Trustees Meeting, 31st January 2015

Summary of Trustees Meeting London Sunday 31st January 2015 

Present: Sheila Maw, Karl Hahm, Nicholas Sanders, Isla Reid, Joy Gower, Gillian Simms, Jim Clegg, Karen Clayton and Linda Kennerley.

1. Apologies: Ron Clements and Jen Rowland.

2. Minutes: Isla thanked Jim Clegg and Gill Simms for recording the minutes of the meeting held in September 2014, as she had been unable to attend. The minutes of the meeting held on 7th September 2014 were agreed without alteration. Proposed By: Linda Kennerley Seconded By: Joy Gower. Passed Unanimously.

3. Matters arising from previous meeting. 

3 (1). S.U.S.I.E. and Anilog. 

Jim Clegg gave a comprehensive presentation on Anilog, a software company offering a suite of programmes aimed at Rescue organisations, which is being promoted by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Briefly, Anilog provides an integrated set of programmes which could be tailor made to suit STECS’s requirements. Jim informed us that one of the Anilog administrators was willing to conduct conference calls with groups of Trustees, to provide initial overview and examples of how this system could best be used by STECS. Joy Gower felt that it was a system worth investigating but did not see an immediate use for it in relation to her remit of merchandising. Karl Hahm agreed with Joy and acknowledged that it would appear to be of use in recording data in the re-homing process. Sheila in her position as retiring Chairman felt that her opinion wasn’t relevant, but she had no objection to it. There was a discussion on the merits of such a system and with some minor reservations this discussion was mostly positive. It was decided that Trustees who wished to participate in a conference call with an Anilog administrator should give their names to Jim and he would organise such an event. Karl Hahm, Linda Kennerley, Nick Sanders, Karen Clayton, Gill Simms and Isla Reid all asked to be included. It was felt that Jen Rowland would probably be willing to attend if she was well enough. Jim indicated that if some Trustees were unable to take part in the conference call there would probably be another opportunity to take part in a subsequent one. It was agreed that we would wait to gather the opinions of such Trustees who could take part in the conference call(s) and then make a decision as to whether to proceed with using this system. It should be noted that the cost of using this system is estimated to be £25.20 per month on the basis of a 3 year commitment. Jim was fairly certain that the contents of S.U.S.I.E. would be able to be included in the new system if adopted. Action to be taken: Jim to organise a conference call with Anilog and inform willing participants of date and time. 

3 (2). Garden Party Committee. 

Sheila ascertained that the Trustees were unanimously against the idea of having a beer tent at the annual Garden Party. Jim suggested that if Cath wanted a beer tent perhaps she might be persuaded to sell tickets for an evening event, or members staying on for social reasons after the event finished might wish to bring some alcohol with them. It was also agreed that there should be no free drinks included with the purchase of raffle tickets. There was a general discussion around the fact that such a large event should ideally have a committee. Linda Kennerley agreed to organise a meeting with Cath to discuss arrangements and Karl and Sheila were willing to meet up with Cath. Joy mentioned the raffle, saying that although it was generous of members to bring raffle prizes with them to the party, we should try to avoid having too many prizes. Gill Simms suggested moving any donations on to a tombola stall. This was agreed to be a good idea. Action to be taken: Linda Kennerley to meet with Cath. 

3 (3).Welfare Report. 

Nick handed round a sheet detailing expenses occurred by an owner regarding the care of a STECS Scottie. Payment of these expenses was agreed within the terms of the previously agreed policy. It was also reported that last year STECS had had 80 dogs handed in. Of these, sadly 3 had to be euthanized, 2 for terminal health issues, and 1 for serious behavioural problems. There was a discussion regarding recent online recording of dogs coming into and going out of STECS. Isla was keen that dogs that had been given a grade 2 rating should follow the procedure laid down in our policy for dogs with behavioural difficulties. It was agreed that the re-homer in question would retrospectively fill in the appropriate online form, examples of which Nick passed round. He also stated that although this form had been available since Autumn 2014, it hadn’t been used, and he asked all re-homers to ensure that they filled in the forms appropriately. Jim asked Nick to circulate this form directly to all re-homers. The update to the guidelines booklet would hopefully be ready soon. Jim said that he would be happy to assist. Actions to be taken: 

1. All re-homers to be very accurate in their online recording of behavioural difficulties of dogs. 

2. Nick to circulate copies of the behavioural forms to all users. 

3. Booklet to be completed as soon as possible. 

3 (5). Item regarding letter from a Re-Homer. 

This item had been carried forward from a previous meeting. Sheila stated that it was a long journey to make. Nick was asked to consider whether STECS required the services of that re-homer given the reduction of dogs coming into specific areas. He thought that as there seemed to be virtually no dogs available in this area that STECS could probably manage without having to use the re-homer.

Action to be taken: Isla to write to the re-homer indicating that her services are no longer required.

3 (6). Governing Document. 

Isla informed the Trustees that notwithstanding several reminders, the STECS Solicitor had not produced the final version of our Governing Document. In an effort to conclude this business, Isla said that we had 2 choices.

1. Do nothing and wait for the Solicitors reply, which would ultimately mean that the final updated version would not be available for membership approval at the AGM in April, 2015.

2. Proceed with what we had.

The Trustees decided to go with option 2 as the general feeling was that we had waited long enough. It was also felt that the STECS Solicitor had let us down and in order to conclude the process we would manage without his assistance. The text of the Governing Document had all been agreed by Trustees in previous meetings, except for one area. At the September meeting, Ron Clements did not feel that the new phrase “or renewal of membership” added to section 1) under the heading “Rules Governing Membership” was necessary. It was agreed that this phrase should be removed. The second alteration which was agreed was under the section, Exclusion of Members, 1). “Any suspension or permanent exclusion of a member shall be dealt with under the policy and procedure currently in force at the time of the alleged offence or event”. It was felt that there should be an agreed written policy and procedure to supplement the Governing Document. Isla offered to compile a short policy based on the procedure used when dealing with the suspension of two members. It was agreed by the Trustees that this would be a good idea. A proposal was made that we should send our revised Governing Document to the Charity Commission and OSCR, for their acceptance, subject to approval by the membership of STECS, and that membership approval should be sought at the AGM in April, 2015. Proposed by: Jim Clegg. Seconded by: Joy Gower. The motion was passed unanimously. 

Action to be taken: Isla to send Governing Document to the Charity Commission and OSCR. 

3 (7). Possible Award to Breed Clubs. 

Isla handed round information which Jen Rowland had sent her. It gave information as to how STECS was initially financed by breed clubs. She circulated this information to support her idea that STECS might do something to honour this in 2016, which is the 40th anniversary of the creation of STECS. There was a general discussion around this subject, and it was thought that a sum of money would be better than a trophy. Karen Clayton voiced the opinion that members may object to money which had been donated for the care of dogs to be given as prize money to breed clubs, and suggested that we might contribute to some Scottie related research project in Nellie Holland’s name. Sheila said that some of the breed clubs would not be interested in this and some would, but agreed that the breed clubs would probably not want a trophy. Isla said that we could lay a motion at the AGM asking for members’ support. Jim Clegg said this idea had originated with his offer to donate a trophy or money in memory of his late wife, Jean. He was still prepared to donate cash but wanted a separate award to be made at the annual Garden Party. This award was to centre on rescue dogs. Two ideas were floated: one being an award for the oldest rescue dog, and the other being the dog which has been in rescue the longest. The award would be a trophy plus some dog goodies, the trophy being returned after a year. Jim said he would be happy with either, but he would discuss it with Isla and arrive at a decision before the next Trustee Meeting. Action to be taken: Isla and Jim to come to a conclusion and inform the Trustees at the next meeting regarding an award to the Breed Clubs. This matter was carried forward to the next meeting. 

3 (8). Future of a member within STECS. 

Isla reminded Trustees of the attempt by a member to bring STECS into disrepute. Allegations had been made about specific members and the Governing Body which were totally without foundation. There was evidence that the person had tried to encourage negative feelings towards STECS using various forms of communication. Isla went on to say that although invited to submit information in support of the person’s membership, the member had not done so, although contact had been made with Sheila Maw. There was a proposal to suspend the member from STECS with immediate effect.

Proposed by: Isla Reid. Seconded by: Nick Sanders. The motion was passed unanimously. Action required: Isla to write to the member informing the person of the Governing Body’s decision. 

A conversation followed which concerned our logo and its potential use by persons without agreement. Joy highlighted the circumstances surrounding the use of our logo in a fund raising effort by a person. There was nothing negative intended by this action: it was more a case of the person wishing to raise money for STECS not being clear as to how she should approach this. Gill stated that on Facebook we were not able to prevent anyone using our logo. Jim stated that even if we could not enforce this we could suggest that our logo should not be used without our permission. Another conversation followed as what logo we should use but no clear decision was made.

Action to be taken: Formalise which logo we wish to use and consider protecting the ‘brand’. 

3 (9). Christmas Party. 

There was an overwhelming feeling that this event had been very successful, and was well attended. Isla asked how many people attended as she was concerned regarding health and safety issues, but this was not thought to have been an issue. Joy asked whether it would be possible in future to have some hot food, for example soup and bread. Karen Clayton did not think this feasible, as it would be difficult to organise. She did agree that some savoury items could be made available. It should be noted that it was felt that Karen had made an excellent job of organising this event

No further action required.

3 (10). Future Trustee Meeting. 

Isla confirmed that Mere Parish Hall was booked for the next Trustee Meeting and also the AGM, but had not yet confirmed a venue for the September meeting. She understood that the preferred venue was Premier Inn, Rugby. Sheila suggested that we should perhaps wait until after the AGM to make a decision.

Action to be taken: Booking of venue for the September Trustee Meeting after 2015 AGM. 

3 (11). Letter from a member demanding a timescale for their suspension. 

Isla sent a letter to the member informing that person that we would consider their position at the meeting preceding the AGM in April, 2015. Should we decide that matters are incapable of being resolved otherwise, we would then move that the member should be excluded at the AGM in 2016. To date the member had not replied to the letter. No further action required. 

New Items. 

1. Crufts 2015. 

Joy confirmed that the STECS merchandising stall would be at Crufts. Isla mentioned that three members were taking their rescue dogs to the Eukanuba stall which is featuring breed rescues. Cath Marchbank was bringing Marge, Rob McLeod and his wife were attending with Gerald and Izzy, and Peter Duncan was bringing Freddie.

Action to be taken: General feedback to be obtained from members attending. 

2. ACDH Conference. 

Jim Clegg confirmed that he would be able to attend this conference

Action to be taken: Jim to provide feedback. 

3. Northern Scots. 

Isla wished to ascertain who was going to attend. Karl said that unfortunately neither he nor Jean would be able to attend, but that he was willing to sell the tickets and send information as to names and numbers before the event.

Action to be taken: Isla to organise the event along the usual lines, but with the welcomed addition of an agility demonstration/competition organised by Paul and Gill Simms. 

4. Minutes of 2014 AGM. 

Trustees agreed that they were happy for these minutes to be printed off for distribution at the AGM 2015. Karl agreed to organise the printing.

Action to be taken: Isla to send the final copy to Karl for printing. 

5. Adoption of Skype as an alternative to face to face meeting. 

Linda felt that although SKYPE could not take the place of a Trustee Meeting, it might be a good way to communicate in between meetings. Karl thought this would be a good idea. Nick thought that if these conversations were to be minuted then it might be difficult to manage. Jim reminded us that we could not vote on any issue during conference or Skype calls as the Governing Document did not allow this. He also added that if we decided to adopt Anilog he was fairly certain that communication between Trustees would be a possibility. It was agreed that conference type calls with or without a visual capacity would be a good idea, but that a decision to hold such a meeting would have to be instigated by the Chairman.

No further action required. 

6. STECS Membership. 

Karl indicated that the membership was down by 6%. He suggested various reasons why this may be the case. He had previously sent us all a list of personnel who had not renewed their membership and suggested that we might all contact the folk in our areas. This was agreed to be a good idea. Karl also told us that people could pay membership fees directly into our bank account. He felt that the difficulty with standing orders came when the cost of the membership increased. He also said that he would not necessarily know who had paid if they did not complete an application/renewal form. Jim asked that information regarding means of making payments could be advertised on our webpage and Facebook. Isla asked about inviting members to give a small monthly sum to STECS, but there did not seem to be any appetite for this.

Action to be taken: 

1. Trustees to contact members in their areas whose subscription had not been renewed. 

2. Details regarding methods of payment should be placed on the Website and Facebook. 

7. STECS Research Fund. 

Karl reminded us all that there was £1,077.75 in our research fund and asked what we felt we should do with it. There were the options of carrying it forward, or transferring it to our general funds. Trustees felt it should be carried forward. Sheila mentioned that she had been contacted by a lady in Wales, a Doctor, who was interested in doing some research into liver cancer. She had been in contact with Scottie owners at home and abroad. Although at this stage she was not asking STECS for any financial assistance, Sheila felt that this could be an area where we might ultimately use our research fund money. This was agreed to be a good idea. Action to be taken: Money in the research fund should be carried forward, and a decision made in the future as to what should be done with it. 

AOB. 

1. Isla reminded the Trustees that the newsletter would require any articles highlighting future events. The newsletter will be with the membership by the beginning of May, so advertising for Northern Scots, Wincanton Fun Day, and the Garden Party should appear in the Spring edition of the newsletter. Any other articles would also be appreciated and should be sent to Bee as soon as possible.

Action to be taken: All articles for the Newsletter to be sent to Bee as soon as possible. 

2. Isla also informed the Trustees that we had again been asked to contribute to the Year Book of Scottish Terrier Club (England). We were also invited to have our merchandising stall at their Championship Show in Stoneleigh. Joy Gower said she knew about this event and had made arrangements to attend.

Action to be taken: Isla to write an article for the Scottish Terrier Club (England). 

3. Isla also thanked Ron Clements for organising the printing of some very attractive bookmarks at no cost to STECS. They provided information about STECS and highlighted the main events in STECS’s calendar. The Trustees agreed that the bookmarks were a good idea.

4. Karen Clayton highlighted the difficulty in bringing dogs in from Ireland. She informed us that each dog would now require a pet passport and would have to be fostered in Ireland for their period of quarantine. She wished to know whether STECS was willing to pay for the expense of this. The estimated annual cost based on the number of dogs coming in to STECS from Ireland at the moment was thought to be round about £5,000. Jim suggested that we should pay for this for a year but review the situation at each meeting. This was thought to be a good idea. A suggestion was made that perhaps we could ask a new owner to give a larger donation for the dog as it would be coming with a current pet passport. No actual figures were suggested but this was thought to be reasonable.

Action to be taken: Review the situation regarding dogs coming from Ireland at subsequent meetings. 

There were no other items under AOB.

The meeting closed at 3.40pm. 

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