Minutes 2021-03-20

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Minutes of the board meeting on 20th March 2021, 11 - 3pm online


Present: Nick Poole, Sangeet Bhullar, Rod Ward, Andrea Chandler, Doug Taylor, Jane Carlin, Marnie Woodward, Lorna Campbell, Staff: Lucy Crompton-Reid, Daria Cybulska, Natasha Iles, Davina Johnson.

Apologies: Kelly Foster

Declaration of interests


Review and approval of minutes


Matters Arising

DT to circulate to all trustees the details of how to access the board wiki, and make sure new accounts are created as necessary.


CEO report

LCR presented some of the highlights of her report, including:

  • Participation in an upcoming Royal Society roundtable meeting on misinformation and disinformation
  • Involvement in the Wikimedia Foundation brand project as a community advisor to the board ad-hoc branding committee
  • Key staff updates, including the appointment of George Colbourn and the return to work of Karla Marte
  • An overview of the work that’s taking place on movement strategy and how Wikimedia UK has contributed to this over the past quarter.
  • The successful application to NLHF, resulting in a grant award of £119k

The report was followed by a broader discussion with trustees.

Question from Rod on how we enable volunteers to support project delivery. LCR responded that we will try to draw out volunteer impact from across our delivery more clearly in future programme/performance reports.

JC point for NI on drawing out volunteer engagement communications. LCR observed that this is partly a communications question but also the responsibility of the programmes team. DC noted the annual community leaders questionnaire.

NP question on language of WMUK & volunteers/community.

Doug pointed to the staff having been initially imagined as fulfilling activities that volunteers can’t or don’t want to do.

AC point on staff team supporting transparency and staff / community engagement.

AC point of filling the gaps & Cluster H - how & policy.

LCR highlighted issues with current movement strategy and also brand project on strategic planning - tension & balance between staff & community/volunteers. Heart of movement ethos. How shine a light on volunteer stories & making more visible.

NP feels movement strategy may put a wedge between community.

LC noted that both the WMF CEO and Chief of Staff have stepped down. New CEO expected in Autumn & LCR concerned in relation to implementation. We are keeping ourselves informed & involved. LCR keeping involved with EDs.

Quarterly Programmes report

LC comment on impact of funding model for Fruit Market Gallery & how supportsd foundation of citations.

SB comment on support for Wales funding - set up a time to talk through threats - Digital Education department in Welsh Gov - mapping relationships.

Natasha delivered Development and Comms report.

Individual donations in Q4 particularly buoyant.

New activities, 20th Birthday event. There was a positive response to lightning talks, use of different channels.

Development Advisory Board

Letters from NLHF received

Development of relationship with Foundations Comms

Wiki Loves Cakes

Board invited to add donation button to sign off on emails

Board connections with trusts - some responses  in meeting chat:

Nick and Sangeet both - Carnegie UK Trust

Natasha asked for Board approval to accept NLHF award, it being over £25k

Jane raised a question of conflict of interest . Lucy explained that JF had stepped down from WMUK to avoid such a conflict.

The future of work at Wikimedia UK

LCR talked to the paper, which proposed a move to a hybrid model of working post-Covid, with working remotely as the default position.

DT supported the proposal and felt it was a positive for environmental sustainability as well as for staff.

AC supported the proposal but noted that polices need to be created that are future-proof and fit for purpose for all potential staff members.

JC asked if we had costed the proposal. LCR responded that she has updated the working from home policy, and for most people the office would remain a ‘place of work’ and travel expenses to and from the office would therefore not be paid. If anything, adopting the proposal would likely mean that we would move to a smaller and more flexible working space in future.

JC mentioned ‘wellness’ agenda to ensure if people work from home there are breaks built in and work life balance.

As a point of interest DC mentioned that the Foundation isn’t funding any in person activities during the 2021 calendar year.

DAJ noted the end of our current lease and how the revision on working will direct what kind of office situation we look for in future.

Universal Code of Conduct

RW point on low incidents at events - is it due to reporting or actually no incidents. LCR covered conversation she had with the staff team on this issue and that the general belief is that issues are generally not occurring during events.  

DT talked through ‘best practice’ of supporting new editors the in wider wiki environment.

LCR noted that anyone could respond to the survey but that she would be submitting a chapter-level response.

Question on transparency of serious allegations  - outside of parameters of WMUK direct - RW made point on allegations related to user name vs name.

NP comment on pro-active inclusion vs passive inclusion - in relation to LC’s comment that open spaces are not always inclusion.

GovCom report

Point on resolution vs points/ questions from RW & DT. LCR noted email she will be sending to mailing list & members to start conversation on AGM

Succession planning, trustee recruitment - discussion on skills needed (focus on charity law knowledge).

Trustee Code of Conduct passed.

ARC report

JC talked through draft minutes.

MW took through QFMR Q4 & final result. Congratulated team on financial results

RW question on corporate and donation from Croudace. JC asked for clarification on corporate scepticism - RW said in response to corporate potentially wanting positive exposure

SB point of couple who attended the Celebration & how useful it was to introduce new people & demystify.

NP question on the budget regards cover for staff moving to hybrid and does it cover contingency - LCR response £6k contingency & highlighted designated fund proposal.

Board approval for 2021/22 Budget

Designated Fund  - RW question on Designated Vs Restricted fund. JC & DAJ explained preference. MW went through technical terms. Board approved.

Risk Register review by JC & LCR. NI bringing in Comms & review of Crisis Comms in future meetings

NP point on europoint for building (we may have 17months of lease left but are they keeping building/ viable?) and point on debtors. DAJ response - no significant debtors.

Bank Authorisation - discussion about DAJ's authority level, which needs increasing to ensure she can sign off the rising HMRC payment. DT pointed out that this limit should be future-proofed against further staff appointments and an accompanying increase in our payroll liability (including HMRC). JC suggests level in line with payroll but not exceeding LCR (which is £15,000). Agreed by the Board.

Approval to appoint PKF - approved.

Date of next meeting

17th June 2021.