Minutes of trustees’ meeting on 16 May 2018, held on site

In attendance: Antonia Gross/Chris Smith (Co-chairs), Linsey Macdonald (Secretary), Liz Smith, Andrew Oxley, Kate Sebag. Paul Shrubsall (volunteer) also attended as an observer.
Apologies: Lucie Russell; Beth Barber; Derek Hoare

1. Funding news: the charity is the beneficiary of a generous anonymous legacy. The donor has expressed the wish that this sum should be put towards the renovation/extension of the upper greenhouse/new build classroom. A vote of thanks to the donor was agreed. Andrew will research suitable bank accounts in which to place the funds once received.
In addition, Monument Trust (a Sainsburys Family Trust) are likely to make a grant in June. This will be restricted funds for use on the new building. We are therefore 45% of the way to funding the new build.

2. Chris addressed the 5 year plan which has previously been reviewed by trustees. Trustees approved the release of this, or a slightly amended version, to volunteers via the weekly email. Chris, Kate and Andrew will work on the numbers behind the plan to put to the AGM, and these should be ready for the next trustee meeting.

3. Trustee recruitment – the 5 year plan will require significant fundraising. Chris is investigating suitable candidates for a fundraising trustee, no one having so far responded to adverts.

4. New build specification – Chris reported on work done to date by the relevant sub-committee. It was agreed that the question of how to use the site while work is ongoing will need to be addressed in detail nearer the time.

5. Andrew circulated the current bank statement. Draft accounts for financial year 2017-18 were circulated to trustees in advance of the meeting. These show the charity to be in good financial shape. Trustees approved the sending of the draft accounts to the auditor (inspector) for verification. Trustees expressed thanks to Kate as director for all her work this year, which has been another very good year for the charity.

6. The position regarding the Field Day festival was noted. The objections raised have been unsuccessful and the festival means the site must remain closed on 1-3 June 2018. We will apply to the Field Day Community Fund.

7. Pond container – this is corroded but may still be worth renovating. Chris, David and Kate will look into options and costs for replacing/renovating the pond container and creating office space.

8. Antonia thanked directors and staff for their reports. It was noted that the education team is doing excellent work and bringing in a lot of income. Additional education volunteers are always required.

9. Kate briefly addressed the issue surrounding the Better Fridays programme and whether to close the site to other visitors on those days. She will continue to discuss this with Cat and Cathy.

10. Trustees voted to put £250 towards the volunteer party on 14 July 2018, from site hire funds received.

11. The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

12. AOB – a vote of thanks to Rosie for her work as treasurer was agreed. Andrew will get her name taken off the bank mandate.
Linsey announced that she will stand down as company secretary and trustee at the AGM. Andrew was asked to consider taking on the company secretary role.
GDPR – the deadline is approaching and appropriate steps have been taken to ensure we are compliant.