Meeting on Saturday 27th March 2021 at 11.00 am
meeting will be an online meeting because of the Covid lockdown
restrictions on physical meetings. This Council Meeting will
follow the online meeting precedent used for the Club's Annual
General Meeting held earlier this year.
Why has this Council
Meeting been called?
In mid-January 2021 five Council Members became aware of an
ongoing heavy handed disciplinary process at Club Office that
had started at the beginning of December 2020. Those Council
Members sent a joint email to the Club Chairman urging "the
disciplinary process be halted with immediate effect and that
urgent steps are taken to improve the professional management
standards and restore staff morale". The Council Members
did not receive a reply to their email from the Executive Committee
and their call for the disciplinary process to halt was ignored.
disciplinary investigation was of a misdemeanour by Ineke Sherman,
who was running the Club's Online Shop and regalia sales. She
entered the Club Office building when she should have been in
quarantine at home (to comply with the UK Government's Covid
guidelines at the time in December 2020) on returning from a
very brief visit to the Netherlands.
Ineke says "on the 27th November 2020, I received a phone
call that my mother in the Netherlands had only a maximum of
6 days to live. So I drove over on 28th and returned on 29th
November to say farewell on her deathbed, with my worry and
guilt that I needed to go back to work (from home) as soon as
possible for the Christmas sales. I needed to instruct my colleagues
as to what was pending and help them as much as I could from
home as the General Manager had said I could not go into work
at Club Office, as I needed to self-isolate at home after returning
from the Netherlands. That was the only time I had contact with
him during the whole period.
There were parcels to collect on the 3rd of December and a query
where certain items were, so I went into Kimber House for 10
minutes (fully protected). When the General Manager found out
that I had visited Kimber House, he sent an email to all the
staff about his disappointment. The second time was when
I heard that a big order had arrived on the Friday 4th December,
so I went into Kimber House after 6pm as I wanted to finish
the 50 backlog orders before I left to travel to the Netherlands
for the cremation on Sunday 6th December. When I heard the boxes
were in on the 4th December, I emailed Lauran Gallacher to say
I will be in after work to collect them - I then saw her reply
after I went in at 6pm that I was not allowed to do so. I prepared
all those orders to be collected by Cherina Scarrott on Monday
7th December from my house as our son couldn't come with us.
The cremation was on 8th December and on the 9th I received
the invite to the disciplinary investigation
meetings by email whilst I was still in the Netherlands."
The disciplinary process was then carried out by an HR consultant
engaged by the Club.
The disciplinary process then ground on with investigation meetings
causing considerable mental stress for Ineke Sherman at a time
when she was still grieving the loss of her mother (who passed
away on the 1st December 2020) and also for Colin Grant, plus
two other Kimber House staff members who were involved. But
when four directors of the Club became aware they had in effect
been kept in the dark over the disciplinary process, as it had
been handled by a trio of Club officers, and that a final dismissal
letter was about to be issued, they demanded an emergency Board
meeting so they could obtain adequate information and discuss
the case properly with all members of the EC, and vote on the
issue of any dismissal and warning letters. That Board meeting
was held at which the issue of the disciplinary letters to the
members of staff was approved by a vote which was only passed
with the Club Chairman using his casting vote. Ineke Sherman
has since received a formal dismissal letter and Colin Grant
a warning letter for not reporting Ineke had entered the building.
Sherman has since started a dismissal appeal and demanded the
appeal be heard by an independent consultant and not the HR
consultant that undertook the original disciplinary investigation
that lead to her dismissal. The Club has confirmed it has appointed
an independent HR consultant to carry out the dismissal appeal.
We understand Ineke has made a Subject Access Request (SAR)
which is a written request to a company or organisation asking
for copies of personal data and any other supplementary information
that organisation holds about you. It is a legal right everyone
in the UK has.
Serious concerns over the management and governance of the
Following the vote at the emergency Executive Committee meeting,
three directors then resigned in protest at such a draconian
decision and concern with the poor standards of governance of
the Club. They felt that clearly experienced managers would
have handled the disciplinary matter much better through discussion,
a verbal warning and not in such a disproportionate way. Those
three directors have subsequently sent a Joint Statement to
all Council Members describing their serious concerns over the
management and governance of the Club, not least the unsatisfactory
handling of the disciplinary process.
Question and Answer Sheet Issued by Club Office
This stated that disciplinary decisions were made at a meeting
of the Executive Committee but that is not correct, Ineke
was telephoned by the Club Chairman prior to the emergency
Executive Committee meeting and was told she would be dismissed
the following week unless she resigned first which would enable
her to receive a better reference. Q&A
sheet with responses
the Officers acted on professional HR advice how can they
No one but the Officers has seen this advice or the statements
on which it was based, and the resigning directors considered
it very questionable, as stated above. Other HR professionals
we have consulted consider it frankly bizarre that going into
work, even against instructions, should be considered gross
misconduct. In any event, the role of advisors is to advise
and the inhumane decision to sack Ineke was taken by the Executive
Committee at the emergency Executive Committee meeting, only
with the chairman using his casting vote.
the decision was taken by the Executive Committee why is this
A wise group of officers, faced with opposition to a proposal
by half the Executive Committee would take some time to consider
their position further, but the Chairman pushed through the
decision using his casting vote.
for a Council Meeting by seven Council Members
statements and raising questions for the Council Meeting
When the more serious concerns emerged over the management
of the Club and its governance, the group of Council Members
issued a formal call for a Council Meeting to the Executive
Committee on 16th February 2021 and, in parallel, also a requisition
for a General Meeting to the Executive Committee. With no
reply from the Executive Committee to either, two reminders
were sent but again with no reply from the Executive Committee.
So on 4th March 2021 the group of Council Members issued a
formal letter to the Executive Committee confirming that with
their failure to make a reply, the Council Members would themselves
arrange for the Council Meeting to be held on Saturday 27th
March 2021. Those arrangements are being made but, because
of the Covid restrictions in England, the meeting will be
held as an online meeting. Members of the Executive Committee
are entitled to attend the Council Meeting.
have both a Council Meeting and a General Meeting been called?
It was hoped that a strong expression of opinion at the Council
Meeting would persuade the Officers to change course, but
their completely intransigent attitude and refusal even to
enter into discussions leaves no alternative to holding a
General Meeting at which they can be removed and replaced.
The General Meeting will be on Saturday
17th April 2021 at 11am.
will represent your CRB at the Council Meeting?
In advance of the meeting we need to know which Council Member
will represent your CRB and will be your Voting Member there.
Access to the online meeting will only be available to eligible
applicants who have made a registration and have returned
their online registration form to the Meeting Arranger not
later than noon on 25th March 2021. The link to the online
registration form is at:
Any Council Member attending the meeting who wishes to make
a statement or raise a question for the online meeting will
need to have sent it in ahead of the meeting to the Meeting
Arranger setting out briefly their statement or the question
they wish to ask, by not later than noon on 25th March 2021.
The form for submitting statements or questions is available
to statements or questions
In most cases the Meeting Arranger will endeavour to obtain
a reply to both statements and questions ahead of the meeting
so they can also be made available online for fellow Council
Members and Guests speaking at the Council Meeting
The procedures above for having any questions and statements
posted online ahead of the meeting together with any replies
will enable all Council Members to contribute to the meeting.
Following a brief introduction to the meeting by the chairman
who will then hand over the proceedings to the Meeting Manager
who, coordinating with the Meeting Arranger, will open the
next section of the meeting (no longer than two and a half
hours) when questions and statements can be made by Voting
Members and Guests and any responses follow. The Meeting Manager
will invite each speaker to go live for up to 4 minutes, then
they will be muted when either a response follows or the meeting
moves on to another question or statement. The meeting will
move to a vote on the single "no confidence" motion.
are the arrangements for the online Council Meeting?
The final details to enable each Council Member to access
the Zoom meeting and access code will be sent to Council Members
and Council Guests who have registered to attend the meeting
by 25th March 2021 before the meeting.
of events for the Council Meeting
info for voting and non voting members for the Council Meeting
Instructions Help and Etiquette for the Council Meeting
are the Council Members who have called this Council Meeting?
Paul Snee, Chairman, Caledonian Centre
Paul Goodman, Chairman, Cockshoot Cup
John Watson, Chairman, MGB Register
David Rainsbury, Treasurer, NW Centre
Danny Cusworth, Secretary, Speed Championship
Noel Lindford, Secretary, Tyne-Tees Centre
Victor Smith, Chairman, V8 Register
is making the technical arrangements for the online meeting
as Meeting Arranger?
Lorraine Noble-Thompson is arranging the Zoom meeting arrangements
and will manage them at the meeting, including the voting
procedure, liaising closely with the Meeting Manager.
will be the Meeting Manager at the General Meeting?
Dave Tynan will manage the proceedings following the precedent
set at the Club's AGM earlier in 2021. During the meeting
he will coordinate with the Meeting Arranger to enable members'
voting on the single motion.
level of support for the steps taken by the five Council Members
have fellow Council Members indicated?
Support has flowed in from a growing majority of fellow Council
Members promptly following the emails sent to all CRBs with
news and updates from the five Council Members. Currently
some 29 (76%) of the 38 CRBs have indicated their support.