Minutes of June 2014 meeting

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

Meeting date: Sunday 15th June 2014

Meeting time: 2.00pm BST

Meeting Chair: Martijn

Present: Stephen, Martijn, Trish, Elaine, Debbie, Peter, Alastair

Apologies: Liz

Meeting opened 2:08pm.

1.  Proposals

1.1.  Annual report and accounts. The company secretary proposed that the
      board approve the annual report and accounts.
      There was a short discussion over how much detail Board members are
      required to understand before approving the accounts.
      The vote was partially deferred till later in meeting, minuted here.
      Approved (initial vote) 5 for.

1.2.  Registration deadline. The registrar proposed that we agree
      to close registration at 5pm on 1st July (See Appendix A for
      Registration close date/time approved (7 for).

1.3.  TEN. The Venue Coordinator (Elaine) proposed that we obtain a
      Temporary Event Notice (TEN) at a cost of £21.
      Peter remarked that Elaine might already have the delegated authority
      to do this per the decision taken under 3.3 at the March 2013 meeting,
      but found the wording in those minutes unclear.
      TEN approved (7 for).
1.4.  Film Licensing. The venue coordinator proposed that we either:
        (a) Obtain a license to watch films, TV shows
        (b) Not show any films or TV shows.
      (See Appendix B for further information.)
      There followed a prolonged discussion about options. 
      Revised proposal: To delegate to the Alternative Programme
      Subcommittee the power to obtain a PVSL, MPLC or other film screening
      licence, and to allocate to this subcommittee a £300 budget for this
      Film licence approved as rewritten above (5 for).

1.5.  Research requests.  Debbie proposed we make final decisions regarding
      the research requests received for this year’s Autscape.
      See Appendix C for details.
      [This item was deferred until later in the meeting but is minuted here
      out of order.]
      i)   A majority (5) of the board voted to accept A’s research proposal
           and allow him his residential place at Autscape, with a minority
           (2) voting to reject A’s research proposal but allow him attend
           Autscape on a residential basis as a normal non-researching
           participant. The decision to accept was approved by majority.
      ii)  The board decided to reject C’s research proposal but allow her
           attend Autscape on a residential basis subject to receiving a
           place in the draw process as a normal participant (6 for).
      iii) Skipped because the previous vote made it unnecessary.
      iv)  The board discussed options for a badge symbol for easy
           identification of people who have opted in to participating in
           A's research. Concern was expressed at the complication of badges
           and peoples' inability to understand them. It was agreed that
           Peter will devise an easy to use and discern marker that people
           can wear to opt in to A's research. 
      v)   Postponed due to time constraints.
      vi)  Postponed due to time constraints.

1.6.  Conference growth and venue.
      i)   Stephen proposed that we either:
           a) Keep the main conference at about the same size for 2015,
              while agreeing in principle - pending more detail on how much
              of a deposit would be needed and any other financial risk to
              Autscape, and evidence of demand for both events before
              committing - to the second retreat style event that has been
              offered to be run.
           b) Find a larger venue for 2015, and reject the second retreat
              style conference for now due to the financial risk it
           (See Appendix D for rationale.)
           There followed a discussion, including the effect on overall
           demand, work involved, risk. Martijn and Elaine declared a
           conflict of interest due to personally knowing the organiser
           of the proposed second retreat style event.
           Option "a" carried (6 for a, 1 for b).
      ii)  Debbie proposed that we choose someone to coordinate the venue
           search. There was a short discussion on timing and availability
           of people on the board. Elaine was asked to lead the 2015 venue
           search with no objections.

1.7.  Priority booking. The Registrar proposed that we agree in principle
      that those who registered but are not selected for an Autscape place
      this year have priority booking for their next Autscape conference.
      There was a short discussion including confirmation that the workload
      should not be high. It was mentioned that priority should only extend
      for a specific term. This term would probably be two to three years to
      be in line with Autscape's policy of varying accessibility priorities.
      The wording may need to allow for extreme circumstances.
      Priority bookings approved (4 for, 2 against).

1.8.  Closure of 2013 fund. The treasurer proposed we close the Autscape 2013
      designated fund and transfer money from that fund into the reserves.
      He explained that 1.8 and 1.9 are part of how we agreed to operate the
      reserves, but because they involve designated funds, they need formal
      Approved (7 for).

1.9.  Creation of 2015 fund. The treasurer proposed we create an Autscape
      2015 fund, transfer £2500 from reserves into that fund, and to use
      that fund for income and expenditure related to the Autscape 2015
      Approved (7 for).

1.10. Accountancy fund usage. The treasurer proposed we allow the
      accountancy fund to be used for any accountancy service, independent
      examination, external audit or other related accountancy service for
      the preparation of any year's accounts (see Appendix E for rationale).
      He explained that the proposal that previously put money into the fund
      named a specific year's account; this proposal corrects that.
      Approved (7 for).

[1.5 was discussed here and is minuted earlier in the meeting out of order.]

2.  Follow-ups

2.1.  Personal Data Retention Policy (Martijn, Stephen, Trish)
      Some progress, we now have a rough but incomplete draft.

2.2.  Basic DBS Checks (Elaine)
      Elaine reported that we can get these online via the company. Just
      need to work out a way of checking peoples documents which we can sort
      out on list.

2.3.  Outstanding Minutes (Martijn)
2.4.  Dutch Autscape (Martijn)
2.5.  Website Files (Martijn)
      Martijn reported no progress on the above.

2.6.  Guidance for splitting conference organisation from governance
      Elaine reported no progress on this.

2.7.  Newsletter (Stephen)
      No progress on this.

3.  Role reports

3.1.  Chair (Martijn)
      No progress.

3.2.  Treasurer (Peter)
      The Treasurer discovered errors by the company who worked on our
      previously submitted accounts (year sending Sep 2012). He has
      redrafted them, and drafted the accounts for the period Oct 2012 - Sep
      2013. This took rather longer than he had anticipated.

3.3.  Company Secretary (Debbie)
      Annual Report sent to board. Debbie thanks to Liz for fixing the flow
      of it and Peter for putting in the treasurer parts. (and Elaine for
      starting it in a different meeting. ) Now turning attention to
      announcing the AGM and the call for trustees. Disappointed to note
      that under our own rules this can't be done as early as hoped.

3.4.  Venue coordinator (Elaine)
      The only thing outstanding is the menus but Elaine is waiting for an
      appointment with the chef. Other than that communications are ok
3.5.  Web systems (Martijn)
      Nothing to report.

3.6.  Honorary Secretary (Stephen)
      The Honorary Secretary thanked people for letting him know proposals
      that wouldn't be fully worded in time for the first draft of the
      meeting agenda which made redrafts a lot easier than it has been in
      the past. He encouraged people to continue doing that, when possible.

3.7.  Registrar (Debbie)
      The Registrar reported that en-suite demand  continued to be high
      despite notice. She has closed en-suite booking to leave a final
      couple of ensuite rooms to end of booking period. She suggested the
      lack of good bathroom facilities in some part of last year's venue
      contributed to the needs of some people's ensuites this year. Booking
      demand continues to be high and booking rates often increase in the
      final weeks. There is a good take up of flexible fee. Estimating we'll
      have around 100 onsite and be approx 110-120 in total.
          She plans to have a how to book page for next year - plain simple
      language, including advice to people to wait for responses to queries
      rather than resending every few minutes.
          There is concern about non payers which the Registrar wishes to
      address in person with people at the event.
          There have been misunderstandings over flexible bookings and
      expectations that these would give a higher chance in the draw. Peter
      is working on a message for the registration system.
          It was commented that some people feel the draw provokes anxiety
      and therefore makes Autscape inaccessible.

3.8.  Childcare coordinator (Debbie)
      Nothing to report this month apart from the possible addition of one

3.9.  Travel coordinator (Peter)
      Little progress so far. Approx 30 people wanting to use the transport.

4.  Subcommittee, working group and other reports

4.1.  Formal Programme subcommittee (Martijn)
      Work on the formal programme schedule is in progress.

4.2.  Alternative Programme subcommittee (Trish)
      Alternative programme is progressing. There have been responses about
      films which will need replies.

4.3.  Fundraising subcommittee (Liz)
      No report.

4.4.  Research subcommittee (Peter)
      No progress.

4.5.  Publicity subcommittee (Alastair)
      Info pack and other materials currently in preparation and will be
      proofread by sc. An email to be sent to other scs requesting
      information from them. Aiming to get part 1 of info pack ready by 12th
      July with the rest to follow by the 26th.
      Peter confirmed he can do printing and Martijn offered source files
      which Alastair will email him about.

4.6.  Purchasing working group (Elaine)
      Elaine reported that she has a list of things to purchase and has just
      been holding off because of storage. Will start getting it all in
      soon. Just need to work out some more sensory room things.

5.  Any Other Business

5.1.  Autscape Bulletin
      Trish reported that she hopes to get the Bulletin out with a few
      amendments now the closing time of registration is confirmed, but
      requested the Board check they are happy with the section from Liz
      about Giving.

5.2.  Accounts
      Debbie commented that the 2012 accounts took 18 hours to correct.
      Martijn thanked Peter.

5.3.  Emails
      Alastair mentioned an email issue which he has flagged up to Martijn
      and Peter. Debbie confirmed this had been fixed and due to an issue
      with quota.

5.4.  Onsite Team
      Elaine requested that Martijn set up the onsite team list and he
      agreed to do so.

Meeting closed 4:27pm.