Many people have been wondering what has really been going on at BikeHub recently. We are now able to give you more news – and its not good. Here is a message from Duncan – BikeHub co-ordinator and Groundwork South employee that was.
As you probably know, the Circus Street Bike Hub has been closed to customers since 24 September. This was a forced closure by management of the Groundwork South charity, over some minor health & safety and stock control issues. It went ahead without any consultation with myself, as project co-ordinator, or the volunteer team.
For not fully co-operating with this action, which most of us involved felt was unnecessary, disproportionate and damaging for the Bike Hub service, I have been the subject of a disciplinary action over recent weeks.
The charge: not following a ‘reasonable’ instruction to hand over the keys. An instruction which I have argued, in my defence, was unreasonable given the heavy-handed and destructive nature of the closure and the disrespect shown to volunteers.
The outcome: Summary dismissal, with immediate effect, for ‘gross misconduct’
The Bike Hub had been so busy and thriving. We had received great feedback from customers and involvement from a diverse group of volunteers, many of whom were highly skilled and generous with their time.
Groundwork say that they wish to reopen soon. However, there is a great deal of concern that, if they do, it will not be with the same inclusive ethos or helpful and friendly vibe as before. Against the wishes of volunteers, they have indicated that they do not intend to open on Saturdays – the Bike Hub’s busiest day.
Many are extremely disappointed with the way that this has been handled, and the way the volunteer team and the Steering Group continue to not be respected or consulted on issues about which they have considerable experience and insight.
The Bike Hub Steering Group is continuing to meet and to represent the views of volunteers and customers. The group has sought to liaise with Groundwork management to arrive at an outcome which preserves the best of what the Bike Hub has been during its first six months.
The steering group currently run this web-site and our Facebook and Twitter sites.
If you have any comments, concerns or questions, these may be a good place to air them. Otherwise the steering group will work to keep you posted.
Groundwork may be sending their own information out directly to some volunteers.
If you want to contact Groundwork South directly, you can email:
– Area manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
– Executive Director, email@example.com
Many thanks for all the support over recent weeks and I look forward to being involved with this or related projects in the future.
(Former) Brighton Bike Hub Project Co-ordinator
(please note old number 07508 430489 – no longer available)