Agenda for May 2013 meeting

Final Agenda for May 2013 board meeting

Meeting to be held at 2pm on Sunday 19th May at 



1.      Request from the company secretary for directors to waive their 
right to formal notice of this meeting

2.      Announcement

2.1.   Autscape 2014 will be held at Belsey Bridge Conference Centre, 
Ditchingham, East Anglia from 4-7th August 2014.

3.      Ratifications

3.1.   Our decision to co-opt Liz Pellicano to the Autscape board (see 'VOTE 
co-option' 24-25/04/13)

3.2.   Our decision to accept the following proposals (and reject those 
proposals listed on the email list) (see 'Proposal acceptance - please read 
and vote' 08/05/13):

Alexis Green - Self advocacy booklet for adults on the autism spectrum
Caroline Henthorne - A Faith That Speaks Our Language
Courage to stand - Finding the courage to stand up and be heard
Damian Milton - From finding a voice to being understood: exploring the double empathy problem.
Jay Blue - Find your voice through self-employment
Kalen - When you can't find your voice - using signs and symbols to supplement speech
Larry Arnold - Listening to autistic voices
Lyte - Authenticity and Wholeness: exploring what may have been given up for lost
Peter Baimbridge - Making Conversation
Susy - The Colour of In-Between
Yo - Finding a voice within organisations

3.3.   Our decision to appoint Dolan Green Travel to provide the transport 
to and
from Ackworth/Wakefield station and charge a fee of £10 per person for a
return journey. (see 'Transport fee proposal' 28/4/13)

4.      Proposals

4.1.   Childcare. The research subcommittee chair proposes that we ask The 
Mobile Creche Company to provide a crèche for Autscape to cost no more than 
£2500. (see 'Childcare options' thread starting 30/04/13 for discussion and 
Appendix A for background information)

4.2.   Purchasing. The purchasing coordinator proposes a budget for the 
purchasing working group of 500GBP: 200GBP for the purchase of general 
conference materials, excluding name badges and pens; and 300GBP for the 
of merchandise. (see Appendix B for cost breakdowns)

4.3.   Storage. The research subcommittee chair and Yo propose (see Appendix 
C for background information):

4.3.1.       that the board choose from the following options:

(a)  paying £5 per week plus VAT for minimum storage of Autscape items at 
Storage Boost

(b) covering the cost of Yo's garage (currently £6 per week (inc. VAT)) up 
to a maximum cost of £10 per week and using that to store Autscape items 
(exact size not yet available but it is believed that this would allow the 
storage of all current items and newly purchased sensory room items)

(c) paying £18 per week pus VAT to store current Autscape items plus newly 
purchased sensory room items at Storage Boost

4.3.2.      that we hire a van and driver to transport the items to and from 
Autscape and incur the necessary cost (approx cost as detailed in Appendix 
C), annually.

4.4.   First impressions. Debbie proposes that we improve first impressions 
of Autscape by linking to the experience list rather than the chat list from 
the Autscape experience page

4.5.   Raising awareness of opportunity to participate in a documentary. The 
company secretary proposes that Autscape decide to contact Autscape members 
to provide contact details for the producers of 'The Undateables' and make 
members aware that they are seeking potential new participants. (see 
Appendix D for further details)

5.      Follow-ups

5.1.   Venue information on website (Stephen/Elaine)

5.2.   Opening registration (Martijn) inc. check that gender question has 
been resolved (Stephen)

5.3.   Phone/Paper registration (Elaine)

5.4.   Submission of accounts/annual report by accountants (Stephen)

5.5.   Insurance (Elaine)

5.6.   Director recruitment (Yo)

5.7.   Request to film at Autscape 2013 (See 'Filming at Autscape 2013?' 
28/4/13 and 'Summary of previous position on filming at Autscape' 29/4/13)

5.8.   PO box working? (Stephen)

5.9.   Potential sponsorship offer (Martijn)

5.10.                    Outstanding 2012-2013 minutes awaiting approval 
(Martijn) and getting agendas up on website (Stephen)

5.11.                    Collecting powerpoints/handouts from 2012 
presenters (Trish)

5.12.                    Autreat/Autscape overlap possibilities (Martijn)

6.      Subcommittee progress reports

6.1.   Formal Programme (Chair: Martijn)(programme/schedule issues {inc. 
Lecture/Workshop issues in 'Programme Issue' 11/5/13 and subsequent 
comments}; proposed invitations including progress on benefits adviser; 
notifying presenters; guidance for presenters; other issues)

6.2.   Alternative/Leisure Programme (Chair: Trish)(Lifeguards, interest 
groups, leisure programme, other)

6.3.   Fundraising (Chair: Elaine) (fundraising strategy - deadline for 
presentation to the board in some form, assistance required, other issues)

6.4.   Research (Chair: Elaine)(childcare providers, future potential 
venues - providing information to the board, intentions on storage proposal, 
other issues)

6.5.   Publications and publicity (Chair: Martijn)(poster/flyer, updating 
website text, information pack, other issues).

6.6.   Purchasing working group (Coordinator: Stephen) Stephen reports that 
he intends to cover the cost of pens himself, and that he will be making a 
separate proposal for name badges. He apologises for the time taken to make 
the proposal in 4.2.

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

7.1.   Registrar (Kalen)(Opening registration)

7.2.   2013 Venue Coordinator (Elaine)(matters arising, obtaining plan of 
fire doors, special diet discussion/draft menu)

7.3.   IT systems manager (Stephen)(handover, website updating, registration 
system, anything else)

7.4.   Interim Treasurer (Stephen)(actions taken under delegated authority 
including webhosting payment, paypal handover, are we ready to take payments 
from registration in all the likely forms?, handover progress, training 
needs - including consideration of how the current year's accounts are going 
to be compiled, contact with bank/accountants, anything else)

7.5.   Company Secretary (Yo)(bulletins, situation re 2010 and 2011 accounts 
from old organisation, getting involved pages update, processing membership 
applications, response from Rangesh, actions taken under delegated 
authority, outstanding issues)

7.6.   Chair (Martijn)(road map, actions taken under delegated authority, 
board functioning and communication, progress so far in 2012-2013 and next 

8.      Any other business

Appendix A

Research subcommittee chair's rationale:

It has been extremely difficult finding childcare for this years venue. This 
is partly due to the location and partly due to Autscape having to comply 
with childcare legislation. (Company secretary note to the board (13/5).

As a result we were left with only 2 that could meet the required standards.

1. Tinies  (

For 3 staff £2995.00 plus VAT. They failed to give a quote for 2 staff and 
after a series of emails I gave up asking

2. The Mobile Creche co (

For 2 staff £1990.00 incl VAT

For 3 staff £2475.00 incl VAT

Since there is no difference in the professionalism of these companies I 
have opted for the lower quote provided by The Mobile Creche co.

Note: Debbie also suggested we try a local company called Mini Guests. I 
have since contacted them and they have quoted £2550 for 3 days (2 full days 
and 2 half days - equivalent to approx 30 hours) regardless of whether we 
would need 2 or 3 staff. However, I have not checked if they have relevant 
policies and since The Mobile Creche co comes in lower I have decided not to 
follow this up and include them as an option.

It was also pointed out by Stephen (1/05) that the cost was high compared to 
other years (see below) and Debbie also highlighted some concerns regarding 
costs per child (2/05) which she estimated could be as high as £500 or even 
£600 per child compared with only approx £250 actual cost per child last 
year.  She also suggested the possibility of providing only a cheaper, 
inferior crèche, just for organisers children, as they often make up the 
majority of the child attendees anyway, but this was declared unfeasible due 
to the legislation.

The question was also raised by Debbie as to whether we could justify the 
high cost.

In my opinion I think we can for the following reasons.

1.  Stephen, the treasurer, has already said that The Mobile Creche co quote 
for 2 members of staff is in line with his estimated budget so we do have 
the money. Should we need 3 members of staff and/or extra hours when the 
schedule is finalised then this may exceed the estimate but hopefully would 
still be achievable. (Stephen to confirm please).

2. We have already included childcare on posters, adverts and literature so 
it would put Autscape in a difficult position if we had to explain why we 
are not providing childcare.

3. Autscape wants to be as inclusive as possible and also to encourage 
children to attend.

4. It is highly unlikely that we would have such a small number of children 
that the cost would be as high as £600 per child. Based on organisers 
children and other enquiries (though not obviously firm bookings at this 
point) I estimate that we are more likely to have at least 7 children and 
need only 2 members of staff and therefore the more realistic cost per child 
would probably be approx £300.

5. Justification for this Autscape could also come out of necessity. With 
the company secretary, the registrar and the venue coordinator all possibly 
needing childcare in order to attend Autscape and Autscape not being able to 
function due to lack of other organisers without them it could be said that 
it is necessary to provide childcare in order for there to be an Autscape.

Because of the above I have decided not to give an option of 'No childcare', 
but if the board reject the above proposal then it will have to be 

I would also like to declare that I have a conflict of interests in that as 
a trustee of Autscape I have to do what is best for the organisation but I 
am also somebody who cannot attend unless childcare is provided.


Past child care costs (for reference)

2005 - 775
2008 - 1100
2009 - 563.25
2010 - 660.00
2011 - 686.84
2012 - 1836.00

Company Secretary's advice:

Advice to the board relevant to decisions about childcare:

Mobile creches are generally not legally required to register with Ofsted 
(if they operate for less than 14 days from any one premises - which is 
mostly the case). However this does *not* mean that they are exempt from 
complying with relevant legislation.

Autscape remains responsible for the health and safety of children attending 
childcare which we commission (ie the parents pay us and then we pay for the 
childcare - the parents are not choosing and paying for the childcare 
themselves) and which is provided on premises we control (ie Autscape pays 
for the venue and then allows the mobile creche to operate on the venue 
premises - the creche are not paying for the use of the premises 
themselves). Autscape is ultimately responsible for ensuring that any 
childcare we commission from an external provider is provided in accordance 
with the law including employment laws (e.g. payment of minimum wage to 
staff) and child protection laws (e.g. CRB checking of staff). If a mobile 
creche is voluntarily registered with Ofsted, this provides us with a 
shortcut route to ensuring this is the case - because we can legitimately 
assume that Ofsted has checked these things. If we were to choose provision 
which is not Ofsted registered, then we should independently check such 
legal compliance for ourselves by asking the provider to produce evidence 
or, at least, a clear statement that they have complied with employment, 
health and safety, child protection and all other relevant legislation (this 
is likely to involve doing some research on exactly what legislation they 
ought to be complying with - it's a very complex area). If we have any 
reason to doubt their compliance, then we should investigate further and 
require evidence.

Yo (in my capacity as company secretary)

Additional advice regarding conflict of interest issues:

In relation to this proposal, those directors who would potentially use 
childcare for their own children and are dependent on doing so in order to 
attend Autscape have an ethical conflict of interest regarding this issue. 
However, they have no personal financial interest in the proposal (which is 
where the conflict of interest provisions in our articles would become 
relevant). The issue of whether directors who are parents should vote on 
this issue has arisen in the past. Autscape's established practice is that 
directors who are parents *should* vote on this issue. The reasons are that:

-         no legal conflict of interest (ie a personal financial interest) 
exists in relation to this issue

-         it would be equally unfair and unrepresentative for only the 
non-parent directors to decide this issue since parents are likely to have a 
valuably different perspective on the issue to non-parents which is distinct 
and separate from any personal interest they may have

-         Autscape directors are aware (and are so advised again) that they 
should always vote on any issue on the basis of what they believe to be best 
for Autscape and not in their own personal interests

-         in some years the board has faced the position of being inquorate 
if all parents were to disqualify themselves from voting on this issue. In 
those years parents have to vote in order for the issue to be decided at all 
and it is, therefore, more consistent for them to do so in all years

Appendix B

Breakdowns (Based on an initial search and rounded up, I'm hoping to find
lower costs for most of these, especially name badges):

Conference Materials

30 GBP - Notepads
20 GBP - Interaction badge wallets
25 GBP - Folders/cardboard wallets
50 GBP - Lanyards (If we need more, haven't had chance to count how many
we've left)
75 GBP - discretionary, hopefully not to be used; mainly for overflow, etc,
but also if we need other things under this category I haven't thought of
(e.g. coloured card).


70 GBP - Branded tote bags (To be sold over some years for small profit;
Apparently they can done for 60p each but I haven't found them for that
much yet)
230 GBP - Miscellaneous (Sensory toys; stuffed animals if we get any again,

Appendix C

Options (a) and (c) (information from research subcommittee chair)

If you prepay 26 weeks you get 10% discount. It is also possible to
change to a bigger or smaller unit as and when necessary just by letting
them know you want to change size.

Option (b) rationale and background information (by Yo)

-         The cost is very unlikely to reach the maximum cost included in 
the proposal at any time in the foreseeable future. That maximum is simply 
included because if we pay a trustee for a service Autscape is required to 
specify the maximum (or exact) cost in writing. The cost is currently £6 per 
week. The garage is rented from a Housing Association and, therefore, the 
rent is only likely to rise roughly in line with inflation.

-         The cost is similar to the minimum commercial storage cost. 
the space is much larger and almost certainly large enough to store sensory 
room items as well. Therefore this is, overall, a considerably cheaper 
option for Autscape.

-         I already rent the garage but only need to store 1 item in it (a 
car roof box). I am intending to discontinue renting it soon unless Autscape 
chooses to take this option. My only reason for offering it is to save 
Autscape money and I am not going to be offended or upset if the directors 
choose an alternative option.

-         The rental of the garage is available to me long term. I can rent 
it while I continue to live in my current home. I have a secure tenancy on 
this property and it is extremely unlikely I would move even in the long 

-         While I may not always be a director of Autscape it is most 
unlikely that
I would ever actually sever my relationship with Autscape altogether and I
am willing to be helpful in relation to the items in storage whether or not
I am on the board. I also have two soon to be grown up children who are also
autistic and likely to be involved with/want to help Autscape

-         Autscape would still need to be prepared to fund transport for the 
items in storage as I would not have the room to bring them with me. 
However, in any given year there is some sort of chance that I may have a 
support worker and the support funding to be in a position to relieve 
Autscape of this expense. Not guaranteed but a possibility in at least some 

-         There are other directors in this part of the country and an 
Autscape participant who has recently offered to become involved in Autscape
organisation lives nearby.

Option (b) would essentially mean Autscape paying me to provide a storage 
service. This is allowable under Charity Commission guidelines and our 
articles provided there is a formal agreement and the board is satisfied 
that it is in the best interests of Autscape (see for full 

I declare a conflict of interest on this issue and will abstain from the 
discussion and vote on this issue.

Transport (information from research subcommittee chair)

I looked at 'man with a van' type companies just to see how much they
would charge and from Crewe to Birmingham (about an hour drive) average
£400 and from Crewe to London (about two hour drive) average £600.

To have somebody pick the stuff up, take it to Autscape, leave, come
back for it when we finish, I asked for the journey from Leeds to Crewe
this year and to get an approx idea for the future, I asked for
outskirts of London (which most places would be well within distance
wise) and to Norwich (which is probably the farthest distance we would go).

Other quotes on transport costs:
(including, vehicle, manpower, fuel and insurance)

For an estate car (which would take what we have now) from Crewe to
Leeds and back again it would be £140 plus Vat

For an estate car from Crewe to London it would be £260 plus Vat (same
price again for return)

For a transit van from Crewe to London it would be £335 plus Vat (same
price again for return)

For an estate car from Crewe to Norwich it would be £300 plus Vat (same
price again for return)

For a transit van from Crewe to Norwich it would be £335 plus Vat (same
price again for return).


The board should also bear in mind that, if we had valuables in storage we 
might also have to think about insurance.

Appendix D

Information provided by the producers:

We're looking for people who might be potentially interested in taking
part in the third series and have attached a flyer/web-post -- please
let me know if you're happy to send it out. If you have a twitter
account or facebook page that you would be happy to post information on
the series, that would also be really helpful.

Once again we are making a third run of the vibrant, romantic and
insightful documentary series 'The Undateables' which will follow
disabled people and those with a variety of conditions on their quest to
find love. The series will also aim to explore society's attitude
towards disabled people and how this can affect relationships.

We're currently in the process of talking to a number of organisations,
including leading disability networks and charities, about the series
idea and to ensure the issues are handled sensitively.

'betty' will work with one or more introductions agencies that find
matches for their clients across the UK, based on what has been
specified by that client in terms of common interests, likes, dislikes,
and location. 'betty' will be closely involved with the matching process
and work with the agencies, seeking to provide introductions with both
disabled and non-disabled people. The agencies, and Betty, will consult
when necessary with people with expertise in the areas of disability or
impairment, on-screen or off-screen, for advice and guidance.

The series will follow key mile-stones in our contributors' journeys and
explore their thoughts and feelings about their experiences along the
way.  From meeting the agency and getting their dating profile set up to
preparing for their first date, we will document the highs and lows of
their journey.  The intention is that there would also be an
accompanying information and help web-pages for viewers.

*More info*

The first and second series were a huge success in both ratings and
critical acclaim. They were 'pick of the day' in most major newspapers.

/'gentle, careful and respectful' -- /The Telegraph,

/'beautifully done' -- /The Guardian,

'The Undateables proved to be a highly worthwhile and rewarding series.
The lesson? These people weren't really undateable at all.'/-- /Metro//

'betty' is a highly respected production company and responsible for
*/Truly, Madly, Deeply/*/, /a highly acclaimed 2006 documentary which
won a RADAR award and followed the progress of the UK's first dating
agency for people with learning disabilities; */Find Me a Family/*, a
critically acclaimed Channel 4 documentary series about a pioneering
project which tries to find homes for the children who no-one else has
come forward to adopt; */Beauty and the Beast: The Ugly Face of
Prejudice,/* a series for Channel 4 which follows people with facial
disfigurement and those with preoccupation about appearance and explores
the extremes of discrimination; and the BAFTA nominated */Breaking Up
With The Joneses/* for Channel 4, a powerful, sensitive film following
one family with two young children over 9 months as they go through
divorce.  For a full company CV please see

The title is designed to be provocative and to reflect the way some
individuals view people with disabilities, something which we hope to
challenge. In order to show this graphically, we are going to lose the
'Un' of The Undateables on-screen. So it would go from 'The Undateables'
to 'The Dateables' on-screen.

Please take a look at the article in the Guardian above especially
paragraph 4, which I've copied and pasted below in case you don't want
to read the whole article:

/Written simply like that -- The Undateables - it doesn't look great.
But in its own little animated title sequence it's not just better, it's
also more reflective of what the show is about. Cupid fires an arrow
into a heart which falls on the Un of Undateables, dislodging it. Now
they're not the Undateables. Their perceived undateability is the
problem, and the programme sets out to examine the problem and do
something about it. Which it does in the same way any other dating show
does; it matches the now dateables with people who might be right for
them, and they go on dates./

Past episodes can be seen

We're really excited about The Undateables returning and feel it is a
great opportunity to continue to create a greater understanding about
the issues and prejudices that are faced.

I hope the above information gives more of an insight into our aims for
the series and I look forward to hearing your thoughts. My number is
0207 907 0897. Alternatively you can email me at this address. I look
forward to hearing back from you and appreciate any help you're able to