Minutes of December 2010 meeting

Autscape Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting date: Sunday 12th December 2010
Meeting time: 1pm

Present: Kalen, Katja, Martijn, Peter, Stephen, Yo.  Apologies: Trish 
Late: Elaine

1.      The committee announced that the dates of Autscape 2011 are 
confirmed as 22-25 August and the venue will be Ackworth School, West 

2.      The committee unanimously ratified decisions made over the last 
month on the committee email list to:

2.1.   Approve the minutes of the November meeting (posted 6/12/10)

2.2.   Approve the co-option of Katja Gottschewski as a member of the 
Autscape board

2.3.   Delegate henceforth the power to sign venue related agreements on 
behalf of Autscape (including committing Autscape to a contract with the 
venue) to the venue coordinator, provided legally binding agreements have 
been checked by the company secretary prior to signing and the venue 
coordinator is acting in accordance with relevant decisions of the board.

3.      Proposals

3.1.   Travel Expenses

3.1.1.      The travel expenses policy was adopted unanimously (see 

3.1.2.      The committee approved a proposal to pay travel expenses where 
the cost was incurred before the policy was adopted (6 in favour, 1 

3.2.   The committee unanimously decided to delegate to the company 
secretary the power to complete and sign the charity registration form, and 
documentation to be submitted to the Charity Commission, on behalf of 

3.3.   The committee unanimously decided not to co-opt any further
committeemembers at this time.

3.4.   General Confidentiality Policy. A brief clarification of the 
implications of the item was provided by the Company Secretary. There was 
general agreement that a deadline should be set to revisit the policy. There 
was a brief discussion of the pros and cons of adopting a less than ideal 
policy in the meantime. The committee decided:

3.4.1.      To revisit the issue of a General Confidentiality Policy by the 
May 2011 meeting (7 in favour, 1 abstention)

3.4.2.      To suspend the current General Confidentiality Policy in the 
meantime (4 in favour, 2 against, 2 abstentions)

4.      Follow ups

4.1.   This item had been rendered irrelevant by the decision in 3.4.2 and 
was dropped.

5.      Declaration

Each of the prospective Autscape trustees present at the meeting (Elaine, 
Kalen, Katja, Martijn, Peter, Stephen, Yo) made the following declaration:

*        I am not disqualified from acting as a charity trustee and that:

*        I am capable of managing and administering my own affairs;

*        I do not have an unspent conviction relating to any offence 
         involving deception or dishonesty;

*        I am not an undischarged bankrupt nor have I made a composition or 
         arrangement with, or granted a trust deed for, my creditors (ignore 
         if discharged from such an arrangement);

*        I am not subject to a disqualification order under the Company 
         Directors Disqualification Act 1986 or to an Order made under 
         section 429(b) of the Insolvency Act 1986;

*        I have not been removed from the office of charity trustee or 
         trustee for a charity by an Order made by the Charity Commissioners 
         or the High Court on the grounds of any misconduct or mismanagement 
         nor am I subject to an Order under section 7 of the Law 
         Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990, preventing 
         me from being concerned in the management or control of any relevant 
         organisation or body.

*        I am not subject to a disqualification Order under the Criminal 
         Justice and Court Services Act 2000.

It was agreed that the section of the meeting log containing the 
declarations would be printed and signed by the meeting chair (Peter) and 
Company Secretary (Yo) in order to provide clear evidence of the making of 
these declarations.

6.      Subcommittee progress reports

6.1.   Venue. Peter reported that issues around insurance have been 
resolved, but that we are still waiting for confirmation from the venue on 
VAT exemption. Kalen reported that she is waiting on the conclusion of 
Peter's negotiations and that we have not yet received the venue's Health 
and Safety policy. She reported having posted to the SC about research for 
2012 but this needs further follow up. Kalen pointed out that she will be 
unavailable from Friday this week to sign a contract with the venue and it 
was agreed to discuss further provision for this in AOB.

6.2.   Tech. Kalen clarified some issues regarding proposal forms which tech 
need to resolve. Peter asked whether separate emails are still needed to the 
SC list and the programme coordinator. Kalen suggested referring the 
question to Trish (as programme coordinator). Katja asked about the use made 
of feedback forms and was advised to volunteer on prog SC.

6.3.   Publications/publicity. Martijn reported that he has finally started 
activity on the subcommittee, beginning with a roll call. He hopes to get 
some tasks delegated to SC members before Friday when I will be unavailable 
for a while. First priority is now advertising; initial discussions have 

6.4.   Constitution. Yo reported that she has still not managed any progress 
due to prioritising her company secretary responsibilities. She will try 
harder to get on with it in the coming month.

6.5.   Fundraising. Yo reported similar lack of progress and mentioned the 
need for active volunteers on both SCs.

6.6.   Youth. Elaine reported that she hasn't started yet but intends to do 
so now.

6.7.   Programme. Trish (by proxy) reported that she intends to get things 
moving far more over the Christmas break. Meanwhile she has volunteers to 
write the CfP, but will need to know what subsidy we are intending (and 
plans to consult the treasurer and full committee for advice). Peter 
commented that there should be no financial difficulty doing the same as 
this year regarding subsidies.

7.      Key position progress reports

7.1.   Venue coordinator. The venue coordinator had nothing further to 
report beyond that covered in 6.1

7.2.   Treasurer. The treasurer had nothing to report. Yo asked about the 
issue of appointing accountants. Peter explained that he did intend to have 
the accounts ready by now, but some expenses claims took longer than 
expected. He clarified that he hasn't followed up the accountants because he 
is not in a position to present them with anything yet. Yo felt that it is 
important to have accountants in place early so that we can feel secure that 
the first accounts for companies house will get done on time. Peter pointed 
out that The Autscape Organisation hasn't
been trading yet. The current accounts nearing completion are for Autscape 
and don't actually need to be seen by an accountant at all. Nevertheless 
Peter concurred that it would be nice to aim for the same standard to which 
we will be held next year.

7.3.   Company Secretary. Yo reported that the CRB disclosures are 
progressing steadily and she is reasonably confident we will have them all 
complete within another month or so. All other trustee checks and 
declarations are now done. Yo further reported that she is working on the 
outstanding documents for the Charity registration and hopes to have it 
ready to submit by the time the last CRBs come through i.e. some time in 
January. Kalen and Yo attended the company secretary training in London and 
found it fairly useful. Yo hopes to put together a good clear timetable and 
checklists for her role soon.

7.4.   Chair. Peter (as interim chair since the last meeting) had nothing to 

8.      Any other business

8.1.   The committee decided that:

Where an individual delegated by the board to sign a document or take 
another action on behalf of Autscape is unavailable for any reason, to 
delegate a general power to act in their place to any of the Chair, 
Treasurer or Company Secretary. It is expected that in using this power the 
person acting will report their actions to the person originally responsible 
and to the board as a whole. (6 in favour, 1 against). There was a brief 
discussion of the role of vices in such a situation. It was suggested that 
the issue of vices should be looked at again at another time.

Meeting closed.


Travel Expenses Policy

Autscape cannot guarantee to fulfil an expense claim which has not been 
in advance. Exact costs may not be known in advance, but an estimate of
the cost should be agreed with the treasurer.

The expense claim should detail
  * the purpose of the travel
  * which budget should be used (if known)
  * the start and destination
  * the mode of transport
  * the total cost
  * the amount claimed per mile (for journeys by car)
and be accompanied by appropriate evidence - see below.

The person travelling should check for the most cost-effective, practical 
form of transport (as appropriate to their disability-related needs, if 
any). It may be cheaper to hire a vehicle or to use public transport than to 
pay for business insurance for one day. Adjusting the time of travel may 
reduce a train fare considerably.

Claims are not normally allowed for travel to/from the Autscape conference -
we are all there anyway in our capacity as participants.

1) Use of personal cars
  a) To permit expense claims of up to 40p per mile for work undertaken
     for Autscape.
  b) The payment of expenses is conditional on expense claim being
     accompanied by evidence of appropriate insurance.

2) Use of hired vehicles
  a) To permit expense claims for hired self-driven vehicles of an
     appropriate size for the work being undertaken.
  b) Fuel is refunded at cost
  c) Receipts are required for the hire agreement and the fuel used.

3) Use of other transport
  a) To permit expense claims for public transport, taxis and private hire
  b) Appropriate evidence of costs is required. Where possible, this
     should include tickets (eg. the return half of a train ticket), but
     other forms of receipt will suffice (eg. a booking confirmation).
  c) No contribution is given towards the cost of railcards and other
     discount vouchers.
  d) If a season ticket is used for all or part of the journey, a fair
     proportion of this may be claimed, provided that the total amount
     claimed is not more than the cost of the journey without the season
     ticket, and providing that you are not being paid for the same part
     of the journey by a third party.

The above rules are bound to have edge cases. When interpreting the rules,
the governing principle is that expense claims should put you back in the
position you would have been had you not needed to travel for Autscape.
If you profit from travelling then making an expense claim, the claim
isn't valid.