Minutes from board meeting 25th May 2020

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

Date of meeting: Zoom Meeting, 25th May 2020

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

Apologies: Danny Halliday, Jonathan Roby, Joe Taylor, Kath Godfrey


Chair: Ian Bowyer

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:

Dave Fairhurst, Jane Fairhurst, Paul Corkill, Rhiannon Jones, all relating to the issue of farmyard drainage.

Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 18th May 2020Agreed

2Matters arising:IB reported that A1 drains had given a quote of £1800 for providing drainage to the farmyard, linked to the old existing 4” surface water drain. Agreed that when hard copy of the quote is received this should come to the Board, JF, DF, PC & RJ all declared an interest and agreed that they should not vote on this when it is presented to the Board.PB reported on electrical issues relating to the straw bale building. He reported that there are a number of important “certification” issues that need to be resolved. There is no electrical installation certificate and this raised the issue of whether, in its absence, building control had issued a completion certificate on the building. PC confirmed his understanding that an electrical installation cert. was a prerequisite for a building regs completion certificate. Resolution of electrical issues will not be cost-free but need to be addressed as a priority. Concern was expressed about whether our employer and public liability insurance would be valid if there is no electrical installation certificate and/or a building regs completion certificate. PB also reported that the inspection and testing carried out in late 2017 by Manchester Electricians and the condition report they produced, proves that his work is electrically safe and of a good standard and that concerns raised about this are unfounded. He spoke to Manchester Electricians last week and they told him that that a partial rewire they referred to in a local authority notification had not actually been done. PB to investigate and send a more detailed email round the Board.


Box Scheme:In the absence of KG, the Board was not able to review the progress of the



3.box scheme in a satisfactory manner. AK spoke on the financial figures he had prepared, which showed that a significant loss had been made in the last week. Board agreed that losses at this level were not sustainable. PB advised that the Forever Manchester grant application was to support the box scheme, though at this rate of loss it would not last long. He will chase Forever Manchester again this week in the hope that we may know the outcome before what may be a very difficult decision next week. AK repeated his concerns about a lack of information on the nature of sales of the box scheme. He also advised we lacked information regarding the arrangements of a return from furlough, though it was clear from the financial information that the increased income last week fell far short of covering the cost of taking Irene from furloughIt was agreed that DF should email KG to instruct her to attend the next Board meeting as the member of staff responsible for running the scheme. KG’s absence this week also prevented us from discussing progress on plans for the reopening of the café, an issue that KG had agreed to lead on. The Board were all concerned that further delays on this discussion would be letting our staff down.


4Financial Issues:PB reported that he had chased Forever Manchester last week regarding our grant application. This was to support the box scheme, some of it being expressed in terms of supporting our growing activity. Forever Manchester had confirmed they were happy with the quality of our application, the delay coming from their high current workload.RJ reported that she had been working with Adam to develop a grant application for £10000. The grant funding had been brought to her attention by Mandy. The funding body is Land Workers Alliance and is aimed at projects that reduce food insecurity. This would fund a further 3 days a week for Adam to work as a grower for 12 months. It was agreed that RJ should speak to Adam about whether he is ready to discuss with the board any issues flowing from moving out of lock-down.

5A.O.B.: IB proposed the appointment of DF as Company Secretary. Seconded by RJ. Agreed unanimously.DF raised his concern that so far there has been no response from the Council on the issue of Business Rates. Agreed that DF should make discrete contact with Lynne Calderbank from Douglas Valley on this issue as well as giving her a general update on farm matters.The Board, completed the discussion regarding JT’s suggestion that we should circulate the Council’s working draft climate change strategy. It was agreed that this should only be done on the back of a general update for members and only if we are clear on the status of the Council’s document.

6Date and time of next meeting4.30pm Monday 1st June 2020
%d bloggers like this: