Minutes from board meeting 4th May 2020

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

Date of meeting: 3.00pm Monday 4th May 2020 (Zoom Meeting)

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

Apologies: Ian Bowyer, Danny Halliday, Jonathan Roby


Chair: Joe Taylor

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:


Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 27 April 2020:Agreed with one minor amendment to the draft.
2Matters arising:Letter to FCA to be sent today advising that C-19 problems delayed annual account production.

3Box Scheme:Financial performance figures discussed. AK advised that, although figures show losses, some of these were because of notional amounts allowed for volunteer time so the real losses were closer to the “break-even” figure of about £180. SH questioned some of the underlying assumptions of the AK’s accounts. AK explained the rationale for his figures and other Board members said they understood that rationale. The Board agreed that we should be working off one set of figures, those provided by our Treasurer, AK. Call for volunteers on Facebook had been successful. AK reported that some offers of voluntary help had been turned down. KG did not have a list of volunteers. JF asked for some details of box scheme. KG said about 30 per day were being sent out. Volunteers being used for deliveries only.

4Financial issues:AK advised that there would be sufficient money in our main accounts to be able to pay the staff in full this month. Board agreed to pay staff in full in May. RH, KG and SH declared an interest and didn’t vote. AK advised this may not be possible in June.PB updated board on work he had been doing to seek grant support for the farm. An application for a grant from “Power to Change” had been investigated and was worth looking at when the submission details are released on 6 May.PB proposed that, if we are successful with grant applications and can do it, we should consider ring-fencing some money specifically to support the café and shop/box scheme as we come out of lock-down. After a brief discussion this was agreed unanimously.JT agreed to contact the Council regarding business rates.




5Planning ahead:DF raised the issue of planning for when lock-down ends. While we’ll need to know the government’s “roadmap” for timings etc we could be preparing managers by letting them know now that we’ll want to speak to them about their view of issues that may need to be addressed to get the farm up and running again. Agreed that we should let managers know we’ll be wanting to discuss their areas of responsibility with them as soon as it’s appropriate. In the case of the café and shop DF proposed that KG and SH lead the review of the café and shop and that in that review there would be a need to propose a clear and practical arrangement for the management of the café and shop and reporting to the Board and that an open mind should be kept regarding organisational structure. This was generally agreed and KG and SH agreed to lead the review of the service provided by the café and shop

6Other issues from the farm:JT raised the problem of drainage in the farmyard. It was agreed that now would be a good time to look at it, while the traffic was light, depending on the overall financial implications. PC had given a price for the work. RJ to follow up with IB regarding the possibility of obtaining a second quote.
SH raised the issue of furloughed staff coming on site. RJ advised that the farm is currently closed for anything other than essential issues and that we needed to maintain biosecurity as far as possible. Given those risks and the risk that furloughed staff on site may inadvertently engage in activities that could endanger their eligibility for government grant to support their wages, it was confirmed that furloughed staff should not come onto the site.

7Any Other Business:A brief discussion took place regarding the letter of 1 May from the board to the staff. The Board agreed that our stance on furloughed staff and volunteering was withing the government’s guidelines and all the Board confirmed that they fully understood our position regarding furloughing of staff and volunteering.
9Date and time of next meetingPlease note that next week’s meeting will be at the later time of 4.30 pm on Monday 11th May 2020.
%d bloggers like this: