AGM 2012 Minutes
Second Freegle AGM
These minutes minutes were approved at the AGM 2013 meeting.
Monday 19th November (0001hrs) to Sunday 25th November 2012 (2359hrs)
Held online on Freegle UK Central Yahoo Group
The AGM was chaired by Edward Hibbert.
The minutes were taken by Alison Redway.
Apologies for Absence
Alison received no apologies for absence.
Minutes of the Inauguaral AGM 2011
The minutes of the Inaugural Freegle AGM were approved as a correct record of the meeting.
Reps’ annual meet up
This topic is covered in the 2012 Reps Annual Report.
Cat presented a Report to the meeting. She was thanked for her excellent document.
It was suggested that we find extra people to help with public relations in order to cut down on travelling costs.
It was also suggested that we have a team of people who are prepared to give media interviews. It was confirmed that travelling expenses can be paid with prior approval from the Reps. Volunteers should not be put off media opportunities through lack of funds and are encouraged to talk to the Reps if they need help. It is hoped that we can do more publicity work of this nature in the coming year.
Regional help with publicity would also be useful with other types of media work, eg dealing with councils and extra income for Freegle may enable people to do this by paying for travelling expenses and potentially their time.
Reports from Reps 2011-2012
The Reps were thanked for this.
Strategy Report 2012
The Reps were thanked for producing this document and appreciation expressed for the resources provided by national volunteers.
Chris Cant (Penrith) was also thanked for his work with Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAFS). Chris updated us on this work.
Chris is also setting up a workplace Freegle group which may result in a regular financial contribution to Freegle.
Chris explained how collaboration with Freegle over the CAFS lottery funded project has demonstrated some of the issues that face Freegle as an unincorporated association.
Some of the issues considered by the meeting and points raised:
- On many groups we are back to 2006 posting levels.
- Burnout and loss of volunteers is a serious and imminent risk.
- We are an unincorporated association which means individuals/Reps bear personal liability when entering into contracts.
- Our history may influence how we view payment of volunteers.
- We may have been lulled into a false sense of security by our existing structure.
- The current economic climate may be contributing to our difficulties in finding volunteers.
- We do not have enough tech volunteers to consider open source coding.
- There are many ways of enabling reuse now and we struggle to compete with companies with advertising budgets.
- We need to continue finding volunteers and more IT help may become available as experienced people retire.
Points were made on some of the issues that may arise from a decision to set up a trading arm which included:
- The work and technicalities involved should not be underestimated, particularly as we have to keep the organisation running at the same time.
- The possibility of spending too much time chasing income and too little on meeting our objectives.
- Maintaining our grass roots, community nature and minimising top down control whilst securing an income stream.
- Ownership, if groups remain independent and a trading company assumes a life of its own
- Dissatisfaction with some volunteers being paid for skills and not others.
There was majority agreement with the Reps’ view that a trading arm would be the most realistic way for Freegle to obtain income in order for us to be sustainable in the future. There was strong agreement that transparency and full disclosure are key points.
There are decisions that we need to make on the relationship between a trading arm and Freegle Reps. We need to decide whether or not volunteers receiving payment, other than expenses, can be Reps, if so whether they can vote and whether there should always be a certain percentage of non earning Reps.
It was suggested that Freegle may benefit from policies and appropriate tendering practices.
Financial and Auditors Report
Appointment of Auditor
Ray Owen, Freegle Thanet, was elected Auditor for the coming year.
Ray was thanked for taking on this position.
Reports from Working Groups
Report from the Mailbox
Any Other Notified Business
There was no other business.
The meeting ended on 25 November 2012
Edward thanked everyone who had written documents and contributed to the meeting. He was thanked for chairing the meeting.