Structure Group Report 2013-02-28

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February 2013

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This is a summary of discussions since our last report of 31st January, covering messages 11617 to 11744. Membership stands at 79 (two less than last month).

Getting involved.

We are always looking for new people to get involved. All we need is a little of your time. To lead a task you just need to be able to focus discussion a bit and give it a poke if it grinds to a halt. It is important to have new input and fresh opinions so if you don’t feel you could lead a task it is still great to have new people join our discussions. Why don’t you join the group and see what you think?

The topics we have discussed this month are below.

Group Affiliation Team Procedure Change.

POLL QUESTION: Do you agree that the Freegle Group Affiliation Team can change their procedures slightly as per message 11420?

When the Group Affiliation Team receive an application for a new group for an area, they must contact the largest local reuse group that fulfils the following conditions, and give them the first opportunity to affiliate with Freegle.

The group is active (more than 10 posts per month on average in the previous twelve months) The group appears to be locally moderated The Group Affiliation Team believe that the group's local moderators have a right to the group membership list.

CHOICES AND RESULTS - Yes I agree, 28 votes, 96.55% - No I don't agree with you, 1 votes, 3.45% - Abstain - please explain on group, 0 votes, 0.00% - Abstain - please explain on group, 0 votes, 0.00%

The route for this decision is now for this group to let the Reps know this is recommended. Task 96 - Setting Up a Trading Subsidiary

Central has voted that this group set up a Working Team to look into setting up a Trading Subsidiary. To do that we will first agree a remit for the Team and thereafter appoint team members. We ran a poll.

We should adopt the remit should be adopted for the Trading Subsidiary Working Team

CHOICES AND RESULTS - Yes, I agree, 19 votes, 100.00% - No, I disagree, 0 votes, 0.00% - Abstain (please explain on group), 0 votes, 0.00%

So the remit has been adopted and the wiki updated accordingly.

We have decided on a team of 5 people and have had 5 volunteers so a team has been set up. They have started a working group which is to report to Structure. A closed Yahoo group has been formed, discussions have started and the first monthly report has been presented to Structure.

Task Complete..

Proposals for Change to Financial Management and Controls Document.

There is a consensus that this amendment is acceptable, so we have amended the wiki appropriately and the document has been updated to include the changes below.

In accordance with the terms of the document (Policy, section 10), the Reps propose the following changes.

Amend 1.1 to the following: "Financial Management: 1.1 For financial purposes only, a Chairman, Treasurer and two other Signatories will be appointed from within the Reps. These role holders will be signatories on a bank account. When a Signatory ceases to be a Rep they can, if necessary, continue as Signatory until a replacement Signatory is chosen from the Reps and accepted by the bank. The time taken to enact this changeover should be minimised as far as possible. The other Reps will be responsible for authorising expenditure, and hold the Signatories to account. "

and add the following new section:

"11. Treasurer 11.1 The Treasurer will be appointed from within the Reps and must be a serving Rep at the time of appointment. 11.2 The Treasurer will remain in post until there is another person appointed to the role, whether or not they are still a Rep. 11.3 Serving Reps have a responsibility to appoint a Treasurer as soon as possible once there is an impending or actual vacancy. 11.4 The Treasurer's role and remit are as described in this document. 11.5 The Reps can consider appointing a book-keeper to assist the Treasurer, as long as the process to do this has been agreed by the usual route of proposal on Central."

We are proposing these changes to allow flexibility to ensure that there isn't a hold up with issuing cheques and maintaining the accounts because of Reps coming to the end of office or resigning.

Task Complete.

Reps Terms Of Office.

The constitution says:

7.3 Elections for Reps will be held annually.

7.4 Reps will serve a term of office of three years.

7.5 At the end of each year at least one third of Reps will stand down from office and/or come to the end of their term of office.

We've got a bit out of step now, because of people stepping down earlier than 3 years. This means we might either have a situation where we do not have a third of Reps reaching the end of their term of office, or (later) might have considerably more than a third (which might be bad for continuity).

What method should we use to get back in step? It seems we will have to make a change to the constitution and we have been discussing what change is needed. We ran two polls:

Poll 1 Question We should propose a change to the constitution that supports: a. An annual election of Reps, with the aim that at least 1/3 of Reps stand down each year or b. A fixed term of 3 years office for each Rep, with elections held as necessary to accommodate that. We will have further votes on whether either option should be applied retrospectively and the exact wording for the constitutional amendment.

Choices: We should have annual elections for Reps: 14 votes. 73% We should have 3 yr terms of office for Reps: 5 votes. 26% We should neither of the above options (please explain on this group) 0 votes, 0% Abstain (please explain on this group) 0 votes, 0%

And then, Poll 2. Question "This group voted to "propose a change to the constitution that supports an annual election of Reps, with the aim that at least 1/3 of Reps stand down each year". Some members of Structure feel it would be unfair to start this retrospectively as of Dec 2013 because it would mean some Reps would not get to fulfil the complete three year term they were elected to serve. We would therefore like to word this in the constitution so as to bring this new rule in from Dec 2014 so that all present Reps are able to serve their full term."

CHOICES AND RESULTS - Agree, 21 votes, 95.45% - Disagree, 1 votes, 4.55% - Abstain, 0 votes, 0.00%

The result of this poll is overwhelmingly in favour of one third of reps standing down each year, with 95.45% of the votes in favour of the new ruling to commence as of December 2014. This will bring the Reps elections back into sync.

Task Complete.

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 2013-01-31, forwards to Structure Group Report 2013-03-31