One aspect of the Ski Club of Britain's activities which causes concern is this one:
"Respect the Mountain"
"The Ski Club's Respect the Mountain campaign has gone from strength to strength over the years and is now one of the ski industry's biggest environmental and safety initiatives."
Note some of the key figures:
The environmental levy
(50p per subscription per annum) was established in 2005. Since that time, 18,000 subscriptions per annum would be a fair average - i.e. £9000 over a minimum 8 years: a minimum £72,000 fund, plus the proceeds of 'Respect the Mountain' merchandise - presumably at least £10,000. There is a strange reference to wristbands (£2) having raised £6816. 35,000 of these were manufactured, along with ranges of t-shirts, hoodies etc.
The environmental expenditure
- referred to as "donations" - is given as £34,354. However, as is clear on the page, the numbers don't add up to that amount. On the surface of it, tens of thousands of pounds of this money (which was originally intended to go to registered environmental charities etc) is unaccounted for. I queried this with the Club's treasurer last year, was promised an annualised breakdown of expenditure (a standard expectation for quasi-charitable funding), but it has not materialised.
An early commitment was given to a "long-term tree-planting project" with the Woodland Trust. However, the Trust queried the fact (after 18 months) that their payments had ceased without explanation.
Of interest to Scottish skiing is the 'Big Spring Clean', where volunteers are encouraged to pick up litter from the ski slopes in the spring. This is not organised by local SCGB personnel in Scotland but (as I understand it) office staff from London are despatched at considerable cost to run this. A 2013 clear-up has not been announced. Presumably it could be done by the ski areas themselves (though I guess they do a lot of this anyway), with local volunteer help, at quite low cost.
There is a reference to £100 payments being made to SCGB members and reps travelling by train. Very attractive for them, since this is around £40 more than the membership subscription. But why the payments? I travelled to Switzerland return from London for £120 in April. Cheaper than air travel, with the baggage extras etc.
This Respect the Mountain project was intended to fund - only - bona fide environmental charities and so on, so that all expenditure could be properly accounted for and monitored. So the first question concerns the 'missing money'.
Let's have a proper breakdown, year by year, of income and expenditure.
Edited 5 times. Last edit at 18.43hrs Mon 17 Jun 13 by David Goldsmith.