Minutes from board meeting – Monday 3rd August 2020

Date of meeting: 3.30pm, Monday 3rd August 2020

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

Also present for part of meeting: Liz Ramsden, Wigan MBC


Absent: Danny Halliday

Chair: Joe Taylor

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest: None

Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 27.7.20:Agreed, with amendment to note Jonathan Roby’s resignation from the board and the board’s thanks for his service.
2Matters arising:Liz advised that the peer review team have been looking at how they can help through a peer review and will get back to us when they’ve done their assessment. Liz asked for list of directors, their roles and contact details.  PB passed on details. Each board member will be sent a questionnaire to be completed individually.

3Farm management issues:Online shop review:Website sales have reduced further – only £239 last week.  Overall trading loss from shop and website of £590.Concern raised regarding use of egg from the farm.  We are not allowed to “process” the eggs in any way.  DF to cover in email to xx Business Plan review:A number of concerns raised about the quality and content of the papers previously submitted by xx as a business plan.  The board felt it fell well short of what is needed and appears to be seen as a one-off document rather than a part of the management process. The possibility of acquiring business planning software to help xx develop the plan was discussed.  PB & AK to look at alternatives to suggest to xx.  DF to write to xx summarising the board’s concern and pointing him to appropriate software.  The board reaffirmed that they could not agree to the opening of the café until a plausible and realistic business plan has been drawn up.  The Board recognised the need to improve on the approach that has produced losses over the previous three years.Growing:Volunteers working hard.  Excess produce to Brick on Thursday.  Will start delivering to Fur Clempt this week as well.  SH working on plans for winter crops.  Discussion about advertising for grower. Agreed to delay pending review of growing department functions.  PB raised possibility of Community Supported Agriculture model.  To be investigated as part of review.Education:RJ had had a good meeting with “Better, Brighter Orrell” regarding a time capsule on site. RJ suggested memory garden.  RJ to contact Vikky Crompton regarding a marker for the time capsule.Emails been sent to schools and colleges with a view to September.Animals:Vet called out for one sheep.  Others checked. All OKCare Farm:Agreed in principle to paying travel expenses in event that the care farm’s “plan B” (taking animals to learners). KH to liaise with Mandy. RJ to speak to KH.

4Financial Matters:AK reported that NI contributions and pension support won’t be eligible for furlough subsidy from the start of August and furlough subsidy will be reduced further from the start of September.Weekly losses are now being set against P2C grant.  This will be a month end calculation.Other Grants:RJ has heard nothing from the Landworkers’ Alliance.PB been in touch with Cadent Foundation regarding funding for micro grid.  Funding not available at present, though will be reviewed later in the year.  PB to look elsewhere for grant support.PB followed up with Wigan Council regarding invite to funding bids and has completed online form.

5Business Energy ClaimsDF and AK advised board on recent discussions with Business Energy Claims regarding the claim against Ecosave.  Alan had checked with YGP and they have no letter of authority giving Ecosave the right to act on our behalf.

6Staffing Issues:DF and AK advised the Board that their recent investigations into financial irregularities regarding a previous grant claim lead them to conclude that xxxx.
7Petition:No response has been received to our letter to the petitioners.
8Date and time of next meeting:3.30pm Monday 10th August 2020
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