Development Group Report 2015 11

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Freegle Development Report

November 2015

Members 47

The Development group has grown again this month with membership now standing at 47 members, up 4 members from the end October report. November has been a busier than usual month on the group, with lots of lively discussions taking place on several subjects..

Proposed Caretaker Rules

The caretaker rules were brought back to Development for ratification after some minor edits. Several more edits were suggested and there was some discussion on how to phrase some of the rules for the better, before the new rules finally went to poll.

The new rules which are in line with best practice, were unanimously agreed and have now been written up and added to the wiki. They are now in place on all caretaker groups. Caretaker Group Rules

Task 30: Disaffiliation procedure

This task was to take into account groups that wish to leave Freegle but fail to follow the procedure of liaising with GAT to do so.

A rough draft of some new procedures was made by Jacky and then were refined by the members of development over the next few days. A second draft was made and again the improved draft was discussed in fine detail. After the third and final draft, a poll approved the new procedure and GAT now have clear guidance on how to proceed with the voluntary disaffiliation of a Freegle group. The new guidance can be found here - Disaffiliation Procedure

Task 37: Group affiliation changes

Christian requested a new topic to cover how GAT should act in the case of a group wanting to make changes to their group. This covered such things as

  • Disaffiliation where an email has been received.
  • Assumed voluntary disaffiliation without the specific email to GAT
  • Name change
  • Confirmation or change of area covered.
  • Merger involving Freegle groups.
  • Request to change platform supporting the group. (IF this is processed through GAT)

Jacky made an initial draft of what she believed was being asked for, which instigated almost no discussion at all to begin with. After the draft was sent to a poll, a new related discussion began regarding one group wanting the addition of a supergroup that would cover four existing groups as an addition. The request had been turned down on application due to existing rules which state that only one group per area can be opened. After a lengthy discussion it was decided that this sort of change could be looked at again when we have our new platform up and running. The poll for the original discussion was unanimously passed through. The new document is available to view here - Group Affiliation Changes Procedures

Task 38: Finance procedures

Edward started this topic. The current finance procedures require that a contract be set up for paid work over £100. The Board feel that this amount was ok in the early days when we were on a very low budget, but now we have more reserves, it is too low. They would like to see the requirement for a contract to be changed to only be required for work with a minimum starting price of £200 - £300.

It was pointed out that any agreement to do work for Freegle, no matter how low the payment would legally form a contract even if just agreed by email and not in small print. Edward clarified that was correct and that it was for proper written contracts that the Board wanted the proposed changes to cover. The request is to change the wording in the finance procedures to be changed from;

11.4 A contract will be set up for all paid work over £100 (Contract for Services) and Directors will follow agreed procedures when discussing and deciding on paid work (Conflicts of Interest Procedure).


11.4 A contract (Contract for Services) will be set up for all paid work over £250 for new suppliers, and the smaller of £1000 or 10% of total current bank balances for suppliers with a pre-existing relationship. Directors will follow agreed procedures when discussing and deciding on paid work (Conflicts of Interest Procedure).

There were no objections to this request and the new wording is back with Directors for final approval.

Task 39: Handover of caretaker groups

This is another mentor request. Currently there are no ground rules for the handover of caretaker groups. If a local group asks to take a group on permanently, Mentors have no remit to make a judgement on whether it is in the best interests of a group for the group to be handed over. For instance if a prospective new owner doesn't moderate their own group regularly, or they have rules that are overly strict or even if they just don't know the area or live too far away, Mentors are only able to just hand the group over without any questions. So they are asking that some regulation be agreed on so they have a guide to follow when a group is requested by another existing group for permanent ownership.

This has been a very active discussion and although Development is close to agreeing some guidelines to poll on, the discussion is ongoing.

Task 40: Review of Best Practice guidelines

Following on from the discussion about the handover of caretaker groups, a discussion has begin with regard to reviewing our current best practice. It has been suggested this should be done with the new platform in mind, but the topic has yet to be properly discussed and continues.

There has also been a suggestion that some of these topics should be discussed on Central. Not necessarily in fine detail, but if by discussing the main topics on Central people feel they can contribute and make a difference, there may be more people prepared to join development and discuss the finer details.

If anyone feels they can contribute to any ongoing discussions, please hop over to Development at

We would be happy to see you there.