Minutes of March 2019 meeting

Minutes of meeting of the Board of Directors of the Autscape Organisation
Minutes of the board meeting held on 9th March 2019

Meeting opened 17:07

Chair Martijn
Present: Elaine, Heta, Jeremy, Larry, Martijn, Trish
Present (invited): Debbie
Invited: Kalen, Debbie, Peter
Apologies: Fergus, James, Jenny
Observers: 1

1. Approvals
Minutes of the February 2019 meeting posted to the list on 7th March 2019.

1.1 Minutes approved, 6 for.

2. Ratifications

3. Proposals

3.1. The Organisation Committee proposed that the fees for Autscape 2019 (as posted to the list on 3rd March) will be as follows:

Fees are per person. They are for a standard single room or a place in a shared en-suite bedroom.
Adult: £299
Child (6-16): £169
Young child (0-5): £74
The age used is the age the child is on the first day at Autscape.

Supplement: £25 for an upgrade to a single en-suite bedroom.
Discount: £25 off your fee if you take a place in a shared standard bedroom.
3.1 Fees approved, 6 for.

3.2. The Organising Committee proposed that the fees for the extra night offered as an option at Autscape 2019 are as follows:
Adult: £84
Child (aged 6-16): £39
Younger child (0-5): £19
Regardless of room type.
3.2 Fees for extra night approved, 6 for.

3.3. The Organising Committee proposed that the fee payment and cancellation policy for Autscape 2019 is as follows:

The deposit is £50 per person. This is due approximately 3 weeks after a place is allocated. The registrar will inform you of the exact date. The remaining payment must be received by the end of June. No refunds for cancellations are given after 10 July 2019.
Autscape reserves the right to pass on bank charges to you. If you are paying by international bank transfer you must pay the bank charge.
When payments do not reach us on time Autscape reserves the right to re-advertise the place.
Deposits are not refundable. The registrar has the discretion to refund child and dependent deposits.

3.3 Fee payment and cancellation policy approved, 6 for.

3.4. The Treasurer proposed that we accept payment by instalments for Autscape 2019. The Treasurer will be responsible for organising the instalment plan and liaison with participants.

Reworded to:
The Organising Committee proposes that we accept payment by instalments for Autscape 2019. The Treasurer will be responsible for organising the instalment plan and liaison with participants.

3.4 Payment by instalments approved as amended, 6 for.

3.5. The Chair of the Bursary Committee proposed that in accordance with the Bursary Policy bursary application for Autscape 2019 should be submitted on the bursary application form provided during the registration period (exact dates to follow). Bursaries will also:
- Be available for all room types.
- Not be available to cover the extra night, apart from in very exceptional circumstances.
- Consider travel as a reason for a bursary (or for a larger bursary,) but will not be available as a separate award.
- Be available for non-participating carers without the need to justify this by financial hardship.
In most cases be set amounts:
6 x £150
6 x £100
10 x £50
(Total 2K) - The bursary committee has the authority to vary these amounts with £1K set aside for this purpose, larger bursaries or latecomers.

3.5 Bursaries availability approved, 6 for.

3.6.1. The Treasurer proposed that a Discretionary Fund be established for organiser & presenter expenses, to the value of £1000.00.

3.6.1 Discretionary Fund for organiser and presenter expenses approved, 6 for.

3.6.2. The Treasurer proposed that the Discretionary Fund is administered by the treasurer and one other director, who are each delegated responsibility by the board for co-authorising payments from the fund.

3.6.2 Administration of Discretionary Fund approved, 6 for.

3.7. The Fundraising Co-ordinator proposed that Autscape accepts a £100.00 goodwill donation from the Autism Arts Festival, as the festival shall feature Sparklies in the Dark.

3.7 Donation from Autism Arts Festival approved, 6 for.

3.8. The Fundraising Co-ordinator proposed that the advert used for Asperger United is also sent to the Autism Arts Festival to be published in the festival programme.

3.8 Publication of advert approved, 6 for.

4. Follow-ups

5. Role reports

5.1. Chair (Martijn)
Nothing to report. It appears things are going to plan. Call for proposals should open ASAP.

5.2. Company Secretary (Elaine)
The Company Secretary reported that she needs to finish off the annual report and finish off changing our name with the Charities Commission.

5.3. Honorary Secretary (Elaine)
Nothing to report.

5.4. Treasurer (Jeremy)
The Treasurer had nothing to report. When asked he confirmed the accounts are completed and he will send them to the Company Secretary.

5.5. Event Manager Autscape 2019 (Kalen)
Debbie provided a report on progress.
VENUE VISIT: Debbie, Peter, Kalen and Elaine visited the venue.
Kalen and Elaine saw most of the programme rooms. Debbie and Peter saw the bedrooms. Unfortunately because there was a conference on not all the bedroom types were available to view. Of the bedrooms we did see we noted that
a/ The venue plan is most definitely not to scale
b/ The standard rooms are not less good than the en-suites other than that they are not en-suite. Like the en-suites they have a kettle and a towel is provided. All standard bedrooms have a hand basin and close by there are toilets and showers. There are fewer baths but one at least does exist. The facilities are in cubicles; however, the cubicles are reasonably contained (the walls go down to the floor level and up to the ceiling.)
c/ All bedroom doors lock with a key card.

There are more than enough bedrooms on the ground floor or accessible by lift for our anticipated needs.
The venue have rules about food on site. We can't sell food in the Autscape 'shop'. People can bring their own food like biscuits and snack packs of raisins. They can't bring foods like pot
noodles, takeaways or deliveries, or foods that need cooking or preparation.

FEES AND BUDGET: On the organisers list we discussed our outgoings for this year's Autscape. Then drew up a budget to see how much fee income we needed to take in. Then had a few rounds of amending that. An expensive venue has more expensive overheads for
organiser accommodation.
The fees went to the board list and after some discussion and agreement that the fees don't need to contribute as much to the running costs of Autscape (the organisation) adjustments were made.

INSTALMENTS: Paying by instalments makes it easier for people to afford Autscape. This is especially important in a year when the fees are high. I liaised with Jeremy (as board treasurer) to find a way to make paying by instalment possible this year.
In theory it sounds simple to do, in practise it is extremely time consuming because people forget to make their subsequent payments or vary how much they agreed to pay without notification.
Jeremy agreed to look after the pay by instalment by bank transfer side of things. Now we just need to get booking open in time for it to be possible for people to make an April, May and June payment.

BURSARIES: The registrar communicated with the bursary committee to ensure the booking side understood what was on offer this year.

TRAVEL: The organisers discussed where to offer travel from. In the end we choose the closest station Broxbourne.
As the taxi fare from there is in the region of £6=£7 it's not worth trying to collect small contributions from people in advance.
People don't know their plans in advance and collecting small amounts of money towards travel leads to collection, change of minds, not signing up until the last minute, changing times etc.
Instead we are going to do similar to last year and have an organiser in the train station (probably Elaine again) to help people into taxis (shared or otherwise) or to the bus route.

CHILDCARE: Elaine made contact with Box of Frogs who said they'll cover the event for the same price as last year. We don't have a formal contract in place.

BOOKING: We are changing the way we do booking this year. We have a period at the start after booking is opened before we start to process the bookings. This we hope will be fairer to those who can't get to the booking form immediately or need more time to fill it in. We are hoping to open booking in mid March and start processing the applications in early April.

5.6. Membership Secretary (Jeremy)
Nothing to report.

5.7. Fundraising Coordinator (Jeremy)
Nothing to report.

5.8. Tech Coordinator (Martijn)
Nothing to report.

5.9. Lists Coordinator (James)
No report received.

5.10. Venue Search Coordinator (Elaine)
The Venue Search Coordinator reported she has a couple more schools that look good to follow up in Scotland near Edinburgh. Whether we want a new venue next time is another thing. She hopes to have more detail on it all next time.

6. Any Other Business

6.1. The Company Secretary proposed that we adopt the Event Proposal and Management Policy posted to the board list at 3 March. Link:

6.1 Event Proposal and Management Policy Approved, 6 for.

Closed part of the meeting

7. Role elections

7.1. Discretionary Fund Authority (as in 3.6.2)

Candidates: Larry

7.1 Larry for Discretionary Fund Authority), 5 for, 1 abstained.

7.2. Answering info@autscape.org emails

Candidates: Heta

It was confirmed that the new person should be a board member. Trish said she would be happy to stay on if a third person is added. Debbie suggested starting off with Heta and offered herself to be an additional person later if needed.

7.2 Heta for additional person on info@, 5 for, 1 abstained.

Action 7.2 Add Heta to info@ and inform her of process (Martijn, Elaine)

Meeting closed 18:22