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Village Hall Trust meeting - May 2010





Present: Donald Angus, Alison Critchlow, Sue Dunn, Steven Oldfield, Trevor Roberts.

1. Apologies Roger Bragg, Bryan Rothwell, Gill Winter (NB Carolyn Cripps also not present)

2. Minutes of the previous Ordinary Meeting held on 3 February 2010 (previously circulated) These were agreed as a correct record.

3. Matters arising not on the agenda None

4. Financial report The Treasurer had provided the Chairman with a brief financial update. There had been no unusual items of income or expenditure, so the overall financial position was much as it had been reported at the previous meeting. The report was noted.

5. Progress on the revitalisation scheme and funding bids The Chairman explained the unusual position which had arisen in respect of the Communitybuilders funding application. Although they had turned down our application for a grant/loan package because we could apparently not get the scheme going within their time frame, they had appointed some consultants to see if there were any way of getting things under way. These consultants turned out to be very well briefed when they came to discuss it with Trevor. They had read all the copious information provided to Communitybuilders, and were generally very impressed with the overall project. They advised us that the idea of applying for grants until we had got enough organisations committed was unlikely to work in the current climate, since by the time we have got people on board the earlier ones are starting to back out – and it is anyway almost impossible to get the first big commitment. They therefore came up with another strategy – approaching Communitybuilders with a much bigger application (they suggested a £300,000 grant/£300,000 loan package). If successful this would give the project the funding it requires to proceed, and we should make plans accordingly to get the project to a tender stage (for a start in the Autumn), but in the meantime make grant applications to reduce the level of loan commitment, which is higher than we would be prepared to run with. But on the basis of the figures they mentioned at the meeting, the funding “gap” could be reduced to £150000-250,000, which is still tough but feasible in the circumstances. The consultants are currently looking in detail at the figures involved and will be reporting back to us and to Communitybuilders when this is done – all depends on an assessment of the level of loan which the project can bear, since the grant element can at best match this. This option was considered at some length by the Committee (Trevor had also managed to discuss it with the people who had rung up with apologies). There was strong agreement that in effect we had nothing to lose by this approach – all would then depend on what firm grant offers we had received by the time the project was ready to start, and that we would have to consider then whether to proceed or to regard the attempt as unsuccessful. There was agreement that we would not be comfortable going forward with a loan of £300,000, and some reluctance expressed about having a loan element at all. (NB A loan element is a compulsory part of the Communitybuilders scheme – normally it is a maximum of 40% grant, but we have been advised that a 50/50 split would be possible in our case). It was agreed that ♦subject to the final details in the report from the consultants, we will pursue this strategy ♦in the event of us being successful in a resubmission to Communitybuilders we will instruct the architects to move the scheme forward to the tender stage ♦we will make immediate funding applications aimed at getting a commitment to the amounts not covered by grant, with a view to having sufficient grant money in place by the time the scheme can proceed ♦we will need to have sufficient funding to cover the immediate fees and other costs associated with taking the scheme to the next stage ♦no irrevocable decision to proceed will be made until the Committee is fully satisfied that the grant/loan package is sustainable and that we have sufficient funds available or committed to see the scheme through to completion. Action: mainly Trevor Roberts

6. Establishment of a Community Interest Company to run the proposed Community Coffee Shop in the revitalised Village Hall The CIC has now been officially established and registered with Companies House. The Directors are Neil Beresford, Adrian Eddleston, Sue Foster, Jane Roberts, Trevor Roberts. The Committee noted this.

7. Whist Drives and other activities for older people A general discussion was held. the Senior Citizens outing had been cancelled and the Village Hall Whist Drives were not held in the winter. At one time trhere had been various activities held in the daytime for older people. It was agreed that if possible it would be useful to get activities under way before the revitalision scheme was under way. It was left that the Chairman would contact the Senior Citizens Committee initially and see if there was anything more positive the Village Hall could do. Action: Trevor Roberts

8. Management and maintenance matters Various repairs etc have been carried out, but the main issue is the ongoing problem with the leak over the toilets and the flat roof area generally. Kevin Metcalfe had done some further work, but it remains to be seen how this will work out – we have not had much rain since he did it. It was agreed we would carry on monitoring the situation but Roger Bragg was authorised to get something arranged in a hurry if necessary, we cannot ignore this problem. Action: Roger Bragg

9. Village Bonfire The Committee confirmed the decision to switch the bonfire to the Recreation Field. The various comments of the Recreation Field Trust were noted and will be taken into account in the organisation of bonfire and fireworks on the new site. Trevor and Diane Robson have indicated they still want to step down as main organisers, although they will pass on all their experience etc to whoever takes over – so we need to agree a key organiser (this is a condition of the insurance and of fire authority regulation). It was agreed that we would ask Roger Bragg to take on this role if he was willing, and if neither he nor anyone else comes forward, we will ask for a volunteer in Beneath Blencathra, making it clear that without someone taking charge then the bonfire will not take place. It was also agreed to thank Trevor and Diane for their work on organising the bonfire over the years. Action: Trevor Roberts


10. Purchase of crockery The grant application to Cumbria County Council has been successful. We can go ahead and purchase the crockery. Arrangements for its storage will be required. Action: Carolyn Cripps

11. Highlights A report from Gill Winter was presented. The Kirsty McGee evening had been well received and had just about broken even financially; a lot of people from outside the village had attended. The Helen Barrett jazz evening had been switched to the Sports Pavilion because of the election, and looked like attracting about 30/35 people; this may make a small loss. Gill’s emphasis on non theatrical events seemed to be working (we have got good theatre in this area anyway). She has booked two events in the Autumn programme and with the postponed event this means we should have three Highlights evenings in the Autumn season. The report was noted.

12. Teas These were run successfully at Easter and are planned for the end of May Bank Holiday weekend and then throughout July and August. This information was noted.

13. Childrens Sports The Sports has been arranged for Saturday 3 July 2010. This was noted.

14. Review of Village Hall Trust Policies The Environmental and Equal Opportunities Polices were reviewed and reaffirmed. The Health and Safety policy was not reviewed as an incorrect version had been circulated. This however does not need to be reviewed imminently, so it will be considered on a future agenda. In the meantime, the Chairman and Secretary will look at the various policy statements and highlight any particular actions we should be taking now to ensure they are observed. Action: Steven Oldfield, Trevor Roberts

15. Any other business None

16. Next meeting The next meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 11 August 2010.

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