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Statement by Chair of Council

Statement by Chair of Council
As Chairman of Council, I would like to clarify the Council's present position on behalf of my fellow Board of trustees.
There seem to be certain members, ex-trustees and an ex-member of staff that are putting out unfounded criticism against the Council on social media sites.
I would like to inform the members openly and honestly of where we are:
The Society is financially sound. In my opinion, unnecessary legal expense has been caused by trustees and members, but that is something that our Chairman of Finance will deliver in his annual report.
We have lost experienced staff because they have resigned. To date and prior, we have not had any employment claims against the Society. We also remind the ex-member of staff who seems to challenge the decisions of Council on social media that the opportunity was there for her to re-apply for a position that was created by a restructuring process, which was advised by our auditors and was carried out by a professional HR Company.
Very recently, we have lost two very competent members of staff because of claims of bullying by certain trustees and members and also a lack of confidentiality by trustees.
Temporary staff, will be employed when required as we are no different to any other organisation.
HR matters are strictly private and confidential for the Board of trustees to address. We have employment law to follow and a comprehensive Staff Handbook to follow.
Staff matters are close to our hearts. As their employers we have a duty of care to the staff, and we will take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their wellbeing.
Trustees and volunteers
Let me assure members that, trustees and volunteers have worked for days to assist staff. I would also remind the persons who unkindly berate us, that this is done free of charge, with some travelling hundreds of miles on separate occasions.
Meeting the Minimum Operating Standards
The staff inform me of where we are with compliance. I always update the Board of our position regarding compliance. There has been a problem because of staff leaving, that is not because of me or most of my fellow trustees, some have left of their own accord which is an option open to every employee in the country.
Staff levels are always monitored by the HR & Finance Committee and reports go to full Council, we will continue to monitor and adjust when necessary.
There have been problems with the telephone answering system and we are addressing this with our hard working team of staff, who I remind the membership have been hit with a high demand for passports for the forthcoming autumn sales.
I would like to apologise to my fellow members about the lack of response regarding phone calls. I give you my word that it is being addressed and that this will not happen in the future.
Finally, I remind the members that Governance is always being monitored by my fellow Vice-chair of Council, we do our very best to comply with this. We have to comply with our Articles of Association and Charity and Company law. There are also many more legislative matters that are put before us; we have to deal with all of them. Sometimes decisions are not popular to you or Council, but when we make them it is a necessity based upon evidence.
GDPR has created a lot of work for the staff and trustees, we have to be very observant, that we stay within the guidelines, if we fail, it may cause serious financial risks to the assets of your Society.
Social Media and Internet Policy
I would remind the minority of members who choose to berate me and my fellow trustees and staff unfairly on social media, that we will consider enforcing the above policy, when any material which could damage the name or reputation of The Welsh Pony and Cob Society, its members or former members, or which is derogatory to the character of or prejudicial to the interests of The Welsh Pony and Cob Society is published on the web.
We work tirelessly and voluntarily for you all. Above all we always aim to treat you all as fairly and equally as possible. We accept constructive criticism, but there is an element out there, in my view, for whatever reason trying to bring the good name of this great Society into disrepute. Finally, I remind members; we do aim and will continue to work for your best interests. The Council changes every year, we have been left situations that we have been criticised for, that are not of our doing and I am sure this will happen in the future, nothing in this world is perfect!
I promise you also that no internal matters are or have been swept under the carpet and have been dealt with as per rules of the Society, as all members must abide by.
Chair of Council, John Kirk.
16th Oct 2018