On the ECF website we can find an announcement from 23 June 2014 stating that the forum is up and running
and I can find at least one thread dating back to 23 June (started by the mysterious Sue Dunham, who I will assume in the absence of any contradictory information to have been an ECF official).
But when was it actually agreed to set it up? There's not much information in the ECF board minutes to help us - at least not before the unloved site was brought into being, though in the minutes for the subsequent meeting - on 15 July - there are two references, one here::
There's also this from the meeting on 12 June, immediately prior to the launch (if that's not too grand a word):
the relevant part being
BK believes that this would be a good topic for a moderated forumwhich kind of makes sense in the light of later events but is very strange in the context of the time - why is anybody talking about a "moderated forum"? There's nothing else in the minutes to explain this curious remark.
There's nothing in the minutes of the three May meetings either. But if we return to the July meeting - after the forum was set up - we can read the following reference:
the strategy meeting that led to the construction of the ECF forumSo when was that meeting and why was the decision that it apparently took not apparently recorded in the minutes of the subsequent Board meeting?
It surely should have been (isn't that what Directors' Reports and the like are for?) since the decision to create the "official" forum was both controversial and expensive. Around a thousand pounds of members' subs, per annum, is being spent [EDIT: this is not correct, see comments - ejh] on something for which there was and is no apparent demand - and which was predicted to be, and has been, the cause of conflict and rancour.
But there's no paper trail, no record, no proper procedure.