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.
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
Stephen W. Wright– SWAN Regional Director
Jane Nichols – SWAN Administrator
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
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
4 Steering Group
4a The notes of the meeting held on 30 November 2006 were
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
5 SWAN Financial Report
JT reported that the Honorary Treasurer had expressed the
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
Appointment of Auditors for 2006/07 SWW/JN
5b The Board approved the appointment of Francis Clark as
auditors for 2006/07.
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
Financial Regulations for SWAN
5f The Board approved the Financial Regulations for SWAN.
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)
Procurement of council services
Relationship with the broader VCS structure
Regional SWAN consultancy
There should be external and internal versions
The Plans will be developed further by SWW and MR
Bids and Project Development
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
£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.
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
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
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
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
Convergence Group had not been taken forward in the ACRE
paper. RCCs have been asked to respond to ACRE by the end
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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