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10th January 2017



10 January 2017

Those present: Ian Earl (Chair); Rick Blackman (Treasurer); Adrian Atkins; Fred Gregory; Jane Gregory; Charlie Kirby; Madelene Wilkinson

Apologies for absence: Katie Bennett; Ben Pullen; Tom Sisley

1 Minutes of October Meeting, the AGM, and Matters Arising

1.1 The minutes of the October meeting were passed.

1.2 The minutes of the AGM were passed.

1.3 An extraordinary meeting was held immediately after the AGM in order to sanction the services of a structural engineer to inspect the village hall. The engineer came on 9 November, met by IE and CK. He subsequently reported that he ‘could see no signs of defects that showed the main structural capacity of the building was compromised’. A formal report was not commissioned nor the walls opened up for further evaluation. It is known that some of the timbers within the walls and under part of the floor (near the ‘bar’ window) are in need of attention. Remedial work will need to be carried out before the outside is painted and the floor sanded. A leak in the roof exists next to the chimney (no longer used).

1.4 IE has acquired all the information required to open accounts with Lloyds Bank.

1.5 The delivery of planings for the South track has occurred. The supplier would not drop off a portion at the laybys, so a separate delivery will be arranged.

1.6 Two ‘No Parking’ signs have been purchased and erected on the Lees-side of the North track near the entrance triangle, and Leavemere residents informed of their purpose. No reports of problems with access to the North track have since been received. Few, if any, ‘polite notices’ have been placed under the windscreens of offending vehicles.

1.7 The erecting of a post with reflectors on the triangle is still to be carried out.

1.8 The defibrillator has been in place in the telephone box since 22 October. However, until the installation has been certified by a qualified electrician and its existence recognised by SECAMB, its availability is not being publicised. Since 2 December power has not being provided to the telephone box (and so the AED is not protected from low temperatures) due to problems with the acquisition of a separate RCD for Tom Treasure’s consumer unit.

1.9 The date for the 2017 AGM has been set for Tuesday, 9 May.

1.10 The position of secretary is currently vacant. CK will ask Linda Kirby if she would like to offer her services. Sue Earl has offered to share the role, if necessary.

2 Accounts

2.1 RB said that the current account balance on 31 December 2016 was £5839.73 and the business reserve account £3843.79. A full analysis of the accounts will be made available by the April meeting and independently checked by the time of the AGM.

2.2 The final 100 Club winners for 2016:
November: £15 Oscar Pullen, £10 Dave Austin;
December: £150 Ann Cush, £50 Julia Gregory, £25 D Hubbard.

2.3 The Wine and Wisdom went well and made £485, thanks to the efforts of FG and JG.

3 Dates of committee meetings in 2017

3.1 These were confirmed as the Tuesdays 10 Jan, 11 Apr, 11 Jul and 10 Oct.

4 Hall Maintenance

4.1 DW and IE have continued their repair and refurbishment programme. Work was carried out in the kitchen and the toilet area, new shelving has been built in the store, guttering and fascia replaced on the outside of the ladies toilets, and the timber of the window and the rain-guard above the entrance door replaced. A short length of post-and-rail fencing has been erected, markedly improving the appearance of the main entrance to the village hall. Damage to the hot water tap in the Gents’ loo has occurred and a temporary repair carried out.

4.2 A ‘Wall Party’ will be held on Saturday 18 February (9.30 am start), the purpose of which is to remove all the nails, pins and staples so that painting of the interior can proceed. All committee members are invited to attend, and IE will seek help from residents, too.

4.3 Painting of the exterior, which is desperately needed, will be considered only after the repair of timbers in the walls has been carried out. Similarly, sanding of the floor will only occur after the supporting timbers are confirmed sound.

4.4 A cleaning roster is to be introduced. With the increased regular use of the hall it was felt that a more systematic approach to the cleaning of the hall should be introduced to replace the existing ad hoc approach. The idea of employing someone to clean was discussed, but IE pointed out that the legal obligations as an employer would make the scheme much more expensive than simply the wage bill. (Employee insurance, NI and pension contributions would need to be considered). Nevertheless he would look into it, including the possibility of making payments as honoraria. Meanwhile it was envisaged that 2-3 hours, every month, by two people should suffice. Volunteers are therefore needed. IE (+Sue Earl), CK, MW(DW), RB signed up. IE would also ask other local residents if they would volunteer, before designing a roster.

5 Maintenance of the Lees

5.1 Grass cutting. AA declared he would no longer be cutting the lees. IE will seek out other owners of a tractor and mower. If it is a case of hiring the equipment and driving the tractor ourselves, DW, IE and CK are willing.

5.2 Following a suggestion by BP (by email) a Lees Clean-up Day has been organised for Sunday, 12 March, starting at 9.30 am. The tasks will include the lopping of lower boughs on trees that almost touch the ground or impede the mowing of the grass.

6 Fund-raising

6.1 Membership of the 100 Club numbers about 80 with a few more expected to join. Kelvin Euridge asked, via JG, whether the subscription payment could be by way of the internet. RB asked JG to pass on the sort code and account number to be used and requested that the name of the primary member and ‘100 club’ be referenced.

6.2 IE will confirm with JA that she is still willing to organise a Summer Quiz.

6.3 FG and JG will also organise a Xmas Wine and Wisdom event again.

6.4 Mediaeval Fayre. The Free Men of the Blean have recently confirmed that they are willing to be involved in the Mediaeval Fayre (date already set as the 20 May 2017). A separate committee will organise the event. IE, JG, MW and CK have agreed to join it. Jane Austin has yet to confirm her involvement. Some discussion took place, mostly reiterating the conclusions of the post-event meeting held after last year’s Fayre.


7.1 It was agreed to replace the existing charcoal-burning BBQ, which has seen better days, with a gas-burning commercial-catering model. The example shown (a Buffalo P111 priced at approximately £420) was considered to have a too small a cooking area, though having wheels and being able to fold up were plusses. MW(DW) and CK would look for a better design. A ceiling of £600 was placed on the purchase price without the need for further resort to the committee.


8.1 The Pageantmaster has written to ask if we would consider lighting our beacon in remembrance of the end of the World War 1, as part of an event entitled ‘Battle’s Over, a Nation’s Tribute – 11th November 2018’. It was agreed that we would. IE suggested that we have a WW1 themed evening to follow the lighting.

8.2 DW has asked that the committee to consider whether we should charge the Church for the use of the hall at Harvest Thanksgiving. Although it has been a tradition not to charge it was felt that no organisation or group should have preferential treatment and the charges levied should be the same to all. IE will write to Rev. Lorraine Apps-Huggins to explain the change of practice.

The meeting closed at 8.50pm.

Next meeting: Tuesday, 11 April 2017, at 7.30 pm.