Minutes from board meeting 18th May 2020

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

Date of meeting: Zoom meeting, Monday 18th May 2020

Present: Ian Bowyer, Paul Corkill, Rhiannon Jones, Jane Fairhurst, Alan Kehoe, Pat Bray, Jonathan Roby, Dave Fairhurst

Apologies: Joe Taylor, Ste Henderson

Absent: Danny Halliday. Kath Godfrey

Chair: Ian Bowyer

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:


Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 11th May 2020:Agreed
2Matters arising:DF updated the board regarding the investigations of surface water drains. A1 drains had looked at drains at request of IB. A 4” surface water drain has been identified. Although this is smaller bore than ideal, it’s better than trying to tap into the drains for Greenslate Mews, as these are joint surface and foul drains and problems could arise if they are inundated. RH said A1 yet to submit quote.

3Farm Reports:Care Farm:The board considered the written report submitted by Kelly. They noted that, given the needs of the learners, it is unlikely that the care farm will be able to open early in the process of loosening the “lock-down”. Carers and parents appreciate the work being done to keep the learners engaged and, so far, we are continuing to get our invoices paid and the feedback from Wigan MBC is positive.Education, Animals, Conservation, Events:RH presented a detailed report on issues and challenges as we come out of lockdown. On the education side we don’t expect to be able to do much before September, although Wigan & Leigh College has expressed keen interest in resuming for 2v days per week in September if possible. Some low-key workshops for children may be possible. RJ proposed to use more of the available time on promotional activitiesThe volunteer rota for the animals could continue post lockdown and RJ working with Kelly and team to develop more therapeutic animal work for the care farm learners.Woodland is thriving. Low key plan to keep the woodland planting scheme being developed with Stu.



Likely restrictions on fundraising events and if the market reopens on Sept/October it may well have to be limited. RJ proposed setting up a “Friends of Greenslate” scheme with monthly subscriptions. This was agreed by the board. Bookable farm days and animal sponsorship also being discussed. JR proposed an events calendar to plan volunteer needs. AK supported and said this would help to keep the board informed. This was agreed.The board thanked RJ for her very helpful report.
4Box scheme:In the absence of KG and SH a proper progress review was not possible. A discussion took place regarding the management of the box scheme and the information need to assess its viability. DF to draft email to KG regarding management information.


5Financial Issues:AK reported that wages and creditors had been paid and that £5000 had been transferred from the deposit account to provide a buffer to our current account. We’ll need to consider the June level of pay for staff in 2 weeks time. Crowdfunding will also be drawn down to put into our account. Our application for furlough funds has also gone in.PB reported that we are still waiting to hear from Forever Manchester about our funding bid and that the Power to Change bid is expected to have a 5 weeks turnround.

6A.O.B.:IB noted that KG’s recent email had said he had “approved” a quotation from Manchester Electrician Ltd regarding the Wareing shed. He had not “approved” it, but had said it was the best put together quote. The board noted that we had agreed at the previous meeting not to go ahead with this work at the current time in the light of our financial position. PB raised some concerns regarding the details or the quote relating to work in the straw bale building and it was agreed that he should look further into the issues of concern.A discussion took place regarding aspects of the online shop on the website. DF expressed concern that there was no warning regarding nuts or allergens, which put us at risk of any customer had a reaction. It was agreed that the cakes baked on the farm were being undersold by their description and that it was inaccurate for us to say on the website that we endeavour to make sure everything we sell is healthy, given that we could not claim that our cakes, or the sweets we sell are healthy, no matter how good they taste. Agreed that DF should draft an instruction to Neil from the Board to amend the website to address the issues raised.JR raise concerns regarding staff well-being. It was suggested that a rotation of staff on the box scheme may be a good idea. To be discussed with KG at the next meeting.DF raised JT’s suggestion that the Council’s working draft climate change strategy should be circulated to all shareholders living in Wigan. DF felt that this should be done on the back of a more general update for members rather than on its own. The meeting ran out of time before a discussion was concluded, therefore no decision was made.


Date and time of next meeting



74.30 p.m. Monday 25th May 2020
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