The UKPA has submitted its new constitution to its membership as it seeks ratification of it at its’ EGM to be held on the 25th of October. The change in the new constitution is the restructuring of the UKPA executive committee, from the 18 voting positions behemoth that it presently is, down to just 9 voting positions.

At present all the positions on the executive committee have a vote in all UKPA executive decisions and all executive members are meant to attend an executive meeting every month. Under the new constitution the only voting positions left would be the chairman, treasurer, secretary, chief executive officer and the 5 regional executive officers (equivalent to the current regional representatives). Positions such as the chief umpire, the director of coaching and the sport development officer move off the actual executive and become positions appointed by the executive itself, rather than by the voting membership. The membership as a whole would still vote for the chairman, the treasurer, the CEO and the secretary and the members within each UKPA region would vote for their regional executive officer.

So the big question on everyone lips is why? The main reasons were put forwards at the last AGM, when the new executive structure was voted for by the membership, and they were to streamline the executive and to stop all the executive members having to attend all executive meetings. By making positions such as the chief umpire non-voting the executive wants to allow these roles to concentrate on their job and not see them dragged into other areas of executive business, which are the responsibility of other officers.

Also, the executive hope that the slimming down of the actual voting executive will make the idea of doing a role for the UKPA more appealing, as you will not have to attend executive meetings. At present the UKPA struggles to fill all its’ roles; 3 of the 18 positions on the executive are vacant, over the last three years only 3 positions at the AGM have been contested by more than one person and on three occasions there have been no nominations for a post and it has been filled from the floor on the AGM day itself.

So will this new executive structure cause any problems? The executive officers who are having their voting rights removed seem to support the new structure and are not worried about the possible loss of influence. The one key thing about the new executive structure is the Regional officers (who will also be the chairman of their regional committees) see their influence and power increase greatly. Whereas before the five regional representatives made up only 28% of the executive vote they would now see that double to 56% of the vote. Therefore, the regions will need to make sure that they elect someone who will actually carry out the role and participate in executive decisions, and act as a link between the region, its’ members and clubs and the UKPA executive.

The other question on everyone lips is why, if the structure was voted through at the last AGM, is it necessary to ratify it now? The answer is that the structure was voted through at the last AGM but at that time the new formal constitution, including details of the new structure, was not drafted at that time and so could not be officially approved by the membership so the UKPA has to hold an EGM to ratify the formal constitution before it can hold the AGM this year.

So the final question, what will happen if the EGM successfully ratifies the new constitution and what will happen if it fails? Well, if the new constitution is ratified all the current executive stand down and temporarily appoint a small committee to run the UKPA for the month until the AGM is held and a new full executive can be voted for. The regions will also see their committees dissolved and will have to hold elections to vote in new committees and, most importantly, a Regional executive officer to sit on the executive.

And if the EGM fails to ratify the constitution? Well, the UKPA executive will hope that won’t happen but if it does it leaves the UKPA with its old constitution. It will have to hold the AGM under the old voting rules and there will still be 18 executive voting positions to fill.