Talk:Meetings/2010 AGM/Resolutions

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Board attendence

Thanks for putting forward this motion for discussion at the AGM. I'm more than happy to discuss this, as it would be useful to crystalise an understanding of what is expected of board members both for their sakes and for everyone else.

On the substantive issues you raise:

  1. I have to disagree with your statement that (my emphasis added) "meetings have had very poor attendence" Please define "very poor"! From my recollection we have only had one single meeting (out of 25 so far) that has had to be cancelled due to lack of quorum. We have occasionally had to delay discussions because a particular person wasn't there, but this hasn't been to a particular detriment of overall activities.
  2. I would also disagree that "members are expected to attend all board meetings". We are all volunteers and I don't think it's a particular problem if people are unable to make the odd meeting for personal reasons (the only one I missed, for instance - 26th May - was the day before my son was born!) In fact, it can be quite a positive thing - proves that the chapter can continue without certain people being present and reduces key person risk.
  3. We need to be careful not to put people off applying to be board members. It shouldn't be too much of a chore - we only had 8 candidates last time for 7 seats and I'm not sure we'll have many more this time. Personally I'd like to aim to have many more candidates than there are places and would be very interested in attracting people to the board who might have specialist expertese elsewhere but don't fancy attending 3 hour meetings every fortnight!

On a administrative note, I would add:

  1. The main problem is that the constitution gives the board (or the chair) very few powers to deal with individual members who don't attend. Beyond encouraging them to attend more frequently and if they don't asking someone to resign (which they can refuse), the board is pretty powerless until the next AGM. Unfortunately this motion doesn't actually change this - beyond requiring the board to call an EGM which doesn't strike me as a very sensible solution.
  2. Clause 6 unfortunately is unenforceable: Article 28 Rules passed by the members can always be amended by the board. If you want to tie the board's hands like this, you have to pass a special resolution to "entrench" the rules - see this example from last year for how to do that.

AndrewRT 23:42, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Giving the board the power to kick people off it by a vote might be sensible if they don't already have that power, though I don't think it would/should ever be used for something as petty as attendance. Broadly though, I agree with Andrew, there is no great queue of people waiting to get on the board, this is going in completely the wrong direction. Board meetings are really not in the least enjoyable and (still) largely a waste of everyone's time. We need to change board meetings (ideally by taking them offline) rather than making being a board member even more unpleasant than it already is. I guess I have marginally shoddy attendance, but really if the board asked me to resign because of it I'd be happy. I stay out of a vague sense of obligation, but given the amount of my time WMUK eats (despite me doing no way near as much as Andrew or Mike) and the complete lack of personal rewards from being a board member, if the board thought they'd be better off without me I'd jump at the chance to desert without guilt... --Cfp 03:10, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Interesting point - we need to find a way to make board meetings enjoyable! Ideas on a postcard please! AndrewRT 00:58, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
People should serve on the board because they think it is a worthy cause, not out of some sense of obligation... --Tango 16:58, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I missed your response. The average number or board members at each meeting is 5 out of 7. I consider that very poor. When I say board members are expected to attend all meetings I mean that they should only miss meetings if they have a good reason - they can't just say "Well, I've been to the last three, it won't hurt if I miss this one...". That clause was added primarily to make it clear that board members shouldn't play the system and attend the bare minimum of meetings to avoid being censured. I would hope that board members that aren't pulling their weight would resign before being forced out, so we wouldn't need to call an EGM or send round a Written Resolution. I think Clause 6 is enforceable - it is part of the rules that it refers to, so it can't be amended until it has been amended. My opinion is that we would be better off with vacant seats than useless board members - they end up costing more time and money than they are worth. --Tango 16:58, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

CIO conversion

What would be the benefit of converting to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)? Would it be worth the expense and distraction? AndrewRT 00:19, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Less paperwork, for a start - we would only have to file reports with the Charities Commission, rather than both the CC and Companies House. There are other benefits too. For example, we wouldn't have to have that stupid "members agree to pay £1 towards the charities debts" clause any more and the register of members would no longer have to be publicly available. All the available information is here (primarily the general regulations for CIOs and the model constitution). --Tango 15:19, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
It looks like CIO status will only be available to recognised charities ( See page 4]). Given the response to our application so far it looks like we won't have completed our discussions with the Charity Commission by the time of the AGM, so I suggest this discussion is deferred until next year. 00:07, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
True, we probably won't have firm governing documents sorted in time for the AGM, but we could have an initial discussion and get approval for the general idea. I think get authorities sorting out the requirements for CIOs will take longer than the authorities sorting out our charity application, but you never know! --Tango 18:02, 22 February 2010 (UTC)