As most detectorists should be aware, the representatives of the Yorkshire, Midlands, Western and Southern have been deeply worried about the way the NCMD was being managed. Claims and counterclaims passed this way and that between the four regions and the new regime at the NCMD. The eventual result was the removal by the NCMD of key figures in the regions. Arguments continued until recently, when the NCMD publicly offered to go through a mediation process with the disgruntled regions.
Mediation offered a way forward and was welcomed by the Yorkshire, Midlands, Western and Southern regions. Sadly, it soon became apparent that the offer was conditional. The four regions had men ready and willing to take part in a mediation process. As could be expected, they included the regional delegates who had been removed from their posts by the NCMD. It could be argued that no mediation process could be fully comprehensive without these delegates, for these are the people who have been the main critics of the new regime at the NCMD.
Rather than accepting the delegates chosen by the four regions, the NCMD has now withdrawn the offer of mediation. The NCMD had asked different delegates to attend the mediation process but those who were approached declined. It would seem that the mediation offered by the NCMD was on condition that they could choose the representatives from the Yorkshire, Midlands, Western and Southern regions. What, I wonder, would have been the reaction if the four regions had tried to choose who represented the NCMD?
In any members organisation there are going to be times when disagreements occur. Having alternative views expressed and the ability for people to speak freely when they have concerns provides the necessary checks and balances in any enterprise. Along with transparency, it is a cornerstone of good governance. Metal detecting attracts people with a wide variety of backgrounds, experience and outlook. All should feel welcome and represented. Mediation offered a way out of this stalemate situation; an opportunity for the two sides to find a way to work together for the good of our hobby. Without it, we are no further forward.
Above all this makes me feel sad. Detecting is a wonderful hobby, full of keen enthusiasts who gain great pleasure from tramping about in fields whatever the weather. So, come on NCMD and meet up with the chosen representatives of the four regions and let’s thrash out an agreement that suits everyone.