The UK Python Association was formed by the organising committee of PyCon UK.
Up to and including 2015, PyCon UK was run by the PyCon UK Society. This was an unincorporated membership organisation that was set up early in the history of PyCon UK.
Because it was unincorporated, it was unclear who would have liability should something go wrong; the likelihood being that individuals concerned with organising and running the event would have personal liability.
As such, those of us at a planning meeting for the 2016 conference agreed to commission an investigation into the formation of a suitable incorporated entity.
That investigation recommended the formation of a not-for-profit structure known as a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG), since (among other things) it is simple to establish, and PyCon UK Society Ltd (PUKSL) was registered in early 2016. Its directors are Peter Inglesby, Kristian Glass and Zeth Green. The assets of the original PyCon UK Society were transferred to the PUKSL and its bank account was closed.
The 2016 and 2017 conferences were formally run by PyCon UK Society Ltd; PUKSL entered all the relevant contracts and was liable for any debt.
Although forming the CLG was the correct decision in 2016, it has a number of drawbacks:
- As a limited company, it is not immediately obvious to community members, potential sponsors or the general public that PUKSL is a not-for-profit company being run for the benefit of the community.
- PUKSL has no membership and so there is no mechanism for the community to have any influence in how the conference is organised.
Following several discussions at the 2016 conference, it was decided that we should investigate whether we could improve matters further and a decision was made to form a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the UK Charity Commission.
The UK Python Association was thus registered in June 2017 as Charity No. 1173471 with a constitution based upon a combination of a model document produced by the Charity Commission and the original constitution of the PyCon UK Society.