Editorial Board Time Line Report

Internal governance

This document provides a clear audit trail of email correspondence on the matter of the SHA website development from June 2013.

Further emails prior to that point are available on the same subject should further points of reference be required.

The work on the Visual Identity and Website Design was formally initiated by Dr Brian Fisher as Chair of the SHA after the CC meeting on 19th January 2013 This was in response to repeated circular and time consuming discussions at CC meetings, caused by an ongoing and widely expressed concern within the wider SHA membership about the organisation’s online presence. BF took a Chair’s Action on the matter and asked NF to support him in leading the work. This arrangement was maintained as the basis of the work on the visual identity and website following the election Richard Bourne as Chair in March 2013, with RB entrusting BF with overseeing the work.

After initial contact with Remeike Forbes by NF in January 2013 and following a discussion with BF an email dated 4th March 2013 formed the basis of the agreement with Remeike Forbes (it is on the basis of this agreement that he was reimbursed by the Director for his work on the new visual identity in July 2013).

5th June 2013 NF proposes to CC in writing recommends the establishment of an EB to oversee the restructure and redesign of the website as an effective way forward to address continuous concerns over the SHA’s online presence as discussed by CCa)      To enable an effective re-structuring of the website content.b)     To provide expert oversight of the SHA’s online presence and monitor the public interface. NF to CC
6th  to8th June Six written responses by members of CC supporting the approach). JL, MR, JB, AS, TF, CM
One response querying proposal JR
Director’s response: “If anyone doesn’t like the articles on the website why don’t they write their own? I am very happy to assist with the technicalities of posting, regardless of whether I personally agree with the content.” (7th June 2013 @ 22:39) Director to CC


8th JuneCC Meeting Overwhelming support for proposal at CC or setting up of an Editorial Board (EB).EB Members named: SR, JB, TB, BF, NF. RG agrees to advise the group in technical matters but declines membership due to ill health.Tony Beddow makes an initial proposal for  a new hierarchical re-structuring of the site: Separate sections for

  • a)                Current Agreed SHA Policy
  • b)               Positions and Policy in Development / Discussion
  • c)                Links
  • d)               Members Only Area for internal debate.

With outline content below these levels.

Proposal is widely welcomed by the CC and forms the basis of the work of the EB.

9th June As agreed TB circulates first draft of ‘Possible layout for the SHA Website’ to EB widely welcomed by other members of the Board, decision made to use it as the basis for Conference Call scheduled for 18th June to discuss & re-fine proposed structure. TB to EB
10th June NF to Director (cc designer and BF) “ On Saturday we established an editorial group / board. Our first task is to revise the content structure / categorisation system of the site so please hold on with the mock up as there should be some substantial changes in the next two weeks… There will be major changes [to the website] and it would make sense for you to start the mock up once we are clear on these” (09:32) responding to designer’s query about any major changes planned to the “existing categorisation system, webpages, etc, because the way things are organised will largely impact on how I approach the design.” NF to DirectorDesigner BF
Director’s  comment “The document headed ‘Possible layout for SHA Website’ is based on a misconception. What is described and outlined is not categories..” (10th June, 23:41) prompts response
11th June “The Editorial Group has a very clear mandate from CC to rethink and revise the content of the website is organised. It is clear from Remeike’s last email (I have copied it is at the bottom) that before any further design input the categorisation system needs to be decided on.” (10:28) NF to EB Director, RB
12th June Director writes to an individual member of the EB commenting on the scheduled conference call “I am concerned this will be a waste of time … Before we can expect people to make constructive suggestions they need a bit of education. And we cannot run the website by means of a committee. Director to BF
18th June Above and other similar written comments by the Director prompt NF (as designated convenor of EB) to write to the Responsible Officers: Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and the three Vice Chairs with a request to clarify the Mandate of the EB requesting to confirm EB mandate and “more specifically agreement to use the above basic structure [TB’s] to re-organise the site…My position is clear and I have stated it publicly: there is urgent need for improving the structure of the site” (5:45) NF to Officers, EB
Chair and one Vice Chair, MR confirm Mandate. RB MR
19th June Summary and Action Points of Conference Call circulated to EB ,Chair and Vice Chair (MR) (who responded to previous email).. NF to EB & Officers
Welcomed by both Chair and Vice Chair. RB & MR
24th June First proper draft of the Website Brief circulated. NF to EB Director, RB, RG
26th June The Director responds to the request to limit his activities on the website to maintenance work until a final Brief with a new content structure is decided and circulated with“I have not even been told about any process I certainly haven’t agreed to one. I am certainly not going to agree to do no work on the site.” Director to EB, RB, RG
The Director was party to the Conference Call and both the the Summary & Action Points and the First Draft of the Website Brief were shared with the Director.Therefore “Based upon this response – and prior experience – I think it would be preferable for the EB to decide between ourselves the structure and function and then advise the Director to implement the EB’s decisions once taken.” This approach was adopted. JB to EB


27th June First draft shared with Chair.  NF to Chair
29th June First draft welcomed by Chair. Chair to NF
2nd July 2013 Working paper shared by TB on Members Section (followed by wide discussion) TB to EB
3nd July Second draft of Brief circulated by NF incorporating comments made by members of EB & the Director on earlier draft. NF to EB, MR & RG
Vice Chair MR welcomes second draft. MR to EB
4th July Director welcomes Second draft of Website Brief “Thank you. I am much happier with this than I thought I was going to be.” Director to NF
Director queries value and relevance of Members Section. Dir to EB
7th July “I am very happy with this” Director to EB
5th July Decision by nominated members of the Editorial Board (BF, NF) and the Director on new logo widely welcomed by EB & wider SHA membership NF to EB, MR & RG
12th July Final Draft of Website Brief circulated. NF to EB, RB, RG, MR
13th July Chair to NF “This is the first time I had a serious look at what is being developed and I think you have done an excellent job. Well done and thanks. I expect you had all kinds of views to balance. Can I add …Anyway thanks again for a good piece of work on our behalf. Chair to NF


15th July Final Draft of Website Brief sent to designer. Designer confirms and agrees to proceed on the basis of brief. He also re-confirms the total budget for $3000 around £ 2000 (as initially discussed in March between BF, NF & Designer), which is the basis for the work on the visual identity / logo. The agreement is for a visual identity (logo), website redesign / WordPress Theme and supporting materials such as membership materials business cards etc. NF to Designer(BF and Mike Little)
22nd July Payment for visual identity / logo actioned by Director after confirming with BF & NF.
27th Aug 2013 After the summer break work on website restarts (initial target date LP Conference soon dismissed as unrealistic). NF to Designer
4th Sep 2013 Director confirms “very happy with this” [approach].Director dismisses LP Conference as target date “I don’t think we need to worry much about 22nd  September …” Director to NF
16th Sep Designer makes some proposals to help figure out “information architecture” and address “the really complex, sprawling nature of the current site…, there is just so much and the system of organisation is different from the outline that I was given and have since been working off of”“It seems like you guys have used pages (instead of posts)” Designer to NF
17th Sep NF responds to Designer’s queries regarding content structure / information architecture emphasising need to review and restructure site content. NF to Designer & Director (cc EB RB RG)
18th Sep Re-sending of the agreed Website Brief by NF (as convener of EB) highlighting that it is this document to which the Designer was asked to work towardsPrompted by Director insistence on retaining the existing menu structure “There are thousands of links into and across the site I don’t want to have to rebuild them again. The new structure must be above what is there now.” (14:14) NF to Directorcc EB


20th Sep NF jointly to Designer and Director (cc EB) “we need to stick to menus as agreed in the Brief” and requests advise “on how best to transition” content (20 Sept 12:48) in response to Director’s repeated comment to Designer “I am quite relaxed about menus” (19th Sep 16:21) NF to Dir & Designer EB
JB confirms to Dir and Des that transposing existing old format onto newly designed site is unsatisfactory and not according to Brief.Reinforced by TB JB to aboveTB to same
25th Sep to15th October NO COMMUNICATION from either Director or Designer with EB (aside form generic Website Report circulated by Director to EB on 3rd Oct).
15th October Prototype of newly designed site shared by Director with EB members. mock pages, content not transferred,. Director to EB
16th October Proposal to agree a go live date by TB. TB to Director EB
NF listing number of outstanding issues and confirming TB re need for a decision on time line. NF to Director EB
Director’s response:“Running the site is what I do all day… It will probably take several months to build the structures…I see that taking up most of my time till Christmas. The Job of the Board is to set direction and policy, not to do the work” Director to EB


16th to26th October NO COMMUNICATION from the Director or the designer. However from subsequently forwarded email it is clear that:a)                That the designer and director were in communication.b)               The designer was searching for solutions to effectively implement the structure as set out in the Brief as well as for aspects of the site which were non-functional.)c)                The Director proposed to dismiss the structure as set out in the brief.

d)               The Director requested a “launch soon”

22nd October Director to designer in an email forwarded on 26th October (EB was excluded from initial exchange) heading Re:Fwd: Bandwith limit approaching for sochealth.co.uk “Lets change over on Saturday please?”  This would indicate that the Director made a unilateral decision in regard to the launching date for the website without any consultation with any members of the EB.
25th Oct Designer to Director“Could you just give me a rundown of what you want the final main menu of the site to be. I feel like I’ve been told different things about this.”“It seems like there’s quite a bit to sort out before tomorrow, so trying to launch doesn’t seem realistic for Saturday. Is that ok?” (19:53) Designer to Director
26th October Designer to Director and members of the EB proposing possible solutions for technical challenges of transferring the vast content (03:03). Designer to EB
Director  to Designer, EB and Chair Reopening a discussion on menu headings proposing substantial changes to the heading as agreed in Final Brief of 15th July and resent 18th September (22:57). Director to Designer EB RB
28th October Final correspondence from Director regarding the site, welcoming the designer’s proposed technical solution.NF in discussion with RGrimes to seek advice on reviewing and transferring existing content onto the newly designed site. Director to Designer EB RB


5th November Members of the EB discover live website when alerted to contentious content on private provision and incoherent link page.
Individual CC members and EB members query authorship and content of page.
11th November Formal request by NF as convenor of EB to remove page (10:10) after evidence gathered re authorship.Further two email exchanges within the next two hours. NF EB to Director
Director’s response “Removing pages creates a problem with the links across and into the site. But I am very unhappy with this way of proceeding. It feels to me like bullying. If people don’t like something on the site I think the helpful thing to do is to suggest improvements. Not to demand that pages be removed.” (12:53) Director toNF EB Chair
Contentious page removed after Chair’s intervention. Chair to Director EB