Minutes from board meeting 1st June 2020

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

Date of meeting: Zoom meeting, Monday 1st June 2020

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

Apologies: Ian Bowyer, Danny Halliday


Chair: Rhiannon Jones

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:

RJ in relation to staff salaries, item 4 on the agenda

Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 25th May 2020:AK proposed, PB seconded, Agreed
2Matters arising:DF wrote to Neil re: website. Issues raised now been actioned.PB updated Board on issues relation to the wiring of the Straw Bale Building. We don’t have an installation certificate but we need one. DF had written to KG to establish whether or not a completion cert. was issued by building control in relation to the Straw bale Building, but had not received a reply. He had delayed contacting Lynn Calderbank until this was clarified. Board instructed him to chase KG again on this issue.

3Box scheme review:Board expressed their dismay that, for the third week running they had not been able to conduct a proper review of the box scheme owing to the absence of KG, despite a written instruction to her to attend. It was noted from AK’s financial analysis and KG’s written report that the box scheme has had a significant change in its nature and now appears to be predominantly based on the sale of cakes and confection rather than food and vegetables, including our own output. AK advised that, on the basis of the information provided to him the box scheme had made a trading loss He had not been able to make a proper assessment of the contribution of the shop now it’s been reopened as he has not been given the information that he has repeatedly requested.Agreed to keep box scheme going, with Irene in the shop, for one more week, with no more beyond that at the present stage.DF was instructed to draft an email from the board to KG for their approval, setting out some serious concerns.JR proposed that the next board meeting should be given over to a broader planning meeting with managers to review and plan around all the issues that need to be addressed for a safe and effective reopening of the farm.




Agreed by all. DF and RJ to contact relevant staff.
4Financial Issues, including staff salaries and changes to the furlough scheme:
RJ went through recent changes to the furlough scheme:1st July: part time working possible1st August: phased introduction of employers’ contributionsEnd of October: end of the scheme
Noted that to claim for salaries under the scheme in the future staff must have been furloughed by 10th June 2020.
AK reported that he was hopeful that we would be able to pay all staff at 100% for the next month, and will advise on that at the next meeting. A discussion took place on the issue of equal treatment between furloughed and non-furloughed staff and JR advised that if we were to reduce non-furloughed staff wages 80% to mirror 80% for furloughed staff (if that was recommended next week) we would need this to be done by agreement with the non-furloughed staff.
AK updated on accounts:Last years accounts nearly ready to be signed off by accountants 2017 and 2018 accounts still being reviewed so they can be properly closed. Mandy liaising with accountants regarding some aspects of previous grant funding, board authorised her to contact KG for details of PHE grant submissions and reports.
PB reported on grant applications to Forever Manchester and Power to Change:Forever Manchester have got back to us asking for more information. PB thought it possible that they may offer us less than we’ve requested, possibly half. It was noted that the Forever Manchester bid was based on us providing essential food to vulnerable people and concern was expressed that the change in the nature of the box scheme would probably make us ineligible for the grant. We would be duty bound to advise them of the change in our scheme, and given that they are heavily over-subscribed they could well reject any request from us to direct any award elsewhere on the farm. No news yet from P2C other than that they are heavily over-subscribed and running behind schedule.RH advised that a bid had been placed with the Landworkers Alliance. They had accepted the bid and come back with some questions. Likely to be mid-June before we hear if we’re through to the next round.Mandy had informed RJ of a Crowdfunder “pay forward” scheme, whereby customers could buy in advance and receive the good later. RJ to investigate.DF advised that he had contacted the Council regarding what seems to be a new government grant scheme to be managed by local authorities, grants to be given at their discretion for organisations who have not been eligible for other grants. This may bring in £10000. He was awaiting a reply from the Council. PB offered to assist in putting a bid together if we are eligible.

5Farm update:
RJ to ask IB to chase the quote for the drains. Agreed that now is the best time to get this done.KG had asked RJ about opening up the farm to encourage more people to the shop. Board agreed this could not be done yet without a proper appraisal of all the issues, as planned for next Monday’s meeting. RJ




to look into amending existing signage.RJ
7Date and time of next meeting:3.30 p.m. Monday 8th June, 2020
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