Minutes of board meeting – Monday 6th July 2020

Date of meeting: 4.30 pm Monday 6th July 2020

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

Also in attendance: Mark Hampson, (for the start of item 3), Liz Ramsden, Wigan MBC

Apologies: None

Absent: Danny Halliday

Chair: Joe Taylor

Minutes: Dave Fairhurst

Declarations of interest

Referenceto agendaMinuteAction
1Minutes of meeting of 29.6.20:JR moved, PC seconded. Agreed
2Matters arising:Work to improve drainage of farmyard now complete. Residents’ households to contribute a quarter each of the costs through donations to the farm, as soon as they receive the farm’s bank details.DF has signed a Conditional Fee Agreement with Business Energy Claims to proceed with a claim against the energy brokers who sold the farm the Yorkshire Gas & Power contract entered into last year.  Latest information is that our claim will be between £5000 and £10000.

3Plans for café reopening:xx joined the meeting.  General discussion on progress towards opening café.  Concern expressed about need for more thorough business plan going forward.  PB offered to help xx with this. He stated there is a lot of inexpensive spreadsheet software that could be used to aid this process.  DF suggested possibility of external training for cafe team on business planning.  No comment from xx.  DF advised comprehensive stock take needs to be undertaken before reopening.  This was long overdue. DF also advised that xx was now off furlough and the Board wanted him, as manager, to lead on all aspect of reopening the café. It was agreed that DF would write to xx to advise on decision re:  café reopening and any issues that need resolution before reopening.Box scheme:Significant reduction in take up last week produced trading loss of over£1000 in a week.  DF to ask xx for his advice on viability of the scheme and recommendations for improved financial performance.  AK still experiencing delays in/ absence of financial information from cafe staff, undermining his ability to provide timely information to the board. Noted.Straw Bale Building:Work to emergency lighting now complete.  Still awaiting information on completion of guttering work.



4Financial Issues, Grant Applications:JT welcomed Liz Ramsden, Wigan MBC to the meeting.  Board appraised Liz of our plans for reopening the café.  LR advised that under no circumstances should the café be reopened before the farm’s risk assessment and related documents had been approved by the Council.  She would forward details to us as asap. She also advised that it should not be opened until the Straw Bale Building had received a completion certificate from Building Control.A wide-ranging discussion and very helpful discussion took place regarding issues and plans for the future.  The Board accepted and thanked her for her offer to attend further meetings.Pay levels for furloughed staff, July 2020:AK advised that we can continue to pay furloughed staff at 100% of salary.  Agreed unanimously.Forever Manchester Grant:PB had contacted Forever Manchester re: reuse of grant for grower. Awaiting their reply.Other Grant Applications:Still waiting to hear from Community Resilience Fund. Ecological Society grant application was unsuccessful.

5Any Other Business:A request had been received re: metal detection on the farm.  RJ advised this had cropped up before and WMBC had said they need to approve and approval unlikely.  JT to reply to the request accordingly.

8Date and time of next meeting:3.00 pm Monday 13th July 2020
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