Phone: 01206 271127 or 07741 284132

Minutes of a Trustee Meeting
held on 19th November 2020 at 7.30pm.

Alan Cadman (Chairman), Maureen Shouksmith (Treasurer), Paul Armstrong (Secretary), Andrew Craig, Liz Winter, Peter Dawson, Bob Schofield, Liz Schofield, Sue Thorpe, Sue Armstrong

Apologies for Absence
Maria Bukovenczki, Jutta Brawn, Marlena Lipski (email received slightly late due to technical issues)

Minutes of previous Trustee Meeting on 1st October 2020
Draft minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated previously. Peter Dawson proposed and Liz Schofield seconded that they be accepted as a true record. All agreed. Alan will sign the Minutes once COVID restrictions are over.

Matters Arising
Flooring renewal for rear lobby/kitchen/bar/entrance areas has been in the in-tray for several months, but is now ready to be implemented urgently whilst it will not adversely impact on any booking revenues during the 3-4 day period of disruption during the works. Peter stressed that this approach made good economic sense. Two contractors had quoted for the work. Ed Hyde’s quote was somewhat higher than Gillard’s quote, but as Liz S noted, he has been far more responsive and helpful and also has a good track record of work and support to us in the past. Ed’s final (version 5) quote is £5,790, which is £270 more than the budget initially agreed by Trustees back in Jan 2020. All agreed that we should proceed. Sue said that preparations were already in hand for carpet laying to commence on 7th December, once the heavy commercial oven had been disconnected and removed from the kitchen. This work schedule will not disrupt any Cygnet bookings, and should have minimal disruption on a ballet class during the work period. Sue had today emailed Maureen a 50% deposit request from Ed Hyde; Maureen will now arrange for funds transfer to confirm the contract. Sue will email Ed to confirm the version 5 quote and the timing logistics. MS/SA

The October action point to consider the insurance implications of wider deployment of anti-climb paint has been somewhat overtaken by subsequent events: yet another incidence of after-dark vandalism at the rear of the Hall. Sue has reported this to the Police and they have followed up by providing a list of suggestions for further security measures to be considered. Wider use of anti-climb paint is specifically recommended (it is sticky and messy but not slippery apparently). Sue will progress this and liaise with Chris of Future Electrical regarding the other recommended lighting and camera measures. SA

Chairman’s Report
Alan had just received, today, a renewal quote from our insurers, with a c.£300 premium increase up to £2,074 pa, which is not unexpected given the two claims submitted during the current insurance period. (These claims come to c.£6k, albeit not fully paid out yet). The premium is payable in 10 instalments starting 1st Dec 2020. Peter asked whether there might be a discount for paying up front in full. Alan didn’t think this was likely for this sort of commercial insurance but would ask. Alan already has the Insurance Certificate and will put it up in the Hall.

The insurance contract T&Cs are much lengthier than previously (c.32 pages vs c.12 pages of very small print), and there may be new conditions which could incur further costs for us. One that has already been mentioned verbally to Alan is a requirement to protect cameras with cages. The insurers also asked him whether our current alarm system triggered any remote alerts (which might presage further new insurance conditions; to be checked). Liz S mentioned that Schofield Removals use ‘Redcare’ (a BT service) for remote monitoring of their company site alarms. Liz W offered the hopeful thought that much of the new T&Cs verbiage might relate to new standard GDPR wordings.

The Hall alarm system is being serviced on 13th December. Clarity on any new insurance requirements would be very useful prior to then, so that any necessary discussions can be had with our alarm providers. Maureen and Paul offered to help Alan review the new T&Cs if he was too busy at the moment. Peter further suggested that Alan ask for an electronic copy of the new T&Cs, which if available could then be circulated more widely for review. AC

Renewal of Shop and Pre-School Leases
Draft new leases have been prepared by our solicitors and have been circulated to the Finance Committee. They are based on the existing contracts. The key issue to be confirmed is the actual monthly rental payments applicable from renewal.

The Shop have been paying a reduced monthly rent of £50 for some time now (agreed by formal email subsequent to the 2016 contract document, as confirmed to Paul when he asked about the status of this reduced payment). Alan reported that their finances make it unlikely that they will ever be able to afford a full commercial rent. But their value to the village is recognised, especially during the strictures of COVID this year. Maureen commented how wonderful they had been during lockdown. Alan proposed that the Shop’s rent be re-set at £50 per month in the new contract from January 2021. All agreed.

The Pre-School currently pay a monthly rent of £506. They have in the past received some temporary rental holidays during times of financial hardship, but are currently paying the £506 rate. Alan proposed that the Pre-School rent be renewed at the existing £506 per month figure in the new contract from January 2021. All agreed.

In response to a question from Alan, Peter confirmed that a proposed new grounds maintenance agreement between the Parish Council and the Pre-School (following the recent renewal of the external play area) should have no impact on the building lease renewal.

Sue confirmed that arrangements for the quinquennial electrical testing at the Shop and Pre-School were in hand with Chris (Future Electrical) prior to the lease renewal dates.

Existing Hirers and New Hirers
Sue had liaised between the Bridge Club and a new local karate club for children, to agree a mutually acceptable temporary takeover of the Bridge Club’s regular booking slot until end of April 2021, subject to further review towards the end of this period.

Similar situations could potentially arise with other dormant regular hirers (for example the Scouts). To ensure fairness for all regular hirers, it was proposed that the same policy be adopted generally, and all agreed with this. The situation should then be reviewed again by Trustees towards the end of this period. PA

Sue T asked whether the Bridge Club’s suggestion of paying some sort of retainer (to protect their regular booking slot) had been considered. Maureen replied, as Treasurer, that she didn’t feel that this sort of financial measure was yet required, at least as far forward as April 2021. The question could be looked at again if necessary as part of the next formal Spring 2021 review by Trustees.

Response to new National Lockdown
Alan summarised the basis of the proposed £522 per month salary protection for Cheryl (based on her average pay over the last 6 months), even if the current lockdown results in somewhat reduced actual working hours. All agreed with this general approach. Peter then suggested that Trustees approve this salary protection through to the end of January 2021, with quarterly reviews thereafter if necessary. Proposed Peter; seconded Liz S. All agreed.

Maureen will write a letter to Cheryl confirming the Trustees’ decision. MS

Continuity (or otherwise) of the current professional cleaning contract with Class Cleaning was discussed. Peter noted that it was important not to let the state of the building ‘run down’ during the current period of reduced usage. The current contract sum is £240 per month. Sue mentioned Mike’s flexibility and the value from his formal COVID certification. It was felt worthwhile continuing with the contract to maintain the building fabric. Proposed Liz W; seconded Andrew. All agreed.

As Andrew noted, no letter will be sent to Mike, since his contract with us takes precedence (and stipulates a 1 month notice period).

Treasurer’s Report
Maureen has been keeping an eye on the CBC website regarding any possible new COVID relief grants, but there is nothing definitive yet.

As of today, the Current A/c balance is £2,068.70, the Saver A/c balance is £70,079.82.
The October deficit was £335.15. The deficit for Nov so far is £908.10. The month by month deficit is highly variable due to one-off maintenance expenditures, such as the recent window servicing and the forthcoming electrical testing, but the overall trend is probably around £1,000 a month deficit moving forward. Maureen does monitor the bank accounts on a daily basis. She is confident that we will bounce back well once current restrictions are lifted.

Marketing Manager’s Report
Sue had sent out a report in advance of the meeting and asked if there were any questions. Liz W noted that there had been lots of local power outages on the day that Cygnet experienced a cold Hall when they arrived. Sue was relieved to note that there did not appear to be any ongoing electrical problems beyond the temporary problems caused by the outages that day.

There was some discussion about replacement of 2 failed side lights in the main hall. It was agreed that gradual replacement via LED lights should continue to be the replacement policy as lights fail, subject to achieving reasonable temperature colour match.

Further to the earlier discussion regarding additional external night-lighting to deter vandalism at the rear of the Hall, Alan suggested additional sensor-activated lights, and Peter suggested that solar powered LED lights also be considered. Sue will progress these ideas with Chris of Future Electrical. SA

Update of Risk Assessment & Other Documentation
Sue reported on the incremental updates to the COVID risk assessment document (v4) which was sent out to Trustees ahead of the meeting. Air dryers have been re-introduced in place of paper towels. Additional measures on air-conditioning and ventilation have also been put in place. Sue has updated hiring documentation to provide greater guidance for hirers on how to operate the air-conditioning and velux windows. This is included in “Hire Terms & Instructions Appendix 3”, available on the website HERE.

Any Other Business
We still don’t know why Anglian Water dug up the Hall car park a few weeks ago, apparently to access the water main, not the drain. Paul to follow up. PA

There was some useful discussion about the location for a potential new notice board for semi-permanent community information notices. A number of ideas were floated but no conclusions reached! To be added to agenda of next Finance Committee Meeting. PA

Liz S asked whether hirers were allowed to lock themselves into the Hall when hiring, if they chose to. Sue confirmed yes: she explains this to all hirers, and in the event of an emergency, exit is possible via fire doors or, if necessary, emergency keys behind glass at each exit.

Dates of next meetings
Next Finance Committee Meeting: Monday 7th December 2020, 7.30pm, Zoom
Next Trustee Meeting: Thursday 28th January 2021, 7.30pm (Zoom or Physical TBC subject to COVID situation)

There being no further business, Alan thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9.24pm
How To Find Us
Langham Community Centre, School Rd, Langham, Colchester CO4 5PA
Get In Touch
07741 284132 Or 01206 271127
About Us
The Langham Community Centre was opened in June 1988 and has been serving local village residents and other commercial hirers ever since.

We are based at the heart of Langham Village, with easy access from the A12.
©  2020 Langham Community Centre. All Rights Reserved. Website by Tilted Earth