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Minutes of Extraordinary General Meeting
17th April 2016
Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Joan Clayton, Mervyn Clayton, Malcolm Robertson, Kay McDowell, Adam Bowler, Phil Meadley, Steve Jones-Blackett, Steph Crossland, Dorothy Carter, Diane & Trevor Kitto, David Miles, Steve Johns, Stephen Tyndale-Biscoe, Andi Stanislawski, Andy Pentith, Jenny Page, Geoff Holden, Paul Ellis, Adrian Coltman.
1. Apologies for Absence
Mike Betteridge, Adam & Carol Bull.
2. Proposal to change FGVW's status from an unincorporated group to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)
Martin Calvert introduced the proposal, explaining that the field sale has been the catalyst for it. Paul Ellis then explained the proposal in detail. To buy land the group has to be a charity, and funding can be unlocked as a charity. Fortunately changes in the law have made it much easier to alter our status.
There are two basic types, a Community Interest Company and a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The CIO fits our needs. There are 2 types of CIO and the Association CIO best fits our needs. This type is not run as a business. The Woodland Trust have produced a document explaining the process and attendees were able to read it.
We would need a revised/new constitution. There needs to be at least 3 and up to 9 or 12 trustees. Our ethos is democratic, so the trustees would be voted in. We need a stated principal office. This would be a good vehicle going forward for FGVW. The Trustees have limited liability. We must adhere to strict Health and Safety principles.
We need to check that our insurance is suitable, although we do have public liability for up to £1m. As landowners we would need to maintain the boundaries of the field, and signage. It is not an onerous task.
There are over 1 million charities in the country. Paul Ellis owns land in Hebden Bridge, and has had no problems. This is the right time for FGVW to change. Paul Ellis and Steve Johns to do much of the necessary work to become a CIO (it would cost around £2000 otherwise).
A lot of the required admin/accounts are the same as we do already. We would need to keep a register of members, and maybe introduce a nominal yearly fee. Trustees have to work in the best interests of the charity, uphold the law and assess risks (charity risk register).
Paul Ellis answered questions.
The field in question is called the Seeps Field (info from Dorothy Carter). Will it change our relationship with the Council? Martin Calvert to investigate. We didn't go down the Stewardship route.
If we agree to go ahead, we would name trustees, agree objectives and look at the FGVW constitution.
It was agreed unanimously to proceed with the change. Paul Ellis, Martin Calvert and Adrian Coltman to be the initial trustees.
3. FGVW contribution to the appeal to purchase Field 3 on Gledhow Valley Road
Steve Jones-Blackett thought that the vendor must be selling because he has to, otherwise why would he give up so early after the failed planning application?
The local community has showed a lot of faith in FGVW so we must be as generous as we can. Will need finances for the costs of the purchase as well. It was agreed unanimously to donate £5000 the appeal. A meeting was arranged for Tuesday 19th April to discuss the situation. David Miles, Steve Jones-Blackett, Paul Ellis, Malcolm Robertson to attend.