2014 February

Summary of Trustees Meeting London 2nd February 2014 

Present: Karl Hahm, Nicholas Sanders, Joy Gower, Gillian Simms, Isla Reid, Jim Clegg, Ronald Clements, Linda Kennerley and Jennifer Rowlands.

1. Apologies: Elizabeth Payne, Sheila Maw and Shirley Evans.

2. Previous minutes 8th September 2013: The minutes of the previous meeting held on 8th September 2013 were agreed without alteration.

3. (1) Governing Document. The Secretary reported that the revisions as agreed by all Trustees had been made, and it was ready to be presented at the AGM on Sunday, 27th April, 2014. Jen Rowlands asked what the procedure for this was. Isla replied that the document had to be sent to the Charity Commission and OSCR as both bodies require to see any alterations made. Ron stated that even if we did not receive confirmation of the changes from these bodies in time, there was no reason for the document not to be put to the vote at the forthcoming AGM so long as the membership was aware of this. Mr Dearing, our solicitor, also is looking at our Governing Document to ensure clarity of meaning. It was agreed the whole updated version of the Governing Document should be circulated to members via the Spring Newsletter. This was agreed by all Trustees. Action: Secretary to speak to Ron to ensure the correct wording of the motion to be put to the membership at the AGM. The Secretary to also ensure that the document is sent to the Charity Commission and OSCR. 

3. (2) Pilot Behavioural Scheme. The Trustees were all appreciative of the online welfare reports which have been circulated to most Trustees giving information about dogs coming in and going out via a specific re-homer or welfare co-ordinator. There was a proposal that this information should also go to all Welfare Co-ordinators as well as Area Reps. This would provide information to all those involved in re-homing and potentially improve communication among us. The motion was agreed unanimously. 

3. (3) S.U.S.I.E. There was a proposal that back up files should be sent to the Secretary and Welfare Officer in a format that we can use, preferably Excel, as most, if not all Trustees are familiar with Microsoft Office publications. The motion was agreed unanimously. Action: Secretary to speak to Shirley who was not at the meeting to organise this.

3. (4) Future Trustees Meetings. The Secretary handed out sheets showing distances, times and costs to all our regular venues. There was a general discussion among Trustees centred on travelling times and distances. It was noted that the meeting held in London was experimental and a decision whether to repeat this venue would depend on the cost. All of the Trustees present agreed that travelling to the meeting had not been difficult, and the actual venue was appreciated for its availability. The venue for the next Trustee meeting was already organised, and is to be held in Hasland Village Hall, Chesterfield immediately before the AGM. Further dates and venues could be decided then. A proposal was made to look at the cost of travelling to this meeting, and defer any discussions on future venues until the next Trustee meeting in April. The motion was agreed unanimously.

3. (5) ACDH Membership: The Secretary reported that she had applied for membership but had not yet had confirmation, but assumed us to be members. No further action required.

3. (6) Insurance for members vehicles. Karl reported that only one Trustee had sent his form back to him. Action: Remaining Trustees to organise with their respective insurance companies to complete the form.

3. (7) Responsibilities for specific duties within STECS. The Secretary outlined again the areas where Trustees might assume responsibility. These areas will appear at the end of the minutes headed Appendix 1. Action: All Trustees to look at appendix 1 and consider where their potential strengths might lie and think if there was an area which they might cover.

3. (8) Newsletter: The Secretary reported that Bee Duffy, the new editor had had a good response from Trustees and members and was compiling the Spring Newsletter, using the same format which is used in the new website, which incidentally was well received by all. Isla reminded all Trustees present to ensure that any articles or information required for inclusion should be sent to Bee as soon as possible. No further action required.

3. (9) AGM: The procedure for processing applications for posts of Trustee/Officer had been outlined at the last meeting, but Isla asked for clarification regarding procedure for dealing with Motions or AOB items received for inclusion in the agenda. The Trustees agreed that they would prefer to be informed of any motions or items under AOB sent to the Secretary as soon as there were received. Action: The Secretary to inform all Trustees of any items received for inclusion in the Agenda. The Secretary to ensure that all necessary documentation is prepared including the minutes of the 2013 AGM.

3. (10) Events 2014. Isla confirmed that the date was set for Northern Scots 2014 and Karl agreed to organise the printing and issue of tickets. Joy said that the Strawberry Tea advertised in the Autumn newsletter had not yet happened, but there had been a very successful St Andrews Day event organised by Margaret Holt on 30th November, 2013. As well as organised walks for the dogs, there was a visit to a local old folks’ home where the STECS stall was situated. The residents of the home were delighted with the visit, and Joy highlighted the success of these small events as there was another planned in the same area. The result was that local Scottie owners became acquainted with each other, and some had joined STECS. STECS are also having a stall at the Highland Games in Ashbourne on 20th July, and asked that anyone who was able should try to come and bring their Scottie too. She is also looking at holding an event in Somerset and gave potential dates. She asked for volunteers and received a positive response. Joy also said she had received feedback from members who were disappointed that there had not been a Christmas Fair last year, and again suggested dates available, and was again looking for helpers. The annual Garden Party will be again at Bretherton. Although a definite date had yet to be agreed, it was thought to be in August. Action: Joy to confirm dates for these events and inform the Newsletter Editor.

3. (11) Discover Dogs 2013. Isla reported that Cath Marchbank’s and Rob McLeod had both attended the event with Marge, whose photograph appeared in the Kennel Club Breed Rescue Newsletter. Rob’s dogs, Gerald and Izzy also attended. All 3 dogs were rescue dogs. The dogs behaved admirably throughout the long day and responded well to the high degree of attention they received. Both Rob and Cath felt that it had been a very worthwhile experience, and both are willing to attend future events of this type. No further action required.

New items on the Agenda

1. Welfare Committee: – Selection and tenure of members. Jim Clegg and other Trustees wished clarification as to the procedures for the above. Ron said in his opinion Nick was appointed by the members and that he had therefore full empowerment to select and appoint his own committee. The Trustees were happy with this clarification. There was a general discussion surrounding communications from the Welfare Committee to the Trustees at meetings and a suggestion was made that the Welfare Officer should give an update regarding relevant issues at each Trustee meeting. It was agreed that it was not feasible for every decision to be reported but a general regular update would be a good idea. It was also noted that the Welfare Committee already did bring items to the Trustees for decision making. Action: Welfare Officer to report to regularly to the Trustees.

2. Associated queries regarding welfare issues with a view to agree procedures: A suggestion was made that welfare co-ordinators should contact each other if they had a dog for re-homing which they were finding difficult to place. Jim Clegg suggested that if this was the case then we should email each other with the relevant details. This would ensure that the best possible home could be found for a dog. Volunteers were needed for help with transportation if necessary. He cited two examples recently where dogs were moved from England to Scotland and vice versa to secure the best home. This also helped with communication among re-homers. A question was also raised regarding taking in Scotties which were crossed with other breeds. The general feeling on this issue was that we should all be very circumspect about agreeing to take in these dogs as they were sometimes difficult to place in new homes. It was also stated that although the quality of Scotties was never an issue in making a decision to take a dog, we were a breed rescue and have some responsibility to members of the public who come to STECS wishing to adopt a Scottie. Action: Ongoing monitoring.

3. Financial request from a Member. 

4. Queries/Complaints/Comments/Suggestions from a Member. 

5. Formal letter of complaint from a Member against another STECS Member. 

6. Request under the Freedom of Information Act regarding minutes of Trustee Meetings.
After some discussion on procedure, the Trustees felt that the items 3, 4, 5, and 6 could not be discussed in any detail until we had received advice from our solicitor. A proposal was put that we would curtail any communication with the Member regarding recent correspondence until STECS have obtained the advice of its solicitor. Passed unanimously. Action: Secretary to inform Trustees immediately a communication is received from the Solicitor.

7. Formal complaint against a Member by a Trustee: Withdrawn.

8. AOB

8. (1) Secretary read out a letter from Elizabeth Payne which expressed her apologies for not attending the meeting. She also said in the letter that she would not be available this year to run the Radley bag raffle, or take bookings for the Summer Garden Party. The contents of her letter were noted.

8. (2) Secretary had received a letter from the Hon Secretary of the Scottish Terrier Club (England), asking if we would like to have a one page advert for STECS included in their Tear Book. She also asked if we would like to have a stall at their Championship Show at a cost of £25.00, the same cost as last year. The Trustees agreed that this was a good idea.

8. (3) Secretary also said that there was a future event to be run at Crufts by the KCBR called “Find a Rescue”. This event is on Friday 7th March, terrier day at Crufts. Isla asked for volunteers to attend this event with their rescue dogs. Action: 8.(1) Secretary to confirm Elizabeth that she had read the letter she had been sent. 8.(2) Secretary to deal with this matter. 8.(3) Secretary and other Trustees to try to find volunteers to attend this event.

Meeting closed at 4.50pm.

Appendix 1
“Breed Club rescue organisations are advised that they should consider the following areas which are deemed to be of importance to breed rescues.” – Pam Hill, Rescue co-ordinator of the Kennel Club.

Three main areas which should be considered:

1. Health and Safety
Points to consider within this area are: Event planning, training of volunteers, use of equipment, and training for using equipment.

2. Risk Management
Points to consider within this area are: Insurance, vehicle and domestic, appropriate equipment when transporting dogs, written guidance for home checks, and re-homing procedures, written guidelines for STECS helpers at events first aid planning at events, general animal welfare at events, and exit strategies in the event of emergencies at events.

3. Communications
Points to consider within this area: Communications with other volunteers and re-homers within STECS and other rescue organisations, liaison with other dog charities, kennels, and rescue organisations pet owners, and breed clubs.

Other areas deserving consideration are:

4. Marketing

5. Media Communications

6. Advertising

7. Co-ordination of the newsletter, the website and Facebook

All Trustees should be at least familiar with the policies which are in place within STECS, and where possible written guidelines should be available. Charities should have working policies in place for their appropriate events, both general and specific. Communication should be encouraged between members and Trustees.

It should be noted that some of these suggestions are already in place within STECS.

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