-Minutes of the Ovingham Reading Room Committee Meeting held on

Monday 31st July 2017 at 7.30 pm

Present: Neville, Doreen, Georgina, Vera, Lorraine, Sally and Debbie

1. Apologies: Louise, Marion, Chris and Dean

2. Minutes of the last meeting held on June 26th 2017: these were agreed to be a true record.

3. Matters Arising:

a) Follow-up to last time’s Drama Group report: at their July meeting, the Parish Council agreed to offer a grant of £1000 towards new, lighter stage units which will be more manageable for the Drama Group, and the Reading Room Committee offered to match that, on condition that a lottery application was successful for the remaining £6000, or part thereof. We advised that all applications must include a development plan with regard to further participation in terms of Drama group members and audiences.

The Reading Room grant would depend on the new units being made available to the users of the Reading Room as long as they weren’t taken out of the building. Doreen will discuss the possibility of the old stage units being stored in one of the old chapels, from whence they could be taken to the Village Green or the Playing Field.

We continued our earlier discussion about how to make it possible for young people to participate with the new safeguarding requirements, and this discussion will continue.

b) Arrangements for sorting out cellar and storage area: carried over until September, when key Drama Group members will be available. Drama AGM is on September 7th

c) Review of Toddler Group charges: We had heard at the AGM that it’s sometimes a struggle for Toddler Group to cover the hire fees, and we agreed that it was important to support this valuable group, especially considering the role it plays in welcoming young families to the village and familiarising them with our facilities.

Debbie will talk to Sue Proctor about how we can help to secure the Toddler Group’s financial future.

The feeling was also expressed that we should perhaps review our special arrangement with the Chat Club, with the aim of achieving greater parity between the two groups. (The Chat Club has run for 5 years now without paying rent.)

4. Update on maintenance/safety actions:

a) Paul has agreed to start work in the week beginning August 14th, but won’t do any concreting until Tuesday 15th after the WI meeting, and has undertaken for all concreting to be done well in advance of the Fitness class on Sunday morning.

Neville will contact him to make final arrangements about the jobs to be done:

Disabled access, checking of damp patch on front inside wall, threshold from small hall to lobby, lower front door lock.

b) Blinds: Neville has still not heard from Brian Weatherly, and will contact Ponteland Blinds instead.

Painting: we agreed to do some internal paintwork during the time the Reading Room’s shut for Paul’s work., as long as it didn’t interfere with it. Neville will check with Paul if it would be convenient for us to go at 9.30 on Tuesday 15th and/or Wednesday 16th.

5. Chair’s Report: Neville had nothing to add to what he had already said.

6. Booking Secretary’s Report: Debbie handed out her report for June and projected bookings for the coming months (attached with minutes). Income for June had been £631, plus fee from NCC for use of RR as a polling station. Projected fees for July £603; some groups had already finished for the summer, but Energise held a holiday course in the first week of the holidays, which included a show for families of class members. It was hoped that another time Nicola and Jill would consider organising a second performance which could be open to the public.

The new vicar, Tom Birch, is to be installed on Monday September 18th, with the Reading Room hired for refreshments. Debbie will liaise with the organisers about whether they would like the to prepare the RR before 4.30, in which case Energise will have to be asked to cancel their afternoon class; she will also make arrangements for chairs to be borrowed to add to the seating in church.

7. Treasurer’s Report: Chris couldn’t be at the meeting, but had sent his financial report for May and June. Income had totalled £2 775 and expenditure £2 203. Our current balance is £25 108.

8. Monthly Planner actions:

a) we checked the emergency lights.

b) annual PAT testing: Chris has already checked the Craft group’s equipment, and has asked all other users to bring their equipment to the Reading Room between 10 am and 1 pm on Tuesday August 1st.

9. AOB

a) Polling booth: Debbie will ring the County Council about the promised replacement of the polling booth, which is still in the Blackett Room. We agreed to postpone putting it back in the cellar until we heard what was planned.

b) We noted that Energise have bought another mirror, making a total of 3, but that all are safely stored behind the display units.

c) Sally agreed to ask Melissa if she would give all the tables a thorough clean during the summer, and perhaps ensure the fridge and cooker are in good order (having said that, we all agreed that Melissa, cleans the Reading Room to a very high standard all year round).

d) Mothers’ Union: a request was put by Georgina on behalf of the MU for rucksacks to give to people leaving prison (to be given to Georgina herself, or Ann Cairns).

e) Goose Fair: we decided to put this on the agenda for the September meeting, and put out a call for ideas and offers to play a part in re-establishing this next year, assuming the Village Green is in good order. Neville suggested it could be more of a village show, with a marquee of village produce, in which case the Allotments Association could be prevailed upon to help. We discussed the likelihood (or not) of the Bridge End being reopened by that time, and what effect the progress of refurbishment would have on the success of a Goose Fair.

f) Ovingham Oracle: it’s likely that the next Oracle will be published before our next meeting; we agreed that we would include an item asking people to come to September’s meeting to bring suggestions and offers for Goose Fair.

10. Date of next meeting: September 25th 2017