Friday, 21 January 2011

SLGA/SGU Amalgamation (Cont)

There may be many who wonder in a vague, disinterested sort of way what an East Vets Blog has to do with the SLGA/SGU Amalgamation. Why has it dominated the last three entries? There are two reasons that come to mind, the first being that there is next to nothing to fill a blog with since winter is still here. Most people will be struggling to play much quality golf at the moment with fairways frozen, flooded, water-logged or at best muddy not to mention the need for no winter greens if the pleasures of the short-game are one's want. Your committee is busy at work getting the fixture list to the printers and then at least if one cannot golf, one can start filling up one's diary.

The other reason is, that although the average "vet" does not consider this amalgamation will make any difference to her - and this probability did in fact come out of the AGM last week - the average vet pays indirectly into the SVLGA coffers, to help finance the annual Vets Jamboree amongst other things. The SLGA (bless their cotton socks) at present, give a very generous donation, without which maybe each and every vet might be asked to pay more in their subscription. (The fact that this might be less than a (big) bag of chips is not the point). The question is, when the amalgamation goes through - and the general opinion is that it will, at some point or another - the question is, will Scotland Golf Limited continue - or be able in a still uncertain financial climate - to hand over this not inconsiderable contribution. So having established this connection between vets and the amalgamation there might as well be further comment on the process so far.

The SLGA AGM took place in Perth last Saturday. The agenda was gone through with speed and efficiency, all of which was reported in brief in Kirkwoodgolf. And hence to AOCB. Word had leaked that there was the possibility that this would be skipped over with undue haste, in fact not given the time of day and the meeting closed peremptorily without giving any time for uncomfortable questions to be raised about the amalgamation. Therefore within seconds of the word AOCB, hands waved in the air. But as it turned out this was quite unnecessary as Shona Malcolm (Chairman) Sheila Hartley (CEO) and Lynne Terry (Finance Director) had a presentation all ready, although none of it was new as presumably all there had read "The Proposal" at some time or another. The very first question asked "why the rush" and "why not defer this till all points of contention or non-clarity have been dealt with". This would "get things right " straightaway rather than finding considerably down the line that ladies were stuck with issues which should have been resolved earlier or, as one delegate succinctly spouted "Act in haste, repent at leisure".

Thereafter the main issues that were raised had to do with cost,continued funding,the timing of this process in uncertain financial times, perceived benefit and ensuring that nothing was rushed through without adequate consultation such that the ladies were left without a feeling of ownership.

Shona was at pains to assure those present that the proposal was of course a "broad brush" and that something had to be produced which would be the starting block for discussion. We would be expecting therefore that the revamped proposal would incorporate all the questions and doubts that were aired both at this AGM and in the case of the East, the excellent roadshow which was conducted by the previous SLGA representative, Lorna Bennett. Bearing in mind the animated discussion at Perth and at Kingsknowe, it is somewhat surprising that Shona described the feedback she received from the delegates as being "nearly totally positive". It would be difficult indeed to attach this description to either the AGM or the roadshow attended. This would indicate a certain degree of denial on the part of the Amalgamation Management Committee which does not augur well for an renewed and acceptable proposal. Presumably that was a slip of the tongue.

One hopes that this does not tie in with the statement of the SGU CEO Hamish Gray who was quoted in the Scotsman as saying "as with any change, not everyone is 100 per cent agreed with how to do it" (agreed) but "everyone is unanimous that amalgamation is something we should be doing". It is to be wondered where he got this statistic from. It is suggested that "everyone" won't be reading this blog, hasn't given a thought about amalgamation and hasn't heard of those presuming to speak for them. Those who have interested themselves in all aspects of this proposed amalgamation have not got their heads stuck in the sands of time. They are well able to make their minds up when all the facts are known but on the other hand they do not wish to be patronised. They are not going to turn their faces away from this amalgamation simply because it is new but they do want to be able to make an informed decision. They are aware and grateful for the immense amount of work which has already gone into this process. We all want Scottish golf to have the very best future. Let's do it properly.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

SLGA Annual General Meeting 2011

Ladies remember that the SLGA AGM is in Perth this coming Saturday at 11am. It promises to be even more exciting than usual, providing of course that questions on the proposed Amalgamation with the SGU are given a good airing. Hopefully the snow will keep away and there is nothing to prevent a good vocal turn-out. The venue is the Dewar Centre in the Gannochy Suite, Glover Street, Perth PH2 0TH. Car parking is available but it is only a 5 minute walk from rail and bus stations. To see the agenda, the minutes of 2010, the audited accounts etc all can be seen on the SLGA website.

Be of good cheer. All this weather cannot last forever and those of you who would like a few winter holes (to try out all these handwarmers in mouth-watering colours which you were persuaded to buy from the centre stalls at the Gyle Centre, not to mention all the lovely warm woollies and simmits you got for Christmas) all can get out there on the course. A very good New Year to everyone.