September 2016 Trustee Minutes

Held on Saturday 3rd September 2016.

Chimney House Hotel, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 4ST

In attendance: Jim Clegg, Joy Gower, Karl Hahm, Isla Reid, Barbara Boyce, Rob McLeod, Peter Duncan and Catherine Marchbank.

1. Apologies. 

Sheila Maw and Gillian Simms.

2. Approval of the minutes from the previous meeting held on Sunday 24th April 2016. 
The recorded draft minutes were subject to a discussion and agreement was reached. Minor changes and the full record of the e-mail referred to in item 7 were to be included. It was proposed that subject to the above amendments the minutes should be approved.

Proposed by Jim Clegg and seconded by Isla Reid. Agreed unanimously by those in attendance, who had been at the April meeting. 

3. Chairman’s Update. 
The Chairman referred to a previously circulated letter from Mr and Mrs Smith, members who had recently attended the 2016 STECS AGM. Karl Hahm said that he knew this couple. They were active members and had recently adopted three elderly Scotties. In addition they helped out at events and were friends of Nick & Jeannette Sanders. The letter expressed concerns regarding Jeannette Sanders bullying allegations, involving persons not named, made at the AGM. It also asked why these allegations were not responded to during the AGM by the Chairman. This letter had been sent to the Chairman in an e-mail in pdf format and later as a normal e-mail. Mrs Smith had contacted Karl after the AGM to express her concerns. Karl advised Mrs Smith that he was not willing to discuss the matter with her and she should address her concerns to the chair of the meeting. Mrs Smith asked Karl if he would draft a letter for her, which Karl did. Both Karl Hahm and Catherine Marchbank stated that other members at the AGM had also expressed similar concerns to the Smiths. No allegations or complaint had been received from any person to date and it was unclear who had been ‘bullied’. Cath Marchbank stated that she understood that the bullying allegation made by Jeannette Sanders related to her husband, Nick. Isla Reid highlighted that STECS had no policy regarding bullying or intimidation and that a policy should be formulated as soon as possible. Peter Duncan suggested that perhaps a meeting could be arranged between all the parties concerned, to achieve some form of mediation so that we can move forward. Following the AGM Jeannette Sanders had made no contact with STECS regarding her allegations. Jim Clegg suggested that a neutral Trustee, perhaps Rob McLeod, could write to Nick Sanders, Karen Clayton, Linda Kennerley and Jennifer Rowlands, all of whom had resigned over the last year, to attempt mediation by way of a meeting with all the parties concerned. Rob McLeod was agreeable to writing these letters. It was unanimously agreed that Rob McLeod would write to these people. It was further agreed that the secretary would write a letter of response to Mr and Mrs Smith.

Action: Rob McLeod to write letter to past Trustees and Jim Clegg to write letter to Mr and Mrs Smith 

4. Welfare Update. 
Cath Marchbank provided a general update regarding rehoming activities. 56 dogs had so far been rehomed in 2016 with a further 3 Scotties in the pipeline. There was a general discussion regarding the current forms used and the importance of providing correct details, including email addresses. Isla Reid suggested that we provide more detailed information sheets for new owners adopting Scotties, to include Scottie traits. Cath reported that there were 4 new area representatives, Christine and Paul Yates, David Whitton, Sandra Simpson from Cumbria and Debbie Risbridger from Ringwood. David Billings was the new Welfare Co-ordinator, taking over Karen Clayton’s area. A general update was provided by Cath about some recent rehoming of Scotties. It was suggested and agreed that we should return to rehoming areas by counties, not postcodes. Cath expressed concern about the lack of information provided to persons adopting a Scottie, as to what happens to the dog in the event of their death. It was agreed that we should consider developing the idea of fridge magnets that provide STECS contact details, to key fobs and credit card style information cards for personal wallets and purses. It was further agreed that the adoption application form should include a different format regarding the age of the applicant and include those who live in the household. Barbara Boyce raised the question of whether we should have a reference from the applicant’s vet, however, the general feeling was that this was not necessary. Jim Clegg referred to other organisations that provide an insight into good practice and procedures, having attended conferences previously. Cath confirmed that Magda Teale was for the present time removed off the list as a welfare coordinator.

Peter Duncan raised the question of a dog he had recently rehomed. It was proposed by Peter Duncan and seconded by Isla Reid that these veterinary fees should be paid in full, as a first and final payment and that this is put in writing, so that the owners are left in no doubt that they should now insure the dog. Catherine Marchbank advised the meeting that the Welfare Committee considered that the dog had been insurable and therefore they did not support full reimbursement. Votes for 6, 1 against and 1 abstention.

Action: Peter Duncan to write to new owners 

Joy Gower confirmed that Christine and Paul Yates were willing to take over the Rainbow Bridge notifications. This was proposed by Joy Gower and seconded by Peter Duncan and unanimously agreed. 

Action: Joy Gower to inform Mr and Mrs Yates 

5. Actions and matters arising from the previous meeting held on 24th April 2016 

5.1 Letter to Local Authority and SSPCA re puppy farm in Scotland (IR / GS).
Peter Duncan and Isla Reid provided an update regarding Local Authority and SSPCA action. The establishment was Local Authority approved but they had no power to stop the breeding practices. Peter was, however, aware of an ongoing investigation and was assisting with that investigation. It was decided that no further STECS action would be taken at this time.

Action: Ongoing, dependant on result of investigation. 

5.2 Invite Bee Duffy to become a member and Northern Ireland re-homer (IR / NS).
A Northern Ireland Welfare Co-ordinator had been appointed. Therefore, Bee Duffy would be invited by Cath Marchbank to become an Area Representative.

Action. Ongoing Cath Marchbank. 

5.3 International Breed Conference. Update (SM).
Isla Reid updated the meeting. The event is planned to take place over three days from Saturday 4th March to Monday 6th March 2017. It will be held at the Royal Court Hotel, Coventry. This was work in progress. The STECS stand (with Joy & Ian Gower) would be in place on the Sunday and Monday.

Action: Ongoing Isla Reid. 

5.4 Set up STECS eBay charity account (JG)
Joy Gower provided an update and encouraged Trustees and Members to visit the site.

Action: Ongoing Joy Gower. 

5.5 Distribution of specific Trustee responsibilities. 
Isla Reid read out the previously agreed responsibilities for Trustees. It was agreed that this required further work and re-evaluation, so that all Trustees, including Officers with specific responsibilities, were sharing the work load and moving STECS forward. It was generally felt that care should be taken to avoid overloading the role of the Welfare Officer. Following a brief discussion, it was agreed that Isla Reid should send out a sheet, listing all the various responsibilities and requirements demanded by STECS, to each Officer and Trustee. Officers and Trustees could then volunteer for items on the list, before starting the process of agreeing responsibilities.

Action: Ongoing Isla Reid. 

5.6 Charity Commission guidance regarding good practice in minute taking.
After a brief discussion this matter was closed.

Action: Closed.

6. Events including future meetings and AGM dates. 
Following a discussion, the following meeting and events dates were agreed.

Sunday, 27th November 2016 – Christmas Party, Hasland Village Hall.

This is being organised by Cath Marchbank, assisted by Joy Gower, full details will be published in the Autumn newsletter

Action: Cath Marchbank, Joy Gower 

Saturday, 4th February 2017 – Trustees meeting, York

Action: Barbara Boyce to arrange venue 

Sunday, 23rd April 2017 – Trustees meeting and AGM, Hasland Village Hall

Note: Now changed to Sunday, 7th May 2017 at Mere Parish Club, Warrington Road, Mere, Knutsford, Cheshire. WA16 0PU

Action: Jim Clegg to arrange venue 

Saturday, 20th May 2017 – Northern Scots, Crail, Fife

Action: Isla Reid 

Sunday, 18th June 2017 – Southern Garden Party, subject to volunteers organising

Action: Isla Reid to contact Dr Harvey and Mrs Slater to request help 

Summer Garden Party – August 2017, date to be confirmed

Action: Cath Marchbank 

Events 2016

Isla Reid provided a general update of the 2016 Northern Scots event. With ticket sales the event raised £556. Paul and Christine Yates raised a further £100 with the STECS shop taking over £700. A £200 donation by a member covered the full costs of the event.

Joy Gower provided a summary of the Southern event at Wincanton. The event was well attended with the STECS shop taking £479.60.

The Summer Garden Party was held at Bretherton and was very well attended. Cath Marchbank and the Treasurer were still awaiting the final amount that had been raised on the day. However, Joy Gower was able to report that the shop had taken £1953.61.

7. Autumn Newsletter. Feedback and options for further improvement. 
Isla Reid provided a quick summary of the current progress of the Autumn Newsletter and its contents. All the articles were now in and Isla confirmed that the two items from Gill and Paul Simms would be in this issue.

Action: Isla to liaise with Bee Duffy to complete the Newsletter on time. 

It was also discussed and agreed that tickets for a Christmas draw should be included with the Autumn Newsletter. The first prize should be a Radley suit case, second prize a House of Bruar hamper and third prize an M&S voucher for £100. Tickets should be returned to Joy Gower.

Action: Karl Hahm to purchase a Radley suit case and produce the insert for printing. 

8. AGM 2017. Documentation and draft AGM minutes.
Jim Clegg confirmed that the preliminary Notice for the AGM would be ready for issue with the Autumn Newsletter. The remaining notice, AGM 2016 minutes and paperwork for the next AGM will be discussed at the February 2017 Trustees meeting.

Action: Jim Clegg to issue preliminary notice. Remaining items for February 2017 meeting. 

9. Trustee Declaration Charity Commission England, Wales & Scotland.
Jim Clegg summarised the current position regarding the paperwork requirements of both organisations. He read out the 2 replies received from the Charity Commission and OSCR. It was agreed that he would prepare a draft STECS Trustees declaration form for approval at the next meeting. In line with the current policy he would circulate the 2 email replies to all Trustees.

Action: Jim Clegg to circulate emails and prepare draft document 

10. Agria Insurance contract. 
Isla Reid summarised the current situation and confirmed that she had not approved the signing of the contract by Cath Marchbank, nor had the Governing Body. Jim Clegg said that there were several issues regarding the contract, such as data protection, exclusivity and indemnity that needed to be considered. Any contract is subject to approval by the Governing Body in accordance with the Governing Document. Cath Marchbank apologised to the Trustees for signing the contract without full approval, but said she was only trying to do the best for the charity. Jim Clegg did point out that STECS currently had an arrangement with Petplan insurance, which was still advertised on the website. The Agria contract and its possible problems for STECS was fully discussed. There was a general discussion about other policies available in the market place. It was proposed by Peter Duncan and seconded by Rob McLeod that STECS should not proceed with this contract in its current format and other insurance companies should also be considered. This was passed unanimously.

Action: Rob McLeod to contact Agria, to see if there was a way forward without this contract and to contact other insurance companies 

11. Anilog.
Karl Hahm confirmed that STECS had a contract with Anilog for 3 years. The earliest that the contract could be terminated was on the third anniversary and a minimum of a 90 day written notification was required beforehand. There was a general discussion about the suitability and availability of the system to the STECS users. A majority felt that it would be worthwhile to persevere with the system until the end of the contract. During this discussion Barbara Boyce viewed the database on Karl Hahm’s laptop and indicated that she would be keen to use and update the system with all the 2016 adoptions. Peter Duncan and Rob McLeod were also willing to gain experience with the system over the coming months.

Action: Barbara Boyce to access and update the system and assist with gaining more users. 

12. Welfare Officer. Review of the role, responsibilities and delegated powers, including financial spending limits, in order to formulate and agree a final job description. To include all policies, procedures and documentation. (Governing Body)
The role of the Welfare Officer, responsibilities, powers and spending limits were discussed. Cath Marchbank was concerned about the list of responsibilities circulated by Isla Reid regarding the role of Welfare Officer. The Trustees were mindful that previous Welfare Officers were perhaps overloaded and that the workload should be distributed more widely. Therefore, Isla Reid and Cath Marchbank would look at the circulated list and a review would be made linked to item 5.5 above (Trustees responsibilities) Isla Reid would then amalgamate the review of the Welfare Officer’s responsibilities linked with item 5.5 for the next meeting.

Action: Isla Reid, in consultation with Cath Marchbank, to report back at the next meeting. 

13. Welfare Committee. Review of the role, responsibilities, numbers and delegated powers, including financial spending limits. (Governing Body) 
Under this item Cath Marchbank indicated that the spending limits for veterinary expenses be reviewed and increased. Cath also indicated that she would be happy for the Welfare Committee to consist of 5, not 3 members as currently in place, since her co-option. Both Cath and Isla suggested Liz Bradley and various names were suggested for the fifth member. This would be subject to approval by the Governing Body. The role of the Welfare Committee would be considered at the next meeting linked with items 5.5 and 12 above.

Action: Isla Reid, in consultation with Cath Marchbank, to report back at the next meeting.

14. 0845 number.
Unfortunately, Gill Simms was unable to attend the meeting. Gill had highlighted a possible problem regarding the use of 0845 numbers. Jim Clegg confirmed that the 0845 numbers were ‘purchased’ from BT for a one off payment of £50 per number. Since June 2015, 0845 numbers had a service and user charge. When advertising 0845 numbers these charges should be made clear to the caller. The new 0345 numbers were subject to a yearly charge of £50 per phone number for organisations such as charities. Jim Clegg suggested that further research should be conducted before any changes were made and that 0845 numbers should not be advertised. However, the current 0845 number shown on dog identity discs would still be shown.

Action: Further research by Jim Clegg in liaison with Gill Simms

15. A.O.B. 

15.1 VAT payments & ***** Veterinary Group 
Peter Duncan summarised his concerns regarding a delay in the payment of bills to ***** Veterinary Group by the Treasurer, Karl Hahm. Karl confirmed that the payments were up to date and that he was following current VAT legislation regarding payments by charities of veterinary charges for medication. There was a full and frank exchange of views. Karl stated that he had bent over backwards to try and resolve this issue with *****. They were the only veterinary practice he had dealt with who seemed to struggle with the VAT rules. He had written to them but had not received any reply or acknowledgement, he had spoken to the practice administrator, and eventually he had spoken to the senior partner. The senior partner had committed to correcting the account to remove the VAT charged in error but had also advised that “without wishing to belittle STECS”, it was not top of his priority list. It was decided that Karl and Peter would discuss this issue in conjunction with a contact at the group.

Action: Karl Hahm and Peter Duncan to achieve a resolution with ***** Vets, 

15.2 Signing of STECS cheques. 
Jim Clegg suggested that Isla Reid should be used to sign cheques to relieve the burden on Sheila Maw. He also was concerned about the procedure surrounding the signing of cheques. No conclusion was reached as it was felt that Sheila was still in a position to continue with this task.

15.3 Co-option of Trustees. 
Jim Clegg asked whether the Trustees wished to consider 2 further co-options to bring the Governing Body up to full strength. A majority of the Trustees considered that this would not be appropriate at this stage and it could wait until the next AGM.

15.4 Backing up Membership details and STECS accounts. 
Jim Clegg asked how the membership database and accounts were being backed up by the Treasurer. Karl confirmed that he was currently sending copies of the 2 databases to Sheila Maw. A copy of the members’ database was also sent to Joy Gower. It was agreed that the Chairman and Secretary should receive these backups in accordance with what was previously agreed.

Action: Karl Hahm to send backups to the Chairman and Secretary at the agreed regular intervals. 

Meeting closed at 1720hrs

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