Minutes from Directors meeting 5th May 2019


Date of meeting: Monday 6 May 2019


Ian Bowyer, Rhiannon Jones, Paul Corkill, Dave Fairhurst, Joe Taylor, Jane Fairhurst, Kath Godfrey, Neil Hickson, Francis Malina



Danny Halliday, Ian Nicolson


Chair: In the absence of Ian Nicolson, Joe Taylor agreed to chair this meeting


Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest:

Rhiannon Jones re: item 12.2


to agenda

Minute Action
1 Apologies

Apologies were received from DH and IN

2 Minutes of the last meeting

D F proposed an amendment to the minutes of 8.4.19 as follows:

In the second paragraph of the section “matters arising from the AGM” delete the sentences “With this in mind DF proposed auditing the previous financial year as well, as a question had been raised regarding this year’s finances (see below). This was seconded by JF.” And replace with the following: “DF proposed that a full audit of the accounts for 2016-2017 be commissioned.  JF seconded. This was agreed on a show of hands.” The proposed amendment was agreed on a show of hands and the minutes were then accepted.

DF to amend the official minute accordingly.



JT had received two quotes for external audits from firms recommended by Wigan MBC.  It was agreed that some clarification was required concerning the details of these quotes.  The board decided to await the appointment of a Treasurer before making any financial commitment regarding an audit.

KG has arranged to meet Deborah from Knowsley MBC on 7.5.19 to discuss her offer to carry out an audit possibly free of charge.  KG will invite her to the next board meeting.


5 Treasurer

JT had invited expressions of interest from shareholders in the Farm in becoming a board member and treasurer.  JT presented a paper he had drawn up detailing the responses from nine members. In the light of Allan Kehoe’s experience and qualifications the board agreed that he should be contacted by JT to be made aware of the board’s decision and to invite him to the next meeting.


6 Paul Heywood Appeal

The board were keen to make progress in the interests of all concerned. DF proposed that Paul Heywood be invited to a board meeting, seconded by FM.  It was agreed that Paul and, if he wished, a friend be invited to attend a special meeting to address the complaint made by a member of staff regarding his conduct.  It was also agreed that he be asked to bring with him any evidence he may have of his membership of the GCF.

DF agreed to draft a letter of invitation to Paul Heywood and circulate it to board members for comments before sending it to Paul.


7 Proxy voting

DF spoke to a paper he had prepared for the board to make a start in addressing the issues raised at the previous board meeting attended by Nick Ashcroft.  The board agreed the following on shows of hands:

  • That proxy voting be allowed at our AGMs
  • That people wishing to nominate proxies would be able to either instruct their proxy how to vote on a specific resolution or leave the decision up to their proxy.
  • That a maximum number of 5 proxy votes be held by any one member.
  • That DF be instructed to draw up supplementary rules to GCF Rules and procedures to enable proxy voting.


8 Allotment Shareholding

The board discussed a report by DF and JT on their understanding of the position regarding new allotment holders being offered membership of the co-operative.  A vote as taken and it was agreed that the policy of offering free membership of GCF to new allotment holders (one per allotment) be continued.

9 Allocation of Board Responsibilities

This item was deferred

10 Staff Contracts

This item had been put on the agenda at the request of JT.

Agreed that KG would circulate examples of the staff contracts.  If any member of the board wished to see actual contracts that are not held on computer this could be facilitated by KG.


11 Café Staffing

KG presented a report she had written regarding staffing needs for the café.  The Board agreed to defer consideration of this matter until we have a treasurer.

12 Any Other Business

  1. The board discussed the idea of offering a shareholding in the Farm to volunteers.  It was agreed that staff or Board members could nominate volunteers to be granted a shareholding.  Each case would be considered on its merits by the board.
  2. A formal complaint from a volunteer/member had been received a few hours before the Board meeting.  It was agreed that DF and PC would carry out an investigation and report back to the board. JT would send the complainant an acknowledgement.
  3. JT proposed a system whereby shareholders would receive a discount in the Farm shop.  The board resolved to defer consideration until a Treasurer was appointed.
  4. The Board agreed that DF, as Minutes Secretary, should also take over responsibility for drawing up and circulating the Agenda.




13 Date and time of next meeting

6.30p.m. Monday 3 June 2019 at the Straw Bale Building.


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