Photo 01 - Nice October day yesterday!
The Club Annual General Meeting!
We have scheduled our AGM for 2016 to be held on Wednesday the 19th of October starting at 19.00.hrs at the Tibbie Shiels Inn. Now this will probably be a landmark meeting in that a couple of topics will have never before graced a club agenda. The items already tabled for the meeting are-
(1) The further action to be taken to secure our property being held by our ex loch keeper.
(2) Whether to try and retain a loch keeper or move forward with the lochs being entirely policed by members and/or local agents as is currently the case.
(3) The future use of our outboard engines.
There are of course the usual standing orders but if any member would like any item added to the agenda please write in at least seven days before the actual meeting on the 19th October.
Filling out the above three topics the discussion around item one will be whether we should take legal action against Mr Xxxxx regarding the non return of club property despite us creating opportunities for him to do so! It is possible that we are due Mr Xxxxx monies it is however unlikely that Mr Xxxxx is due the club money due to his no show in the six months prior to his sacking.
The decision for members is to weigh up whether we leave the matter where it currently stands or seek the full return of our property by legal means. It is thought that he currently holds the club high power spotlight, four two way radio’s kindly donated by a club member, my Samsung Galaxy ace phone, the clubs pay in book and a book of club permits the serial numbers of which we hold so we will be able to identify any unauthorised use.
Over the last six months the club has moved forward very nicely, indeed beyond our expectations taking excellent revenue and securing a degree of permit compliance never before attained! Through our five agents (yet another was added yesterday) we are securing compliance with the protection order and building up once again a reputation for a tightly run ship!
So all this without a loch keeper, it certainly opens up the prospect of operating without one! Some fine tuning will be required to smooth the workings which at times have been a bit wobbly, but my own view is that this system has many advantages and once optimised will have great benefits for the club! We would need to widen the remit of our current agents and with a little reorganisation and tweaking the hiring of boats by members and visitors would become a straightforward matter!
There possibly would be a very small degree of member participation in overseeing the system but input will be minimal and possibly not even required! We believe we now have a system of operation that would allow members to come and fish without taking on any extra responsibilities! Our stationary outlets for permit sales will continue to be The Glen Cafe, The Tibbie Shiels Inn, The Gordon Arms hotel and Fishers in Penicuik.
We have already touched on the subject of our engines in previous articles and whether or not it is pertinent to seek to continue to hire them out. Clearly without a lochkeeper this would cause inconvenience to some members or our agents in committing to carry this out! The first thing to note is that hiring out these engines does not secure great amounts of money for the club in fact factoring in reoairs they probably cost us money. Our sole intention when we commissioned these engines was to offer them as a service to members and visitors!
I feel the situation is that if we retain the services of a lochkeeper it would be feasible to continue to offer them as a service to members and visitors whereas if we dispense with the services of a lochkeeper hiring them out would become problematic. With the latter scenario there is a possibility that we could make the engines (electric & petrol) available to members free of charge if they bring their own petrol or batteries.
Therefore at the meeting we would like to seek views and direction from the membership as to which route we should take. The above gives some idea of the debate to be considered, but under no circumstances should we embark on the route proffered by Mr Xxxxx that of maximising revenue gathering at all costs. Uppermost in our minds must be the fact that we are dealing here with a wild fishery and conservation of our stocks must be our guiding principle! We have shown how we can increase revenue without endangering our fish stocks. Please come along on the 19th and have your say you will be most welcome whatever your view!
Yesterday Elliot Fraser and me went on a tour of the loch's and met up with the chap who expressed interest in our vacancy, that of lochkeeper on the lochs. He is still interested in the position but cannot at this time commit to us fully only being able to work odd weeks as he has much work to deal with in Yorkshire! Of course this situation is not one that would benefit us and we have rejected this scenario. He hopes to be fully committed to the area around April 2017 which is a long way off for us! Hopefully after our AGM we will have the direction to take from our membership and then it will be clear whether or not we require a loch keeper!
Incidentally we also broached the subject of the Cafe Green Warden proposed by the action group who were formed to tackle the subject of maintaining order on the green. Unsurprisingly he has concerns around dealing with rowdy groups fuelled by drugs or alcohol. He has concerns around the level of payment, the apparent lack of training and the lack of authority he would have. This of course is out with our sphere and we have asked that he speak directly to the group regarding his concerns.
The wider world in my view!
Many in the country might have been geed up by the announcement by Theresa May that those on long term disability payments will no longer have to undergo the demeaning assessments currently required as frequently as every three months! This measure implemented by ace bunglers Lord Snooty and cocaine snorting Gideon Osborne was a completely ridiculous measure brought about by the hooray Henry’s who wanted to punish those who through no fault of their own were unable to work!
Now Ms May wants her new government to be seen as the government that benefits all rather than one which seeks to reward the privileged few! It’s a great sound byte but we need to be clear here that this has come from a Tory government! The move is indeed a laudable one but the assessments for these people whose health is bound to deteriorate as time goes on! Only a hard hearted government (the definition of a Tory government) could even have considered such draconian measures!
It will be interesting to see the detail behind the grand statement as with most Tory statements the devil is in the detail! Remember that the benefits system has been twisted and corrupted to an extent that makes millions of poor people worse off and this one move will do little to rectify that! A holistic view of the benefits system is what is called for where claimants are treated as people not as leeches on society! I doubt very much that there will be significant change these are blue nosed Tories and the saying with an old dog and new tricks apply!