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Village Hall Trust meeting - November 2011





Present: Carolyn Cripps, Sue Dunn, Adrian Eddleston, Steven Oldfield, Trevor Roberts, Sarah Rose

1. Apologies

Roger Bragg (also not present Gill Winter and newly coopted member Donald Angus)

2. Welcome to new members

The only new member of the Committee is Sarah Rose – she was welcomed to the Committee.

3. Signing of declarations as Trustees

All Committee members members signed a declaration of their eligibility to serve as trustees, and these were passed to the Secretary for filing. Members not present will be asked to sign the form and pass it to the Secretary. Action: Steven Oldfield.

4. Issuing of copies of the governing document, Charity Accounts, Annual Report and information for trustees

Copies of the accounts for 2010/2011 were distributed to all members of the Committee.

Three copies of the Annual Report for 2010/2011 have been printed and will be retained by the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer respectively. The document is on the Threlkeld Community Website where it should be referred to be all other members, although a printed version can be made available if required.

The Charity Commission document “Being a Trustee” was distributed to all members, who should read this and ensure they understand the main duties and responsibilities of the position. Action: all members of the Committee

5. Minutes of the last Ordinary Meeting held on 31 August 2011 (previously circulated)

These were approved as a correct record.

6. Matters arising from the Minutes not on the agenda

The Chairman reported that he was making arrangements with Young Cumbria for help with training on procedures associated with the Children and Vulnerable Adult policy approved at the last Committee meeting. The proposed arrangements were approved.

7. Election of Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer

The following were duly proposed, seconded and appointed unanimously:

Chairman: Trevor Roberts

Vice Chairman: Gill Winter

Secretary: Steven Oldfield

Treasurer: Neil Beresford

Roger Bragg, although remaining as a Committee member appointed by Threlkeld Parish Council, had decided to stand down as Treasurer after eight years in the post. The Committee expressed its deep appreciation of Roger’s work as Treasurer, and also Val Bragg’s support. It was agreed to write to Roger to this effect. Action: Steven Oldfield

Neil Beresford will serve as Treasurer without being a Committee member/trustee (this is possible under the terms of the governing document). It was agreed he would be invited to attend and participate fully (short of voting) in all Committee meetings.

8. Financial reports

Main account

There was no ongoing financial report beyond the figures available in the recently produced annual accounts.

Village Hall Revitalisation Fund

The Parish Council, following advice from its auditors, has decided it would prefer to transfer the money in the Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation Fund to the Village Hall Trust and close the account its has been operating for the last five years; this transfer to be subject to specific assurances from the Village Hall Trust that the money will be restricted to spending on the major revitalisation scheme or activities in direct support of this. It was agreed that:

  • the Village Hall Trust would accept the transfer on the terms stipulated, and the Secretary will write to the Parish Council Clerk formally confirming this Action: Steven Oldfield
  • the money to be transferred into the Village Hall Revitalisation Project Account (which was set up specifically to deal with income and expenditure in connection with the revitalisation scheme, has its own cheque book with signatories the same as those applying to the Village Hall Trust Main Account) Action: Trevor Roberts to inform the PC Clerk of the account details
  • management of the money (eg whether it should be put into an account earning a higher rate of interest) will be left to the new Treasurer to sort out Action Neil Beresford.
  • A brief discussion took place as to how these funds might be handled in the event that the revitalisation scheme did not proceed. It is understood that in such circumstances, the Trust would have the duty to offer refunds of any identifiable donations, a rather “messy” outcome to be regarded as very much a last resort.

Revitalisation Fund/Project Fund

Trevor Roberts reported that the “locally available” money in the Parish Council Revitalisation Fund was about £12,700 and in the Village Hall Trust Project Fund about £25,000 (including £12000 recently designated for revitalisation purposes from the VH reserves). To this £37,700 could be added two local small grant promises amounting to £4000, making £41,700 altogether. We are thus well on the way to achieving the £50,000 of locally raised money which our grant applications have assumed. This report was noted.

It was agreed that a full and detailed written report should be produced on the local fundraising campaign, to be considered at the next meeting and summarised in the minutes of the meeting. Action: Trevor Roberts

Mandates etc

Arrangements regarding accounts, signatories etc need to be made to reflect the change of Treasurer. (Signatories remain any two of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary) Action: Neil Beresfod, Roger Bragg

9. Review of fees and charges

In discussion on fees, it was felt that there was scope for a small increase, but the limited quality of the facilities and the need to act reasonably with regard to well established users precluded any major change, even though we realise that other venues are charging more. The option of a lower charge for local users was considered, but rejected as too awkward to operate in practice; and also our basic fees are anyway not onerous. However, some system for charging people who generate a lot of rubbish is required.

It was agreed we should charge as follows with effect from 1 December 2011:

£5.00 per hour for the Main Hall

£4.50 per hour for the Meeting Room

£9.00 per hour for both rooms together

Electricity: 20p per unit, this to be increased at the discretion of the Treasurer if there are increases in electricity charges

Post event rubbish removal requiring white sacks - £2 per sack, to be charged afterwards in the same way as electricity charges.

Camping: £6.00 per person per night.

The Secretary is now the person mainly involved in dealing with bookings, and is authorised to agree charges for specific bookings (including deposits, number of hours used, exclusive use supplements etc).

10. Caretaker’s wages

It was agreed that we should increase Sylvia Tuer’s wages to £100 per month, with effect from 1 December 2011, in recognition of the level of bookings now being received. Action: Steven Oldfield

11. Routine management and maintenance . matters

The Committee considered various options for limited expenditure on maintenance etc and agreed the following:

  • redecoration of the gents toilets with anti-condensation paint Action: Roger Bragg
  • redecoration of the rear lobby with anti-condensation paint Action: Roger Bragg
  • redecoration of the front lobby, including the woodwork Action: Roger Bragg
  • purchase of a new vacuum cleaner Action: Carolyn Cripps
  • filters etc for the stage lights Action: Trevor Roberts

Quotes to be obtained and, subject to the Treasurer agreeing these are reasonable, the work put in hand as soon as convenient.

Consideration was given to installing a new carpet in the meeting room. However, it was agreed that we would defer a decision on this until we have more definite news about progress with the Big Lottery grant application.

It was agreed we should arrange a voluntary “spring clean” in February/March 2012, something which as been done in previous years Action: Carolyn Cripps

12. Booking agreement/information brochure

The Committee endorsed the new booking agreement forms and information on use of the Hall (the latter is on the Threlkeld Community Website), subject to changes about the revised charges etc. However, it was agreed to add a provision to the effect that all music and any loud noise should cease by 11.45pm at the latest. Action: Trevor Roberts

13. Progress on the revitalisation scheme and funding bids

The Chairman reported as follows:

  • no developments on the scheme proposals themselves, which remain as finalised in march 2011
  • the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Buildings Stage 2 application was submitted immediately after the Committee approved it, on 1 September; the BL take up to four months to consider such an application, and nothing had been heard until 24 hours previously, when the Grant Officer concerned had requested a full copy of the Threlkeld Study (now sent by post) and arranged to discuss the project in a scheduled telephone meeting next week
  • our application to the Tudor Trust for major funding has been rejected
  • the provisional offer of support from the Garfield Weston Foundation has been confirmed, they are waiting to see how we get on with the Big Lottery
  • RDPE have confirmed their interest, again subject to BL support, but the maximum amount of support would be £40,000 rather than the £84,000 provisionally offered in respect of the larger scheme
  • the Landfill Tax grant offer (of about £11,000 linked to energy conservation measures) still stands but subject to a start on site inside this financial year, now unlikely, so an attempt will be made to get this offer maintained into the next financial year
  • there are a variety of other possible sources of funding, but it is only worth approaching these when we have got or seem reasonably certain of BL Reaching Communities support
  • quite separately, a bid has been made to the BL Village SOS competition, on behalf of the Coffee Shop CIC, for £20,000 towards coffee shop equipment and furniture; this is something of a long shot (NB the day after the meeting, they informed us we have been successful in getting into the second stage of this competition, but they are aware that this application depends on success with the main Big Lottery application; we have until 2 February to see how much progress we make on the main application before we have to submit a Stage 2 application to the Village SOS, so it may work out).

This report was noted.

14. Brief updates on other activities

Glasgow Trip

Carolyn Cripps reported that there are a few places left but again this trip looks like being full.

Whist Drive

Carolyn Cripps reported that the Christmas Whist Drive was taking place as usual, but the average age of the participants continued to rise and its future in the present form seems in doubt unless younger people start to show an interest. .

Christmas Draw

This has been arranged as usual and tickets are on sale. Roger Bragg has agreed to continue as promoter and organiser of this in future years.


The recent Circus Berserkus event had been successful though short, and about 70 tickets were sold, so made a small profit plus a profit of £46 on sales of teas etc. Moira Surinagar is aiming to get a ceilidh style event in March 2012, which will be the only other Highlights event in the Spring season. Highlights charges have gone up and we now need to attract over 35 people in order to break even financially on ticket sales. It is understood that the general scheme subsidy has been reduced which may mean even higher charges, and also some venues are withdrawing from the scheme. We have previously decided to review the programme in May 2012.

15. Possible application for the Village Hall Hallmark standard

The information on criteria for this had been circulated previously. Since the points of apparent “deficiency” relate mainly to details of how accounts are kept, it was decided to defer consideration of this item until the next meeting when the new Treasurer will have had a chance to look at financial procedures etc.

16. Proposed change to date of the AGM/future Committee meeting dates

After considering various factors, the Committee decided:

  • the AGM of the Village Hall Trust will in future take place in November, with the AGM next year being on Wednesday 28 November 2012; this gives an opportunity for accounts and audits etc to take place and for reports to be considered at a Management Committee meeting prior to the AGM, in line with recommended good practice
  • Committee meetings would fit around this new AGM date, with meetings next year being
    • Wednesday 8 February 2012
    • Wednesday 16 May 2012
    • Wednesday 15 August 2012
    • Wednesday 14 November 2012(to consider reports prior to the AGM)
    • Wednesday 9 January 2013(first meeting of the new Committee after the AGM, with a parallel Special meeting to agree cooptions).

17. Any other business


The meeting finished at 9.30pm. The Chairman thanked everyone for their contributions.

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