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London Cocker Society AGM dispute rumbles on


LAST WEEK’S report on the AGM of the London Cocker Society and the removal of its chairman, Mrs Jennifer Lloyd Carey gave an account of events a fortnight ago which culmiated in Mrs Lloyd Carey being ousted.

OUR DOGS has now spoken to Frank Geraghty, Field Secretary, who has told us that the Field Section’s issues with Mrs Lloyd Carey centred on a report given by Mr Geraghty at last year’s AGM which ‘contained a large number of concerns and issues that the Field members were unhappy about. The report was later submitted to the Society for inclusion in the year book as well as for presentation in the minutes of the 2008 AGM’.


Mr Geraghty continued: ‘I was the only Field representative on the committee and as such had experienced some difficulty in attempting to move the Field Section forward. These difficulties resulted in the 2008 Special General Meeting held within the society.

‘A few days before the AGM having examined my copy of the yearbook it became immediately apparent that in my opinion, my report had been "doctored". The term "edited" cannot be used in any way shape or form. I was never asked, informed or consulted about any changes to my report prior to publication.

I was staggered that his "version" of my report was being presented in the yearbook and in the 2008 AGM minutes as a factual historical document of a Kennel Club registered society.

Questions

‘I reported the fact immediately to the General Secretary who denied all knowledge of the matter. The Chairman at that point e-mailed me and attempted to mollify me re the changes to the report. She was unable in any way to justify what she had done in my opinion and I informed her that I would be reporting the matter at the AGM.

‘Upon further examination of the minutes I noticed that there were other inaccuracies. A show member had asked the committee a number of questions which contained serious allegations against various society officers and committee members. The allegations were of such magnitude that they should have been listed in the minutes but they did not appear.

‘The arrangement to deal with these allegations was agreed with the questioner and the chairman at the AGM. The wording of the agreement was changed in the minutes to make it appear as non binding.

‘This is not the first time members have expressed disquiet about the accuracy of minutes. The minutes of our 2008 Special General Meeting do not tally with contemporaneous records taken at the SGM. These minutes deal with the formalisation of the Field Section within the society. They were accepted with "reservations" by the Field membership and they do not appear in the 2008 yearbook. At the time of writing the only members who have seen these minutes are those that were present at 2009 Field Section AGM. This is in my view unacceptable. This matter must appear in the yearbook as it is the historical record for the society.

‘At the 2009 AGM there were a number of Field Members present because of proposed rule changes which would have affected the future of the Field Section. They were largely unaware of the above matters.

‘Mrs Carey and others had I believe attempted through the dog press to rally the membership to attend the AGM which was being held directly after a show. One would think therefore that a large amount of show members would have stayed for the meeting. In fact Various members of the Committee left immediately after the show and other Society officers and committee members were absent.

‘At the beginning of the AGM when the minutes were presented I objected to them as they were not factual and, I felt, contained untruths. I then read out the huge swathes that had been deleted from my Field report. I then brought to the attention of the meeting the other inaccuracies contained in the minutes. I stated to the meeting that "I believed that this had been done by the Chairman to present an airbrushed and untrue version of the facts to the Society members and the outside world. I believe Mrs Carey has consistently attempted to thwart the aspirations of the Field Section and this appeared to be an attempt to continue in that vain. What had been done I feel was an attempt to deceive the membership, the society and the AGM. It was wrong and in my view she had brought the society into disrepute by her actions. At that point I proposed a vote of no confidence in the Chair. This was immediately seconded. The motion was carried by a large majority, voted for not just by "Field members" but many "Show members" as well.’

Closure

Mr Geraghty added ‘These matters may be taken further and outside of the society if that is thought to be necessary for final closure. Mrs Carey had an opportunity to step down prior to the AGM but refused to do so.

Whilst I take no pleasure in doing what had to be done it is interesting to note that several Show members congratulated me on the "ousting" of the chairman. I now hope that as Society we can put this behind us and move forward together under a new Chairman’.
Mrs Lloyd Carey told us: ‘After a busy show, the Annual General Meeting took place on Saturday, 14th February. A large lobby of the new Field Section attended the meeting. Many exhibiting members were unable to stay on.

‘An issue centred upon the Field report, given in full at the previous AGM. The lengthy report was later edited for publication purposes for the London Cocker Spaniel Society Yearbook 2008 and the Field Activities Secretary took exception to this. He proposed a vote of no confidence in the Chairman and with his large body of support this was carried. Subsequently, when the Election of Officers took place, the Chairman was not re-elected. There had been no new nominations for the position.

‘I can assure members that I have always acted in the best interests of the Society.’



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