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 20TH NOVEMBER 2019
David Homewood – Convener
Jenny Haldane – Vice Convener
Bill Adam – Treasurer
ITEM 1 – INTRODUCTION
This would be the last meeting in 2019. The Convener thanked the committee for continuing to commit to the Friends of Aytoun Hall. From his perspective, the charity’s profile could be in danger of sinking with routine and what we quietly do behind the scenes; success could breed complacency in the community. Therefore the recent Bag Pack and the coming Volunteers’ Lunch, Spring Coffee Morning and Lunchtime Concerts were important to maintain profile and standing in the town. The committee needed to keep it going.
ITEM 2 – PREVIOUS MINUTES
The minutes of the 11th September meeting were circulated for comment out of session and released into the public domain as a true record the week after the meeting.
ITEM 3 – MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE BUSINESS
The Treasurer had produced a simple financial statement (Enclosure 1). There was now an in year surplus of £387 and a bank balance of £17,566. It was pointed out that insurances (approximately £500) and Volunteers’ Lunch overheads (£200+) were expenditures on the horizon. However, the bank balance would be kept above the £15K level that had been set by the committee.
Rental Income. Income totals for September and October had been included on the handout (Enclosure 2). Note was made that the totals were the same. Live Active Leisure (LAL) had made a mistake when carrying out an invoice run in September by setting the wrong completion date. Thus two months had been added together and divided in half. Income and lets were down in comparison with the two previous years.
Repair & Maintenance Costs. It was becoming clear that PKC Property Services no longer wished to engage with F of AH and that they could no longer provide a contact desk through which information could be sought. This was probably owing to reduced manning and budget. If future Repair & Maintenance Costs were to be obtained, consideration would have to be given to submitting an end of FY year ‘freedom of information’ request, otherwise the community would not be able to assess the overall annual subsidy required to operate the Aytoun Hall complex.
Building Maintenance & Repairs
Hearing Loops. Problems with hearing loops had been identified during a PKC survey of all its buildings earlier in 2019. They continued to malfunction. No action had been taken over a number of months. This would be followed up by LAL as the hall’s operator.
Clock Tower & Water Ingress. The Maintenance Officer had been requested to view the damaged décor resulting from Clock Tower water ingress. However, requests for information and action had obtained no response. It was not clear whether roof repairs had made the building waterproof so that redecoration could take place. Again, LAL had agreed to pursue the matter.
LAL Bilateral Meeting
The Convener met with the LAL Halls Operations Manager on 19th November. The following was agreed:
· Hearing Loops. See paragraph above.
· Clock Tower roof and redecoration of stairs and Council Chambers. See paragraph above.
· Commercial Kitchen cleaning. Planned for 2020 on a cost share basis. The committee agreed to costs share with LAL, but felt that cleaning should be brought forward to April.
· A new notice board would be provided by LAL and placed to the right of the Office in the Girnal House front, inside wall.
· Clarity regarding invoice production was sought. They would be raised during the month after an event had taken place. If an organisation wished to clear payment for accounting purposes it would need to forward payment under a covering letter stating venue, date, hire duration and type of event (commercial, private, community, charitable).
· Next meeting was scheduled for 31st March 2020.
Events & Fundraising Projects
Jenny Haldane stated that the tapestry was very nearly completed. She asked who the people were who had requested to complete stitches before completion. The Convener undertook to provide a list of names.
The tapestry had been measured. After framing, it would fit under the heraldic shield in the Aytoun Hall. A decision on where it should be sited could be taken at a later date. Framing would be expensive, but it had been agreed previously that it should be done professionally.
Coop Bag Pack. The Convener said that the Bag Pack had been a success. It had brought in £455 as well as maintaining the charity’s profile. It was agreed that a bag pack should be repeated in 2020. A decision on ‘when’ was deferred until the January meeting.
Autumn Coffee Morning. The September coffee morning had been successful, but the use of round tables had not proved to be popular. It was decided that in future smaller tables would be used.
Volunteers’ Soup & Sandwich Lunch. Scheduled for 22nd November from 12.15pm to 1.30pm. Six committee members had confirmed availability. 27 positive replies had been received to date, 3 definite ‘No’ and 8 ‘no replies’. It was agreed that 40 should be catered for. Set up would be at 10am. Nosh would provide the food.
Spring Coffee Morning. The Aytoun Hall had been booked for 7th March. The event would be used to launch a fund raising quiz. More detailed planning was deferred until the January meeting.
Lunchtime Concerts. The Convener had met with Amy Murch, the new Head of Music at the Community School, and Stuart Brown, Pipe Band Leader, on 22nd October. No changes to the concerts from previous years had been proposed. Changes of dates had been discussed together with Music Department funding issues and raising money to supplement the music budget in the school. Consideration of further collaborative events was left as a possibility.
100% January Check. Jim Healy said this had been scheduled. Some breakages had occurred, but replacement purchases were not yet necessary.
Chairs. Stained chairs needed to be grouped together. Graeme McCall agreed to liaise with the hall keeper to assess a cost for cleaning them.
Social Media & WiFi
Social Media. Douglas Young produced an analysis of F of AH Facebook usage (Enclosure 3). The trend was positive and the decision to include notices of events held by other organisations using the Aytoun Hall complex had evidently added greater interest.
WiFi. PKC had taken the decision to fund ‘blanket’ WiFi across the High Street. Aytoun Hall would be used as the main Internet Access Point. The project could be active by the end of November, but no firm information had been received to date. The Convener said he had met with the contractor, Rapier Systems, to show them the real estate. Ex-Auchterarder Community Partnership hardware assets would be used to facilitate the WiFi delivery system.
ITEM 4 – ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Chairs. Maureen Duncan-Smith said she had been asked by the Fire Station whether some of the Aytoun Hall chairs could be used for its Childrens’ Christmas Party, as the chairs previously provided by the Parish Church were no longer available. The committee unanimously rejected the idea owing to insurance constraints.
Lamp Post Banners. 25 banners were to be produced for the High Street. F of AH were to be mentioned on two of them. The project was being paid for by the Community Council. The designs were being paid for by PKC. These were to be approved by the Community Council before the project progressed.
ITEM 5 – FUTURE MEETINGS
The Convener advised that consideration needed to be given to changing the day of the week the committee met owing to the fact that Jim Healy could no longer attend on a Wednesday evening. It was agreed that meeting dates in 2020 should be changed to Thursday evenings.
The next meeting was now scheduled for Thursday 16th January.
Future schedule of meetings in 2020:
Thursday, 16th January – Business Meeting.
Thursday, 12th March – Business Meeting.
Thursday, 14th May – Business Meeting.
Thursday, 11th June – AGM & Business Meeting.
Thursday, 10th September – Business Meeting.
Thursday, 19th November – Business Meeting.