Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Village Hall Management Committee - AGM

Annual General Meeting

These are my personal notes taken during the meeting - as such they represent my view of how things unfolded.

There were 12 residents who attended the meeting, in addition to the outgoing Committee members.

There were two reports from the Officers and one from the Chairperson:
  • The Chairperson (Clodagh West) advised that it had been a difficult year, caused by confusion over the rebuilding programme and whether or not the Village Hall was to close. There was mention of some issue over compliance with the Constitution, but this had been overcome by a bit of flexibility and with the AGM taking place as scheduled. Also, it seemed some of the difficulties encountered had been about transparency and openness. Apologies were extended to the Social Club in particular, as confusion over the redevelopment had continued right up to Christmas 2017. It is important that all parties using the Village Hall are kept fully informed of progress. Thanks were expressed to the whole Committee for all their hard work.
  • The Treasurer (Steve Whaley) presented the accounts for the year ended 30 Sep 2017 and gave his report. Whilst the net profit was reduced at £893, it should be noted that £3,000 was donated to the Parish Council Rebuild Fund, so the outcome for the year was still reasonably healthy.
  • The Secretary (Doreen Green) also summarised her report for the year.

The Minutes of the last AGM were voted through as a true and accurate record.

Challenges for the forthcoming year will be to:
  • retain all current users of the Village Hall, and
  • attract new customers and
  • convince other customers to come back
This will require the appointment of a new Management Committee, but signs are good that volunteers are appearing, to replace those Officers/Members who have decided to resign.

With regard to the redevelopment plans, it seems nothing will happen until at least May 2018, with building work expected to commence in September 2018. The Parish Council are meeting with Simons Construction tomorrow to discuss matters further.

Appointment of new Committee

The current Chairperson (Clodagh West) stepped aside from the Committee and business was continued by the Treasurer (Steve Whaley). There had been no nominations for Chairperson, so the new Committee was formed as follows:

Bookings Clerk - (not formally appointed yet)
Secretary - Doreen Green
Treasurer - Steve Whaley

Affiliated Representatives
Ann Kennedy [All Saints Church]
Lorraine Chapman [Social Club]
MaryAnn Williams [Parish Council]
Margaret Smith [Art Group]*
Sheila Wyatt [Women's Institute]
Ted Stoneham [Bowls Group]

Village Representatives (new volunteers)
James Parker
Jim Eagle
Steve Whitmore


As this role had been left vacant following Clodagh West's resignation, the new Committee were asked if anyone wanted to volunteer. Fortunately, Steve Whitmore expressed an interest, so was seconded/approved and stepped into the role.

Bookings Clerk

Michaela Hall had already expressed an interest in becoming Bookings Clerk, so was appointed into the role.


There was a discussion about revising prices, but it was decided that these would be reviewed in three months. The Social Club representative requested that with the accommodation 'deteriorating' (subsidence of the floor slab), they feel a discount should be offered to them, especially being the major contributor to Village Hall funds (nearly £6,000 per annum). However, no decision was taken on this but it will be reviewed at the three month date.

The business of the AGM was completed at 1955hrs.

Normal Meeting

A normal Village Hall Management Committee meeting was then held.

The Minutes of the last meeting dated 24 Oct 2017 were approved and signed off as agreed.

Matters arising included:
  • A need to improve the business bank account. Currently, this allows a 'view only' facility, but to bring this up to date it really needs a full online access capability to conduct business.
  • The Christmas Tree festival was a 'roaring success'
  • The setting up of a new bookings system is to take place (Hallmaster - recommended by Community Lincs). This will be an online system and attracts a free 90-day trial period, after which an annual fee of £199 will be charged.
  • There was some discussion surrounding Honoraria paid to the Officers and whether this should be in advance or in arrears. It was agreed the Secretary is owed £150, which should now be paid. All payments are to be made in arrears.
Other business included:
  • Autism Care owe £640 from rentals in the last year. If they have been using the Village Hall since that date, the sum owed is probably more now.
  • It also transpired that Autism Care haven't signed a 'booking contract' for their rental of the Village Hall and also have favourable terms of 90-days payment period.
I would suggest this is looked at as a matter of urgency by the new Committee to see if this 'flexibility' complies with the Terms and Conditions of the Village Hall and fair and consistent with the treatment of other users e.g. Social Club.

It was also mentioned that deposits paid by cheque upon booking are not actually banked, but are held pending full payment of fees for rental of the Village Hall, then are destroyed. If the Village Hall are going to progress to full Charity status, these examples of informal practise will have to change.

All monies received, whether in cash or cheque should be banked without delay. If the booking then goes ahead, only the balance of the rental needs to be paid. On the other hand, if any reimbursements are required, then these should be paid directly from the bank account. Only then do you have full accountability and a proper audit trail of transactions.

I left this meeting just before the final business was concluded and the next meeting date agreed. If you wish to view my Summary of the Accounts for the last 7 years, together with an explanation of the term 'Accountants' and 'Accounts', then please click on this link.

N.B. you will see some little red triangle marks in some of the cells - these relate to my personal observations on the accounts that will not be visible to you

* Whilst the Art Group representative was correctly in place for the AGM, I understand this group are no longer using the Village Hall for their meetings (having moved to Heighington). It seems to be their intention to return to Nocton Village Hall after the re-development process has taken place, but there is a question over whether or not they can be deemed as having Affiliated status during the interim, as no rental bookings are being taken from this group currently. It therefore begs a question as to whether Margaret Smith should be part of the new Committee.

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