You will need a copy of the constitution of the NCMD to fully understand what has been happening during the Covid 19 pandemic. A copy of the correct version of the constitution prior to the unconstitutional AGM held via zoom on the 27th June 2021 is available to download by clicking HERE.
The constitution is a legally binding document, that has governed the NCMD since 1995, when it was created by Norman Palmer QC for the organisation. Throughout the years, the constitution has kept the NCMD together as a dedicated group of unpaid volunteers. That was until the pandemic which presented an opportunity for a small group of individuals, mainly from the Scottish and North West Regions, led by Kevin Gorman, to ignore the constitution and agreements made by the Executive Committee members at the start of these difficult times.
The NCMD officers who have taken over the organisation, have made misleading accusations against the Executive Committee members of the Midland, Western, Southern and Yorkshire regions. The responses from the four regions have been spun and everything possible has been done to avoid talking and mediating with the four regions. In addition, vile accusations and threats of legal action have been made against the officers of the four regions.
These NCMD officers have also wanted to alienate the membership from dedicated and hardworking members of the four regions. The two latest publications of Digging Deep issues 28 and 29 had no input from the four regions. Issue 29 was mainly all about the North West region. These two publications cost about £28,000.
A further £1200 was spent to send individual letters to all the members of the four regions during August 2021 to try to discredit their democratically elected officers and to bring about a split between them.
The NCMD web site, the NCMD Facebook page and Digging Deep have been used to spread propaganda and incite the membership to support and condone the illegal actions of NCMD officers. A number of posts supporting the regions’ stance have been deleted from Facebook, thus removing the right to reply.
It is to be understood that the ordinary membership wants insurance to metal detect and cannot be bothered with the politics, and that is reasonable. However, in this case the politics should be considered or the membership could suffer when this hobby is subjected to any future possible legislation. This 'turning a blind eye' could allow outside organisations that may be opposed to the hobby, to make changes. The vastly experienced personnel in the four regions have the contacts, the ability, and the expertise to safeguard the hobby.
This group of mainly unconstitutionally elected officers have now outlined spending of a substantial amount of the NCMD fighting/defence fund, to implement grandiose plans for their perceived future of the hobby. Their actions have included the unprecedented step in unconstitutionally expelling some of its membership, stating they have no right of appeal.
In addition, there are other quite serious concerns regarding the NCMD accounts that cover past years that need a thorough and detailed audit. The copies of all accounts and paperwork used to create these has been requested on numerous occasions and have not been provided to Executive Committee members.
1. 31st January 2020 Was the arrival date of Covid 19 pandemic in the UK. The national lockdown rules were unpredictable and didn't end until the 19th July 2021.
2. 9th February 2020 There was an NCMD Ordinary General Meeting at Northampton. This was to be the last face-to-face meeting due to the pandemic. At this time Kevin Gorman was not in position as General Secretary. In the minutes of this OGM it was agreed that the updated role definitions for General Secretary, Membership Secretary and the newly Co-opted Officers were to be added to the agenda for the AGM in June 2020. Click HERE to read a copy of the February minutes.
3. 7th April 2020 Alastair Hackett, the President of the NCMD and all Executive Committee members made an agreement that there would be no email, zoom, and Skype meetings, and everything should simply be stopped on the 21st June 2020 and restarted at the agreed AGM date in November 2020. He stated in writing, "As such we do not recommend trying to deal with any agenda items before November by other methods such as email, Zoom, Skype etc. There is nothing on the agendas that cannot wait until November." There can be no doubt about this proposal and agreement amongst the officers that were copied in. Click HERE to view the email.
IT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO NOTE that the agreement as in 3 above was NEVER CANCELLED or REVISED by the full Executive Committee members and as such, remains a written agreement throughout the pandemic and has never been rescinded. All email and zoom meetings including the AGM on the 27th June 2021 were therefore unconstitutional, as all are subject to this agreement made on the 7th April 2020.
4. 14th June 2020 The vacant position for General Secretary was re-advertised with this closing date and the only expression of interest received was from the North West Region in favour of Kevin Gorman.
5. 22nd – 30th June 2020 There was no actual meeting or discussion that took place. Emails between these dates were sent out by Kevin Gorman, still only a delegate asking questions. The whole content of this Virtual Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) agenda and minutes was created and approved by Kevin Gorman, based on the emails he sent out and replies received. This form of meeting was totally unconstitutional, and in any case the agreement as 3 above still existed and was ignored by Kevin Gorman and other officers working with him. Click HERE to read the minutes of this meeting and DO NOTE he was only a delegate and yet to be elected which can only take place at an AGM as per the constitution. In these minutes Kevin Gorman lists persons who were never in attendance thus misleading the readership of these minutes that ALL the regions were in attendance. This was not the case.
The nomination for Kevin Gorman to be General Secretary was proposed by Hilary Fagen (North West Region) and seconded by John Rigby (North West Region) despite it not being an AGM as per the constitution. His position was therefore not ratified. Click HERE to see the minutes (item 4) for the 22nd - 30th June 2020.
David Rees (Chairman of the Western Region) pointed out to Kevin Gorman that these minutes and content were not that of a Virtual meeting, and was rebuffed for pointing this out. The definition of a virtual meeting is simply a meeting that happens online whereby people can see and talk with each other rather than physically with all the participants in the same meeting room. In addition to breaking the agreement outlined in 3 above, it is clear that using emails is NOT a virtual meeting as recognised in business.
6. 7th July 2020 An email was sent to all Executive Committee members by Kevin Gorman to confirm he took on the General Secretary position. In that email he stated, “I’m not sure if you are aware that I was appointed General secretary (NCMD) just a few days ago, so I would be grateful if you will address all general enquiries through myself in future." HIS POSITION WAS NOT RATIFIED as this can only be done at an AGM. It is obvious from this email his intention was to inform others listed as attending that Virtual meeting of his appointment. He appears to believe they may not know.
7. 21 – 26 August 2020 There was no actual meeting or discussion that took place. Emails between these dates were sent out by the acting General Secretary Kevin Gorman asking questions. The whole content of this virtual Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) agenda and minutes was created and approved by Kevin Gorman, based on the emails he sent out and replies received. This form of meeting was totally unconstitutional, and in any case the agreement as 3 above still existed and was ignored by Kevin Gorman and other officers working with him. Click HERE to read the minutes of this meeting.
8. 4th January 2021 In response to an email from the Western Region NCMD President Alastair Hackett stated, “All proposed amendments to our Constitution will fall to be discussed at the AGM but I feel obliged to state my own position in view of my concerns over Western Region's comments. The statement that 'We need to have more financial control here' is in my view wholly unwarranted and bordering on being insulting, the implication being that we currently have inadequate financial control.”
9. 10th January 2021 Leading up to this date there were a number of email exchanges between the regions and NCMD officers regarding changes to the accounting system. There were major concerns expressed regarding security of the membership funds. Siobhan Liehne, the treasurer stated, “The practice of having Committee members perusing the accounts before they were signed off was sensible enough in the NCMD’s early days. With the software we have now in place I have the facility to break down everything to the nth degree, separate things out, and make everything much clearer to the Committee. Every single transaction of any kind now has an electronic trail and cannot be argued with. The fact that I now have Internet and Telephone banking and have appointed John Rigby to have full privileges and Clive Coleman to have the right to view the bank account, means that John and I check each other constantly and Clive can ‘oversee’ everything, anytime he wants, from anywhere in the world. This is normal practice in large organisations like ours with the kind of funds we hold. The Western Region suggests that transfers and cheques should be held to a level of £1500 without approval of the entire committee, and only every other day. This is simply unreasonable and unworkable. In this day and age, £1500 is simply inadequate, and to be able to do this on only 1 day in 2? Is the Western Region really expecting me to get permission from the committee to do a transfer of £1500.01 when very often, we can’t get replies from committee members in under a week? When we are in a busy period everyone would very quickly get confused with multiple emails, phone calls etc. I could say a lot more, but I hope that I have got my message across. Leave things as they are unless it can be demonstrated that there are advantages in changing them. As for all other comments and suggestions made by Western Region, I agree with comments made by Alastair Hackett et al.
10. 20th January 2021 Kevin Gorman informed the Executive Committee members that a bequest of £15000 had been offered to the NCMD, and in an email from Wendy Howard, the now de-facto Chairman on Wednesday 20th January 2021 she writes, "Thanks Kev I was thinking along the lines of a token payment for exec officers for all the time and hard work that has been put in since first lockdown. I know we all have voluntary roles but I feel all the work and time has been exceptional through such hard times."
It is not clear what has been done with this bequest and some of the regions’ suggestions included that the legacy be used for outreach to schools and Junior members.
11. 28th February 2021 There was a further Virtual OGM held using zoom. This meeting was not attended by the four regions due to the agreement reached on the 7th April 2020 that there would be no email, zoom, and Skype meetings. Please see 3 above, and some of the four regions were also away on holiday. Click HERE to view the minutes. A quorum for meetings is required as per the constitution.
12. 17th May 2021 despite harassing the four regions to attend virtual zoom meetings and accusing them of obstinacy and refusing his outwardly reasonable requests, Kevin Gorman then ironically called for a face-to-face meeting that he said could not be discussed either on the telephone or by zoom. This change of direction was an about face to his previous demands. The four regions believed that a change of heart was to be evidenced and readily agreed to meet him in Northampton. The four regions were represented by David Rees, John Wells, Syd Hallam, and Clive Sinclair. Kevin Gorman was accompanied by Catherine Lange. The meeting began by both insisting that a non-disclosure agreement was to be agreed by all parties. The four regions were against this as they were representing their regions, and open and honest communication was at the heart of regional protocol. Kevin Gorman and Catherine Lange stated they were adamant that they would not disclose this information to the four regions unless they agreed to their demands. The four regions agreed at this time so that the details would be disclosed to them. Outlined to them was a serious matter regarding the misappropriation of funds by an officer amounting in one year to over £2000. The long-standing officer involved, maintained his innocence but was given three options: resign, retire or be reported to the Police. He was told that if he retired that would be the end of the matter. Kevin Gorman stated the officer had agreed to pay the money back at £100 a month. It is uncertain whether these payments are continuing as the officer involved now maintains his innocence.
The four regions were unhappy that the full executive committee members had not been informed or involved in this judgemental decision-making as per the constitution. No individual should be denied the right to appeal.
In view of the disclosures, and the now diminished relationships, plus other financial concerns that required considerable discussions to be raised by the four regions, in Kevin Gorman's own words, "There is far too much to discuss and deal with at an AGM" Kevin Gorman suggested the whole day of the 26th June 2021should be held for face-to-face meetings attended by all Executive Committee members prior to the AGM that was to be held on the 27th June 2021.
13. 11th June 2021 and 12th June 2021 Wendy Howard (the Vice-Chairman of the NCMD at that time and now as acting Chairman) contacted John Wells and subsequently had several telephone conversations and zoom meetings with himself and David Rees Chairman of the Western Region. Wendy Howard stated that she was against any payments being made to NCMD officers. She also stated that Kevin Gorman and Catherine Lange had refused to allow her to assist with the membership cards when John Rigby retired. She explained that on previous occasions she helped him in distributing membership cards when he was overloaded with this work. As Executive Committee members the four regions were informed by Kevin Gorman that Siobhan Liehne (the NCMD treasurer) took that work on voluntarily. (At the meeting on 17th May 2021 Kevin Gorman told the four regions that Siobhan Liehne had BEEN PAID for undertaking that work). Wendy Howard also stated she had not been in favour of the spending £25000 for the series of five cartoons used on YouTube. She also stated that there had been only one tender provided for the cartoon videos to be produced and that information had came from Catherine Lange. There is proof of this conversation with Wendy Howard.
14. 13th June 2021 Saw the sending of email nominations from the four regions in the format required by the constitution for elections to officer positions. A second copy of these nominations was again sent on the 14th June 2021. Both emails were acknowledged as received by Kevin Gorman. He and the other officers then refused to accept either of them. He then alleged that the four regions were trying to take over the NCMD by stealth and posted this on social media with other accusations. Click HERE for full information about the nominations and what transpired.
15. 15th June 2021 Nominations from Kevin Gorman were submitted to the Executive Committee on this date and these were then voted through at the AGM. Click HERE to view his unconstitutional nominations, and you can also view them on the nomination explanation page by clicking HERE.
16. 26th June 2021 The promised meeting prior to the AGM was cancelled by Kevin Gorman.
17. 27th June 2021 An AGM was held using zoom and you can click HERE to view the minutes. The four regions refused to attend this zoom meeting which was counter to the agreement outlined in 3 above that still remained in force. In addition, the nominations from the four regions had been refused by Kevin Gorman. Those two facts aside, it was agreed on the 17th May 2021 with Kevin Gorman following his own words, "There is far too much to discuss and deal with at an AGM" that the meeting on 26th June 2021 was imperative. In addition, the four regions have concerns that neither the EGM or AGM were quorate as per the constitution.
At this AGM under item 4 a new item was added i.e. the ratification of the General Secretary's position, which up until then had only been a temporary measure. This agenda item was voted and accepted unanimously by all the attending regions. The four regions had previously pointed out to the NCMD officers that Kevin Gorman was exceeding his authority as a temporary General Secretary.
Item 4 of the minutes states, 'A new item – General Secretary ratification - was to be added to Item 4. This addition was voted unanimously as acceptable by all the attending regions.'
Continuing item 4 it states, 'The vote for ratification of a previous vote for Catherine Lange to be elected as Communications Officer took place. All voted in favour, and the vote for ratification of a previous vote for Kevin Gorman to be elected as General Secretary took place. All voted in favour.'
It is clear from the minutes that neither Kevin Gorman nor Catherine Lange throughout the pandemic were ratified, and that both individuals exceeded their authority granted by clause 14 (i) of the constitution. They were supported by NCMD officers mainly from the North West region, the Scottish region, the Anglian region and the North Eastern Region.
All were complicit and assisted by the President Alastair Hackett in efforts to force email and zoom meetings onto the Executive Committee members of the four regions and to purposely place others from the North West region into NCMD officer positions. This was unconstitutional.
The minutes also outlined proposals for considerable expenditures and paid positions for officers that have since been repeatedly denied. Click HERE to see a summary of these proposals as extracted from the minutes.
18. 10th July 2021 It is unclear how this EGM was held as it is not stated in the minutes. It was decided that the majority of the Executive Committee will no longer recognise any of the five individuals named in theses minutes as members of the Executive Committee. Click HERE to read the minutes.
19. 14th July 2021 Due to concerns being expressed by detectorists regarding their Public Liability insurance cover whilst taking part in commercial events, Syd Hallam (Yorkshire Region), contacted Bluefin the new NCMD insurance provider. Their reply stated that commercial events not organised by the NCMD were not covered. The four regions informed their regions' members to be cautious whilst this reply was being looked into. See 16 below.
20. 20th July 2021 John Wells contacted Bluefin, the NCMD insurers and eventually was able to get confirmation in writing, that the Public Liability insurance from Bluefin does cover members when taking part in commercial events. The four regions informed their members. Click HERE to read these email replies to Syd Hallam and John Wells from Bluefin Insurance.
This due diligence of checking the cover of the Public Liability insurance by two Executive Committee members of the NCMD was within their authority as detailed in clause 14 (ii) of the constitution. However, without actually seeing the two letters from Bluefin Insurance or allowing for these to be shown to the NCMD membership, this has been used to discredit what is a part of an Executive Committee member's responsibility as per the constitution.
21. 2nd August 2021 There was an offer of mediation made by the NCMD officers using social media, and the four regions accepted this and agreed to take part. The NCMD made this offer through the mediator and he informed the four regions. He also stated that the NCMD was going to have a meeting to now consider this offer. The offer was then withdrawn by the NCMD Officers. No reasons were given.
22. 10th August 2021 This was published on the NCMD web site. 'This leaves the NCMD no alternative but to write to you all direct; this will take place in the coming days. Please be assured that you have nothing to be concerned about – your membership is safe with us. We are here to answer any of your queries, we will provide you with all the facts you need to counter the deliberate, malicious misinformation which has been publicly posted recently by David Rees, John Wells and Brian Vaughan. These claims include posting that: - the NCMD insurance does not cover its members on rallies – UNTRUE. Some Executive representatives not holding full Officer status – UNTRUE. Meetings have taken place without a quorum being present – UNTRUE.'
Every member of the four regions was sent a letter from the NCMD officers at a cost of approximately £1200.
The four regions can prove conclusively that every UNTRUE is in fact TRUE and have evidence to support this. However, the NCMD officers did not provide an opportunity to discuss this with the four regions. Any form of defence was dis-allowed by the officers that are now in control of the NCMD web site, which, should be a shared asset and be available to all Executive Committee members.
23. 24th August 2021 A second offer of mediation was made by Alastair Hackett through the mediator to the four regions. They fully agreed to this offer. The mediator insisted that both the officers of the NCMD and the four regions provide an undertaking to cease any further contact until the date of mediation was agreed. He stated that this could take up to three weeks to take place. The four regions complied and although there were comments made against them using social media, they upheld that undertaking. Click HERE to read the offer made by Alastair Hackett.
24. 30th August 2021 This latest offer of mediation was again withdrawn by Chairman Wendy Howard and what followed were untrue and unfounded allegations in relation to the undertaking given to the mediator by the four regions. The mediator was satisfied that the four regions had not broken that undertaking. She also made unfounded allegations against three Executive Committee members within the four regions and removed their membership. It was stated there will be NO RIGHT TO APPEAL to her decision. The NCMD constitution has an equality policy that is to be considered in due course. She also wrote to John Wells removing his Honorary President award that had been bestowed on him for his long-term exceptional service to the NCMD and the hobby. That included 6 years as President, 18 years as NCMD Chairman, and 47 years as Chairman of the Midland Region.
25. 29th September 2021 Alastair Hackett resigned as president from the NCMD but will continue his role as an NCMD delegate. He stated, “I am delighted to hear that Dave Crisp has been co-opted by Executive Officers to fill the casual vacancy left by Catherine Lange (Communications officer), and that Alan Tamblyn has agreed to fill the General Secretary vacancy left by Kevin Gorman. It is excellent news to know that key positions are now filled enabling the administration of NCMD business to continue as normal. I therefore want to take this opportunity to thank Dave and Alan for volunteering their services and to categorically reassure all members that the NCMD will continue to be run by a dedicated and a hard-working team committed to representing the interests of all members - individual as well as regional - across the UK.”
Prior to these appointments, Dave Crisp had not attended any NCMD council meetings for over five years. Alan Tamblyn prior to these spurious appointments had never attended NCMD council meetings as a delegate. His only attendance was when he was introduced to the NCMD council as a volunteer to set up a Facebook page for the organisation. He started but didn’t carry out this undertaking, and as a result the then Chairman Clive Coleman wrote to him and terminated his role.
These appointments are unconstitutional, because they have been made by the same group of people previously acting unconstitutionally and are therefore illegal appointments. This appointment of a General Secretary is almost a duplication of the issues surrounding Kevin Gorman’s tenure in office who assumed the role and was not ratified at the time.
Do now check the updates by clicking HERE.