Some members may be aware of an article which appeared on the East Vets Ladies website on the 11th February regarding the planned merger, by the end of 2011, of the SLGA and the SGU (see article entitled “East Vets Weel-kent Faces” at http://www.eastvetsblogspot.com/) or may have seen articles in the Press or even the latest issue of the Bunkered magazine. Having been touched on very briefly at the SLGA AGM in January, the East Division Captains brought this up at their Divisional Meeting on the 6th February. It was very evident at that meeting that not a lot, if anything, is known about this planned merger, not even by the East Division’s SLGA Representatives! As a result, the East Division Captains asked for it to be added to the agenda for the SLGA Captains’ Meeting which was held on Sautrday.
At that meeting, a statement was read out on behalf of the SLGA by Dawn Buchert. Having thought that was the end of the item, questions and comments then followed, being answered by Sheila Hartley. The SLGA Representatives on the Amalgamation Committee are Shona Malcolm, Sheila Hartley, Lynne Terry and Lorna Bennett. Apparently, nothing has been done. It is not a done deal. There is nothing to report. Nothing has happened. It is just a proposal. They can’t answer any questions because they haven’t had any discussions.
So all those reports in the Press that the merger is going ahead at the end of 2011 are wrong!
The Committee’s first meeting was held on the 23rd February and that, we were told, was the start of the formal talks. Their next meeting is at the end of April. They have no proposals to put forward, no framework to work towards nor even, at the moment, a starting point.
The Captains stressed to the SLGA that they must keep their members informed to stop rumours spreading. Communication is vital. The Captains were told that they were responsible for informing the County members. However, this was thrown back as we asked that the SLGA issues a statement informing us all of where they have got to and what their next steps are. A positive statement is what is needed to let everyone know that the merger has not got any further than a proposal. A statement letting us all know that both the SLGA and SGU memberships WILL be asked to vote to give their approval for the merger. A statement letting us all know that an EGM WILL be called and lady golfers do not just have the 2011 AGM to voice any opinions.
There are various issues, some of which were raised, that need to be looked at. The County structures between the men and the ladies differ greatly. The voting structures between the two groups are far different. The County Championships are run far differently. The SLGA has assets specifically sidelined for County affairs. They need to be protected. The SLGA and SGU office letting contracts run out at different times but neither apparently is big enough to cope with both administrative groups. These and many more questions need to be addressed when the Committee finally get down to discussing this possible proposal.
In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for the SLGA statement!