Structure Group Report 2012-10-31

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October 2012

This is a summary of discussions since our last report of 30th September 2012, covering messages 10667 to 10728. Our membership stands at 76 (the same as last month).

The topics we have discussed this month are below.

Task 82 - Health and Safety Document

There is no legal requirement for Freegle to have a written H&S policy, but we have a moral duty of care to those working on national stuff on behalf of us all. In order to ensure that we don't tie ourselves up in knots with a huge document that we can't monitor it was suggested that we adopt a simple statement (not a policy) that sums up Freegle's position on health, safety and the well-being of volunteers.

During the discussion we have taken some legal advice. which has made us view with caution the liability of Freegle nationally should we adopt a statement or policy. With this in mind and after some discussion it has been decided that we shouldn’t proceed with this document and that this task has been completed.

Review of affiliation processes, 30/10/2012, 1:00

As part of task 78 we agreed to review affiliation processes annually. We considered the following:

Annual Review of Affiliation Processes October 2012

Since GAT was formed, the team has dealt with 534 cases, resulting in 174 groups approved to be affiliated, (97 new, 75 from other networks, 2 pending launch at the moment).

During that time the team have had changes in personnel and have worked not only on affiliating groups, but also in addressing the issues surrounding the procedures that needed to be adopted to ensure membership of their own team and processes for affiliation were fair.

At this point, the team has 6 members with 2 observers and have recently flagged up the need to recruit another team member. The way the team works has fluctuated with the availability of the members, but they have continued to deliver a consistent flow of results despite peaks of applications due to promotion of Freegle or changes in other networks. Mapping of group core areas has been ongoing throughout this past year.

The Affiliation Processes have had two amendments during the year: - area guidelines were agreed for groups - protocols for naming new groups were agreed

There have been no ‘official’ complaints received about the affiliation processes.

Following this report a discussion has begun about restricted Freegle groups. We have an example at the moment of an organisation which has affiliated as an in-house Freegle group. Their original intention was to set up a Freegle-like scheme internally on their Intranet, but they were persuaded to use a private group which we host on Freegle Direct. This is good publicity for us, and also allow us to make it easier for people who start freegling in their office to become active members of other local groups (e.g. at home where they live).

Our current procedures (for specialist groups) means that the existing local group had to be happy with this, which they were. However, if they were not happy, or couldn’t be contacted, then we would have had to tell the organisation that we couldn’t proceed. We are discussing what we can do if there is no response from local groups in this situation.

We have run two polls.

Poll Questions: Freegle private in-house organisational groups could be set up under the specialist group affiliation processes.

QUESTION 1: Would it be acceptable to proceed affiliation of such a group if a local group does not respond to consultation by GAT?


- Yes, it is acceptable, 13 votes, 86.67%

- No, it isn't acceptable, 2 votes, 13.33%

- Abstain (please explain on group), 0 votes, 0.00%

- Abandon (please explain on group), 0 votes, 0.00%

QUESTION 2:Would it be acceptable to proceed with affiliation if a local group is, after discussion, against the idea of such a group?


- Abstain (please explain on group), 2 votes, 14.29%

- Yes, it is acceptable, 2 votes, 14.29%

- No, it isn't acceptable, 10 votes, 71.43%

- Abandon (please explain on group), 0 votes, 0.00%

Discussion continues...

Update on Charity Incorporated Organisations

Charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) are likely to be available in January, as a simpler form of legal identity for organisations to adopt, to then be able to get charitable registration in England and Wales. It will be available first to new charities (i.e.those which are not already registered with the Commission) with income over £5000, then to existing charitable unincorporated associations and trusts with income over £5000, with a staggered timetable starting with the largest. Charitable companies will not be able to become CIOs until January 2014 at the earliest.

The final regulations have yet to be been laid before Parliament and it is still unclear if the draft model constitutions have been revised. This is a model which might be suitable for Freegle in the future, although the difficulties in getting this launched by the Charity Commission probably indicates that we should be wary of being a guinea pig for this new structure.

If any of the above topics interest you, or if you have proposals about the structure of Freegle to suggest, please do join our group.

Task List

Our Task List can be viewed at

The Coordinator for this group is Jacky (Great Yarmouth) Deputy Coordinator is Peter Johnson (Hunts) and Secretary is Wendy (Woodley) Owners are Jacky, Peter and Wendy.

Back to Structure Group Report 2012-09-30, forwards to Structure Group Report 2012-11-30