LANGHAM COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of a Trustee Meeting
held on 24th November 2016 at 7.30 pm.
Alan Cadman (Chairman), Liz Winter (Secretary), Liz Schofield, Andrew Craig, Marlena Lipski, Maureen Shouksmith, James Puxley, Bob Schofield, Mavis Heath.
Alan welcomed Mavis to the Committee as representative for the Langham Bridge club. We hope to have a new Pre-School rep at our January meeting.
Apologies for Absence
Sue Armstrong, Denise Hobday, Mark Kleingeld.
Minutes of previous Trustee Meeting held 6th October 2016
Liz Schofield proposed and Andrew Craig seconded that the Minutes be accepted as a true record. Carried unanimously. Alan would sign the Minutes.
1. The security camera installation is all completed and functioning. Sue can view the pictures from her phone and home computer.
2. Regarding staff pensions, the secretary had been in contact with Marilyn from Asset again. A phone call to the pensions regulator had revealed that it was not just a case of an employee earning £10,000 p.a. If they earn £833 in any one month (which Sue has done twice this tax year so far) a pension scheme must be set up. Our “staging date” is 1st April 2017 and we must complete a “declaration of compliance” by 31st August next. Andrew thought there was a Government scheme which could be adopted free of charge and the secretary would look into this urgently. Otherwise Marilyn had offered to set one up but this would incur charges. EW
3. Asset list. Andrew reminded the Trustees that we need to draw up a list of assets as part of the changes to the constitution which are planned. Alan suggested the insurance inventory as a starting point and it was felt this would serve very well. Liz S asked whether the equipment stored at the hall by hirers was covered under our insurance. Alan said it is not and they would need to have their own insurance cover. AC/ACr
Alan had been busy renegotiating with our brokers the Centre’s insurance cover which is due for renewal. The annual premium has increased by around £360. There is an increase of £100 because of the claim after the shop break-in last December. Alan has increased the wages limit to £18,000 from £12,000 causing £120 extra premium and the cost of rebuilding is up to £1.3 million, an extra £112 premium. He has also increased our annual income limit to £70,000 which has incurred no extra charge. The cost for the coming year is £1,900 payable monthly.
Rob Clark had mentioned that the new fire shutter and improvements to the fire escape steps might affect our risk assessment but it was not thought relevant to the insurance quote.
Liz W proposed and Liz S seconded that we accept this quotation. Unanimous. A vote of thanks was proposed to Alan for his work in negotiating the changes.
Since we still had no treasurer, the secretary had circulated a profit and loss account for October, which showed an opening balance of £24,051.28 in the current account and a closing balance of £23,474.67. Together with the deposit account this gave us a total of £43,635.60. At the present time Liz W had been unable to include petty cash on the spreadsheet but Sue had provided the figures which showed an opening petty cash balance of £522.73 and a closing balance of £1,180.85.
Liz Winter and Andrew Craig, as well as Alan, were now signatories for cheques and Andrew stressed how important is it that two of these should authorise internet transactions. Alan explained that in August, when no-one was able to access the bank account, Barclays made a temporary arrangement for him to authorise payments of up to £1,000 in a single transaction. This arrangement will cease at the end of January. It was agreed that he and Andrew should look into changing this for security’s sake, so that every transaction is authorised by two signatories.
It is also important that long term financial planning be updated to cover planned maintenance for the future, as Cliff had done based on Roger Hobday’s recommendations. Alan and Andrew agreed to look at this. AC/ACr
Sue Armstrong had raised some queries:
She asked the Trustees to set an upper limit for a single purchase from the petty cash. After discussion Liz Schofield suggested £125, seconded Maureen Shouksmith. Unanimous.
Could Sue authorise urgent repairs? It was decided she should, as at present, contact Alan or Liz S for their views but, if they were not available, she should go ahead.
Sue asked if Liz Winter could be authorised to refund security deposits to hirers as she sometimes has difficulty contacting Alan by e-mail. These refunds are usually £75 and are simply a return of the hirer’s own money after a booking if there is no damage to the premises. Where some payments have been delayed, extremely happy hirers have been less than impressed. The Trustees approved Liz Winter taking over this role, as it would also lessen Alan’s workload.
The simple servicing agreement which would enable Sue to view the on-line bank account but not make transactions had been received for completion. This will enable Sue to check whether payments she has requested have been made without having to contact Alan or Liz W. Andrew Craig proposed that the SSA should be put in place, seconded Maureen Shouksmith. Unanimous.
Sue and Cheryl had been awarded a two and a half per cent wage increase at the meeting on 24th October, based on RPI and having regard to the extra work and responsibility they have undertaken. Sue had written to thank the Trustees.
A vote of thanks was proposed to Liz Winter for producing the monthly account and persevering with other financial matters.
Marketing Manager/Caretaker’s Report
Sue had sent her report and lists of work completed and to do. She is drafting a new hiring agreement, based on the ACRE model, to bring to the January Trustee meeting. Cheryl’s phone was not working and the Trustees gave their consent to purchase a new one, if necessary, as it is a vital piece of equipment for keeping in touch, having a Caretaker, Chairman and Management WhatsApp on it.
The Committee sought clarification about Car Club volunteer bars, how many members had paid their 100 Club subs and what time we needed to be at the hall for the next Toy Fair on 4th December. Liz W would ask Sue for the answers at tomorrow’s Community Café. Marlena pointed out that the kitchen tap was still loose, although it was marked as “done” on Sue’s list.
There was a long discussion about whether Mark Kleingeld was eligible to be a Trustee for the Tennis Club, particularly as he is no longer hiring the hall on Saturdays. Everyone agreed he provides a valuable opportunity for village youngsters to improve their tennis game. No-one was sure whether Mark is a member of the Tennis Club, their employee, or a self-employed coach running his own business. It was felt we needed clarification on these points as the tennis courts are not part of the Community Centre. Mark could hire the toilet facilities if needed, provided that no other hirer had booked the hall. As there are only 15 keys available under our insurance policy, we really need to recover any key not in regular use. Sue Armstrong would be asked to try to discover the position. SA
Official opening of the refurbished Centre
Thirty-six people attended the opening on 12th November, including Sue Sheppard from the RCCE, Andrew Clarke from Essex Community Foundation and Borough Councillor, Nigel Chapman. The gathering went well and was reported in the Colchester Gazette, who sent a photographer. Rob and Roger were presented with vouchers for afternoon tea with their wives at the revamped Greyfriars Hotel. The Trustees agreed to refund the cost of the vouchers to Liz Winter and she read out Rob’s “thank you”.
Current position regarding Refurbishment
The grant from Cory Environmental had finally been received into the Parish Council’s account today. The bill from Rose Builders would be paid by cheque. Our contribution would be around £15,000 and this would be paid as soon as we knew the exact amount. The main item which had increased the bill was the provision of electric blinds. We had originally been led to believe that our original blinds would fit the new velux windows.
The Constitution Sub-committee had met on 9th November to look at the ACRE model Trust Deed, which they had all liked. However, Sue Sheppard informed us that we couldn’t simply adopt this Deed but would have to agree a “resolution” to adapt our current one. To this end we have asked Sue to meet us on 28th November to incorporate the desired amendments into our constitution. Andrew has helpfully cross-referenced the two documents and we hope the process will not be too lengthy, as Sue charges £28 per hour. She has estimated between 4-6 hours in total.
No documents have yet been found which make clear on what terms the land on which the Community Centre stands is leased from the Parish Council. Liz S felt we needed to look in Parish Council archives and with their solicitors from the 1980s, Hanslip Ward in Harwich. Liz W would ask the Parish Clerk to contact Hanslip Ward for us to see if they still hold any title deeds or leases from the time the Centre was planned and built and, if so, arrange for himself and Liz S to see them. EW/ES
Any Other Business
Peter Dawson requested permission for the Parish Council to mount a defibrillator on the car park wall of the Community Centre. Trustees were all in favour and Alan would meet him on Monday afternoon to decide the best place to locate the device, which needs to be near an electricity supply. AC
Date of next meeting
The next Trustee Meeting will be held on Thursday 19th January 2017 at 7.30 pm in the clubroom.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 10.00 pm.