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14th July 2015



7.30 pm, 14 JULY 2015

Those present: Ian Earl (Chair); Jane Austin (Secretary); Rick Blackman (Treasurer); Katie Bennett; Fred Gregory; Jane Gregory; Charlie Kirby; Madelene Wilkinson

Apologies for absence: Adrian Atkins; Kate Linforth; Ben Pullen; Kim Sharrock

1 Visit by Jenny Bradbury of Action with Communities in Rural Kent

1.1 JB made the point that she had come in an advisory capacity only, unless there were health and safety concerns. The Village Hall is a charity, albeit one without a number. Registering with the Charities Commission need only occur if our annual income exceeds £5000. However, in order to receive funding, the Committee must act as a charity. The current terms of reference are insufficient and would not be valid if the Committee were sued, for example. JB is to send a copy of an exemplar Constitution for Halls for us to modify, if necessary, to our particular situation.

1.2 JB advised us to find documentation proving ownership of the Hall (possibly be on the Land Registry) and find out how long the lease is for. She highlighted the fact that there are two kinds of trustees – Custodian Trustees, who are not on a committee but hold a lease in trust, and Managing Trustees, who are committee members. Information regarding the lease should be circulated, because we are working as a charity. At the AGM, trustees stand down and can be re-elected. Regular users of the Hall can be nominated as trustees. All must sign an incoming declaration of acceptance (because of the Hall’s charitable status). JB is to send us information pertaining to Custodian Trustees.

1.3 JB pointed out that no fire exit should ever be blocked and that all fire exit signs should be lit so that they can be seen in the dark. Regular testing of electrical equipment must be carried out. There is no fire blanket in the kitchen. There should also be an accident book and first aid kit. Liability for accidents depends on our involvement in the incident. For example, we should ensure that all electrical equipment brought into the Hall by visitors has been PAT tested.

1.4 If alcohol is to be sold at an event organised by the Committee, a Temporary Event Notice must be acquired. Supplying alcohol gratis but expecting a donation is equivalent to selling.

1.5 At the moment, the Hall is breaking even. Grants may be available. Providing the governing document is in order, the Committee can apply to the Parish Council for funding. There should be a record of what the Committee is working towards, e.g. a disabled lavatory.

1.6 JB was interested in the fact that the Committee pays for the mowing of the Lees despite it being land owned by Lees Court Estate. This is an agreement between the Committee and the Estate. JB suggested that money raised by a charity might be put to better use.

1.7 The Committee thanked JB for her time and advice, and would like to invite her again at some time in the future.

2 Discussion following the above visit

2.1 There was clarification that the Lees is privately-owned land but also ‘open access land’ which means there is public access, though not for vehicles. The tracks are owned by the Estate with rights of way for the residents and for access to the village hall.

2.2 Charitable status should mean that the fuel bill will go down.

2.3 The Committee previously had two sets of bank accounts. There may have been separate ones for the Hall and the Lees. These were amalgamated in June 2005, and may need to be re-instated.

2.4 It was thought that, originally, people living by the Lees asked for its grass to be cut, and the Lees Court Estate agreed to this so long as it was arranged by the Committee. IE is to approach the Estate for clarification and possible financial assistance.

2.5 The Committee needs to consider what is meant by the Badlesmere and Leaveland ‘community’ before the next AGM.

3 Minutes of May Meeting and Matters Arising

3.1 The minutes were signed off. Matters arising were deferred to the September meeting.

4 Summer Quiz report

4.1 The Summer Quiz was a great success and made a profit of £455. The Committee expressed its thanks to JA for all her hard work, and to Dave Austin for acting as MC.

5 Medieval Fayre

5.1 KL is to chair a subcommittee to organise next year’s fayre, which will be held on 21 May.


6.1 Thanks were expressed for the prompt and effective actions taken by the Lees Court Estate, and in particular by Ms E Roberts, the Estate’s Administrator, when travellers recently encamped on the Lees.

6.2 It was confirmed that the Wine and Wisdom will be held on 28 November [see JAN mins 7.1].

6.3 The 100 Club winners are as follows: May: £15 Andrew Gregory, £10 Jane Austin; June: £15 Asa Euridge, £10 Charlie Kirby.

The next meeting will take place on 8 September.

The meeting closed at 9.20pm.