Minutes of June 2015 meeting

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

Meeting date: Saturday 27th June 2015

Meeting time: 15:00 BST

Meeting Chair: Martijn

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

Apologies: Liz

Meeting opened 15:17.

1. Ratifications

1.1. Approval (23rd June) of the annual report was ratified. (6 for)

2. Proposals

2.1 Complaints Policy

2.1.1 The Company Secretary proposed we adopt the complaints policy sent to
      the board list on the 20th of May.
      Complaints Policy Approved (5 for)

    The Board also delegated the following powers, contained in the
    complaints policy and proposed by the Honorary Secretary (6 for) Honorary Secretary: The power to process and lead the
        investigation of complaints not relating to the Honorary Secretary. Chair: The power to delegate processing and leading the investigation
        of complaints relating to the Honorary Secretary to a board member
        other than the Honorary Secretary.

2.2 The Venue Coordinator was granted a budget of £100 to cover coffee
    and tea making supplies in the boarding houses (See Appendix B for
    rationale). (6 for)

2.3 The Company Secretary proposed that we no longer permit observers at the
    Autscape Board meeting with effect from 1/07/15. (See Appendix C for

    There followed a long discussion as there was disagreement amongst the
    board regarding the value and difficulties of having observers.
    Particular concerns were raised about transparency and the accessibility
    of the board, how people feel about being observed and whether observers
    are seen as a show of support. The Company Secretary said that all
    relevant information was contained in the minutes which were made public
    on the website and she felt this was transparent enough. There was a
    suggestion that the minutes could be more detailed although the board
    were reminded that the information in the minutes had recently been
    reduced to make them easier to look back through. It was also suggested
    that reminding observers of their obligations towards sharing
    information might solve the problem of information being shared before
    the board was ready to share it.

    It was also put that another solution would be to restrict observers to
    members and those that have an interest in Autscape and that these
    people could request in writing prior to the meeting for permission to
    observe. There followed some discussion around administrating this and
    whether it was feasible.

    The proposal was rewritten:

    The Company Secretary proposed that the board decide on a new policy
    with regard to observers at the board meetings.
    Approved (4 for, 2 against}

2.3.1 An initial proposal for a policy did not achieve a resultant vote so
      some options were dropped and others added:

      The Company Secretary proposed that we adopt, with effect from
      1/07/15, one of the following policies with regards to observers at
      the board meetings:

      B. To allow only members to observe subject to prior registration from
         members before observing.

      C. To allow members to observe freely, and to allow non-members to
         observe subject to prior written permission.

      E. To not encourage observation by anyone. If any member really wants
         to observe, they should register by a simple process. Non-members
         can also ask, but the threshold for permission is higher. i.e. they
         have to give a good reason, whereas members don't.

      (E) is carried (4 for E, 2 for C).

      Further discussion included the addition of passwords on joining to
      observe (Martijn) and using AUT numbers for this for members (Debbie)

2.4 Elaine proposed the board grant her permission to sell a small selection
    of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks at Giggleswick as an individual, with
    the profit going to Autscape as a donation from herself.

    The vice-treasurer queried whether she would be using the Autscape cash
    and carry card to purchase goods and she confirmed she would not. This
    would be entirely self funded. Stephen also queried whether permission
    had been sought from Giggleswick school and Elaine said she would
    confirm this.

    The proposal was carried (6 for).

3. Follow-ups

3.1 Filing of Annual Report and Accounts (Elaine)
    Elaine reported this is complete and in the post with guaranteed next
    day delivery.

3.2 Finance Authorisations (Stephen)
    Stephen didn't manage to check who the current authorisations are aside
    himself and Peter, but does have access to the Paypal so we can make
    things work during registration, which was the priority.

3.3 Start of Info Pack and Brochure (Martijn)
    Martijn reported no progress and some difficulty getting this started.
    There was a discussion as to the usefulness of the brochure with several
    people in favour of it. Kalen agreed to take on the brochure as a
    project but not till next year. Elaine and Debbie confirmed that some
    information for the info pack is already available on the website
    however Elaine said some of this is awaiting confirmation. It was found
    that Travel and Programme were needing further communication on what
    would be happening about timings for the start and end of programme and
    whether people can /should stay on site past 2pm and have an activity,
    or wait a long time at Settle station. There was concern that more
    people would feel encouraged to stay than just train people. Discussion
    postponed to list with Kalen requesting that questions come to her
    direct rather than through the sc.
    Debbie requested that the onsite list be restarted.

3.4 Amendment to reserves policy (Stephen)
    Stephen reported that while we passed a reserves policy, he cannot find
    documentation of it outside of the agenda and minutes where we voted for
    the current policy, and to amend it. He will write a policy document
    stating what the policy currently is for upload into the policies
    section of the site when he gets a chance after another search on the
    policies section of the site.

3.5 Martijn reported no progress on the Personal Data Retention policy.

3.6 Allowances Policy for Out and about (Elaine)
    Elaine reported this was ready to go to the board after the meeting.

3.7 Guidance for splitting conference from governance (Elaine)
    Elaine reported she will do the Personal Data retention policy with the
    other policies.

3.8 Domain Purchase (Martijn) and
3.9 Purchase of Font License (Martijn)
    Martijn reported no progress on either of these. He will make an effort
    to move these on.

4. Role Reports

4.1 The chair (Martijn) had nothing to report.

4.2 Treasurer (Stephen)
    Stephen reported that processing of registration payments has been
    happening regularly. There are a couple of points he needs to catch up
    on, and he will be focusing on that during the next week. A problem with
    the web system was found relating to non-english characters in names,
    and has been resolved (Thanks to Peter and Martijn for that),

4.3 Company Secretary (Elaine)
    Elaine reported the Annual Report has been done but she has a lot more
    statutory things to complete for Charities commission etc. She is also
    working her way through policies. She has more to put to the board for
    approval. Some will just be reformatted. Also she has to start getting
    things ready for nominations to board and the AGM next.

4.4 Web Systems (Martijn)
    Martijn reported he is continuing to cope with a technical problem
    related to the outdatedness of the operating system that runs the
    Autscape website and other systems, but the workaround he implemented is
    effective, and he keeps manually applying security updates, so we can
    continue on like this for a while. After Autscape we'll have to get
    serious about upgrading it though.
      There was a problem with the automated synchronisation of the Members
    mailing list with the actual members database due to a miscommunication
    between himself and Peter, so quite a few people ended up unexpectedly
    removed from the Members list. This situation has now been remedied and
    they are going to think of ways to prevent this from happening in the
    future while still keeping the Members list accurate and up to date.

4.5 The Honorary Secretary (Stephen) had nothing to report.

4.6 Programme Coordinator (Kalen)
    Kalen reported she had just sent out a presenters' questionnaire to find
    out needs, and wanted to help with scheduling. The venue had applied a
    lot of pressure with very little notice, so some aspects of this were
    now very urgent.She had also done a questionnaire to submit
    participant-led activities, but so far had only sent it to the chat list
    as a bit of a pilot. She aimed, barring problems to send it to announce
    the next day. She was aware there were people anxious to know about the
    programme contents urgently, but was at that point only able to answer
    things about general structure.

4.7 Venue Coordinator (Elaine)
    Elaine reported that things were going well, we had most of the info we
    needed and the next task would be menus. The venue also wanted our
    programme before they finished for school holidays so they would know
    where we want things. However this could prove impossible due to the
    lateness of their request and it was expected we would have to guess
    where we don't know on the generous side.

4.8 Childcare Coordinator (Elaine)
    Elaine had nothing further to report. She had been in touch with them
    and they were just waiting for more info from us.

4.9 No report from the transport coordinator was requested or received.
    However Peter has a webpage mentioned earlier in the meeting detailing
    provisional arangements.
    Debbie also mentioned that the registration system doesn't allow
    transport bookings from day people so these need adding by hand.

    Debbie noted that Peter wasn't asked for a report and this highlights
    the difficulties of splitting governance and organisation. Transport and
    programme need to communicate to ensure that transport fits with meals
    and train times.

(Kalen left the meeting at this point.)

4.10 Registrar (Debbie)
     Debbie reported that things are going much better than expected. The
     new payment policy reduces workload. There is some unhappiness over the
     lack of ground floor rooms as well as ensuites and though most people
     will cope (with some difficulty) the rest won't come.

     The draw for ensuites was due the following day and was anticipated to
     leave numbers around the 100 mark.

     More day people have booked so far than usual for this stage of
     booking, and there is at least one more day booking on the way.

     Interest in the taster sessions (a short session for people to try out
     so they can decide better about coming for a longer time in future) is
     behind due to people waiting for the programme. Debbie is currently
     asking people to book for Saturday morning and will switch them later.

     Debbie recommends regular pre-announced downtime periods for the
     booking system to allow time to fix minor problems. It would have to be
     a time agreed with the programmer and announced on the site eg "weekly
     maintenance 9pm-11pm Sundays".

     It would also help if to have flowcharts explaining how things work as
     there was an issue with the members list.

     Registration system: Since being granted root access and thus access to
     the registration database Debbie can see its really important that that
     too is double checked before registration opens.

     Debbie has fixed a clerical error over fees and had to manually
     calculate a 3 day fee.

     There is a £13 day shortfall if bookings miss on minimum numbers per
     person. About 3 weeks before the event this rises to over £60. The
     venue need to get shortfall figures on time.

5. Subcommittee Reports

5.1 No report from Fundraising (Liz).

5.2 Nothing further to report on Publicity and Publications (Martijn).

5.3 Merchandise and Purchasing (Stephen)
    Stephen reported less progress than anticipated. He will be starting
    purchases over the next couple of weeks as well as responding to Elaine
    regarding mugs. He has heard from Yo (who currently stores Autscape
    items such as sensory equipment) and Yo has stated we will have access
    to her garage immediately before and after Autscape this year, so if we
    have any board members who can take the Autscape stuff in a van based in
    that part ofthe world, this would be helpful. Stephen no longer lives
    nearby or has access to the drivers who helped before.

5.4 No report received from Laura about the Newsletter.

6. AOB
   There was no other business


7. Role assignments

7.1 On-site team coordinator (Last Year: Martijn. Candidates: Stephen, Martijn)
    Martijn proposed voting for Stephen or Martijn as on site team coordinator.
    On Site Coordinator is Stephen (4 votes)

Meeting closed 17:18.

Actions from meeting

2.3.1. Adoption of new policies regarding observers.
       It was not confirmed who will need to do what with this however we
       will need a message to members warning them of changes and passwords
       set up on mibbit.

2.4 Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks at Giggleswick
    Elaine to confirm there is no problem regarding permission from

3.2 Finance Authorisations (Stephen)
    To be finished when time allows.

3.3 Start of Info Pack and Brochure (Martijn)
    Kalen and Peter to check times etc all agreed/communicated.
    Kalen to work on brochure.
    Info pack still awaiting further work, all info to be posted to website
    as completed (Various board members)
    Martijn to restart onsite list.

3.4 Amendment to reserves policy
    Stephen to search for and amend policy as necessary.

3.5 Personal Data Retention policy (Martijn)

3.6 Allowances Policy for Out and about (Elaine)

3.7 Guidance for splitting conference from governance (Elaine)

3.8 Domain Purchase (Martijn)

3.9 Purchase of Font License (Martijn)

5.3 Merchandise and Purchasing (Stephen)
    Transport needed for items in storage (anyone nearby)

New role: On Site Coordinator is Stephen