Govcom minutes 2019-05-23

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Josie Fraser (Chair), Michael Maggs, Kate West. Staff: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Katie Crampton (minuting).


Rosie Chapman

Declarations of interest relating to matters on the agenda


Approval of Minutes and Matters Arising

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

Jane and Marnie have decided that we should produce a Strategic Report this year, as last year, rather than reverting to the previous Annual Review format.

Board elections for the Wikimedia Foundation (ASBS)

Candidates for the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board have been announced, some of whom are known to us. The information online includes biographies and a Q and A for each candidate, which Lucy and Josie have read through. Josie proposed that GovCom be emailed her suggestions of the four candidates she would like Wikimedia UK to support. Lucy suggested including Doug in this first round of emails as he is likely to know people standing. The board of trustees would then be consulted in a second round of emails.

Action: Email to be sent by JF on Monday 27th, for a decision on Wednesday 29th before the vote on Thursday 30th. LCR to submit votes on Wikimedia UK’s behalf.


Programme of activities for the day

The AGM was seven weeks away at the time of the meeting and the staff have had two planning meetings as a team. We’d like an interesting and engaging first half of the day in the morning, with the AGM taking place in the afternoon. Lucy requested ideas for a keynote speaker. The necessary permissions to photograph or film speakers will be obtained prior to the event.

There will also be three workshop activities, for which we are currently planning a photography walk and a session on Wikimedia’s culture, with a focus on how the projects can become more welcoming and inclusive for women and other underrepresented groups.

The catering will be clearly labelled for people with dietary requirements.

There will be Lightning Talks, which we’ll open to volunteers and plan in advance. Michael volunteered to do a talk on Wiki Loves Monuments. Lucy asked if Michael would like to present the inaugural Honorary Memberships, to which he agreed. Karla will be organising Wikimedian of the Year, which Lucy suggested Lorna could present if she is able to attend the AGM.

The AGM element of the day will run for two hours, which follows the 2016 and 2017 schedule which also had elections (last year’s scheduled AGM was shorter). The questions to candidates should last half an hour, with a focus on their written statements. Action: Lucy and Katie to amend the proposed schedule to make sure the AGM closes by 4.30pm.

Resolutions and voting

The resolutions are on Wiki, and the formal call for member resolutions is included in the email scheduled to go out on 24th May, with a deadline of 7th June. GovCom discussed the possibility of using an open source website for board elections but it was decided against going down that route this year. We also need to check the constitution to clarify whether papers have to be sent by post. They were emailed last year, but there was no board elections as part of last year’s AGM.

GovCom discussed possible board candidates, of which there were three recommended by Josie; Ed Saperia from Newspeak House, Andrea Chandler from Senate House, and Sangeet Bhullar from WiseKids (who is already on the board as a replacement elected candidate, but who needs to stand for election this year under the rules of our constitution).

GovCom agreed that Katie Crampton would be the AGM teller.

The planning timeline was checked by Michael prior to the meeting and agreed to be fine.

We will make it clear to attendees that the event operates under our usual safe space policy, and the Foundation’s event safety policies (which we need to abide by as per the terms of our grant agreement).

Annual Report

The narrative for the Annual Report has been drafted by Lucy and Katie, which Lucy will share with Josie and Michael ASAP. It will then be circulated to the wider board during the week beginning 10th June, with the aim of getting sign off by 17th June. GovCom discussed putting the draft report on Meta, but it was suggested that Lucy should check whether it was legal to do so with Kingston Smith.

Strategic Report

The deadline for getting the final text of the Strategic Report to the designers is 24th June. The responsibility for checking the draft will fall to Josie, Michael and Lucy, with staff doing thorough proofreading before Michael and Josie are sent it.

Membership numbers

At the time of the GovCom meeting we had 456 members, which Lucy proposed we not push to increase before the AGM. GovCom agreed that there shouldn’t be a membership drive before the AGM, as long as the usual reminders to members to renew were being sent.

Board training

Lucy has got a quote from Josie’s recommended trainer to deliver a half day of copyright training for staff and board members. Josie noted that we would need to ensure this was specifically tailored to Wikimedia to get the most out of it. Lucy to follow up.



Date of next meeting

Thursday 5th September.