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Lancashire Heeler Club issued with directives

Ongoing concerns from the Kennel Club General Committee this week led to the Lancashire Heeler Club being issued with a set of directives, which have been put in place with an aim to help the committee to cooperate and manage its club effectively and responsibly.

The Lancashire Heeler Club was formed in 1978 to promote the breed and to gain Kennel Club recognition. Lancashire Heelers were recognised as pedigree dogs some three years later, in 1981.

The Club has been dngoingirected to hold the SGM as requisitioned, at a date and venue agreed by the majority of the committee and satisfactory to the requisitioners - it is to be convened by the secretary and if the secretary declines to issue the notice, the committee may take responsibility.


The move comes amidst allegations of abusive calls and disrespectful behaviour of some committee members, as well as a number of other concerns raised following the Club’s AGM, which was described by one member as ‘very noisy and interrupted’.

The KC has told the requisitioners of the SGM that they must accept that their names will be made known to the committee. If they are not prepared for this then they can withdraw from the requisition. However, should this mean that the remaining number of signatories falls below the requirement of the rules, there would be no meeting. To overcome this the General committee has suggested that if, as has been claimed, requisitioners are fearful of abusive telephone calls and they do not wish to be contacted by committee members they may simply state their preferences for dates of the meeting without entering into further discussion.

The fourth paragraph of the directive says that the club committee and officers must make clear to members the true date of the meeting and are requested to do so by 31st October, with a meeting taking place by the end of November. Also that there must be a press announcement of this, as well as notice to members as per the club rules.

A note on the Lancashire Heeler Club website states: ‘The committee have received a requisition for a Special General Meeting which will be held on Sunday 1st November at 11.00 am at The Jaguar Club, Coventry. Full details will be sent to ALL members in due course. Please note that this is not as previously advertised.’ It is signed the Lancashire Heeler Club Committee.


The Kennel Club also claims to have noted the tone of some of the exchanges of correspondence and has urged the officers and committee members try to maintain a neutral and respectful language in its dealings. It says, ‘The committee of a club is collectively responsible for club management and club officials should not assign responsibility for shortcomings upon individuals.
A further report will be made to the General Committee meeting on 17 November. Depending on the club’s progress, the General Committee will consider rescinding licences for the club’s forthcoming shows in 2010 and suspension of the club’s registered status.

Ian Gordon from Hampshire was the Club’s newsletter editor, and he too has voiced his concerns to OUR DOGS. He told us: ‘It appears that the situation has gone from bad to worse, cumulating in members writing to the club secretary to call an SGM in accordance with the club rules. This has now resulted in the Kennel Club writing to the club issuing directives to the club.

‘A group of members have already met to consider the way forward and looked at the earliest possible date which would allow the meeting to be held, given that it has to be advertised in the dog press some 14 days before the event. I appeal to all members of the Lancashire Heeler Club to join together for the good of our dogs and the club. Let us bury the past now we now have DNA testing for the only known hereditary condition in the breed we can move forward.

‘I am sure that if the club members do not work together at this time then the club will be de-registered by the Kennel Club which will result in the club winding up and if that happens then the threat will be that this vulnerable breed will be lost.’

OUR DOGS contacted Bill Simpson, Vice Chairman of the Lancashire Heeler Club. He declined to comment on the matter.