MINUTES OF A BUSINESS MEETING OF THE
FRIENDS OF AYTOUN HALL (F of AH) MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS
AT 7.30PM ON WEDNESDAY 9TH JANUARY 2019
David Homewood – Convener
Jenny Haldane – Vice Convener
Bill Adam – Treasurer
ITEM 1 – INTRODUCTION
The Convener thanked those present for attending and hoped that 2019 proved to be a good year for all, and especially for the Aytoun Hall. He wanted to use the meeting to map out the year ahead for events and possibly set some aims for the future. He requested all to ask the question of themselves whether F of AH, as an organisation, was necessary and whether its existence was effective. He had earmarked time for discussion in Any Other Business.
ITEM 2 – PREVIOUS MINUTES
Draft minutes of the last meeting held on 21st November had been agreed as a true record out of session; they were released into the public domain the week after having been circulated to the committee for agreement.
ITEM 3 – MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE BUSINESS
The Treasurer had produced a simple financial statement (Enclosure 1). He said that there had been few transactions and only on expenditure, one for Administration (computer ink) and the others for Inventory replacements. The bank balance stood at £16,848.57p. This was considered to be ‘healthy’ in view of the March Coffee Morning on the horizon and further anticipated income.
Outside Areas. The Convener said that there was nothing significant to report, but Maureen Duncan-Smith suggested that the state of the outside areas around the fountain needed to be watched as it was frequently littered. The Convener said that he would raise the matter with the operator, Live Active Leisure (LAL).
Events & Fundraising Project
Tapestry Project. The tapestry’s progress had been accelerated over the Christmas period. It was a slow process, with a lot more stiches needed. There had been a regular income from engaging people in the community to complete stitches; Jenny Haldane said that there was more money to bank with the Treasurer. The Convener asked her to find, as an aim, three dates in 2019 when Tapestry Teas could be held; hosting arrangements to be decided. He believed that the tapestry raised the profile of the Aytoun Hall and its history. When it was completed, consideration would need to be given to organising an event to raise the Aytoun Hall profile in the town.
Spring Coffee Morning – Saturday, 9th March 2019.
This would be the last business meeting before the event, therefore decisions needed to be made about organisation now. Maureen Duncan-Smith would lead on organising the event. The Aytoun Hall and Galley Kitchen had been booked from 9am to noon. It was agreed the usual format would be followed. Set-up would be at 6pm on Friday, 8th March, if the venue was available (to be confirmed). Maureen Duncan-Smith confirmed she had a list of volunteers she could call upon to help run the event. Raffle, Tombola, Cake & Candy, Tapestry and Quiz would be the side stalls. Noreen Homewood had agreed to organise the Tombola, volunteers would be recruited to operate a Raffle of approximately 15 prizes, Shona Stewart would be requested to run the Cake & Candy Stall with Maureen Duncan-Smith coordinating home baking requirements, Jenny Haldane would arrange for the Tapestry to be available and Jim Healy would oversee the Quiz launch in conjunction with the Convener. The Convener said he would produce posters. The Living Local magazine had been furnished with a piece. Douglas Young was requested to post information about the event on social media.
The Convener said that the 2019 quiz was based on anagrams of place names in Scotland. It was intentionally an easy quiz as an encouragement for good sales. Outlets would be Café Kisa, The Shoe Shop and Jan de Vries Healthcare.
Lunchtime Concerts – Thursday, 13th & Friday, 14th June. Hall set up would take place at 9pm on Wednesday, 12th June. It should be noted that this would be Frances Gilles’s last concert as music director before retirement. It was agreed that the same set up, with beverages and home baking being provided, would be followed as in the past three years as it had proved to be successful. Catering and kitchen set-up could take place a.m. Thursday, 13th June.
Autumn Coffee Morning. It was agreed that a Coffee Morning would be organised for Saturday, 21st September. The Convener said that he would inform the Parish Church to hopefully avoid a clash of interests.
Volunteers’ Lunch. It was agreed that a Soup & Sandwich lunch would be arranged for Friday, 22nd November, this to thank volunteers for assisting with the running of fundraising events. In due course, the Convener would consult with Maureen Duncan-Smith regarding a list of invitations. Catering would be ‘bought in’.
Christmas Tree. Following the Volunteers’ Lunch on 22nd November, it was proposed by the Convener that the Christmas tree be erected and decorated, which was agreed.
Christmas in the Community. During the past 3 years, F of AH had indirectly sponsored the Christmas in the Community event by booking the Aytoun Hall and Institute at no cost. With the event’s committee now established, it was felt that in future the Christmas event should pay for itself. This was agreed. The Convener said that the decision would need to be passed on to the appropriate person so that hall bookings would be made for next year. The Convener said that he would ask Eleanor Aitken to undertake the task of passing on the decision.
A 100% inventory check was to be carried out by Jim Healy. He had already noted some kitchenware and crockery items that needed to be replaced. The Convener reminded the committee that a resolution had been passed in January 2018 that gave Jim Healy authority to spend up to £100 per item without the need to gain the agreement of the committee in session. He added that if items were broken or went missing during the daily operation of the hall, it was the price the F of AH had to pay to avoid a bureaucratic system for users. This was acknowledged and accepted by the committee.
A discussion took place on the future replacement of tables and chairs. The Treasurer advised that the chairs in the building had cost £24K. The Convener said that the aim of keeping a minimum of £15K as a reserve was to allow match funding up to £30K or more on any future grant application. It was agreed that in future, when possible, a condition check should be carried out on tables and chairs, and, if necessary, part replacement could take place.
ITEM 4 – ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Future of F of AH. The Convener posed the questions:
* Is the F of AH organisation necessary?
* Is it effective in the way it operates?
* Is its profile in the community high enough?
* Are there other ways of fundraising that could be adopted?
Those present felt that it was important for the community to be represented in the management and operation of the building. Some concern was felt about recruiting members and the continuity of the ‘friends’ committee. Generally, it was felt that the committee was effective and over the past two years had reached a plateau in its contribution to the upkeep of the facilities, which encouraged and ensured maintenance action when necessary. Good relationships with LAL and the local authority had been fostered and maintained over the years. The continuance of community representation through F of AH was considered essential. Fundraising plans were adequate for the present, but consideration could be given to having a ‘bag pack’ day at the Auchterarder Coop at some time in the future.
No change to the modus operandi of the F of AH committee was felt necessary at the present time and there was good value in maintaining the organisation’s existence.
ITEM 5 – FUTURE MEETINGS
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, 13th March 2019 commencing at 7.30pm in the Council Chambers.
Future schedule of meetings in 2019:
Wednesday 13th March.
Wednesday 8th May.
Wednesday 5th June – AGM.
Wednesday 11th September.
Wednesday 20th November.