Minutes of the Buckland Brewer Village Hall Committee Meeting 19th March 2014 at 7.45 p.m.
Present: Trevor Mills (Chair), Jane Lowe(minute taker for this meeting), Jim Lowe, George and Shirley Tilley, David Watson, Dawn Dziurzynski, Steve Harding, Jo Birch, Alan Sutton, Alex Dziurzynski, Barbara Babb, Tom Lloyd, guest speaker Martin Rich, Project Development Officer ,Community Council of Devon(CCD)
The agenda was rearranged at the meeting to accommodate Martin Rich, the agenda numbers may not match fully minutes, meeting conducted in this order:-
Apologies: Kevin Lobb
Presentation by Martin Rich. Contents circulated separately, key points being actions required of this committee to ensure acquisition of funding to progress to new hall build as follows:-
Reinforcement of last Octobers presentation by Jane (Project Liaison Officer), advising of the input required to submit an application
The requirement for the internal appointed project manager to be able to separate from the day to day management of the hall and its related business
The indispensable value of Hallmark accreditation, at least Stages 1 & 2
Need to maintain absolute financial sustainability of the existing business including all local users covering running costs in full and no “free rides”.
Despite the apparent Hallmark requirement of only 70% of non-mandatory tasks, this was a “red herring” as everything should be completed unless it was simply not applicable to the premises.
Alex asked, once the business rigour had been achieved, what track record needed to be established before funders would consider applications – Martin indicated that a likely view would be that funders would accept any lessons had been learned and that we would as a consequence continue to do things to right way, thus applications then need not be further delayed. Shirley queried whether funders wanted to see a development started before they would help financially – Martin suggested this was not his experience but Project Liaison Officer informed Martin that 4 applications submitted last summer had all been rejected for this reason. She also reminded Martin that we did not yet own the land. Martin reminded of the risk of the S106 inasmuch as the developer could at some stage sell on the development prior to completion, thus nullifying the S106. This is not likely but must be accepted as a risk. Jane asked what notice would be needed for Hallmark exam/test – August is an acceptable proposal, 6-8 weeks notice, for “cost effectiveness” for examiner both HM 1 & 2 to be taken together. Marginal failures, if they can be evidenced by a subsequently provided letter/certificate/invoice for work done, can be resolved by correspondence with CCD. Larger failures will require a “re-sit” but Hallmark Champions are available to offer support prior to taking the tests – more info available from CCD.
Hallmark report delivered by Steve H. Notes already circulated to all trustees & retained for the record – key additional points:-
Jane confirmed that whilst the named documents had not previously been circulated to trustees, she had taken guidance from Martin Rich’s presentation in 2012 and had advised updated all new trustees regarding their responsibilities and an overview of issues and developments. All trustees had been circulated with a document advising what was required of them after Martin’s visit in 2012(confirmed within the trustee signature book).
Trevor is carrying out an electrical consultation regards heating improvement to comply with Hallmark standards and expressed concerns regards heating left running-timers may be needed if meter is dispensed with (deemed desirable)and all heating is run from direct source(cost to be factored into pricing structure). ACTION Trevor to speak to heating specialists and report back in full with recommendations by next meeting.
White board reports a requirement to store rubbish outside ACTION Alex to lend a green wheelie bin to protect black waste sacks placed outside pending collection, to observe hygiene requirements. Nicky to be asked to buy better quality bags.
Full review & design of rigour for bookings from initial hire to admission of customer into Hall – 31st March with Booking Secretary.
Treasurer to be invited to a future meeting to ensure completeness of financial processes – required Internet access mandate to be with Treasurer by end of week.
Following actions proposed Jim (for Hallmark team), seconded Shirley, agreed unan.
Expenditure for curtain cleaning (incl .fire retardant) ACTION Jim
Adoption of policies regards Public & Community, Health & Safety (subject to one minor amendment),Trustees responsibilities/What is a Quorum initial draft proposal( with revisions & additions)
Resignation of Minutes Secretary. David is unable tocarry out these duties because of other personal obligations – Chair thanks him for his help since his election last November. Steve offered to take over – proposed Dawn D, seconded Barbara B. No other nominations, elected unan. Steve advised that he would be absent for a future meeting – assurance given that either Jane or Dawn could always sit in on a temporary basis.
Minutes of last meeting – since e-circulation this morning there had been a need to make significant additions & an amendment. David had brought a revised paper copy for each trustee – scanned copy circulated with these minutes. Alex suggested best means of ratification was by e-mail provided that this was done within next few days – ACTION ALL TRUSTEES to review and inform to new Minutes secretary (Steve Harding) if they had any further amendments to make. Non reply by 26th March will indicate agreement that revised minutes are in order.
Matters Arising – ladies toilet mechanism repaired by Andy Dennis (local plumber);outside door has been repaired & is now easily locked; David Lloyd has agreed to continue to monitor gas supply; Zumba issue has been managed by Dawn without need for correspondence; Trevor has passed Ray Hoyle’s bill (leaking roof in storms)tonight to Treasurer; Hallmark sub-committee now set up (Chair Jim) & functional, reporting into Project Liaison officer and this committee; proposed Big Breakfast – Shirley (supported by other committee members) expressed frustration that the date set & booked for 27th April & agreed (by concensus on 19th Feb) & so advertised, had been compromised by a very late booking for a slightly earlier identical function from another organisation. She explained that some years ago there had been an agreement that co-ordination between organisations would prevent this type of thing happening and much support from within committee was offered for re-instatement/observance of this practice. Young Farmers have “one in mind”, no date set – ACTION Tom to ensure that this is fed back to YFA to ensure no future conflicts. Village hall Big Breakfast re-arranged for Sun 8th June ACTION Jane to ensure advertising is managed.
Non-domestic rates Torridge District Council set as NIL for coming year.
Treasurers Report: (delivered by Jane Lowe in absence of treasurer)
Bi-monthly bills now issued;
SWWA £39.24 paid;
Whilst annual electric bill has decreased the usage had increased and must be factored into future pricing (refer to finance sub-committee recommendations & item 3 above) viz.:12/13 usage 5255KWh £1057.90, 13/14 usage 5348 KWh £861.93
Lloyds Bank will issue a payment for £400 on Matched Fund scheme for Treasurers time.
Plumber paid – see Matters Arising – £66.80
Mindbender Quiz raised net £194.50 (after payment for hall hire as agreed).
Savings account is earning 0.05%- consider re-investment. Principality is not accepting new customers at present – other offerings appear high risk. Agreed all that watching brief whilst economic upturn develops & Bank of England moves to increase interest rates – no action yet.
Current a/c – £1,719.78 Deposit a/c £2,908.13 New Village Hall £34,688.65
Caveat from Jane reminding trustees of shortfall in projected budget and possible erosion of reserves (deposit account) unless footfall/income is somehow increased – acknowledged by committee.
Organisations – reminded that if they need to cancel this must be to Bookings secretary and 24 hours notice must be given
Finance sub-committee report
i)New hourly rate re-considered – proposed Jane revise scoped £12 per hour to be reduced to £10 per hour, seconded George, agreed unan. To be effective subject to next Hallmark committee meeting when method for implementation will be devised. Info shared with Chapel by historic arrangement. Barbara queried whether Church was involved in this pricing agreement – nothing known ACTION Dave will speak to PCC when they next meet & report back with a view to liaison & agreement.
ii) Should we limit use of urn to larger events only + a charge (uses a lot of electricity), very few further options of cost-cutting available if we are not to reduce hall to an unappealing proposition. Agreed that whilst kitchen water heater remains inefficient we may inadvertently breach hygiene regulations (urn is used to heat washing up water) – defer for discussion/resolution by Hallmark committee & Trevors research (Item 3)
iii) Cost of hire of crocks tables etc to remain the same subject to review but must be enforced & respected by all – failure to maximise ability to raise income may place entire future of hall at risk – we are fighting for financial survival (see also Item 2).These items remain in Trust and must be accessed only by agreed process – no individual has a right to remove items without prior booking & agreed payment.
iv) Premises & key control is the key to price enforcement. This sub-committee will work closely with Hallmark to develop a policy & process that will protect the Trust & ensure Hallmark certification. Next meeting is May 1st.
Upkeep & ongoing work on existing Hall – much discussed & resolved under Items 3 & 6.In addition, debate around storage and the need to have all items on hall inventory under central control so that it can be monitored & hired out. Trevor suggests p.a. can be placed in specially built cupboard in the ladies’ toilet. Agreed as W.I.P. to be resolved at May meeting.
Fund Raising events
Thanks delivered to Jim & Jane plus supporting helpers for Quiz.
Tony Beard night 11th April report by Dawn (liaising with W.I.). W.I. will provide hot supper (eating before entertainment, 7 for 7.30).Tickets £10 p.h. Staging required – stored in school, event during school holidays so access to be resolved. Gus (David Blight) has agreed to run bar, Jane to be licensee (therefore must attend event) – agreed all £21 may be paid for Temporary Events Notice ACTION Jane – this will be added to the annual tally of licenses(18 permitted each calendar year, each individual licensee has an allowance of 6).Large advertising boards requested – agreed Trevor ACTION Dawn to sort details with Brenda. ACTION ALL TRUSTEES Manpower required 4 p.m. set up. & onward to clear up afterwards. Support of event (buy a ticket) requested. Agreed that Village Hall cash may be used for fee payment (£150) plus provision of float for door & raffle.
Next meeting to be at Alex’s on Monday 24th 7 p.m. – more trustees/support needed and welcomed.
New Hall Update – from Project Liaison Officer(Jane)
Advised that ongoing work with Hallmark, finance sub-committee & especially liaison with community at large indicates that there is no business case for making application to Big Lottery. Requested help has not been forthcoming despite a number of direct approaches, commitment not truly evidenced, and organisations and individuals appear to have ( understandably) placed their own interests & needs ( a number of examples given) in priority to “walking the extra mile” & making necessary sacrifices & compromises that demonstrate a collective wider view that a new hall is regarded as the most important community project. There is also inadequate footfall to justify a build of the size aspired to (operations such as hoped for “blood bank” have been reduced during recession). The fear remains that the magnitude of the application and what it involves has not still possibly been recognised and that there is a collective hope that “someone else” will do the work of what needs to be a significantly sized team of professionals – this is not a single-handed task nor a simple form filling exercise – see Item 2. Project Liaison Officer has also, despite agreement with committee last year, not yet been able to separate from the day to day management of the business & take a back seat in fund-raising events although it is accepted that it is essential to have the present business situation (Finance & Hallmark sub-committees) in order to define how the future may evolve. Options offered for way forward and indication that choices must be made before autumn when Pearce plans to leave site.
Barbara advised that this needed to be discussed in the round and that committee should come with an open mind to debate next steps. Agreed by all that next meeting should be dedicated to decision making and that other matters may need to be deferred to May, dependent upon time availability.
Official welcome to Barbara from Dawn.
Alex suggested a “positive spin” on kit hire rigour – agreed all – ACTION Jane to advertise hall kit for hire in a positive manner.
Trevor advised all present that the staging (Item 11 & Hallmark) belongs to him (in a business relationship with RHS Rosemoor) – he is happy for it to remain stored in the school, and that the school is aware that it should remain at the disposal of the village hall subject to suitable notice of access being given .
DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS –
Wednesday 16th April, Wednesday 21st May. The meeting closed at 10.20 p.m.