Following my first post in this thread and, as it’s difficult to predict when the minutes will be posted on the LERC website, below are the supplementary comment that went alongside Rob’s letter of resignation and then the question I submitted to the committee in light of Rob’s letter. In due course, when Rob’s letter is available with the minutes you will see the context in which I was prompted to respond.
Rob’s commitment to LERC has been immense. The club would not be where it is today without the lion’s share of its work – conducted mostly in the background - having been done by him. The scale of future commitment and hard work required to fill the considerable ‘shoes’ that Rob is vacating should not be underestimated. Rob has given plenty of notice of his departure in order for the legacy of his tenure at the club to be continued seamlessly by others. Rob’s vision in transforming the club into the success it has become today in championing access to running for all abilities, making LERC a major player in the organisation of events in the region and making it a force to be reckoned with locally and nationally should not be lost.
The committee has been given clear guidance by Rob on the way forward regarding the duties he is stepping down from. It may be that the committee has resolved them all in one go at the committee meeting on Tuesday 17th – in which case, my fears are allayed and hats off to the committee for acting with good haste. However, I cannot be sure of that. Many of Rob’s duties are ongoing requiring attendance at meetings and organisation of events or programmes and so must have personnel in place quickly – ie now. If the committee did not reconcile Rob’s duties with a new ‘manager’ / post-holder at the meeting, then problems, some serious could lie ahead – the clock is ticking. If, as in previous years, the next committee meeting is not held until November, then there is only the AGM in October to sort issues out – but by then it’s too late – unless the committee have already agreed to another meeting before then to address anything left unresolved.
Rob’s duties each need a permanent representative to cover them and not by some ad hoc rotation of individuals – many of the organisations Rob met with have relationships forged out of long-term mutual recognition of trust, shared values and direction of travel and it would be a travesty if that was lost by not having stability in these positions. Equally, as Rob intimates in his letter, if the committee looks for change or cannot manage Rob’s former duties and decides to discontinue some of them, then it could alter substantially the nature of LERC for some time. If change is thought to be necessary then the members of LERC need to decide if that is what they collectively want. The committee are not mandated to change the nature of the club without informing LERC members and that must be by the best method, most likely a Special General Meeting – and neither should the club sleep-walk into change because provision hasn’t been made to cover Rob’s duties and so they’re all shelved as the ‘easy option’.
If the committee has all of Rob’s duties covered then I’ll be relieved and happy to hear ‘we told you so’. But, I’m not so sure. If the sceptics amongst you believe I have an ulterior motive, then you would be right; I am a custodian of the club, as we all should be. It is that I have great attachment to this club and the runners in it and I want to see it continue to thrive and not see Rob’s labours having got us this far being lost - I’m as proud as I ever was to wear a LERC vest as I was racing in it last night. If it’s thought I’m taking a ‘sledge-hammer to a nut’ with this issue, then that might be right and very happy to be proved wrong, but if it turns out I am right, I don’t want to be the one saying 'I told you so'.
Committee, please act promptly, do the right thing(s), keep this great club on track and aim to reassure - and even if that is only me.
Thanks, Rob for everything you’ve done for the club, smoke me a kipper and home for tea and medals!
Supplement to Rob’s letter of resignation:
"I will make my decision on whether to continue as team manager for the LERC Nottinghamshire XC team on the outcome of how the committee intend to fulfil and continue the obligations that Rob has maintained on behalf of the club. Secondly, my decision will also be dependent upon the response of the committee to Rob stepping down from his numerous positions, I - and I'm sure many at the club - would like to know and be reassured about the club's future direction especially one that will require strong, active and decisive leadership involving high levels of hard work and accountability. I will continue to support Rob and LERC in the BMAF XC relays in October."
Question submitted to LERC committee meeting 17th July 2018:
“In response to Rob Fox resigning his club duties the committee must act swiftly. It may be that you have it all covered without issue but if not, then there is need to move quickly. The obvious interim solution would be that the current secretary or chairman takes over all Rob's responsibilities or they share them. Failing that, duties are shared amongst all the committee. These duties cannot wait until an AGM appoints in October as meetings and events Rob attended or organised are ongoing. Rob has intimated that change may be needed and so if that is decided, that too needs doing urgently. However, before that, the potential long-term implications for the nature and future of the club needs to be conveyed to club members - things cannot be left to drift. If the committee cannot respond within a suitable timeframe then it should consider convening a Special General Meeting of club members to resolve the situation - and this also as a matter of urgency. After the embarrassment of the London Marathon ballot fiasco and in-fighting within the Nomad event there has to be a unified, strong and clear plan by the committee to move forward. Whatever the committee decides, there are likely questions to be asked of it at the AGM.