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Village Hall Trust meeting - March 15

Threlkeld Village Hall Trust Management Committee Meeting

At the Village Hall - 12th March 2015 7.30pm

Present:               Trustees: Saima Afzal, Joe Davies, Steven Oldfield, Emma Weir

In Attendance: Neil Beresford, Barbara Lowesmith

Apologies received: Roger Bragg and Moira Suringar

  1. Following the Trust’s AGM on 29th January 2015 the Trust was without a Chairman. The meeting agreed that the Secretary, Steven Oldfield, would take the Chair in this meeting until a new Chair of the Trust was elected later in the meeting.
  2. As the previous Secretary (Steven Oldfield) was now chairing the meeting a nominee was required to take notes of the meeting. None of the Trustees present was prepared to carry out this task. Neil Beresford, who was in attendance at the meeting as Treasurer, but not a Trustee, agree to take a record of the meeting, but stressed that if he was to continue his role as Treasurer he was not prepared in future to be ‘minutes secretary’.
  3. The Chairman welcomed new Trustee Joe Davies, and it was confirmed that all necessary documentation had been completed concerning his appointment.
  4. The meeting approved the minutes of the last ordinary meeting of the TMC held on 11 December 2014.
  5. Chairman Steven Oldfield proposed that the meeting should record a vote of thanks to the Trustees who had stood down at the AGM, Trevor Roberts and Lizzie Phipson. He also asked that the meeting record the deep debt of gratitude it owed to Trevor Roberts for having steered the Trust through the major refurbishment of the Village Hall. Without his vision, leadership, energy and commitment over the many years it took to create the concept, raise funds, and deliver the project, the Village would not have the excellent facilities that are now in place.
    Trustees agreed unanimously to the Chairman’s proposals.
  6. There was no one willing to stand for the positions of Chair, or Vice-Chair of the Trust. After considerable discussion Steven Oldfield agreed to continue to chair this meeting but stressed that he was not in the position of Chair of the Trust and until such time as the Trustees could agree to appoint one of their number to the role the position remains vacant.
  7. The Chair pointed out that there were no candidates for the posts of Co-opted Trustees and asked all Trustees to continue to search for suitable candidates.
  8. It was agreed by The Trustees that Steven Oldfield continue in his role as Secretary to the Trust, Neil Beresford as Treasurer and Barbara Lowesmith as Monitoring Officer.
  9. Neil Beresford gave a brief update on the finances of the Trust.
    • The main bank account balance stood at £8,970, and the Project Account at £17,361. The final payment from the Lottery of approximately £3,000 had now been received.
    • Rental income continued to grow but was still somewhat lower than is needed to sustain the operation
    • The financial half year point for the Trust is March 31st, and the Treasurer will issue a detailed report after that.
  10. The Chairman asked the TMC to consider the way it will operate in future and carry out its various duties.
    • He proposed that the TMC form three sub-committees to deal with specific areas of the roles and responsibilities of the Trust. These Committees would issue brief written reports of their meetings to the TMC, asking the TMC to endorse their actions, or requesting their approval of proposals. In this way it is hoped to spread the administrative load amongst the TMC
    • The three sub-committees would be:
      1. Premises - dealing with all operational issue linked to the use and maintenance of the land and buildings
      2. Lettings and Marketing – dealing with letting the Hall, the relationship with the Hall customers and promoting use of the Hall
      3. Finance, Legal and Compliance – dealing with the financial administration, the legal standing of the Trust and any legal issues arising, and compliance with legislation as it relates to our charity
    • It was agreed that Steven Oldfield and Neil Beresford would produce Terms of Reference for each group.
    • The Trustees proposed the following membership for each group
      1. Premises - Steven Oldfield, Emma Weir, Roger Bragg
      2. Letting and Marketing – Saima Afzal, Steven Oldfield, Neil Beresford, Stephanie Malik (BAMS)
      3. Finance, Legal & Compliance - Moira Suringar, Joe Davies, Neil Beresford
  11. The Lettings & Marketing Group had already met prior to this meeting and Saima Afzal presented a brief report to the TMC, which was endorsed by the TMC. Key issues were:
    • Detailed changes to the way weddings would be handled and payment terms. The BAMS to issue an update of the Wedding Brochure
    • Long term lettings and the risks of blocking out booking slots long term versus the benefit of encouraging commitment from users to the Hall. It was endorsed that if users wanted to make long term regular booking and therefore reserve that slot it was necessary for the user to make a financial commitment to the Trust in the form of an up-front payment.
    • Camping, which can be an important revenue stream for the Trust, but which can block out large amounts of time and potentially disrupt long term regular users. The TMC recognised that the BAMS was aware of these issues and always attempted to negotiate with users in an attempt to obtain satisfactory resolution of conflicts.
    • It was reported that there had been a problem of campers wandering from the showers through the public areas into the Hall in a state of partial undress. The BAMS was requested to ensure that campers are aware that the building is open to the public normally 9am to 9pm.
  12. Barbara Lowesmith addressed the TMC on behalf of the TAA. The TAA have funds available for purchase of equipment connected with Health and Fitness and a list of possible projects was tabled. A number of the projects suffered from the problem of very limited storage in the Hall premises for more equipment.
    The most promising project was the purchase of a Public Access Defibrillator to be mounted in the open entrance porch of the Hall. The TMC unanimously approved the project and asked the TAA to proceed.
    The TMC thanked the TAA for the initiative and it was agreed that the TAA would continue to discuss other projects with potential user groups.
  13. The Chairman made the TMC aware of the claim from Mr & Mrs Preater, the owners of Smithy Cottage, that the building work on the Hall had created a problem of damp in Smithy Cottage. Our contractors had examined the problem and did not believe it was caused by the building work. It is believed that Mr &Mrs Preater will continue to press their claim. It was agreed that Moira Suringar be asked to inform our insurers of the issue.
  14. Agenda items 12. Fundraising, and 13. Fire Alarms, were deferred to the next meeting
  15. The meeting closed at 9.27pm.

Next Meeting 21st May 2015 7.30pm

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