Freegle Reps Report 2010-09-19
This Report is a summary of the Reps' activities from the August 2010 Reps Report until the present. The activities span 17 August to 19 September 2010. This involved approximately 800 posts on the Freegle Reps Yahoo group between the seven currently serving Reps.
Day to Day Freegle Operational Matters
- Reps agreed that the new Freegle Local Funding Yahoo group should operate as a Working Group. To join that group, please visit http://freegle.it/LocalFunding.
- Paul worked with the new Ombudsman & Deputy Ombudsman to set up the Ombudsman@iLoveFreegle.org email address and linking it to an Ombudsman Yahoo group. The Reps were kept in the loop during this process. Once the Ombudsman & Deputy were up to speed on using their email address and group, all access was turned over. Only Kathy (Ombudsman) & Emma (Deputy Ombudsman) now have access to the email account and group.
- Russ (Bracknell) stepped down from involvement with the mapping and Overcycle liaison activities. The Reps agreed that Alison (Middlesbrough) could continue this if she wished to do so. She confirmed that and is helping.
- The Freegle Geeks team have been working for many months to improve the administrative interface to the website for adding new groups. These enhancements allow for managing all of our core group data in one place and through one interface. This includes adding groups to the website, mapping, creation of shortlinks, and enabling the Freegle Message Maker. The task of adding new groups to the website (including all of these tasks) has now been turned over to the Group Launch Coordinator (Tom). This previously required actions from a number of people, which could cause delays, etc. The new process means that new groups have a quicker and easier setup for all things Freegle tech related.
- A brief discussion took place between the Freegle Geek team and the Freegle Reps about hosting of our website for the next year. Some options are being considered at the moment, but nothing is definitive at this time.
Reps Team Operational Matters
- Reps discussed when we should poll on decisions, and when we can come to them via group discussion. Roughly, the decision was to poll often as it is easy and gives us clean results.
- Jane scheduled a monthly review of our task list on our Reps group calendar. The task list was also reviewed several times with tasks being modified & closed as required.
- A brief discussion recurred regarding the concept of a Reps Cafe. The Reps decided again that this would not be the best course of action, at this time.
Handling of External Enquiries & Complaints
- The Freegle Info mailbox enquired to the Reps about an advertisement received for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) services. The Reps briefly discussed and replied in agreement that Freegle was not interested. Edward replied to the Info mailbox team on behalf of the Reps.
- A proposal was received from a local business (Leatherhead) to set up a national service for delivering Freegle goods. The Reps replied that this sort of service was better coordinated with local groups, which are autonomous.
Handling of Internal Enquiries & Complaints
- The Reps were approached by Jacky and the team from Norfolk Freegle about the development of a new recycling/reuse group platform which they are exploring. This was discussed between the Reps with feedback being given to the team from Norfolk. The Norfolk team then shared their plans with Freegle via message #15575 to Freegle Central.
- A complaint was received by an applicant for a new Freegle group about a decision made by the GAT. The Reps discussed and agreed that the applicant's next course of action was to email the Ombudsman with a request to Appeal the GAT decision. As the complaint was received by both the GAT and Reps, the GAT responded to the applicant offering the opportunity to Appeal.
Development of Freegle Policies & Procedures
- Reps agreed via poll that we feel it is not necessary to develop a bespoke Freegle Equal Opportunities document at his time.
- Reps finished our internal draft of a Working Groups document. After much collaborative drafting, the document was unanimously agreed to be passed along to Structure, where it was further revised.
- The Reps got back to Alison (Freegle Historian) with some further feedback about the Freegle History Policy document.
Consideration of Freegle Strategy & Direction
- The Reps were consulted by the GAT about the request to form a Canal based Freegle group. We indicated we thought this was an excellent idea. The GAT then took this to Central for feedback (which was also very positive).
- The Reps briefly discussed our thoughts on allowing groups from other countries to affiliate with Freegle. We generally feel that Freegle UK still has enough to sort out and that we as an organisation are not ready for this sort of expansion, even if originating from the outside.
- The Reps have had some discussions regarding media matters, publicity, the event in Birmingham that Cat & Edward attended, and the blog. We agree that publicity is an important matters on which Freegle should focus nationally. Many local group owners and mods find this difficult. National efforts such as stickers for wheelie bins, etc, would be great. We expect these discussions to continue on Reps and also on Central and/or the Media Working Group.
- While not a Reps activity, Cat received the Sussex Volunteer of the Year award, for which we are very proud. Running on lack of sleep, but high adrenaline and enthusiasm, Cat begun some discussions about how we could work more on national publicity. To see an article about Cat’s award, please visit http://freegle.it/2010VOTRCat.
Arbitration of Carol's Suspension
- The Reps were informed by the Ombudsman that the process of assembling a panel to review the suspension of Carol from the Reps team had begun.
- Requests were received by the Reps from the Ombudsman as to why Carol was suspended and any conflicts of interest within the investigation panel which we foresee.
- The Reps discussed our participation in this process, how best to present the data and what qualified as a Conflict of Interest, and began preparing our evidence.
And Other Random (potentially off-topic) Matters
- Most Reps took the Proofreading test at http://www.copyediting.co.uk/test.htm. Afterwards we decided how grateful we were for the efforts of the new Freegle Proofreading team. If you have Proofreading skills to offer, please join up at http://freegle.it/Proofreaders.
- Several Reps were away on holiday for a week each over this last month.
Best Regards, Paul (Ascot)
On Behalf of the Freegle Representative Group Cat, Edward, Jane, Kath, Ollie, Paul & Sian