Freegle Reps Report 2010-03-14

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Reps summary for 14 February to 14 March 2010.

Reps Working Practices

We discussed whether Reps decisions and/or discussion should be open to members. There was general agreement that decisions should be publicised on Central but due to the possibly confidential nature of discussions, they should be kept closed.

It was agreed that we should draft a Reps Working Practices document. Sian kindly offered to draft this. This is being drafted in parallel with the Governing Document being discussesd on Structure.

There was much discussion about the Governing Document currently being drafted on Structure and the Reps Working Practices Document being worked on by the Reps and Structure. It was felt that these documents needed to compliment one another and not overlap or contradict. Work on both is now continuing in parallel by the Reps and Structure.

We have started using Yahoo group polls to make decisions after a period of discussion. It was agreed that the Rep who starts a Rep group poll should close it and that all polls should have an abstention option.

We decided that the Rep doing the Reps summary should also write the Reps contribution to FreeSpout. Edward also drafted and sent this.

Discussion continued about how we could work better as a team and prioritise our tasks. Jane kindly stepped up as a coordinator to remind everyone of their highest priority tasks/decisions they need to agree to and this has been very helpful in making quicker progress. There was much discussion about priorities of tasks on the task list and volunteers were sought to lead tasks. We agreed that the Reps primary function is to provide guidance and oversight and that as much s possible of the actual "work" should be done by the working groups (although many Reps also do a lot on various working groups).

Lots of Reps were ill around 24-25 Feb.

Organisational Issues

We discussed asking for or accepting unsolicited donations at UK Aware (and generally). It was decided by vote not to solicit for donations (either asking or having a collection container on the stand) but that unsolicited donations could be accepted, subject to us having a bank account set up and robust financial procedures. This is unlikely to be the case.

We drafted a message to Central (#8628) about funding to get opinions of members about this sensitive subject. Discussion also continued amongst the Reps about whether we should apply for any grants. It was felt that until we have identified costs, we should not apply for funding. Discussion continues.

We agreed to accept Jacqui's offer to compile a Who's Who and List of Freegle Email Addresses:

We agreed to delegate the research on a bank account for Freegle to Jacky. We agreed on a set of criteria that Freegle would need for a bank account. There was a suggestion of looking into Credit Unions as well but it was felt that they would not be appropriate for a national Freegle account, pending further research. Jacky reported back and a bank account is now pending us agreeing a Governing document (in progress on Structure). We will also need a Chairman and Secretary or simliar to open a bank account. It was agreed that we should appoint these when we know exactly what a chosen account would require.

The New Group Assessment Guidelines were agreed after incorprating changes suggested on Central and the Start working group. This was the end of a very long and involved process so thanks to all involved! We also discussed whether and how to make the Interim Group Assesment Team. We voted to make the GAT permanent and ask the IGAT team members to continue in their roles. The Reps are very grateful that they all accepted.

We released several alternative versions of a disclaimer for groups to use with wording provided by Legal. This was announced on Central by Paul and placed on the wiki. See: Disclaimer

There was discussion about how to deal with enquiries from whole reuse networks (such as Don't Dump That or Realcycle) to join or merge with Freegle. While we have corresponded with leaders of those networks, it was felt that the individual groups should be treated as if they'd all applied at the same time and the standard New Group Guidelines should be followed for individual groups.

We decided that we should appoint a Freegle Historian and advertised for this on Central. We appointed Alison and encouraged her to seek the advice of the people working group on a remit.

We discussed how to make the working groups more effective. It was agreed that we should suggest that each group should have a todo list and a coordinator to help close discussions and organise work. This was moved to Structure for further discussion.

We added working groups' remits to the wiki: Working Groups

Some of these could do with more input so we would encourage you to have a read and make any suggestions on the relevent working group.

We discussed Freegle overseas as a result of a number of expressions of interest. It was decided that, at this time we did not have the resources to actively pursue this. A Reps statement was sent to Central about this (message 9016).

We discussed various advice from legal profesionals about the issues of registering Freegle and the Freegle logo as a trademark. Discussion is continuing on Legal and the Rep group. We need to decide what outcome we want and how to get there. This is a complicated area and needs careful consideration.

Media and Promotional Activities

We discussed media activities: - BBC Working lunch TV slot - Passing the million member mark and publicity to do with that (press release, blog etc.) - Link on

We discussed what we could do to get new members. Suggestions included getting schools involved, using Facebook or other social media, quality central publicity and help getting this printed. These were then floated on relevant working groups.

We discovered that free ads from Yahoo were not ongoing.

Technical Matters

We discussed some technical issues:

  • email addresses for the reps. The general opinion is that we didn't need them but the discussion is still open.
  • Moving resources like the One Stop Shop to the Freegle wiki ( so that they could be contributed to by anyone who wanted.

Suggestions, Complaints and Other Matters

We had to consider some child protection issues and it was agreed that a task force, headed by Paul should be set up to look at this. This also led to the consideration of the wider issue of moderator and member codes of practice. Discussion on this continues.

A suggestion was made that we should have a "Free Organisation Health Check" from It was agreed that there would be little benefit at this time.

An unaffiliated group and website were using our name, logo and material from our website. They were asked to remove it and kindly did so.

We discussed a few complaints of GOs sending spam.

We registered with the British Library Web Archiving Programme:

We drafted and sent a response to a FC group owner asking for our rationale for opening a Freegle group on their "patch".

We discussed a couple of specific proposals for specialist groups and identified suitable people to liase with working groups to come up with guidelines.

We discussed negative mentions of Freecycle on Freegle homepages and agreed to add some guidance to the information sent to new groups recommending against mentioning Freecycle on their homepage.

Back to: Freegle Representative Group or go to next report Freegle Reps Report 2010-04-16