Date of meeting: 14 October 2019
Present: Joe Taylor, Dave Fairhurst, Jonathan Roby, Alan Kehoe, Rhiannon Jones, Kath Godfrey, Jane Fairhurst, Paul Corkill
Ian Bowyer, Danny Halliday
Declarations of interest:
Rhiannon Jones declared an interest in relation to aspects of agenda item 5
|1||Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the meeting of 9 September were accepted after minor amendments to the draft. Redactions were agreed to items 3 and 5 on the grounds of commercial sensitivity and confidentiality.
Item 3: KG asked if the FCA had been contacted regarding issues relation to an earlier return. AK said this hadn’t been done yet. KG stressed the need for us to contact the FCA regarding an error. DF agreed to draft a letter from the Board to the FCA, to be approved by AK and KG before being sent.
Item 5: JR brought in a hard copy of the employee handbook that he had reviewed. He suggested a couple of minor amendments. KG to implement and pass update to JR and DF, for DF to print and provide to the office for use by staff.
Item 7: KG had previously advised the Board that the Council were adamant that full planning permission was required at the full cost as previously stated
AK went through the year-end figures. He had adjusted the records as previously proposed by KG to provide a more accurate split between costs incurred by the café and costs attributable to the Farm as a whole, these latter costs being mainly linked to infrastructure work. This produced profit of just under £3000 for the year
After a discussion that noted the seasonal nature of sales at the cafe and shop the Board noted that overall there had been a slight improvement in our finances over the previous financial year and that there was no immediate cause for concern regarding our cashflow.
The Chair thanked AK for his work in producing these figures.
The report regarding appointment of a book-keeper was not discussed.
The Chair submitted a report summarising the outcome of a working Group meeting of 22.9.19 regarding the development of clear aims for the Farm. DF circulated the note of a later meeting he had held with Nick Ashcroft on the same subject. A further meeting of the working group needs to be arranged. When that group has settled on some proposals, they can be the basis of consultation with staff before any final proposals are considered by the members.
DF spoke on a report he had submitted concerning various aspects of managing the Farm. After discussion the following steps were agreed without a vote:
The report was noted, along with Hazel’s recent update regarding a recent staff resignation on the Care Farm and Hazel’s decision to keep the staff arrangements as at present, with her covering the vacant post in the short term. It seems possible that the recent new client, who is self-funding, may not continue to use the Farm.
No report re: woodlands, though RJ updated the Board on work recently done with biodiversity monitoring and a winter work programme as part of her report.
It was agreed that an interview panel for the grower job would consist of RJ, NH and JT. RH to liaise with KG regarding organising the interviews.
Animals and Education:
The report from RH was noted
The report was noted and the issues mentioned relating to communications and unclear responsibilities had already been considered under item 5 above. The Board noted the need to take care in our communications that we did not leave ourselves open to misinterpretation of our honest efforts to improve the working of the farm and appreciated the effort Mark had made to draw our attention to communication problems.
This issue was not discussed. DF expressed a desire to see a clear prioritisation of infrastructure work, which would mean the development of a costed list of infrastructure needs.
|7||Any Other Business
DF reported on a safeguarding issue that had just been brought to his attention by HM, the Farm’s Safeguarding Officer. The Board agreed a number of steps to deal with the issue.
It was also decided that existing Board members should apply for DBS clearance at their own expense. DF to discuss with Hazel. It was also agreed that any future candidate for the Board would be expected to apply for DBS clearance should they be elected to the Board.
|9||Date and time of next meeting
11 November 2019, Time to be confirmed.