Minutes 2011-01-04

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These minutes were approved at the Board meeting on 5 February 2011.
This page is kept as an archival reference.
If you want to raise a point about it, please start a discussion thread on the community forum.
Minutes of WMUK Board meeting 4 January 2011

Held on Skype. Present: Board trustees Andrew Turvey (AT), Mike Peel (MP), Tom Dalton (TD), Steve Virgin (SV) from 19:55, Joseph Seddon (JS); with Charles Matthews (CM) taking notes. Gemma Griffiths joined at 19:40, and left 20:46 to help reduce the strain on the Skype connection. The meeting had to be restarted on two occasions (at 20:09 and 20:43).

A: Minutes and Reports

A1: Apologies

SV apologized for his late entrance.

A11: Status of Board members

JS and SV had expired memberships, inconsistent with their status on the Board according to a reading of the Articles explained by AT. He suggested that they be given 14 days to pay their membership fees to WMUK, and this was agreed by the Board. Note that SV was not present at this point in the meeting.

A2: Minutes of the meeting of 7 December 2010

These were agreed without change.

A3: Email decision confirmation

Three decisions were confirmed:

  • Approval of expenditure up to £400 on travel, accommodation and catering related to the Bristol event on 13 January;
  • Approval of expenditure up to £115 for travel to the Bristol and London anniversary events for Alex Stinson to support a future Campus Ambassador program in 2011;
  • Agreed to support a museum event at Derby Museum.

A4: Actions and reports

A40: Press strategy (GG)

GG explained the press plan she had worked out and circulated. ACTION: GG to post details of the press plan to the office wiki.

GG went over the principles involved, including a pro-active approach to press relations, and forward planning for press releases and blog posts. Often enough journalists had found a lack of positive news (which could be based on hard statistics), and the default in reporting was still negative stories such as Wikipedia’s unreliability. There were straightforward steps that could be taken, such as:

  • monthly planning;
  • briefings twice a month;
  • development of an “issue bank” in the form of pre-prepared UK wiki pages and awareness of high-profile debating points;
  • better access of journalists to WMUK, and a clearer image of the chapter’s work projected to them;
  • more emphasis on sister projects, and WMUK initiatives;
  • use of local press, for example for GLAM events;
  • conscious efforts on handling of announcements.

The strategy was approved. There was also some discussion of related issues, such as WMUK’s projected growth and GG’s evolving role (with its email load). MP pointed to the revamped Events page on the UK wiki. He also raised the past practice of use of the UK wiki and community involvement on press releases; pros and cons were discussed.

A41 AT - Chair (including Office Manager)

AT had reported in various places on the setback to the preparation of the accounts. WMUK were originally given a date of 17 December for receiving draft accounts from the accountants, UHY Hacker Young, which would have enabled the company to file accounts with Companies House by the end of December.

Although the accountants started work on the accounts on time, when they started to look at the information WMUK had provided they were unable to read the GNUCash file which contains the detailed records. Efforts to convert the file into CSV format or similar have been made, but this has taken far longer than expected. They have now completed their work on the numbers but the extra work they had to do meant they have not yet completed their work on accounting disclosures and the independent review. Two staff have been working on these accounts from 4 January, and they now expected that they would be able to complete the accounts by 14 January

In the light of the position as it stood, the Board’s decision was to file abbreviated, unreviewed accounts as soon as possible. This was on the basis of a reading of the accountants’ advice against this course (relating to Articles 25.1, requirement for independent review), to the effect that this measure would deal with the strike-off threat and did not preclude the further filing of reviewed accounts. ACTION: AT to proceed with the filing, having first contacted the accountants to enquire about costs associated with accelerated work, and also having phoned the Companies House Contact Centre for advice on the specifics of WMUK’s situation.

A411 Newsletter

JS was of the opinion that Board approval for newsletters should not be required. SV suggested that newsletters should be outsourced to professionals, and that the current newsletter’s content was too poor to send out. TD thought that the newsletter should perhaps be abandoned. ACTION: MP to reduce the December 2010 newsletter to one for January 2011, creating a model to follow.

A42 MP - Secretary

User:Rock drum to be given admin status on the UK wiki (agreed).

The British Library Editathon, Saturday lunch, was voted support at a figure of £200. For the Cancer Research UK events, travel costs were voted (journeys within the UK) up to a maximum of £300 for each of the two events.

For the Kickstart report, TD said that the previously reported figures should be used. ACTION: TD to pay the GLAM-WIKI catering invoice, now due.

A421 GLAM-WIKI review

MP presented his review of the GLAM-WIKI conference in November, including what had been learned. AGREED: Liam Wyatt’s final contract payment to be made now.

A43. TD - Treasurer (including Membership approvals)

TD had no report for the Board. A list of 35 new members, circulated on the office email list, was approved.

SV and JS had no reports for the Board.

A break was taken at 21:25. Meeting restarted at 21:27

B: Decisions needed

B1 Budget

TD reported that the fundraiser had brought in £500K+, so that with a notional 50% given to the WMF, the working figure for the 2011 financial year (starting February) would be £250K

The discussion of hiring of staff was taken as the priority.

After discussion a figure of £132K was reached for the 2011 budget relating to the hiring in stages of four staff (Office Manager, Events Organiser, Developer, and a position with working title of Chapter Manager). This was reached as follows, in terms of percentage of the financial year expected to be worked:

  • Office Manager at 100% of total £30K, of which circa £20K would be salary (30K);
  • Events Organiser at 75% of notional annual total about £42K, of which circa £30K would be salary (32K allowed);
  • Developer at 75% of total of £40K, of which salary would be in the range up to circa £25K (30K allowed);
  • Chapter Manager at 50% of year, salary in the range circa £35K to £45K taken at the mid-figure, hiring cost allowed £10K plus overheads £10K (40K reckoned as 20K salary, 10K hiring, 10K overheads).

At AT’s suggestion fixing on the detailed job descriptions, which had been discussed at length, were deferred to the next meeting, together with the appropriate sequence for hiring. Further the principle of a London office was agreed, details to be discussed. On reserves: ACTION: TD is to lead email discussion on setting the figures for reserves in the light of the outlined budget, and on other budgetary items.


ACTION: AT to work with SV on sending notices. ACTION: SV to work with JS on inviting speakers.

B3 10th Anniversary Events

Discussion was deferred to email; comments should be mailed to SV.


C1: Chapter conference.

Two names were needed by 15 January. AT, MP and SV (at least) expressed a positive interest.

C2: Corporate membership

At AT's suggestion: ACTION: MP to bring forward a concrete proposal.

C3: Next meeting (in-person)

ACTION: AT to attend to the details of setting this up in London on 5 February.

Meeting ended at 23.05