User:Mike Peel/Living Paths/05Mar14 Report

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This is my report from the 'Welsh Steering Group' meeting held on the 5th March 2014 in Manchester. It represents my views and understanding more than anything else - I am effectively reviewing and providing an overview of the activity here rather than there being a working steering group.

This meeting was originally planned to take place on the 12th February; however it was delayed due to bad weather.


  • Robin Owain
  • Mike Peel
  • Elfed Williams

Apologies: Terry Jackson

Recommendations from last meeting[edit | edit source]

R1 - Financial loan due to funding setup[edit | edit source]

The project has a short-term funding shortfall due to the nature of the grants that provide its funding (which rely on claiming for expenses after the fact rather than providing funding in advance). This shortfall may be around £7,000. It was agreed at the 7-8 December board meeting that WMUK would provide this loan if needed rather than Wici Cymru seeking a bank loan.

This loan from WMUK has not yet been taken up, although it has been offered several times by the WMUK office. This is because it has not yet been needed for the cashflow of the project, although it is expected that it will be needed in around a month's time.

R2 - Sharing budget and deliverables tracking documents with WMUK[edit | edit source]

Wici Cymru met on the 4th March. One of the issues that they talked about was the risk of invoices being double-counted and paid for by both Wici Cymru and Wikimedia UK. There are checks in place to make sure this doesn't happen, though. The main check here is that the documentation is being held in a shared repository that myself, Jon Davies, Richard Symonds, Eleyi (Wici Cymru's accountant in Aberystwyth), Terry and Robin have access to.

R3 - Hiring a part-time training coordinator[edit | edit source]

This position has now been advertised and recruited. The position runs for 6 months, after which it will be terminated unless there is funding to continue it.

R4 - technical support[edit | edit source]

This recommendation has not been followed as Wici Cymru have not felt the need to do so. They will, however, bear this in mind for the future.

R5 - liaising with AffCom[edit | edit source]

This liaising has not been done as Wici Cymru's application for charity status was declined. There are two main reasons for this outcome: the first was the question of whether there was a need for Wici Cymru in addition to Wikimedia UK; the second was because the focus of the application was more on the benefit of the content that would be produced rather than the benefit to the public. The revision of the application would probably be a lengthy and time-consuming process, and it wasn't clear that this would be time well spent. Another option is registering as a social enterprise and/or a not-for-profit organisation with a limited guarantee, which could be a short-term solution here. It was noted that they definitely don't want to be a competitor to WMUK.

Personally, I continue to advocate that Wici Cymru should focus on their project work and use Wikimedia UK's admin capacity to handle the financial aspects of the work, and to utilise WMUK's policies.

Recommendation 6: Wici Cymru should talk to the Governance Committee about potential organisational models that could be effective here.

ACTION: Mike to provide an introduction here. Yes check.svg Done

Division of work between Wici Cymru and WMUK[edit | edit source]

It is difficult to cleanly distinguish between the work that supports WMUK's goals and that which support Wici Cymru's goals. Robin doesn't feel like he's having time taken away from Wici Cymru work for WMUK, particularly post-Train the Trainers. Some examples of this include:

  • Train the Trainers in Cardiff in February 2014 - Robin spent a lot of time supporting this, but the goals of this work support the interests of both WMUK and Wici Cymru.
  • Robin will be going to London along with Elfed and Mark, which will be done as am employee of WMUK, but this visit wouldn't take place if it weren't for Wici Cymru.
  • Robin put a lot of work into Eduwiki, particularly with regards bringing in attendees. However, this also brought in a lot of Welsh contributions to the event, and one of the features of it was highlighting the worth that the Welsh Wikipedia has to the Welsh government.

Next year's plans (2014 Activity Plan/Living Paths project)[edit | edit source]

There are currently four months worth of funding left for this project. The last invoices have to be sent in by 1st July. The targets are on track to be met, both directly and indirectly by domino effects. E.g. the Software Alliance Wales have trained 8 of their trainers, have 2 more to train, and are now delivering training of their own. Robin said that it feels like there's much more activity on Welsh wikipedia; they will be looking at the statistics in a few months.

Robin is employed by WMUK until the end of this year - it is thought that this is included in the 2014 activity plan, but this is to be checked as the staff annual plan doesn't break down the budget by person. Aled won't be continuing beyond his 6 month contract unless other funding can be found. Traveling costs would be needed - these haven't been thought about so far, and may or may not have been included in WMUK's budget.

Recommendation 7: Wici Cymru should urgently think about its general funding beyond 1st July, and to find out whether relevant funding has already been incorporated in WMUK's plan.

Wici Cymru's DTBF partner Location Wales Online submitted an application for £800,000 from the Technology Strategy Board, with Ordnance Survey and Wici Cymru as a formal partner. However, this application was unsuccessful due to the focus that it had on the tourism/business angle. A similar bid will be submitted in April to the Costal Communities fund where sustainable tourism is a high priority. Other approaches to working with Ordnance Survey are being explored, including the option of a WiR. It is important that who should be the purse-holder here is figured out well in advance of the bid being resubmitted. Additionally, the tourism angle needs careful thought with regards Wikimedia's involvement, particularly given the history with Monmouthpedia.

Recommendation 8: Wici Cymru and WMUK should liaise over the resubmission of this bid, and identify the best way for the funds to be held and spent in the event it is successful. The tourism angle of this bid should also be carefully considered.

Making documentation public[edit | edit source]

We did not cover this item at the meeting.

Other topics[edit | edit source]

  • The Dec and Jan reports were shared with me during this meeting.
  • A third brochure has been created in Welsh, and sent to the WMUK office.
  • Coleg now has a WiR: Marc, who is starting on the 17th. Coleg is one of the main establishments in Wales, and this is already having positive knock-on effects.
  • Wici Ruthin is small group working on releasing content about local history in Ruthin. This content will be going up on the English Wikipedia and also translated onto the Welsh Wicipedia. Potentially also putting QR codes onto plaques, and having wifi access at those points.
  • Wici Cymru has identified people who are responsible for the education (Dr Phil Jonathan, Wici Cymru secretary) and glam work (Les Barker). Would be good to get them involved with the corresponding WMUK committees.

Recommendation 9: Those with responsibility for topics at Wici Cymru should be invited to get involved with the corresponding WMUK committees.

Date of next meeting[edit | edit source]

The next meeting will take place in the week of the 14th April in Chester. The exact date and time are TBC.