Minutes of February 2010 meeting

Autscape Management Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting date: Thursday 18th February 2010          Meeting time: 12.30pm

Present: Martijn, Peter, Dave, Kalen, Kabie (joined meeting during 4.3), 
Trish (joined meeting after 6.1)

Apologies received from: Yo, Debbie, Kabie (absent for part of meeting) and 
Trish (absent for most of the meeting)

1                   Minutes of January Meeting

1.1.            Approved unanimously.

2                   Ratifications

2.1.            The committee ratified its decision to approve 'Autscape - 
an autistic conference' (note /xxx/ means italics) as Autscape's official 
slogan for general use.

2.2.            The committee acknowledged Robin May's resignation due to 
commitments and wished to thank him for his service on the Autscape
committee (mainly as treasurer) over several years.

3                   Proposals and delegations

3.1.            The committee decided in principle (subject to cost) to seek 
independent legal advice regarding our ISA obligations and to delegate Yo to 
request a quote from our current solicitor for this.

4                   Reports and follow-ups

4.1.            Draft budget and fee levels. Kabie (via the chair) posted 
apologies for not having the draft budget and fee levels for 2010 ready yet.

4.2.            Bank form. There was some discussion on the progress of the 
bank form and the committee agreed to ask Kabie to send it on to Yo or 

4.3.            Autscape phone number. There was some discussion on the pros 
and cons of using Kalen's telephone number versus Peter and Debbie's. Peter 
had investigated an 0300 number but concluded it was too expensive at 
present. The committee agreed to use Kalen's number for this year.

4.4.            Transport options for Ammerdown. Debbie reported (via the 
chair) that she has drafted a letter and plans to send that and/or phone the 
three community schemes identified as possibilities.

5                   Subcommittee progress reports

5.1.            Venue. Peter reported that Debbie has looked at some 
possible future venues. The overall situation is that while there seem to be 
alternatives of a similar size to Ammerdown/Emmaus, we haven't be able to 
identify any venues which are slightly bigger, only some which are 
significantly larger. There was some discussion around the future size of 
Autscape. The committee concluded that until Autscape has to turn people 
away we should not be looking for a significantly larger venue.

5.2.            Tech. Peter reported that he has written a script to do a 
committee meeting reminder but needs another to prompt putting the agenda 
on-line. He mentioned the need to make decisions about what to do about late 
registrations and plans to bring that issue to the committee list.

5.3.            Pub. Yo reported (via the chair) that this month sc-pub has 
placed an ad in Asperger United (particular thanks to Debbie for her work on 
that). The FAQs are now on the website. We have discussed designs for the 
business card (thanks to Ruth for initial work and Peter for producing 
drafts) and hope to make further progress on that soon. We are in the very 
early stages of updating the brochure. However we are generally struggling 
with a lack of volunteers willing to commit to tasks which require 
significant time, meaning that the same few people are having to see most 
tasks through to completion. So progress is rather slow at the moment.

5.4.            Constitution. Yo reported (via the chair) that the list of 
proposed directors has now been sent to our solicitor and the sections of 
the company registration form that require physical signatures will be sent 
round to main committee members soon. Constitution SC have been discussing 
and voting on sections of the governing documents and some proposed 
amendments. We are making steady progress and expect to have a final draft 
of the governing documents ready for approval by the main committee in March 
or April.

5.5.            Fundraising. Still without chair. No progress. No volunteers 
to chair as those committee members present cannot take on more.

5.6.            Childcare. Kalen noted the need to start working on this in 
the near future.

5.7.            Programme. Martijn expressed concern about the lack of 
proposals received so far and proposed sending out Dutch and Interlingua 
translations of the CfP in the interests of internationalisation. The 
committee favoured this but concluded it was too early to get too worried 
about the lack of proposals.

6                   Key position progress reports

6.1.            Treasurer. Kabie reported that she has seen an accountant. 
It will cost around £500 to compile and do independent examination of 
accounts. We cannot arrange a registered address through these accountants 
as they no longer offer that service, Kalen enquired whether they could help 
us set up accounting systems that will make it easier. Kabie stated that she 
hadn't asked. Kalen reminded the committee of the concerns raised during the 
Lottery audit about our lack of systematic accounting procedures and asked 
Kabie to ensure that she gets a copy from Yo of the correspondence with the 
lottery and ensures that whatever systems we set up would allow Autscape to 
fulfil such requirements in the future.

6.2.            Secretary. Yo reported (via the chair) that she has worked 
with Peter to make some progress on updating those sections of the website 
in most urgent need, including a new 'donations' page. Otherwise, jobs are 
largely waiting til March when she expects to have more time.

6.3.            Chair. Kalen noted that things seem to be progressing as 
required. She made the committee aware that she will have more flexible time 
now that she has her first semester work in.

7                   Any other business

There was no other business.