16 May 2023 – Minutes of the Sole Trustee Meeting

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Sole Trustee

Cllr G Jones (Chairman), Cllr P Fisher, Cllr I MacMillan, Cllr E Philpott, Cllr I Moran, Cllr S Tudor, Cllr V O’Dunne, Cllr S Hall

 Village Hall Management Committee 

Mrs S Buxton (Chair / Treasurer), Mrs M Black, Mr A Maddams, Mrs H Tunstall 

Also in attendance: Mrs K St Leger (Clerk & Returning Financial Officer)

1        Apologies – Cllrs’ Norman, Westwood submitted their apologies, it was resolved to accept these.

2        Declarations of Interest There were no declarations of interest

3        Written applications for dispensations under the Localism Act 2011 There were no written applications for dispensation

4        Approval of the 2017/2018 Financial Accounts 

Mrs Buxton and the Clerk met with the Auditor, he carried out his assessment of the figures and forwarded a copy of the independent examiner’s report on the accounts to the Parish Council as Sole Trustee.  The figures were approved and the acceptance forms were signed by Cllr Fisher, a copy was handed to Mrs Buxton, the Clerk retained the other copy.  The Clerk to submit the figures to the Charity website when the date is open for filing later in the year. 

Mrs Buxton ran through the financial details and comparison data from 2016/17 and 2017/18

Income £ 2016/17 2017/18
Regular Hirers 11417.00 12936.75
Casual Hirers 3784.00 3954.50
Fun Raising 2081.70 649.00
Wayleaves 94.56 94.56
Grants/refund 1500.00 10780.74
Donations 455.50 430.00
Hire deposits 0 415.00
Total income 19332.76 29260.55
Total income less grant   19588.55
Expenditure £    
Remuneration 4598.50 4498.00
Maintenance expenses 1650.22 1330.98
Water & Refuse Charges 1847.12 2598.34
Insurance 873.91 917.13
Electricity & Gas 1949.87 4107.45
Fund Raising 1159.12 366.45
Performance Rights 523.08 523.08
Sundries 2348.40 1723.03
Unfettered grant/building works 2240.00 675.00
Decoration / refurb 0 289.00
Hire deposits 0 755.00
Total Expenditure 17190.22 17783.46
Surplus / deficit 2142.54 11477.09
Surplus/deficit less grant 2142.54 1805.09


  1. Chairman’s / Treasurer’s Report Acting Chair, Mrs Buxton presented the report for 2017/2018 

“During the year the Committee lost our Chairman Patrick Linehan and we would like to acknowledge his sterling work during his time on our Committee and as our Chairman, and he is greatly missed. 

I agreed to stand in this post until the end of this year and this is therefore a joint Chair and Treasurers report. 

I am pleased to report that the Accounts have again been approved by the Auditor, Mr Alan Toplis, and are now signed off to be sent  to the Charity Commission .

I would refer you to the overview of income and expenditure for this year and last year. 

The general summary shows an income this year of £29,260.55 (£19,588.55 having deducted the grant from the Lottery Fund) and expenditure of £17,783.46 leaving a surplus of £1805.09. 

Income from regular hirers has increased by £1,500.00 which is very encouraging and shows that the hall continues to be busy and a community asset. 

The figures for payment of gas and electric and water and refuse are in fact for 2 years, 2016/7 and 2017/8 as historically these had been paid by the Parish Council and reimbursed annually.  At my request the VH now repays the PC on a quarterly basis for gas & electric and water and refuse is paid directly by the BVH.  Next year will therefore be a more accurate figure of these outgoings.

We are concerned at the rising costs of gas and electric and will be closely monitoring usage. 

The amount for sundries has decreased due to purchase of items from cheaper suppliers. 

On the advice of the Auditor, an increase has been made in the hourly rate for hire of the hall with effect from 1st April 2018.  One flat hourly rate has been applied which is simpler and fairer to all users. 

The Committee are pleased to report a good mix of usage of the hall.  From a “community” perspective there is now a community choir, creative art class, WI, sewing groups, village market  and Staffordshire Venture which is an organisation which assists adults with learning disabilities. 

For “health & wellbeing” yoga, exercise classes, Stokies for dance classes and Slimming World. 

The Community Group continue to arrange regular events in the hall including film nights, pop up suppers, Golden Agers Xmas Party and an Open Gardens.  Due to low numbers on the 2 committees, we now work together to stage these events.

There are still a good number of children’s and evening parties, fashion shows and The Players twice yearly plays. 

The Committee has been concerned for some time with the general state of the hall building.  Essential replacement lintel work was carried outside the ladies toilets earlier in the year at a cost of £675.00.  It was decided not to undertake any further work until a full structural survey had been carried out. 

To this end, and with the assistance of Karen and Richard Upton of Stafford BC Wellbeing, we were successful in obtaining a grant of £9672.00, to undertake surveys for building and structural work, asbestos and dilapidation. The first report has been received and the Committee will shortly be in a position to obtain estimates and subsequently apply for grants for the works to be carried out.  It is anticipated that a 5 year plan will be undertaken. 

The grant included provision for 4 events to be held to ask the villagers what they actually want from the hall and to highlight to them what does actually go on in the hall as many do not seem to know despite our best efforts via Facebook, the Community Group, posters and the Church Magazine! 

The events have and will take place in conjunction with the Community Group and B Festival.  Questionnaires have been prepared and will be completed at these events through the year.  The results will be collated and the Committee will consider the findings. 

It is anticipated that the next year will be busy for the operating committee in view of the planned surveys and subsequent applications for grants for works under a 5 year plan.  It is not anticipated that any work will be carried out until these surveys are to hand. 

A new Caretaker and Booking Secretary have been recruited during the current financial year.  The hall is kept in a clean and tidy condition.

The Committee believe that the hall’s bank account should carry a running balance of around £2,500 and hope to achieve this during this year with the new procedure for payment of bills for electric and gas and increase in hirers rates. 

The Operating Committee is a very small group who work very well together and share tasks. As has previously been raised, there is a risk in maintaining the current level of activity with such a small group and every effort is being made to recruit new members.  There is still a vacancy for a Secretary.”

The Parish Council thanked the Committee for their hard work. 

  1. Grant update 

The structural survey had been undertaken on the Hall, we are still awaiting their report.  They have requested information for inclusion, the Clerk is addressing this issue.

The Committee have been gathering survey forms from various events to glean the opinions of the residents.  Clerk to collate the information.

  1. Election of the Management Committee

Cllr Jones was elected as Chairman of the Village Hall Committee, he agreed to undertake the role until a suitable candidate can be found.

There was still a vacancy for the role as Secretary.