2013 September

Summary of Trustees Meeting Rugby

8th September 2013

Present: Elizabeth Payne, Sheila Maw, Karl Hahm, Nicholas Sanders, Joy Gower, Gillian Simms, Isla Reid, Jim Clegg, Ronald Clements, Linda Kennerley and Shirley Evans.

1. Apologies: From Jennifer Rowland sent her apologies for non attendance due to family illness.

2. Previous minutes 28th April 2013: The minutes of the previous meeting held on 28th April 2013 were agreed without alteration.

3. Update on actions arising from the previous Trustees meeting held on 28th April 2013:

3.(1) Governing Document

The Trustees were given a four page document which Ron Clements had composed commenting on the proposed Governing Document amendments. Isla Reid stated that she was unhappy that Ron Clements had not followed the previous agreement, which was that Ron Clements, Jim Clegg and Isla should together prepare a single document with agreed changes. This had been agreed at a previous meeting with a view to saving time at future meetings. There was a general feeling among some Trustees that they should have received this information much earlier, and that they felt that the only route forward was to look at all the documentation comprising the current version, the proposed alterations compiled by Isla Reid and Jim Clegg, plus the document issued by Ron Clements. There was some general discussion about the exact reasons for an update. Isla said that there was a necessity for the document to be accessible to any member and that she felt that some of the language might be simplified without losing essential meaning. Ron said that he did not necessarily agree with this. Jim Clegg reiterated the point made by the Secretary at the 2013 AGM that the Governing Document was STECS’s bible and that we had a duty to make it readable. Karl was concerned that if we changed too much, a re-print would be necessary and this was perhaps an expense that STECS did not need. Elizabeth agreed with this and stated that we raised money for dogs not for financing this document. This view was not generally supported. There was a proposal that as the Agenda for this meeting was fairly long, that we should deal with all other items first, then return to the Governing document. Proposed Karl Hahm. Seconded Sheila Maw. The motion was defeated by 6 votes to 5.

The Trustees then considered each proposed alteration and each section was considered. This was a lengthy process but was conducted very professionally, with agreement being reached on all but the wording for a few sections. It was eventually agreed that as there were several agreed alterations or rewordings required, Jim, Ron and Isla would compile which is hoped will be the final draft of agreed alterations. This would then be sent to all Trustees for final consideration before the end of October 2013. This would give time for the Charity Commission and Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator to look at the documents before the general members‘vote at the AGM 2014.

Action to be taken: Jim, Ron and Isla to consult with each other in order to complete the final document for circulation to Trustees before the 31ST October. The final document can then be sent to the Charity Commission and OSCR in November 2013, as per the agreed timeline.

3.(2) Pilot Behavioural Scheme

Nick Sanders stated that this policy seemed to be working very well. The only comment he had to make was that re-homers should not downgrade opinions on a dog’s behaviour when passing it to its new home. It was generally agreed that as all re-homers are making a subjective assessment then differences were bound to occur. All re-homers should therefore try to be as factual as possible when assessing a dog. Linda Kennerley passed round an observation report that a re-homer had compiled. Shirley Evans pointed out that this was not a new idea, but nonetheless it was agreed that it was a good method of conveying information to new owners. Jim Clegg mentioned the 3rd box on the online re-homing page as this had been agreed to be a good idea at a previous meeting. Nick agreed to add this item. Karl asked if any dogs had been put down since the last review and Nick was pleased to inform him that no dog had been euthanized. A yearly review of this policy was agreed to be a good idea.

Action to be takes: Nick to organise putting the 3rd box on line. Also there would be an annual review of this policy.

3.(3) S.U.S I.E.

Shirley reported that S.U.S.I.E. was functioning satisfactorily and she reminded Trustees that passwords were available if any Trustee wished to have one. Gill Simms expressed an interest in the security of the information held with reference to data protection. Shirley said that she was sure that S.U.S.I.E. conformed to Data Protection. Gill said she would speak with Shirley later on this subject. Action to be taken: Gill and Shirley to speak to each other.

3.(4) Future Trustee Meeting

Isla said that she felt that the first meeting in 2014 should be as early as possible given that there would be a meeting before the 2014 AGM at the end of April. A discussion followed on the difficulty in travelling at that time of year. Isla had handed out a chart which showed the miles travelled to various used locations for Trustee meetings, and though no one venue suited everyone, either Premier Inn, Rugby or Hasland Hall, Chesterfield seemed to be easiest for most of us. A provisional date of Sunday 2nd February was agreed. Karl Hahm again offered his offices in London for a meeting in February. This was greeted enthusiastically as obviously all parts of Britain have train links to London. Joy Gower said that with careful planning good rates were achievable, and offered to look at addresses of Trustees if this would help. Isla asked if all Trustees would check train availability and let her know and she would adjust the start time of the meeting to accommodate as many Trustees as possible.

Action to be taken: All Trustees to look at train times to Euston Station, London to allow a start time of meeting to be determined.

3.(5) Research Fund:.

Sheila said that we had only been able to do 3 biopsies, and all funding for the Cushing’s Fund had stopped. Also we seem to have had no success in encouraging the breed clubs to help in any way. Sheila handed all Trustees a copy of the veterinary research, which the final year student compiled. It made interesting reading, and it did indicate that many Scotties as well as other breeds, and cross breeds do get raised liver enzymes for a variety of reasons, but at the moment there is no particular concern about any emerging “hepatitis” in Scotties.

No further action required.

3.(6) ADCH Membership:

Isla reported that she had been having some difficulty with this as she had been sent the wrong form and the secretary responsible for this had changed. However, having ascertained from Karl that giving details of STECS finances was appropriate, she will continue with this.

Action to be taken: Isla to apply for Membership.

3.(7) Insurance for Members’ vehicles:.

Karl reported that 89% of insurance companies would cover STECS dogs being transported in members’ vehicles, but it was important that they knew. He also indicated if there was an extra amount to be paid because of this, he would view this as part of the travelling expenses which were paid to members. He also handed out a form which we have to get our Insurance Companies to sign and return to him. Jim Clegg queried the notion of insurance for any damage a STECS dog might do while in a re-homer’s house and Karl informed us that STECS’s policy covered this. The business of strangers in a re-homer’s house and the insurance implications was also raised by Jim but no conclusion was reached at this time.

Action to be taken: All Trustees to complete their insurance form and return to Karl.

3.(8) Kennelling facilities in Scotland:

Isla was pleased to report that the kennels were now erected in her garden and appeared to be of good quality. Her own dogs certainly seemed to like them! She thanked the Trustees for agreeing to this, and though they had not had much use to date, they were a very important addition.

No further action required.

3.(9) ADCH & AHT Conferences.

Sheila Maw stated that she hadn’t attended an AHT conference, as there wasn’t an appropriate one available. Jim Clegg had attended the ADCH conference and a report had previously been circulated to all Trustees. There was some discussion on his report and it was clear that not all re-homing charities work from the same criteria. During the discussion it became obvious that not all re-homers within STECS operated with the same priorities. However, receipt of the report was the item being discussed and it was interesting to note how other rescue organisations work. Jim stated that it had been an opportunity to benchmark STECS’s performance alongside other similar organisations, and that in many instances the policies and procedures adopted by STECS is considered to be best practice.

No further action required.

3.(10) Responsibility for specific duties within STECS:

Isla suggested that this item should be held over until the next meeting as a) it wasn’t urgent, and b) there was much to discuss in the light of information from the Kennel Club Rescue Co-ordinator. This suggestion was agreed by all.

Action to be taken: Re-visit this item at the next meeting.

3.(11) Yellow Dog Initiative: Isla reported that there was growing interest in this initiative. It was posted on the web site as asked. Gill Simms said that it was growing in popularity within the agility circles, too.

No further action required.

3.(12) Newsletter and its content:

Isla did say that in the light of the comments at the last meeting, she wished to say that she did not feel that anonymous complaints should be considered. She offered to include a disclaimer from STECS in the newsletter, and asked if anyone present wished to see the newsletter before its publication. There was no comment to any of these suggestions. Isla also indicated that as she was standing down from the post of editor that she was pleased to say that she had found 2 applicants for the post of editor. She produced examples of each applicant’s work. One applicant was keen also to update the website and David Kennerley who is responsible for it at the moment is quite happy to hand over to someone else. The feedback from the work samples was positive, and Karl suggested that the Trustees should leave this matter for Isla to deal with.

Action to be taken: Isla to contact the applicants and organise who is to do what.

New items on the Agenda:

1. 2014 AGM.

A provisional date was agreed for the AGM of Sunday 27th April, 2014, and Hasland Hall was the preferred venue. As all sitting trustees and officers who were due for re-election were present at the Trustee meeting, Isla was able to ask each of them whether or not they would be willing to stand for a further term of 3 years. All indicated that they would be willing to stand for re-election. Isla stated that she would send no further reminders to trustees regarding applying for posts, though all members would, of course find full information in the Preliminary Notice of the Annual General Meeting which will be included with the Autumn edition of the newsletter. For the avoidance of doubt, and in an effort to be fair, Isla is to ask the candidates to mark their envelopes with the appropriate word “Trustee” or “Officer”. No applications would be opened until the date for receipt of applications had been passed. This was accepted as an appropriate way of proceeding. Action to be taken: Isla to complete the preliminary notice for the AGM and the application forms for new and returning Trustees and Officers. Sheila to check the availability of the hall.

2. Events 2013/2014

There is not to be a Christmas Fair at Hasland this year. Isla reported that the Scottie Search and Rescue Party at Crail had been a great success, mainly due to the fact that Karl shouldered so much of the planning, and there were many willing helpers. People attending were very keen to attend one in 2014 so Isla agreed to make hall booking enquiries. Cath Marchbank wishes to have the 2014 Garden Party to be held in June 2014. Joy Gower said that if anyone wanted to host a ”Strawberry Tea” or its equivalent then she and Ian would be happy to attend with some STECS merchandise. She felt that some small localised events might appeal to the membership, not all of whom can travel to the Garden Party or Scotland. Shirley reminded us that she had mentioned that Lord Nuffield’s estate at Henley on Thames had offered to allow STECS to host an event. Ron Clements said that there was an annual event, The Ashbourne Highland Gathering, held at Ashbourne near Derby. This was a large event which allowed some stalls. He thought it might be a good idea to have a Scottie representation.

Action to be taken: Isla to speak to Cath to ascertain a possible date for the Garden Party, and look at potential dates for an event in Crail. Joy to contact the management of Lord Nuffield’s Estate and the organisers of the Highland Games at Ashbourne. Isla to put a notice in the Newsletter regarding these events and elaborating on the “Strawberry Teas” idea.

3. Clarification of Welfare Expenditure. Nick and Linda wanted clarification of what amount of money the welfare committee were able to sanction without recourse to the Treasurer or the Trustees. In the guidelines booklet the sum of £500 was mentioned, and Karl agreed that this was acceptable within the agreed policy.

No further action.

4. Kennel Club Rescue Directory and Discover Dogs 2013: Isla gave Nick the appropriate forms to check before sending off for inclusion to the Breed Rescue Directory. Isla said that STECS was one of eight charities who had been invited to attend this event in London, which intends to highlight rescue dogs. She asked for owners of rescue dogs who thought they might be able to attend to let her know as soon as possible.

Action to be taken: Any Trustee or Re-homer with a rescue dog who might be able to attend to contact Isla.

Sheila ended the meeting by thanking the Trustees for working together so hard to complete the agenda, stating to murmurs of agreement that ”she didn’t think we could get through it all!” She also formally welcomed the new Trustees.

The meeting closed at 4.35pm.

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