Minutes of March 2011 meeting

Autscape Management Committee Meeting Minutes
Meeting date: Wednesday 16th March 2011
Meeting time: 1pm

Meeting chair: Kalen

Present: Elaine, Kalen, Katja, Martijn, Peter, Stephen, Trish, Yo

1.      Ratifications

1.1.   The committee unanimously ratified the decision to approve the 
minutes of the February meeting.

2.      Follow ups

2.1.   Membership database. Peter reported that he has done all of the 
things in the original spec, but none of the things Yo asked for as yet. 
However he hopes to be able to finish it well before the next meeting.

2.2.   Newsletter. Kalen reported that the newsletter was e-mailed to 
current members this morning. Peter noted that there are currently no 
members lacking an email address, thus the newsletter should have reached 
all current members.

2.3.   Enquiries. Trish confirmed that she is willing for her phone number 
to be used. Katja confirmed that she has volunteered to help with email 

2.4.   Registration system. Peter reported that he has been prioritising the 
membership database and hasn't yet moved on to this. However, he confirmed 
that the system will be ready in good time for registration to open on the 
date proposed in 3.8 below. Kalen asked to look at the system in advance and 
agreed with Peter that he will aim for 3 weeks before registration opens (or 
failing that 10 days before) as these are the times when Kalen is available. 
Stephen noted that it has been suggested that a 'where did you hear about 
us' question is added, for tracking effectiveness of advertisements.

3.      Proposals

3.1.   Chair. The committee appointed Kalen as permanent chair (now-AGM 
2011). (5 in favour, 3 abstentions). Yo commented that Trish had done well 
as interim chair earlier in the year and encouraged her to continue 
developing her skills in this direction. These comments were supported by 
several other committee members. Both Trish and Martijn expressed an 
interest in the role of chair in the future.

3.2.   Programme - decisions on presentation proposals

3.2.1.      The committee decided unanimously to accept the 6 most highly 
rated proposals

3.2.2.      The committee decided unanimously to reject the 2 lowest rated 
proposals. Kalen asked Trish to encourage the rejected proposers to come to 
Autscape as participants and noted that it is often simply lack of 
experience of the nature of Autscape participants that makes for a weak 
proposal. Kalen, Yo and Katja offered to assist Trish with wording 
rejections if required.

3.2.3.      There was a brief discussion of the proposal to have a panel 
discussion on the final morning (details to be decided by sc-prog). Stephen 
noted that a moderator would be required and Martijn mentioned his 
willingness to serve in that capacity. The committee decided unanimously to 
have a panel discussion on the Friday of Autscape {Corrected by ratification 
on the committee list to the final morning of Autscape - 6 in favour, 2 

3.2.4.      There was a brief discussion of alternative programme 
structures, particularly the pros and cons of parallel presentations and/or 
discussions. Peter clarified that the costs involved are approximately £100 
per presenter. Kalen noted that the details of the programme structure can 
be decided on sc-prog. The committee voted for a total of 9 programme slots 
(including the panel discussion agreed in 3.2.3)(7 in favour, 1 abstention).

3.2.5.      [Decision to ask sc-prog to make a recommendation on the issue 
of filling any remaining programme slots subsequently rescinded on the 
committee list following the meeting] (6 in favour, 2 abstentions)

3.3.   Fees. There was a brief discussion of the proposed fee structure. 
Peter confirmed that he had set the levels with the deliberate intention of 
reducing the reserves. The committee voted to approve the proposed fee 
structure (see Appendix) (7 in favour, 1 abstention).

3.4.   Transport. There was some discussion of the consequences of the 
current lack of a volunteer from within the committee to coordinate this. 
The committee voted unanimously to approve the revised proposal to create a 
working group for transport (coordinator to be appointed later).

3.5.   Merchandise. The committee decided to create a working group for 
merchandise and appoint Stephen as merchandise coordinator (7 in favour, 1 
abstention). Kalen noted that email lists will be needed for the groups 
mentioned in 3.4 and 3.5.

3.6.   This item was deferred to allow the working group time to make a 
budget request.

3.7.   Programme enhancement. There was a brief discussion of the financial 
implications of committing to this expenditure while registration numbers 
are unknown versus the urgency of some of the expenditure involved. The 
committee agreed to set a budget of £300 for sc-prog to spend on programme 
enhancement (i.e. things other than subsidising the main programme). During 
the discussion it was noted that there is a need to use our historic data to 
develop a more sophisticated model which will allow us to work out a budget 
early in the year despite the uncertainties of not knowing how many people 
will register etc.

3.8.   Registration. The committee voted unanimously to open registration on 
Tuesday 26th April

3.9.   Accountants. It was noted that, to the best knowledge of the 
treasurer and company secretary, external review of the accounts is not a 
legal requirement in 2010 (because Autscape is not yet, quite, a charitable 
company). Nevertheless it is felt to be useful preparation. Peter also 
confirmed that this expenditure would not affect the fees and is affordable 
from the reserves. The committee agreed to appoint CASE to review the 2010 
accounts (7 for, 1 abstention).

4.      Subcommittee Progress Reports (suggested topics listed)

4.1.   Venue (2012)  Kalen reported that a previous venue had enquired 
whether we wanted to book for 2012. She stated that she was not sure what to 
do about this and had been unable to get any response from sc-venue on the 
subject. She noted that it is difficult to make a decision before trying out 
Ackworth and that other possible venues also need to be considered for 2012. 
She noted that there has been no response all to requests for help with 
searching for possible venues and that she lacks the time right now to do it 
herself. Peter commented that a reply to the enquiry from a previous venue is 
needed urgently. Kalen undertook to bring the issue up on the committee list 
in the coming week.

4.2.   Tech (website updating esp. journalists guidelines, paypal button). 
Peter reported that the journalists guidelines are up but that the paypal 
button is still outstanding.

4.3.   Publications/publicity (when poster and brochure will be ready) 
Martijn reported that he had made no progress during the past month. He 
stated that he had just posted a call for volunteers for designing an 
Autscape poster which he hopes to achieve in two weeks. He invited anyone 
who wants to help to join sc-pub. He reported that he intends to aim for 
getting the brochure ready by 19 April, i.e. a week before registration opens.

4.4.   Constitution (progress on governance policy) Yo reported that sc-cons 
has initiated discussion of the issue of the retirement and succession of 
directors. She stated that this topic is likely to be the most involved of 
the issues which need to be included in the governance policy. She noted 
that progress on the discussion has been very slow, mainly due to her own 
lack of availability while she has been dealing with the charity form. 
However, she reported that progress on the governance policy will be much 
higher up her priority list now that is done.

4.5.   Fundraising (progress on fundraising) Yo reported that Katja is 
looking into the possibility of using a printing fulfilment service to 
enable Autscape to make some merchandise available online year round, but 
that there are no results from that search yet. She stated that sc-fund 
would like to explore the possibility of permitting/encouraging members to 
make advance orders for merchandise prior to Autscape. Once a merchandise 
coordinator has been appointed she intends to discuss this with them. 
Sc-fund would also like to develop a members' area of the website with the 
facility to create profiles containing contact details, links to personal 
websites etc. Yo reported that she has asked Peter about this possibility 
and is awaiting a response. She also stated that sc-fund are still 
struggling to make further progress due to the lack of a members database. 
Finally, she noted that she intends to ask the newsletter working group to 
include details of how to donate to Autscape in the next newsletter.

4.6.   Youth (funding, recruitment, childcare booking) Elaine reported that 
sc-youth is still working on the childcare quotes and hasn't yet started on 
a youth programme but intends to do so soon. Yo commented that it would be 
good to have some idea whether this is going to happen and what might be in 
it in time to go in the brochure. Trish queried whether sc-youth's 
intentions may affect programme decisions. Kalen asked Elaine to update the 
main committee list on that issue asap.

4.7.   Programme (issues arising from proposal decisions, leisure issues) 
Trish noted the decisions in 3.2.1 and 3.2.5. She stated that sc-prog have 
been discussing lifeguards and pool donations. Finally, she noted that she 
hopes to let those proposing presentations know the outcome by next 
Wednesday but, if not, will let them know of the delay.

5.      Key position progress reports

5.1.   Venue coordinator (ongoing liaison with the venue) Kalen stated that 
she has had minimal contact with the venue to get some information about 
charges, but doesn't have any particular reason to be in touch with them 
right now. She noted that she has been waiting on requests to 
liaise with catering staff and to book a second visit. However, she intends 
to start on these after Easter unless there is a pressing reason to do it 

5.2.   Treasurer (accountant, fees, budget, reserves) Peter noted the 
appointment of accountants in 3.9 above and the decision on fees in 3.3. He 
reported that Autscape has reserves to cover another venue deposit, meaning 
that there is no need to wait until after August to book a 2012 venue.

5.3.   Company Secretary (CRBs, charity form, policies, development issues) 
Yo reported that all the CRBs are finally complete and the CRB working group 
is satisfied that all our prospective trustees are suitable. As a result, 
Autscape's application to become a registered charity has been submitted to 
the Charity Commission. Yo stated that she now needs each committee member 
to sign a trustee declaration and return it to her by post (or to contact 
her and make alternative arrangements if they are likely to have difficulty 
doing that). She noted that she needs to have each person's signed copy in 
her possession by 8th April at the absolute latest in order not to delay the 
registration process.  Yo reported that it is now likely that Autscape will 
be a registered charity before August (although this can't be guaranteed as 
it is ultimately up to the Charity Commission). Now that the charity form 
has been submitted Yo expressed the hope that she will be more able to make 
progress on her other responsibilities, including drafting policies. She 
stated that she has been working on the issues of how to access legal advice 
on issues other than the charity registration and on how best to make 
training on trustee/director responsibilities available to committee 
members. She intends to make some proposals on those topics soon but didn't 
want to overload this month's already heavy meeting.

5.4.   Chair (Kalen as interim Feb-Mar chair: overall progress, timetable) 
Kalen reported that she is very pleased with the progress this month and 
that nearly everyone has done something, which is great. She expressed 
thanks particularly to Peter and Trish for their really noticeable efforts 
with nice tangible outcomes. She stated that, of course, there are still 
many things to check on, follow up, move on with, etc. over the next 5 
months. She felt it unrealistic to write out a timetable here and now, but 
intends to continue to try to document and keep track of what needs doing 
when. She stated that this is the beginning of the entertaining part of the 
year for Autscape planning.

6.      Any other business

6.1.   Peter reported having done some research on transport options and 
found that South Elmsall has a bus service to Ackworth (20mins duration). He
noted that South Elmsall has a train service to Doncaster (20mins duration)
and Leeds (35mins duration).