Phone: 07741 284132

Minutes of a Trustee Meeting
held on 31st March 2016 at 7.30 pm.

Alan Cadman (Chairman), Cliff Jones (Treasurer), Liz Winter (Secretary),
Sue Armstrong (Marketing Manager), Bob Schofield, James Puxley, Ann Cairns, David King, Pam King, Andrew Craig.

Apologies for Absence
Denise Hobday, Eve Oxley, Liz Schofield, Mark Kleingeld, Cheryl Collins.

Minutes of previous Trustee Meeting held 28th January 2016
David King proposed and Andrew Craig seconded that the Minutes be accepted as a true record. Carried unanimously. Alan signed the Minutes.

Matters Arising
Alan had been away and had not had time to contact BT regarding repayment of the money owed to us and proposed early cancellation of the phone contract. AC
Pegasus can repair the kitchen unit doors and Alan will contact them shortly. AC
The programmable electric heater in the Green Room had been switched on and may have cured the draught problem.
CCTV was not yet fully functioning but completion was expected soon.
Repainting of the Hall interior was scheduled for the summer.
Alan is still trying to arrange a meeting with Pro-Mac regarding car park repairs. AC

Chairman’s Report
Community Shop
Alan had received a detailed letter from Gill Flack regarding the financial difficulties in which the Community Shop finds itself and wondering whether the LCC would be willing to waive the rent. Andrew confirmed that, since 2010, the only year in which the Shop covered its costs was 2014 and cash reserves have been dwindling as their loan was paid off. After looking closely at profit and loss accounts, it became evident that sufficient money could only be made available to keep the Shop afloat if the rent, originally agreed with the LCC as recently as last Autumn, were waived.

Although the main feeling was that no-one would wish the Shop to close, Cliff pointed out that there were several issues to consider such as:
Does the LCC’s Constitution allow us to support financially an external organisation?
If not, should we alter the Constitution?
Would such support set a precedent when other organisations needed help?
The financial implications for the LCC of losing over £3,000 per annum.

David King pointed out that we had in the past helped both the Pre-School and the majorettes. Pam queried whether the Shop knew exactly where the losses had occurred and Andrew confirmed that they had spent a lot of time analysing the accounts. There had been some problems with Corporation Tax, which their accountants were dealing with f.o.c. Annual running costs had increased, as had competition from the Birchwood shop. It was not until 2015’s accounts were complete that it became clear that the good trading figures of 2014 had not continued. Although the Shop Manager had agreed to take a cut in salary this would not make a significant saving. Pam was concerned that if we needed to make up a shortfall of £3,000, Sue would be under pressure to accept more non-local hires to the detriment of local organisations. Cliff confirmed that we would be underfunded and cuts would have to be made to maintenance projects and/or hire charges increased.

It was decided that we needed to:
Check the wording of our Constitution;
Circulate Gill Flack’s letter to all Trustees;
Hold a meeting of all Trustees after the next Parish Council meeting on 20th April.
To this end the Secretary would contact the absent Trustees and suggest a meeting on Thursday 28th April or 5th May. Andrew Craig would be unable to attend but Gill Flack would be asked to represent the Community Shop in his absence.

Alan confirmed that he would be reading the Shop’s electricity meter tonight and that we were unable to pass on the VAT for the Shop to reclaim.

Treasurer’s Report
Cliff explained that the estimated free money figures set out in his report, which had been circulated before the meeting, would actually be less than those shown. He had met with Sue, Cheryl and Roger Hobday for the annual budget forecast and increases in planned preventative maintenance meant that over ten years we would need to spend nearly £20,000 more. We had already earmarked £2,000 for the CCTV upgrade and would be having new fuseboards installed as recommended in the quinquennial test. The main hall floor was due to be sanded and resealed. We are also using more electricity and, if the Pre-School does not get an exemption on its rates bill, we will have to pay £1,500 p.a.

Putting the financial situation into context, Cliff said that our trading profit of £5,000 p.a. pays for planned preventative maintenance, which over the next ten years is expected to be £85,000. Alan reported that the insurance company had agreed to pay for two emergency call outs as well as the repairs to the shop after the Boxing Day break-in. He also said that the solicitor’s bill for drawing up the new leases had been paid: £1,200 in total.

Liz Winter asked why there was a breakdown of income on the Treasurer’s report but never any details of expenses. Cliff pointed out that this was historical because the Trustees wished to see a breakdown of the type of lettings. He stressed that all details of income and expenditure were readily available to Trustees if desired.

Marketing Manager’s Report (incorporating Caretaker’s Report)
Sue had circulated her report prior to the meeting and made a point of thanking David King for running the last volunteer bar on his own. He also agreed to run it on 21st April with James’s help if required.
Colchester Borough Council have said we can have fifteen late licences per year but Alan thinks that, as a condition of the original planning consent, the Parish Council limited it to four only. We may need to ask them to waive this condition should we require more.
Sue was asking for donations of raffle prizes for the Coaster’s raffle on 9th July, when proceeds would be shared between the Scooter Club and ourselves.
Bob volunteered to make two permanent notices to advise people that the gate to the car park would be locked at night, as the temporary ones had quickly deteriorated.
David King said how well the plastic covering in the rear lobby protected the carpet for outdoor events. Bob said that Schofields used the same for their removals and he could supply more. David volunteered to help lay it, as Sue said it was quite time-consuming for her and Cheryl.
Sue confirmed that some kickboards at the bottom of the doors needed replacing and the spring closure to the door into the kitchen from the Clubroom needs attention.
Cliff advised that Sue should not purchase any expensive items until the financial situation has been clarified.

Grant Funding
Alan confirmed that Rob Clark had despatched four Grant applications. From the eight contractors we had received four tenders, which had all been under budget, and the contractors had been notified that our applications had been submitted. Roger Newnham had agreed to act as Clerk of the Works. The Secretary confirmed that both men had received letters of thanks.
As there is so much going on at present, it was decided that any application to the CIF fund regarding improving disabled facilities should be held in abeyance.

Any Other Business

Date of next meeting
The next Management Meeting will be held on Monday 9th May at 7.30 p.m.

The Special Trustee Meeting to discuss the Community Shop will be held on Thursday 28th April at 7.30 p.m. in the Main Hall.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.30 p.m.
How To Find Us
Langham Community Centre, School Rd, Langham, Colchester CO4 5PA
Get In Touch
07741 284132
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.
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