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The Digglers' Minutes

Meeting held on 16/04/10

Present:-

  • Kath Pearson
  • Norma Smalley
  • Kath Birch
  • Val McKeon
  • Rachel Bean
  • Michael Gourley
  • Catherine Unsworth
  • Helen Unsworth
  • Joan Butterworth

Apologies:-

Apologies were received from:- Maureen Price, Ruth Price, Trish Farrell and Dianne Radford.


Welcome and Introductions

Kath Pearson welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced them to each other.

Norma - a close friend, who has been involved with Veterinary Vouchers and helped run an associated charity shop.

Rachel - a veterinary nurse who has current expertise in animal behaviour. She will be consultant veterinary nurse to 'The Digglers'.

Michael - a retired vet who had practices within Tameside and will be consultant vet.

Kath Birch - from Tameside and Glossop RSPCA from where some of the animals at Diggle have originated.

Val - a close friend who Kath met through a shared love of horses and riding. Val has legal acumen and knowledge.

Catherine and Helen - who help at Diggle on a voluntary basis.

Joan - a friend from college days.


Discussing and Finalising the Constitution

Everyone was given a list of people who have agreed to become consultants to 'The Digglers'. Michael asked if his entry be amended so the word 'retired' appeared after his name. This was agreed.

The bankers will be Yorkshire Bank.

Dave Roberts will do the accounts annually.

Kath P explained that the constitution had been altered slightly from the original draft. It had been proposed that veterinary students who had received bursaries from Veterinary Vouchers could become members of the committee. However, this idea has now been discarded as they may have a vested interest in voting to sell the land and buildings to raise money for future bursaries.

Approximately, 2 acres of land at Diggle will be developed as a woodland area with paths and benches. The Woodland Trust are acting as advisers. The area will probably take about twelve years to establish. Each trustee will be able to select a suitable tree to be planted in the woodland. It is envisaged that to raise money towards the running costs and maintenance, members of the public would be able to bury their pet's ashes on the site. There are issues such as parking, insurance, health and safety etc which will have to be thoroughly researched. There is a possibility of charging a fee for pets to be mentioned on the website.

Kath P would like the charity to be registered with the Charity Commission but explained that this is no longer possible or necessary unless the charity has an annual income of 5,000 or more. It was agreed that it was desirable to register and the possibilities of achieving this will be looked into.

It was also agreed that the number of animals kept at Diggle would be limited as outlined in the constitution.

Kath P envisages that ultimately a manager will run Diggle and that he/she would live rent free at Kath's current home. However, some trustees felt there should be a nominal charge and a tenancy agreement for a limited specified period. This would safeguard the interest of all parties. It also needs to be clarified who would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property.

Kath is keen to develop the educational role of Diggle and feels there are people on the trustees with the expertise and contacts to do this via the website, talks etc. This was agreed to be a valuable future role.

Kath P asked if it was felt that she needed to ask permission from the committee every time she wished to make changes at Diggle. It was decided that phone calls to the relevant trustees would be sufficient.


Election of Officers

Kath P expressed a wish that she be founder/trustee only but it was strongly felt by several people that as she was the driving force and inspiration behind the whole concept she should be chairperson. She reluctantly agreed.

  • Kath P - Chairperson: Proposed by Michael, seconded by Val
  • Val Treasurer: Proposed by Kath, seconded by Joan
  • Trish Secretary: Proposed by Kath, seconded by Norma

Meeting Closed