Minutes of Executive Meeting held 17thMay 2018
West Faversham Community Centre. Faversham
Present: Martin Coath (Chair), Mike Henty, Norman McCanch, Murray Orchard, Stephen Wood, Brendan Ryan, Keith Privett.
Apologies: Chris Cox, Robin Mace, Ray O’Reilly, Chris Roome, Barry Wright, Anthea Skiffington.
1. Key matters for decision or discussion
1.1 Communications and publicity
There was a wide ranging discussion around how the Society communicates with members, the public and media and agree what we were trying to achieve through our communications. General consensus that our presence on Facebook had been a great success and that vigilant moderating had meant that some of the problems encountered with KOSnet and the Forum had been avoided. The committee discussed whether access to Facebook should be open to non members. It was agreed that the existing access arrangements should continue.
There was a lengthy discussion about the management of the website and our ability to control and change the content quickly. It was suggested that Alan Fossey and Steve Wood should jointly become responsible for managing the website and provide the link with the external support provided by Michael Bennett. Alan will bring the technical understanding and Steve will focus on the content. Martin to speak to Alan to discuss this option.
The option of setting up a communications sub-committee was discussed but as this was a topic at the core of the Executive Committee’s work it was felt that ownership should rest with the Executive and communications and publicity should be a standing agenda item in future.
Martin Coath to contact Alan Fossey
1.2 Storage of KOS records archive
All the pre-digital ornithological records are stored in a garage and occupy a significant area of space. A long term solution is required. Options considered and discussed by the committee included; scanning of all record sheets, scanning of record sheets for selective number of species; retain records after the publication of the last Birds of Kent; finding an alternative storage venue that would protect the contents better, e.g. a paid storage facility; do nothing and leave the records where they are; destroy the records.
There was an in depth debate as to the historic value of these records and how they might aid some future research into bird population trends. The majority view was that these records had limited value as they had effectively been evaluated and summarised in the Birds of Kent and in annual Kent Bird Reports. The committee was minded to destroy the paper records. However before this was done it was felt appropriate to get the views of the Records and Editorial sub-committee on both destroying the records and on which records they may wish to retain if any.
Barry Wright to raise at next Records and Editorial Sub-committee
1.3 General Data Protection Regulations
New data protection regulations come into force at the end of May placing new duties on all organisations concerning the way they store and use personal data.
The Committee felt that its use of members personal data was largely compliant with the regulations although some minor procedural measures need to be taken. As result it was agreed that:
i) KOS will cease to hold paper records of membership applications. Existing records of current and former members will be destroyed
ii) Back up copies of the membership records will be retained by the Honorary Secretary
iii) Where a member resigns their records will be deleted by the Membership Secretary
iv) Where a membership “lapses” through non payment of subscriptions, the records will be deleted after three years
v) New membership application forms will be amended to include consent for using personal data to allow the Society to communicate with the member
vi) The printer of the KBR should be asked for an undertaking to only use personal data provided by the Society for the purposes of distributing the report to members.
The committee debated at length the application of the regulations to bird records submitted directly or indirectly to the Society’s data base. Some Societies had taken the view that the regulations prohibit the publication of records that can be attributable to individuals, and are removing observers initials from reports. However the position is far from clear and it was agreed that we should see what other Societies and national bodies like British Birds and BTO do before committing to any action.
2.1 KBR 2016
Cover completed by Stephen Message, photos nearly complete, aspects of the year awaiting final adjudication, article on Turtle Doves still awaited. Species accounts awaiting proof reading. Hopefully to print by mid July.
2.2 Treasurer’s Report
Very little to report. Cash flow position good as subscriptions in but main uncertainties, KBR and conference still to come.
2.3 Conservation and Surveys sub committee
RBBP data now submitted to panel, but looking to further improvements in future with input from RSPB. Further public consultation taking place over proposed housing development at Lodge Hill. NE have announced route of coastal footpath avoiding sensative sites on Grain. Discussion about solar farm at Cleeve Hill. Looks like scheme may go ahead so getting some remediation may be best outcome.
Agreed to fund cost of boat (£300) to conduct JNCC Seabird Count in Medway. A boat may also be needed for the cliffs around Dover. Jack Chantler is organising the latter.
NM reported that he has a good store of articles for forthcoming issues but more always needed. The committee discussed whether foreign trip reports should be included in the newsletter although trip reports are now widely available via internet so perhaps inclusion in the newsletter might be limited to those of special relevance, e.g. birding in the near continent.
2.5 Membership and Conference
CR provided a report in his absence. 25 new members since January. Membership steadily increasing and now stands at 709.
Conference arrangements going well. Booking now open. Numbers limited to 150. Volunteers needed ( from Exec members et al) for the day
3 Administrative Matters
3.1 Minutes of previous meeting 12th January 2018
It was also agreed that all minutes should go on the website, in draft after an initial circulation and outline approval from the Executive members.
3.2 Minutes of AGM 5th April 2018
Minutes agreed subject to final approval by the next AGM
6. Date and time of next meeting. 19th September 2018 7.00pm
6.1 Agenda Items for next meeting
Communications and publicity (Standing Item)