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Thread: MOD geocaching policy

  1. #1

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    Default MOD geocaching policy

    MoD advised GAGB that they were considering their policy towards geocaching in December 2012. GAGB have informed and lobbied on the preparation of this policy over recent months and whilst this process is not yet complete, it is clear that physical caches will not be permitted. The reasons that they have been given are (verbatim):

    “a. National Security - It is not appropriate to encourage people to leave or conceal (marked or unmarked) packages on any part of the MOD estate as it contradicts all security procedures and could lead to false security alerts.

    b. Public Risk - the majority of the MOD training estate is a risk area where blank fire, pyrotechnics and smoke may be used even outside of the 'live fire' danger areas. The UXO danger is self evident in live ranges but also exists in dry training areas where individuals could inadvertently disturb, or harm themselves, on military debris whilst searching for (or hiding) geo-caches.”

    Negotiations are ongoing to consider if non-physical steps / virtual stages may be permitted, for example early steps of multi and puzzle caches, whereigo and Earthcaches. If this is permitted in locations with public access, then it may be possible to place some caches of these types (where appropriate a physical stage could be placed on non-MoD property), with appropriate safety messages on the cache pages.

    GAGB has advised Geocaching.com, Opencaching.com and Opencaching.org.uk listing sites (ie those listing sites which communicate with GAGB). MoD intend to review existing physical caches on MoD property regardless of whether they were placed originally with permission. Listing sites will make their own announcement about any further steps.

    Here is a google map drawn by Graculus to help identify boundaries.

    We will continue to negotiate on this and will advise of developments when appropriate.

  2. #2

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    This was recently brought up in the GS main forum here http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...owtopic=312093 I pointed the cacher to the GAGB forums and I think he's submitted a membership request.

  3. #3

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    The UK reviewing team have discussed this change of MOD policy and have decided that no caches will now be published on MOD land. More information in the UK Forum post http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...owtopic=312162

    Chris
    Graculus
    Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com
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  4. #4

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    Good luck policing that. As yet I cannot find a definitive database of all MOD land.... And I'm in the military!

  5. #5

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    Question What about letterboxing?

    Does the GAGB have any information as to whether the MOD are also banning letterboxing?

    Given the similarities to Geocaching it seems odd (and unfair) to ban one but not the other...

    What would happen if a letterbox were also a cache? Or if the information to find a cache outside the banned zone was hidden in a letterbox?


    Please note that I'm asking as a player and not as a reviewer (in which capacity I will continue to blindly do as I'm told!)


    Mike

  6. #6

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    Default

    I guess that letterboxes have been mentioned quite a bit, if
    GAGB have informed and lobbied on the preparation of this policy over recent months.

    So how did the MOD explain that anomaly? Also, in the Public Risk section, surely if there's public access to an MOD area then these risks exist whether or not there are geocaches.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Humphrey View Post
    I guess that letterboxes have been mentioned quite a bit, if
    So how did the MOD explain that anomaly? Also, in the Public Risk section, surely if there's public access to an MOD area then these risks exist whether or not there are geocaches.
    Anyone? Surely someone here was involved and asked the obvious questions?

  8. #8

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    Around our way there is a lot of MOD land. I live in Frimley, on the Surrey / Hants border.

    There are two main sets of ranges: Ash and Pirbright.

    Both Ash Ranges, and Pirbright ranges are surrounded by a Red flag zone. Funnily enough, this used to be known as the DANGER area. They even had signs up every so often saying DANGER. A few years ago all these signs were either removed or the words spraypainted out, but I digress.

    However, not all the MOD land is in these zones. They have a lot of land surrounding it too, where they do such things as orienteering, band marching practice and the like. They also allow running clubs and the like to use the land, and people can picnic there or forage in the woods for blackberries, bilberries, or mushrooms if they so desire.

    Within the red flag zone, in Ash Vale ranges, the public is permitted, when the flags aren't flying. Years ago there was a small area out back which was fenced off due to UXO, but that has since been cleared. There is cattle grazing there too.

    However, the Pirbright ranges are permanently out of bounds to the public. You couldn't get in if you tried, as there is a big barbed wire fence all around it. This is because there is an abundance UXO there.

    My point is, that the MOD are fully aware of where the dangers are, so any ban that is being put in place is not down to that. None of the local wardens I have spoken to over the last couple of days are even aware of this ban. They had no personal problem with geocaches either, provided common sense was employed.

    I said on the main geocaching forum that ordinary members can assist here, and I will repeat that sentiment here. We can check existing caches on MOD land to make sure they are not contravening byelaws, and we can practice cache-in trash-out. My main query with regards to this is who should we report contravening caches too?

    Oh, hello by the way. And thanks for the prompt assistance of the mods who helped sort out the problem with my account!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzbie View Post
    Around our way there is a lot of MOD land. I live in Frimley, on the Surrey / Hants border.

    There are two main sets of ranges: Ash and Pirbright.

    Both Ash Ranges, and Pirbright ranges are surrounded by a Red flag zone. Funnily enough, this used to be known as the DANGER area. They even had signs up every so often saying DANGER. A few years ago all these signs were either removed or the words spraypainted out, but I digress.

    However, not all the MOD land is in these zones. They have a lot of land surrounding it too, where they do such things as orienteering, band marching practice and the like. They also allow running clubs and the like to use the land, and people can picnic there or forage in the woods for blackberries, bilberries, or mushrooms if they so desire.

    Within the red flag zone, in Ash Vale ranges, the public is permitted, when the flags aren't flying. Years ago there was a small area out back which was fenced off due to UXO, but that has since been cleared. There is cattle grazing there too.

    However, the Pirbright ranges are permanently out of bounds to the public. You couldn't get in if you tried, as there is a big barbed wire fence all around it. This is because there is an abundance UXO there.

    My point is, that the MOD are fully aware of where the dangers are, so any ban that is being put in place is not down to that. None of the local wardens I have spoken to over the last couple of days are even aware of this ban. They had no personal problem with geocaches either, provided common sense was employed.

    I said on the main geocaching forum that ordinary members can assist here, and I will repeat that sentiment here. We can check existing caches on MOD land to make sure they are not contravening byelaws, and we can practice cache-in trash-out. My main query with regards to this is who should we report contravening caches too?

    Oh, hello by the way. And thanks for the prompt assistance of the mods who helped sort out the problem with my account!
    What we are currently facing, is the same situation as with the Royal Parks.

    For a large number of years, individual Park Managers, happily gave Permission for Geocaches. And in fact, quite a few of these were owned by a member of the Royal Parks Ground Staff.

    A Geocacher asked for Permission to place caches in Greenwich Park, and the Park Manager there refused. Initially quoting the fact that the Olympic Equestrian Events, were being held there. Even though that was several years in the future at that point.

    The Geocacher, then took his request to the Director of the Royal Parks, up to then, this person had not been aware of Geocaching, nor the caches within the Royal Parks properties.

    Without to the best of my knowledge, the Director did not consult with the Local Managers under him. Instead involved just the Royal Parks Police department [which is a Department within the Metropolitan Police Service]. And despite negotiations, applied a Total Ban on Geocaching, on Royal Park Properties.

    It would appear that local MOD Managers are happy for Geocaching to take place. But at a Senior Level, someone(s) are not prepared to allow Geocaching to take place.

    Unfortunately unless the Local Managers, are given specific permission by Senior Management, they can not Overrule Policy set at a Senior Management Level.

    It is at a Senior Management Level that we have to persuade, that suitably monitored, Geocaching is a appropriate activity to take place on some if not all of their properties open to the public.

    On a personal basis, I've come across a issue, where Management at a specific Level, can block activities allowed by Management at other levels.

    I have a County Council local to where I live, whose Parks and Countryside Rangers, highly support Geocaching [in fact they have for me personally, supported 2 requests for permission with other Landowners. Both successful]. Because County Hall is outside of the Main Town in the County, it is highly naturefied. So I wished to place one or two caches there.

    Initially Permission off the Estate Manager was not a issue, despite the fact that a Crown Court and also a Theatre are located within the precincts. It was only when he was instructed by a Senior Manager at the CC, to get the approval of the Councils Legal Department, that things fell apart. And a Refusal was made.

    So now there is a situation, with Staff at a CC, being highly supportive, and allowing Geocaching on CC property. But due to the fact the Councils Legal Department would have to approve any agreement. We can not enter into a Geocache Placement Agreement with them. So each cache, has to be individually approved, rather than covered by a Blanket Agreement.

    How we can move forward, is not something I can suggest. Appealing at a higher level, will as the Royal Parks showed us, just be referred back to the MOD for their consideration.

    Maybe getting local MP's involved in the discussions, pointing out the potential benefit Geocaching has, by bringing in visitors to a area, as part of the contact.

    Currently Groundspeak's Volunteer UK Reviewers, are the ones who will be the bad guys. Because we are aware of the Ban, put in place at a Senior Management Level. And knowing that this Ban has not yet been filtered down to a Local Management Level. Still have to refuse any future Cache Submission, even if a local MOD Manager has given Permission, unless that Local Manager, can confirm that Management at a Senior Level, have given permission to overrule the Ban. Because to ignore the Ban and Publish, could be putting that local Manager in a extremely awkward position, one that could affect the persons future employment within the MOD.
    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    Still have to refuse any future Cache Submission, even if a local MOD Manager has given Permission, unless that Local Manager, can confirm that Management at a Senior Level, have given permission to overrule the Ban. Because to ignore the Ban and Publish, could be putting that local Manager in a extremely awkward position, one that could affect the persons future employment within the MOD.
    Deci
    As I said elsewhere, it's up to us to make sure that the local manager is aware of the ban. Beyond that I don't see why we have to abide by an imaginary inflexible rule. So if the manager says "Thanks for warning me, I'm (now) aware of the ban but I give permission anyway" I really don't see why his competence has to be questioned in such an insulting way. Anyway, we can't tell what level the decision has to be made at. What if it's the Duke of Westminster's land? Do we have to insist on a signed letter from the Duke himself before we trust a decision?

    I'm reminded of the story about the Duke of Devonshire, who was strolling along the foot of Chatsworth Edge (before the days of open access in the Peak District), and was shown some rock climbers making their way up the crag. No doubt the gamekeeper would have seen them off, but the Duke merely murmured "Ah..climbers. Doing no harm, doing no harm" and gave them a friendly wave.

    How to progress. It's no surprise that involving senior management leads to a negative outcome. What's in it for them? No doubt the usual amount of time spent considering such trivial nonsense. If they are made aware of geocaching they aren't going to take the trouble to understand it fully, so they'll see it (quite rightly) as a bit of nuisance and a minor problem.

    As the GAGB are kind enough to offer to administer an instant and complete ban, that's almost guaranteed to happen. What could be easier? "Shooting yourself in the foot" comes to mind.

    As I see it the GAGB has to refuse the ban until certain matters have been clarified. In this particular case, we should have an explanation from senior management as to how come geocaches are such a big problem when many (if not all) local managers see no problem with them: after all, they're the experts, not the central office lot.

    Also, in this case, there's a clear flaw in the reasoning we've been given. So there is a danger from people sticking log books in hidden spots in the countryside. BUT...only if they subsequently publish the coordinates on a particular web site. Surely that would make such log books less dangerous, wouldn't it, if anyone can check where to expect them? And yet the letterbox version of the game is seen as perfectly allowable, even though it's harder to ascertain exactly where they lie.

    It may be that all this has been questioned and answered; but if so, it should have been made clear here. The fact that we have so little detail about negotiations makes you suspect that the negotiators fell into the trap of offering to accept and administrate any decision made - however dubious the reasoning given - which is tantamount to asking for a ban.

    So if the senior management refuse to give satisfactory explanations, I don't see why the GAGB has to go ahead with the ban. Surely they'd be expected to say something along the lines of "We understand that you don't want geocaching, and we are quite prepared to assist in preventing the activity on your land, but at the moment don't feel that we can justify such action to our colleagues as we are unable to give a convincing explanation of the reasoning involved. Please get in touch and we'll discuss this further: in the meantime we'll merely warn that there is some confusion about placing geocaches in certain areas of your land."

    Perhaps it's all too late now, but as the number of bans seems to increase as fast as the number of caches it's worth getting ready for the next occasion that this arises.

  11. #11

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    If a Landowner Bans Geocaching, it is up to us to comply with that. We do not have to understand the reasoning behind it, or believe that the decision is correct. Just simply comply, because it is not our Land.

    And once again your suggesting that a Manager at a Lower Level, should ignore Policy set at a Higher Level of Management.

    So question for you, and please think carefully before answering.

    You as the Senior Manager in a Company, set a specific and defined Policy for that company. Then later on you find that a Lower Level Manager has knowingly ignored the Policy. Because they did not believe it should apply.

    Do you
    i: Pat them on the back and say well done?
    ii: Have Strong Words with them. Rescind the decision they made to ignore your Policy.
    iii: Rescind the Decision they made. And Subject them to Disciplinary Proceedings. Even though that could result in Termination of Employment, of affect future Promotions. Which will at the end of the day, affect that persons Final Salary Pension. So affecting them for the rest of their lives.

    Given that as Employee's of the MOD, those Managers, which you state should ignore the Policies set by their Senior Managers, just because you disagree with the Policy. Are Civil Servants employed by the UK Government.

    So they risk option iii: by knowingly ignoring the Policy set by Managers above them.

    You might be happy to live with that, but I know my colleagues and I, could not. Because at the end of the day, Geocaching is a Hobby. And peoples lives have to take priority over the hobby!

    Just like until enshrined in UK Law, that we have a Right to Place caches, wherever we wish. We have to comply with the requirements of Landowners. It is their Land to make decisions about, not ours. We do not have a right to dictate to Landowners, because we don't agree, or feel that they have not explained their decision to the last full stop.

    And the GAGB as a Association can not and do not List Geocaches, that is down to each individual Listing Site. So the GAGB can only report the Landowner Requirements to those Listing Sites, in a unbiased way.

    I am aware of one Listing Site, which took over 6 months, after a Landowner contacted them, requiring caches Listed on their Listing Site without His/Her Permission be removed [the Landowner being a Geocacher] it was only after 4 communications with that Listing Site, a Legal Notice was sent to them, that they complied with the Landowners request, and removed the Listings.

    Luckily that was outside of the UK, but imagine the repercussions if GC, acted in such a way. In regards to Geocaches in the UK. How long do you believe our hobby would last, before Major Landowners were contacting their MP's demanding something was done about this hobby? We have to treat all Landowners with respect, comply with their requirements, and continue to work to overturn their Bans.

    By ignoring them, we would just alienate those Landowners, and create a situation of more and more Bans.

    And it is easy to castigate the GAGB over the Ban, having had to on a Number of times, personally make contact with Landowners who have made contact, requesting caches without their permission be removed.

    In a number of cases, I have managed to turn around the Landowners Decision. Not by demanding they do so, but by compromising with them, making suggestions to them. Even personally apologising to them, because a Member has placed a cache(s) without their permission.

    But I've not been successful in every case. So I must personally be responsible for those Bans! And for that I can only personally apolagise to the community!



    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  12. #12

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    Well, the blame for the Royal Parks ban quite clearly lies with the cacher who tried to overrule the local manager. I hope the MOD fiasco didn't result from the same actions.

    Over the past few days, I've had chats with a number of local MOD land managers in my area. None of them had ever actually heard of geocaching, though one had once found a microcache in a pipe! They were very supportive but I told them that at the moment the point was moot because of this ban.

    Now, when they heard about this ban from me, they said they would do what they can to find out any information from upper management, which would be helpful.

    But this is why I say that we should be doing what we can to make sure that existing caches are not against the rules. I'm quite happy to do an audit of the ones in my area on MOD land, but I don't know who to report the info to. I asked on the main geocaching site but the only response I got suggested I flag the caches for maintenance or contact the CO. However, if I mark them for maintenance it kind of highlights problems, which wouldn't be a good idea in the current climate.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    And once again your suggesting that a Manager at a Lower Level, should ignore Policy set at a Higher Level of Management.
    Once again? I've never said that, either here or elsewhere. Where did you get that from? If it's on Facebook then it wasn't me because I haven't discussed this on Facebook. Perhaps you're misreading my post. Let me make it quite clear.

    I'M NOT ADVOCATING THAT ANYONE OVERRULES THEIR BOSS'S POLICY!

    However, if the representative at the MOD says that he's aware of the policy and yet he's happy to give permission for the cache, then I'm saying that permission has been granted and we shouldn't be so rude as to assume that the officer is incompetent and/or insubordinate. Haven't you considered that the local official might have checked with the senior officer and had dispensation to give permission? Or would I have to check who the senior officer was and whether he is actually senior enough? Where does it stop? Anyway, quite often policies on very trivial matters like this are left to the local manager to implement and they may be given powers of discretion. So it's not necessarily a matter of hierarchy. I don't know, in this case, but I suspect that you don't either. The MOD wouldn't give out details of such matters.

    Nevertheless, I'm aware that Groundspeak prefer to take the safest line so are likely to refuse the listing despite the permission being granted: I'd probably get it listed elsewhere.

    But rather than banging on about what might happen should an idiotic (as you infer) official make a mistake and allow someone to put a film pot under a letterbox somewhere (which admittedly, is something the army would be well employed in preventing, whatever the cost!), perhaps you could address my main points?

  14. #14

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    1) Did the MOD directly contact the GAGB or did the GAGB become involved after being made aware of the issue?

    2) Groundspeak reviewers were aware of this before we were informed, were representatives from other listing sites give their permission for the GAGB to act on their behalf?

    3) Did anyone ask directly what had triggered the MOD's decision to review the placement of geocaches on their land?

    4) Who is negotiating?

  15. #15

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    This was posted on the geocaching.com forum by the GAGB Committee:

    GAGB approached MoD after we were advised by a cacher that some caches had been refused permission by a local MoD organisation, after it had consulted the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). We received a copy of this mail stating that MoD were considering their policy towards geocaching but this first mail also stated that:
    “Unfortunately we cannot, at present, give permission for any physical geocache to be placed anywhere on our estate. Whilst the MOD does operate a presumption in favour of public access on its estate, when compatible with military operations and training, we do not consider physical geocaches acceptable for local and national reasons”

    Following this, our negotiations have been with the Access and Recreation team in the DIO who will own this policy. We have requested maps of the land affected. Negotiations are ongoing and we are working to identify land which may be suitable for geocaching (virtual stages and possibly physical caches). I presume that once the policy has been finalised by DIO, that they will circulate it to their land managers.

    In the case of the Royal Parks and BT phone boxes, we were contacted after they had already made their decisions. This didn’t stop us trying and we have had some success in turning round such situations, for example the Forestry Commission New Forest.


    Dave - caching as The Wombles
    Personally I think this practice of approaching senior management when local management has said no to a cache is seriously asking for trouble. We should respect the local managers as the easiest solution for senior management is to ban all caching. The problem goes then goes away at a stroke, in their eyes.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mongoose39uk View Post
    1) Did the MOD directly contact the GAGB or did the GAGB become involved after being made aware of the issue?

    2) Groundspeak reviewers were aware of this before we were informed, were representatives from other listing sites give their permission for the GAGB to act on their behalf?

    3) Did anyone ask directly what had triggered the MOD's decision to review the placement of geocaches on their land?

    4) Who is negotiating?

    1. The latter, ie GAGB became involved after being made aware.
    2. No. Opencaching.com (Garmin) have responded "You may feel free to send any restrictions, guidelines, and any mapping coordinates that outlines affected land to this address. We will update our database for the peer review team."
    3. No. The first mail that GAGB received from the cacher who was refused cache permission included this paragraph from MoD: “At present there is no policy in place, this is something that is being worked on at the moment. However, the following advice was received from the department which is drafting the policy: Unfortunately we cannot, at present, give permission for any physical geocache to be placed anywhere on our estate. Whilst the MOD does operate a presumption in favour of public access on its estate, when compatible with military operations and training, we do not consider physical geocaches acceptable for local and national reasons:”
    4. A GAGB member who is an ex-MoD employee.

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    So do you think 6 months layer it may be a good idea to ask if there was anything particular that triggered it.

    Not very open about who is involved in the negotiation. I would have though a committee member would be appropriate at this level of negotiation where 1% of the country is potentially lost?

    Are letterboxers and munzees being asked to stop placements?

  18. #18

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    I see the GAGB are as responsive to members questions as ever........

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    Negotiations are ongoing to consider if non-physical steps / virtual stages may be permitted, for example early steps of multi and puzzle caches, whereigo and Earthcaches. If this is permitted in locations with public access, then it may be possible to place some caches of these types (where appropriate a physical stage could be placed on non-MoD property), with appropriate safety messages on the cache pages.
    (my bold)
    Hang on there a minute! If public access is permitted to an area, I cannot see how MOD can object to non-physical stages of multis, earthcaches, etc. All people are required to do is note some information, perhaps even take a measurement or two. Nothing is left on MOD land. Pragmatically, geocachers are doing nothing different to (say) bird watchers etc. whose activities are welcomed with open arms.

    IMO, the GAGB would be acting against the best interests of its members if they direct reviewers not to approve caches that have non-physical elements on MOD land -- provided that no containers are left on MOD land and appropriate permission is obtained for the placement from the (non-MOD) landowner.

  20. #20

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    There is a meeting with the MOD scheduled for later this month, so until that has taken place we don't have any further information.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


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    Any news?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DizzyPair View Post
    Any news?
    I have received confirmation that the meeting has taken place but don't have any details.
    We are currently waiting for a letter/report of the meeting from the MOD. I was hoping that this would arrive before the UK Mega event so that we would have some more information to pass on, but this is now looking unlikely as even if I receive something today, there won't be time to discuss with the rest of the committee before I head to the Mega event tomorrow.

    As soon as we have more information, we will pass it on.
    GAGB member since 2005
    GAGB Committee member 2010 to 2016 (Chair 2012 to 2015)
    UK Mega Event Chairman 2009 (Weston-super-Mare)


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    I still can't understand why no member of the committee was involved

  24. #24

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    Why do the committee have to be involved? Are the membership not to be trusted to negotiate agreements?

    Chris

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    Looking at this so far no

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    Is there still no update to this?

    The whole thing is a farce. I just had another cache rejected by a reviewer on groundspeak. According to all the maps they provided, the land is not MOD. However, it borders MOD land, and because there is a sign on the land warning about the MOD land, the reviewer took that to mean that it was MOD land. So, the OS states it is not MOD land, the byelaw diagram on the MOD site states its not MOD land, but because of a photo on google street view, the cache gets rejected.

    And if the GAGB committee aren't involved in this sort of national negotiation, what is it exactly that they do get involved in?

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzbie View Post
    <snip>The whole thing is a farce.
    Here we have a some geocachers trying to work with possibly one of the largest government departments about a subject that compared to the running of the military campaign in Afghanistan is probably way, way down their list of priorities and most likely their interest. I'm not surprised it is taking a long time.

    Chris
    Graculus
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzbie View Post
    Is there still no update to this?

    The whole thing is a farce. I just had another cache rejected by a reviewer on groundspeak. According to all the maps they provided, the land is not MOD. However, it borders MOD land, and because there is a sign on the land warning about the MOD land, the reviewer took that to mean that it was MOD land. So, the OS states it is not MOD land, the byelaw diagram on the MOD site states its not MOD land, but because of a photo on google street view, the cache gets rejected.

    And if the GAGB committee aren't involved in this sort of national negotiation, what is it exactly that they do get involved in?
    As Graculus has said - but if you are able to put your name forward and stand for the GAGB elections in a few months time you could find out what is involved.

    I am being serious and not attempting sarcasm in my answer.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    As Graculus has said - but if you are able to put your name forward and stand for the GAGB elections in a few months time you could find out what is involved.

    I am being serious and not attempting sarcasm in my answer.
    Is there a "none of the above" option?

    Graculus, I wasn't referring to the MOD, I was referring to the fact that the meeting was held yet the chairman was unaware of what had happened in the meeting.

    The MOD in all probability are a bit perplexed by the whole affair. The local range wardens in my area don't have a problem with cache placement and haven't heard anything down the line about any ban. At the moment the GAGB and in turn the groundspeek reveiwers, seem to be the only people taking a hard line.

    I mean, if you go to any area of land owned by the MOD, you will see a big sign listing all the byelaws. If the MOD were that bothered they would just add a new byelaw.

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzbie View Post

    If the MOD were that bothered they would just add a new byelaw.
    That could be just what they are doing!!!! and low down on their priority list.

    Lilian

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    Sorry but there are a large number of cases, of Senior Managers, making decisions about Geocaching. Without Consulting or informing Lower Management/Employee's.

    Another example for you is Royal Parks, for years Local Park Managers gave permission for geocaches to be placed.

    One Manager refused when asked, and when the request was taken directly to the Director of the Royal Parks. He ignored the fact that caching had been going on in the Royal Parks for years, with no issues, did not consult his junior Managers in any way. And just applied a Blanket Ban, in part citing security reasons. This being backed up at a meeting, by a Sargent from the Royal Parks Police, who are a Division of the Metropolitan Police.

    So it is a case of Senior Management, making a decision, Lower Management/Staff not being kept in the loop or even informed of the decision. As such when they are informed by someone outside of their employer of such decisions, they should query back up the chain of Management about such.

    As for the UK Reviewers applying the Ban

    Section 2 of Geocaching.coms Fundamental Guidelines, which you agree to when submitting a listing for review and publication on GC

    1. You assure us that you have the landowner's and/or land manager's permission before you hide any geocache, whether placed on private or public property. By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. If you have permission to place a cache on private property, indicate this on the cache listing for the benefit of the reviewer and those seeking the cache.
      In the case of public property, permission can often be obtained from the agency or association that manages the land. Worldwide, there are many such agencies and organizations that regulate geocaching on their managed land. As the cache owner you are responsible for determining who to contact to obtain permission.
      Even if you are certain that geocaching is permitted on particular public property, ensure that you have followed any and all requirements established by the land owner or land management agency before placing the cache. There may be locations in which cache hides are inappropriate, even though not prohibited by local laws.
      If Groundspeak is contacted and informed that your cache has been placed inappropriately, your cache may be temporarily disabled or permanently archived.
    We have been "Informed" that a Management decision at a Level above the Local Rangers, has been to Ban Geocaching on MOD land, be that Land they own of Lease for Training Purposes [remember the Secretary of State for Defence, may make Bye laws for "All" Land owned or Leased by the MOD].


    As such, it is now up to the Local Rangers, to obtain their Managers Permission to over rule that decision.


    To put it simply, if you were a Senior Manager in a Company. Made a Decision, and had a employee ignore that decision when aware of it by any means. And take a action, in exact opposite to your decision, your be considering what sort of disciplinary action to take, because yours is the decision they are required to apply.


    In this case the Rangers are the Employee's who have been informed of a decision at a Management Level above them. And as such they should apply it, even if they dislike or disagree with it.


    In the case of the UK Reviewers, we are "Required" to apply "All" known Landowner requirements, be that restrictions placement, requirement to go down a certain route to obtain permission, or apply a Ban.


    We can not pick at what level of Management within that Landowner, we will apply decisions at. And are required to apply those issued by the highest level of Management, that we have been informed a decision has been made by.


    In the case of the Royal Parks that was the Director, in the case of the MOD, it is someone who is higher up the Managerial chain than the Local Rangers.



    It is now up to the Local Rangers, to get their Management to give them Permission, to give Permission for the Placement of Geocaches, on MOD land.


    Puzbie, since you believe that Groundspeak's Reviewers are wrong in how they are working. In regards to the MOD Ban. Why don't you make direct contact with the MOD, at a senior level. and have them give you permission to place caches on MOD land. Obtain that, and your caches will be published. But stop arguing that because someone at the bottom of the Managerial Chain, says it is ok, then the caches should be published. When senior up that Managerial chain says No.


    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

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    I wonder whether those senior managers to who you refer might be telling your "negotiator" one thing while telling their employees something entirely different! After all, the MOD is renowed for lack of communication between the left and right hand. I suspect also that the senior manager might well have passed judgement on security-sensitive areas (such as barracks, airfields, and other military bases) rather than public-access areas (such as National Parks Authority (NPA) land on which the MOD merely has a right to conduct exercises; or land that is owned - but no longer used - by the MOD).

    So, does this mean that the GAGB have instructed, or are going to instruct, reviewers to archive the hundreds (possibly thousands) of caches that are on MOD-owned or leased land?
    • Is this the case even where the MOD are not the body responsible for the management of that land (i.e. they lease the land or have otherwise passed control - including the recreational rights - to another party)? For example, AIUI the MOD have leased a large area of the Plymouth Royal Dockyard to other parties. That area is now outside the secured zone and it is those parties - not the MOD - who have the power to permit caches to be placed on that land.
    • Are caches now banned where the MOD have part-time use, but do not own, the land? For example, AFAICT it is the NPA, not the MOD, who control the Dartmoor ranges except when live firing is taking place; and so it's the NPA and not the MOD whose permission should be sought.
    • What of land that the MOD own but no longer use and have passed management to a third party? For example, the MOD own a local beauty spot but do not exercise their rights over the land and take no part in its management, which they've passed to the local council, which in turn has passed to a community action group.


    Yet it would seem that the GAGB have instructed reviewers to refuse to list caches on the basis that the MOD are somehow involved even where the MOD do not have the power to permit or refuse cache placement. This is hardly acting in the best interests of UK geocaching!

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    This is all well and good, but according to the original post, the MOD haven't actually banned geocaching yet. They are reviewing it with a view to banning it or not. Presumably, if they choose to ban it, they will inform the local land managers, and update the byelaws accordingly.

    Once a ban is in place, ordinary cachers, be they in Dartmoor, Surrey / Hants, Norfolk / Suffolk or wherever else, will have something tangible to complain about. I can't go to my local papers or MP and say that apparantly the MOD are going to ban geocaching, because they won't be interested. But once a byelaw has been passed (and their byelaws get updated all the time) I can refer the people I am complaining to to the relevant documentation.

    Incidentally, who is it that keeps trying to undermine local landowners? Who took the Royal Park request to the director? Inflammatory actions like that are bound to cause trouble.

    Mancunian, your suggestion to contact senior management direct is quite frankly daft.

  34. #34

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    So, does this mean that the GAGB have instructed, or are going to instruct, reviewers to archive

    Yet it would seem that the GAGB have instructed reviewers to refuse

    The GAGB does not have the power to instruct in this way - I have looked at the powers we have within the Constitution and I could not interpret any of the points to telling the reviewers what they can and cannot do.

    Puzbie - Mancunian, your suggestion to contact senior management direct is quite frankly daft.

    Puzbie your comment to Deceangi is unbelievable - if Decci as the longest serving reviewer is using his many years of expertise as a cacher and reviewer to make a suggestion then he is talking from knowledge and experience.

    We want to work together to make geocaching the best we can but as caching becomes more popular it has become much harder and placements are being more tightly controlled - I believe caches can't be hidden on rail transport land so no more sidetracked series, can't be hidden in red phone boxes so that series goes ( I may be wrong so sorry if I am) and I believe more - as the Royal parks, MOD will refuse permission as well.
    This is BECAUSE of the growth of the sport/ hobby/ pastime.

    Lilian

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    So, does this mean that the GAGB have instructed, or are going to instruct, reviewers to archive

    Yet it would seem that the GAGB have instructed reviewers to refuse

    The GAGB does not have the power to instruct in this way - I have looked at the powers we have within the Constitution and I could not interpret any of the points to telling the reviewers what they can and cannot do.

    Puzbie - Mancunian, your suggestion to contact senior management direct is quite frankly daft.

    Puzbie your comment to Deceangi is unbelievable - if Decci as the longest serving reviewer is using his many years of expertise as a cacher and reviewer to make a suggestion then he is talking from knowledge and experience.

    We want to work together to make geocaching the best we can but as caching becomes more popular it has become much harder and placements are being more tightly controlled - I believe caches can't be hidden on rail transport land so no more sidetracked series, can't be hidden in red phone boxes so that series goes ( I may be wrong so sorry if I am) and I believe more - as the Royal parks, MOD will refuse permission as well.
    This is BECAUSE of the growth of the sport/ hobby/ pastime.

    Lilian
    Lilian, GAGB instructed the reviewers not to allow caches on MOD land. That is a fact, and it is in place at the moment. You cannot post a new cache on MOD land on geocaching.com. Existing caches on MOD land have not been archived though.

    Now, onto the comment about contacting senior management. All senior management want to do with issues like this, that are way down their list of priorities (understandably) is to make them go away. The quickest way to make them go away is to ban them outright. If more geocachers start pestering them, it is hardly going to help matters. Problems like this, and with the Royal Parks, seem to have occurred because geocachers have ignored the local managers, who were put there by senior management to handle this sort of thing, and gone up the chain.

    Another point, why has there been no information as to how the meeting progressed from GAGB? All we have heard is that we are waiting on a copy of the minutes from the MOD. Don't we have our own version of what happened, and how the meeting went? I think ordinary cachers would have a lot more confidence in GAGB if we had some idea of what actually transpired.

    Oh and with regards to Sidetracked, that is still alive and well and celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday. Well, I think it was 10th, it was certainly an anniversary, as I did one myself, and apparantly will get a souvenir to commemorate the event. They are not allowed on BR land, but fortunately for them, BR actually know where their land is. The MOD aren't that sure. Their maps certainly aren't in agreement with the local signs. I know this to my cost!
    Last edited by Puzbie; 11th August 2013 at 11:02 PM.

  36. #36

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    It was 6th anniversary of Sidetracked and the souvenir wasn't an official Groundspeak one, but one made by the chap who is managing the series.

    Yet again the GAGB are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

    Elections are coming up, time for the nay sayers to stand up and be counted me thinks and see if you can do a better job, unpaid and in your own time of course.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacaru View Post
    It was 6th anniversary of Sidetracked and the souvenir wasn't an official Groundspeak one, but one made by the chap who is managing the series.

    Yet again the GAGB are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

    Elections are coming up, time for the nay sayers to stand up and be counted me thinks and see if you can do a better job, unpaid and in your own time of course.
    Thank you Jacaru and I look forward to seeing who will stand up.

    The sidetracked was an example - I have found many and enjoyed them but they can no longer go on BR land - I know they can be put out close to a station but not on/in a station and grounds.

    The point I was trying to make, although perhaps not clearly enough, is that more and more of the bigger companies, land owners are realising that caches are hidden on their land with knowledge at local area but as this hobby has grown so dramatically over the years and associated growth in numbers - this knowledge has to be passed up to senior level for their agreement. If it is MOD land they have the right to say NO - it is not our right to hide a cache there.
    I believe the reviewers have to be strict on placement - I am not going back to 'the good old days' but when I started caching in 2005 there were 2 reviewers for the UK - now there are ? sorry don't know exact number but closer to 15 - that shows how geocaching has grown over the years.

    I understand cachers want to know what is happening with the MOD but it needs time

  38. #38

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    The information about not allowing caches came from the MOD via the GAGB therefore we acted on what the MOD wanted. The GAGB did not give us any 'instructions' as people would like think they did. At this time we have no intention of forcibly archiving any caches on MOD land. If in the future the MOD ask us to do this then we will comply with their wishes. We only act on the direct instructions from a landowner not a third party.

    I do wish certain people would stop insisting that the GAGB invented this ban, told the MOD about it and then told us we had to enforce what was a GAGB initiative. I really think if those people put the obviously intense effort they are expending in criticising the GAGB into actually helping them then this particular issue might get sorted out sooner.

    Chris
    Graculus
    Volunteer UK Reviewer for geocaching.com
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Puzbie please forgive my Bold, but some still continue to make the same accusations time and time again

    To Make it Very Clear, once and for all! THE GAGB Can Not! Do Not! Instruct Groundspeak's Volunteer Reviewers, to do anything! All the GAGB Committee can do is bring Facts to our Attention! In th Case of a Landowner Requirement, we are required by Groundspeak, to apply those requirements! Note that is Groundspeak, and not the GAGB Committee!

    Network Rail, actually contacted Groundspeak Directly, not the GAGB, in regards to the removal of caches on their Property in London. And stated that they would not provide "Permission" for any Geocache on their Property.

    Groundspeak having been informed of the Landowner Requirements, ie: a Complete Ban, require their Volunteer UK Reviewers to apply that Ban! Again to make it clear, Groundspeak and not the GAGB require their Volunteers to apply the Ban.

    British Telecom, again contact Groundspeak directly, and stated that due to Regulatory Requirements and their Licence to Operate, that will not allow Geocaches on their Property. They supplied a List of Big Box Little Box series caches [note they supplied the List, which means they accessed GC to obtain that list]. I got tasked by Groundspeak to action that List.

    Again the GAGB were informed by Groundspeak's Volunteer's of BT's Ban

    Agin to make it clear, the GAGB informed Groundspeak's Volunteer Reviewers of the MOD Ban. As required by Groundspeak, we are required to apply the requirements of the Landowner!

    And again, a Ranger, unless things are different in the MOD, may not overrule a Manager above Him/Her. And as the Decision has been made and informed to the GAGB from a Managerial Position above the Rangers, having been informed of that Landowners Requirements, Groundspeak's Reviewers, are required by Groundspeak to apply that Requirement.

    To make it clear, we do not have to agree with the decision. in fact I personally was happily publishing caches on MOD Open Access Land, from 2006, up to being informed of the MOD Ban.

    Once informed of that Ban, having a requirement placed on my by Groundspeak, that I "Obey" all Landowner Requirements, I had 2 options.

    Accept that and apply the Ban

    Resign as a Groundspeak Volunteer UK Reviewer.
    And sorry, just because I might or might not agree with a Ban put in place by a Landowner, whose Legal Right it is to do so. Is a reason to quit something I get a great deal of enjoyment, friendship, and above all "escape from the carer's 4 wall syndrome"!

    I might not agree with everything Groundspeak does, but I continue to Volunteer fro them! I might not agree with everything th GAGB does, but I continue to remain a Member!

    The point being, a Landowner has a right to decide what does and does not take place on their Land. In the case of the MOD, that extends Legally to Land they Lease, as the Secretary of State for Defence, can make Bye Laws covering such Land. We do not have to agree with or like those decisions, just follow them, and hopefully in the future, those decisions will be reversed.

    But attempting to do a end run, using a Lower Level Management, or ignoring those Bans, will only entrench those Bans, deeper and deeper. Suppose the Secretary of State for Defence, was to create a Bye Law, Permanently Banning Geocaching? That is the sort of worst case scenario we could face, by pulling a end run, or ignoring the Ban.

    And to make it very clear to all! The GAGB is Listing Site Agnostic, the past accusations, that at what the Groundspeak Reviewers wanted applying as Guidelines, may no longer be thrown at either the GAGB or Groundspeaks Reviewers.

    Because Groundspeak's Reviewers, have brought "In House" all Local Guidelines that we use https://wiki.groundspeak.com/display/GEO/United+Kingdom

    So severing that particular connection between the GAGB and Groundspeak's Reviewers. Because it cause so much angst, accusations, and detracted from the huge amount of work put in by the GAGB.

    We do and will continue to work with the GAGB, for the Benefit of the UK Geocaching Community. But on a Par with all other Listing Sites, who are willing to work with the GAGB

    Oh and no one has yet to provide me with Proof, that any National Park Authority, has a Legal Right to give Permission for Geocaches. Because unless they actually "Own" the Land, they only have specific legal rights, as Listed in Law! I'm backing this up from being the original Reviewer to work with Dales Deva, who for those who do not know. Is the geocaching account for The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. When the account first set about placing caches, Landowner Permission was provided, along with a statement, that the YDNPA could not give themselves Permission to place caches, on Land they did not own!

    So if anyone can point me to Legal Documents, giving any National Park Authority, Legal Powers, to Place Geocaches on Land they do not own, I will insure that information, is included in Groundspeak's UK Wiki, for future reference.

    And just to publicly reference my personal experience, I have since 2004 [so before I became a Reviewer], worked with

    The Designating Authorities, Both Natural and Historic in England/Scotland and Wales
    Worked with National Park Authorities
    Worked with numerous Landowners
    Worked with several different Police Forces
    Worked with a number of County Councils

    I was the first person to obtain both Landowner Permission, and Designating Authority Approval for a cache in a SSSI

    I was the first Person to organise a CITO Event in the UK [that involved the Permission of CADW]

    So I base things on a large amount of experience, having been able on a number of occasions, managed to persuade a Landowner to withdraw a requirement to uplift caches, without their permission.

    To be honest, the biggest enemy to Geocaching in the UK? Is the UK Geocaching Community. Look to other areas in the World, the local communities, get solidly behind their Regional Geocaching Organisations, and they have a solid base to work from. Not the fragmented attitude found in the UK.

    People still try to treat this hobby as a Underground one it was in 200 to 2003/4, since 2008 here in the UK, it has become mainstream, and people need to accept that, and realise that puts restrictions on our hobby. Restrictions that with time can be overcome, with the right attitude.

    The more people get behind the GAGB the more of a solid base they have to work from. Power to the people does work, look at Change.org, and how that is affecting Politicians opinions. Fragmented as the UK Geocaching community is, it just pulls the rug from under those working to benefit the community.

    Deci
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  40. #40

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    Geocaching.com will not be posting any more caches on MOD land until the outcome of the negotiations between MOD and GAGB are known. Geocaching.com are relying on GAGB. Whether this relationship involves "instruction" or "advisement" may mean something legally (I don't know) but I meant it to mean that Geocaching.com will follow GAGB's advice re cache placement.

    To be honest, I don't see that being the issue though. My issue is with GAGB, and the way they are handling the negotiations. Primarily it is about their lack of transparancy. Nobody seems to have a clue what is going on, or is unwilling to share any information. The only response I seem to get is "Well if you think you can do better then stand for election".

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    Puzzbie, unless I'm misunderstanding, gagb aren't involved in the negotiations, a member (known to them) is.whether this is a good, or bad thing remains to be seen, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't get the desired outcome as I have no experience of such matters

  42. #42

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    I will be quite willing to nominate you Puzbie, as I believe that you will be the one to sort out all the caching problems that our small nation faces, and that you will be open about everything, and that you will report daily that there is nothing to report as openly and honestly as you can. opcorn:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacaru View Post
    I will be quite willing to nominate you Puzbie, as I believe that you will be the one to sort out all the caching problems that our small nation faces, and that you will be open about everything, and that you will report daily that there is nothing to report as openly and honestly as you can. opcorn:
    Thanks for the useful input. I will take it on board.

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzbie View Post
    Thanks for the useful input. I will take it on board.

    So are you accepting my request to nominate you when it is time?

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    I shall certainly give it some thought, though traditionally, the nominator and candidate have to have some form of positive relationship. I hardly think pithy banter counts.

    As a potential candidate, could you as my potential nominator enlighten me as to what it is that the committee actually do?

  46. #46

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    Thankyou. I shall gladly nominate you should you accept, however, it would be up to you as a potential candidate to do some research and look at what the GAGB do. There again, I would have thought that you had a good insight anyway as you like to criticise their role. Over to you:cheers:

  47. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puzbie View Post
    I shall certainly give it some thought, though traditionally, the nominator and candidate have to have some form of positive relationship. I hardly think pithy banter counts.

    As a potential candidate, could you as my potential nominator enlighten me as to what it is that the committee actually do?

    I agree normally there should be some sort of relationship but in this basically internet based hobby this is not always practical.

    http://gagb.co.uk/what-is-the-gagb/meet-the-committee/

    As I have been involved in the thread I am only going to talk about myself - but you can get other information from above.

    We have different areas for some of the responsibilities - mine is :-
    1 I am the first contact for any emails to the GAGB regarding lost caches, found caches, irate farmers who have found a cache and are not happy, requests for help from groups such as Scouts, Guides, schools.
    Queries on GLAD or other issues someone else usually responds.
    2. Same for phone calls.
    3. At the recent Mega I was on registration for one hour then I went on the GAGB stand and the GAGB also gave a talk. Five of the Committee were there.
    4. Along with others I am admin of the FAcebook group and have more requests from non cachers so I contact asking if they are cachers and then add or reject according to their replies - this takes time.

    A number of the Committee members along with some members organised CITO events as part of the 10 year anniversary.

    We 'meet' in an on-line chat room usually every two months which usually last 2 to 3 hours.

    I am the contact for sending out the labels we sell which we are considering on expanding.


    Now none of the above may be in the remit of huge importance in some eyes but I can assure you it does take quite a bit of my time and it really does ****** me off ( insert your own word) when the GAGB gets attacked
    What is the GAGB doing?
    Who do they think they are?
    I don't want them to represent me!!!!
    They are under the reviewers thumb!!!!
    What is happening with . . . . . . . . ?

    My answers are :-
    what we think is best
    cachers
    your choice
    I class quite a few reviewers as good friends but I am not under my husband's thumb so they got no chance
    we can only go as fast as the replying contact goes.

    I would second you after being nominated by Jacaru - we want cachers to get involved and put themselves forward. It is not a closed group - we have all been nominated and voted in so throw your hat into the ring when the time comes. As my old Grandmother used to say - 'Put your money where your mouth is ' I will translate that as 'Put your time and effort where your mouth is'

  48. #48

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    What it is that the committee actually do?

    Have you ever tried to contact Groundspeak to get something sorted out? It takes weeks. They deal with cachers all over the world and also have completely different time zones so you do have to wait a while for enquiries to get resolved. Lilian does an *AMAZING* job of getting back to anyone who emails the committee ASAP. She resolves any caching issues diplomatically and quickly and I can't think of anyone who has been unhappy with the way she has dealt with things. For these general issues that Lilian can't help with, other members of the committee step in and answer.

    Before I joined the GAGB I thought that it had a purpose and a lot of potential. After joining and seeing the number of enquiries that are dealt with by us I was sure of the purpose. How much do members want to know? Do they want to know about every single enquiry we get and all of the irate farmers who have found geocaches on their land that they aren't happy about? I don't think so and in reality we can't actually do that because the communication is private.

    I stepped in to help with the website a while ago, mainly to pretty it up. I'm a systems administrator by trade which means I look after servers (web servers included) and I am the general scripting and programming geek. So for the GAGB I busy around in the background making sure the website is still ticking over. I had a lot on my plate last year when we were getting bombarded with spammers, however I coded a work around which means that we don't get that unnecessary traffic and don't experience the timeouts that we were getting before. The kind of stuff that doesn't get noticed when it's working, but gets majorly noticed when it's not! Lol! So if you don't think I'm doing much, that means that I'm doing my job properly!

    Aside of that I have been rewriting the GAGB website. I'd estimate the time I have spent on it as nearing 200 hours and I'm not exaggerating by any means! It's a lot bigger job than I expected when I took it on as there is a lot of code in the background and I have to keep chipping away at it when I get the time whilst juggling a full-time job, part time Masters degree in computer security, and most importantly geocaching too. I don't just want to make the website better, I want to make it the best and hope to have it finished this summer! The committee have seen previews of the site so I can get feedback from them and continue the developments.

    If someone is unhappy with the way that the GAGB does things then I more than welcome them to stand for election and join us and put time and effort into making the GAGB the way they would like it to be!

    Cass
    My Geocaching Blog: http://geocass.wordpress.com

  49. #49

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    41

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    Geocass, I used to be a systems manager, and am now a web developer, so I know where you are coming from with regards to the length of time these things take.

    Thank you (and Mollyjak) for the insight into life in the GAGB.

    So how do the elections work?

  50. #50

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Porthcawl S Wales
    Posts
    482

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    The vote for Chairperson is first - names will be put forward and seconded - then a question/answer on the forum so we can get an idea of the person we may or may not know ( probably not). Then there is a vote run by an independent reviewer from a different country. Then the winner is announced - taking a guess over a scale of three weeks but could be four - not sure.

    Then the Committee members - basically the same. A few names were put forward some refused - finally 13 names for 8 places ( again I think 10months ago now ) questions/answers then voting


    hope this helps

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