Theale Village Hall Minutes

This page contains the latest meeting minutes:

Minutes of Theale village hall Trustees meeting Tuesday 4th July 2023 at 8pm

In Theale village hall

Members Attending – Elected members -Lisa Chittenden, David Neale and Lesley Luke

Co-opted members – Bernard and Elizabeth Coulter, Bill Woodroffe

Item No Comments Action By Whom
1 Welcome and apologies – Sian Landers and Andy Reeson    
2 Approval of minutes of last meeting – David requested that copies of the legal documents pertaining to the orchard be requested from the solicitors

(Update – David Neale received docs day after meeting)

DN suggested a sub committee to look at possible grant applications – Lisa, David and possibly Elizabeth

David explained that The community grant of £600 From Somerset community foundation for operating  costs can be used for cleaning costs,fencing and maintenance of the orchard

David also explained that he will need to register all committee members as trustees with the Charity commission, some discussion followed

Ask for legal docs Lesley
3 Chairman’s report

EGM – discussion about the lack of response from WPC possibly causing EGM to be postponed.

It was decided to wait until the end of the week in the hope that a response will be received. As Andy Reeson was not present Lisa or Elizabeth expected to contact Jackie F again.

Lease update – still awaiting Diocese , Richard Neill continuing to press for progress.

Grants – CIL, Lisa has spoken to Alistair at WPC and explained that quotes for electrical rewiring and kitchen refurb will be submitted to apply for the grant.

Postcode lottery grant unsuccessful

Sedgemoor – £250 for bike racks pending

Policies – 7 completed, 13 to be completed

Community communication – Newsletter to be organised by Sian and Lesley


Contact WPC to ask again for response to our letter


Quotes for Kitchen and electrics











Lesley and Bill




Sian and Lisa

4 Finance.

David explained that we need to have some solid plans for fund raising in the next half of the year

He explained that Octopus have not taken the direct debit since March

See attached copy of report and accounts


Grants – See above.   Suggested that a sub committee be set up to look at possible grants





Set up Sub committee




Lisa and David +another?

5 Building & Orchard

Lease update – See above

Building – Bill has had a meeting with an electrician who has agreed to give a quote for rewire of hall and he estimated between £2000 and £3000 for kitchen rewire

Bill has contacted Emma(Architect) to try and move things on but probably not going to hear until September and as she is proposing to look at the whole project we are somewhat hindered, apart from electrics and kitchen , in moving on.

Lesley talked about possible changes to kitchen eg Hatch and more light, maybe VELUX window? She has costed for all possible appliances at £12700 rough estimate.There are companies who will design and install commercial kitchens, it was agreed that Lesley would contact them to find out cost etc.

Lisa suggested 4 phases starting in Autumn

1 Rewire/refurb kitchen


3 Roof ?Spring 24

4. Floor/walls next Autumn

The only reservation concerned the roof should that come first, but we need Emma to do survey before any decision is made.

Ideally an eighteen month time frame

Bill feels we need someone to do the leg work, getting builders and quotes etc. he feels unable to commit to it himself due to his own personal commitments.

Dave Whitmarsh was suggested as someone who might be able to do the job and David Neale will approach him. Bill will ask Emma if she could possibly do the roof survey ASAP so that we can proceed with that part of the project.

Orchard – Bill is meeting someone to install gate at boundary with Anne’s land. The type of boundary which Anne would prefer is a laid hedge, but that is a job for the winter to be discussed at future meeting.Bernard mentioned a talk about hedges given by Green Wedmore, might be possible to ask their advice.Possibly Wedmore solar power might give a grant?Vanessa may know, Elizabeth to ask her

Bill mentioned the bench that has been donated by Anne and could we get a plaque for it, LL suggested one on the wall and Lisa thought do both , Lesley to research. Orchard to be called Bodley’s orchard. It was suggested carving into the stone would be good and Elizabeth mentioned apprentice stone masons from Wells cathedral, Scott Dawkins was a source of the info














Contact Kitchen companies













Contact Dave Whitmarsh

Contact Emma re roof survey



Approach Vanessa re hedges and grants




Ask Scott about Stone masons









































Elizabeth to ask Scott

6 Communication and Community engagement

Newsletter – on hold as Lisa poorly and Lesley tied up with family at the moment.

Uploading docs to website – PB has started ball rolling , but LL tried unsuccessfully to activate and will speak to him when back from Hols.








LL to speak to PB

7 Governance

We need a reserves policy and it was suggested £5000 to cover 6 months of running costs. As a result we have approximately £3000 in excess at the moment

Lesley raised the issue of a professional cleaner and DN explained that the cost could come out of the £600 allotted from a grant for running costs, BW has spoken to his cleaner and she is happy to take the job, starting in September possibly.



Bill to liaise with his cleaner





Bernard explained that he had some ideas for activities/fund raisers- Hazel Hudson talking about some different stories and Geoff Dickson talking about the defence of Wells should the Germans invade! Also Tony Chau might talk about “Tips for photography”. He also wondered if Simon Armitage (poet laureate) might be interested in playing in our small folk club as he was seen on TV talking about such a thing!So they emailed him and his agent has responded, so no harm in trying!!The players may also do a review coming up to Christmas! Elizabeth also suggested a murder mystery night.Lisa suggested a Halloween disco if Sian agrees.Lesley questioned whether people are still contributing on a regular basis and David explained that its about £70 a month, might be good to push harder for more people to sign up!

9 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 1st August at 8.00 pm


Treasurers Report 4th July


Attached is the monthly income and expenditure account for the year to June 2023. Please note the following:

  1. It has been a quiet month, ending with free cash of E8,797. I would now like to see plans for fund raising activity in the second half of the year, with ambition to exceed the cÉ600, made in the first half. From this level of free cash cE1,600 has been allocated towards the kitchen refit. The agenda will cover discussion of a cash reserves policy, and I see from the minutes that E5,OOO was proposed. You would expect me to be cautious, and I would be happier with at least E6,OOO.
  2. The Table Tennis Club has made a total contribution for hall hire of E235, for the first half of the year. I nice new income stream.
  3. The transfer of electricity supplier to Octopus legally took place in January, but we remained on the Bulb billing system until March, at which time we had accumulated a modest overpayment. Octopus has yet to collect any direct money from TVH. It seems that they will update our account as of 30 June, and I have provided meter readings as of that date. Therefore, there will be a catch up payment due in the near future. I am not making confusing accruals in the accounts, and will manually flex expenditure on electricity by amending monthly direct debit payments to Octopus.
  4. I can quickly produce a cash flow forecast when there is clarity on the above.

Thant’s all from me.

David Neale

2 July 2023

Theale village hall committee AGM minutes

 Wednesday 12thApril 2023

Present : Lesley Luke, Lisa Chittenden, Sian Landers, David Neale, Bill Woodroffe, Bernard Coulter, Elizabeth Coulter, Shaun Thorogood plus Theale, Bagley and Mudgley villagers

Apologies:   None

  Comments Action







Introduction : Lisa welcomed and thanked everyone and explained the purpose of the meeting as well as notifying the meeting that a sound recording was be made in order for Lesley, the Secretary, to record the minutes after the meeting.


Chairman’s report: Lisa explained that there were copies of her report available but she would just give a summary.

A new committee elected in 2022 , it was recognised a stricter governance structure was needed and work was started on implementing that.

Due to Covid restrictions resulting in loss of letting revenue there were financial challenges which will be covered in Treasurers report.

There were legal issues regarding extension of the lease and it is still in process, currently with Diocese solicitors.

The orchard has been gifted to the village hall charity this year by Anne Bodley.

An events committee was created with the sole purpose of fund raising for the hall.

With Shaun Thorogood’s assistance a number of grants have been acquired as listed on the attached report

There have been difficulties in terms of personalities, this is covered later in the meeting.


3 Treasurer’s Report

David reiterated the problems resulting from the Covid pandemic, and the expectation that costs were going to rise quite rapidly.

First task was to start management of accounts, including forecasting cash flow etc., which proved useful in predicting in late summer that the reserves may drop from £9000 to approx £3000 by the end of year, which if the situation continued could have resulted in the hall being closed.Decisions had to be made to curtail capital expenditure – £2000 for Dishwasher and £1000 for fencing were put on hold.

Five years of rate demands amounting to £9000 were presented during 2022, but because of our charitable status this was reduced by 80% which left the remaining £1600 outstanding. Luckily due to very helpful staff at Sedgemoor council we were eventually told we owed nothing!

By the end of the year we actually ended up with £8800, thanks to events£800 approx and the Green man revenue of approx £600.

David, after considerable work, has managed to get online banking sorted this year which has made things a lot easier.

Thanks also to those who have signed up to pay a monthly donation to the running costs, approx £40 a month.

Major cost which has increased is Electricity, but hopefully as regular meter readings are now taken this can be more accurately monitored.


A question was raised by a villager regarding Covid relief given to other village halls. Shaun Thorogood explained that the previous committee had applied but were rejected on the grounds they were not paying business rates.

4 Election of committee members

Lisa explained the structure of the committee before reading out a statement from all of the current committee apart from the Wedmore Parish Council representative. A copy is attached at the end of the minutes.

Following on Lisa opened the floor to questions

Ted Hatch spoke of his disappointment in finding that WPC rep has caused considerable upset among the committee and hoped that said rep might continue but “under supervision”

Shaun Thorogood then read his statement. He wanted to explain all of his personal achievements and stated that the committee was opposed to various things. During his statement he said that the meeting was not advertised in various ways and he requested that be minuted.

Various members of the village raised their hands to talk, Anthony Lamb asked why Shaun was only allowed 5minutes to speak, Lisa explained that due to time constrictions it was in order to allow others to have their say.

The vice chair of WPC asked why the committee had rejected a meeting with Somerset Community council. Lisa explained that previously meetings had been held with the WPC rep but the committee felt that there was no resolution and mediation would expect an outcome whereby the rep would still expect to work with the committee, but they could not countenance that.Another member of the village explained that she felt mediation would have helped to resolve the issue but David and Sian supported what Lisa had said and again rejected any plan for mediation.

There followed further discussion with various villagers questioning the committee as to possible solutions, sadly it was pointed out by the committee members that as things stand with the WPC rep still in post they would not be able to withdraw their resignations.

Questions were asked about the possibility of a new WPC rep being requested but it was explained by Lisa that the committee has made the request and the Chair of WPC maintained that there is no other councillor  able to take the role.

Phil Butterworth proposed that the committee continue while making representation to WPC for a new rep and it was seconded by Molly Rossiter, however the committee again explained that the request had been made to no avail and so the resignations stand.There was further discussion and it was suggested that the committee continue on the condition that WPC rep step aside for at least 3 months in order to enable the WPC to find another rep,  Shaun tried to accept with conditions, but the Proposer, Phil B, stipulated no conditions.

Lisa reiterated that the proposal “that the committee continue in post for the next 3 months and Shaun Thorogood will step aside until a SGM is called in three months time,” has been carried by 30 votes.


The meeting was then closed


5 Date of SGM 12/7/23  

Chairman’s report:


12 April 2023



  • Governance Structure Update
    1. Financial governance and monthly monitoring introduced – David Neale to provide detail
    2. Ongoing challenge to meet costs based upon secure income
    3. Increase of rental rate to £10 per hour to support cost challenge
    4. Introduction of Governance Policies for Hall Management:Risk Register, Financial Management, Events Management, etc
    5. Implementation of centralised documentation for all meeting minutes, policies, etc
  • Legal Responsibilities
    1. Audited Accounts – completed – see Finance report
    2. 4 x Trustee roles in place
    3. Insurances;Public Liability, Building, etc  in place
    4. Lease Update -in progress pending Diocese redraft (again !)
    5. Orchard ownership -in progress – Shaun to update
  • Community Support
    1. Creation of Events Committee to organise events with purpose of fund raising
    2. Events have included:Summer Party, Disco
    3. Multiple new events booked from community;table tennis, private birthday parties, talks, etc
    4. Ongoing support from Folk Club, Film Club, Green Man, Theale Show
  • Funding
    1. Income as per audited accounts
    2. Costs as per audited accounts
    3. Grant Successes- Shaun Thorogood to provide detail
      1. £41k from Sedgemoor District Council
      2. £5kWedmore Energy
  • £1k Wedmore Beer Fesitval
  1. £600 Somerset Cost of Living Support
  1. Grants ringfenced for Hall renovation and Cost of Living
  • Committee Members
    1. New Committee in April 2022
    2. All but 1 member to step down April 2023
    3. Committee relationships broken down in 2023


  • After initial successes post Covid, (such as setting up of governance structures; online banking; revaluate of property insurance; grant applications; introduction of Village Hall newsletter; many social events and clean up days) it has become clear that the collective committee is unable to work with the WPC representative to fulfil the needs of the management of this beautiful community space.
  • The Theale lease includes our constitution which states it is the responsibility of the WPC to offer a councillor – despite approaching the WPC to provide an alternative representative this has not been forthcoming.
  • The current situation has stalled all proactive work pending resolution.
  • The WPC representative is to be thanked for his contribution towards the upkeep and restoration of the Hall which entailed a huge amount of work. However, he continues to operate independently of the overall committee and act without ratification of his proposed actions, towards a vision that is not representative of the committee. This has led to financial vulnerability for the trustees and considerable upset within the committee and now in the village community.
  • The current committee are a strong, diverse group of individuals with differing skill-sets who work well together and are keen to continue their responsibilities. However, they are unable to do so with the residing WPC representative. In stepping down, new events will need to be found to ensure our village community remains strong and vibrant and ongoing funding is secure, as current regular events such as Green Man and Folk Club will obviously end.
  • If a new committee is elected, we leave with deep regret but wish them good luck in building on successes achieved so far.

Treasurers report


I report on the accounts of the Charity for the Year Ended 31 st December 2022.

Respective responsibilities of trustees and examiner

As the Charity’s trustees you are responsible for the preparation of the accounts, you consider that the audit requirement of Section 43 (2) of the Charity’s Act J.M (The Act) dose not apply. It is my responsibility to state, on the basis of procedures specified in the General Directions given by the Charity Commissioners under section 43(7)b of the Act, whether particular matters have come to my attention.

Basis of independent examiners report.

My examination was carried out in accordance with the General Directions given by the Charity Commissioners. An examination includes a review of the accounting records kept by the charity and a comparison of the accounts presented with those records. It also includes consideration of any unusual items or disclosures in the accounts, and seeking explanations from you as trustees concerning any such matters. The procedures undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and consequently I do not express an opinion on the view given in the accounts.

Independent examiners statement

In connection with my examination, no matter has come to my attention:

  • which gives me reasonable cause to believe that in any material respect the requirements
    • to keep accounting records in accordance with Section 41 of the Act and
    • to prepare accounts which accord with the accounting records and to comply with the accounting requirements of the Act

have not been met, or

  • to which, in opini n atte ion should be drawn in order to enable a proper understandin of e c un to be reached.

       Name                                                                       Date


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