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					    South West ACRE Network of Rural Community Councils




Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees of SWAN
(The South West ACRE Network) held on Friday 9 February 2007 at
10.30am at Creech St Michael Village Hall, near Taunton.


Present:
John Hazelwood – Chairman of SWAN & Gloucestershire RCC
Lesley Archer –Gloucestershire RCC
Peter Dunning - Community Council of Devon
Jay Talbot– Community Council of Devon
Sue Gawler – Community Action
Vanessa Collier – Community Action
David Smith – Community Council for Somerset
Sue Blaylock – Cornwall RCC
Mark Richardson – Cornwall RCC
Jane Raimes – Dorset Community Action
Jane Grant – Community First Wiltshire
Philippa Read – Community First Wiltshire

In Attendance:
Stephen W. Wright– SWAN Regional Director
Jane Nichols – SWAN Administrator

                                                                         Action
1        Apologies, Resignations and Appointments to the Board
         Philippa Hawks, Community Council for Somerset; Phil Randall,
         Cornwall Rural Community Council; Colin Brady, Dorset
         Community Action; Chris Owen, Honorary Treasurer.

         The Board noted the resignations of Sue Gawler, Community
         Action and Michael Jones, Community First. The Chairman
         thanked them both for their contribution to SWAN.
         The Board approved the appointment of Rosemary Todd,
         Community Action and Jane Grant, Community First to the
         Board.

         The Board noted the leave of absence of Ken Grimes,
         Community First and approved the appointment of Philippa
         Read to the Board during KG’s absence.
2        Minutes of the meeting of 13 October 2006
         The minutes were approved noting the following corrections:
         Minute 4a should read: “Audited Accounts 2006/07”
         Minute 16 should read: “SWAN RCCs would support the
         nomination of Brian Davis as Chairman of ACRE…”
3        Matters Arising
         None
4        Steering Group
4a       The notes of the meeting held on 30 November 2006 were
         approved.


                                                                                  1
4b   Membership of the Steering group
     The Board approved the appointment of a Chief Executive to the
     membership of the Steering Group. Vanessa Collier as the
     coordinator of the Chief Executive’s Network will join the group.   VC

     The Board also approved the appointment of Peter Dunning to         PD
     the membership of the GoSW/SWRDA Group.

     Both appointments will ensure a balance in membership of the
     two groups between RCC Chief Executives and RCC Trustees.

     The Terms of Reference of the Steering Group will be amended        JN
     accordingly.
5    SWAN Financial Report
     JT reported that the Honorary Treasurer had expressed the
     following views:
     He endorsed both the amendment to the Reserves Policy and
     the Financial Regulations. He also supported the appointment
     of Francis Clark as auditors for 2006/06.

5a   Financial Statement to 31.12.06
     SWW advised that the budget was on track for the end of the
     year. He is anticipates that there will be a positive balance of
     £10,000 to £11,000 at the end of the year.

     It was proposed that a summary of cash flow including a % of
     the monies used so far would be very helpful to the Board.
     Detailed management accounts would be available to the
     Steering Group. SWW to discuss the summary with SWAN’s              SWW/JW
     financial support.

     Appointment of Auditors for 2006/07                                 SWW/JN
5b   The Board approved the appointment of Francis Clark as
     auditors for 2006/07.

     Reserves Policy
5c   The Board approved the proposal to set minimum and maximum
     limits for reserves:
          Minimum target of £35,000 to be attained by 31.03.09.
          Maximum limit for Unrestricted Reserve of £100,000

     High Interest Savings Account                                       SWW/JN
5d   The Board approved the opening of a high interest savings
     account with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Bank.

     Additional Signatories to CAF Account                               SWW/JN
5e   The Board approved the addition of two extra signatories: the
     Chairman, John Hazelwood, and the joint Vice-Chairman, Mark
     Richardson.

     Financial Regulations for SWAN
5f   The Board approved the Financial Regulations for SWAN.

                                                                                  2
     It was agreed that any exceptional items over £10,000 which
     have not been previously agreed as a budget item must be
     approved by all cheque signatories (Steering Group) or the
     Board should time permit. Approval may be sought by email.          SWW
6    SWAN Regional Director’s Report
6a   RCC Case Studies
     SWW circulated the penultimate draft. He advised that they
     would be available in pdf format and will be circulated to regional
     organisations, MPs, government etc. They could also be used
     on a county basis. He hopes that the concept will be developed
     with case studies collated on a specific topic as and when issues
     arise. Any comments/additional photos to be sent to the             All to note
     Regional Director as soon as possible.

6b   Incorporation of SWAN
     SWW went through the comments on the Memorandum and
     Articles received from the legal advisers.

     The Board agreed the amended Articles.

     The Board agreed to recommend to the Extraordinary General
     Meeting of SWAN the adoption of the Memorandum and Articles
     and approval of the resolution for the Incorporation of SWAN.

6c   Draft Business Plan 2007–10 and Draft Work Plan 2007/08
     The following points were raised about the draft business plan:

          SWAN Agenda 2007/08 - MR clarified that the agenda
           reflected the initial feedback at SWANUpping. It was
           acknowledged that the agenda needed to be wider and
           should be for longer than 2007/08 (the Work Plan will
           cover specific areas of work for the forthcoming year).
         During 2007/08 the focus should be on preparation for the
           comprehensive spending review and SWAN’s role in
           influencing relevant organisations
         Economic agenda (social enterprise)
         Community assets
         Community learning
         Procurement of council services
         Relationship with the broader VCS structure
         Regional SWAN consultancy
         There should be external and internal versions
                                                                    SWW/MR
     The Plans will be developed further by SWW and MR
6d
     Bids and Project Development
                                                                         SWW
     It was agreed that the Community Land Trusts element of the
     SWRDA bid should be expanded to Community Assets
7    RCC Database The report was noted.
8    ChangeUp Continuation Fund
8a   Rural BME & Marginalised Groups
     The report was noted. JT advised that the research report
     would be completed by the end of March. Approximately
                                                                                       3
      £1700.00 would therefore be rolled over to 2007/08 to support
      the dissemination of the report’s findings to RCCs. He plans to
      work with the RCC Social Inclusion network.

8b    Performance Improvement (Quality Standards)
      The report was noted.

      Capacity Builders
      JR reported on the recent consultation event about the next
      round of Capacity Builders Funding. The main strands will be
      equality and diversity; engagement with local authorities;
      learning & innovation; social enterprise. There will also be a
      review of the hubs and the role and effectiveness of consortia
      with the introduction of per review. There appears to be an
      emphasis on regional, rather than sub-regional.

      MR reported that CRCC will be putting in a joint bid with the
      Community Fund using the Crossmead money to match the
      funding.

      JR reported that Capacity Builders will be moving away from
      98% funding to 50% funding and commissioning. They are also
      aiming to become a delivery body for government programmes.
      It was agreed that social enterprise was an important area of
      work. JR will circulate the presentation from the consultation     JR
      event.

      It was agreed that the response to the consultation from both      SWW
      SWAN and individual RCCs needs to be coordinated. The
      deadline for responses is 31.03.07.
9     GoSW Contract
      The minutes of the last joint meeting of SWAN/GoSW and
      SWRDA were circulated and noted.
10    SWRDA/SWAN Community Planning
      SWW reported that a joint paper with the MCTA will be shortly
      circulated. The paper will clarify the structure of community
      planning. A series of sub-regional meetings is planned to follow
      on from the Colloquy in October 2006.

      SWW advised that some of the research money allocated in the
      SWAN/SWRDA contract will be used to support DCA’s research
      in to community planning, focussing on North Dorset and how it
      relates to the county and regional structure.
11    The Crossmead Project The report was noted.
12    SWAN Representative Reports
12a   ACRE
      JGH reported on the ACRE paper on branding/convergence
      which had been prepared following the recent ACRE Policy
      Conference. It was agreed that the Conference was not the
      appropriate situation to make decisions concerning RCCs. It
      was felt that that there are other issues which ACRE could be
      focussing on. It was noted that some of the findings of the

                                                                               4
      Convergence Group had not been taken forward in the ACRE
      paper. RCCs have been asked to respond to ACRE by the end
      of March.

12b   South West Infrastructure Plan
      The report was noted.

12c   South West Forum
      The report was noted.
      JT commented that Stephen Wright’s term of office on the
      Regional Assembly would be coming to an end shortly. SWW
      advised that he was prepared to stand for re-election to SWRA.
      JT agreed to forward the nomination of SWW to South West            JT
      Forum.

      It was agreed that it was important that SWAN is identified as an
      organisation which can speak on behalf of not just the SWAN
      RCCs, but also the bodies they represent. Local organisations
      and bodies can find a voice through SWAN. All RCCs to advise
      the Regional Director of the organisations they represent.          All to note

12d   CoRE & ERDP/RDPE
      JGH advised that the Farming and Food Nation Project
      (Education) will commence from September 2007 until August
      2008. The project will be managed by CoRE regionally and
      nationally.

      RDPE: Investment Theme Meeting – Social Enterprise
      PD reported on the meeting. There will be £450k available for
      the region per year for 7 years, some of which has been ring
      fenced for Cornwall. It is likely that the money will be targeted
      into specific areas, rather than spread across the whole region.

      Community led projects (LEADER type projects) –
      insufficient guidance has been received from DEFRA to proceed
      any further.
      SWAN’s submission to run the scheme has not been accepted o
      far because of European requirements for competitive tendering.
      However similar submissions are likely in other regions. SWW
      will be following this up. It was agreed that SWAN needs to     SWW
      prepare a list of potential targeted areas.

12e   MCTA
      The report was noted.
      SWW reported that he is discussing a joint bid with MCTA and
      South West Conference of County of County Association of local
      Councils to the Lottery.
      SWW reported on the MCTA annual conference. He noted that
      there was an opportunity for RCCs to work with local
      development trusts at town level.



                                                                                        5
      Diversity Toolkit
      MR reported that Equality South West is to put a bid in for
      funding to develop the Toolkit across the region. It was                  SWW
      proposed that SWAN could work with Equality South west to
      submit a joint bid.

      SWAN Website
      It was agreed that it would be very useful to put successful              All to note/JN
      individual grant applications from RCC on the SWAN Website
      (private members’ area), as well as consultation responses as
      they are being developed, for comment.

12f   RISE
      The report was noted.
      JR reported on work with Co-Active. It was not ideal as they
      were restricted to giving information and not advice.

      The Store is the Core
      There will be 2 elements:
      Diagnostic through Business Link
      Business advice through RCS, ViRSA etc. SWW stressed that
      no one will be on the consultants register unless they have
      SFEDI accreditation. SWW will clarify with SWRDA whether the              SWW
      whole SEFDI course can by subsidised or just the pilot.
      Each RCC should aim to have at least 2 accredited advisers in
      order to attract new business.
      It was agreed to discuss RCCs’ role in social enterprise at the
      next meeting of the Chief Executives network.                             VC
      Joint South West Forum/RISE paper – any comments to SWW
      as soon as possible.                                                      All to note

12g   SWRDA Board Rural Advisory Group
      The report was noted.
13    SWANUpping 2007 and 2008
      The feedback from SWANUpping was overall good.

      There was a discussion about arrangements for 2008. It was                SWW
      agreed to set up a small steering group to help develop the
      programme for 2008. The dates are: 23 – 24 January 2008.
14    Any other Business
      John Lewis Partnership- Training
      SWW reminded the chief executives to advise him as quickly as             All to note
      possible about their RCC training requirements
15    Date of Next meetings
      11 May 2007, 13 July 2007, 12 October 2007
      All Board meetings will start at 10.30am



          SWAN c/o Community Council of Devon, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, EX2 4QB
                                Registered Charity number: 1077940
       Chairman: John G Hazelwood CBE MA DL Regional Director: Stephen W Wright MBE DMS



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