Minutes of July 2009 meeting

Autscape Management Committee Meeting Minutes

Date: Sunday 19th July 2009

Meeting opened at 16:05

Present: Larry, Debbie, Yo, Martijn, Peter, Selina and 4 observers
Apologies were received from Robin and Trish.

1.0 Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved
For: 4; Against: 0; Abstain: 1

2.1 Final decision for venue 2010

[Selina arrived during this item.]

It is far from clear which of Ammerdown and Emmaus are better.  Peter
had asked for a bit of extra time from Ammerdown, so despite the
decision being taken on list, there was the opportunity to overturn it
should people have regretted their earlier decision.

Martijn said that the remote location of Ammerdown had meant that
somebody wasn't able to attend in a previous year. Larry said that
that could happen no matter where the venue is, and Selina knew of
several cases of this.

A vote was taken for Ammerdown to be the 2010 venue.
For: 5; Against: 1; Abstain: 0

ACTION: Peter to contact Ammerdown and Emmaus

2.2 Childcare

There was a last minute development on the childcare SC. Only two
children needed care, so the chilcare SC found an off-site childcare
provider that was able to take those children. The provider will be
working with support from Bromley Mencap.

Vote to ratify the childcare SC's decision:
For: 6; Against: 0; Abstain: 0

3.0 Proposals

3.1.1 Presenter rebates - organ recital [not on the agenda]

Before the committee discussed 3.1 proper, Peter introduced the issue
of the organ recital which has changed from being an unscheduled
activity to a scheduled slot in the programme. 

Peter felt that as this is a scheduled activity, Philp is committed to
giving the recital in a way that he wouldn't be if he were giving it
as an unscheduled activity. The slot became free when another
presenter pulled out so there should be money available.

Martijn wondered if organizers of other leisure activities might think
this it unfair.

Yo said that he should get a rebate this year, but asked that in
future there should be a distinction between 'presentations' and
'planned leisure activites'.

Debbie also agreed, but as a one-off payment - she didn't want to set
a precedent for future years.

The committee voted to give Philip a one-off honorarium.
For: 5; Against: 0; Abstain: 1

ACTION: Debbie to enter this into the registration system

3.1 Presenter rebates

The following people declared an interest in this item:
Larry, Yo, Selina

However, since Robin is away, the item will be discussed on the
committee list.

3.2 Committee member rebates

Robin is away, so the item will be discussed on the committee list.

ACTION: [all] to discuss on list

3.3 Monday before Autscape at Emmaus

The venue can accommodate us the night before Autscape. Who will/won't
be there.

Larry (he'll be bringing printing)
Debbie and Peter (registration)

Yo (arriving Tuesday morning)


Peter expressed his hope that Robin would be there on Monday.

ACTION: Peter to check with Robin and Trish

3.4 Sensory equipment

Barring a change in the constitution, the committee cannot claim
expenses for storing equipment on behalf of Autscape. The committee
voted on ordering smaller items which would be easier to store.
For: 5; Against: 1; Abstain: 0

ACTION: Debbie to order equipment

3.5 Committee List archive

The way the committee list archive is passed on from one year to the
next (or not) is an area where there opinions are divided. In a
typical committee, there would be formal meetings which would be
recorded, but most communications would be be ephemeral - once the
moment in time had passed, there would be no record.  The way the
Autscape committee works is unusal in that there is a record of nearly
all internal communications.

The options we had were: pass on nothing, pass on everything bar
specific excluded posts, or pass on everything.

Martijn argued that we should pass on everything - to do otherwise is
to distort history. Furthermore, removing a post could leave a visible
gap where it was obvious that a post has been removed - you would
wonder what was so sensitive that it had to be removed.

To most closely emulate a typical committee, passing on nothing would
be the best option. However, this, combined with annual committee
changes, could potentially destroy the institutional memory. 

Several people felt that passing on the archive was important, but
that they wanted the ability to remove certain posts. For example, a
post made about an individual could be hurtful when read by that
individual in the next year's committee. One opinion was that they
should be thick skinned enough to cope with that.

Yo felt that if people who wanted to remove one or two posts were
pushed on making the entire archive available, they would choose to
remove the entire archive rather than allow it to be passed on
containing the small number of posts they wanted removed.

Martijn said that it would be laborious to search thousands of
messages. Peter responded that in practice you would know what message
you wanted to remove - you wouldn't be searching through all the
routine messages.

The committee voted on the options:

Remove all message: 0
Pass on all bar selected posts: 3
Pass on all messages: 2
Abstain: 0

ACTION: [all] Details about how to remove posts to be finalised on list

3.6 Complaints procedure

People First are an advocacy organisation for people with learning

Larry said that the motion regarding People First is not that they
represent us but that if they were willing they would arbitrate in the
event of an unrresolved dispute. They are also familiar with some
people in the autistic movement.

Yo had looked them up and thought that they had similar values to

The committee approved approaching People First.
For: 5; Against: 0; Abstain: 1

ACTION: Larry to contact People First

3.7 Feedback forms

Kitt has been working on improving the feedback forms. Martijn and
Debbie expressed their thanks to Kitt for her work. The committee
approved the foms:
For: 6; Against: 0; Abstain 0

3.8 Agenda and Minutes for the AGM.

[Trish joined the meeting during this item.]

Yo said that the 2008 minutes are now complete, though they aren't yet
finalised, and she volunteered to do the 2009 agenda. This left the
issue of the minutes for the 2009 AGM.

Peter said that he could do them, but would need an audio
recording. From a technical point of view, there were various opinions
about whether it was possible to produce a recording of sufficently
high quality. However, this also raised an access issue - what if some
members were anxious about being recorded. This isn't beyond the
bounds of possibility - we have black circles for a reason.

Debbie offered to do the AGM minutes without an audio recording.
The committee voted to approve this:
For: 7; Against: 0; Abstain 0

4.0 Progress Reports

4.1 Organiser wear - Selina

Selina will collect information about what is acceptable and pass tha
on to Debbie and Peter.

ACTION: Selina to email the commmittee

4.2 Merchandise (stimmy toys and logo items) - Selina

Stimmy toys are mostly bought, Debbie has another £17 to spend.

ACTION: Selina to send information on purchases to Debbie

4.3 Stationery

Peter is still to get folders and pens. Communication badges will be
done by Robin. Lanyards are on order. Pens have arrived.
Selina asked about 2 folders for the kids.

ACTION: Peter to get folders and pens.
ACTION: Robin to get communication badges and black circles.

4.4 Publicity SC - Larry

Larry is ready to arrange printing as soon as he gets the proofs.

4.5 Venue SC - Peter

The venue says that the menus will be ready very  soon.

ACTION: Peter to put up menus when they arrive.

4.6 Tech SC - Debbie

Reported on list.  We are not doing anything bar individually putting
up webpages for others on an as need basis. We have a volunteer to
help with AV.

4.7 Programme - Martijn

The programme is done and is now available on the website.

ACTION: Martijn to compile a list of presenters' needs and liaise with the
venue SC to get those arranged.

4.8 Childcare - Trish

Trish thanked Debbie for handling the childcare SC when she was busy.
Alternative childcare is now sorted, as discussed in section 2.2.

4.9 Fundraising - Yo

Nothing to report

4.10 Constitution - Yo

Nothing to report, and progress unlikely due to more urgent issues
before this year's Autscape.

4.11 Registrar - Debbie

There are 20 places left which must be booked by end of July.
Of these twenty, we can have a maximum of five residential in twin
bedrooms. Registration for special diets and children is closed.

Single room allocation has started and people will be emailed about
whether or not they've being allocated a single over the next few

More detailed information is available in the report on the committee

4.12 Picture signs - Trish

Trish started working on a few ideas but hasn't discussed anything
with Martijn. 

ACTION: Trish to follow this up with Martijn

5.0 AOB

Yo would like a deadline for producing a complaint procedure. Debbie
thought we can neither create nor approve one before Autscape. Peter
said that we shouldn't go straight for the finished procedure, but
rather create an interim solution and then use the knowledge gained to
produce a full procedure later. Martijn thought it more important to
do it right rather than quickly.

The discussion failed to reach a conclusion.

ACTION: Larry to set a deadline on the committee list.

Debbie asked if certificates of attendance would be produced. 
Martijn hasn't heard from Andre recently will will ask.

ACTION: Martijn to check with Andre

The meeting closed at 18:10