Statement from the Chairman

Statement from the Chairman of the International Sheepdog Society

By now most of you will be aware of the various resignations received by the Society office last week, which have since been accepted. To provide some clarity of the situation although the individuals are no longer Council members, they will remain Directors of the Society until such times that they are no longer eligible. The resignations are obviously a matter of deep concern for each and every one of us. Although I am disappointed that the individuals involved felt their actions necessary, I totally respect their decisions and would like to publicly thank them for their work and commitment to the Society over the years.

Over a considerable period of time, disruption within the management of the Society has resulted in the resignation of two Chief Executive Officers, a Chairman mid-term and a Vice Chairman who has struggled to maintain control until a replacement Chairman could be elected, and this culture, is and will continue to cause the Society difficulties if it is not addressed. When I took the position as Chairman in February, I was well aware of much of this history, however I totally underestimated such depth of feeling which had been created in people by this turmoil. Much of the essential work of the Society has been impossible to progress with in the last two years because dealing with the fallout of these disagreements has taken up all the time and energy of the staff and management.

I stood at the AGM in Kendal and promised that if I was elected as Chairman, I would bring honesty, integrity and fairness to all my dealings on your behalf, this I have done, and I assure you that I will continue to do so going forward. I believe there should be openness and transparency, so that as much as possible we keep our members informed of what is happening within the Society, therefore please be assured that you will be kept up to date with any decisions regarding all these matters.

A Zoom meeting with Council took place last night, and several hours were spent discussing how we should progress. I can report following the meeting that Joe Relph has agreed to become acting National President for England, and Pat Murphy, acting National President for Ireland. As acting Presidents, they will complete the terms of the Presidents who resigned, and then continue to become National Presidents in their own right. It was previously agreed that because the National trials were not being held this year that the current Presidents would stand for an additional year to keep the rotation of International trials in sync. Obviously, this means that the acting Presidents stepping up now will have a long stint in office. I am very grateful to them for their support and urge you all to get behind them and assist them in any way possible.

Robin Dean has agreed to a casual vacancy as a member of Council for England, and Ireland are in the process of appointing a casual vacancy to return their Council representation to full capacity, details of which will be released once the position is filled.

Council were unanimous that the situation in Wales poses more of a problem as all the office bearers have resigned. I am totally committed to having Wales continue to be part of the Society. Wales can be extremely proud of their sheepdog heritage and their contribution to the ISDS over very many years. Welsh Directors and members will now be consulted to determine how best we can facilitate representation from them going forward.

It is essential, especially now that everyone works together, we are surely all striving towards the same goal which is the good of our Society and this I believe is paramount.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind Regards

Ian Fleming

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