Minutes from board meeting – 10th February 2020

These minutes may have been minimally amended to remove commercial or personnel  sensitive information.

Date of meeting: Monday 10 February 2020

Present: Joe Taylor, Jane Fairhurst, Dave Fairhurst, Ian Bowyer, Paul Corkill, Rhiannon Jones, Jonathan Roby, Alan Kehoe, Danny Halliday, Kath Godfrey

Also in attendance: Adam Smith

Apologies: None

Absent: None

Chair: Joe Taylor

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:


Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Farm Reports:Care Farm/café:Staffing issues discussedEducation/Animals:RJ spoke on her written report to the Board. After discussion it was agreed that £2000 ring fenced grant funding, plus £108 from our reserves be released to employ Tom the farmer to install fencing to create at least three paddocks as per the recommendations in RJ’s report.Growing:AS spoke to his report which detailed the progress made since he started work at the Farm and which raised issues for concern. The Board agreed that the improvements in the growing section of the Farm were very noticeable and thanked him for his work so far. The need for and benefits that would derive from extra time for the grower were discussed by the Board. The Board unanimously agreed in principle to an extra day for the grower, but acknowledged that implementation is subject to a review of our overall financial situation, which is currently worsening.AS advised that he had set up a whatsap group for volunteer growers to share ideas and information. Board members thanked him and gave him their mobile numbers for inclusion in the whatsap group.Woodland:RJ reported on the successful work in the woodland during two conservation day events led by Stu Hollihead and plans for a tree planting event involving local primary school children.Infrastructure:KG reported that the fire alarm contract had been renewed and that she had asked several electricians for quotes for the electric supply to the Wareing Shed but none have been received to date. Volunteers from Greater Manchester Transport will be coming to the farm next month for two days and will help on a spring clean.




2Minutes of meeting of 13 January 2019:Agreed after amendment to item 6
3Matters arising:DBS forms: All members were reminded to return their forms to Hazel as soon as possible.Replacement card reader:No action taken.Farmyard drainage: PC hoping to get some figures for drainage to deal with the flooding in the farmyard within the next week


4Treasurers report:The treasurer gave a detailed report. KG to report to next board on café addressing issues raised.
5Electricity Contract with YGPDF went through the facts, as he understood them, that have emerged in the last month concerning the switch of electricity supply in July of last year from Good Energy to Yorkshire Gas and Power:AK advised that the new contract has placed a significant financial burden on the farm, the increased costs being, for example, more than enough to turn last year’s profits into a loss.DF said he had made some investigations and it seems clear that the energy contract agreed by KG had been mis-sold. Mis-selling by brokers to maximise their own gain seems to be a major problem stemming from the fact that it is a completely unregulated market. DF had identified one firm, Business Energy Claim, who will act for victims of mis-selling on a no win no fee basis. They charge a commission of 35% on anything they recover for their clients. After some discussion the Board authorised DF/AK to engage Business Energy Claims to act on our behalf to pursue Ecosave for compensation for the mis-sold contract and authorised AK to continue chase YGP for information relating to the switch, including the amount of fees for Ecosave in our unit rate. Further discussion took place regarding information delays.

6Chairs reportJT spoke on his report, which was noted.
7AGM 2020DF went through issues regarding the planning of the AGM:Draft minutes of last year’s AGM have already been agreed by the Board, but we need a list of attendees. KG to provide.Treasurer’s report will need to include presentation of accounts Proxy voting. The revised arrangements for proxy voting need to be approved by 75% of the members present.Election of Directors. KG due to stand down. With other vacancies there will be 5 places to be filled on the BoardDate of AGM set for Sunday 5 April 2020. (N.B. Date later changed to 29 March 2020 after checking with Farm rules.)


Any Other Business



8P Heywood had written regarding sharing tools and storing tools at Greenslate Farm for Brighter Borough Orrell. A tool share was thought to be potentially problematic, but the Board agreed in principle to provision of storage space for BBO, subject to arranging satisfactory access to the Wareing shed and keys. JT to liaise with P Heywood.

9Date and time of next meeting6.30 pm, Monday 9 March 2020
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