Minutes of Reading Room Committee Meeting

held on Monday 22nd August 2011

Present: Jean Dougherty (Treasurer), Pat Stott (Acting Chair), Hazel Chalmers, Judy Campbell, Ada Blackburn, Hazel Fulton, George Fulton, Debbie Reed, Neville Gray, Georgina Harper, Jackie Scrowther (Minute Secretary), Richard Heslop.

Apologies were received from Doreen Jordan, Louise Leonard, Vanessa Saunders

  1. Minutes of the July meeting were agreed.

  2. Action List: See separate sheet for agreed actions from previous meetings which was discussed and amended.

  3. Matters Arising:

  1. Older People` survey: there are only 10 responses so far. Hazel C explained that this was intended for people who cannot easily get out of the house very often and for a group size of about 20 maximum. 3 people in the village have offered to help together with Age U.K. Judy said that the Reading Room used to have a `pop in` session for the elderly and a casual facility such as this could be tried again. This will be discussed again.

ii) Location of Title Deeds: Jackie said the Charity Commissioners might have them - she was reprimanded for not knowing where they were. Woodhorn Archives have a copy of a conveyance from 1903. The Land Registry appears to have no record of this building. Neville offered to look into this problem.

iii) Laurels: Jackie read an e-mail from Doreen Jordan who said she is still trying to get help from the County Council and has asked Adrian Jackson for an estimate. Hazel Fulton has an estimate from a local firm for their removal in case we have to pay someone to do this work.

iv) Ornaments: The committee authorised Pat Stott to sell these privately.

  1. RR Maintenance:

  1. Heating Project: Hazel Fulton has been the Project Manager for the work which is now almost complete. Hazel said that when she welcomes regular users back into the building, she will ask them to take care of the decor – they should not use drawing pins nor sellotape on the walls and should leave the building in a tidy condition. She said that we cannot replace the window grills if we have plastic windows therefore we need the security of toughened glass. She recommended that the glass with a bullet hole at the front of the building should be replaced (agreed). After this refurbishment, there are other repairs and improvements which should be addressed such as the cracked concrete floor in the porch, removal of redundant electrical fittings, further decoration etc. Hazel recommended that one committee member should be appointed to walk around looking for problems at least once a month. This suggestion was accepted and George Fulton was appointed Maintenance Inspector.

She said that next time we have work going on in the Reading Room, there should be more forward planning; allocation of tasks such as washing curtains should be agreed before work started. This suggestion was accepted.

Hazel Chalmers explained that she had not yet made another application for a grant for windows. It was agreed that she should do so. At this stage, Pat Stott, Acting Chair, presented Hazel C, Hazel and George F with a gift and card and thanked them for their achievements.

ii) Cleaning: Hazel C said the pictures were very dirty although this might be as a result of the recent work. She asked Jackie to tell Melissa to dust these regularly and to try to remove small marks from the carpet soon after they appeared. George said he would be willing to do this. Jackie will also ask. page 1 of 3

Melissa to attend to these problems. Hazel F recommended that we have a thorough clean of the building once a year. She will put this in the diary for discussion next June. Georgina recommended that we consult Martin Davenport for advice on what exactly our cleaner is allowed to so. He is an expert on Health and Safety.

  1. Social Events:

  1. Overall responsibility for social events: Jean said that one person should be in charge of an event. We would then know who to contact if there was a problem. This was agreed.

  2. Film Club. Judy said that Louise will organise the film nights.

  3. Ceilidh Oct 15th. Angels of the North will be playing and Judy Milne will `call`. Hazel Chalmers will be in charge. Jean will organise the soup and stotties (door HC, Bar JC, BB posters)

  4. Jazz Evening Oct 8th : Ada will organise the raffle, Richard will advertise this on Facebook, JD will be in overall charge. Judy agreed to restock the bar for all the social events.

  5. Quiz Sept 30th : Jean will order pie and peas, Ada will do the raffle, Pat will write questions, HC has already done the answer sheets.

  6. Jumble Sale Sept 10th: Jackie said Doreen had items suitable for a tombola stall but committee did not want a tombola at this event. The items could be auctioned. George will do the auction, Debbie Reed will help to sort the jumble on Friday 9th from 5pm. Doreen has informed Steve Thursby of this event requesting a mention in his column; Jackie has placed an advert in the Courant. Jackie was asked to do flyers informing of the sale and asking for jumble (agreed).


6. Treasurer’s Report:

Balance in current account: £1,070-01. Northern Rock account: £3,893.22. A separate sheet was provided showing the costs of the recent renovations.


7. Booking Secretary’s Report:

Hazel Fulton asked members to call into the hall when they pass by to check that it is clean and tidy. She regularly updates information in the Prudhoe Advertiser: she has asked for a separate section for Ovingham (agreed by editor). There was recently a problem with a toilet which had been left locked on the inside. Locked toilet doors have no safety device to open them from the outside (eg if someone collapsed inside). Hazel explained that the door could be removed with an allen key and she has left one in the key cupboard. There followed a long discussion about the charges for the Drama Group’s use of the hall during their `production week`. Hazel only charges for loss of income resulting from cancelled sessions. She said that they will be using the hall during the school October holiday and as many groups did not intend to meet then, they will only be paying just over £70 compared with over £200 on other occasions. She recommended that we meet some representatives from the Drama Group and come to a sensible agreement.

8. Any Other Business

i) Hazel C suggested making meetings open to all then other people might be inclined to join the committee (agreed). Georgina suggested that a notice of the meeting should be placed on the village notice boards (agreed).

ii) PAT testing of casual users’ equipment: Mike Stott is trained to do Pat tests and will test the RR

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equipment regularly as soon as he is able to borrow the PAT testing machine. Adrian Hinchcliffe, the Northumberland Consortium of Village Halls secretary has said that casual users should only use equipment which is PAT tested and has suggested that we include a reference to this need in our hire agreement, perhaps saying that equipment should be `safe and used in a safe way`. Neville said we need to know what `safe` means. Pat has a lengthy document about the recommendations. Neville agreed to look at this. This will be discussed again at next month`s meeting.

iii) Judy said that our Food Hygiene Certificates run out in April next year. It was suggested that we could do the tests `on-line` or at Open Door rather than organising a course in the Reading Room.


9. Date of next meeting: 26th September 2011 at 7-30pm in the Reading Room.


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