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Al321
12-10-2013, 20:39
As my work has slacked off over recent years,(joys of self employment!) I have needed to make a fair amount of cutbacks..one being I allowed my full membership to lapse and become a free member until things improve.

One of the things ive enjoyed about this site is the organised meets, meeting some great people on them, and had looked forward to going to more of them too.

However this morning ive received an email from wildcamping/admin saying..

"Hello Al321,

I have couple of things that I want to bring up this week.

The first is an important point about member meets. If there is a member meet that is held using our Exemption Certificate it can ONLY be attended by Full Members. This is not a restriction that has been set by me. Natural England issued the certificate and they said that only "Full Members" are allowed. This rule applies to all online forums that hold certificates, only "paying members" can attended."

It goes on to say at the end "This is an email sent to all free members so please do not take anything as being personally aimed at you"

Of course don't take it personal lol..rules are rules. And hope to renew my full membership in due course..but in the meantime can someone explain what a Exemption certificate is...and if all the wc meets use the exemption certificate? or are there any that don't..

thanks in advance :)

gaz2676
12-10-2013, 20:49
wotcha al
happen me n you ll just camp anyway what the hell they wont shoot ya ...will they ???
need to get hold of your email address cos ive lost your business card ...ya dont say pmsl ...
and now we finally have connections at our new address i can again join to the www i can send them fantastic pics... I me not you me.... took of the stoneythings in yon field that day...but like i say send me yer email... if you pm on the other site.. ssshhh
this message might not self destruct in .....

Al321
12-10-2013, 20:54
wotcha al
happen me n you ll just camp anyway what the hell they wont shoot ya ...will they ???
need to get hold of your email address cos ive lost your business card ...ya dont say pmsl ...
and now we finally have connections at our new address i can again join to the www i can send them fantastic pics... I me not you me.... took of the stoneythings in yon field that day...but like i say send me yer email... if you pm on the other site.. ssshhh
this message might not self destruct in .....

Lol,,,cheers mate..we can always camp down the road a bit then...that should put us in the clear!!..

Twas a great meet at Stonehenge...and a great laugh..will need to send you my email via another site" as free membership doesn't allow private messages

Your (both)the best !

Smaug
12-10-2013, 21:22
An exemption certificate (from govt?) is required for ad hoc meets on sites that do not have planning permission as camping sites. It's actually a bit more complicated, but it's what allows clubs to have CLs or CSs for members (you know, the 5 pitch sites with basic facilities).

Mind you the MCC CLs happen to be open to non-members as well as members, so it isn't necessarily a requirement of the exemption cert, but maybe it's easier to get the cert if you say "members only".

Admin
12-10-2013, 23:15
Hello,

It has always been the case that meets that require us to use our "Exemption Certificate" are only open to Full members. It just seems that this is not fully understood by some members.

Most of the meets that are arranged by members do not require us to use this, so free members are welcome.

The use of the exemption also means that we have to follow strict rules about how the vehicles are parked and we must have a marshal.

As far as Natural England are concerned "free forum memberships" do not qualify as been a member of a club. They set the rule that only "Full Members" my attend.

Unless the event is run by one of our authorised Marshals then it is not an official meet. We will state in the meet thread which meets are official and can only be attended by Full Members. We cannot charge Full members for attending the meets, so any meet where a fee is paid for overnight camping is not an official meet. If a venue does charge then it is their liability not ours.

I am just covering my back by informing all current free members of these rules. A situation has occurred recently that has forced me to do this.

Phil

mariesnowgoose
13-10-2013, 05:16
Note that many, if not all, of the meets I've either attended or arranged did not require an exemption certificate.

They were held in locations that were already covered by other means, e.g. pubs/campsites or other special venues who already have their own license for this sort of thing.
Life's complicated enough and it makes the job a lot easier, is all :p :lol-053:

Free members are definitely welcome to attend any of the meets I've had a go at organising :)

Look forward to meeting some of you at future shindigs! ;) :wave:

Tbear
13-10-2013, 06:34
I am not going to pretend to understand the law but the meets at Lynden Top, Rutland Water, you can come as an independent and park next to us if the certificate is used.

Richard

Smaug
13-10-2013, 08:47
Thx for the clarification, even if it is still sometimes a little hazy!

MORGANTHEMOON
13-10-2013, 08:51
My meets are open to free members because I believe once they've been on a meet the join up anyway.

It actually promotes the WC forum.

wildman
13-10-2013, 09:08
Hello,

It has always been the case that meets that require us to use our "Exemption Certificate" are only open to Full members. It just seems that this is not fully understood by some members.

Most of the meets that are arranged by members do not require us to use this, so free members are welcome.

The use of the exemption also means that we have to follow strict rules about how the vehicles are parked and we must have a marshal.

As far as Natural England are concerned "free forum memberships" do not qualify as been a member of a club. They set the rule that only "Full Members" my attend.

Unless the event is run by one of our authorised Marshals then it is not an official meet. We will state in the meet thread which meets are official and can only be attended by Full Members. We cannot charge Full members for attending the meets, so any meet where a fee is paid for overnight camping is not an official meet. If a venue does charge then it is their liability not ours.

I am just covering my back by informing all current free members of these rules. A situation has occurred recently that has forced me to do this.

Phil

There are some slight misunderstandings in there Phil. Natural England do not stipulate members have to be paid members, the insurance companies do. So its an insurance problem not natural England. (however it is only fair that those who pay for the insurance are the only ones who attend).

Also any member may act as an Authorised marshal they only have to be there at the time. Natural England lay down rules for use of the exemption certificate which include vehicle spacing for health and safety reasons. (These rules must be obeyed or the insurance is invalid as well). There is no reason why you cannot charge for attending meets if you so wish. you cannot transfer insurance liability by saying a paid meet exempts you it all depends on where the meet is held. Meets held at events and motorhome shows are different you come under their insurance and licences.

An exemption certificate must be used even on a CL if the numbers attending exceed the licence held by the land owner.

Smaug
13-10-2013, 09:17
may I suggest that this summary of Meet "rules" or conditions be put on a sticky?

Al321
13-10-2013, 11:08
Thank you the explanations..

I at least understand a little more about it now..think as the email I received only made the two quotes I copy and pasted about the situation I was unclear if I or any free members would be able to attend any or most future meets..

Don't want to open up a can of worms here,as it may only complicate things..suffice it to say someone would tell us if we,re not allowed to come.

Many thanks,and hope to catch up with some of you soon :)

Admin
13-10-2013, 11:54
Hello,

I must point out that special terms have been placed on our exemption that and it states " Full Members only" I will scan and post this just for clarification.

I will contact NE this week to clarify the no charging rule as I have read all the terms but cannot find it. It could just be that I am going mad in my old age.

DO NOT PANIC as I said most meets do not require use of the exemption certificate and if they do it will be stated. I am just try to make sure that I am covered.


Phil

Jillygumbo
13-10-2013, 12:04
Hi Al

I did try to contact you about the Eastnor meet that took place a couple of weeks ago, but I never got a reply. Tried your email too. You would have been welcome to join us because Eastnor is an open campsite and you can just turn up. Although we were a 'meet' we were really just a group of friends camping together in an excellent location that happens to be a campsite.

Hope you can make it next year.

Al321
13-10-2013, 20:06
Hi Al

I did try to contact you about the Eastnor meet that took place a couple of weeks ago, but I never got a reply. Tried your email too. You would have been welcome to join us because Eastnor is an open campsite and you can just turn up. Although we were a 'meet' we were really just a group of friends camping together in an excellent location that happens to be a campsite.

Hope you can make it next year.

Hi Jill,

Aaah ,Thank you for the thought Jill..didn't get any message from you on here tho.. probably its cos I,m now a free member I don't get private messages anymore.
Would of come,as really enjoyed the last one!..and that firework display was amazing!!

My email address is still the same..hope you didn't forget the dot between the names! Will see if I can find yours and contact you about further meet ups

Chat soon Al :)

Firefox
13-10-2013, 21:56
Any meets I organise will not require the WC exemption certificate and both free and full members will be welcome :)

John Thompson
14-10-2013, 07:02
Natural England's Guidance as published 2010


Paragraph 6: Meetings Organised by Exempted Organisations
Under this exemption an organisation may use a site for a meeting of its members, lasting not more than 5 days (see Frequently Asked Question Number 14). Additionally:

The meeting must be supervised by a member of the organisation appointed for the purpose.

Non-members are not permitted to attend such meetings.


•Paragraph 6 – only for members of the organisation holding the meeting. Membership must have been given in advance of attending meetings and must be for a longer period than that associated with attendance at only one event (usually for a full year). Both the individual and the organisation must enter into a membership agreement with the intention that it is to run its full course (although there may be genuine reasons why an individual does not remain a member for the full term). An arrangement to give prospective members a trial to see what an organisation is like by inviting them to attend a meeting or by granting “temporary” membership is not allowed.

Phil a lot of the officers at NE do not actually understand the Act and take guidance from the meetings with the big two clubs and ACCEO. A lot of their so called rules are just club rules they try to impose on everyone.

I have stood my ground on a few issues like this with NE as an exemption certificate holder for another club and won.

There is no need for payment to be a member of any club. Intention is all that is needed. As has been said however, someone has to pay for the insurance. Payment to attend also has no bearing unless that is used to cover expenses.

With paragraph 6 (the one this group holds) the Members only rule applies, but for paragraph 4 (28 day THS) and paragraph 5 (CL/CS) non members can attend events organised. It states this clearly in the guidance notes.

Smaug
14-10-2013, 08:58
Natural England's Guidance as published 2010


(snip)

•Paragraph 6 – only for members of the organisation holding the meeting. Membership must have been given in advance of attending meetings and must be for a longer period than that associated with attendance at only one event (usually for a full year). Both the individual and the organisation must enter into a membership agreement with the intention that it is to run its full course (although there may be genuine reasons why an individual does not remain a member for the full term). An arrangement to give prospective members a trial to see what an organisation is like by inviting them to attend a meeting or by granting “temporary” membership is not allowed.

(snip).

By that para 6 definition, our Free Members are clearly also members as they have entered an agreement by REGISTERING to the site. Full members may pay for extra facilities - a higher class of membership, but we are ALL members of the forum.

No-one is granted a "trial period" for a meet, and free membership is not a trial period either, it is just the basic form of membership. I cannot see how we can possibly exclude a significant part of our membership under that rule. Surely there has been some misunderstanding?

Incidentally, this does not prevent the Meet organiser choosing to exclude someone who may be considered a troublemaker or nuisance (like me for example :rulez:)

Admin
14-10-2013, 11:32
Here is the letter stating clearly that Full Members only may attend meets.

17692

wildman
14-10-2013, 12:24
I suppose then it depends how you define full members. It cannot be down to having paid membership fees according to Natural England or they would not issue exemption Certificates to non fee paying organisations.
I suspect it could get a bit complicated for paperwork etc so just thinking aloud. All this licence malarky can get very involved. I notice someone said about meets in pub car parks, well the pubs do not hold an exemption certificate or campsite licence generally though I doubt the general public (and that includes pub landlords) know that and subsequently it never gets challanged.
As its the land owners responsibility to ensure appropriate licences are in place there is no comeback on members holding meets there.

Admin
14-10-2013, 12:30
The term Full Members means full members of this site, this was explained to me in a phone conversation. Sharon Sharpe joined this site and monitored it before my cert was approved.

Smaug
14-10-2013, 13:01
All seems very unpleasant really. Her interpretation does not fit the facts of the Natural England rules (as posted earlier) nor the actual operation of this forum. Looks like she has made an unsustainable assumption to me.

But what the heck, I am unlikely to be attending meets anyway as they are not the wife's "thing". She prefers us to get away somewhere on our own & I don't mind that.

I'm really not trying to cause trouble, just puzzled by the strange assumptions. It isn't really any of my business how the forum is run, I'm just pleased it is here for a bit of a chinwag.


EDIT: why not ask her to read this thread & comment on why she made the assumption that our non-paying members are simply on a short-term trial membership, when in fact they are simply long term members who don't want access to the PoI's or PMs?

Firefox
14-10-2013, 13:35
Just redefine Free Members as Full Members, and Full Members as Full Members+ or something like that.

Problem solved. The Free members who attend meets are usually long term members, just as committed to the site, but can't afford extra outgoings at that time.

Smaug
14-10-2013, 13:56
Just redefine Free Members as Full Members, and Full Members as Full Members+ or something like that.

Problem solved. The Free members who attend meets are usually long term members, just as committed to the site, but can't afford extra outgoings at that time.

Pro members, Special members, Retail members, full rights members, Extra rights members, subscribed members, Premium members, the list is almost endless, but the outcome solves any unpleasantness of barring people from certain meets. I like the last one as they have paid a premium & have a premium service. Just an idea for discussion.

maxi77
14-10-2013, 14:32
Pro members, Special members, Retail members, full rights members, Extra rights members, subscribed members, Premium members, the list is almost endless, but the outcome solves any unpleasantness of barring people from certain meets. I like the last one as they have paid a premium & have a premium service. Just an idea for discussion.

It has already been pointed out that the serpent who deals with this has already joined the site and knows how things are run. Just changing names changes nothing. On the other hand I am sure that it is not beyond the wit of man to dream up a new constitution where any one who joins the site is a full member in serpent speak and the present full members become full members with benefits.

wildman
19-10-2013, 18:56
I could swear I already replied to this but here it is again.
It is quite unfair to refer to Sharon Sharpe as a Serpent, both she and Paul Ackers who manage the exemption certificates for Natural England work within the guidelines they are presented with. I have always found them both to be very helpful and not the jobsworth type of public servant one sometimes come across. Their sole job is to help applicants and they do it admirably. The problem is obviously in the definition of full member as their criteria does not include payment of a membership fee or other non fee paying clubs would not get a licence.

maxi77
19-10-2013, 21:32
I could swear I already replied to this but here it is again.
It is quite unfair to refer to Sharon Sharpe as a Serpent, both she and Paul Ackers who manage the exemption certificates for Natural England work within the guidelines they are presented with. I have always found them both to be very helpful and not the jobsworth type of public servant one sometimes come across. Their sole job is to help applicants and they do it admirably. The problem is obviously in the definition of full member as their criteria does not include payment of a membership fee or other non fee paying clubs would not get a licence.

Sorry but serpent has nothing to do with the post holders goodness or lack of it. In this case she applies the rules, she knows our present structure, thus to change the way things are we must change in a proper way so she can see the rules are being complied with. Simples

In reality I am impressed that she has taken the time to understand the organisation

Al321
19-10-2013, 22:22
If free members cant attend the occasional meet because of the use of an exemption certificate ..then that's something we may have to except.

Maybe someone can throw some light on a recent problem...Something weird seems to be happening lately to my account here.. almost every time I try to "like" a comment,a message from the webpage tells me I,m logged out!..even tho I,m logged in,and wont allow it..also it says ive "liked" a comment that calls the lady from natural England a serpent..this for the record I did not put a "like" to. And it wont let me "unlike" it! as it says im not logged in.. Seems really odd!?

Pedalman
19-10-2013, 23:52
I have not yet become a full member but have often thought about it. I dont use the forum much but I would become a full member. The main thing stopping me is the reports I read of the difficulties of getting the POIs onto a computer and therfore a sat nav.
I am not very good with computers and a technical numpty, what is the EASY way of getting the poi onto the sat nav ?

Al321
20-10-2013, 09:23
Hi Pedalman, Like you I had no clue..tho did manage to get it on to the computer..but was baffled on how to get it on to the sat nav..fortunately a computer savvy member loaded it on for me at a meet..took a fair while mind,but that coulda been due to a mobile connection.
Best ask on here if your sat nav make and model are suitable first,as seem to remember reading not all of them are. Believe theres a member on here that will do them for free if you send and pay the postage..sure someone will tell you more info soon..if not ask again


On a separate note..in my last post I mentioned I couldn't "unlike" a post that somehow had a "like" from me attributed to it.. Shoulda mentioned haven't got a problem with the post itself one way or the other..just I wouldn't of put a like to it. something odd as Ive been getting logged out when trying to like" stuff over the last few days ..
Wondered if I,d annoyed someone high up"! lol

wildman
20-10-2013, 10:15
is it possible that only FULL members can use the like button, no idea


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