St Francis Fields – UPDATE
When St Francis Fields was purchased from the Blue Cross by the Parish Council in January 2020, the Parish Council stipulated that it would be run and managed by an independent Community Interest Company (CIC).
We are very pleased to announce that, despite innumerable delays caused by Covid-19, the CIC is now well on the way to be being officially formed. It will comprise eight village residents, all of whom are volunteers who expressed an interest during the open days last February in being involved in the management of the site. Together they represent a really good cross-section of the village, and they will be taking on roles within the CIC that are relevant to their own areas of experience and expertise. The role of Chair will be taken on a rotating basis, with the incumbent changing at regular intervals.
We are delighted to now be able to introduce you to the prospective new CIC group:
- Secretary (and interim Chair): Judith O’Connor
- Treasurer, corporate governance and compliance: Amanda Deacon
- Strategy, including co-ordination of future initiatives and ideas: Jonathan Strong, Sarah Giles, Carol Biggs
- Risk management: Debbie Edwards
- Fundraising: David Cooper and Debbie Edwards
- Volunteer co-ordinator: Jacky Broad
- Communications, PR and village liaison: Sarah Giles
Meanwhile, we’re pleased to report that a lot has been happening on the site over the past few months. A number of vital infrastructure and maintenance tasks have been completed, a hedge surrounding the Conservation Society’s community orchard has been planted in preparation for the planting of the fruit trees in January, and sheep and horses continue to graze the fields.
As you can imagine, the various stages of setting up the CIC and then implementing new initiatives takes time, especially in the early days.
But bear with us because there are exciting times for St Francis Fields ahead, and the CIC group is passionate about making St Francis Fields an integral part of the village, and a real hub for as many villagers as possible to enjoy. One of the first jobs will be to open up a footpath through the site, and it’s hoped that this will happen in the spring. Many of the other suggestions made during the open days are already being investigated and researched too.