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 13TH MARCH 2019
David Homewood – Convener
Bill Adam – Treasurer
ITEM 1 – INTRODUCTION
The March meeting was the time of year when the F of AH committee needed to think about the AGM. Whilst it did not take place until June, preparation needed to start as March was the last month in the financial year. AGM preparation was therefore included in the agenda.
The recent Coffee Morning went extremely well and there would be time to have a wash-up in Item 3.
The Convener had had a bilateral meeting with Live Active Leisure (LAL) in early March and there were some interesting outcomes from it.
ITEM 2 – PREVIOUS MINUTES
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 9th January had been agreed as a true record out of session and released into the public domain the week after the meeting.
ITEM 3 – MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE BUSINESS
The Treasurer explained the simple financial statement (Enclosure 1) he had produced. There had been significant income from the Coffee Morning, Tapestry Project and Quiz, which totalled just under £1K. Expenditure had mainly been on annual insurance and replacing inventory items. There was now a surplus for the year to date of £650.12p and a healthy Bank Balance of £17,317.82p.
The Treasurer suggested that consideration be given to a ‘bag pack’ day at the Coop. It was agreed that this was a good idea and could raise as much as £600. The Convener agreed to use his good relationship with the Coop Manageress to seek an appropriate date for the proposal.
LAL Bilateral Meeting
The Convener met with Kerr Smith, the LAL Halls Operations Manager, on 7th March. The following was discussed:
- Clock Tower. PKC Property Services has been asked in emails from both LAL and F of AH why ladders remained on the Clock Tower. The contractor had been requested to remove them, but they were no longer under contract and continued to be unresponsive. It was not clear whether more work was required on the roof, but if it was, then the question had been asked why it was taking so long. Pressure from both organisations would hopefully trigger some action soon.
- Kitchen Cleaning. It was agreed that a deep clean of the Commercial Kitchen was not necessary this year. The Galley Kitchen would be deep cleaned in September on a cost share basis if the F of AH committee agreed. Unanimously agreed.
- Management Information. Usage data for December, January and February would be delayed owing to staff problems. Staff costs in FY 2018/19 had risen to approximately £31K.
- Trestle Tables. Not on F of AH inventory. Any excess may be moved to other halls as the Auchterarder community did not own them. The Convener said that it should be an aspiration to buy in new tables to the community’s ownership in due course; 30 tables would cost in excess of £4K.
- Events Programme. The 3-monthly Aytoun Hall Regular Events programme that had been work up would continue to be kept up to date; LAL had agreed the content did not breach any ‘information protection’ rules. The Convener had suggested that a programme of LAL activities that took place in the Strathallan/Strathearn locality should be regularly produced, including those in the Aytoun Hall.
- Heating. Problems had been encountered, but were now hopefully rectified in a technical sense. However, the system relied on manual cooperation, which was not always forthcoming. User complaints continued to be made. A system upgrade was being considered which would allow hall keepers to adjust heating via mobile phones.
- Vacuum Cleaners. The Convener had made a proposal to purchase two new Henry Vacuum Cleaners for the Aytoun Hall. The committee agreed to cost share with LAL at approximately £120 each. One would need to be brought to book on the F of AH inventory.
- Next Meeting. Scheduled for 18th July.
Events & Fundraising Project
Spring Coffee Morning – Saturday, 9th March 2019.
The Convener thanked everyone for their contribution towards a successful event. Maureen Duncan-Smith said the Friday evening set-up was essential. The community support had been excellent and Facebook had in part secured volunteer commitment. The mix of round and small tables should be continued in future. A list of volunteers would be maintained. A £2.50p entrance fee should remain. Thank you letters had been placed in the local press and on social media.
Tapestry Project. The Convener had asked Jenny Haldane if she could commit to two afternoons from a selection of dates throughout the year when Tapestry Teas could be organised. The project to date had raised significant money. When completed the tapestry would be a good addition to the Aytoun Hall’s content and would contribute towards profile as an item of interest.
Lunchtime Concerts – Thursday, 13th & Friday, 14th June. Hall set up would take place at 9pm on Wednesday, 12th June. Volunteers would need to be organised for the Thursday concert to operate the Galley Kitchen and refreshments. Maureen Duncan-Smith and Eleanor Aitken said that they would cover the Friday concert. The same format that had been employed over the past three years would be followed.
Autumn Coffee Morning – Saturday, 21st September. The Aytoun Hall had been booked. The same format would be followed as for the recent Spring event.
Volunteers’ Lunch – Friday, 22nd November. The Institute and Galley Kitchen had been booked. The event would take place between 12.15 and 1.30pm. It was agreed that soup and sandwiches would be bought in from Nosh; Graeme McCall agreed to liaise about food provision. Committee members were requested to provide Maureen Duncan-Smith with a list of volunteers they felt should be invited to the event. The Convener would arrange for invitations to be produced and sent out. The Convener reminded those present that following the Volunteers’ Lunch the Christmas tree would be erected and decorated.
January Stock Check. Jim Healy advised that, following the 100% check in January, replacement items had been bought in for the Commercial Kitchen. The Galley Kitchen would be addressed next.
Cocktail Tables. The Convener explained that the two tables currently located in the Front Gallery belonged to Henderson Catering and they would be removed for a function elsewhere in May. It was proposed and agreed that F of AH purchase like tables at a cost of approximately £50 each. Jim Healy agreed to undertake the purchase.
Social Media & WiFi
Social Media. Douglas Young had produced an overview of Facebook activity on the F of AH page over a 28 day period. Information posted by F of AH had reached 3,294 subscribers and 454 had engaged the posts. A discussion followed that gave consideration to link user organisations and events in the Aytoun Hall to the F of AH Facebook page. It was concluded that the number and type of posts currently made was about right. ‘Boosts’ at £7 a time had been made to extend ‘post reach’ prior to F of AH events.
WiFi. The Convener explained that previously F of AH had become involved in the provision of free WiFi that covered the town centre. The initiative was brokered by the now defunct Auchterarder Community Partnership (ACP) with 802 Works. Local businesses had not supported the project in sufficient numbers and it had eventually failed; 802 Works had subsequently ceased to function and left hardware installed around the town. Remaining assets were transferred to the Community Council from the ACP. The Smart Perth Project Officer had approached the Convener seeking to put a case together to re-instate the free WiFi network, utilising the extant hardware and using the Aytoun Hall as the main hub, because it was a PKC-owned building. A meeting with Rapier Systems on 8th March had taken place. The project would be priced and then recommended to PKC as part of the Smart City development of WiFi in Perth & Kinross tier towns.
ITEM 4 – ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Community Ownership Forum
The Convener had attended a forum on 2nd February. It was stated that a Charity Limited by Guarantee could not take over a property owned by a local authority. F of AH would need to change its status to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) before it could consider making such an application. This ruled out any idea of taking over the Girnal Flat.
Annual Report. A draft for the period ending 31st March would be circulated for comment in April.
Accounts. The Treasurer confirmed that the appointment of an Independent Examiner had been arranged.
Nominations. Three trustees needed to stand down at the AGM and seek re-election. It was the turn of Shona Stewart, Graeme McCall and Bill Adam to complete nomination forms this year.
ITEM 5 – FUTURE MEETINGS
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, 8th May 2019 commencing at 7.30pm in the Council Chambers.
Future schedule of meetings in 2019:
Wednesday 8th May.
Wednesday 5th June – AGM.
Wednesday 11th September.
Wednesday 20th November.
Friends of Aytoun Hall
Enclosures: [Not included in website version].
1. F of AH Financial Statement as at 13th March 2019.