Trustee Board Meeting Minutes
July 2018 – June 2019

Here you can read through the minutes from trustee board meetings from 01 July 2016 to 31 June 2017

Board of Trustees

18 October 2018

Epsom – Room 120

Minutes

 

In Attendance;

 

Marta Szurmiej (MS) – Officer Trustee / Students’ Union President / Chair

Riley Clowes (RC) – Officer Trustee / Students’ Union Vice-President Kent

Simone Ziel (SZ) – Officer Trustee / Students’ Union Vice-President Surrey

Callum Mitchell (CM) – Student Trustee

Eleanor Luckett (EL) – Student Trustee

Josh Smith (JS) – External Trustee

 

Andy Squire (AS) – Chief Executive

Taylor Kane (TK) – Student Voice Coordinator / Recipient (Minutes)

 

Agenda Item Number Agenda Item Title and Minutes Action and Vote
1     Welcome from the Chair

 

MS welcomed all to the first Board of Trustees 2018/19 and to all new member.

 
2     Apologies Received

 

TK relayed apologies from Ollie Williams (OW) – External Trustee (email with noted comments received) and Lennon Norris (LN) – Student Trustee.

Apologies later received from Zunera Siraj (ZS) – Student Trustee.

No apologies sent from Matthew Went (MW) – External Trustee

 
3     Declarations of Conflict of Interest

 

AS noted a conflict of interest in reporting 6.2 Staffing Update concerning the recent recruitment process of Chief Executive for the Students’ Union. AS was asked to leave the room, 6.2 was discussed:

 

RC – who led the recent Chief Executive recruitment, explained process’ followed including applicant numbers and procedures. RC thanked panel members for their guidance and support throughout. RC provided feedback concerning current recruitment systems and recommended and overview for the future. The University for the Creative Arts senior leadership team have been made aware of the final decision and appointment.

 

JS reiterated thanks given and commended AS for their progressive continuing ideas.

 

No questions concerning the Chief Executive appointment.

 

JS recommended the Board formally accept the decision, vote taken.

 

AS re-entered the room. Congratulations from the Board received.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RC – to take recruitment procedures to the HR and Remuneration Committee for revision.

 

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

4     Minutes from the Previous Meeting – 8 June 2018

 

JS noted 5.3 needs minor amendments. To be communicated with TK via email as soon as possible.

 

Vote taken accepting the minutes.

 

 

JS – to email TK amendments to 5.3 in previous minutes as soon as possible.

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

  4.1   Action List from Previous Meeting

 

1.     CEO Recruitment – RC confirmed this had been covered already.

2.     Income Generation Presentation – AS addressed the differing approach to 2018/19 Freshers and confirmed a better performance for commercial income. Merchandise and advertisement have seen a great improvement.

3.     Proposal for Funding – Equipment – AS expressed that due to the later timings of this proposal vote, equipment has not been hired however funding will be used for the same purpose in the future.

4.     Strategy KPI’s 2018/19 – Cover in 6.1 of this meeting.

5.     Reserve Release Clubs and Societies – AS articulated that the reserve release has been altered to sustain clubs and societies. It is to be used for equipment purchase and sustainability rather than day-to-day costs. The cost of student memberships into clubs and societies have been adjusted accordingly providing greater financial support.

6.     Trustee Recruitment – AS to look into the timings and process.

7.     UCASU Block Grant Submission – JS asked if the grant had been formally agreed by the University. MS confirmed this was true. RC and AS requested written confirmation of this.

 

 

AS – to investigate the process and timings of Trustee recruitment, report back in January meeting.

AS – to contact University for confirmation of block grant as soon as possible. Report back at January meeting.

5     Items for Discussion  
  5.1   Complaints and Disciplinary Procedure (Appendix A – UCASU By-Laws)

 

Taken as read. RC cited the changes requested and explained that this has come from experiencing the process in 2017/18. JS questioned what the process was before the changes – RC communicated that all changes allow the process to be accurately carried out and that the change to timings were greater than before.

 

OW via noted email – concerns the changes do not provide a lengthy enough period for consideration. RC reiterated that the changes proved an increase on consideration period and raised concerns that long could negatively affect student welfare.

 

No other questions. Vote taken to accept amendments.

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

RC to communicate agreed changes Head of Membership Engagement and Communications and Design Coordinator (for amendments to By-Law on UCASU.com).

  5.2   Safeguarding Policy

 

Taken as read – RC expressed that the Union is working more closely with Further Education students who have greater numbers of 16-18 year olds and therefore a need for the policy has arisen. Previously the Union has used the Universities policy.

 

OW via noted email – How long to complete the accompanying documents? – RC unsure and would consult the Head of Membership Engagement. JS asked that this was a priority action.

 

JS asked who the named signatories were to be. RC confirmed all signatories (Head of Membership Engagement / Vice-President Kent / Actives Coordinator).

 

No more questions, vote taken to accept the policy.

 

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

 

RC to communicate agreed changes Head of Membership Engagement and Communications.

  5.3   Budget Amendment

 

AS and JS met over the summer to review the budget. AS explained that overall the bottom line is similar, specific spending areas have been adjusted and new line created. Noted items – rebait from the bar, nightline coming from welfare (staff welfare being separate). Savings formed from previous deficit.

 

EL – re student staff budget, how are they employed / appointed? AS voiced this was dependant on time constraints potentially leading to known and active students taking preference (liberation / clubs and society leaders etc.).

 

JS – AS will need to check with auditors re bar rebait due to negative expenditure from sales even though this has no overall impact on bottom line. JS asked AS if they were happy they could deliver this budget as Chief Executive. AS responded that although they have less exposure to expenditure they are confident with the budget and finance having more structure.

 

JS asked if the budget could be mapped and delegation be given to individual staff members. AS confirmed that the financial software was capable of this however not previously used to full potential – something AS intends to implement.

 

JS requested an outline for the £10k release – AS conveyed that the release is dedicated to purchasing items regularly hired. AS to keep track / formulate proposal for release. JS asked AS to include exactly what the depreciation includes (approved items).

 

No more questions. Vote concerning actions. Vote concerning amendments.

 

 

 

 

AS – to contact auditors re bar rebait.

 

AS – to look into staff delegate of budget, mapping/tracking.

 

AS – document release expenditure / produce proposal for January meeting.

 

AS – to include recently purchased entertainment capital in depreciation line and recirculate.

 

 

Vote on actions required;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

  5.4   Finance Structure Proposal (closed business)

 

TK left the room due to the nature of business. AS minute – to be produced separately.

 
  5.5   Mobile Working Proposal

 

AS presented the paper explained this has been an ongoing discussion amongst staff due to multi-campus, lack of desk space, and general facilities.

 

JS confirmed any equipment purchased would not be personal items and would belong to the Union. JS asked for Officer Trustee thoughts – including effect on travel, work.

 

RC agreed with the priorities within the give proposal. Mobile working would provide a continuous station for work – reading minutes, writing reports during train journeys, and a guarantee ability to work while on other campuses – greater productivity from officers.

 

JS raised concerning for greater travel costs with mobile working – RC explained travel would not differ due to the job role.

 

EL expressed that mobile working would offer a more flexible working environment and potentially mean greater officer visibility to students (ability to work out of the office and in student areas). – SZ seconded. EL voiced that GDPR would be greater with personal equipment.

 

JS asked AS to explain the difference in priorities. AS explained that 1’s were essential, 2’s desirable. AS also confirmed IT systems would not be a problem duet o equipment precured through the University.

 

JS raised concerns around the pricing given. AS responded and explained equipment will be required to have specifications to complete the job in hand as well as longevity. AS to investigate cheaper options. JS notes they agree to the suggestion of mobile working but would need to see a stronger proposal paper financially – overall expenditure will increase deficit or come from agreed areas of the budget.

 

RC happy to consider greater deficit for more productive work experience.

 

EL / JS asked to see other options for equipment and evidence of value for money in the long run.

 

AS noted there is budget for equipment and repairs which has previously been underspent. JS notes that underspending in this area allows money to be given to other areas.

 

JS questioned need to desktops is mobile equipment is purchased. EL / RC / MS /CM / SZ / AS agreed the University should be approached concerning potential swap of desktop / mobile items.

 

It was agreed that the Board agree in principal with mobile working but require further options before approval.

 

No other questions. Vote taken on actioned items.

 

 

AS – to look into less expensive pricing for equipment options.

 

AS – approach University concerning desktop / mobile equipment swap.

 

 

Vote on actions required;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

6     Standing Items  
  6.1   Strategy Update (KPI Grid)

 

JS asked whether the KPI’s remain appropriate and up-to-date. AS express that Theme 1 is relevant and on track, Theme 2 is achievable for the most part, however Theme 3 is unrealistic due to no staff focus within this area. JS stated that creating strategy for the sake of strategy was not beneficial and suggested Officer Trustees and AS work together to realign the KPI’s within reason.

 

No other questions. Vote on actions.

 

 

Officer Trustees / AS – to adjust KPI’s for greater relevance. To be presented in the January meeting.

 

Vote on actions required;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

  6.2   Staffing Update

 

As noted in Declarations of Conflict of Interest.

 

No further staffing updates.

 

 

 

  6.3   Sabbatical Officer Reports.  
    6.3.1 President

 

Taken as read. JS commented that days off are not relevant in a report to the Board of Trustees. EL queried disabled access campaign – is it just Farnham? MS confirmed this campaign relates to all campuses and will contact EL with details.

 

Vote to accept report.

 

 

Vote;

In Favour: 5

Against: 0

Abstain: 1

 

 

    6.3.2 Vice-President Kent

 

Taken as Read. No questions.

 

Vote to accept report.

 

Vote;

In Favour: 5

Against: 0

Abstain: 1

 

    6.3.3 Vice-President Surrey

 

Taken as Read.

 

RC questioned whether SZ would be happy for students and staff to receive the report as it was submitted. SZ admitted the report was rushed and not detailed.

 

EL commented that without job roles next to name the report doesn’t benefit students.

 

RC requested for the report to be rewritten with greater explanations on campaigns and with a formal layout.

 

JS clarified that reports are submitted for accountability and suggested a clear layout be formulated.

 

JS asked it be noted the they are not comfortable agreeing officer reports as they see Sabbatical officers as accountable to students, not external trustees. Has requested to abstain their vote in future. JS asked for clarification of difference in reports sent to Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. RC answered explaining reports received by the executive committee are more focussed on day-to-day activities (campaigns, policy, meetings attended, feedback etc). – 6.3.1 and 6.3.2 vote amended to reflect.

 

No further questions. Vote on actions.

 

 

SZ – to rewrite report and circulate for approval by 26 October 2018.

 

Officer Trustees / AS – formulate report structure.

 

Vote on actions agreed;

In Favour: 5

Against: 0

Abstain: 1

 

  6.4   Chief Executive Report

 

Taken as read. AS highlighted a larger freshers and triple events held. OPEN events (free / low costs event) based on supporting students and are a pro-active approach to better welfare. OPEN has taken over non-profitable commercial events where previously money has been lost. Fresher crew and an assistant have been funded by the University supporting Union activity.

 

EL confirmed the beginning of the academic year has been notably different and beneficial to students.

 

No questions. Vote to accept the paper.

 

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

  6.5   Management Accounts

 

JS asked if all trustees were comfortable with agreeing management accounts and whether training needs to be completed relating to financial decisions. All agree training is needed and, as a group not all are comfortable in decision making yet. JS / AS agree to arrange a financial training exercise before the next meeting.

 

JS / OW asked AS for a written commentary for future papers.

 

JS briefly explained management accounts to all trustees including income and income generations.

 

JS / OW asked AS for a breakdown of commercial income.

 

JS questioned NUS affiliation fee not being noted in the document. AS to investigate and report back.

 

 

JS / AS – arrange financial training exercise for all trustees before January meeting.

 

AS – to produce breakdown of commercial income as stated.

 

AS – to investigate NUS affiliation fees within management accounts. Report back in January meeting.

  6.6   Union Policies Affecting the Board of Trustees

 

None

 
  6.7   Minutes from Sub Committees

 

None

 
7     Any Other Business

 

AS – documents listed on Charity Commission are incorrect (3rd page). JS asked AS to contact both auditors and charity commission to rectify.

 

RC – asked for clarification on need for student trustee on HR and Remuneration committee, Head of Membership Engagement to replace Chief Executive. JS suggested RC communicate with the HR and Remuneration committee for final decisions.

 

AS – to contact auditors and charity commission to rectify error.

 

RC – to confirm HR and Remuneration structure and report back in January meeting.

8     Dates for Upcoming Meetings.

 

EL asked where they will be held. AS confirmed this is to be communicated closer to the dates.

 

No other questions. Vote taken.

 

 

Vote;

In Favour: 6

Against: 0

Abstain: 0

 

 

 

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