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11th November 2014

Minutes

BADLESMERE LEES VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE MEETING

7.30pm, 11th NOVEMBER 2014

Those present: Ian Earl (Chair); Jane Austin (Secretary); Rick Blackman; Charlie Kirby; Kate Linforth; Ben Pullen; Rosie Sharrock; Madelene Wilkinson. [Initials will be used within minutes.]

Apologies for absence: Adrian Atkins; Dave Austin; Katie Bennett; Fred Gregory; Jane Gregory

1. Minutes of AGM and Matters Arising

1.1. The minutes of the AGM have been posted on the Badlesmere.com website, and a summary will appear December issue of the Parish Magazine.  There will also be a copy of the summary in The Red Lion, where, RS confirmed, there will be a place for the committee to put up notices. IE said that he had sent emails to members of the public who attended the AGM and received replies from some. He added that he intended to offer paper versions of the emails to those without e-mail, and to visit everyone who did not attend the AGM.

1.2. Yoshi Euridge has offered to be the internal auditor and it was agreed that the accounts would be posted on the website. RB said that he would ask an accountant of his acquaintance if he would be prepared to do an external audit every few years. IE said that he would get in touch with the committee of Selling Village Hall in order to find out how they manage audits.

1.3. IE referred to documents pertaining to the Village Hall that stated the first lease ‘for a piece of land for the purpose of a site for a Parish Room’ was from 10 October 1906 (at one shilling a year), and its building took place about 1908. It is not clear whether the building was owned by the Sondes Estate or just the land. A 28-year lease was taken out in 1974, and the current 25-year lease in 2003. These leases are written as if the hall does belong to the estate, and the former even stipulates the composition of the management committee (no longer relevant). The latter requires the committee to look after the hall to the satisfaction of the estate, who can inspect it on giving seven days’ notice.

1.4. IE stated that daffodil bulbs have been planted in four areas alongside the A251 (on 26 October).

2. Review of the Committee Terms of Reference

2.1. The committee agreed to keep the Terms of Reference as they are (dating from 2001) and to abide by the Summary of Expenditure Authorisation (2002). The Accounts are to be made public in future, by posting on the website. IE suggested that the accounting year should be either the calendar year or the financial year, not from one AGM to the next as is current practice, though the financial summary given at AGMs should still include the latest figures.

2.2. Under the terms of the lease, there should be two trustees of the village hall (who are not permitted to be members of the committee). As we do not currently have any trustees (JES died in 2004, AS moved away from Badlesmere in 2009), IE said he would take responsibility for finding suitable replacements. It was thought that the legal costs in transferring the lease to a new trustee could be as much as £600.00. BP suggested asking the Parish Council to pay the fees.

3. Election of Officers and Other Key Roles

3.1. It was confirmed that IE would be Chair and that JA would be Secretary. RB was elected as Treasurer. MW said that she would arrange to have the authorised signatures changed on the bank accounts (Nat West).

3.2. David Wilkinson [DW] was elected in absentia to be Hall Manager, though it was agreed that, at his request, he would not sit on the committee. He would be responsible for bookings and maintenance, including getting quotes from builders and coordinating DIY help from villagers. IE was keen to point out the enormous contribution made by DW over the last few years. MW confirmed that DW would attend committee meetings if needed.

3.3. MW agreed to continue having responsibility for Fund Raising and Events, together with JG, who will continue to organise the 100 Club. IE said that he would contact AA and DA with regard to their roles on the committee. (Other roles are as described below.)

3.4. Should IE be unavailable to chair a meeting, JA will do so, but will keep it short.

4. Hall Maintenance and Improvement Plans

4.1. IE said that the Hall Manager needs to compile a list of work that needs doing and to estimate costings. It was noted that DW is already planning to do the guttering. CK stated that the refurbishment of the men’s lavatories should be completed (by DW and CK) by the end of the year. He agreed to coordinate volunteers to paint the outside of the hall. He and KL said they would be prepared to recruit volunteers by posting flyers and making an announcement on the website.

4.2. IE said that water had leaked into the storeroom as a result of debris from the neighbour’s Leylandii, the branches of which extend many feet over the roof of the hall. He would approach Mark Taylor, of Colley’s Cottage, again (CK had done so already) with view to getting the trees cut back.

5. Maintenance and Appearance of the Lees

5.1. It was confirmed that the tidying up of the Lees will take place from 11.00am on 23 November and that there would be a notice in The Red Lion to that effect. BP volunteered to decide what kind of tidying up needs to be done in the area surrounding the hall and to coordinate the work involved.

5.2. AA is currently paid £600.00 p/a to mow the Lees. It was agreed that AA should be asked if he wishes to continue to do this. The frequency of cutting is to be discussed in January’s meeting. CK thought that it needed mowing more often.

5.3. CK agreed to check the dog waste bin and to remove its contents regularly.

6. The Tracks, Lay-bys and Parking Issues

6.1. There was some discussion about who is responsible for maintenance of the tracks (the estate or the residents). It was agreed that the tracks, in practical terms, were the responsibility of the committee. CK said he has already taken over from FG on the south side and would be prepared to continue to coordinate efforts there when necessary. BP said he would coordinate helpers to maintain the track on the north side. He would order planings after speaking to KB first for she had previously stated that she knew of a cheap source.  It was agreed that piles of planings are unsightly, but that screening the piles in some way would make them difficult to access.

6.2. It was felt that new bollards (posts along the edge of the Lees, both along the A251 and beside the tracks) are needed. The numbers, style, source and budget are to be discussed at a later meeting.

6.3. There was some discussion about how best to discourage lorry drivers from parking on the north track, near the triangle, and on the northern lay-by on the A251. MW thought gates could be placed at the top of the tracks, and picket fencing on the triangle would make it clear that this is a village and treasured land. JA suggested planting shrubs as an alternative. It was also suggested that the northern lay-by be made shorter to prevent large lorries from being parked there overnight, though some felt that they would then be parked partly on the Lees. The need for bollards was reiterated.

6.4. It was agreed that ideas are needed on what we should have on the A251 at the entrances to the village, in addition to the current ordinary place-name signs. It was felt that not only would it improve the look of Badlesmere Lees but that by appearing to care about our village lorry drivers might think twice before parking. White fences or flower boxes were off-the-cuff suggestions, and a more ornate sign on the triangle was also suggested. All are to come up with or seek ideas from residents.

6.5. There was a suggestion that the southern lay-by on the A251 should be made more square, so that parked cars are further from the road and sight lines are improved for cars exiting the south track and the Red Lion car park. IE is to write to Strutt and Parker, and ask nearby residents their views. KL suggested including photographs to illustrate the problems. She added that a request for help with new bollards be made at the same time.

6.6. It was suggested that the potholes in the lay-bys should be filled in when the planings arrive.

7. Future Fund Raising

7.1. The annual Wine and Wisdom evening will be taking place on 22 November (being organised by FG and JG).

7.2. It was agreed that there would be a Christmas Get Together for residents in the evening of 17 December. MW said she would organise it and wished to spend about £75.00 on nibbles. This was agreed. KL offered to help deliver the flyers. Villagers should bring food and alcohol to share.

7.3. IE asked for the names of the winners of the 100 Club prizes to be posted on the website.  Next year’s other fund-raising activities would be discussed at a future meeting.

8. Dates for Meetings Next Year

8.1. It was agreed that committee meetings will be held from 7.30pm on the first Tuesday of every other month, starting on 6 January 2015.

9. Any Other Business

9.1. MW said she received a surprise bill for £680.00 from the gas company, supposedly an accumulation of standing charges. There has been no gas use at the hall for 14 years, and, although a meter exists, the supply is capped off. MW is dealing with the matter. However, it was felt that the current heating system is not ideal. IE said that DW has already got a quote for a split heat pump system for the hall, but had not got the details himself. IE said that he would do a costing for having a gas boiler and radiators installed. KL said that making the hall cosier would make it a more attractive letting proposition. BP suggested asking the Parish Council for help in this area.

9.2. IE said he had agreed to let the hall to a table tennis club for £15 for a 3-hour session. As the hourly rate is normally £7.50/hour, RB asked how this sum had been arrived at. IE felt that those committed to coming regularly or are particularly small groups who use few of the hall’s facilities should be charged less. RB was concerned to know how a sliding scale of charges might be agreed. RS suggested that charitable organisations should be given a discount.

9.3. IE intends to compile a list of village hall key holders.

The meeting closed at 9.15pm.