Minutes from board meeting – 21st April 2021

These minutes have been redacted for reasons of confidentiality

Present: Fiona Eccleston, Neil Hickson, Pam Moore, Chris Roberts, Andy Sheridan, Mark Tebbutt, Angela Blackshaw

Apologies: Nicky Bailey, Phil Moore, Katy Sneyd, Allison McGuinness

Chair: Neil Hickson (interim)

Minutes: Angela Blackshaw

Declarations of interest: FE clarified, for people who were new board members/might need refreshing, that if there was anything to be voted on that someone would have a vested interest in (for example, providing a quote for works to be completed by their own business, or that of a friend), they would declare that they might not be impartial in this case, and would therefore abstain from voting regarding this matter)

Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 14/04/21:
Proposed by: Neil Hickson
Seconded by: Angela Blackshaw, with all members present in agreement
Matters arising: Community Recovery Fund – FE raised that no-one had taken ownership of this.  FE offered to work on this, as she has already been working on a Progress To Change application (£20,000), and will liaise with AM, who has lots of experience in this area but is currently strapped for time.Mis-sold energy claim – PB had said in the last meeting that he was happy to continue assisting with this.


Pat Bray
3GDPR and data management (NH)Greenslate data needs to be in one protected place, accessible by relevant people (current board and staff) who need access to the information for legitimate purposes.  Having one cloud, such as Google Docs (practical, affordable, provides adequate storage, backed up on their servers; is protected in the event that any equipment is damaged and so on.  NH has admin rights so can reset passwords, create new email address, suspend accounts but can’t see what anyone has in their accounts.Current accounts: board@; Rhiannon@; info@; Kelly@; Accounts@; allotments@. Jo (bookkeeper) has requested access to the info@ account to ensure she picks up any financial information.  RJ to share the info@ password with Jo.  NH has requested access to the Mailchimp account.Need to sign GDPR compliance and write to people who may hold informationWe also need to be able to access Greenslate’s policies and procedures.  Setting up an Intranet could be an option.  NH to look into/lead on, discuss with staff members, consider how we share relevant info, ensure important farm documents such as un-redacted minutes are centralised and protected, and feed back to board.


4Director Self Assessments – Progress on completion (FE)Lynn Calderbank has been collating the self-assessments received so far, which show we have a variety of skills, experiences and interests.  Need to retain clarity of the role of trustees i.e. “hands-off” approach, leading and governing.Strategic direction: Lynn has worked with DM, former board member, on drafting business plan, which has been shared with new board members.  Reminds us this is a working document that we now need to work on.Most of the self-assessments have been returned, a couple outstanding due to workloads.  Ideally these will be returned within approx. 1 week.

5Roles on the board, including Chair and Secretary (FE)Lots of enthusiasm on new board, but no one person stepping forward for specific roles – possibly due to concerns over time constraints and so on – an option could be to have the roles shared i.e. two people for chair, two for secretary and so on.  This could be trialled and rotated if needed.  Has produced a draft plan, wanted to consult within the meeting, will circulate.
Proposal:Chair – NH and PM (Pam)Secretary – AB/AS  Treasurer – FE/NBBook-keeper – JoStrategic Review – AM/FE/PMGovernance – AB/AMGDPR – NHStrawbale – CR/NH/MT
Board members approved and agreed trial until end of June.
Projects:Care farm – ABBuilding/Facilities – MT/ASWoodland Management – AS/MTCafé – CRGrowing – AM/PMEducation – NHAnimals – TBC

Any Other Business:

Reconciliation Panel – update from NHConsists of NH, Mandy, Rashid, Pat Davis, Ian Bowyer.  Panel communicating well, are now including social events such as Virtual Café 11am Friday 30/04/21, which aims to make things more accessible.  Perhaps do a socially-distanced picnic when Straw Bale reopens.  
Risk Assessments, particularly relating to Maternity and Covid-19 Need to establish who would be responsible for risk assessing various staff, where they would be kept, when updated.  Needs to include risks to women of child-rearing age, especially given a member of staff is pregnant and we are in the global pandemic.  Also need to establish who staff would report to if they were off sick (as well as immediate colleagues.  RJ used to compile risk assessments and may still be.  AB to check with RJ.
Staff structuresPM requested that we have a current list of who is employed, and in what capacity, to be shared amongst the board, especially as people’s roles/hours may have changed, and the overall farm structure.
Future meetingsWe have been meeting on a weekly basis but now that roles/responsibilities have been established, agreed to move to meeting every 3 weeks, we will submit update reports to the board at least 3 days prior to the meeting for pre-reading.  Future meetings would be more efficient, as only decisions would need to be discussed.  Can also consult regarding decision via Doodle Poll or email as well, or another meeting can be called if needed.  All agreed.
Members CommitteeNH clarified that this was established when members had not felt heard by previous boards, to help give the members a collective voice.  The group aims to be positive and all members are welcome to join.  It could also serve as another medium for members and the board being able to share ideas and communicate.  We can also consider doing newsletters going forwards, which we could all contribute to.  NH happy to lead on this in the future.



Next Meeting: To be confirmed after the meeting and completion of a Doodle poll – likely to be approximately 3 weeks from now (12/05/21 or 19/05/21)NH
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