July 2014 - June 2015

JULY 2014 – JUNE 2015

Here you can read through the minutes from trustee board meetings from 01 July 2014 to 31 June 2015


10 June 2015






DATE: WEDNESDAY 10th June 2015 | 14:00-16:00





  1. Jasmin Grimshaw (JG)

             Sabbatical Trustee/Chair                                       


2. Oliver Williams (OW)
External Trustee
7. Joel Goldman (JNG)


Sabbatical Trustee

3. Dodi Kazma (DK)
Sabbatical Trustee
8. Josh Smith (JS)


External Trustee


4. Scarlett Hooper (SH)


Incoming Sabbatical Trustee

9. Jamie Stratton (JMS)


Chief Executive/Clerk












Ellie Webb (EW)


Incoming Sabbatical Trustee


Lucy Davis (LD)

Sabbatical Trustee














Silviu Doroftei (SD)


Incoming Sabbatical Trustee


Charlotte Lawrence (CL)

Incoming Sabbatical Trustee


Thomas Morton (TM)

Incoming Student Trustee









Welcome from the Chair

The Chair welcomed all trustees to the meeting


Appointment of External Trustees


JG asked Board members to approve the appointment of Josh Smith and Matthew Went as the board’s new external trustees. Both Josh and Matthew had been recommended by appointments committee to be approved by the board. This was passed unanimously.







Apologies for absence were received from Rachel Fletcher (Student Trustee), Annabel Giraud-Telme (Student Trustee), Eira Cannon (Student Trustee), Matthew Went (External Trustee) and George Brabham (Incoming Student Trustee)






3. Declarations of Interest


JG invited members to declare any new declarations of interest that may conflict with their role or the work of the Students’ Union. Members noted no new items.















Minutes from the Previous Meeting: 15th April 2015


Approval of the Minutes

Minutes were discussed and approved with no amendments. OW reiterated that he is happy to be involved in JMS probation but agreed it would be helpful to use Temple-Farmer as an external consultant in the process.


Matters Arising

JG had received no prior notification of matters not covered elsewhere on the agenda.


Action List

Confirmed and updated. JG stated that Scott Temple-Farmer is available and dates for probation will be agreed before the end of June.

































































































Standing Items



Officer Reports

JG gave a verbal report highlighting the following areas;

–       Review of the Course Rep System and the success of SEPG

–       Arranging handover for SH

–       Office move for the SU at Rochester

–       Handover of the Buddy Scheme in collaboration with the university

–       Work on Hidden disabilities with LSS


JNG gave a verbal report highlighting the following areas;

–       Arranging handover for CL

–       Supporting Clubs and Societies with work for next year

–       Submitting ideas for new Freshers activities


DK gave a verbal report highlighting the following areas;

–       Supporting clubs and societies

–       Arranging handover for SD


LD gave a verbal report highlighting the following areas;

–       Completion of the Canterbury Summer Ball and End of Year Degree show.

–       Submitting ideas for Canterbury Freshers Activities

–       Arranging handover for EW

–       Attended the Student Community Working group

–       Began planning for new work around Creative Opportunities

Chief Executive Report


JMS apologised for the lack of written report and stated that in future meetings written reports will be submitted for the CEO and officers.

JMS informed the board of the work being undertaken within the strategic plan and would provide a more detailed update under the next agenda item.

JMS notified the board of the transfer of business of the Glasshouse bar at Farnham and that it was going smoothly and should be done in time for the new academic year.

JMS informed the board that plans for the officer induction were going smoothly and that the officers will be ready for July 1st.

JMS also notified the board that Freshers planning and planning for the new merchandise range was ongoing and on track for September.


Management Accounts


JS informed the board that the Finance Department have been under capacity due to staff sickness for 2 months and apologised for the late circulation of the March Accounts.


OW raised a question about why there was a split in the budget lines between Students Union money and Commercial Services money. JMS said he would look into this but understood this relates to VAT.


JS noted that under the line regarding Costa equipment could not be shown as being depreciated as the equipment is no longer in use. JMS said he would look into whether this equipment was still being used but stated it is unlikely given that Costa closed two years ago.


JS also asked why GLUE was budgeted for again when there was no underspend. JMS noted that there were plans at the beginning of the year to run GLUE again, but this has not materialised. It was noted that this will not be budgeted for next year.



Minutes from Committees


Minutes from the latest Finance Committee and Clubs and Societies Committee were received.



Clubs and Societies Committee


The board asked whether there would be a contingency in the budget for next year’s grants funding. JMS commented that not all of the budget allocated to clubs and societies will be utilised by

The committee.


JNG noted that it wasn’t clear that he was in the Clubs and Societies Committee meeting for the discussion around BUCS. The minutes will be amended to note that.






Finance Committee


The board discussed the merits of whether an external trustee should sit on this committee in the future. It was agreed that it should and that JS was the best person for this role.































































































JMS to add JS onto finance committee mailing list




6. Standing Item



Strategy Update


JMS presented an update on the progress of the Strategic Plan. The strategic plan has now been presented to both the board and to the university leadership team where it has been well received. JS notified the board that the organisation is in the process of restructuring and is in the formal consultation phase with staff currently. All staff will have been assimilated onto new roles by 12th June and all at risk staff will have been invited to interview for a role within the new structure by 19th June.

The university discussed the possibility of funding the new structure from a block grant increase but are not currently in a position to do that. JMS will continue to liaise with the university on this. As agreed by the board to fund the new structure, £69,000 will be taken from the union’s reserves to fund three of the coordinator posts on a 1 year basis.

JMS then informed the board that the role of Head of Membership Engagement has begun to be recruited externally and the interviews for this role would be conducted on Tuesday 30th June.


JS asked the current officer trustees how much involvement they have had within the process. JNG informed the board that they have been involved and informed in every step of the process.

JS also asked about the possible cost of redundancy should it get to that stage. JMS informed the board that the potential cost to the organisation should be around the £8,000 figure.































































































Items for Discussion


Trustee Board Cycle of Business


The board received a proposal for an annual cycle of business. JMS asked the board to note the reduction in meetings from 6 to 4 per academic year.

The board requested that trustee meetings occur either at the beginning or end of the day in order to minimise impact on external trustees. This will be noted and amended when scheduling board meetings.

OW asked for the December meeting to include a review of the draft annual accounts to be added in.

JNG asked whether it was required to meet more given the substantial organisational change that is happening.

The board felt that this can be mitigated by appropriate and timely email communications in between meetings, providing that provision is kept.

JS asked whether there is room for additional agenda items. JMS stated that this proposal includes the minimum for each board and there will be a call for papers issued before each meeting to allow board members to contribute.

The board approved the cycle of business pending suggested amendments.


Formation of an organisational risk register


The board discussed the urgent need for an organisational risk register to be formed before the end of the financial year and in line with the union’s charitable status.

OW stated that it is useful to have two risk registers, one that is corporate level owned by the board and one that is activity level that is owned by the executive.

OW will send a template over to help facilitate this discussion.

JS notified the board of the legal obligations to submit a risk register for the charity commission. This will need to be circulated for discussion prior to the next meeting.



Formation of a reserves policy


The board discussed the need for a policy on reserves. JMS notified the board that historically the university holds our reserves and with UCASU becoming a registered charity, there is a need to discuss with the university who holds the organisations reserves.

The board agreed that they should have oversight and control of the reserves and were particularly concerned around the level of interest that is accruing and who is benefitting from this.

JMS will look into the amount of interest accruing from our reserves.

The formation of the reserves policy will be in line with the formation of the risk register and both will be developed simultaneously.



Staff Terms and Conditions


JMS presented a first draft of a set of staff Ts and Cs. He explained that this had been on the agenda of around 2 years and has never been actioned by the board. They have been worked on by an external HR consultant, and have been brought to the board as a work in progress in order for the board to acknowledge that the process was ongoing.

The board felt that in their current guise there were some major errors and that the document felt quite general and not very UCASU specific.

It was also felt by the whole of the board that sections could be cut out and it felt very long.

JS will send JMS comments for the board and JMS will amend and circulate a final copy for the next board meeting.




Recruitment of Student Trustees


There was a lengthy discussion between members of the board for how we recruit the gaps to our student trustees and whether we should elect or appoint our student trustees.

The board discussed whether there should be a student trustee from each campus. It was pointed out that campus representation is adequate through the sabbatical officer trustees.

JNG felt that there is a need to have BME representation on the board.

There were concerns raised by the board that with a lack of council places being filled during the election that trustee appointments suffer because of lack of engagement.

There was a discussion regarding pros and cons on electing or appointing student trustees

Electing trustees help with a direct line to the membership where appointing will help the diversity mix within the board. The board  agreed to a skills and diversity audit to look at the demographic balance.

It was understood that there was a need to look at the constitution in order to clarify how we did it for this year and then look at a preferred method for 2016/17.

JMS will check the constitution for how we need to fill gaps for 2015/16.








JMS to make amendments and circulate final cycle of business




















JMS will set up a meeting with OW and JS to begin this process



JMS to produce risk register by July 2015 for circulation to the board.















JMS to investigate with the university into the amount of interest accruing from our reserves.











JS to send JMS comments for the board




JMS to amend and circulate a final copy for the next board meeting.





















JMS to check the constitution for how we need to fill gaps for 2015/16 and report back to next board.












Any other urgent business



There was one issue raised for the board to consider


It was resolved that Janet Bell and JNG are authorised to :

Complete & sign the National Westminster Bank plc’s Bankline Mandate for the provision of internet banking services and

To accept the Bankline Terms on behalf of the organisation


Ideas and Creative Discussion


In order to stimulate creative discussion and idea generation from the board, there will be an item on each agenda which allows board members to facilitate discussion around key areas for UCASU.

The first topic was income generation and how we develop principles behind an income generation strategy for the organisation.


OW felt that in order for the organisation to play to our strengths, we need to utilise our student body has we have a unique selling point with the makeup of our creative and artistic students.

JS pointed out that all risk for any income generating activities needs to be managed accordingly and to ensure that there are sound business cases behind any proposals for income generating activities.


The board questioned why merchandise was so slow for the organisation. It was pointed out that there were issues between campuses and that this will be rectified through online banking. There was also a need to refresh the stock as some of it had become outdated and not appealing to students anymore.


JMS will look at what key income generation activities there are around merchandise and what income generation activities work for other people. A report on this will come to the next board meeting.



















JMS to research what key income generation opportunities there are concerning merchandise and what income generation activities work for other people.












JMS to produce a report on income generation opportunities for the next board








Date of next meeting



It was agreed that the next meeting will be in September 2015, probably post Freshers. Dates and availability will be circulated via email.