[r-t] Decisions Review and Tony Smith

Philip Earis pje24 at cantab.net
Thu Jan 22 16:18:03 UTC 2015

Tony Smith has announced his resignation from the Methods Committee from the 
Central Council.  He has also taken down his Methods Committee "review of 
decisions" webpage (which Don recently drew attention to),  saying "those 
pages may not reflect the views of the Committee".

At the 2014 Central Council meeting it was agreed that there should be a 
fundamental review of the existing Decisions.  The proposer of the motion, 
which was carried by significant majority, set out that this needed to be a 
careful and visible review of the relevant Decisions and of the assumptions 
and principles underlying them, including appropriate consultation so that 
the Council is seen to respond
constructively to "popular" comment. The review was to be fundamental, with 
no possible outcome - from complete rewriting to null change (some irony 
here) - precluded from the outset.

For the review to meet its mandate, it would and will need to be undertaken 
in a way that has the confidence and support of a wide spectrum of ringers' 
conflicting views.  The reality and perception both need to be that no 
outcome is precluded. I look forward to the new head of the review fully 
engaging with the ringing community, and I wish them every success in this 
tricky exercise.

Whilst Tony and I clearly see change ringing from very different 
perspectives, I would like at this time to pay sincere tribute to his many 
years of hard work and dedication. Tony was first elected to the Methods 
Committee in 1981 I believe, and since then has freely given thousands of 
hours of his time and expertise to the Methods Committee, and through this 
to the wider ringing community.  His hosting and curating of the online 
method collections (and CC archival material and documents) are an extremely 
valuable service to ringers everywhere. Through a conservative and technical 
approach he has made the Methods Committee one of the most visible CC 
committees, successfully and calmly fending off the arguments of assorted 
reformers, sceptics, contrarians - arguments not always charitably 
expressed - over many years. We move into a brave new world.

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