Minutes of July 2010 meeting

Autscape Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting date: Sunday 18th July 2010          Meeting time: 3pm

Present: Martijn, Kalen, Peter, Dave, Debbie, Yo. Apologies: Trish.

1                   Approvals

1.1.            Minutes of June meeting - approved.

2                   Ratifications

2.1.            The committee unanimously ratified the decision to purchase 
insurance from CaSE at a cost of £192.15 (a 25% reduction on last year).

2.2.            The committee unanimously ratified the following job 

2.2.1.      Director (formerly General Committee Member) - posted 14/07/10

2.2.2.      Treasurer - posted 15/07/10

2.2.3.      Secretary - posted 15/07/10

2.2.4.      Chair - posted 15/07/10

3                   Follow up

3.1.            Merchandise agreement. Dave stated that he felt unable to 
cope with the responsibility and felt he didn't know enough about how 
merchandise issues have been handled in the past. Debbie offered to help. 
Kalen asked whether Dave and Debbie could collaborate rather than handing 
over the responsibility entirely. There was a brief discussion about how 
merchandise issues have been handled in the past. When it became apparent 
that there were differing interpretations of that history, the Chair 
deferred the matter to the list for full discussion.

3.2.            Directors' indemnity insurance. Peter reported that aQmen 
can provide Trustees Indemnity / Directors & Officers Liability insurance up 
to £100,000 for £156.25.  No decision was reached at this time.

3.3.            Whether any other insurance is needed. Peter reported that 
aQmen can also offer (but don't recommend or otherwise): Fidelity liability 
insurance (in case somebody on the board goes off with all the money), 
Professional Indemnity liability insurance (in case someone suffers loss or 
damage due to services we provided), and Employment Practices liability
insurance (in case we get sued due to discrimination by 
sex/race/disability/etc). The chair proposed discussing these possibilities 
further early in the new year.

[At this point there was some further discussion of issues relating to 3.1 
but no further progress was made].

3.4.        Guidelines for journalists. Trish had indicated in advance of 
the meeting a willingness to write something for this purpose. The committee 
discussed this briefly and decided

3.4.1.      To delegate to Trish the task of writing and sending Guidelines 
for Journalists. The guidelines will be approved by Yo prior to sending.

Martijn additionally offered to proof read the guidelines prior to sending.

4                   Proposals

4.1.            The committee agreed that organiser wear (e.g. sashes, 
baseball caps) remains the property of Autscape and are to be returned at 
the end of the event. Organisers may have the option to purchase items at 
Autscape's discretion. There were brief discussions about the possible need 
to wash baseball caps and what should happen if an organiser accidentally 
forgets to return them. No definite conclusions were reached on these 

4.2.            Optional expenses budget - posted 17/7/10. Following a 
question Peter clarified that the total budget is approx. £890 which is 
roughly the amount of the difference between current funds (excluding the 
development fund) and necessary reserves. Yo asked for clarification of what
the final list of priorities (derived from the vote of individual committee 
members was). After some confusion it became apparent that the order of 
items in the budget posted by Peter reflected the composite priorities of 
the committee as a whole. Kalen additionally noted that sc-prog is not 
required to use the budget for leisure presentations but it is available if 
wanted. The committee approved the budget but 2 votes were modulo discussion
of how many people go to Ammerdown on the Monday.

4.3.            The Company Secretary designate had requested a budget of 
£100 out of the funds set aside for development to buy relevant books to 
assist with that role. Peter queried whether such a small expenditure was 
appropriate for full committee approval in a meeting and suggested the 
committee delegate authority to make such requests unnecessary. The chair 
then proposed to delegate the authority to decide on individual expenditures 
from the development budget to the Company Secretary (currently Company 
Secretary designate). To which Yo requested a qualification to make larger 
expenditures subject to the additional approval of a second person. The 
committee then approved a proposal:

4.3.1.      To delegate the authority to decide on individual expenditures 
up to £200 from the development budget to the Company Secretary (currently 
Company Secretary designate). Expenses over £200 will be pre-approved by the 
Chair or Treasurer.

5                   Further approvals

5.1.            Health and Safety policy. Peter noted that the policy itself 
is the section under the heading 'General policy', not the sections labelled 
risk assessment which are working documents that are subject to change.
Trish had suggested that children should also be mentioned in the policy.
The policy was approved as it stood.

5.2.            Full accounts for 2008/2009 (this is a provisional approval 
by the committee. The accounts can only be actually approved by a full 
general meeting). Peter noted that a revision was posted on 17/7/10 and also 
indicated the need to estimate the value of our currently held merchandise 
5.3.             Company secretary job description. This was approved by the 
majority of the committee. Martijn disapproved objecting to the requirement 
of "excellent communication skills" in an autistic-run organization. There 
was a consensus that it would be preferable to review this during next year 
and attempt to simplify the language and make it less intimidating.

6                   Delegations

6.1.            Peter volunteered to send out notification of the list of 
nominees and the AGM agenda by 30th July on behalf of the secretary (who 
will leave a draft agenda which will be missing only the list of nominees, 
but who will be on holiday at the time).

7                   Subcommittee and working group progress reports

7.1.            Venue. Peter reported that he and Debbie are intending to 
visit a Stonar School on Friday. Kalen has been looking into another venue 
but has made no progress as yet. Yo was concerned about the lack of even a 
contingency booking for 2011. However Peter informed the committee that we 
do now have a provisional booking for Ammerdown in the event other venues do
not work out. Peter recalled that this is for Monday-Thursday in late August 
but was unable to remember the exact dates. He was asked to post them to the 
list when possible.

7.2.            Tech. Peter reported that the venue have installed extra 
equipment to provide a wireless signal in most conference rooms. Very few 
bedrooms are covered.

7.3.            Publications/publicity. Peter confirmed that the business 
cards have now been ordered and will have Kalen's number on them. Yo 
reported that the information pack is very nearly ready and is expected to 
go out today. In relation to the information pack Kalen was reminded that 
Trish had volunteered her phone number as a contact for participants.
Similarly Debbie and Yo noted the need to mention that wifi signal in 
bedrooms is very unlikely.

7.4.            Constitution. Yo reported that there has been no progress in 
the last month. She commented that everyone is too busy right now because of 
the proximity of this year's Autscape. She expressed the SC's intention to 
resume work on the outstanding policies after Autscape.

7.5.            Fundraising. Kalen recorded that there has been no progress 
as sc-fund is still without a chair. However, she noted that Yo has offered 
to chair next year (assuming she is re-elected) but would prefer to cease 
chairing sc-pub in exchange.

7.6.            Childcare. Peter commented that he is waiting for a price 
from the venue re the childcare providers' meals cost. Kalen suggested 
including the lunch cost in the childcare budget.

7.7.            Programme. Martijn reported that the schedule is ready and 
thanked Peter for his help in making a table version. He undertook to edit a 
guidance document for presenters and send it to them, and to work on the 
call for leisure sessions.

7.8.            Transport. Debbie reported having found a cheaper taxi 
company and noted that they have requested an idea in advance of how many 
people we need to transport at which times. Peter expects this to be Tuesday 
15 yeses and 8 maybes; Friday 17 yeses and 6 maybes. In addition there are a
few people who have not filled in forms.  Debbie noted that there is a min
charge of £20 ie four peoples worth per vehicle and that the vehicles are
mostly larger than ordinary car size including one 14 seater. As far as
off-site people are concerned Debbie reported attempting to link a volunteer
with an individual needing transport and noted that all other people without
transport are onsite, camping or have arranged lifts privately themselves.

8                   Key position progress reports

8.1.            Venue co-ordinator. Peter reported that the diet
questionnaires are with the venue and we are awaiting menus. He also 
reported that swimming is allowed, subject to signing a disclaimer form and 
noted that Autscape will need disclaimer forms too which he undertook to 

8.2.            Registrar. The registrar hoped the info packs would get 
mailed soon. Debbie reported that four or five twins have been made into 
triples, however most of the double rooms became singles as we have a lack 
of people willing to share beds. The numbers coming are not exact because of 
the camping situation but currently stand at: 63 residential, 2 camping, 17 
day (including presenters), 2 visitors for part of the Wednesday. Debbie 
reported that she has managed to squash in the last person in on the waiting 
list and noted that people had switched to non residential as the wait grew 
and that camping is also helping the situation, as are some cancellations. 
Yo noted the likelihood that some people who had wanted to come but been put 
off or given up trying. Kalen enquired about arrangements for collecting the
Wednesday visitors and Debbie reported that Peter had volunteered for this.

8.3.            Treasurer. Peter reported that he contacted the accountancy 
company that he found last month (which turned out to be in Cambridge) but 
they offered to do  the accounts for £750+VAT. He feels that this is a 
ridiculously high price. He reported that one of the people in finance at 
his place of work does some private accountancy jobs, and they have offered 
to do our accounts but he hasn't yet got a price for this. Yo asked whether 
Peter had looked into the charitable accountants she had posted on list 
about as a possibility. Peter responded that he
had forgotten but undertook to do so.

8.4.            Secretary. Yo reported that Interchange legal (our 
solicitors) have now closed as per her report last month. However the 
solicitor we have been working with for the past 18 months or so (Peter 
Korn) is setting up on his own and is willing to finish our work for the 
agreed fee. He has been very competent and reliable and we don't really have 
much choice, so she has authorised Interchange to let him take our file with 
him. She reported that this changeover is causing a small delay with our
incorporation etc. However he is expected to be up and running by mid to 
late August and things should then continue to progress as planned. Yo also 
reported that in the meantime we need to get CRB checks for everyone and she 
is currently looking into finding a suitable umbrella organisation for that 

8.5.            Chair. Kalen had nothing to report.

9                   Any other business

9.1.            Dave and Peter had a brief discussion about stationery and 
badge supplies. The chair asked them to continue the discussion by email.

9.2.            Dave reiterated that he is not coping with the merchandise 
responsibility and asked to hand it over to someone else. Debbie offered and 
a majority of the committee approved the change. Kalen voted against on the 
grounds that the responsibilities are already too heavily skewed in the 
direction of Debbie and a few others.

9.3.            There was a brief discussion of who will be arriving on the 
Monday (and consequent funding implications). Funding had been previously 
agreed for 4 organisers. It became clear that 5 organisers wish to arrive on 
Monday and final agreement on how to resolve this minor discrepancy was 
deferred to the list.

9.4.            Peter suggested the possibility of an extra committee 
meeting between this meeting and Autscape. There was a brief discussion. 
Peter commented that this year communication on the list is working better 
than in the past. Yo suggested that the committee is likely to be dealing 
with a lot of minor issues rather than major decisions requiring a meeting.
A consensus was reached against a further meeting. [A brief discussion about 
the meaning of abstention in relation to voting took place at this point. Yo 
clarified that abstention is the absence of a vote and does not indicate 
disapproval or anything else in particular].

9.5.            The secretary asked committee members to make a greater 
effort to send her agenda items in advance of meetings in future to avoid 
some many items ending up under AOB. The chair added a further reminder of 
the need to READ the agenda when it's posted and ask for necessary 
clarifications BEFORE the meeting as much as possible.

Meeting closed.