Minutes of the Ovingham Reading Room Committee Meeting held on

Monday 27th March 2017 at 7.30 pm

Present: Neville, Chris, Doreen, Vera, Lorraine, Marion and Debbie

1. Apologies: Louise

2. Minutes of the last meeting held on February 27th 2017: these were agreed to be a true record.

3. Matters Arising:

a) Safeguarding: our draft policy is currently circulating around the committee.

When everyone has seen it, Neville will make amendments to include Caroline Friend’s responses to committee members’ specific queries before it becomes our official policy.

Safeguarding courses: there are 3 types of course – for those dealing mainly with children, with children and vulnerable adults, and for designated safeguarding officers.

A few people had responded to Chris’s email offering these courses, but many others are already covered through their own organisation and type of work.

The current situation is that there are courses available at various venues throughout the county, and we have also been offered one to be held in the Reading Room on June 22nd for people putting themselves forward as designated safeguarding officers. Louise has offered to be the Reading Room’s designated person, but isn’t free on 22/6. Hazel would like to attend as designated person for Chat Club, and as another designated person for the Reading Room

Hire form: we would adapt this to include the need for one-off hirers to confirm that they had safeguarding arrangements in place, but without requiring to see the relevant documentation.

b) Storage shed: after further research this appears not to be a viable proposition.

c) Goose Fair: after consideration of the likely state of the village green in the near future, we decided not to arrange any kind of substitute Goose Fair this year.

d) “Premises supervisor”: in March/April 2012 the RR licence was changed to delete Chris Morton and instead have the “Committee” as the licensee. An even more out-of-date name is still on the front door. NG will contact David Grenfell, the licensing officer, about this to confirm our view that any trustee/committee member can take this responsibility.

4. Update on maintenance/safety actions:

a) Disabled access: Paul Leonard is going to start work on the disabled access on April 10th: Neville will also ask him to fit a new closer to the outside door, and to have a look at a damp patch on the back wall of the main hall (reported by Marion).

b) Disabled toilet alarm: this has been repaired.

c) Cleaner’s cupboard lower bolt: this has been removed.

d) Blind by fusebox: Neville will contact Brian Wetherby about this – more than one blind needs

attention now.

e) Inside thresholds needing repair: Ian Todd has repaired the threshold from the small hall into the main hall, but the threshold from the small hall to the lobby still needs attention (ask Paul Leonard)

f) Fluorescent tubes: all replaced.

5. Chair’s Report: Neville is still in the process of enrolling Nicola Oliver as a trustee.

6. Booking Secretary’s Report: Debbie outlined the regular and one-off bookings in March, which all went smoothly.

The showing of “I, Daniel Blake” on March 17th had been very well supported and a large amount of food and money had been donated (and raised in the bar). All the proceeds had been shared between the West Northumberland Food Bank and North East Homeless.

The jumble sale on March 25th had raised over £500 to help to pay for village projects.

Bookings by non-regulars in April as follows:

April 4th and 11th: last 2 of current series of yoga sessions

April 8th: private party

April 9th: Keren Banning – band practice

April 28th: Film Club

Regular classes and sessions won’t take place during school holidays (weeks beginning 10th and 17th April)

Alison Hogy has booked four more yoga training weekends this year, eight in 2018, and two in early 2019.

It was agreed that Chris and Debbie would change the booking secretary contact details in the Parish Magazine, in the next Oracle, and on the OPC and Reading Room websites.

7. Treasurer’s Report: Chris circulated his monthly report. Our current balance is £24 702. The £468 deficit of expenditure over income is explained by Chris not having been able to bank cheques from regular users. Our overall balance is in a healthy state as usual.

8. Monthly actions:

a) we checked the emergency lights.

b) we reviewed the cleaning contract, and agreed to raise Melissa’s 4-weekly pay to £265.

9. AOB

a) Thermostat batteries: Vera had reported that the batteries in one of the thermostats had failed during a WI session. Neville has replaced them, but we agreed that we should replace all thermostat batteries regularly.

We agreed that anybody could change them, but that we should add that task to the monthly planner to be done every 3 months.

b) Quiz: Pat Stott has offered to put on a quiz and we agreed to suggest May 5th, with May 12th second choice (an Alison Hogy yoga weekend).

c) Consortium of Village Halls in West Northumberland: the Chair (Adrian Hinchcliffe) and the Secretary are stepping down this year, and there has been no offer to replace either of them. Adrian H is also chair of CAN (Community Action Northumberland) which is Louise Curry’s employer, and it appears that a number of jobs are already being done by CAN on behalf of the Consortium. A possible plan is for CAN to be asked to undertake more Consortium business, such as secretarial work and website management. This is being looked into - the Consortium has funds, and it’s to be proposed that Village Halls add to them by making a larger contribution in exchange for these services. The funding for Louise Curry is regularly being reduced and this plan would mitigate that. It’s hoped that this might be in place before the Consortium’s AGM. Another possibility would be for one Consortium to cover the whole county.

d) DR reported an unlocked fire door, and it was agreed that all hirers should be reminded of the responsibility of checking all doors on leaving the Reading Room. It was also suggested that hirers should be reminded of the possible risks to hirers and/or to equipment in the Reading Room if doors are left open during a session.

e) CL had lent two trestle tabled from the cellar to GO Local, and they asked if they could buy them We agreed that they could be a gift, but we would accept a donation.

10. Date of next meeting: April 24th 2017.

Page 4 of