You are here

Village Hall trust meeting - Dec 14




Present: Roger Bragg (member appointed by Threlkeld Parish Council), Steven Oldfield (elected member/Secretary), Lizzie Phipson  (co-opted member) , Trevor Roberts (elected member/Chairman), Moira Suringar (member appointed by the Threlkeld Activities Association), Emma Weir (member appointed by the Threlkeld Young People). In attendance: Neil Beresford (Treasurer)


  1. Apologies

Saima Afzal (coopted member), Barbara Lowesmith (Monitoring Officer)

  1. Welcome to new members and other formalities relating to them (if any)

Not required.

  1. Minutes of the last Ordinary Meeting held on 23 October 2014 (previously circulated)

       Agreed as a correct record.

  1. Matters arising from the Minutes not on the agenda

Item 12 Christmas tree, lights and decorations

The Committee agreed that the lights, trees and decorations were very attractive and successful, and thanked all involved.

Item 19 Threlkeld Young People

The Committee endorsed the appointment of Maria Resende to the TYP Committee.

  1. Revitalisation scheme

       An oral update on the scheme was noted. Basically:

  • issues with the platform lift seem to have been resolved subject to a period of a month's satisfactory operation
  • although it seems to be performing satisfactorily, there are still some issues with the efficiency of the heating/hot water system which Neil Beresford is monitoring; it was agreed we should seek a general get together of the parties involved to resolve these and fine tune the way the system is functioning, and also seek to get it "signed off" properly by contractors and consultants. Action: Neil Beresford,
  • nothing more to report on negotiations about the final account, we still seem to be waiting for a response from Postlethwaite's
  • we will all contribute to a "snagging list" to present to the contractors in February. Action: Trevor Roberts
  1. Financial reports

The Committee approved the accounts for the year ending 30 September 2014, incorporated into the Annual Report.

Neil Beresford reported on income, expenditure and the current position on the Main Account and the Project Account up to the end of November 2014. The Main Account (routine operation) showed that after the Coffee Shop license payment is taken into account, we roughly broke even in the first two months of the 2014/15 year. We are still spending a lot on items to do with the new operations and procedures, but hopefully this will decline in the course of the year. Bookings income is looking promising, and as the fixed costs and publicity costs associated with this are unlikely to increase, additional bookings will significantly improve our financial security.

It was also reported that the Coffee Shop CIC accountants had just completed the accounts for the year to the end of March 2014 (ie after the first month of trading). Due mainly to technical changes in how the Village SOS grant to the Coffee Shop and expenditure on furniture/equipment was treated, the Coffee Shop made an unexpected profit in the year, on which Corporation Tax was due. As was always planned, this tax liability has been avoided by the CIC Directors agreeing to make a charitable donation of £1,418 to the VHT, to be spent in any way the TMC wishes to promote the objectives of the Village Hall. This will be paid shortly.

The Committee noted this report.

  1. Village Hall insurance

Moira Suringar had sought several quotes for the Hall insurance, but the existing insurer offered the best deal. It was agreed to go ahead on this basis, subject to some queries about public liability cover being resolved

The Committee also authorised Moira Suringar to handle insurance issues on its behalf in future. Action: Moira Suringar

  1. Annual Report and Accounts of the Village Hall Trust

The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 30 September 2014 were circulated to members in advance. The Committee:

  • endorsed the report and the accounts for submission to the Annual General Meeting on 29 January 2014
  • approved the Chairman's signing of the accounts.

The accounts and other details will be reported to the Charity Commission. Action: Neil Beresford

  1. Promotion and marketing

It was reported that Saima Afzal has agreed to take on responsibility for promotion and marketing activities, working with Steph Malik and Trevor Roberts on various measures to promote Hall use, acting under the brief/authority agreed by the TMC at the meeting on 31 July 2014. This was endorsed.

Saima and Steph

  • have met with Phil Sturgess, they are between them managing the VH Facebook page on behalf of the VHT and the TAA jointly, with Saima and Steph supplying Phil with information as required
  • are putting together a promotional package for children's parties
  • are promoting wedding receptions and camping bookings by finding cost effective advertising media/venues, following up on contacts, approaching again people who have used the Hall previously - in both cases it will be easier to do this once we have had some more actual bookings to build on
  • are placing press adverts promoting use of the Hall generally
  • are developing a series of promotional leaflets on various supplementary Hall uses
  • are in contact with Ursula Pool re photography and press contacts generally.

The Committee noted this report.

Trevor Roberts reported that following email exchanges, three wall mounted leaflet holders would be erected shortly. It was agreed:

  • Village Hall and Coffee Shop publicity and paperwork would have first call on the spaces
  • any other Hall user would be able to use them to promote their activities
  • other people can use them without charge, subject to availability, but this would exclude any commercial advertising apart from anything with a reasonably direct connection to the Hall or its use
  • Steph Malik would be asked to keep an eye on what is happening, remove any unacceptable or unauthorised material, and make decisions about accepting or rejecting material. Action: Trevor Roberts
  1. Health and Safety

It was agreed to arrange training sessions as follows:

  • on basic use of the fire extinguishers for
    • Coffee Shop staff,
    • other people on the call out list
    • Steph Malik
    • Barbara Lowesmith
    • Phil Sturgess

This could probably be arranged in conjunction with the inspection of fire appliances; the aim is simply to get these people who may be around or called on in an emergency to have some confidence about using the equipment provided to deal with a fire.

  • how to turn off the alarm, check the console, investigate the source and reset the system on re-entering the building if safe to do so after an alarm and evacuation has taken place; this is aimed at
    • Coffee Shop staff
    •  other people on the call out list
    • Steph Malik.

Action: Lizzie Phipson

  1. Routine management/"housekeeping"

Under the plans to delegate/spread the load, Emma Weir has taken on responsibility for a range of routine management/"housekeeping" issues, to a brief circulated previously. This was endorsed.

In practice most of the day to day matters on this continue to be delegated to Sylvia Tuer and Steph Malik, but Emma is the Committee member responsible, and any queries are referred to her, and any specific changes, initiatives in this aspect of the operation are handled by her.

Some things which have been dealt with recently include:

  • better equipment available for users to sweep the Hall after use to encourage them to do this
  • provision of a lost property box upstairs (in hand)
  • provision of disposal facilities for nappies etc
  • oversight of cleaning the lift and surroundings.

This report was noted.

Discussion has been taking place about window cleaning. It was agreed:

  • to reduce the window cleaning contract to focus on the Hall front windows and save money Action: Neil Beresford
  • to make arrangements with the Coffee Shop to clean the Coffee Shop windows as often as they think necessary Action: Emma Weir
  • to purchase a Karcher window cleaning device for use by Coffee Shop and Hall staff Action: Emma Weir, Neil Beresford

The Committee endorsed the arrangements previously circulated about damage etc follow up inspections.

It was agreed that action needs to be taken to remind some Hall users of their responsibility to clean up/sweep up after they have used it. Action: Emma Weir.

  1. Car parking issues

A very detailed report on car parking issues and background was circulated. After discussion, the Committee resolved to:

  • accept the report, which will remain available to consider if the issue is raised again
  • make it absolutely clear that there is no question of the Village Hall Car Park being used in any other way than as provision for people using the Village Hall and in support of the purposes of the Village Hall Trust, in accordance with the governing document and charitable purposes of the Village Hall Trust as well as the terms of the planning permission
  • reinforce the decision taken by the TMC in July 2014 that the signs in the car park are necessary to enforce the parking regime and protect the VHT's legal rights; and are to remain
  • obtain appropriately but strongly worded signs to discourage parking outside the main Hall entrance and outside the emergency access. Action: Neil Beresford.
  1. Various improvements, repairs and related items

The Committee made a first list of suggestions for improvements/additions to the Hall over and above those already done or planned (and excluding minor repairs/snagging). This resulted in the following list of things to consider.


Early repainting because the paint is of poor quality.

Professional cleaning of the floor



Whiteroc at servery entrance *

Ventilator above servery *

Display stand for non food items (depending on Coffee Shop requirements)

Professional cleaning and treatment of the slate floor

Early repainting.


Taps which turn themselves off (if a notice does not stop people leaving them on)


Concealing meters and valves


Carpet tiles on the stairs

Subdivision into three  rooms

Extension of the heating system

secure and local storage for Village Hall documents which need to be retained for a long time.


Possibly repainting.


Signs in front of the building to discourage parking *

Bike rack

Check on roof leaks above office, possibly some work on the roof


Meter to split the use of electricity

It was agreed:

  • the items marked with an asterisk should be implemented asap, especially the ventilation to the servery, as this is a significant health and safety issue for people working there Action: Neil Beresford, Trevor Roberts
  • the other items can be considered at the next meeting, together with any other suggestions, and decisions made as to if and when they can be afforded
  • some items would overlap with a system of regular/cyclical maintenance; the development of an ongoing maintenance framework is now required, this to be considered at the next meeting.
  1. Monitoring of Hall use/monitoring report to the Big Lottery/revision of the documentation relating to the Big Lottery grant application/blueprints for Hall action

The Committee received a comprehensive briefing and extensive related documentation about the link between ongoing monitored use of the Hall and the Big Lottery grant and how this was secured.

The Committee resolved to:

  • note the reports and documentation circulated
  • approve the revised version of The Positive Difference, a document which acts as a blueprint for ongoing activity of community benefit
  • approve the monitoring documentation sent to the Big Lottery
  • approve the revised version of the Supplementary Commercial Use Business Plan, which is a blueprint for attracting uses over and above the community users to help the financial position of the VHT
  • agree and implement the various specific actions set out in the report on this item
  • approve the various detailed changes to indicators, targets and timescales and incorporate these into its monitoring framework.  

Action: Trevor Roberts

  1. Bookings report

An updated report on bookings had been circulated. The Committee:

  • noted the report
  • approved action taken on various issues of application of the bookings and charging system
  1. Monitoring report

The Monitoring Officer, Barbara Lowesmith, had circulated a written report about how Hall use/activity is matching up to the various targets set in the process of applying for funds. Progress is generally positive, but with some areas of concern flagged up which are being addressed. The report was noted.

  1. Fundraising ideas

Progress on this was briefly reported.

Arrangement to get the Buy a Brick display up by or soon after the end of January 2015 were outlined. There are just over 200 "bricks". Cost of the display will come from the Project Fund. After expenses it looks as though the scheme raised about £1900, less than was hoped, but still very useful as a contribution to the project.


The report was noted and the Committee agreed to give further consideration to fundraising options at its next meeting.

  1. License agreement and license fee agreed between the Village Hall Trust and the

Coffee Shop CIC

The Committee received an outline of the arrangements for setting the license fee and agreement between the Coffee Shop CIC and the VHT. It was agreed to:

  • look to revise the VHT/CIC license agreement early in 2015
  • appoint Moira Suringar to represent it in negotiating a revised license agreement with the CIC
  • invite the CIC to do likewise.

Action: Moira Suringar

  1. Arrangements for the Annual General Meeting

It was noted that Steve Birkinshaw has kindly accepted the agreement to speak as agreed at the last meeting.

The AGM format was briefly outlined. The AGM on 29 January 2015 will be chaired by Trevor Roberts. After the AGM, the TMC at that point will consist of

  • the three appointed members who are already known as they have all been appointed or confirmed in appointment recently - Roger Bragg, Moira Suringar, Emma Weir
  • hopefully the full three members elected at the AGM, with or without a contest (NB nomination are to be with Steven Oldfield by midday the day before)

The first meeting of the new Committee will be on 16 February 2015. This meeting will be organised by Trevor Roberts, but on an informal basis as he will not be standing for re-election to the Committee and is unavailable to be coopted (although he has made it clear he will still be available to assist and support the Committee and a new Chair in any way he can, if requested).

At the meeting on 16 February 2015, the elected and coopted Committee members co-opt up to three others, who ideally have been informally agreed in advance so that cooption is a formality and they can join the Committee at once. Then at that meeting on 16 February, the Committee must appoint a Chair and a Vice Chair (whose role is simply to stand in for the Chair if he/she is unavailable) who must be members of the Committee; and a Secretary and a Treasurer who can be members of the Committee or not.

  1. Any other business

Trevor Roberts was authorised to continue to act (even after he ceases to be a member of the Committee) under delegated authority from the Committee in respect of dealings with the Big Lottery over the grant; and with the consultants/contractors over outstanding contractual matters.

  1. Dates of future meetings

The Annual General Meeting 29 January 2015 is fixed and has been advertised.


Future Committee meeting dates were agreed as:

Monday 16 February 2015

Monday 18 May 2015

Monday 7 September 2015

Monday 23 November 2015


All these dates have been reserved at the Village Hall. All meetings are currently scheduled to start at 7.30pm.

The Chairman thanked people for their attendance and contributions. The meeting finished at 9.35pm

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer