end result was in my view a triumph for local democracy. The modernising of the Society’s rules that the trustees supported, giving the possibility of a degree of protection from online trolling for volunteers working on traffic issues, and making the Dulwich Society more inclusive by having the possibility of online General meetings are most welcome. 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 31/05/2024 at 14:21, Glemham said:

The instruction from the Chair on how we must vote, and the threat that all trustees would resign and the Society would cease to exist at 9.45 pm  if we did not comply, was outrageous.

DulvilleRes...is this correct - did the Chair make that threat?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A friend who is another long-standing member of the Dulwich Society and was present at the meetings on May 20th has sent me the following letter, and I reproduce it here with their permission:

Maybe there is another side to this tirade which I guess was from either a Trustee or one of the plants in the first couple of rows?  I had a good view from where I was sitting at the side.

I am one of the people who signed up to oppose the new Dulwich Society rules,  having read the letter by the signatories which was shared with me. I have known about the differences in opinion as I have a couple of friends who warned me about this schism.   I actively joined  with my support because all I wanted, and what they clearly wanted, was to leave those rules as they were, to make the society more accessible if there is an issue.  It was not some kind of attempted coup.  I have met several people who did not attend the AGM who asked me if I had been knocked up, as they had been.  The long, long letter by the Chair ordering us how to think and how to vote!  No wonder there was a huge turn out.  And the point is this:  the misrepresentation of what the original signatories was asking for, was carried on right through to the meeting.  "I found it extraordinary that this grouping in Dulwich Society pushing for change....." - no, keeping it all accessible and as it was,  not changed!  How can there be any democracy if the Chair chooses who to speak, and made just one mistake by calling someone who accused him and the Trustees of taking a bullying stance.  Oh, and by the way, speaking for 25 minutes in opposition to the Motions before they were presented and also with Trustees answering each Motion in addition to his unchallenged rant.

Having received the very long letter from the Chair, I and many of the people who chose to support the signatories were astounded. By the orders from the Chair, repeated bold orders on how to vote, and a misrepresentation of the facts.  Not only that, on the night of the AGM, to be given voting slips with an instruction on how to vote!

I will put one thing right.  I informally joined up in time to hear about the meeting invite for the signatories  with the Trustees and a neutral chair.  This only gave two days notice to everyone and of course this was completely unacceptable.  Quite a few signatories (and me)  were present at a Dulwich Arts Society lecture, and those who were not members did not want to attend Bell House as they simply could not speak for others.  At the same time it seems the Chair attended Bell House with others to try and make the group against his ideas look as if they were somewhat cowardly.  What rubbish.  By the way, I am informed that the Pub upstairs meeting room was booked for FREE.  The SGM costs were therefore non existent.  

The Chair has painted this group as trying to destroy the Society and threaten to resign along with all his Trustees (some looked a bit surprised at that) if he did not get his way.  In fact a couple looked extremely uncomfortable.

You cannot get away from the main fact that in the Constitution which was in place at the time, the Chair failed to call and hold an SGM in the correct period of 28 days.,  This meeting he offered was his way of looking as if he was open to talks but I and my new 'friends' could only see someone manipulating the membership.

I am a member of One Dulwich but I am sure they were not behind any of this, and although they may have agreed with the anti-sentiments, I do not think they manipulated the group.  I would ask add for allowing - against what the Chair said at the beginning - a rant from the balcony against one of the Proposers by a disappointed and vengeful ex-Tory, for more than three minutes, the meeting descended into a very uncomfortable rant against democracy.  One of the Trustees answering a Motion completely lost it.

All this from a sedate small amenity society in a defined geographical area.

There were no anti-LTN feelings behind this group;  we all simply wanted democracy to remain.  To be asked our feelings about policies which the Society put forward as ours, to have the ease of calling an SGM with 30 members instead of searching for 120, to be included in discussions instead of not even being able to read Minutes showing what the committees are developing.  It was very telling that the end of the post on EDG I am answering, it drew the readers to exactly transport issues and “online trolling”.  Manipulation of events. Enough said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

This all seems very Jackie Weaver. 

Time to put young people in charge of these sorts of local associations, people who have better things to do with their time than carry on how this lot appear to from these reports.

What a shower.

Edited by CPR Dave
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is more exciting to watch than House of Dragons (who's politically out manoeuvred who, will Malumbu get his Dragon bike, keep reading to find out who will finally sit on the Iron LTN throne 😉 words will be crossed, intrigue will occur and lots of SUV sex may or may not happen) 

Season 2 due June only on the streets of Dulwich Village. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Glemham said:

What rubbish.  By the way, I am informed that the Pub upstairs meeting room was booked for FREE.  The SGM costs were therefore non existent.  

As the meeting, which I did not attend, was moved, as I understand it, to the Alleyn's School Theatre, one of the few venues large enough to take the members attending (the Dog's upstairs room has a capacity only of 100 as I understand it) the cost, or lack of it, of the Dog's room is immaterial. The costs of the meeting would have included costs of communications to members (printing and postage), printed ballot and voting slips etc. Nowadays these costs (particularly postage) are non-trivial. Much of the membership is of an age where digital communications are not always appreciated or even possible. The material (which I have seen) is not ideal for smart phone viewing, and ballot slips need to be real, not virtual. The cost of setting up electronic voting systems would have been far higher than printing ballot papers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Yes old people can't read their smart phone screens.  Nor can they work out undemocratic changes to what is basically a trees, gardens and wildlife group. So the Trustees had to help them by excluding them. There there dear.  This was largely to protect the anonymous members of the new Transport Committee as they pick and choose who to listen to.  And who is the Chair of the committee? <removed name>.  Was she huddling in anonymity down at the front?   Just asking.

I forgot to say that the voting slips tiold all the old people what to do - just like pages of instructions which arrived a few weeks ago.  Yes the voting slips had an instruction in bold telling the voters to vote against all the SGM motions, just to make sure the old dears didn't get muddled.

Edited by Administrator
Removed name
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is getting fascinating. Are there conflicts of interest at play here within the Dulwich Society? A little bit of research has provided some interesting nuggets.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just out of interest, there was NO LTN debate at the Dulwich Society SGM or AGM. The initial poster of this extracted thread believed the Dulwich LTN was the cause of the SGM but it was never a point of fact at the meeting. The discussion was about the Rules, and particularly how many members could call an SGM following a rules revision. Later argument surfaced around the conduct of the Chairman. And about appointments to the varied sub committees of the Society. Again not around the LTN. The topic heading of this thread is factually incorrect. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Home
Events
Sign In

Sign In



Or sign in with one of these services

Search
×
    Search In
×
×
  • Create New...