Minutes from board meeting – 14th July 2021

Date of meeting: Zoom meeting, Wednesday 14th July 2021, 6pm

Present: Pam Moore, Neil Hickson, Katy Sneyd (Wigan MBC), Andy Sheridan, Chris Roberts, Mark Tebbutt, Nicky Bailey, Angela Blackshaw

Apologies: Fiona Eccleston

Chair: Pam Moore

Minutes: Angela Blackshaw

Declarations of interest: None

Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
Minutes of meeting: Read in advance of meeting by all board members
Approved by: Neil Hickson
Seconded by: Nicky Bailey
Matters arising from minutes: None

1Key Person Updates:Financial Report
NB has circulated financial report ahead of meeting. Café re-opened in June, NB and FE have been supporting book-keeper with recording re: café as she started in Feb.  July will be important month, with all staff off furlough and first full month being open (4 days pw) Will report in next meeting.
Grower viability, to consider funding grower role – thanks to PM and NH for supporting with this.  NB to come back to PM and NH regarding this.Money from P2C is in our bank account waiting to be utilised when plan finalised.

Care Farm – AB
AB has circulated care farm report ahead of meeting.KH will take 3 weeks annual leave from 23rd July, followed by mat leave.  Has produced very thorough handover.
Charlotte MaCartney starts in August, work history includes being a college lecturer, supporting students with behavioural difficulties.  Further background in business and marketing and is keen to transfer her skills to this role.  Has met with staff and care farm learners, all very positive.
Café/Shop – CRCR has not been in contact with staff due to his own increased work commitments.
Growing plan – NH
Aiming to generate income on this, primarily through salads (including winter salads) due to demand, and speed of growth.  Value converted to café using salads in meals/garnishes should be taken into account financially.  Grower and café to work together on marketing, grown on premises and so on.  Build reputation for home grown produce.  
Woodlands – AS
Report sent ahead of last meeting, AS and MT met and discussed doing access work.  RJ has supplied woodland management plan which focuses on ecology/conservation side.  Random network of paths, some brash/log/woodchip but they seem to stop in illogical places.  Unsafe and waterlogged at times.  Some paths go up hills but are slippery, ground becoming compacted and they will erode over time.  Proper access management plan needed, with proper drainage.  NH has compiled a map, with a view to be given to customers, steering people away from conservation areas – need to revisit.  22.08.21 Imelda is running mindfulness weekend, walks, nature mediations – useful asset by more funding and planning required.  KS – speak to Woodland Management team (Martin Purcell) at Council re any changes/ideasLandfill funds for access management works, Whitemoss (Skelmersdale) appears to be nearest one.  Previous resistance to stone path, but overall this will have conservation benefits as it will last longer, and aid disability access. AS to look into grant funding.

2Board role review – PMWe agreed to take on roles temporarily and revisit them.AS – stepping down from secretary role.  Health and safety is taking over aspects of his time on board, wishes to step down from this also. Feels we need to co-opt a member to lead on H&S as it is vital to the future of the project, this is not his area of skill/interest.  Previous staff member would have led on this but has not been replaced.AB – can continue in secretary role but happy to rescind if anyone wishes to take over 
All agreed that more board members, with specialisms/experience in management, we need to identify skills that we want on the board.KS – regarding co-opting, a new volunteer hub bank of 500 approx. volunteers.  KS can link us with more volunteers or co-opting new board members.PM – we could move on issues more quickly if we respond to emails more, meet face-to-face, chat groups.  Some things can be resolved via email – use headers more effectively i.e. FEEDBACK REQUEST/ACTION NEEDED/FOR INFO and so on. as there are so many emails being sent, clarity is needed.  Monthly meetings still required but a few shorter meetings could be beneficial at the moment.AB asked CR if anything needed to be delegated to board, CR will re-establish contact with café staff and delegate if needed from there.


4KS – Diane Lathom has requested more documents based on her recent visit.  AS has requested documents from RJ, who has provided Fire Safety document but nothing further.  AS will forward anything relevant he can locate to Diane Lathom.
Public Health Team – have been working with RJ, main concerns around hand-washing near where members of public are touching animals and have requested to speak to board.  AS aware of emails requesting more info.  KS will ask the Public Health Team to email AS, who will circulate to the board.

5Email re board and staff session – PM
Idea is to meet early eve, staff and board members.  FE would facilitate sessions to build relationships with the different aspects of the farm, staff and board.  All happy to attend, depending on commitments, ideally before the end of August.  All to email PM with any unavailability.  PM to email with potential dates.



Covid Precautions – PMAs regulations (regarding face masks and so on) are due to be relaxed, PM raised point that we should issue a statement from the board to offer clarity on GCF’s position. Discussion took place, board all agreed we would request staff and customers continue following Govt. recommendations, especially as we have many people with vulnerabilities.  AS shared (via email) a Facebook post from a community café in a neighbouring town, requesting people continue to respect social distancing, continue wearing masks and so on
P2C Diagnostic Report – PM (FE, NH and AS were in attendance, as were staff members)Report has been circulated, FE has requested feedback.  5 days support is being offered, 3 days to review constitution, best practice, policies and procedures, 2 days of which will be on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  Need to agree to the report tonight.  AB agreed to email the P2C officer to confirm we all agree.AB
WMBC – clarification of role/attendance at board meetings – PM
KS was initially involved to support developing strategic view, get things moving forward from the complications GCF have gone through.  Current role: listen to the progress GCF are making and report back.  As it’s a Community Asset Transfer, Wigan MBC have big investment in this, KS reports to Director of Service, who is still asking KS to attend meetings for now.  Once Strategic Review completed and shared with council, plan in place with clear markers being met, may not need to attend.  PM requested that KS share with us our priorities as viewed by Wigan MBC

Digital Report – NH
NH has given PM full access rights to emails and website, will meet to discuss how it is accessed etc.
Due to length of time of meeting (3 hours), agreed to reconvene Thursday 29/07/21 6pm to complete meeting. KS not available, CR may not be able to attend
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