The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

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The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Delphine Ménard -2
Hello all,

I have been following with interest in the past two years, but
especially in the past few weeks, the different threads on the
development of Wiki Educational Resources / Wikimedia UK.

I must say that as we watch all other chapters develop, all at their
own pace, but definitely towards active and fruitful organisations,
the Wikimedia Foundation is growing a bit concerned about the lack of
development of Wikimedia UK.

Although no-one in the Foundation is versed in UK law, and although we
are sympathetic to all the problems that have been strewn on Wikimedia
UK's way, we believe that it is time to really make things happen and
push Wikimedia UK forward.

Lately, we have received a follow-up by Paul Sinclair telling us
another would be forthcoming, which gave us a pretty clear vision of
the situation and of the problems that WER faces (bank, charity status
etc.), this following the help Cary proposed from the Wikimedia
Foundation earlier on this list. We have answered Paul with questions
and considerations, about two weeks ago. Our questions and proposals
have not been answered or commented upon since.

In the light of our experience with other chapters, and although we
are aware of the minimal legal requirements for an AGM in the UK, we
strongly believe that the community of Wikimedia UK contributors has a
right, and even a duty, to make sure that they bring all the help they
can to Wikimedia UK.

As such, I strongly urge the existing board to hold the next AGM  as
soon as possible (apparently it should happen before the 23rd of
September) and with as many interested people as possible (potential
members), in order to draw an accurate picture of the support that
WIkimedia UK can count on in its further developments. as well as to
make sure that all interested people have had a chance to voice their
opinion and propose their help.

At this stage, not having a functional Chapter in the UK is a fact
that deprives the Wikimedia projects from a very important potential
source of support, both financial and in various activities and
partnerships. It is not a situation that we can allow to go on for
another two years. We therefore need to have this AGM happen, and
happen quickly. As Cary pointed out, the Wikimedia Foundation is ready
to help Wikimedia UK get started, as long as the requests are
reasonable and make sense, of course :-). We believe an AGM with as
many people as possible will provide the necessary feedback for us to
give our support where it is needed.

Note that in the case that this "extended" AGM does not happen and/or
does not come up with real proposals for solutions, the Wikimedia
Foundation will have to reassess the status of WER in its current
state as official Wikimedia Chapter, notably to be consistent with the
chapters requirements and guidelines, which demand that chapters are
supported by a group of active members of the community and not just 4
or 5,

The Foundation staff and myself  are of course at your disposal for
any question or concerns, both on this list and privately
(dmenardATwikimediaPUNTOorg).

Best,

Delphine

--
Delphine Ménard
Chapters coordinator
Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Gordon Joly
At 20:32 +0200 13/8/08, Delphine Ménard wrote:

>Hello all,
>
>I have been following with interest in the past two years, but
>especially in the past few weeks, the different threads on the
>development of Wiki Educational Resources / Wikimedia UK.
>
>I must say that as we watch all other chapters develop, all at their
>own pace, but definitely towards active and fruitful organisations,
>the Wikimedia Foundation is growing a bit concerned about the lack of
>development of Wikimedia UK.
>
>Although no-one in the Foundation is versed in UK law, and although we
>are sympathetic to all the problems that have been strewn on Wikimedia
>UK's way, we believe that it is time to really make things happen and
>push Wikimedia UK forward.
>
>Lately, we have received a follow-up by Paul Sinclair telling us
>another would be forthcoming, which gave us a pretty clear vision of
>the situation and of the problems that WER faces (bank, charity status
>etc.), this following the help Cary proposed from the Wikimedia
>Foundation earlier on this list. We have answered Paul with questions
>and considerations, about two weeks ago. Our questions and proposals
>have not been answered or commented upon since.
>
>In the light of our experience with other chapters, and although we
>are aware of the minimal legal requirements for an AGM in the UK, we
>strongly believe that the community of Wikimedia UK contributors has a
>right, and even a duty, to make sure that they bring all the help they
>can to Wikimedia UK.
>
>As such, I strongly urge the existing board to hold the next AGM  as
>soon as possible (apparently it should happen before the 23rd of
>September) and with as many interested people as possible (potential
>members), in order to draw an accurate picture of the support that
>WIkimedia UK can count on in its further developments. as well as to
>make sure that all interested people have had a chance to voice their
>opinion and propose their help.
>
>At this stage, not having a functional Chapter in the UK is a fact
>that deprives the Wikimedia projects from a very important potential
>source of support, both financial and in various activities and
>partnerships. It is not a situation that we can allow to go on for
>another two years. We therefore need to have this AGM happen, and
>happen quickly. As Cary pointed out, the Wikimedia Foundation is ready
>to help Wikimedia UK get started, as long as the requests are
>reasonable and make sense, of course :-). We believe an AGM with as
>many people as possible will provide the necessary feedback for us to
>give our support where it is needed.
>
>Note that in the case that this "extended" AGM does not happen and/or
>does not come up with real proposals for solutions, the Wikimedia
>Foundation will have to reassess the status of WER in its current
>state as official Wikimedia Chapter, notably to be consistent with the
>chapters requirements and guidelines, which demand that chapters are
>supported by a group of active members of the community and not just 4
>or 5,
>
>The Foundation staff and myself  are of course at your disposal for
>any question or concerns, both on this list and privately
>(dmenardATwikimediaPUNTOorg).
>
>Best,
>
>Delphine
>
>--
>Delphine Ménard
>Chapters coordinator
>Wikimedia Foundation


Delphine,

There are two types of members; members of the
company, who hold the legal liability, and the
wider members of organization. Hence an AGM
should invite the first class, but does not have
to invite the second class, in UK law.

However, it is very clear (as you suggest) that
the Chapter should invite everybody who wants to
take part to the forthcoming AGM.

Regards,

Gordo

--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Katie Chan
On Wed, 2008-08-13 at 22:49 +0100, Gordon Joly wrote:

> Delphine,
>
> There are two types of members; members of the
> company, who hold the legal liability, and the
> wider members of organization. Hence an AGM
> should invite the first class, but does not have
> to invite the second class, in UK law.
>
> However, it is very clear (as you suggest) that
> the Chapter should invite everybody who wants to
> take part to the forthcoming AGM.
>
> Regards,
>
> Gordo
Part of the problem is the inability of the company at present to accept
membership from those who does want to become a guarantor member.

KTC

--
Experience is a good school but the fees are high.
  - Heinrich Heine

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Gordon Joly
At 00:50 +0100 14/8/08, Kwan Ting Chan wrote:

>
>On Wed, 2008-08-13 at 22:49 +0100, Gordon Joly wrote:
>
>>  Delphine,
>>
>>  There are two types of members; members of the
>>  company, who hold the legal liability, and the
>>  wider members of organization. Hence an AGM
>>  should invite the first class, but does not have
>>  to invite the second class, in UK law.
>>
>>  However, it is very clear (as you suggest) that
>>  the Chapter should invite everybody who wants to
>>  take part to the forthcoming AGM.
>>
>>  Regards,
>>
>>  Gordo
>
>Part of the problem is the inability of the company at present to accept
>membership from those who does want to become a guarantor member.
>
>KTC
>

I would agree with that. Maybe there is a need for "Friends of
Wikimedia UK" membership? In the same way that you are a "friend" of
your favourite charity e.g. The British Museum.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/join_in/membership/join_now.aspx

Another similar membership idea to join a Foundation Trust. One
example is Barts and the London Foundation Trust

http://www.bartsandthelondon.org.uk/ft/

There are 6,500 members of the Trust currently, of which I am one,
and I attended the "Annual Public Meeting" in July 2008. There was a
chance to ask questions (under a suspension of standing orders) from
the floor. The necessary business of meeting (e.g. to receive the
accounts) was conducted formally and swiftly.

Gordo


--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Delphine Ménard -2
In reply to this post by Delphine Ménard -2
On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 23:49, Gordon Joly <[hidden email]> wrote:
> There are two types of members; members of the
> company, who hold the legal liability, and the
> wider members of organization. Hence an AGM
> should invite the first class, but does not have
> to invite the second class, in UK law.

Thank you for this clarification, which I am actually aware of, but
it's good to make the distinction since I haven't made it in my email.

> However, it is very clear (as you suggest) that
> the Chapter should invite everybody who wants to
> take part to the forthcoming AGM.

Yes, my request is that the "members of the company" make sure that
their next AGM actually invites everyone who is interested in the
future of Wikimedia UK, and also make sure that these people get a say
in how this goes further, whether "legally" (by maybe accepting on the
spot membership fees if that is possible), or through "common sense"
(by taking into account the participant's suggestions).

Best,

Delphine

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by Katie Chan
> I would agree with that. Maybe there is a need for "Friends of
> Wikimedia UK" membership? In the same way that you are a "friend" of
> your favourite charity e.g. The British Museum.

There already is, that's what Gordon was talking about. You can be a
"member", which just means you pay some money each year and just
generally support the chapter, like a "friends of" thing, or you can
be a "guarantor member" which involves paying slightly more each year
and gets you a vote at the AGM and means you can stand as director. It
also means you are liable for up to £1 of the company's debts if it
gets wound up (goes bankrupt).
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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

joseph seddon

If we go by the current way of how things are supposed to work, theoretically the current board members don't
technically qualify to stand as directors by our rules. Where is the money for their membership going, now unless they are
keeping the money in a piggy bank or a box buried deep in the garden, or are they simply are not paying it, if a company cant take membership then the directors can be no more a part of WMUK that than anyone else. We need to agree on
some set rules on how we continue as a chapter instead of using rules that dont apply. We obviously cant pay
membership so we need some other guidelines until that is possible. I think using some common sense as Delphine has
suggested is the best way forward right now.



> Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 12:15:52 +0100

> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Wikimediauk-l] The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter
>
> > I would agree with that. Maybe there is a need for "Friends of
> > Wikimedia UK" membership? In the same way that you are a "friend" of
> > your favourite charity e.g. The British Museum.
>
> There already is, that's what Gordon was talking about. You can be a
> "member", which just means you pay some money each year and just
> generally support the chapter, like a "friends of" thing, or you can
> be a "guarantor member" which involves paying slightly more each year
> and gets you a vote at the AGM and means you can stand as director. It
> also means you are liable for up to £1 of the company's debts if it
> gets wound up (goes bankrupt).
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia UK mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK
> http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l



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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
At 12:15 +0100 14/8/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:

>  > I would agree with that. Maybe there is a need for "Friends of
>>  Wikimedia UK" membership? In the same way that you are a "friend" of
>>  your favourite charity e.g. The British Museum.
>
>There already is, that's what Gordon was talking about. You can be a
>"member", which just means you pay some money each year and just
>generally support the chapter, like a "friends of" thing, or you can
>be a "guarantor member" which involves paying slightly more each year
>and gets you a vote at the AGM and means you can stand as director. It
>also means you are liable for up to £1 of the company's debts if it
>gets wound up (goes bankrupt).

Yes, that's what I meant when I said the member hold the liability.

I looked again at this page:

http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/membership

So, for 25 quid you can become a "Friend of Wikimedia UK" - is that correct?

The company in question is a company limited by
guarantee, which aims to become a charity. I have
asked in the past if the "guarantor members" will
be allow to become "guarantor members" of the
Charity. Not sure I recall the answer...

Gordo

--
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http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Andrew Walker-3
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:39 PM, Gordon Joly <[hidden email]> wrote:

> At 12:15 +0100 14/8/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>  > I would agree with that. Maybe there is a need for "Friends of
>>>  Wikimedia UK" membership? In the same way that you are a "friend" of
>>>  your favourite charity e.g. The British Museum.
>>
>>There already is, that's what Gordon was talking about. You can be a
>>"member", which just means you pay some money each year and just
>>generally support the chapter, like a "friends of" thing, or you can
>>be a "guarantor member" which involves paying slightly more each year
>>and gets you a vote at the AGM and means you can stand as director. It
>>also means you are liable for up to £1 of the company's debts if it
>>gets wound up (goes bankrupt).
>
> Yes, that's what I meant when I said the member hold the liability.
>
> I looked again at this page:
>
> http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/membership
>
> So, for 25 quid you can become a "Friend of Wikimedia UK" - is that correct?
>
> The company in question is a company limited by
> guarantee, which aims to become a charity. I have
> asked in the past if the "guarantor members" will
> be allow to become "guarantor members" of the
> Charity. Not sure I recall the answer...
>
> Gordo
>
> --

I'm not sure I understand the question, Gordon. The company will
(hopefully) gain charitable status. There will not be a new body that
is the charity. So the charity and the company will be the same thing
and 'guarantor members' of the company will become 'guarantor members'
of the company registered as a charity. (At the same time the board
members will take on additional responsibility as charity trustees.)
Or did I miss something?

Cheers,

Andrew

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Thomas Dalton
> I'm not sure I understand the question, Gordon. The company will
> (hopefully) gain charitable status. There will not be a new body that
> is the charity. So the charity and the company will be the same thing
> and 'guarantor members' of the company will become 'guarantor members'
> of the company registered as a charity. (At the same time the board
> members will take on additional responsibility as charity trustees.)
> Or did I miss something?

That's how I understand it, and I did a decent about of research into
the subject.

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Re: The status of Wiki Educational Resources as an official Wikimedia Chapter

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Andrew Walker-3
At 14:31 +0100 14/8/08, Andrew Walker wrote:

>On Thu, Aug 14, 2008 at 1:39 PM, Gordon Joly <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  At 12:15 +0100 14/8/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>>>   > I would agree with that. Maybe there is a need for "Friends of
>>>>   Wikimedia UK" membership? In the same way that you are a "friend" of
>>>>   your favourite charity e.g. The British Museum.
>>>
>>>There already is, that's what Gordon was talking about. You can be a
>>>"member", which just means you pay some money each year and just
>>>generally support the chapter, like a "friends of" thing, or you can
>>>be a "guarantor member" which involves paying slightly more each year
>>>and gets you a vote at the AGM and means you can stand as director. It
>>>also means you are liable for up to £1 of the company's debts if it
>>>gets wound up (goes bankrupt).
>>
>>  Yes, that's what I meant when I said the member hold the liability.
>>
>>  I looked again at this page:
>>
>>  http://www.wikimedia.org.uk/membership
>>
>>  So, for 25 quid you can become a "Friend of Wikimedia UK" - is that correct?
>>
>>  The company in question is a company limited by
>>  guarantee, which aims to become a charity. I have
>>  asked in the past if the "guarantor members" will
>>  be allow to become "guarantor members" of the
>>  Charity. Not sure I recall the answer...
>>
>>  Gordo
>>
>>  --
>
>I'm not sure I understand the question, Gordon. The company will
>(hopefully) gain charitable status. There will not be a new body that
>is the charity. So the charity and the company will be the same thing
>and 'guarantor members' of the company will become 'guarantor members'
>of the company registered as a charity. (At the same time the board
>members will take on additional responsibility as charity trustees.)
>Or did I miss something?
>
>Cheers,
>
>Andrew

Seems OK to me.

Gordo

--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Wiki Educational Resources - pre-AGM announcements

Alison M. Wheeler
In reply to this post by Andrew Walker-3
Having followed the recent discussions about status of this and that, let
me clarify a few things if I may.

The group of editors which founded the Chapter a few years' ago now
decided on a structure of a registered Company (limited by Guarantee, ie
non profit-making) and that Company - Wiki Educational Resources Ltd -
negotiated an agreement (ie Contract) with the Wikimedia Foundation for
the right to use the Wikimedia/Wikipedia/etc trademarks for
project-related activities in the UK. When WER Ltd was set up it was
envisaged that it would both act as the UK chapter but also be able to do
other charitable activities unconnected with the projects directly. The
legal documents setting up the Company are linked from the WMUK website.

A 'normal' (profit-making) company has shareholders who pay a one-off
charge to buy shares in that company. In our case this doesn't apply as
there are no shares per se, instead <members of the company> sign a
statement to the effect that in the case of the winding-up of the company
they will pay towards that cost. In neither case is there a mechanism for
'pay to play' involved, ie being a <member of the company> cannot be a
chargeable status, either one-off nor recurrent. The form to register as a
<member of the company> is, again, on the WMUK website and has been since
the foundation. I would point out though that I haven't received any
applications for this status in over a year ("Guarantor Member of Wiki
Educational Resources Ltd").

Therefore there is, sortof, a secondary body - Wikimedia UK - which is a
non-incorporated group of people (who will usually happen to be editors!)
which can accept regular payments (such as membership fees) etc. It is
coterminous with the Company (though, strictly, doesn't have to be). The
Constitution of the Chapter is - again - on the WMUK website, as is the
form to become a <member of the Chapter>. As many people will be aware
though, other than payments in cash we haven't been able to accept cheques
and it is probably for that reason we haven't had many applications for
people seeking to become <members of the Chapter> ("Supporting Membership
of Wikimedia UK").

Because of extensive discussions prior to the setting up of all this and
worries about security (cf. Paul) and younger editors wanting to be
involved (one cannot be a Guarantor or a company if you are under 18) then
you will have noted that whilst <members of the company> have to give some
information about themselves this does not include their project handle
because this list is public domain. The list of <members of the Chapter>,
however, is not public at all so does include handle but not necessarily
all the rest. The latter members can be of any age.

The AGM required by Company law is that of Wiki Educational Resources Ltd
and those entitled to attend are, therefore, the registered <members of
the company>. It is, has been, and always will be open to recipients of
this list and others to request to register themselves as such members
and, should people be interested in standing for election to the WER Ltd
Board then they need to be so registered. There is no mechanism in law for
people not so registered to stand for a position.

The AGM / next meeting of the Chapter (ie for <members of the Chapter> who
may or may not be <members of the company>) is a separate thing and we'd
been waiting - as you all have been - for external things to get sorted in
order to get that side of things moving. But they haven't, or at least not
in a way which makes us (or you) happy.

The company AGM will be arranged shortly by the Company Secretary and, I
hope, will be in a location which will enable any newer <members of the
company> to attend and have their voices heard and include elections for
the vacant posts.

On that point, I indicated some months ago that I was minded to stand down
this year, Arkady (as Company Secretary/Secretary) has recently indicated
she also wishes to not stand for re-election, and Paul (as CFO/Treasurer)
was appointed during the year so will need to be elected. David will not
need to stand for election. As such we *need* people to apply to become
members of the Company if this is to move on. If you are interested in
getting involved in this way (and I can tell you that it takes
commitment!) feel free to contact us about what is involved.


Regards

Alison Wheeler


======================================================
Alison Wheeler   Chief Executive Officer, Wikimedia UK
Wikimedia UK is the operating name of Wiki Educational
Resources Ltd, company limited by guarantee  #05708269

Imagine a world in which every person
can have free access to the sum of all human knowledge
We're making it happen. Will you help us?

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Re: Wiki Educational Resources - pre-AGM announcements

Thomas Dalton
There seems to be some confusion here. You seem to be suggesting that
you can become a member of the company without being a member of the
chapter (becoming a member of the chapter is impossible due to the
lack of a bank account). The website says: "For Supporting members,
there is also the option of membership of the Company." That suggests
you do need to be a member of the chapter to join the company. Which
is it?

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Re: Wiki Educational Resources - pre-AGM announcements

Alison M. Wheeler
On Sat, August 16, 2008 17:15, Thomas Dalton wrote:
> There seems to be some confusion here. You seem to be suggesting that
> you can become a member of the company without being a member of the
> chapter (becoming a member of the chapter is impossible due to the
> lack of a bank account). The website says: "For Supporting members,
> there is also the option of membership of the Company." That suggests
> you do need to be a member of the chapter to join the company. Which
> is it?

Ah ... hmmmn .. you noticed that did you ... w-e-l-l ...

Company law rather precludes us making membership of the non-profit
Company conditional upon anything else, although there was an early
decision of the Directors that we might well conclude that someone who was
not a member of the Chapter (ie supporting member) was not a fit person to
be a member of the Company. Generally it was felt to be in the best
interests of the organisation as a whole that anyone active on the Company
side (including being a member) should also be a supporting (Chapter)
member although it cannot be a 'compulsory' issue.

Alison


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Re: Wiki Educational Resources - pre-AGM announcements

Thomas Dalton
> Ah ... hmmmn .. you noticed that did you ... w-e-l-l ...

I'm assuming everyone noticed that, and that's why you haven't
received any applications for membership. Everyone assumed we couldn't
join because of the bank account issue.

> Company law rather precludes us making membership of the non-profit
> Company conditional upon anything else, although there was an early
> decision of the Directors that we might well conclude that someone who was
> not a member of the Chapter (ie supporting member) was not a fit person to
> be a member of the Company. Generally it was felt to be in the best
> interests of the organisation as a whole that anyone active on the Company
> side (including being a member) should also be a supporting (Chapter)
> member although it cannot be a 'compulsory' issue.

So, the best option would seem to be to ignore the informal
requirement for chapter membership and allow people to join the
company for free (which can be done at any time), then we can hold an
AGM with no problems. After that, once we have a bank account set up,
people can become supporting members as well. What we do about people
that choose not to become supporting members, I don't know - the same
issue applies to people that don't renew their chapter membership
after a year. Can the board revoke someone's company membership for
something like that, or would that be a seriously questionable
justification? (If memory serves, the articles require a cause to
revoke membership.)

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Re: Wiki Educational Resources - pre-AGM announcements

Sam Korn
In reply to this post by Alison M. Wheeler
On Sat, Aug 16, 2008 at 6:21 PM, Alison Wheeler
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, August 16, 2008 17:15, Thomas Dalton wrote:
>> There seems to be some confusion here. You seem to be suggesting that
>> you can become a member of the company without being a member of the
>> chapter (becoming a member of the chapter is impossible due to the
>> lack of a bank account). The website says: "For Supporting members,
>> there is also the option of membership of the Company." That suggests
>> you do need to be a member of the chapter to join the company. Which
>> is it?
>
> Ah ... hmmmn .. you noticed that did you ... w-e-l-l ...
>
> Company law rather precludes us making membership of the non-profit
> Company conditional upon anything else, although there was an early
> decision of the Directors that we might well conclude that someone who was
> not a member of the Chapter (ie supporting member) was not a fit person to
> be a member of the Company. Generally it was felt to be in the best
> interests of the organisation as a whole that anyone active on the Company
> side (including being a member) should also be a supporting (Chapter)
> member although it cannot be a 'compulsory' issue.

The issue that I feel lies behind much of the conversation on this
subject (but which I don't think I've seen explicitly outlined) is
that of the governance of the organisation.  As this is very much a
project founded on the idea of community, is there to be some kind of
accountability of the board to the community?  How many members of the
company do you anticipate there being?  Will making someone a member
of the company be a regular occurrence?  What rights will supporting
membership bring?

I realise that the answers to these questions may still be undecided,
but it would, I think, be useful to know what the directors'
intentions are.

Sam

--
Sam
PGP public key: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sam_Korn/public_key

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Re: Wiki Educational Resources - pre-AGM announcements

Thomas Dalton
> The issue that I feel lies behind much of the conversation on this
> subject (but which I don't think I've seen explicitly outlined) is
> that of the governance of the organisation.  As this is very much a
> project founded on the idea of community, is there to be some kind of
> accountability of the board to the community?

The board is legally accountable to the guarantor members. They get a
vote at AGMs and can elect a new board if necessary.

>  How many members of the
> company do you anticipate there being?  Will making someone a member
> of the company be a regular occurrence?  What rights will supporting
> membership bring?

I don't think supporting members have any legal rights. I think the
idea is for guarantor membership to be handed out to any supporting
member that wants it (and is over 18, and whatever other legal
requirements there are). The issue is with handing it out to people
that aren't supporting members, but hopefully that's just a temporary
glitch!

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