Minutes of May 2013 meeting

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

Meeting date: Sunday 19th May 2013

Meeting time: 2.00pm BST

Meeting Chair: Martijn

Present:  Elaine, Liz, Martijn, Stephen, Trish and Yo

Apologies: Debbie

1.      The directors waived their right to formal notice of this meeting (6 
for, 0 against)

2.      Announcement

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

3.      The board ratified (6 for, 0 against) its decisions to:

3.1.   co-opt Liz Pellicano to the Autscape board (see 'VOTE co-option' 

3.2.   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
Peter Baimbridge - Making Conversation
Susy - The Colour of In-Between
Lyte - Authenticity and Wholeness: exploring what may have been given up for 
Yo - Finding a voice within organisations

3.3.   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 board discussed the proposal (see 'Childcare options' 
thread starting 30/04/13 for discussion and Appendix A for background 
information). The interim treasurer (Stephen) noted that, while above his 
original estimate, the £2500 maximum in the proposal is affordable. Martijn 
commented that it is a crazy amount of money but that he was not able to 
propose alternatives. There was a consensus that the cost is much higher 
than the board would like. Trish noted that childcare is needed anyway for 
organiser children. Yo commented on the lack of alternative options and 
commented that there seems to be a problem finding affordable childcare in 
this geographical area and that this should be noted regarding this venue in 
the future. Martijn wondered whether Autscape could hire some nannies 
instead as that would be cheaper. The company secretary (Yo) advised that 
this would raise additional legal problems including Autscape becoming an 
employer and being responsible for provision and safety of room and toys 
(unlike with a crèche). Yo commented that alternatives sound easy but
There was a brief discussion of whether safety issues were a redundant 
concern, given that the venue is a school. Liz commented that it does seem 
ridiculously expensive but at least all the safety/legal issues will be 
covered with a crèche rather than a nanny. Martijn queried whether research 
has been done in a wider area. The research subcommittee chair (Elaine) 
confirmed that it has. Yo commented that this issue is now delaying 
registration and that the research subcommittee chair (Elaine) has been 
looking for alternatives for some time. Yo asked and the interim treasurer 
(Stephen) confirmed that, although the proposal allows for a maximum of 
£2500, the amount is expected to be closer to £2000. Martijn pointed out 
that it is crazy that Autscape will be charging £60 (age 0-4) or £150 per 
child but they'd end up costing anywhere between £300 and £500. Yo agreed 
but again stressed the lack of an alternative. Stephen (referring to
Debbie's report to the board on fee trends over time) pointed out that
Autscape is already charging significantly more for children than last year.
Yo noted that has always been the case that children cost Autscape more than
we charge for them because of the low number of children relative to adults.
The board decided (5 for, 1 against) to ask The Mobile Creche Company to
provide a crèche for Autscape to cost no more than £2500.

4.2.   Purchasing. The board agreed (6 for, 0 against) 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 
purchase of merchandise. (see Appendix B for cost breakdowns)

4.3.   Storage.

4.3.1.      The board discussed the available options (see Appendix C for 
background information):
(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
The interim treasurer (Stephen) looked at the cost (over two years to
check the affordability for an indefinite length expense) and noted that 
both options a) and b) come to £624 over two years, while option b) gives us 
more storage space for the same amount (Though this may increase over time, 
up to a maximum of £1040 over two years, and we're informed it's unlikely to 
reach that in the forseeable future.) Option c), meanwhile, comes to 
£2246.40 over two years. He advised that Autscape can afford option (a) or 
option (b) (although he would be more comfortable with a lower maximum for 
the latter), but cannot afford option (c). He suggested amending the 
proposal with regard to option (b) to cause the board to revisit the 
decision when the rent reaches £8 a week (£832 over two years) rather than 
£10 (£1040 over two years). He noted the 10% discount available for options 
(a) and (c) for prepayment of 26 weeks and commented that this makes the 
minimum for b) slightly more expensive than a), but not significantly and 
given the extra storage capacity in b) the £62 increase seems fine. It was 
clarified that any chosen option would take effect following the 2013 
conference rather than immediately. The board decided (5 for, 0 against) to 
cover the cost of Yo's garage (currently £6 per week (inc. VAT)) up to a 
maximum cost of £8 per week and use that to store Autscape items.

4.3.2.      Transport of stored items. The board discussed possible 
solutions. Martijn enquired whether Yo would be able to undertake to 
transport the stored items to Autscape. Yo responded that she is unable to 
do so. The board agreed (5 for, 0 against) to 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. Following the vote there 
was a brief discussion in which it was noted that, as will be occurring for 
transport to Autscape this year, there is some prospect that Autscape will 
only incur the (considerably lower) cost of hiring a van and that Autscape 
directors involved in storage may be able to make informal arrangements to 
provide a driver and relieve Autscape of this cost. However, it was noted 
that the reason for the decision under this item is to ensure that Autscape 
will cover the cost if necessary, so that individual directors involved are 
not under pressure to provide a driver/transport themselves if they should 
encounter difficulties in doing so.

4.4.   First impressions. The board decided (nem con) to improve first 
impressions of Autscape by linking to the experience list rather than the 
chat list from the Autscape experience page. The chair (Martijn) noted that 
this minor operational issue should ideally have been taken to the Publicity 
and Publications subcommittee rather than the board.

4.5.   Raising awareness of opportunity to participate in a documentary. It 
was noted that there is no financial incentive for Autscape. The board 
discussed the potential usefulness of the proposal to participants, the 
relevance to and compatibility with Autscape's aims and the reputational 
issues involved. There was a consensus the ethos of the documentary appears 
compatible with Autscape's and that raising awareness amongst Autscape 
members/participants would be potentially useful to members provided that it 
is completely clear that Autscape does not endorse this documentary but is 
simply passing on information in order to allow Autscape members to make up 
their own minds. Elaine noted that the producers are seeking publicity 
sooner rather than later and the options of using the chat list and Autscape 
bulletin to transmit the information were mentioned. The board decided (6 
for, 0 against) 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 but that Autscape is simply passing on 
this information and does not endorse the programme. (see Appendix D for 
further details)

5.      Follow ups

5.1.   Venue information on website (Stephen/Elaine). Martijn reported that 
he has created a venue information page based on the 2011 information pack 
(we were in the same venue then). It's up at http://www.autscape.org/venue/. 
He welcomed suggestions for alterations and improvements and asked for them 
to be sent directly to me or to the Publications & publicity subcommittee 
list. Elaine commented that she has found a few amendments and will send 
them on.

5.2.   Opening registration (Martijn) inc. check that gender question has 
been resolved (Stephen). The company secretary (Yo) relayed information from 
the former IT systems manager (Peter) who reported that he has finished the 
changes requested to registration. He was expecting someone to test it and 
give feedback, but he hasn't heard anything. The system is ready to be made 
live as soon as he gets the word. If it's not too late, he recommends a 
discount of 50p for PayPal. It's just a token amount so it isn't a great 
burden on people who don't like, want or trust PayPal, but it gives an 
incentive to people to use PayPal in preference to other methods. Given that
the interim treasurer (Stephen) has to go out of his way to check the PO
Box, and then out of his way to bank the cheques, and then has to manually
reconcile the income and receipts (a tedious operation), this should reduce
his workload. It would also give the registrar quicker feedback regarding
who has actually paid and who needs chasing up. The interim treasurer
(Stephen) was happy with this suggestion. The board decided (nem con) to
leave a potential 50p discount for Paypal up to the registrar (Kalen). The
company secretary (Yo) asked for clarification as to who is actually
responsible for liaising with Peter, testing the system and deciding to open
it. The chair confirmed that the registrar (Kalen) is and believes that she
has just been waiting for our go-ahead to open registration. There was
further brief discussion of whether we are ready to open registration. The
chair (Martijn) noted that childcare has now been decided. The company
secretary (Yo) noted that there seem to be some communication issues
probably due to neither Kalen nor Peter being on the board and undertook to
try to facilitate information flow. The IT systems manager (Stephen) queried
whether the registration system has been tested at all this year. The
transport coordinator (Elaine) commented that she needs to finalise the
transport arrangements so they can be put out before people register. The
chair commented that, if it takes too long, we may have to open registration
anyway and work out transport later and that we really shouldn't wait much

5.3.   Phone/Paper registration (Elaine). Elaine reported that she intends 
to make up a paper registration form as soon as she sees what needs to go on 
it. She can do this fairly quickly. So far it hasn't been needed. She 
mentioned it because she had a phone query from somebody who had no internet 
but they can't come now.

5.4.   Submission of accounts/annual report by accountants (Stephen). The 
company secretary (Yo) relayed information from the former treasurer (Peter) 
who reported that the accounts materials (invoices, expense claims etc) are
currently with the accountants in London. He noted that he found it *much* 
easier to talk in person than to communicate with them by email. He asked 
for the chequebook and paying-in book to be returned early so he can give 
them to Stephen (the interim treasurer), but hasn't got them back yet. The 
interim treasurer (Stephen) stated that he has no information other than 
what Peter sent via Yo. The company secretary (Yo) was a bit concerned about 
the length of time this is taking and the fact that it's still essentially 
being done by Peter (and thus outside of the control of the board). However
she will do her best to monitor the situation and ensure the deadlines are

5.5.   Insurance (Elaine). It was reported that Elaine now has the details 
about insurance with CaSE from Peter. Elaine reported that she intends to 
get on to it as soon as possible. The company secretary expressed concerned 
that this issue is outstanding at this stage because, in the past, it has 
taken some time to round up all the information needed and asked Elaine to 
report back on this on the board list in the next week or two. Elaine noted 
that the renewal only came to Peter on Friday and he has just passed it on 
to her.

5.6.   Director recruitment (Yo). Yo reported that she hasn't managed to 
take any further actions towards this (and doesn't expect to be able to now 
until after Autscape). However she is in very preliminary contact with a 
possible treasurer and will report further if anything comes of it.

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). 
The company secretary (Yo) noted that the issue needs a resolution as those 
enquiring are waiting for Autscape's response. Martijn felt that Autscape 
needs to be very careful about this and keep in mind our previous experience 
as outlined by Yo on the list. There was a consensus that having a volunteer 
area which is the *only* place where filming is allowed seemed like a good 
way to at least try to prevent a repeat of previous problems and that this 
should be designated clearly so that anyone who doesn't want to be filmed 
can avoid it. Liz raised the issue of whether consent/release forms would be 
required from participants being filmed. The company secretary (Yo) noted 
that this is not always obligatory and that Autscape should ask the 
filmmakers in detail about their intentions in this regard in order to 
protect our participants. It was noted that signs need to be particularly 
clear and that Autscape needs to be extremely clear with the filmmakers 
about our rules and restrictions to prevent 'mission creep'. The chair 
(Martijn) undertook to make contact with the filmmakers along these lines. 
Trish offered to help drafting and Martijn invited Trish to send him her 
draft. The company secretary (Yo) offered to consult if needed.

5.8.   PO box working? (Stephen) Stephen reported that the PO box appears to 
be functioning as he has received some mail through it, although one test 
letter has not arrived.

5.9.   Potential sponsorship offer (Martijn) Martijn reported that he had 
forgotten to remind them of his previous email sent 31 March (which got no 
response as they were out of the office). He has just resent it to them and 
will post to the list if he gets any response.

5.10.   Outstanding 2012-2013 minutes awaiting approval (Martijn)
and getting agendas up on website (Stephen). Martijn reported no 
recent progress on the minutes but will do his best to pick this up again in 
the coming two weeks. Martijn asked Stephen to fix the list of links to the 
agendas so that they can be found by people using the website.

5.11.   Collecting powerpoints/handouts from 2012 presenters
(Trish). Trish reported that these are all on the website now apart from
one. The chair (Martijn) advised Trish to leave the outstanding one and
consider the project done.

5.12.   Autreat/Autscape overlap possibilities (Martijn). 
Martijn reported no progress and noted that this is not a high priority and 
he may or may not get to this at some point.

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). The formal 
programme subcommittee chair (Martijn) reported that proposals have been 
accepted and the presenters have all been notified. He hasn't made any other 
progress so far, but will get to work on this in the next few days. Martijn 
has noted Peter's comments about registration times with regard to transport 
arrangements but has yet to begin work on the schedule.  Yo reported that 
due to poor response from possible invitees and high number of proposals the 
benefits adviser invitation has been dropped.

6.2.   Alternative/Leisure Programme (Chair: Trish) (Lifeguards, interest 
groups, leisure programme, other). The alternative/leisure programme 
subcommittee chair (Trish) reported that she has made arrangements for 
lifeguards. The subcommittee is discussing interest groups, people seem to 
want different things and she is trying to ensure that it is accessible for 
all, especially those who are not good at mixing and need to get to know 
people. She reported that she now needs to progress the call for activities 
during the coming week

6.3.   Fundraising (Chair: Elaine) (fundraising strategy - deadline for 
presentation to the board in some form, assistance required, other issues) 
The fundraising subcommittee chair (Elaine) reported having been forgetting 
to post the fundraising strategy due to heavy workload and undertook to do 
so straight after the meeting. The company secretary (Yo) noted that 
discussion of it will probably need to wait until after Autscape now as 
we'll all so busy and the chair concurred but asked Elaine to post it 

6.4.   Research (Chair: Elaine) (childcare providers, future potential 
venues - providing information to the board, intentions on storage proposal, 
other issues). The research subcommittee chair (Elaine) reported that most 
of the outstanding research has now been done. She is now investigating 
potential 2015 venues and reported that Debbie and Peter visited Kings Park 
and are going to put in a report.

6.5.   Publications and publicity (Chair: Martijn) (poster/flyer, updating 
website text, information pack, other issues). The publications and 
publicity subcommittee chair (Martijn) reported no progress and requested 
help. Liz offered to help. Yo apologised for being unable to offer help at 
present. The subcommittee chair (Martijn) undertook to contact Liz and 
reported that he intends to start the information pack as soon as possible, 
taking the previous one from this venue as a starting point.

6.6.   Purchasing working group (Coordinator: Stephen) Stephen reported 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) The chair commented that the 
registrar (Kalen) is waiting for the board to adequately coordinate the 
process so that registration can open.

7.2.   2013 Venue Coordinator (Elaine) (matters arising, obtaining plan of 
fire doors, special diet discussion/draft menu) The venue coordinator 
reported that she has the plans and has been gathering menus. She now needs 
to speak to catering and go full swing into venue queries as they arise.

7.3.   IT systems manager (Stephen) (handover, website updating, registration 
system, anything else) The IT systems manager (Stephen) reported that 
updates continue to be done, forwarding has been set up for the people who 
requested it, and some details have been updated as per member requests, 
although he is aware of one outstanding. He has continued to produce
documentation as he goes, which is piecemeal and stored with both me and
Martijn. Training needs and Autscape's dependence on Peter for upkeep of the 
current system were briefly mentioned before a discussion (with Martijn) of 
which programming languages are used in the system was deferred to private 

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). The interim 
treasurer (Stephen) reported that progress should be resuming with the 
Paypal handover since he has  given Peter a copy of a current photo ID. He 
is waiting for access to the pay-in book (currently with the accountant) in 
order to process two membership fees. He reported having paid 168 GBP (inc 
VAT) to Jump Networks for our Xen server hosting, using 91.02 GBP out of 
general reserves under delegated authority (Co-authorised by Yo, though
Peter is the person who countersigned the cheque).

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) The company secretary (Yo) reported that she 
has not made much progress. She hasn't managed a bulletin or the PVSL yet. 
She reported that she is generally struggling to keep track of my 
responsibilities, let alone manage to get to them all. She is likely to 
continue to manage only the most essential and urgent tasks (like the agenda
and minutes - which take most of my resources each month). She apologised
and reminded the board that, as they know, she is burnt out and would be all
too happy to hand over her company secretary responsibilities (at least for
a year or two) as soon as alternatives can be found for the necessary
skills. In the meantime, she requested the directors prompt her if they are
aware of anything vital she is overlooking. Elaine reported that Belsey
Bridge have received the PVSL renewal paperwork and are sending it on.

7.6.   Chair (Martijn) (road map, actions taken under delegated authority, 
board functioning and communication, progress so far in 2012-2013 and next 
tasks). The chair (Martijn) concluded that progress is being made and that 
the board is functioning for the most part. Autscape will happen. The board 
will be burnt out. Participants will generally be happy and some will have a 
truly life-changing experience, which is what we do it all for. He thanked

8.      Other business

8.1.   Trish asked for it to be recorded that she is willing to be on the 
onsite team (and is considering offering to be coordinator).

8.2.   Trish asked at what point co-options to the board could be publicly 
reported. The company secretary (Yo) advised that once the decision is 
minuted it is public information and (in response to Trish's query) noted 
that Autscape has a policy on directors' privacy and the format which should 
be used for directors' names on public documents. The chair (Martijn) noted 
that the membership should be told about recent co-options and asked whether 
Trish was willing to do that. Trish offered to draft something. The company 
secretary (Yo) noted that this is why slow approval of past minutes is a 
problem, because no-one outside the board is able to find out what is going 
on. The chair (Martijn) fully agreed and will catch up as soon as he can.

Meeting closed 16.25


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  (www.tiniescreches.com)
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 (www.mobilecreche.biz)
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.


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, etc)


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
-  The cost is similar to the minimum commercial storage cost. However 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 years.
-  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 
http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Publications/cc11.aspx#e3 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.


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 www.betty.co.uk

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 here:

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.