IN AN attempt to increase the majority of the vote to the necessary two-thirds for a rule change, at their AGM next Thursday, Kennel Club members will be asked vote again on the principle of allowing Associate Members of five years standing to apply for membership of the Club without first having to be proposed and seconded by existing Members.
Writing in this months Kennel Gazette Chairman Mr Ronnie Irving made the following comments in a leading article:- Members of the Kennel Club at their AGM this month, will have an opportunity to support the General Committees proposal to widen the Clubs membership base.
What is that proposal? Simply put, it would allow Kennel Club Associates of five years standing to apply for membership of the Club without first having to be proposed and seconded by existing Members. Such a move would end the Clubs by invitation only status, and it is that action which is of such importance to the future role of the Club as a meaningful institution in todays world.
A similar proposal last year gained over 60% support but did not achieve the two thirds majority required. Since then I have written to solicit the views of all Members, but particularly those who voted against last time. Account has now been taken of the comments made and these are reflected in this years proposition.
Members are also being sent a very full Questions & Answers document explaining the detail of the proposal and the rationale behind it. In that document they have been advised:-
The General Committee is concerned that, to allow the Kennel Club to become an important mouthpiece for canine affairs, not only in Westminster and Whitehall, but increasingly in Europe and further afield, the Club needs greater credibility. Currently the Kennel Club simply cannot adequately demonstrate that it has a sufficiently open membership to achieve that end. There is also a concern that a number of worthy people may be being overlooked.
It is regarded by the outside world as unfair that membership is reserved to those few who are fortunate enough to be proposed and seconded by exiting Members. One need only look at the problems that have recently been faced by the Jockey Club to see the eventual plight which faces a club which wants to retain its position as a ruling body but refused to open up its membership to a wider base.
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