Minutes of September 2019 meeting

Minutes of meeting of the Board of Directors of the Autscape Organisation
Meeting date: 28th September 2019
Meeting time: 14:00 BST
Meeting Chair: Martijn
Present: Elaine, Heta, Jenny, Kalen, James, Martijn
Apologies: Debbie, Fergus, Jeremy
No observers.

Meeting opened 14:09

1. Approvals
1.1. Minutes of the August 2019 meeting posted to the list on August 6
Minutes approved, 4 for, 2 abstentions.

2. Ratifications
No ratifications.

3. Proposals
3.1. Venues for 2020 and 2021
3.1.1. The Venue search coordinator proposed that the board choose one of the following venues for Autscape 2020.
A. High Leigh (Monday 17th to Thursday 20th August). Advance party from Sunday 16th.
B. Giggleswick (Monday 27th to Thursday 30th July). Advance party from Sunday 26th plus extra night Thursday 30th for a limited number of people - exact amount to be clarified.

In the discussion, it was confirmed that High Leigh could not offer an extra night in 2020.
Option B was carried, 6 for.

3.1.2. The Venue search coordinator proposed that the board choose one of the following venues for Autscape 2021.
A.The Hayes (Monday 2nd to Friday 6th August - exclusive use) Advance party from Sunday 1st.
B. High Leigh conference centre (Monday 9th - Friday 13 August - exclusive use) Advance party from Sunday 8th.
C. High Leigh conference centre (Monday 16th – Friday 20th August - exclusive use) advance party from Sunday 15th.
The options were discussed. Elaine pointed out that there are other options, but these are worth considering first. Kalen preferred the Hayes because of its size and central location. Martijn expressed reservations about pinning Autscape as a European event down to yet another venue in England, mentioning complaints from Scotland. Elaine commented that there are no venues big enough in other parts of the UK and suggested smaller events in Scotland and Wales. Kalen had not heard of viable venues in any other part of Europe, despite requests to people to propose one. Heta suggested that going to continental Europe should be started with a smaller event.
The possibility of making a non-binding booking at the Hayes was discussed.
Elaine explained that the Hayes booking could be penciled in, and a venue visit would be arranged before committing to a contract.
The Chair added to the proposal option D: defer this decision.
3 for A, 3 for D, option D was carried on the basis of the Chair’s casting vote.

3.2. The Honorary Secretary proposed the following dates, 2-4 pm, for Board meetings October 2019 – July 2020: Oct 26, Nov 23, Dec 21, Jan 26, Feb 22, Mar 28, Apr 25, May 23, Jun 27, Jul 25
In the discussion, it was clarified that the times meant UK time. Some concerns were expressed about being able to attend on certain dates. Elaine assured that it is not necessary to be able to attend all meetings.
The proposal was carried, 6 for.

4. Follow-ups
No follow-ups.

5. Role reports
5.1. Chair (Martijn)
Nothing to report.
5.2. Company Secretary (Elaine)
Nothing to report.
5.3. Honorary Secretary (Heta)
Nothing to report.
5.4. Treasurer (Jeremy)
No report received.
5.5. Event Manager Autscape 2019 (Kalen)
Nothing to report.
5.6. Membership Secretary (Jeremy)
Nothing to report.
5.7. Fundraising coordinator (Jenny)
The fundraising coordinator submitted the following report:
I have been looking at various possible ways to fundraise including bucket collections (a licence would need to be obtained to do this) and/or a small karaoke/entertainment event, and I am considering putting in a proposal in the near future for an event to be considered by the board.
I am also working on putting together a Business Plan/Strategy for the next 3-5 years and hope to have produced a draft document during November this year.
5.8. Tech coordinator (Martijn)
Nothing to report
5.9. Lists coordinator (James)
The lists coordinator submitted the following report:
The Community List has quietened down since the main event. After considering my position, I've realised I can in fact continue as Lists Coordinator. If I remained as moderator, it would not significantly affect my workload anyway, as I'd have to train the new Lists Coordinator.
The Plan list has had a discussion about the theme, which I hope the board can vote on asap.
5.10. Venue search coordinator (Elaine)
Nothing further than already discussed.

6. Any Other Business
No other business.

Closed part of the meeting

7. Follow-ups
7.1. Emergency board meetings during Autscape
Martijn asked if anyone had a follow-up about this. Elaine responded that she could do the minutes, and they could be approved at the next meeting. James offered to send his notes to Elaine.
7.2. The ‘Learnings from Autscape’ presentation
The matter was discussed, and it was concluded that Martijn had received a copy of slides as agreed. There had been no alarming content or other sign of violating the agreement. The presentation had been held on 31st August.

8. Refund requests
[confidential item redacted]
The requests were considered against the cancellation policy approved by the Board on March 9 (Appendix 2).
The Honorary Secretary recommended that the Board consider the shortcomings in communication regarding the policy (Appendix 3), and granting partial refunds, as there may have been misunderstandings regarding cancellation deadlines.
There was a discussion concerning the applicant’s knowledge of the cancellation policy, and what they could be expected to know on the basis that it’s common practice. Kalen pointed out that not getting money back in similar situations is standard. Heta presented the argument that the communication available to the applicants had suggested otherwise, referring to Appendix 3.
James suggested that it’s necessary to change the way the website is handled.
Martijn pointed out that registration-related content was not out of date, just incomplete.
Martijn recommended that since the organisation had failed to communicate the policy, the board should err on the side of being generous.
At James’s suggestion, it was agreed that the board should note that Autscape is losing money because of the failure to communicate policies properly.
The possibility of having a named person in charge of keeping website content up to date was discussed.
The dates when the applicants cancelled their registrations were estimated on the basis of their emails. [confidential item redacted]

The Chair requested that the Board vote for each of the following three names (1, 2 and 3): (A) refund them the full registration fee minus the deposit; (B) refund them 50% of the registration fee; (C) no refund; (D)
some other option [to be discussed].
[confidential item redacted]

9. Complaint from [redacted]
[confidential item redacted]
The matter was discussed. Heta supported the Company Secretary’s recommendation that the complaints policy should not be changed, but practice developed so that organisers seek support from another organiser when dealing with complaints where somebody is upset.
The Chair called the Board to vote on the following proposal worded by Elaine:
In view of the complaint from [redacted], the company secretary proposes that we do not change our policy but we consider our practice with regards to complaints.
The proposal was carried, 6 for.

[16.12 Kalen left the meeting]

10. Roles
10.1. Chair
Nominations – Martijn
Carried, 4 for, 1 abstention.
10.2. Vice-Chair
Nominations – none. [skipped]
10.3. Event Manager
Nominations - James
Carried, 5 for.
The need for a Vice-Chair, and board members’ willingness to be nominated, was discussed briefly.
Heta nominated James for Vice-Chair.
10.2. Vice-chair [re-introduced]
Nominations – James
Carried, 5 for.
10.4. Lists Coordinator
Nominations – Kalen
Kalen was nominated during the meeting, after James agreed to take the Vice-Chair role if Kalen agreed to be Lists Coordinator.
Carried, 5 for.
10.5. Lists Moderators
Nominations - James
Carried 4 for [Jenny temporarily absent].
10.6. Bursary Committee members
Nominations – James, Heta
It was concluded that this item was unnecessary and could be skipped, since Bursary Committee posts last three years and all members could continue.
11. Any Other Business (closed part)
James informed the Board that on the Plan List, it had been suggested by 3 people that 2020's theme be moved to 2021. 'Vision' had been suggested as the theme for 2020.
The Chair called the Board to vote on 'Vision' as the theme for 2020, and a theme like Fulfilment/Thriving for 2021.
The proposal was carried, 5 for.

Meeting closed at 16.33.