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G4EBT  > RSGB     20.11.07 19:22l 137 Lines 5686 Bytes #999 (0) @ WW
BID : 5C7095G4EBT
Subj: RSGB to move HQ and cut losses
Sent: 071120/1738Z @:GB7FCR.#16.GBR.EU #:51747 [Blackpool] FBB-7.03a $:5C7095G4

With mounting losses RSGB has woken up to harsh financial realities and is
sell its ivory tower at Potters Bar. After 25 years at Potters Bar, RSGB
is moving its HQ to Bedford.  

It's finally run out of excuses - such as "We need to be near London so 
we can keep close contact with Ofcom". To "be near Ofcom"  - what for? 

To start another argument with them and obstruct them from performing
their statutory duty to deregulate? The term used by RSGB for Ofcom is the
"Grim Reaper".

If RSGB believes Ofcom is the Grim Reaper, surely the more distance 
it puts between itself and Ofcom HQ, the better it would be.

And on what did RSGB waste 10,431 (subs of 280 members) leading up to 
the Grim Reaper saga?  Public Relations consultancy!  For what - to go 
to war with Ofcom and breach the Advertising Standards Agency Code of 
Good Practice for advertisers? 

RSGB, Practical Wireless and the now defunct Short Wave Mag in which the
ads appeared had extensive experience in advertising and should have been
well aware of their obligations under the ASA Code. 

They were an absolute disgrace.
RSGB has now conceded what members have been saying for at least 15 years
- get rid of your costly ivory tower "Potty Bar". I've lost count how many
times people like me have written to RSGB and put out packet bulls about
its profligacy and lack of financial stringency. 

RSGB Quote:

"Modern IT technology and business practice, mean that Lambda House is no
longer cost effective to run as an HQ and due to the age of the building
it is proving increasingly costly to maintain".  

"The Society is in the process of purchasing a modern office building
located on the Priory Park, Business Park on the eastern side of Bedford. 
This will house the admin operation".

End quote.

Most small companies the size of RSGB (in a declining hobby with a
declining membership heavily skewed to the over 50s, in a hobby that's 
lost its appeal) would long since have pulled out of expensive 

For RSGB to not be an early adopter of cost-saving efficiencies such as
tele-conferencing, staff working from home using internet, is appalling. 
It shows a lamentable lack of corporate governance.

Most small firms - indeed larger ones, made those moves 10-15 years ago.

Sadly, RSGB is an amateur outfit, run by amateurs, for amateurs, in an
amateurish way, out of touch with its membership.

It's lost its sense of direction, and doesn't seem to have a 
clue as to why it exists anymore, except to self-perpetuate.

Most members seem to stick with it for old time's sake, saying - as I did
for 31 years, that "it's the only society we've got, and it's better than

It's because it's the only society we've got that it became pompous,
self-important and complacent. The failure of the valiant attempt by 
UKRS to produce a credible alternative only added to RSGB arrogance.

Membership is cheap enough, (no more than the cover price of Radcom) and
you get to use the outgoing QSL Bureau (The incoming one is free to all,
including non-members). 

Fine, if you don't mind your money being squandered on an expensive HQ,
un-costed un-evaluated membership drives, an adversarial relationship 
with Ofcom. 

It is resistant to progressive developments in the hobby, has 
mis-targeted promotion of the hobby to kids too young to cross the road
unaided, deluding itself that this is "new blood" and a "shot in the arm" 
for the hobby.

Then there's the saga of the big white van/big white elephant of "GB4FUN"
mobile shack. We've no idea of GB4FUN's actual costs as RSGB Annual
Accounts don't make this clear, as I've mentioned before. 

All they show is a 40,000 donation in the last year from the Radio
Communications Fund.

No idea if this 40k is just a contribution or covers the full amount -
fuel, tyres, servicing insurance, tax, depreciation etc. The best case
scenario is that the 40,000 covered the total operating cost.

If that's so, it equates to 520 per day of use, or 714 per venue. 
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
No proof that a single person has come into the hobby as a result, let
alone joined RSGB. A shocking state of affairs, but if the members are
content, it's their money, not mine any more. Now the GB4FUNsters at RSGB 
are talking about replacing GB4FUN as it's clapped out.

RSGB seems to exist to provide a means for dealers to advertise their 
gear in Radcom, so that RSGB can get revenue to fund the magazine, so
dealers can advertise their gear, so that...     you get the picture.

RSGB says the move from Potty Bar - which it hopes to complete by March
2008 will also involve a relocation of the museum, shack and library. 

Well at least selling Potters Bar and buying the new place (why not
lease?) may leave a cash surplus for a "war chest" to help to fund any
ongoing losses, redundancy costs etc, as RSGB is forced to face the facts
both the hobby and the RSGB, have a much brighter past than a future.

RSGB talks of "declining standards, yet has a heavy bias towards HF
Contests and DX-Peditions - probably the most anti-social ego-tripping 
use of the airwaves possible, often rendering the bands useless for 
normal QSOs.

Most interference on the amateur bands is deliberately caused by amateurs.
When the few are caught - repeater abusers, they aren't pirates, - they're
invarabily licensed amateurs.

Amateur radio needs RSGB like a fish needs a bicycle.

Other than that, RSGB is fine.

Best wishes 
David, G4EBT @ GB7FCR

Cottingham, East Yorkshire.

Message timed: 16:06 on 2007-Nov-20
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