The following is a joint statement by the Portobello Online management team:
OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF THE WEBSITE
The domain name of Portobello Online is registered in the name of Bob Jefferson and is a non-profit making, community website produced by local unpaid volunteers.
From the outset, Bob chose to make himself answerable to Portobello Community Council as he believed that this was the right thing to do. A sub-committee was appointed to oversee the development of the website. The membership of this group comprises; Lawrence Marshall, Maureen Child, John Stewart (PAS Chair), Nick Stroud (PCC Secretary), Brenda Molony (Portobello Reporter) and Bob Jefferson.
Although, until now, the sub-committee has never felt the need to meet, progress on the website has been discussed regularly both at CC meetings and informally. The impression given has always been that members were pleased with the way Portobello Online was being managed. It has been agreed that the sub-committee will now meet at least twice a year and their views sought on any matter that is likely to be contentious. The sub-committee can, if it desires, co-opt non-CC members.
The website, including the forum, will now be jointly managed by a team of three: Bob Jefferson, Paula Williams and Maria Devoy.
The management team is responsible for all aspects of Portobello Online, including the appointment of forum moderators. The team can also appoint additional website managers, subject to the approval of the PCC sub-committee.
Bob, Maria, Paula and Matthew have moderator status on the forum. Moderators are responsible for the creation and enforcement of posting guidelines.
On the technical side, Lee is forum administrator, while Paul has overall responsibility for the website. Jane, Bobby and Gavin contribute as well and we are indebted to all of these people for their continued support.
All monies raised by Portobello Online are held by Portobello Community Council and itemised separately. The financial dealings of Community Councils are, of course, open to public scrutiny.
It was made quite clear to all businesses participating in the Local Business Directory (as well as to our sponsors) that all the money raised would be used exclusively for the promotion of Portobello Online. The website managers have no authority, nor intention, to use the money for any other purpose.
In order to avoid putting the website managers in a position where they may be open to criticism, it is intended to ask sub-committee members for approval in advance for all purchases over Â£50. Discussion of the best ways of promoting and improving the website will continue with all interested parties, taking into account the opinion of forum members and the wider community.
SPONSORSHIP OF THE WEBSITE
As a small number of forum members objected to our sponsorship plans, the PCC sub-committee members were canvassed on the subject. They were asked 2 questions.
1. Is it appropriate for Portobello Online to seek corporate sponsorship?
2. Is RBS a suitable sponsor?
The verdict was unanimous ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ YES to both questions.
The matter was raised again at a full CC meeting on Monday 26 September (in the absence of Bob Jefferson). The minutes will show that there was again unanimous approval from the full council.
We are pleased, therefore, to announce that the Portobello branch of Royal Bank of Scotland has decided to sponsor Portobello Online for the next 12 months. We would like to thank Brian McCrow for making this happen and Mike Todd, the branch manager for his support.
We continue to seek sponsorship from other local businesses.
We would like to thank everyone, past and present, who has contributed to our thriving community website. It's a great honour to be short-listed for the Calor Gas Community Website of the Year and, with your support, we intend to build upon that success in the years to come.