Minutes of April 2015 meeting

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

Meeting date: Sunday 19th April 2015

Meeting time: 15:00 GMT

Meeting Chair: Martijn, Kalen

Present: Debbie, Elaine, Kalen, Liz, Martijn, Stephen, Trish

Apologies: none

Meeting opened 15:22.

1.  Proposals

1.1.  Booking policies.
      The Registrar proposed the following policies (See Appendix C for notes):

1.1.1.  Child number cap. No more then 3 creche staff (later discussion).

1.1.2.  Registration opens 9 May.

1.1.3.  Registration closes 18 July. If places remain available we hold the
        system open to 31July.

1.1.4.  Draw: 10% of places are in the draw. These places will be drawn
        on 18 July.

1.1.5.  Ensuites:  We have very few ensuites this year and they are all
        singles. The fairest way to decide who gets one is to draw for them.

1.1.6.  Acceptance of places: A place is guaranteed only on receipt of payment.

1.1.7.  Cancellation policy: If you cancel before registration closes there
        will be an administration fee of £20 per adult participant in your
        booking. - No refund will be due for cancellations after the close
        of registration.

      There was a brief discussion in which it was mentioned that this seems
      in keeping with our accessibility policy. It was suggested that 10%
      of places in the draw is sufficient so there may beno need to increase
      the percentage in other years.
      It was noted that the fact that places are guaranteed only after
      payment is new this year and must be clear to participants. Debbie
      confirmed this will be on the fees page.
      Booking Policies approved (7 for).

1.2.  Programme budget.
      The Programme Coordinator proposed a budget of £1200 for the
      programme (See Appendix D for breakdown).
      Kalen commented that the reduction compared to previous years is
      mainly down to cheaper presenter accomodation. Glowsticks are
      reduced due to the disco and lifeguards are as advised by the Settle
      The TEN is not included as Elaine is buying it separately.
      Programme budget approved (6 for).

1.3.  Consultant.
      Martijn proposed we appoint Peter Benie as Autscape's consultant for
      database and other services (See Appendix E for rationale).
      Consultant approved (7 for).

1.4.  Board meeting schedule.
      The Chair proposed we agree on a regular board meeting schedule, to
      continue indefinitely until the board decides to change it (see
      Appendix F for on-list discussion).
      There was a discussion over the suitability of the 4th Saturday of the
      month at 3, and any possible alternatives.
      Martijn proposed that we schedule the board meetings on the 4th
      Saturday of the month at 3pm from here on, until the board decides to
      change it.
      Meeting Schedule approved as amended (7 for).

1.5.  Domain purchase.
      The Web Systems Manager proposed we purchase the Autscape.org.uk
      Internet domain from Peter. He is happy to sell it to us at cost,
      which he has specified as USD 19.98 + GBP 45.64. (See Appendix G for
      Domain Purchase approved (7 for).

1.6.  Minuting of ratifications.
      The Chair proposed that when the board ratifies a decision taken
      between board meetings (for example, on the board list), to include a
      summary of the rationale and/or discussion resulting in that decision
      in the minutes. (See Appendix H for rationale).
      There was a discussion in which it was mentioned that the usefulness
      justifies the additional workload, that summaries should be brief, and
      that this does have implications for the confidentiality of board list
      discussions, so the minuting should be done with that in mind, and
      only things relevant and suitable for publication should be included
      in the minutes.
      As this didn't require a vote, the Chair asked for objections.
      Minuting of Ratifications approved (no objections).

2.  Follow ups

2.1.  Annual Report (Liz) [Sent to board as e-mail]
      Liz reported that she worked on Debbie’s draft of the annual report in
      March and is now waiting for some people to add in some information
      which ideally she would like the next day.

2.2.  Accounts (Stephen)
      Stephen reported he is in the process of getting an update from Peter
      on the progress with the accounts, having emailed him Friday. They
      were delayed until after the house move and this has caused delays in
      rectifying the finance system.
      Debbie commented that Peter will need to add the fees and policies to
      the registration system before registration. This may delay the
      accounts by a few days but he does now have broadband which will help.

2.3.  Policy updates (including Complaints policy) (Elaine)
      Elaine reported she has written a complaints policy and is working on
      3 others that tie into it.This is mainly tidying and making things
      easy to read and use and uniform, rather than adding new info. It will
      be sent out for proofreading soon.

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

2.5.  Guidance for splitting conference from governance (Elaine)
      Elaine reported that she would like to get discussions going again but
      left it this month due to the heavy agenda. She would also like
      to have some discussions with members at Autscape to see what they
      think about where we are and the future.

2.6.  Purchase of Font License (Martijn)
      No progress.

2.7.  Allowances Policy for Out and About (Debbie)
      Debbie reported that this has been delayed while she calculated fees
      and now she will be busy with registration matters. She is happy for
      Elaine to complete this.
2.8.  Finance Authorisations
      Originally minuted at: March 2015, item 9.
      Bank Signatories; CAF Web Interface access (online banking); PayPal
      account access.
      Last month we took the decisions on who these should be, see link
      above, however there is still some confusion and a need for someone to
      take responsibility for following up on these.
      Stephen agreed to clarify and sort out:
      (1) figuring out who are the current signatories are; 
      (2) figuring out who the new signatories should be, and put in a new
          proposal to make thathappen.
      Last month we decided that CAF web interface (online banking) access
      is granted to the Bank Signatories rather than assigned separately.
      Peter is now covered by insurance so can continue to have access to
      the Paypal account. In addition Debbie and Martijn have access and
      Stephen will confirm if he has too.

2.9.  Extra Facebook Admin
      Kalen is now an extra admin on our facebook page. Trish volunteered to
      be a third admin in the event of both Kalen and Martijn being

3.  Role reports

3.1.  Chair (Martijn)
      Nothing to report at this time.

3.2.  Treasurer (Stephen as vice)
      Nothing not covered earlier.

3.3.  Company Secretary (Elaine)
      Elaine reported she has been busy with policies. The annual report is
      under control c/o Liz. Debbie said she will be sending a large book to

3.4.  Web systems (Martijn)
      Martijn reported that due to the complexity and immensity of an
      overall operating system upgrade he is instead applying security and
      other updates one by one manually. It's working and thesystem is
      becoming gradually more up to date 'under the hood'.
      He has spent a lot of time on https://www.autscape.org/board/auth/
      (overviews of authorised expenses and of delegated authorities) and
      requests that everyone on the board familiarise themselves with those
      pages, and point out any errors and omissions. Currently completed
      to January 2013.

3.5.  Honorary Secretary (Stephen)
      Stephen thanked Martijn for getting started on the designated
      authority and designated spendinglists. He is going to go through them
      over the next week to see if there's any omissions.

3.6.  Programme Coordinator (Kalen)
      Kalen reported that we now have 9 proposals (generally high calibre)
      with more expected in thelast minute rush. She feels the guidance
      and appeal for variety in the CfP this year has helped. Sheanticipates
      a sufficient quality and variety of presentations. Settle pool will
      send the names of some lifeguardsinterested in working for us and she
      is still working on getting a DJ for Autscape's first disco.

3.7.  Venue Coordinator (Elaine)
      Elaine reported we had the venue visit which was successful. She now
      has the info that needs to go in the info pack so would like to get
      started on that ASAP so she knows what's missing.

3.8.  Childcare (Elaine)
      Regarding creche staff, Debbie requested information from Elaine
      regarding hotel pricing, number of staff, hotel breakfast and the
      possibility of an evening meal at Giggleswick or staff staying at
      Giggleswick instead to be given on list. Also whether the £100
      included breakfast and where the hotel is.
      There followed a prolonged discussion on number of staff required.
      This included known children for the creche, concern for cover in the
      case of staff sickness so far from their normal area, the high
      prevalence of children with greater needs and the fact that if need be
      a child will come with apersonal carer as well and parents can be
      called in times of difficulty. Concern was expressed over whether we
      limit children (max around 8-10).
      It was suggested that those who can fill in the childcare information
      forms for their own kids ASAP.
[Kalen chaired from this point]
      Proposal: To book 2 staff with the creche Box of Frogs. If the number
      of child bookings exceeds the number of children the creche feel
      they can handle comfortably, taking into account any special needs,
      the board will consider whether to ask Box of Frogs to provide more
      staff turn away any further children.
      Creche Staff approved (unanimous).

4.  Subcommittee and working group reports
4.1.  Fundraising (Liz)
      No progress.

4.2.  Publicity & Publications (Martijn)
      Martijn reported that the Asperger United issue with our advertisement
      in it is out now. Elaine reported a lot of callsand Kalen an enquiry
      by letter as a result of this.

4.3.  Merchandise and Purchasing (Stephen)
      No progress though a couple of suggestions to be sent to the working
      group after the meeting - question on suitability of storage for items
      and opinion on Hex Bugs.

4.4.  Newsletter - sent to members (Martijn)
      Martijn reported the newsletter was sent to the members list only,
      which was 73 email addresses. It was commented that the newsletter was
      well received.

4.5.  Transport of sensory equipment from storage to Autscape and back.
      We need a volunteer to arrange the transport of sensory equipment, but
      not necessarily to do it. Given the distance (about 1hour drive), it
      may be quite viable to hire a man and van for the job rather than
      There was a short discussion, during which Stephen agreed to look into
      possibilities initially, ashe might be able to be involved.
      Deferred to list due to the complicated process involved.

4.6.  Report on the moderation of the chat list (Martijn)
      Martijn reported that due to a flamewar breaking out the chat list, he
      had decided under powerdelegated to him to put the list on
      moderation for 72 hours. Elaine mentioned this is covered inthe new
      policies she is writing.

5.  Conference registration fees (See Fees Appendix below)
    Revised fees were posted as calculated by Debbie. Non residential fees
    are unchanged.
    Debbie reported that the program budget has made a big difference to the
    fees. The lowest cost is about £20 lower than it was last year. Last
    year the base price was in the region of £168. This year it is £132.
    There was a short discussion including a query about the cost for sinks
    and ensuites (there are only about 6 ensuites).
[Trish left the meeting at this point and missed the voting.]
    Fees approved as posted (not in the agenda). (6 for)

6.  AOB
    No other business.


7.  Role assignments

7.1.  Treasurer (Candidates: Stephen & Debbie as Joint Treasurer)
      Deferred to list due to lack of time.

Meeting closed 17:57.


1.1.  Amendment to Fees page. It was noted that the fact that places are
guaranteed only after payment is new this year and mustbe clear to
participants. Peter adding fees and policies to registration system.

1.3.  Consultant. Martijn proposes we appoint Peter Benie as Autscape's
consultant for database and other services Martijn to inform Peter?

1.5.  Domain purchase. 
To be actioned

1.6.  Minuting of ratifications. 
Stephen and Trish to action.

2.1.  Annual Report (Liz) [Sent to board as e-mail]
Liz awaiting reports (Martijn, Kalen, others?)

2.2.  Accounts (Stephen)
Stephen awaiting update from Peter.

2.3.  Policy updates (including Complaints policy) (Elaine)
Elaine to send out complaints policy for proofreading

2.4.  Personal Data Retention Policy (Martijn)

2.5.  Guidance for splitting conference from governance (Elaine)
Elaine to restart discussions

2.6.  Purchase of Font License (Martijn)

2.7.  Allowances Policy for Out and About (Debbie)
Elaine to continue with this

2.8.  Finance Authorisations
Stephen to check current situation and action changes, and check his access
to Paypal.

2.9.  Extra Facebook Admin
Martijn to add Trish as additional admin.

3.3.  Company Secretary (Elaine)
Debbie to send book to Elaine

3.4.  Web systems (Martijn)
Board to read page and comment as necessary.

3.5.  Honorary Secretary (Stephen)
Stephen to check lists Martijn has started for authority and spending.

3.7.  Venue Coordinator (Elaine)
Elaine to start on info pack 

3.8.  Childcare (Elaine)
Elaine to respond with info for Debbie and confirm staff numbers to Box of Frogs.

4.3.  Merchandise and Purchasing (Stephen)
Stephen sending email to working group

4.5.  Transport of sensory equipment from storage to Autscape and back.
Stephen to look into possibilities.

7.1.  Treasurer (Candidates: Stephen & Debbie as Joint Treasurer)
Deferred to list due to lack of time

Fees Appendix

195 Standard income
Less 10% low income
Plus 10% professional
This give people a place in a single room.
Adults in twin rooms -£15
Adults in triple and larger (read family)  rooms -£20
(I expect only family groups will take this)
Adults taking flexible fee -£20
Adults taking flexible fee willing to go into 3 person room -£25. (Needed
for completion remove if you don't like it. It isn't much different from the
above but it removes the decision of flexible / triple from those who can go
into the larger rooms.)
Sink in single room +£30  (ten pounds per night)
Ensuite single  +£45  (twenty pounds per night).
Sink in shared room +£15 (five pounds per night per adult)
Place in a shared room
Flexible place.
Carer supplements:
+£30 single room
+£45 single room with sink
+£15 shared room with a sink. No supplement for shared room with sink when
     sharing with the person you are caring for.
+£60 single ensuite
Carer discount
-£10 three+ person (read family) room.
Child supplements:
+£30 single room
+£45 single room with sink
+£60 single ensuite
No supplement for shared room with sink.
Child discount
-£10 three+ person (read family) room.
£60 shared room. No supplement for sink in room.
Infant discount
-£5 for 3 person room