President's statement: The President of the BCTCS (Alan Gibbons, Liverpool) presented the agenda for the meeting and briefly reported on items to be considered. The minutes of the 1996 Meeting (BCTCS 12) were approved by those attending.
Treasurer's statement: The Treasurer (Chris Tofts, Leeds) reported that the BCTCS Bank account now held a surplus of 2250 pounds. The reduction from the amount reported in the 1996 meeting was accounted for through a shortfall of 600 pounds arising from payment of subscriptions to the EATCS following BCTCS 12, the subscription cost having risen significantly shortly before BCTCS 12 took place.
BCTCS Consititution: The President described the background and motivation for adopting a formal constitution, mentioning the necessity of such in the event of the Colloquium seeking charitable status. A preliminary draft and suggested amendments to this had been available since October 1996. The proposed final constitution incorporating some of these had earlier been circulated for consideration at the meeting. The Secretary of the BCTCS (Paul Dunne, Liverpool) thanked those who had commented on the original draft and, after briefly summarising the contents, invited further comments from those present. After some discussion, three modifications were agreed: to include a section delineating the membership of the BCTCS as those registered for a current colloquium; to add a section describing the procedure for proposing and passing amendments to the constitution (2/3 majority of those attending a meeting, suggestions to be proposed and circulated `sufficiently far' in advance of the meeting; to change the word `within' to `of interest to' in Section 3.2).
It was agreed (nem. con.) that subject to the agreed amendements being incorporated, that the Constitution be adopted. The Secretary undertook to make the required changes and place the revised text under the BCTCS Web pages.
Election: Following the adoption of the Consitution, the post of Postgraduate Research Student representative on the Organising Committtee was due for election. There was one nomination - Billy Duckworth (Liverpool) (Proposed: Chris Tofts, Leeds; Seconded: Tom Kelsey, St. Andrews), who was subsequently elected to the post.
BCTCS 14: Tom Kelsey (Local organiser: St. Andrews, 1998) gave a short presentation reporting on the arrangements for BCTCS 14 in St. Andrews. The provisional dates that have been set for this being 31st March - 2nd April 1998.
BCTCS 15: John Stell (Keele) put forward a bid to host BCTCS 15 at the University of Keele in 1999 and briefly outlined the facilities available there. The proposal that Keele act as hosts for BCTCS 15 was approved unanimously.
Enhancing attendance figures: The President outlined a number of mechanisms by which the numbers attending the Colloquium might be increased. These were:
Additional suggestions received were:
Concerning the first of these, while there was some sympathy towards the idea of fixing a ceiling on registration costs, no definite agreement was reached on what this would be. Ursula Martin (St. Andrews) expressed some concern regarding attempting to implement such a scheme in time for BCTCS 14 when many arrangements were already in place. It was agreed (nem. con.) that the Organising Committee should liaise with the Local Organisers at St. Andrews regarding the viability of capping registration costs for BCTCS 14.
On the matter of Proceedings, the President outlined a number of options for selecting the content of such: including papers from invited/tutorial talks if the presenters were agreeable; allowing presenters of contributed talks to indicate if they wished an accompanying paper to be considered for inclusion following a refereeing process. John Tucker (Swansea) pointed out the considerable logistic problems that would arise in coming to a suitable agreement with a publisher, e.g. royalty payments, committment to publish annually (without having to renegotiate year-on-year), provision of copies of proceedings to conference delegates. A formal proposal was put by John Tucker (seconded: Paul Dunne) that the Organising Committee should undertake a thorough investigation of the details and options concerning producing a regular proceedings and present a provisional report concerning their findings and recommendations at BCTCS 14. This proposal was passed nem. con.
EATCS membership: The question of EATCS Membership being covered as part of the registration fee was briefly considered. It was accepted that this should continue, however, it was felt that a mechanism should be adopted allowing delegates to opt out of this (if, for example, their membership was regularly renewed through another source).