Ovingham Reading Room Committee

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 26th February 2018

Present: Neville, Chris, Doreen, Sally, Louise, Vera, Marion, Lorraine, Sue and Debbie

1. Apologies for absence: Georgina and Dean

2. Minutes of meeting on 29th January 2017: these were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman

3. Matters arising from the minutes:

i) Firepoint check: this has been carried out, but we haven’t received replacement glass for the extinguishers. Chris will follow this up

ii) Investigation into new oven: Hazel has identified a Zanussi which would fit in well with the rest of the kitchen and has clearly marked knobs which are easy to use. It is currently on offer for £439. She will order one tomorrow, for delivery in 2 weeks.

4. Update on Reading Room maintenance /safety actions

i) investigation into possibility of curtains/blinds:

Sally has met with Joe Moss who specialises in industrial-standard curtains for public buildings. She brought samples of two suitable materials with black-out incorporated, and we chose the textured one (Discovery) in rouge which would tone with the chairs. Neville and Sally agreed to take one of each length down to measure and then Sally would order those lengths from Joe Moss. The cost would be £7.50 per metre and £15 per drop to make up (this would probably come to under £800)

ii) Progress with pebbledash painting

Richard Loughead hasn’t brought the paint back yet, but the weather isn’t suitable at present.

iii) Arrangements for removal of mortar behind gravel bin and future lime treatment

Ongoing- to be carried out in better weather, as arranged with Dillon earlier.

iv) Thermostats

Some of the thermostats aren’t working -Tim Allsopp to be asked to repair/replace/reset them

5. Feedback on quiz on February 16th

This had been very well-attended and greatly enjoyed – and made a profit of nearly £500.

6. Goose Fair 2018 progress report

The Goose Fair sub-committee had met on 19th February, and Joanna Jackson and Tony Chandler had attended the meeting. They offered to organise the Goose Fair, and presented an outline of their plans (and subsequently followed up with some additional detail). They advised the committee that since the last Goose Fair many regulations, particularly with regard to insurance and food hygiene, have been tightened up.

The chairman presented 3 options which had been agreed at the sub-committee meeting: to take no action with regard to a Goose Fair, to organise a smaller Fair, or take up Joanna and Tony’s offer to organise a slightly larger Fair on behalf of the RR with some commercial stalls). We discussed the options at length, but finally decided not to hold a Goose Fair this year. The majority of the committee felt that the response from village organisations had not been substantial or reliable enough to assume adequate participation and the chairman advised he had separately received similar information. It was also noted that many other activities are being organised this year and that individual stall-holders would have to provide their own Public Liability Insurance which would be a cost in addition to paying fees for their stalls.

The committee noted that 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Goose Fair and will look at options with regard to the format of a suitable event.

Neville will write to Joanna and Tony with our decision, and to thank them for their kind offer.

7. Film licence

The licence we have at present covers 11 showings of which Film Club uses 10. We have been asked for an 11th film showing on April 13th for a public event, which would leave us without any spare capacity.

Louise and Chris will look into the possibility of extending the licence to include more occasions available for hirers, and we will discuss the implications at next meeting

Related to this, Louise reported problems with the AV equipment, which had resulted in interruptions to the film last Friday. She had bought a new HDMI lead, but it seems that the problem lies with the DVD player.

Louise has investigated a suitable replacement for £55 and will order it from Amazon Prime.

8. Arrangements for Prudhoe Singers March 28th.

Neville confirmed that as long as one of us is present, the Singers can run a bar without needing a special licence to sell alcohol.

9. Disabled parking

This had been raised by a resident, and after discussion it was agreed that although we would like to offer disabled parking, there isn’t enough space outside the Reading Room to cater for the bus stop and the necessity of an area dedicated to loading and unloading, as well as for other disabled people to be dropped off.

10. Data Protection requirements

Neville reported back from the Consortium of Village Halls in West Northumberland.

To comply with the new Data Protection law, consent has to be sought for data to be kept. User groups will have to identify members on whom we can keep data, and those members’ consent must be provided. We will have to add an item on this to the casual users’ hire contracts. These amendments to our practices need to be worked towards in the next 6 months.

11. Chair's report

See above

12. Booking Secretary's report

Debbie circulated her report of the regular and one-bookings in January, which raised an income of £805. Six one-off bookings have been made for March, and several more in the months ahead.

The report is attached with the minutes.

13. Treasurer's Report

i) Chris had circulated his report prior to the meeting.

The total balance in both our accounts is £21 539, of which £4285 is with Lloyds and £17 254 is with Virgin. This is down from last report, but there have been substantial expenses on maintenance and improvement work, and a delay in Chris receiving notification of payments made from hirers by BACS. The Reading Room’s account is in a healthy state.

ii) Insurance: a representative form Village Hall Insurance will be coming to make an estimate of the cost of rebuilding the Reading Room.

A user had queried that our Public Liability certificate wasn’t displayed; Chris had investigated this and found that we’re only obliged to display our Employer Liability certificate (now done).

As our P..L. doesn’t cover commercial hirers, we need to check that all of commercial users are aware of this and can provide evidence of their own insurance.

iii) Chris had researched the cost of external noticeboards, and found one double the size of our present one costing £500. A lock would increase the cost, but could be added later, so we decided to buy one without a lock for the time being.

Chris will bring further details to next meeting.

iv) New oven: the Chat Club don’t have their own bank account so we will pay for the oven and deduct the amount from their element of the Reading Room account.

14. Monthly Planner actions:

i) Emergency lighting check – carried out by Neville prior to the meeting

ii) Arrangements for review of cleaning contract: Sally had spoken to Melissa and we have agreed to postpone a review of her salary and contract for 8 months. Sally reassured the rest of the committee that she goes through the list of jobs Melissa does each week, and will ask her to clean outside the front door in future.

15. AOB.

i) Cupboards: we agreed to ask all users to clear out any cupboards they use so that there’s nothing surplus taking up space – and to ensure that nothing is left in the fridge. Sally will ask Melissa to throw any food out of the fridge

ii) China: Chris has ordered 3 dozen new cups and saucers, with the cost to be shared with Chat Club.

iii) Glasses: Sally pointed out that we need more glasses so that we have enough of each type to be able to ensure consistency of serving size. Louise said that she would ask Judy and Ada to buy some.

iv) Piano key: there have been occasions recently when it had been difficult to obtain the piano key, and it was agreed that we would ask Jim Miller or Jim Wardle to hand over their key to be stored somewhere in the Reading Room, or look into getting a new one cut (Debbie to investigate this)

17. Date of next meeting: March 19th 2018 (please note not the last Monday of the month)