Member clubs to vote on proposed reforms to England Athletics council structure

General meeting to be held on 30 January 2019 in London

After more than 12 months of internal and external review, discussion and debate, the England Athletics (EA) Board is proposing reforms to its Council structure. Some of the proposed changes require amendments to the company’s Articles of Association to be voted on by member clubs at a General Meeting to be held at 7pm at Holborn Bars on 30.1.19 in London, EC1N 2SW. For any formally designated Club Secretaries, Chairs and Club Officers unable to attend in person, a proxy vote can be formally completed and submitted.

All clubs are encouraged to use their vote to have their say on this important issue to help shape and deliver England Athletics’ vision to make athletics and running the most popular and inclusive sport in the country. Club members are also invited to speak to their club committee to make their views on this subject known to help inform the club’s decision on how to vote. Only individuals acting as the authorised representative of an England Athletics affiliated club or organisation are able to submit a vote on behalf of that club (individuals do not hold voting entitlements).

Chief Executive Officer Chris Jones shares: “By listening and consulting with our membership to understand what’s needed at a grassroots level to develop athletics and running, we are able to support our member clubs and athletes with for example, coach education and development opportunities, resources for clubs, competitions for athletes, participation activities, volunteer training and support, welfare and safeguarding support and general assistance as a membership body.

“Our current consultation method at a regional and national level provides a link to the Board to assist them in evaluating the needs and requirements of the sport when formulating proposals for consideration and action.  However, we have recognised that the structure of the information flow within this consultation process isn’t as clear, circular and comprehensive as it could be.

“As a result we are proposing to introduce these reforms to enhance the current system to make it easier for people to get involved, to enable each region’s views to be heard, and the needs of our grassroots clubs to be shared to help shape the work delivered by England Athletics via a clear, mandated consultative structure from the bottom up and the top down.”

The meeting paperwork and proposed new system and structure for our Regional Forums and National Council are available to view here together with:

Should the proposals be ratified on 30th January then the new system will take effect from April onwards following a process of regional elections to Forums. Should the proposals not be ratified on 30th January then the existing system will remain for the immediate future.

In either case, elections to the regional council or proposed new forum structure will need to be held in the period immediately following the General Meeting. This process will be announced immediately after 30th January and will take place during February and March.

Chris Jones concludes: “The biennial regional election process is an important component of our democratic governance structure and the election process will remain, irrespective of whether or not the proposed changes to our articles are ratified on 30th January. It is important that members note this. Central to the proposals is a desire to make the related structures, as well as the role of forum members better understood amongst our members.

“The timing of this general meeting is being driven by the demands of the upcoming election process, although we believe that there is also much to be said for getting on and implementing the proposed changes so that we do not unnecessarily delay the benefits they bring, in terms of both improved consultation and communication and of ensuring a wider and more diverse involvement in the election process.

We believe that these changes will encourage a larger number of members to become involved in the process with greater and more diverse participation from those involved across the whole sport.  This will enable us to build on the current structure in a constructive and logical way that will rapidly provide a clearer and more engaged and coherent voice for the EA membership and, in turn, a sport that is better positioned to meet its members' needs.”