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AGM 11 Jan 2018

Annual General Meeting 11 JANUARY 2018,  7.30PM.

Present: Trustees: Jo Alberti, Steven Oldfield, Graham Anderson, Joe Davis, Moira Suringar.                                

In attendance:  Neil Beresford, Barbara Lowesmith, Adam Bazire,  Vanya Anderson, Liz Beresford, David Minnikin, Marion Turner,Eileen Read, Sheila Sunderland, Donald Angus, Michael Hambrey, Laurence Deadman, John Deadman, Dickon Chaplin-Bryce, Henry Tuer. 

  1. Apologies – Saima Afzal, Dot Benson
  2. The minutes of last year's A.G.M., which had been available on the Hall's website for 12 months, were accepted.
  3. There were no matters arising.
  4. Chair's address – see attached.
  5. Secretary's report – see attached.
  6. Treasurer's report – see attached.
  7. Coffee Shop – see attached.
  8. Jo Alberti, Steven Oldfield and Joe Davis had again been nominated and seconded to remain as members of the Trust Management Committee and it was agreed they should continue.
  9. There were no other questions.

After a short break, Dickon Chaplin-Bryce gave an informed, interesting and enjoyable talk on the history and future plans for Threlkeld Quarry and the railway therein.  At the conclusion Dickon was sincerely thanked for coming to talk to the meeting.

The evening concluded with drinks and ‘nibbles’ provide by Barbara Lowesmith – many thanks.

Threlkeld Village Hall Trust  AGM  January 11th 2018   Chair’s Address:-

Jo Alberti, as chair of the Village Hall Trust Committee, warmly welcomed all those who attended.  She said she was well aware  that AGMs are not the most popular events in Village life – or the life of any institution - so it was good to see that you have felt it worthwhile to attend.  The draw was most probably the talk which Dickon will give when the business is finished.

She confessed that it was hard not to repeat herself in giving this address, although her guess was that attenders are unlikely to remember what she said last year.  Last year she gave a well-deserved and wholehearted appreciation of the work done by Steven as secretary and this, she asserted, bore repetition, especially as he has now taken over as bookings secretary. This is a job of considerable dimensions and Steven has tackled it with good humour and great energy. Jo did not think that he would  mind her saying that the IT aspects had been a hill to climb for him but Jo  believes he has reached the final heights.  He has had assistance from Neil whose skills – financial and  technological  – are of incomparable value to the committee, given the problems which  have arisen with the high tech doors and the lift.

 Jo recalled that last year she had also praised highly the efforts of Barbara Lowesmith as leader of the Threlkeld Activities team.  Barbara’s enormous energy and commitment, together with that of the rest of the team, have led to another highly successful year of events which have been various and very well attended.  These happenings have given great pleasure – and brought benefit to the Hall in the form of sizable items such as stage steps, a new AV system,  more chairs for the Hall and new stage lights.

This year saw the final restoration of the Hall after the damage done by Storm Desmond in November 2016.  The Hall was painted; the floor sanded and re-varnished; a  new cupboard built in the Coffee Shop  completed and several walls repainted.  The problem with the flood barriers has been resolved.

The destruction of bridges on the Railway path as a result of that same storm has had an impact on visitors to the Coffee Shop and the Committee has kept in contact with the National Park in their plans to replace the path. Cath Johnston gave a full report to the Committee in November.

Beside the routine work of the committee, particular ‘challenges’ have emerged this year.  Eden District Council is divesting non-statutory provision of some street lights, maintenance of the Jobby and the Public Toilets to the Parish Council.  The Hall has a clear interest in the last of these has made a proposal to EDC that the Trust take over the ownership of the buildings – not their function – if EDC is prepared to hand over the funding which has been offered to the Parish council to run the toilets for the next three years.

Finally, she referred to the planning application which has been made for houses to be built in the field adjoining the Coffee Shop car park.  After a determined recovery under the new management of Johnny Denny from the setback of the interruption to the Railway path, this was a blowThe Committee is submitting a comprehensive objection to this proposal on the basis that it will seriously impact on attendance at the coffee shop.

She concluded by thanking all those who have given of their time and care to the Hall.

Threlkeld Village Hall  A.G.M. Thursday, 11th January, 2018 Secretary’s  Report.

This Secretary’s Report relates to the work of the V.H. Trust Management Committee since the date of the last A.G.M on the 12th January, 2017 up to the present time.

The Committee during 2017 comprised Jo Alberti, Joe Davis and myself, elected at the A.G.M., Graham Anderson, co-opted by the Committee and Moira Suringar, Saima Afzal and Dot. Benson, appointed by the TAA, TYP and PC respectively.  Jo Alberti is Chair, Graham Anderson - Vice Chair, Joe Davis – minutes secretary and myself Secretary.  In addition Neil Beresford – Treasurer and Barbara Lowesmith – monitoring officer/TAA chair have attended meetings but without voting rights. We now routinely have an item on the Agenda to cover any coffee shop matters that may be of relevance to the sole share holder, the Village Hall, and in consequence a member of the coffee shop board, invariably Adam Bazire, has also attended our meetings.  We have managed on average 85% attendance.

During the course of the year the Committee met 7 times to deal mainly with routine matters but had one meeting, the majority of which was taken up by a presentation on the work already carried out and work planned by the National Park to re-open the old railway line footpath.  We also had one meeting called urgently to discuss the matter of the planning permission being sought for the field outside the coffee shop. 

Continuous efforts are made to attract new people onto the Management Board, we are likely to be 2 trustees short for the forthcoming year and are recruiting, if anyone is interested. 

At the regular meetings we discussed, among other things, how the village hall could make use of the public toilets situation, after much discussion we bought a mechanised floor cleaning machine, we approved another grant to the Youth Club, we had a complicated issue with the disability lift which Joe Davis wrestled manfully with, we are also trying to resolve a ‘damp from outside’ problem and a long running issue of the emergency lights.  However, on the plus side we have had the hall fully repainted, the hall floor situation is finalised, the A.V. system has been replaced and we have flood resistance apparatus ready to bring into action.  As regards the disabled lift, this has been out of use for several weeks and the reason is that it needs what seems to be a simple repair but we are being quoted an astonishing price to have it mended.  I am continuingly trying to resolve that situation but the Management Committee do have to think carefully about whether to retain it.

Unfortunately Steph Malik wished to step back from the bookings and marketing position and so I have taken this on.  Only now do I realise how much work and how many hours are involved.  We thank Steph for her 3 years involvement. She, along with Sylvia Tuer, take care of the cleaning of the hall and Sylvia and I look after the ‘meeting and greeting’ of hall hirers.  The Committee are very grateful to Steph and Sylvia for their present roles.  Whilst on the subject of appreciation for help given, Helen O’Brien still keeps our web-site in good order and John Knifton has saved the Village Hall hundreds of pounds and also provided work of an exceptional standard carrying out maintenance and installation work of all kinds.  We are very grateful to these two, as well as to those too numerous to individually name for providing other types of assistance.

In the last financial year the hall has hosted 16 separate groups of campers and 2 wedding receptions.  The TAA has hired the hall for music events, drama, comedy, ceilidhs and a craft fayre, plus keep fit classes and TAA meetings. The TYP reports that the youth group numbers vary between 25 - 30, the Rainbows/Brownies now have a combined membership of 35.  This is an area the trustees are particularly pleased with.  Professional leaders are employed with the youth group but both activities also rely upon voluntary help.  Again, anyone feeling they have something to offer would be most welcome. In addition to those activities, regularly held in the hall are meetings by Threlkeld Housing, the Women’s Group, the Cumbria Commoners, the Parish Council and Friends of Blencathra, events by the school, the Blencathra Foxhounds, St. Mary’s Church, indoor bowls, circle dancing, singing, Yoga, Pilates, keep fit, private parties, independent drama productions to name just about all of them.  To sum up the hall hire, during the last financial year we had 447 hirings of the main hall, which is down on the previous year, the total hours were 1189, also down on last year, but it must be remembered that last year we benefitted from other halls having been closed by the floods. This actually breaks down to 3.2 hours every day of the year.

 I am sure Adam will give you details of the coffee shop affairs.

A tremendous amount of good will has been created around the village hall and the activities carried on here.  Much work is done, time given voluntarily by a relatively small group of people, however, there is no closed shop.  Anyone is invited to get involved, there is enough work to go round and if anyone feels they have something to offer please make yourself known to any of the people already involved.

Threlkeld Village Hall Trust: Treasurer’s Report for the Financial Year ending 30th September 2017

The overall income and expenditure account for the year is shown below. The Trust had a surplus for the year of £8,848, compared to a deficit in the previous year of £7,157. Trustees will recall that the year’s deficit in 2016/17 arose because of the final Revitalisation Project payment to the contractor, which was covered by accumulated funds.

Available cash at the year-end is £29,604.


As is usual I have split the overall Income and expenditure account into an Operational account and a project account, to better aid understanding of the figures.



Day to day operation of the Hall has generated a surplus of £1,127 in the year, compared to £3,664 surplus in the previous year.

Hall Hire income is down by over 25% year on year and is also below the total for our first year of opening (see graph below).

This has been mitigated by an agreed increase in the Coffee Shop Licence Fee, and increases in receipts from our ‘green energy’ payments (FITS & RHI).

Maintenance costs have increased, and we should probably expect this to continue if we are to retain the perceived quality of the building.

In the past the Trust has not faced a rates bill for the building. However, the recent Business Rates revaluation, along with the improvements in the building, have meant that the Trust has paid Rates of £823 in the year. Of this, some £534 is for backdated payments for the years 2015-16 and 2016-17, with £288 due in the current year.

We still do not pay the total rates charge due on the building, which is potentially £3,215. As a charity we are due to ‘reliefs’, which have reduced the charge substantially.


In the year the Trust received Donations and Grants of £15,417, and spent £7,696 of this leaving a surplus of £7,721.

The Coffee Shop donation from its surplus was the largest single source of Grant income, along with £2,000 from the TAA, and £2,728 from the Eden Council for flood defences.

During the year the Trust received, in rent and grants, £20,087 from the Coffee shop, and £3,619 from the TAA

The Trust donated £1,000 to the TYP.

The Trust’s financial position continues to strengthen, with almost £30,000 cash available at the year end. The fall in Hall Hire income is disappointing, but the support from our Coffee Shop and the TAA continue to help to maintain a buoyant position.

At the time of the AGM, our major financial risk arises from the planning application to build houses in front of the Coffee Shop. The loss of the wonderful views from the Coffee Shop would likely have a substantial impact on the business’ customer numbers and therefore its viability.

The loss of Coffee Shop income would have a serious impact on the current operation of the Village Hall.

The creation of the Coffee Shop as a source of income to support the financial resilience of the Village Hall was supported by all the local authorities, the local community as well as major national grant providers. Hopefully this highly successful community venture will not be undermined by this unwelcome development possibility.

Neil Beresford, Treasurer 11/01/2018

Threlkeld Village Hall  A.G.M. Thursday, 11th January, 2018 Coffee Shop Report.

Click Coffee Shop Report (Powerpoint)


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