Dr Robin Pizer – Ex NRA Chairman
- On 12 June 2017 The Times wrote an article entitled ‘Battle lines drawn in veterans’ clubhouse row”. The article covered the fact that the NRA were looking to increase rent on a Clubhouse from £3,000 to £15,000, despite previous assurances that the rent would remain the same.
- Further to the above article, ex-Chairman of the NRA, Dr. Robin Pizer wrote to The Times passing comment that present policy is the reverse of prior agreements and ‘this is not the sort of behaviour I would expect of a national governing body, especially one that is a charity’.
- In the meantime Dr Pizer has continued to try to voice concerns to the NRA regarding their apparent disregard for the charity and has been investigating the apparent use of illegal competition firearms on the camp. Suffice to say he was trying to be a good citizen.
- On 9th October 2018 the charade that is the NRA Disciplinary Committee met to discuss the Times article and Dr Pizer’s contributory letter. The timing of this Committee meeting so far apart from the event being discussed seems to coincide with Pizer’s current progress investigating the NRA.
- During the Disciplinary Committee Meeting against Robin Pizer, Andrew Mercer acted as the prosecution. When the Disciplinary Committee retired to consider their verdict Mercer went with them! The concept of the prosecutor being allowed to sit in on a jury’s deliberations is anathema to the legal process. Why did Committee Members allow this?
- The Committee concluded via letter from Andrew Mercer dated 12th October 2018 that Dr Pizer would not only be expelled from the NRA, but also banned from entering Bisley Camp until July 2019! This is despite this ban not being read out in the conclusion of the Disciplinary Hearing. This meant that Dr Pizer cannot visit his many friends and old colleagues or, for instance, come to non-NRA events. This is a gross breach of his rights. Dr Pizer appealed the decision on 22 October 2018.
- The full correspondence is available below and demonstrates how Andrew Mercer appears to take the law into his own hands to deal out additional penalties.
- After issuing the Disciplinary Decision, Andrew Mercer separately decided to hand out further punishment demanding Dr Pizer hand in his Shooter Certification Card (SCC) thereby looking to remove Dr Pizer’s ability to shoot on any UK MoD ranges, not just at Bisley. Who authorised this? Why does Andrew Mercer seem to have a personal vendetta against Dr Pizer and is abusing the power of his office to inflict unwarranted punishment?
- Despite offering countless dates for an Appeal Hearing since October 2018, the NRA via CEO Andrew Mercer and Ian Robertson (NRA’s Safety, Legal and Technical Representative) have still been ‘unable’ to find a suitable date. This is a clear and shameful breach of Dr Pizers’ rights.
On 29/01/2020 17:00, Iain Robertson, the NRA Legal and Technical Advisor wrote:
Dear Dr Pizer
I have been tasked to identify a date for a hearing of your appeal. Unfortunately, it has proved to be impossible to assemble an appeal committee for any of the dates you offered up to 14 February. Are you able to provide alternative dates out to (say) the end of March?
I W Robertson
for Secretary General
T: 01483 797777 (ext) 154
Dr Pizer Responds as per the below, copying in various individuals including his solicitor Mr Scoggins:
|Subject:||Re: Appeal hearing – dates|
|Date:||Sun, 2 Feb 2020 18:02:04 +0000|
|To:||Iain Robertson <Iain.Robertson@nra.org.uk>|
Dear Mr Robertson
I am somewhat puzzled that after almost 18 months of corresponding with Mr Mercer (my requests to him being frequent and almost entirely unanswered, his replies being few, far between and to say the least less than constructive) you now return to the case. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to the reason.
Cancellation of the appeal hearing set for 17 January was a denial of justice and I reserve all rights in regard to that denial. You ask for dates on which I and Mr Scoggins can currently attend through to the end of March. Here they are on the assumption – which please CONFIRM by return – that the hearing will start not earlier than 6.00pm:
February: 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28
March: 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 28, 29
Mr Scoggins and I have given you 19 dates to choose from but we cannot hold all these open until the last minute. So if you do not agree to one of these dates by 15 February, we reserve the right to tell you when you do reply that the date you have selected is no longer available.
Mr Mercer having refused and declined to address my many, repeated, proper and pertinent requests to set out the remit of the Appeal Committee and in particular which issues and evidence it will consider, I continue with the view that whatever date is next fixed for a convention of the Appeal Committee must be treated as a preliminary hearing and accordingly limited to deciding those matters of process and procedure, a substantive hearing of my appeal to follow at a later date.
Dr Robin Pizer
- At the end of February 2020 the NRA were in touch to invite Dr Pizer to a ‘Preliminary Hearing’ regarding his Appeal on Friday 21st February. It is most unusual to require a Preliminary Hearing before an Appeal Hearing, but the NRA was using it to apparently allow Dr Pizer to present all the evidence he has to show that his Disciplinary and punishment was unjust.
- At that Preliminary Hearing the committee were not interested in seeing any evidence, they simply announced that the sentencing of Dr Pizer of October 2018 was quashed on ‘procedural grounds’. The result is final with no further disciplinary procedures permitted.
- Since the decision on 21st February 2020 Dr Pizer has written countless times to the Disciplinary Committee to request written confirmation of their decision. They are not responding to him and it is thought that Mercer is behind this. If so then how is this an independent committee.
- Sadly this further shows that the NRA remains a deeply flawed organisation particularly in view of the NRA Press Release in response to the Charity Commission publication. Mercer wrote as follows:
“The improved documentation and procedures that the Trustees have put in place as a result of the action plan issued by the Commission will be of significant benefit to the charity. These include greater clarity … new governance structures, a new Disciplinary Code … The Trustees appreciate the help and advice that they have received from the Charity Commission on these issues and feel strongly that the NRA is in a better position for the future having implemented the action plan.NRA extract from their Press Release. 7 February 2020. Full links here.
The Trustees also agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed by Helen Earner, Director of Operations. Trustees are rightly expected to uphold high standards of common decency and behaviour.”
12 October 2018 NRA Disciplinary Decision – click here
2 September 2019 NRA Appeal Hearing – click here
19 September 2019 Dr Pizer Response – click here
“I am seriously considering legal action against the NRA for compensation and other redress for the shameful way in which I have been treated and in regard particularly to the fundamental flaws, failings and unfairness in the disciplinary procedure and the woeful delay in granting me an appeal hearing”Dr Robin Pizer. NRA Chairman 2009-13
John Killian has been Captain and Chairman of the Warwickshire Rifle Association, Captain of the Midlands Rifle Association. Represented England overseas and at home. Vice Chairman of the Shooting Committee – Commonwealth Games, Brisbane. Chief Range Officer Army Rifle Association and Acting Chief Range Officer.
In 1979 John Killian bought Clock Tower Lodge on Bisley Camp from the owner with the approval and blessing of the NRA. John has lived there for 40 years. In 2019 John was informed by Andrew Mercer that Clock Tower Lodge now belonged to the NRA and that no compensation would be forthcoming.
Andrew Mercer then changed the locks at Clock Tower Lodge and switched off the electricity. This took place whilst Mr Killian was recovering from heart surgery. John Killian produced an email which was sent to clubhouse owners around the Bisley area. In it he outlines his recent meetings with Andrew Mercer and how they resulted in losing his home.
“I have been asked why did I not renew my lease? If someone came along and said to you that the house you had purchased for a significant sum (at the time) and spent £60k refurbishing it is no longer yours and they wanted you to sign a new lease agreeing to that would you do it? That was the position the NRA CEO put me in presumably with the backing of the chairman and trustees…What has happened with my lodge and other tenants in Bisley is that the present NRA management has unashamedly exploited the trust that existed between the NRA and Bisley tenants for over 100 years for what appears to be for no other reason than financial gain. One could perhaps understand this unprecedented behaviour if the NRA were in financial difficulties but it is not – far from it…The present NRA management would do well to remember that what made Bisley and the NRA world famous is the Bisley clubhouses, their members, the residential tenants and the shooter friendly village like environment created by them. Without these Bisley would just be another big field with targets on it and there are plenty of those around the world that no one can name…Respected NRA vice presidents, members of general council, NRA members and 5 MPs have repeatedly advised the chairman to have his CEO desist from the unfair and unprecedented treatment of the Bisley clubhouses and tenants but like the Captain of the Titanic the chairman, backed by the other trustees, has chosen to ignore all of this advice and consequently brought shame on the NRA. They have brought the NRA into disrepute with 5 MPs, the national press, the charity commission and other interested parties. You only have to look at the internet to see the numerous adverse comments made about the NRA trustees and CEO’s actions e.g. “So many good people’s futures in doubt because of the greed of the NRA”. And I’ve heard several people say “the fun has gone out of Bisley”…Fellow NRA members make no mistake we are witnessing the death of Bisley by a thousand cuts. If the present senior NRA management are not stopped the Bisley, and the NRA we knew and loved will be lost and once gone we will never get it back”.John Killian. 2019
The tragic account can be followed by clicking this link
I had a caravan on site but the NRA have decided that mine and quite a few others are too old to be seen there, they have therefore decided to scrap as many of them as they can leaving us working/pensioner class plebs out in the cold just so they can make more money by creating a super (money) site.
I have been a loyal member since 1975, only missing one Imperial meeting in that time (hospitalised). I have been the hon sec of the English twenty club so I know the problems you have/are facing.I have been Captain of the England team several times, been a member of the GB rifle teams and taken the Athelings and U19 teams to various destinations IE. 22 time to Canada,8 to South Africa 8 to channel islands etc etc.
We, the members have gradually been priced out of Bisley since that money making over paid jumped up upstart Mercer was taken on. All he seems interested in is the bonus on top of the very generous salary he gets paid depending on the NRA turnover. I think I have done my bit for the good of the NRA and this is how WE get treated. I now find that as I live in Lincolnshire I am no longer able to come down to shoot as it would be too much in one day, so I must give up the fine sport I have put so much time and work into. I have shot the Queens many times, finishing 4th on one occasion. I back you fully in all the hard work you are putting to fight the nose up their own backside bleating b******s and if there is any way that I can help I would be honoured to be asked.
Regards to you all,