Structure Group Report 2013-03-31

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This is a summary of discussions since our last report of 28th February, covering messages 11745 to 12001. Membership stands at 76 (three less than last month).

Getting Involved

We made an appeal in last month’s report looking for new people to get involved. No response, unfortunately! All that's needed is a little of your time - to lead a task, for example, you just need to be able to focus discussion a bit and give it a poke if it grinds to a halt. We feel it is important to have new input and fresh opinions so even if you don’t want to lead a task, why don’t you join the group and let us know what you think?

The topics we have discussed this month are below.

Group Affiliation Procedure Changes - Task 99 (Group Mentors)

Discussion continued on this and then it went to a final poll. The group subsequently recommended to the Reps that they endorse the proposal to adopt the procedures in . The Reps agreed, along with an addition to of "At the time of affiliation, Group Owners will be asked to confirm they will hand over the group to Freegle if they no longer wish to run it or give GAT details of any new owners they have appointed."

The new procedure will be reviewed in 6 months time by this group; a reminder has been set on the group’s calendar.

It was noted, through general discussion, that GAT operates with the strictest controls of any team or individual within Freegle in order to make sure we fulfill our democratic remit. Their work often goes unnoticed or taken for granted, but it is valued and appreciated and Freegle owes much to the way the team takes its responsibilities seriously, dealing with applications and groups with fairness and efficiency. Thanks GAT!

Consider Freegle's UK coverage - Task 79

This task has come about in response to the agreed Strategy aim of "To continue to be a support organisation in the UK, but a more effective one. To strive for mainstream penetration within the UK, although accept that success may be patchy and pocketed."

The group discussed briefly how and whether it would desirable to actively pursue getting new groups to cover areas not presently served by Freegle. The discussion is ongoing.

Specialist Group Affiliation - Task 95

This task discussion continues, with two polls run on the group to decide whether closed, private affiliated groups should have a representative for Freegle nationally as a member of the group, and whether there should be a requirement that all specialist groups (closed and otherwise) must allow Volunteers from the local group(s) to be members if they so wish in the interests of promoting community links. How this will be implemented/monitored will be sorted out after the polls. Again, discussion continues on this, so please do join in if you have any thoughts or points to make.

Complaints Procedure Review

This review has been flagged as needing to be done. Discussion is due to start on this soon.

Setting Up a Trading Subsidiary - Task 96

We had already acknowledged that the Team set up to do this would not complete the task on the original agreed timescale. However, we received an update report at the end of the month that the Co-operative Enterprise Hub (CEH) have appointed CAN Ltd to assess our application for support. Neil met Brian Titley on 20th March and Brian has also joined the Team’s discussion group. Brian is preparing a report to go to CEH; he will show it to the team before sending. CEH will then take a few days to decide whether to give the go ahead - usually four days of support which will hopefully help us decide the best way forward and then help us set up systems, policies etc if we change structure. Hopefully there will be a recommendation from the Team by the end of April.

Task List

Our Task List can be viewed at

Since we began, we have taken on 99 individual Tasks, most of them turning into quite lengthy discussions and a fair amount of work. Through this, though, Freegle has formulated a structure and procedures which reflect the wishes of Volunteers. We have 28 of the 99 tasks outstanding, several of which are ‘live’ discussions. If any of the current topics interest you, or the tasks to come, or if you have new proposals about the structure of Freegle to suggest, please do join our group

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 2013-02-28, forwards to Structure Group Report 2013-04-30