Around 20 villagers and Parish Councillors met at East Tisted Village Hall last night to discuss the option of creating a new Village Hall Committee as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, a system that became available in 2013.
Under the proposed scheme the membership would consist of volunteers, over 18 yrs of age, resident in Farringdon and the CIO based trustees would be separate from the Parish Council although Parish Councillors would be permitted to join should they wish.
Financial Liability of CIO members is limited to £1 () and had the system been available when the Parish Council took over the trusteeship that would probably have been the option taken to protect trustees from financial burden.
Meeting Chair Penny Cushing, was in control and managed to keep the meeting on a reasonably steady course!
In charge of the computer audience was current trust Treasurer John Constable. who managed to keep the half dozen Zoom audience more or less up to date with proceedings.
Initial questions were concerned about the Farringdon Resident limitation of Village Hall trustees but, although the Hall would be available to hire by people in and outside Farringdon, it was, after some discussion, generally accepted that the it would be difficult to manage an trusteeship of members spread far and wide.
Bearing in mind that there have been no AGM's or public meetings for some years, there were several attempts to question some of the actions of the current trust but Penny made the point that this meeting was to decide whether or not to proceed with the CIO option for the Hall Trustees and Trust actions could be discussed and would be decided at future meetings.
Some members of the existing Trust had met Solicitor Mick Vaughan, a specialist in charity affairs, for advice regarding setting up a CIO and, if the meeting approved the process going ahead, further meetings would be necessary to complete the final set up and Constitution.
The general outline was that Farringdon residents would put themselves forward as trust members, rather than make all residents over 18 automatically become members.
There were some questions regarding the Charity only allowing Farringdon residents, bearing in mind there was no geographical restriction on potential customers for Hall facilities but the point was made that it was much simpler, and had little effect on future hire if the geographical restriction remained in force.
At an AGM, Senior Committee members would be elected to form a Management Committee able to proceed with day to day actions etc and any major activities would be put forward for approval of the main membership. This was generally approved of by those present who pointed out that for some years there had been no Public meeting, apart from the open days in the Church last year.
A show of hands indicated that those present fully supported the move to a CIO based Independent Village Hall Charity Trust group
After several questions on finance the only information given was that the current assets owned by the Committee, from the original £390,000 from the sale of the Folly, would be around £350,000 after the CIO was set up.
Land purchase and costs will leave something over £200,000 for construction and landscaping so fund raising is going to be a major concern for the Village Hall Trust Charity in the years to come.