Minutes of September 2014 meeting

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

Meeting date: Sunday 21st September 2014

Meeting time: 2.00pm BST

Meeting Chair: Martijn

Present: Stephen, Martijn, Trish (late), Elaine, Peter, Alastair, Kalen

Apologies: None

Meeting opened 2:06pm BST.

Board members voted to waive their right to notice of the meeting (6 for).

1.  Ratifications

    The board ratified the following previously taken decisions (6 for):
1.1.  The decision to approve the Revised Research T&C for Ben, with
      interaction badged changed to initiation badge.

1.2.  The decision to amend term 2 of Ben's Research T&C to exclude research
      on yellow badge.

1.3.  The decision to amend term 6 of Ben's Research T&C to allow
      approaching groups that enough people are opting in and opting out for
      splinter groups to form for both while preventing isolating one or two
      people not opting in.

1.4.  The decision to approve a budget of £30 to cover plastic sheets to
      protect the carpets from paint at Belsey Bridge.

1.5.  The decision to extend the period of emergency moderation related to
      the thread Balance? by 24 hours.

[Trish joined the meeting at this point and waived right to notice of the

2.  Proposals

2.1.  Future Research Requests (Deferred from June meeting, Deferred further
      on request of proposer; See Appendix A)

2.1 i)    Research Request Coordinator.  Debbie proposed we approve
          a new position of research request coordinator. A discussion
          followed as to whether this warranted being a separate named
          position. It was suggested that the Honorary Secretary could take
          this task on initially and delegate the handling of it as and when
          appropriate. After discussion, the board concluded that handling
          research requests falls under the Honorary Secretary's remit. The
          proposal was not approved (1 for, 6 against).

2.1 i) a) Kalen proposed that the Honorary Secretary job description
          be amended to include responsibility for managing research
          requests. There was a discussion in which it was mentioned that
          this should include filming requests.
          Amended proposal: Kalen proposed that the Honorary Secretary job
          description be amended to include responsibility for managing
          research and media requests. Proposal approved as amended (7 for).
          Stephen agreed to write an amended job description.

2.1 ii)   Research proposal deadline.  Debbie proposed we approve and
          publish a date by which all research proposals (including filming
          requests) must be submitted by before Autscape each year. These
          proposals are hard work and time consuming. Debbie suggested mid
          March which is roughly in line with the formal programme
          submissions and gives us time to discuss the proposals in April
          before registration opens around May. There was a discussion
          regarding whether all research including questionnaires should be
          included in this. Some board members felt that setting the
          deadline should be at the Honorary Secretary's discretion because
          research requests and the amount of work they generate, vary
          widely. Others favoured a hard deadline. The proposal was not
          adopted (3 for, 4 against).
          An alternative wording was proposed in AOB; see 5.1.

3.  Follow-ups

3.1.  Venue search.
      Elaine stated that she had written a big summary for the list which
      was too much to repeat during the meeting. There followed a long
      discussion of the various options with resulting opinions that:
      • 200 is too many places but unfortunately not many venues take 150.
      • Many places are too expensive eg Hothorpe at £99 per person per night.
      • Many previous venues are too small. Belsey Bridge is a possible
        fallback solution. Elaine was requested to check availability.
      • In most cases shared use is unacceptable but some places like Hayes
        may be capable of making it work.
      • It is worth investigating campus universities which are in quieter
      • There are 3 YHA venues which are big enough.
      • Schools are not the best option but should be looked into if nothing
        else works.
      • Corporate conference centres are too expensive generally. 
      • Outdoor activity centres are extremely basic but may be worth
        looking at.
      • Some places might be prepared to negotiate as we are a charity but
        this is more likely with places with charitable objectives.

3.2.  Personal Data Retention Policy (Martijn). No progress.

3.3.  Guidance for splitting conference organisation from governance. Elaine
      reported that she has done a lot of work on this. She is writing
      something which everyone will need to read and then discussion will be

3.4.  Outstanding Minutes. Martijn reported some slow progress.

3.5.  Dutch Autscape.  Martijn reported that the Dutch people have
      decided to use their own name, "Autminds" and have asked him to join
      them as a consultant. He feels this is not longer a board matter.

3.6.  Chat list moderator powers.  Stephen reported no progress.

3.7.  Website Files.  No report on this.

3.8.  Newsletter.  Martijn reported plenty of development with Laura W
      volunteering to run the newsletter working group, which is now
      revived, and now taking submissions for a new Autscape newsletter to
      be distributed to the members.

4.  Role reports

4.1.  Chair (Martijn). Nothing to report.
4.2.  Treasurer (Peter). Nothing to report.

4.3.  Company Secretary (Debbie). Nothing to report.

4.4.  2013-2014 Venue Co-ordinator (Elaine). Elaine reported that
      Belsey Bridge are chasing for feedback and said she will send at the
      end of the week to allow time for any further comments from the Board.

4.5.  Web systems (Martijn). No report.

4.6.  Honorary Secretary (Stephen). Nothing to report.

4.7.  Registrar (Debbie). No report.

4.8.  2013-2014 Childcare coordinator (Debbie). No report.

4.9.  2013-2014 Travel coordinator (Peter). Peter reported that travel
      went very smoothly and was within budget.

5.  Any Other Business

5.1.  Research and media requests. Continuing from 2.1 ii), Elaine proposed
      the wording "to be guaranteed consideration", yielding an amended
      proposal: To approve and publish a date by which all research and
      media proposals (including filming requests) must be submitted in
      order to be guaranteed consideration. Peter did not like the new
      wording because it suggests that "you definitely will be considered
      before [the deadline]". Trish replied that consideration doesn't need
      to be a major thing. The proposal was deferred to list for further
      discussion due to lack of time.

5.2.  Honorary Secretary. Stephen recommended a secretary address
      for the Honorary Secretary. This was deferred to list.

5.3.  Expenses. The treasurer reminded the board that he should be
      informed of reimbursements and/or expenses.

5.4.  AGM minutes. Peter reminded the board that previous AGM
      minutes require approval.

Closed part of the meeting

6.  Role assignments.

    It was decided to postpone role assignment to the next meeting. 

    There was a suggestion that programme coordinator should also be
    assigned at that point and that it be considered that some roles need
    not be reassigned each year.

Meeting closed 5:12pm BST.