I have sensed a little restlessness of late..don't read me wrong, I view this as a good thing because it proves to me that members feel connected: it means we are maturing into a cohesive organisation and it probably means we are ready for change.
I maintain that LJN should always remain free to the user and I think that should continue. It is, essentially a privately owned forum and for that reason, maintaining political motion will always have a certain resistance - I don't intend to give up LJN or LJ and I don't intend to give it away....I will to continue finance it both sites through donations, advertising and private projects.
I am now proposing that we form a separate land-based association that is run by its members, for its members. I would propose
Start a new website to act as the hub of the organisation (paper not to be used unless it is absolutely necessary) - this will be password protected and publicised via members' websites, blogs and Landscape Juice.
I personally will not agree to:
- Shall register as a legal association and comply with whatever rules apply
- Write a constitution
- Conduct our business in a transparent and honest manner
- Elect a 6-8 person committee who shall do the leg-work and represent members' interests
- Appoint a treasurer, set up a company bank account and publish our accounts to our members through the site.
- Hold at least one live committee meeting every week
- Hold at least one members forum meeting a month
- Set up training schemes for members
- Set up a legal helpline
- Create specific documents for all members to download
- Lobby government and other organisations to help shape land-based industries
- Encourage higher standards via educational advances
- Represent everyone in our industry and discourage individualism.
- Encourage knowledge sharing right down to the the newest entrants into the land-based sector
- Create our own conference and annual show/exhibition
Membership and costs
- Discriminate against bona fide businesses and individuals
- Impose unnecessary boundaries to membership or personal and professional development
- Use the association as a personal vehicle to success
This is a difficult one - we should not omit anyone because they cannot afford fees so I propose a joining fee to cover administration and a yearly fee set as a percentage of turnover.
I don't want to blow my own trumpet but I feel this will only work if the committee apply a great passion, move fast and remain extremely active.
I will be happy to work in a paid capacity to run any new association or acts as its communications officer. Landscape Juice is now an extremely strong media outlet and I am confident it will be an excellent platform with which to publish news of this fledgling organisation.
I will not act alone or autonomously and it is in our interests for all elected officers to remain transparent in their duties at all times.
We should all be reminded that we owe it to ourselves to conduct our business honestly and fairly and any bad publicity in this new organisation could have a long lasting negative effect.
Whilst anyone should be able to join....membership should not be taken lightly and only serious businesses and individuals should consider it as a route of industry and business development.
There's loads more I can add but it's time to put it out for discussion and, if this were to go ahead, I would expect everyone to pull their weight and work within strict timetables and keep to their promises.
Please add your thoughts, suggestions or disapprovals.