A message to members from Ian Black, chair of Scope
2 November 2007
Annual General Meeting 2007
Firstly, hello from me as the new chair of Scope. Although I have been a trustee of Scope for over a year now and am also fortunate enough to be a governor of Beaumont College, I am sure that there are more of you who do not know me, than those who do. I have hence included some brief biographical details so that you can understand why I am so passionate about Scope and Time To Get Equal. I am very proud of my appointment, and feel privileged to be in a position to help steer our charity towards the new structure we need for such a powerful and prominent organisation as Scope.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual General Meeting last Saturday, and to all members who took the time to cast their votes either beforehand or at the meeting itself. As those who attended will no doubt confirm, the debate was lively and passionate, and members who were present were given plenty of opportunity to express their views.
I would just like to update you of the outcome of the meeting.
- The special resolution that was put to the membership received a 70% majority in favour.
- Although this is a resounding “yes” vote from a significant majority of members voting, it was not enough as we require 75% to be in favour of such a significant change. I am of course personally disappointed, that the motion was not carried, albeit by a whisker.
- This means that the proposed amendments to our Memorandum and Articles (constitution) will not take effect.
Although we did not get the majority we needed for these governance reforms, I still see the result as encouraging as I believe it shows that these reforms have the support of the vast majority of our Members who recognise the need for change. However at Executive Council, we need time to think about the proposals again and we need to be clearer on the reasons why and rationale for change.
We will now be reflecting in full on the outcome of the AGM vote and will soon call an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), to take place on 23 February 2008, to take these proposals forward.
I remain committed to modernising our governance structure and ensuring that we have the right arrangements in place to lead a high-profile charity of Scope’s size and complexity.
At the Executive Council meeting immediately following the AGM, I was appointed as our new Chair, following Gerald’s McCarthy’s planned retirement. I am pleased to say that Sandy Collington and John Corneille remain, respectively as our Vice Chair and Treasurer.
On your behalf, I would like to express my gratitude to our outgoing Chair Gerald, who has worked tirelessly for Scope for so many years and has made a significant and valuable contribution to our work.
Finally, I am looking forward immensely to my time as chair of Scope and would like to encourage you to contact me if you have something to say on our governance or other matters. I certainly believe you can help me.
My career background is as a senior director in financial services, including insurance, investment and banking. I worked for my last organisation (Halifax and HBOS plc) for over 20 years, but am now a director of a number of companies in different fields. I am also a chartered accountant and MBA.
During my career I have gained plenty of experience of starting up new businesses, transforming existing ones, and working at the heart of £multi-million retail and personal finance businesses in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe and Australia. As an example, I led the planning for the merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland Insurance and Investment businesses.
I have been married to Becky for over 25 years and we have three marvellous boys. Our middle son, Owain (aged 20) has cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia). We have had a lifetime of "battling" for statementing and education for Owain within the education sector (including his current university) to help him in his personal mission to get equal.
I have also been a governor of Scope’s Beaumont College for two years, and a Trustee of Scope for over a year.
As a long-time supporter of Scope I took part in the fundraising Kilimanjaro trek, and also entered our London to Paris Bike Ride to mark the Rugby World Cup earlier this year.
I am a great believer in the strength and influence Scope has, and I am committed to ensuring that disabled people have "more equal" treatment without having to battle separately for themselves.
I believe the Time to Get Equal campaign to galvanise a mass movement of people, disabled and non-disabled, will push forward meaningful equality for disabled people.
I hope to make a positive difference as the new chair of Scope.