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AGM 7 Jan 2019


Present: Trustees: Jo Alberti, Steven Oldfield, Graham Anderson, Joe Davis, Tina Morland, Dot Benson, Christine Renouf.  In attendance:  Neil Beresford, Barbara Lowesmith, Adam Bazire,  , Liz Beresford, David Minnikin, Eileen Read,  Donald Angus, Laurence Deadman, John Deadman, Laurence Deadman, Madeleine Singleton, Carol Smith, Veronica Pollitt and Peter Pearson.

  1. Apologies – Moira Suringar
  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. Steven Oldfield, Graham Anderson and Joe Davis had been nominated and seconded to remain as members of the Trust Management Committee and it was agreed they should continue.
  9. Christine Renouf who had been a trustee for part of the previous year and David Evans, about to become a trustee, introduced themselves to the meeting.
  10. Madeleine Singleton asked if the V.H. Committee would provide some means of speakers making themselves more audible within the hall.  It was pointed out that there already was a microphone in the A.V. cupboard for use by anyone who asked for it.

After a short break, Peter Pearson, Chair of the John Muir Trust gave an informed, interesting and enjoyable talk on the history, work and ambitions of the Trust, including it’s work on Helvellyn.  At the conclusion Peter was sincerely thanked for coming to talk to the meeting.

The evening concluded with drinks and ‘nibbles’ provide by Graham Anderson – many thanks.

Threlkeld Village Hall Trust   AGM  January 7th 2019  Chair’s Address:-

Jo Alberti welcomed those attending: she admitted that AGMs are not the most popular events and so she appreciated those who came for taking the time.  Of course, each year the  Committee invited a speaker to draw in the hesitant and she was delighted to welcome  Peter Pearson, Chairman of the John Muir Trust as today’s speaker.  

Jo began her address, as she has done for the past three years, by focusing on the people who make the Village Hall the success that it is, not just in financial terms as Neil Beresford our invaluable and meticulous treasurer will make clear,  but in the way it is becoming a vital constituent of the life of the village. This year she said she wanted to emphasise the way the members of the committee, together with others who give time and energy and care to making the Hall a vibrant space, work together.   Those involved with the Hall offer a wide variety of skills, practical, clerical and responsive, so that there is always someone available to take on a task: a quotation from the minutes of our November meeting will give you a glimpse into this: “lights in Hall replaced; key readers not working in rear door; blind over fire door repaired; guttering cleared out; wall in CS to be painted now dry; CS lights being replaced; flood barriers have been in action; new toilet seats; a quote for floor sealing at the end of next year has been received.”

The maintenance of the building takes considerable time and effort as does the management of those who rent space in the Hall, whether on a regular or one-off basis. Those who take responsibility for these tasks have to display great patience and cheerful outlook as well as efficiency:  Steven Oldfield and Barbara Lowesmith and her team display these qualities unmistakably. Jo said she knew that others on the committee were always willing to lend a hand when requested.

Of those who hold regular sessions in the Hall, Jo said she wanted to mention the Youth Programme. This has been a great success of which the whole village should be pleased, she suggested. This is thanks to the hard work, competence and vitality of a team of volunteers, ably led by Tina Morland.

Jo mentioned briefly two big concerns facing the Village Hall: one is the question of parking  - a reflection of the success of the Coffee Shop and the Hall - and the other the future of the Public Toilets.  The Committee has  potential solutions in mind for these but they depend on delicate negotiations.

At the end of her address Jo Alberti said that she would be leaving the Village and the Committee during 2019.  She acknowledged that she will miss very many aspects of Threlkeld, and her experience on the Village Hall Trust Committee will be one of these, largely because of the circle of friends made.

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

Threlkeld Village Hall  A.G.M. Monday,  7th  January, 2019 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, up to the present time.

The Committee during 2018 comprised Jo Alberti, Joe Davis and myself, elected at the A.G.M., Graham Anderson and Christine Renouf co-opted by the Committee and Moira Suringar, Tina Morland and Dot. Benson, appointed by the TAA, TYP and PC respectively.  Jo Alberti was 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 79% attendance over 6 x two monthly meetings, one extraordinary meeting to discuss the proposed development of the field opposite the coffee shop and one meeting to discuss the improvements to the coffee shop servery.

Continuous efforts are made to attract new people onto the Management Board and for the first time for quite a while we hope to be up to strength by co-opting another new member immediately after this A.G.M.

At the regular meetings we discussed all the usual matters plus taking over the public toilets building, the constant interest in the plans for the field and regularly visiting the matter of the old railway line, which now seems to be decided.  As I am not superstitious I am going to say that the lift now seems to have settled down, one event, a long distance running event on a day when the weather was foul. caused great concern due to the amount of water brought onto the hall floor and as a result special criteria are to be applied for future events.  With money provided by the TAA we bought three extra sections of staging and 20 additional blue chairs, the latter having been used many times already. We are to consider another application from the Youth Club for financial support and there seems no reason why this will be turned down.

We need to thank Steph. Malik and Sylvia Tuer who take care of the cleaning of the hall and prepare the hall for upcoming events.  Sylvia and I look after the ‘meeting and greeting’ of hall hirers.  The Committee are very grateful to Steph and Sylvia for carrying out 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 campers, brides and grooms and people throwing parties for all sorts of reasons.  A first for us was an art gallery which required a minimal amount of alteration by us.  This event was very successful and one of the two displaying artists sold every picture she had on display. The TAA has hired the hall for music events, films, talks, drama, comedy, ceilidhs and a craft fayre, plus keep fit classes and TAA meetings. The TYP reports that the youth group numbers average 20 from a membership of 30, the Brownies now have a combined membership of 35.  The Rainbows, who used to meet along with the Brownies now use the school because the combined numbers were too great. 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, friends of Blencathra and Friends of Threlkeld Quarry, events by the school, the Blencathra Foxhounds, St. Mary’s Church, indoor bowls, circle dancing, singing, Yoga, Pilates, keep fit, , independent drama productions to name just about all of them.  To sum up the hall hire, during the last calendar year we had 512 hirings of the main hall and coffee shop area, not counting the actual coffee shop. This is up on the previous year, the total hours were 1668, up 50% on last year. This means the hall is hired out on average for 32 hours per week.

 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.

I would like to end by thanking those here this evening for showing interest and taking the time to attend.

Treasurer’s Report to Threlkeld Village Hall Trustees Year ending 30th September 2018


  • A  surplus of £17,994 for the year
  • Available Funds at the year end of £47,368
  • An Operational Surplus of £8,602 on record Hall lettings of £13,575
  • A Projects surplus of £9,392


Reflects the day to day operation of the building

The Operating Surplus for the year was £8,602, compared to £1,127 in the previous year.

Overall Operating Income was up by £5,707 and costs were down by £1,768, producing an overall improvement of the surplus of £7,475.

Lettings for the year were £13,575, compared to £8,378 in the previous year, a 62% increase. This reflects the effort that has gone into the promotion of the facility and the quality of the building and service given. Well done Steven!

There was a 5% increase in the Coffee Shop licence fee paid for the year.

Renewable energy payments received (FITS & RHI) at £3,436 were very similar to the previous year and make a considerable contribution to covering the energy costs of the building.

Operating expenses overall were £18,990, compared to £20,758 the previous year. The main saving arose from no payments being made to the Bookings Secretary (BAMS) (£4,080), and a windfall when the local authority gave us a full rates rebate as a result of a change in Government policy (£823). There was also a significant saving on Insurance when we changed providers (£370).

Beyond that there has been a growth in most of the other operating costs.

The cost of Caretaking and Cleaning and associated materials has increased by £812 to £5,148 and reflects the payments we now make as a matter of policy to clean the building after certain major events (weddings, parties, camping…). This supports our policy of maintaining a high quality environment.

Electricity costs are up by £717 to £4,793 (18%). This is mostly due to increased contract supply cost, but there is also a small growth in usage. It is likely that electricity contract prices will increase again when we renegotiate (March 2019) and I hope to bring some focus on reducing usage to mitigate this. The major users are heating and the Coffee shop servery.

There has been an increase in IT costs of £549 to £706. The main impact has been from the cost of support needed to allow our Bookings Secretary to operate the Village Hall IT system remotely from his home. This clearly helps support him and make the job more tolerable. Many of the early issues have now been resolved and cost should reduce.

General maintenance and repair costs continue to grow, seeing an increase of £855 to £3,708 in the year. This was anticipated. We have a high quality facility with modern systems which have now seen 5 years’ use, and we are committed to maintaining them for the future. As we established earlier in the year, despite our perceptions, maintenance of the access lift is not the main cost. Electrical systems and automatic door maintenance are substantially greater costs. 

The increase in Professional Fees reflects the fee for advice on (successfully) objecting to the planning application in the field to the south of our site.


Reflects non-operational income and expenditure; grants, donations, project spend

There was a surplus of £9,392 on Project Account for the year, compared to a surplus of £7,721 in the previous year.

Projects undertaken at a cost of £13,503, were:

  • Purchase of an additional twenty blue upholstered chairs for the Hall at a cost of £900. This provides seating for a ‘full house’ and allowed us to stop using some very heavy chairs previously stored in the upstairs office.
  • Purchase of additional staging and legs for the demountable stage, at a cost of £1,318.
  • Complete refurbishment of the Coffee Shop Servery, including provision of air conditioning, at a cost of £11,285

Project income of £22,895 was made up of:

  • £18,000 from the Coffee Shop CIC this was in two tranches:
    • £5,000 in September 2017, which was part of the agreed transfer from the CIC’s 2016/17 net earnings
    • £13,000 in September 2018, which was part of a grant they received of £15,000.
  • £4,800 from the TAA
  • £95 in small gifts

Available Funds

The cash we are holding is now reaching a level where, with Trustees approval, I propose to open a separate savings account which may attract a modest amount of interest (1%?). I feel an instant access account is more appropriate than a long term investment product. I would probably transfer in £35,000 of our £47,000 cash funds. This would leave £12,000 working cash which is in my view quite adequate.

Future Project Expenditure

There are several potential projects in discussion, which will incur substantial cost and to which we should perhaps bring increased focus and some prioritisation.

  1. The future of the local authority toilet block.

It seems this will be closed and available to us around April 1st 2019, probably at no cost. There is uncertainty as to whether it will bring any cash with it to allow us to carry out building work and considerable discussion will be needed before this is finalised.

The Trust needs to decide whether we want the building and site, even if there is no cash?

If we do take the site, what are our project goals?

  • Simply to have control of the site?
  • Additional toilets – can our existing facilities cope with 100 people?
  • A purpose designed small meeting room, to avoid the problems of using the Coffee shop
  • An improved entrance area
  • Additional and improved storage for the Hall and Coffee shop
  • Does the Coffee Shop have the ambition to increase its servery size to improve business opportunities

Any or all of these may involve substantial building work and probably costs above our current resources. Grants and loans may be available.

  1. Purchase of additional car parking area
  • Following the modification to the planning application for the field at the rear of the Village Hall, it is possible that the Trust may be able to acquire some of the land for additional car parking space.
  • This would probably require planning consent.
  1. Replace roof on main building
  • The slate roof is deteriorating, slates have been lost in recent storms, and there is no waterproof membrane beneath the slates. However, there does not seem to be any imminent danger.
  • Graham has sought prices for re re-roofing to enable us to act or maintain a sensible provision.

Financial Summary

  • Overall the Hall’s finances are very satisfactory. Provided we can maintain the current levels of letting and control costs, we should continue to build surpluses to support future planned expenditure on the facility and unforeseen costs.
  • The Coffee Shop continues to make a substantial contribution in rental income, but it is perhaps a little disappointing that contributions from profitable trading have almost disappeared.

Neil Beresford



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Threlkeld Village Hall  A.G.M. Coffee Shop Report.

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