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03 July 2020From the new ISDS chairman
2 July 2020
Update from the Chairman
Following on from my previous report I have further updates following our latest Council meeting which was held last night via Zoom video conferencing.
For members that are not aware of the management structure of the Society, I will explain. When I took office earlier this year, a Senior Management Team was in place, consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, four National Presidents and the Executive Officer. The Senior Management Team were responsible for an element of the decision making for the Society. In addition to this management structure, the Society holds two Council meetings each year, and in exceptional circumstances an extraordinary Council meeting may also be held. This system presents both positive and negative aspects. My personal view is that Council, as a whole, have not been involved in enough of the decision making for some time. I want you to be confident that all the affairs of the Society are being dealt with in a proper and professional manner, I have therefore now included the full Council in all correspondence, emails, and management decisions. It is essential going forward that you all have confidence in the management of the Society.
At last night’s meeting, Ireland co-opted Robert Goligher on to Council to fill the Casual Vacancy as a result of the recent resignations.
Council are very keen to fill the vacancies left by the resignations in Wales, and I as Chairman will be writing to the Welsh Directors to engage with the members, to establish National representation going forward.
During the meeting our Temporary Executive Officer gave an update regarding accounts and the Society office. Finalised accounts are almost ready to be submitted to the Auditors, and with a deadline of 31st August 2020, this will be achieved. It should be made clear that the delay of accounts which are normally presented at the AGM has no sinister undertones regarding the financial position of the Society, it is merely a combination of a new employee being appointed to manage the Society audit by the auditors, and a change of Executive Officer in mid-February. When the financial accounts are presented it will become apparent that the Society is in a relatively healthy position.
Council have also considered the financial impact on the Society regarding the lack of major trials this year, however, income from major trials, while very important it is not the Society’s main source of income. Membership and Stud book activities are what keeps the Society afloat, and we are pleased to say that the volume of work relating to mating's, transfers, pedigrees and registration of pups has remained extremely high, and we have been pleasantly surprised in the number of new members the Society has attracted in the recent months.
Council would like to share their gratitude for the fantastic work carried out by our team in the office, especially during Covid-19 lockdown. They have been working remotely since 23rd March and continue to do so. They have maintained their high standard of work and professionalism throughout, have remained positive and overcome any complications that they have been presented with, they have kept the heart of the Society ticking. It is extremely apparent that without procedures in place to work remotely we would have been in a very different situation, and the backlog of work that we would have been presented with when able to return to the office would have been extraordinary.
In the short period of time that our Temporary Executive Officer, Helen, and myself have been in post, it has become increasingly evident that the Society suffers from a lack of proper governance procedures. Council are currently working from a 2008 Constitution, and recent experience suggests that our procedures need strengthening, and where they are missing, they need incorporating. The ISDS has developed and become a large organisation, and must be managed accordingly, good governance is a huge part of the development of the Society going forward. Council has instructed that we initiate a professional firm that specialises in all areas of governance, and when additional information becomes available, we will report further.
Thank you for your continued support.
02 July 2020update
30 June 2020
We continue to be informed by our insurance company that they can not provide the insurance for the Society to hold Sheepdog trials.
In addition to this we find ourselves in the situation that each of the home nations have differing rules regarding the do's and don'ts relating to Covid-19 movement and gatherings.
Current Government guidelines have not been extended to the extent that would allow for trials to take place. In England for example, from 4th July 2020, there is no limit on the number of people allowed to meet, provided they are just from two households and they keep 1 metre apart.
Therefore due to our insurance restrictions and with the current differing Government guidelines for each nation, unfortunately we currently do not endorse the hosting of trials.
We are awaiting advice from Defra regarding holding sheepdog trials and hope to have some positive news any day, and although we can not provide the insurance for trials, for those of you that would like to hold a trial regardless of insurance, there will be some guidelines to assist you. We have been informed that strict instructions from Defra will be provided and must be adhered to to ensure the safety of attendees.