Minutes of August 2010 meeting

Autscape Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting date: Thursday 26th August 2010   Meeting time: 1pm

Present: Elaine, Kalen, Martijn, Peter, Trish, Yo.

1                   Approvals

1.1.            Minutes of July meeting - approved (4 in favour, 2 

1.2.            Minutes of meetings held during Autscape conference (version 
posted 26/8/10) - approved (5 in favour, 1 abstention)

1.3.            Draft minutes of AGM 2010 for approval by the membership at 
AGM 2011 (draft posted 22/08/10) and subject to adding in missing abstention 
figures - approved ( 5 in favour, 1 abstention)

2                   Proposals

2.1.            The committee agreed to reappoint Yo as company secretary (5 
in favour, 1 abstention)

2.2.            The committee agreed to expand the role of the Childcare SC 
to include responsibility for issues relating to under 18s at Autscape and 
rename it the Youth SC (5 in favour, 1 abstention)

2.3.            There was a brief discussion in which the difference between 
Trustee indemnity and public liability insurance was clarified and the level 
of cover discussed. The Company Secretary made a statement about the purpose 
of the insurance which contained an error. The committee decided to allocate 
up to £200 for the purchase of Trustees Indemnity / Directors & Officers 
Liability insurance up to £100,000 from aQmen. (Unanimous). [The purpose of 
this insurance was further clarified and the error corrected by the Company 
Secretary following the meeting and the committee ratified its decision nem 

2.4.            There was a brief discussion about the difficulties 
encountered by both Yo and Peter in attempting to find a suitable free 
umbrella organization for CRB checks. Elaine offered to make a brief attempt 
by phone. The committee voted to ask Elaine to make further enquires and 
report back by the end of Tuesday (5 in favour, 1 for using Aspects Care 

2.5.            The committee agreed to attempt to co-opt 3 further 
directors from a short list
of up to 8 potential candidates. (Unanimous) The list of candidates will be 
discussed on the committee email list.

3                   Roles and responsibilities

3.1.            There was a brief discussion of possible unfairness to 
prospective co-opted committee members if roles are assigned before they 
have a chance to volunteer. However some committee members expressed the 
view that such unfairness is inevitable and pointed out that all potential 
co-optees had the option to run for the committee at the AGM which would 
have allowed them full choice. The committee agreed to balance the need to 
make progress and have certainty with the potential unfairness of assigning 
roles before this year's board is complete by attempting to make permanent 
appointments to the posts of Treasurer and those subcommittee chairships and 
connected roles (Programme Coordinator, Venue Coordinator, Webmaster & Youth 
programme coordinator [if required]) for which there are candidates and 
interim appointments to other posts until next month's meeting. (4 in 
favour, 2 for making only Treasurer permanent and interim appts to all other 

3.2.            Interim Chair - Kalen was appointed (5 in favour, 1 

3.3.            Treasurer (permanent) - Peter was appointed (permanent) (5 
in favour, 1 abstention)

3.4.            Venue Coordinator (interim, to be reassessed when venue 
decided) - Peter was appointed (5 in favour, 1 abstention).

3.5.            Programme Coordinator. Programme Coordinator. Martijn and 
Trish initially volunteered for the role. The chair clarified that the 
committee could choose to vote to decide, or that the committee could 
discuss options, perhaps for one candidate to assist the other or for both 
to work together. After an extended discussion the committee took a break. 
After the meeting resumed, only Trish put herself forwards for the role and 
she was selected as programme coordinator (4 in favour, 2 abstentions).

3.6.            Subcommittee Chairs (Permanent)

3.6.1.      Venue. The chair proposed that the venue co-ordinator (Peter) 
chair venue sc. Yo asked for clarification of the role of venue sc in 
relation to the split between coordinating with the current venue and 
finding the following year's venue. Peter suggested that separating them at 
the SC level would produce too many tiny SCs, but commented that the venue 
co-ordinator position needs to be split. Peter was appointed as venue sc 
chair (5 in favour, 1 abstention) (3.6.6 was also dealt with at this point 
but is minuted below for clarity).

3.6.2.      Publications and Publicity. Kalen, Martijn and Elaine 
volunteered. Kalen and Elaine withdrew. Martijn was appointed as pub sc 
chair (5 in favour, 1 abstention)

3.6.3.      Fundraising. Yo volunteered and was appointed (5 in favour, 1 
abstention). Yo asked for committee members with relevant skills to join 
fundraising sc and help her get it going again.

3.6.4.      Constitution. Yo volunteered and was appointed (5 in favour, 1 
abstention). Peter asked whether, once Autscape becomes a charitable company 
this sc would cease to be needed. Yo responded that sc-cons would probably 
be defunct once all the necessary policies are written but anticipated that 
task consuming the whole of this Autscape year.

3.6.5.      Tech. Peter volunteered and was appointed (5 in favour, 1 
abstention). There was a brief discussion about whether sc-tech needs to be 
an SC at all. Peter commented that it can be useful for people interested in 
testing systems. Martijn pointed out that it makes some financial decisions 
(e.g. webhost).  Kalen suggested that such decisions could be proposed to 
the main committee by the webmaster, but decided the issue was 
insufficiently important to pursue now.

3.6.6.      (decided earlier in the same vote as 3.6.1). Programme. Trish 
was appointed (5 in favour, 1 abstention)

3.6.7.      Youth. Yo expressed a willingness to volunteer only if no-one 
else could be found. Elaine volunteered. Yo withdrew and Elaine was 
appointed (5 in favour, 1 abstention)

4                   Follow ups

The Chair asked committee members to keep the following reports brief due to 
lack of time.

4.1.            2011 Venue. Peter reported that he has been investigating 
Stonar School, which is
larger than Ammerdown. A venue report will follow shortly, but the basics 
are that it's quiet, it has large grounds, lots of twin rooms, and it's 
*much* cheaper than Ammerdown. In many respects, it's like Giggleswick 
except the school is compact - no 5 minute walks to lectures. The events 
manager read our web site in detail which is a good sign. They're now 
finalising their timetable for the summer but they don't have dates for us 
yet. They have emailed Peter this week so they haven't forgotten us. Peter 
asked for information about the dates of school summer holidays in order to 
be able to answer Stonar promptly when they offer a date. Peter also 
reported that Autscape has a booking at Ammerdown (not finalised) for 
Mon-Thu 22-25 August, but the cost will be up considerably from this year 
due to the difficulty in getting a discount. Trish asked about the 
availability of single rooms at Stonar. Peter reported that it would be 
possible to use twins as single. Yo expressed concern at any possibility of 
the dates being finalised with the venue without reference to the committee 
because this major decision affects everything else. Kalen concurred. Peter 
agreed that this will be brought back to the committee. Yo also expressed 
concern that it is getting very late to decide a 2011 venue and asked when 
the venue report on Stonar was expected to be available. Peter agreed to 
provide the report within 7 days.

4.2.            Covered under 4.1

5                   Key position reports

5.1.            Venue co-ordinator. Peter reported that the owner of the 
lost coat has been identified and no other lost property was found. Autscape 
has not yet received Ammerdown's invoice. Peter reported that a person who 
had paid for non-residential was able to have a residential place. Once 
Autscape receives the additional income from that it will enable us to give 
a small refund to those who
cancelled late. Peter also reported that the venue had difficulty coping 
with the number of requests from us. These were caused by:
a) Our desire to fill the venue to capacity. (This led to us having to make 
a large number of requests for information to satisfy room requirements and 
sort out camping) Peter commented that, as well as the direct cost, work the 
venue does just for us makes billing harder for them.
b) Changes and cancellations. (Changes made after we had given information 
to the venue increased the workload for the venue substantially)
c) Dietary needs. (Some individual made unnecessary dietary requests without 
regard for the cost to the venue.)
Peter reported that, as a consequence of these issues, there is no 
possibility of Autscape receiving a discount similar to the level we got 
this year in the future.
5.2.            Treasurer. Peter reported that he hasn't had any time since 
the last meeting to
follow up Yo's alternative accountant suggestion. The taxi invoice came and 
was paid. As reported above, the venue invoice hasn't arrived yet. Peter 
reported that he has updated our records with regard to taxi payments and 
all but one booking payment and is working on doing so for sensory 
equipment, merchandise and printing. Peter requested expenses receipts from 
committee members and reminded them to write a separate note when claiming 
only some items from a receipt. Peter reported some uncleared cheques: 3 for 
booking refunds (one from 2006, the others from this year), 1 for company 
secretary training. He commented that we have not yet received an invoice 
for the second half of the solicitor's fee and told the company secretary 
that it would be helpful if that could be during this financial year. Kalen 
asked Peter to contact her about costs of merchandise.

5.3.            Company secretary. Yo reported that the new solicitor 
arrangements are working satisfactorily. She has set up online filing with 
Companies house, filled change of financial year at Peter's request and 
filed updated directors forms to reflect the changes at the AGM. She stated 
her intention to bring up the (minor) conflict of interest issue on the 
email list due to lack of time in the current meeting.

5.4.            Chair. The Chair had no comment in view of the lack of time.

6                   Any other business

6.1.            Trish asked if anyone picked up the feedback forms and 
Martijn responded that he has them. Trish asked whether she should combine 
them with information from the feedback session. The chair asked Trish to 
write us a summary report and send it to the email list.

6.2.            Yo reported that she has received a report from Debbie about 
merchandise which she will post to the list for the information of whoever 
does it next year. She reported that Debbie (as last year's registrar) also 
intends to provide a report about registration/cancellations soon.

6.3.            Regarding 3.5 above, Martijn stated that he is prepared to 
advise Trish in her capacity as the new Programme Coordinator as necessary, 
but is concerned about the possibility of ending up in a position where he 
does most of the work while someone else gets to take the credit and look 
competent. He also stated that it would be inadvisable for him to attempt to 
do significant work for the same reason that a few people here were 
concerned about him becoming Programme Coordinator (personal issues raised 
during the earlier discussion). He wished to clarify that he is prepared to 
play an advisory role but not an assistant one. Trish stated that she would 
like to do it on that basis.

6.4.            Peter asked whether letters have gone out to the presenters 

thanking them for their time and effort and queried whether this should be 
Martijn's last task or Trish's
first task. Kalen stated that, in her opinion, it should be Trish's task. 
Trish asked whether these should be sent by post or email. Peter responded 
that that decision is up to Trish. (Kalen noted that formal letters should 
be proofread by at least one other person or the prog sc). Peter commented 
that his personal preference would be for a formal letter and Yo concurred. 
Kalen preferred email and mentioned a middle ground of attaching a formatted 
file to an email.