After Soper's resignation there was an outcry from DBA members with many calling for an Extraordinary General Meeting to resolve the problem and some considering whether they would remain in an organisation that allowed the board to make fundamental changes to the organisation without taking account of the members' wishes.
After Soper stood down Penny Rickard was elected as Chairman, but she made no contact with the membership until more than a week after being elected when she emailed her CV to the members and said that she would be having a hand-over meeting with Andy Soper.
The Board then announced that Penny Rickard only took over the chair for that one meeting because no one else was willing to do so and they say that after considering carefully the many thoughts expressed by members during the past two weeks, the board has concluded that the expense of an EGM is not justified, nor would an EGM serve any useful purpose at this stage.
Soper returns to take the helm
|DBA Chairman, Andy Soper|
Picture by Bob Naylor©
The Board have also decided not to propose a resolution limiting the length of time a board member can serve but the subject will be on the agenda for discussion by the members. There will, however, be a vote on a motion to increase the number of directors from eight to nine with no change to the current voting powers which gives the chairman a casting vote but not an ordinary vote at Board meetings.
Paul Whitehouse, the DBA Treasurer said: "The Board recognises that tensions between its members have led to the present difficulties. Whilst there is a perception that on occasions the board is divided into two camps, there is a general recognition on the Board that the Directors, all of whom are independently minded, should, as is their usual inclination, follow and vote according to their own conclusions".
He said that board members are looking forward in a positive spirit towards resolving their differences and concluded by saying: "The Board is not paralysed, a great deal of effective work has and is being done and it does not believe that a rehashing of recent difficulties and the reasons for them would serve any useful purpose."
In a new turn in the saga the Vice Chairman, Guy Toye has contacted members to say that because a suggestion made at the board meeting that all directors stand down at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and seek re-election as 'the only way to clear the air in the current circumstances' was not accepted he said: "We reluctantly conclude that the only way to get all directors to do the honourable thing is to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting."
And because of the additional cost that can be incurred by an EGM he suggests that an EGM is held immediately before the next AGM to give members the opportunity decide on the suggestion.
The DBA constitution says that a call for an EGM must be supported by at least 10% of members and Guy Toye is calling on members to email the company secretary supporting the call.
Read: Shock resignation of Barge Association chairman at: htttp://kacanaltimes.blogspot.com/2011/09/shock-resignation-of-barge-association.html