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Response to Temple Cloud Village Hall Project

At the Parish Council meeting dated 8th February 2017 three members of the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee attended the meeting to make statements and ask questions relating to the Parish Council decision to terminate the lease arrangement and occupy and manage the Village Hall from 28th July 2017 and around the public statement made by the Parish Council following this decision. The Parish Council have provided a response to each statement / question in turn. Member of the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee: Statement: The attempted stifling of a valued and genuinely inclusive wish by the present Village Hall Committee to use our Village Hall to its maximum potential is hardly useful. Personally I find the allegations as stated in the previous PC meeting that the members of the Village Hall Committee ‘have no vision, energy, inclusiveness’, without grounds and personally offensive, particularly that in as far as I am aware, no present member of the PC has attempted in the past to help promote the Village Hall. I and my colleagues on the TCVHP Committee are aware that the village is expanding, just as it did when previous extra housing was built (on green land and possibly protested by the villagers then). The fact is that more people will join us here. If we can welcome them and show a good social foundation, we can make a better village, and the VH is the place to build community. The world is full of battlegrounds. They face long hard struggles to build a decent society, we only have to stop being selfish. Parish Council: The Parish Council regret that the decision to bring the lease to an end has caused upset for the members of the current Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee. The Parish Council agrees that the Village Hall will be a valuable resource and focal point to build community for the village particularly as it is expanding. The Parish Council thank the members past and present for their efforts and the Parish Council plans to manage the Village Hall for the benefit of the whole community. President of Temple Cloud Women’s Institute / Co-opted trustee of Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Statement: As president of Temple Cloud Women’s Institute I am also co-opted as a Trustee of Temple Cloud Village Hall Project. In the complete absence of any correspondence or discussion with the Village Hall Trust, along with other trustees I am astonished at the publicly hostile stance taken by Cameley Parish Council. I wish to ask that following questions regarding the council’s public statement. Parish Council: The Parish Council have decided to terminate the lease arrangement and instead wish to occupy and manage the Village Hall themselves. Whilst the Parish Council regret that the decision has caused upset for members of the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee, the resolution was documented in the minutes of the 8th January 2017 meeting at which the treasurer of the Village Hall Project Committee was present. The Parish Council have written to each member listed on the Charity Commission website to notify each member of the Charity Trust separately. A public statement was published on the Parish Council website in the interest of transparency and details genuine concerns raised and discussed which formed part of the decision making process. The Parish Council are within their rights to bring the lease arrangement to an end as set out in the lease. Question: What evidence does Cameley Parish Council have to support its publicly-stated claims that the Village Hall Trust has:
  1. Not met its obligations to insure and maintain the village hall?
  2. Not supervised 18th birthday parties
  3. Any connection with nitrous oxide canisters that were dumped outside the school.
I ask that these questions and the council’s responses be minuted. Parish Council: The current lease by which is a fully insuring and maintaining lease. The evidence to support that the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project is not meeting its obligations in this regard is shown by the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee submitting a number of grant applications to the Parish Council over the years towards maintenance, two of which have at present been placed on hold. In addition, the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee have not published, or provided at the recent AGM current or future plans setting out intentions to generate significant or additional funds to be used towards the cost of ongoing or future maintenance requirements. Questions around appropriate supervision were raised in December 2015 by the Parish Council. Issues around 18th birthday parties in particular and whether they are being appropriately supervised and have been brought to the attention of the Parish Council and raise genuine concerns in terms of supervision and licencing. Regular observation by two members of the Parish Council have witnessed large numbers collecting outside of Village Hall drinking alcohol which contravenes licencing laws, risking the future renewal of the licence and therefore jeopardising the viability of the hall. The Chairman and Village Operative collected nitrous oxide canisters as part of a package of litter located in the strip of land between the Village Hall and the school following the party held on New Year’s Eve at the Village Hall. This litter was not present prior to the party. In addition, a trustee of the Temple Cloud Village Hall Project Committee approached the Chairman of the Parish Council regarding littering outside the Village Hall and on the Playing Field following the party held at the Village Hall on New Year’s Eve. Treasurer of Village Hall Project Committee Questions for the clerk about public statement on website dated 30/01/2017. When were you authorised to publish the statement and by whom? Parish Council: The statement issued by the Clerk on 30/01/2017 on behalf of the Parish Council was written as a result of the resolutions made at the January 2017 Parish Council meeting and under the guidance and direction of the Parish Council. The Parish Clerk is able to is issue press release in line with Parish Council decision/policy as per the Clerks job description. Question: Minutes of the Parish Council meeting should accurately reflect what is said during the meeting, however misleading or untrue the words spoken may be. Anything else published by clerk or council should be checked for correctness and legality before published. Parish Council: Best practice guidance outlined by the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) states that ‘minutes should be as concise as possible’. ‘As a minimum, the minutes record the resolution or decision but can include a summary of important points where this adds value. A detailed account of who said what is neither necessary nor advisable’. In terms of the requirement to check minutes for legality and correctness before they are published. This is not the case, Local Councils are strongly encouraged to publish the draft minutes (which are clearly marked as draft) prior to the meeting at which they are to be approved by the Parish Council. The committee are taking legal advice on its position and on the legality of the PCs actions and public statement. The Parish Council understand that the Village Hall Project Committee will be taking legal advice.
  • Posted: 15th February 2017

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