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The communication issues within Chess Scotland appear to be getting worse.

We recently had great news recently with Clement and Andrew Burnett breaking the 2300 barrier but this was kept secret behind the barrier of the password protected forum, rather than it being announced publicly to the world.

It was decided at the 2013 AGM that the forum would be mixed, with some being private and some being open to the public. It took around a year for those minutes to be produced so it’s perhaps not a surprise that the will of the AGM has been ignored. The only thing that has been put on the public was the Commonwealth championship whereas, although not specified in the minutes, the consensus was that it should be a lot closer to 50:50.

On the subject of minutes, we are still waiting for the publication of the Junior Board meeting around a year after it apparently last met and the minutes of the last Council meeting around 2 and a half months ago.

I raised a question on the forum about the fact that the 2014 accounts had still not been published and was told “This was commented on at the council meeting - Guess you will need to wait for the minutes”. We are all still waiting.....

One director did respond to say that he didn’t know the reason for the delay in the accounts (and he was at the Council meeting) and there has been no other response or explanation as to why the accounts are now 5 months late. Is there some reason why the CS directors are unwilling to issue even draft accounts to members or give an explanation as to why a reason for the delay can’t be given? Is there a problem with the accounts or the finances?

There are a few directors who do use the forum well and they should be commended but some seem to take a perverse pleasure in refusing to communicate with members and answer their queries on the forum. They come across as arrogant and as if simple members are not important enough to converse with. This may not be the intention but a lack of communication can cause this impression.

We also had a member asking a question on the forum being advised to email the director. Why? Are we actually expecting every member to have to email the director to get the answer?
Many other members would want to know the answer and communication by the forum allows the information to be spread around easily.

Emails are not always the answer anyway as I have found out when volunteering for several things and not getting any sort of reply from more than one director.

Yes, we are all busy and have other calls on our time but the directors put themselves forward for their positions, standing against others in certain cases, and with that should be a willingness to answer questions and it can take a couple of minutes to answer a forum question.

Greater use of social media like Facebook and Twitter could be used to publicise both adult and junior events.

1. All minutes to be produced within a maximum of a 6 week period.
2. Move all existing forum sections to the public area
3. Create new private areas for General and Junior where contentious matters can be raised or threads can be moved to by moderators if they start to get contentious.
4. Create a new section in the private area for CS related matters.
5. All directors to use the forum to answer questions and give updates 2-3 times a year of what they have been up to and what is happening in their areas.

Apologies for the rant but it’s frustrating when poor communication seems ingrained in an organisation and even important matters like the finances are being hushed up.

Hopefully existing directors can take this on board as well as any new directors appointed later this year at the AGM and they can all look to improve the communication of the organisation to try and rebuild the bridges that have been broken partly due to communication issues and reinvigorate the relationship between CS and its members which can only be for the benefit of chess in Scotland.

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