Minutes of April 2012 meeting

Minutes of meeting of the Board of directors of The Autscape Organisation

Meeting date: Sunday 1st April 2012

Meeting time: 2.00pm BST

Present:  Elaine, Kalen, Martijn, Peter, Stephen, Trish and Yo

1.      Ratifications

1.1. The board voted unanimously to ratify the decision taken on list on
19/3/12 to increase the budget for accountancy services to GBP 700.

2. Proposals

2.1. The board approved the Annual report with the understanding that this
approval includes advance approval of corrections recommended by the
accountants. (Unanimous)

2.2. The board discussed the day fees and considered the following
(a) No change
(b) Option B (see appendix A)
(c) Option C (see appendix A)
The treasurer explained that there wasn’t a huge difference between
options B and C, but both are lower than the previously approved fees. The
board decided to approve Option B as the revised fee structure for
non-residential (day) fees. (4 for option B, 1 for option C, 2

2.3. The board decided to delegate the annual decision about whether it is
appropriate to renew/obtain a PVSL for Autscape to the company secretary
and authorise any necessary expenditure for this purpose (approximate
cost less than GBP100 annually). (Unanimous)
The company secretary reminded the board that delegating something to an
individual or subcommittee gives them the power to do it. It does not
prevent them from bringing the issue back to the board should unexpected
complications arise. She suggested that it is not sensible for the board
to micromanage everything. Delegation involves some degree of trust that
the person concerned will use their common sense and bring things back to
the board if necessary.

2.4. Insurance. It was clarified that the wording of the proposal means
there should be three people who authorise it, one of which must be the
company secretary or the 
treasurer. The treasurer confirmed that the usual cost of these
expenditures is in the low hundreds (GBP). The board decided to delegate
the annual renewal/ obtaining of (a) event insurance; and (b) trustees
indemnity insurance to either of the company secretary or treasurer with
the agreement of two other directors and authorise the necessary
expenditure. The purchase, provider and cost to be reported to the board
at the following meeting. However, it is noted that, if there are to be
any material changes to the terms of an insurance policy, approval of the
full board is required under Bye-law 4.4. (Unanimous)

3.      Follow ups

3.1. Purchase of autscape.info. The treasurer reported that he had
contacted L. Arnold, who is agreeable to the transfer of autscape.info. He
also has .com, .net, .co.uk, .eu as well as .info. He therefore queried
whether this changed what domains he should be acquiring from him. The
company secretary said some of those were on the list of ones we wanted,
some weren't. But if L. Arnold has them she thought it made sense to
acquire them all from him since they have previously been registered. The
treasurer added that if he lets them lapse, they'll be acquired by a
domain hog - if we ever want them after that, it'll cost more to get them.
Therefore the board decided to acquire all the Autscape domains L. Arnold
has, approve the necessary expenditure and delegate the task to Peter

3.2.  Transfer of autscape.org and autscape.org.uk domains. Peter
confirmed that, as of the previous week, we now own autscape.org and we
have an SSL certificate. 

3.3.  Registration of #autscape on Starlink-IRC. Martijn said that this
channel is now officially registered with the Starlink-IRC network (as can
be seen by the presence of the CStar bot here) which makes it impossible
for others to take over. He can also give others operator powers but he
will have to sort that out later. The board decided to delegate to Martijn
the authority to organise, automate and delegate the technicalities of
running the channel as appropriate. (6 for)

3.4.  Chair of sc-research subcommittee. The chair reported that she had
not made any progress on this but she had noticed Debbie was more active
lately and she would approach her to find out whether she feels able to
take over. 

3.5.  Echo feasibility report. The chair reported that their was
insufficient progress to make a report in time for this meeting and it is
unlikely that she will have it ready before the June meeting although she
still hopes that we will be able to make a clear decision on whether to go
ahead with the project well before this year's Autscape.

3.6.  Draft chat list guidance. Following some discussion it was decided
to delegate this task to Martijn who would consult with Yo and Trish. 

3.7.  Preliminary delegation of the on site team and site manager (who
will hopefully also be the person to manage the team beforehand). The
chair reported that the following directors have expressed interest in
being on the on site team: Elaine, Yo, Stephen and Trish. The following
directors had not yet made it clear whether they wish to be part of the on
site team: Peter and Martijn. In response Peter stated that he did not
wish to. The chair recommend that we invite Debbie and Katja and approve
any of the above named individuals who wish to join the on site team. This
was agreed nem con. The chair undertook to report on the board list when
she has a full team. 

3.8. Cancellation and Payment policies. The board decided to readopt last
year’s cancellation policy with updated dates (see Appendix B for text).
(Unanimous) The board noted that the payment policy adopted last year
remains in force.

4. Subcommittee progress reports.

4.1.      Formal programme subcommittee (invitations, schedule) The
subcommittee chair reported that she had sent a few emails but she needed
to make further progress on invitations. The schedule is done to the
extent that it can be without knowing all the presenters or being able to
as them about their preferences. The latter is easiest to do with an
online questionnaire which requires the SSL certificate issue to be
sorted. That has been sorted now.

4.2.      Alternative programme subcommittee (call for leisure activities,

budget, alternative programme intentions). The subcommittee chair reported

that things continued to be slow but they had started to get some movement
now. The call for alternative programme activities had gone out but there
had only been one response so far so. She was considering trying the chat
list but was open to other suggestions. There had also been some
discussion over what to do about a sensory showroom. 

4.3.      Fundraising subcommittee (Trefoil grant application, funding
strategy). The subcommittee chair reported that she had completed the
Trefoil grant application and it had gone for editing. The funding
strategy will be coming after she had consulted the company secretary. The
treasurer reported that the Virginmoneygiving site was still waiting for
the HMRC Charities application. 

4.4.      Research subcommittee (sc membership, childcare research
progress and timing of decision, transport research progress, venue
research progress). The chair (coordinating in the absence of a
subcommittee chair) reported that the subcommittee membership had not
increased but the existing members have slightly increased output. She had
been told that there was a list of childcare providers and quotes posted
to the list some months ago, but she had only ever seen a list that does
not have quotes, so she will have to search the archives, which she had
not yet had the time to do. Hopefully she will be able to get it all in
order to make a proposal within the next 2 weeks either to be decided
immediately on list or at the May meeting. Venue research progress is not
going well.

4.5.      Publications and publicity subcommittee (website wording inc.
venue, advertisement deadlines, poster production, publicity planning,
generic description). The subcommittee chair reported that progress was
slow. The ad in AuKids magazine had been submitted and they were now
working on the venue information. Posters were still not done but he
didn't think that was much work. No other progress. In response to a
question regarding the deadlines of other ads he said that there weren't
any left. We had also advertised in Asperger United and we considered the
NAS 'Communication' but that was far too expensive. 

4.6.      Working group reports

Echo. The working group chair referred to her report at 3.5.

Newsletter. The working group chair reported that work had started thanks
to Kalen and Debbie for drafting a request. He needed to redraft that now
which he will do in the next couple of days. 

Tech. The working group chair had nothing to report.
Purchasing. The working group chair said he had made enquiries into
opinions on what to buy for merchandise which helps decide the budget. He
got some feedback on that and he will start looking into costs. He will
not be requesting a budget for merchandise this meeting. 

5.        Key position progress reports (matters not covered earlier)

5.1.      Webmaster (updating website, certificate issues, registration
system). The webmaster said that some of the SSL stuff was covered
earlier. People should tell their browser not to retain the expired
certificate as a trusted exception. In Firefox, go to preferences, then
Advanced/Encryption/View Certificates/Servers and delete it from the list.
He had also started work on the registration system, but he was behind
where he wanted to be at this point. He had received some sensible
requests for changes, in particular, to incorporate some questions which
were in the questionnaires into the registration system. This is to stop
people from getting the booking in and then not co-operating when extra
information is needed. He was asked when he expected to have the
registration system completed and he thought about a week or two. 

5.2.      Venue coordinator 2012 (planned venue visits, venue information
for sc pub). The venue coordinator said progress was being made
coordinating with SC-pub, but as Martijn pointed out, this is going
slowly. Things went a little chaotic when planning the venue visit, due to
availabilities changing mid-way through organising it, and in the end no
dates that actually worked for everyone who needed to go. Information came
in a little too late to really make changes without mucking about the
venue. He currently had several pages of notes that he was trying to find
time to organise into any sort of format that's useful to anyone, and
getting the relevant parts to the people who need them. The company
secretary questioned whether a venue visit was planned and he said it had
taken place two weeks ago. The company secretary then said it would have
been helpful if the board list had been told that. That would have given
an opportunity for those not going to ask those going to do/look out for
particular things, and asked if there will be a report. He replied that he
was working on it. 

5.3.      Treasurer (actions taken under delegated authority, 
virginmoneygiving, bank account, HMRC, accounts and accounting advice).
treasurer reported that he had visited the accountants in London and given
them our accounts, board meeting minutes, AGM minutes and other relevant
documents. They expect to be able to get the work done in time so we
shouldn't get fined. The company secretary asked what arrangements have
been made with them regarding the actual filing of the accounts/annual
report. He replied that they will do it as it can't be filed on-line if
it's a company limited by guarantee. The company secretary asked him to
contact her via email as they needed to communicate about this. He also
reported that the HMRC Charities application is in progress and Virgin
Money Giving are waiting for this. The company secretary asked if the new
bank account was fully operational and he replied that he was waiting for
the password. He had contacted them during the week and they sent out the
username in return. He needed to phone them to get a temporary password,
but he couldn't do that until Monday. He said he would like to keep the
old account open until after Autscape and then close it.

5.4.      Company Secretary (actions taken under delegated authority,
report, info@ guidance, policies and job descriptions, files,
postholding). The company secretary reported that the annual report was
now done and approved. Info@ guidance was still outstanding, as are most
of the other jobs on this list. She had also been working on executing the
decision made in the closed meeting last month, but encountered some minor
problems which she just needed to have sufficient time to sort out. 

5.5.      Chair (actions taken under delegated authority, general
progress, any other matters). The chair reported that all the outstanding
minutes have been approved and they should be on the website soon. Some
consistent practice regarding use of material generated by Autscape
participants, including those who use the chat list, has recently become
much clearer and may need to be written into a policy or guidance.
Progress this month has been poor but she hoped everyone can get back on
task straight away.

6.        There was no other business

Meeting closed at 16.50 BST


Option A:
Adult £80 – 1 day, £160 – 2 or more days
Child 14-17 £70 – 1 day, £140 – 2 or more days
Child 6-13 £45 – 1 day, £90 – 2 or more days
Child 0-5 £30 – 1 day, £60 – 2 or more days
Carer/PA  £45 – 1 day, £90 – 2 days, £135 – 3 or more days
Professional £100 – 1 day, £200 – 2 or more days

Option B:
Adults - £55 for one day, £110 for two days, £160 for three days
14-17 - £50 for one day, £100 for two days, £145 for three days
6-13 - £30 for one day, £60 for two days, £85 for three days
0-5 - £20 for one day, £40 for two days, £55 for three days
Professional - £70 for one day, £140 for two days, £205 for three days
Carer - £45 per day

Option C:
Adult standard: GBP 60, 120 and 150 for 1, 2, 3+ days respectively.
Low income: GBP 10 off.

Child 14-17: Same as adults.

Child 6-13: GBP 30, 60 and 80 for 1, 2, 3+ days respectively.
Low income: No discount

Child 0-5: GBP 20, 30 and 40 for 1, 2, 3+ days respectively.
Low income: No discount

Babes-in-arms: Free

Carers: GBP 40, 80 and 120. for 1, 2, 3+ days respectively.


Cancellation policy

If you cancel on or before 16th June, you get all your money back less any
directly incurred costs (eg. stamps, postal order fee etc). If you cancel
on or before the 30th June but after 16th June, there will be an
administration fee of GBP 20 in addition 
to the directly incurred costs. No refund will be due for cancellations
after 30th June.