Theale Village Hall Minutes

This page contains the latest meeting minutes:

Minutes of Theale village hall Trustees meeting Tuesday 6th February 2024 at 7pm

In Theale village hall

Members Attending – Lisa Chittenden, Lesley Luke, Sian Landers, David Neale, Elizabeth Coulter, Bernard Coulter, Bill Woodroffe,  Dave Whitmarsh and Julia Banwell

Invited Community Members

Apologies – Gail Millard

Item No Comments Action By Whom
1 Welcome  – Lisa welcomedJulia Banwell as the new WPC rep, the committee and the community members

Apologies received from Gail Millard

2 Community Update on Renovation project

presented by Bill Woodruff and Dave Whitmarsh

See attached document

3 Minutes of last meeting approved and signed.
4 Chairman’s Report

A.Lease update -Currently held up with Charities Commission

B. Grants update – WPC meeting to discuss CIL money application 21st Feb, it has to be presented at least a week before that meeting. Bill pointed out the need to have as much of the governance docs as possible available. Lesley explained that PB was sending a link  imminently to enable her to upload minutes and docs to the website so they can be seen by all. BW explained that A covering letter will need to be produced and enclosed with our documents and application.BW and LC will attend the meeting.

Lisa is going to meet Pete Brown re raising funds through grants.

Present application to WPC

Upload docs to website

Meet Pete Brown




5 Finance

Treasurer’s report see below

David commented that presently the main sources of income are The Green Man and activities arranged by Bernard, this is not sustainable long term and we do need to generate more income through lettings. David explained that the annual accounts would be audited by Chris Hornidge.

Lesley questioned maintenance of fire alarms and how it is managed, is it through the church? Check that it is done in April?

Bernard pointed out that we need a more obvious receptacle for contributions to be left out during events, Lesley to look on line?

Fire alarm service

Find suitable receptacle on line?

Church warden?


.6 Update website, policies/ minutes etc

Lesley explained that Phil B is to provide a new link and that will enable her to upload docs.

Upload minutes and policiesto Website LL
7 Governance – See above

Bernard hopes to have a concert to mark centenary of death of Cecil Sharp(Folk song Collector) on May 24th , dependent on state of hall. Also possibly May Day event?

Lesley asked if the cleaner- Laura, has been coming in and David explained that she has and she is arranging cover for when she is off on Maternity leave.

Bernard drew attention to state of hall and kitchen, particularly the wall cupboard which is in very bad shape, should we do something to tidy up in case anyone interested in hiring wants to view?

David N raised the question of combining the Village Hall and the Theale show and a discussion ensued, possibly to be raised again when future of show is decided?

Dave W explained that he has taken infra red photos of the hall which can be compared with photos taken after work is complete on the hall.

DW also asked how we could improve advertising.He has checked out WhatsApp group and was surprised that only 60 something were subscribing, how do we reach the rest of the village. Elizabeth and LL explained that between 180 and 200 newsletters are distributed with info, hopefully on quarterly basis. Unfortunately not everyone bothers to read it! Bernard suggested maybe larger display boards at more sites in the village and surrounding area?Dave wondered if the postman could be persuaded to circulate info on our behalf. More discussion took place regarding other forms of social media eg Instagram and Next door, maybe ask PB if he can put something up? DW suggested if we do a survey it should be a question – how can we let people know?

Lastly Lisa reminded committee that AGM is in April so please can everyone think about their position and what they are happy to do going forward?

Put up more advertising boards

Spreading information to all members of community


PB to post on Instagram?

9 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 5th March 2024 at 8pm in the hall

Theale Village Hall

Repair, Restoration and Improvement Project

Prepared by TVH committee – January 2024


Theale Village Hall lies at the heart of our community, not just for Theale itself but also for the surrounding settlements of the parish – Panborough, Bagley, Mudgely, Newtown, and Latcham.

As we are all aware, the hall is in desperate need of some tender loving care and the committee is delighted to announce that we are finally about to embark on a program of repair, restoration, and improvement that will help ensure the hall remains at the heart of the community for many years to come. It’s going to take a while, most of the work is dependent on further funding, but we think we have come up with a well-considered, phased, series of interconnected yet ‘stand-alone’ parcels of work, that at the same time, minimise the disruption and interruption of the hall’s use.

How have we put together the plan?

Prior to formulating a scheme and building costs, we sought advice from various professional bodies.

B2 Architects

With a grant from Wedmore Parish Council, we engaged B2 architects in Wedmore, who amongst other things, specialise in the restoration and repair of old and historic buildings.

Their brief was to come up with some options that would improve the facilities that the hall offers and give advice on the best way to repair and upgrade the fabric of the building.

They produced an options appraisal report, taking a holistic look at how the hall is used. They gave suggestions for improvements in the way it functions, alongside thoughts on how to approach upgrades and repair to the building’s fabric and thermal elements, whilst keeping true to the heritage values of the building.

( Please find B2 report attached or available in pdf form by email )

To summarise, the B2 proposals, in order of priority, were as follows –

  • Conservation work to the building fabric ( ie the roof and floor of the main hall and the barn )
  • Improved thermal comfort ( getting insulation into the building and upgrading the heating)
  • Improved facilities like the kitchen and WC’s
  • Improved storage ( potential new storeroom which would free up the meeting room and barn)
  • Improved welcome and accessibility ( potential new, larger entrance lobby.
  • Link to the recently acquired orchard and landscaping behind. ( new opening through the back of the hall into the orchard with patio/seating space behind)


It became obvious as we worked through the process that many of the problems the hall was experiencing were the result of unsympathetic modern interventions using modern building materials

for example –

  • The later concrete back addition blocked the air bricks that ventilated the floor space.
  • A sealed floor covering forced moisture from below up around the edges of the floor, causing rot in the floorboards and skirtings.
  • The plastered ceiling trapped moisture in the building and caused mould.

It became apparent that any further restoration work to the hall needed to be in line with and sympathetic to the nature of the existing building.

With this in mind, we sought advice from a company called Ty Mawr Lime.

Ty Mawr Lime Ltd

Ty Mawr Lime, a company based in Wales, has become a market leader in the manufacture and distribution of environmentally friendly and traditional building materials and systems. They also offer design consultancy and advice on how to make improvements to buildings of this age.

Bat Survey

Lastly, we undertook a bat survey. Bats are a recognised protected species, meaning that, by law, it is an offence to disrupt their environment. Generally speaking, all restoration and building projects in areas of high bat density are required to undergo one. Here in this part of Somerset, with our proximity to the bat hibernation caves of the Mendips, it is standard procedure.

Fortunately from our point of view, the conclusion of the survey was positive…

‘At the time of the surveys, the village hall was not identified as a bat roost or hibernation site, and as such no further surveys or mitigation measures are required.’

( Please find the bat report attached or available in pdf form by email

What is the plan, how much will it cost and how is it funded?

Following the information from professional advice and consultation, we have come up with the following plan. The project will be split into two main phases, with each phase split into several individual stand-alone projects.

First Phase works

The hall roof – strip off, insulate from above, replace tiles, new fascia boards & guttering

( see diagrams 1a and 1b)

The orchard barn – strip off tiles, new sympathetic roof structure (retaining existing as much as possible), take out existing broken lintel, replace and lift new one ( making access easier), replace tiles

The hall floor – remove the existing floor covering ( sell on eBay? ), insulate with Glapor recycled foamed glass loose-fill aggregate and new floorboards. Douglas fir from trees felled at Stourhead and milled in Pilton.

( see diagrams 2a and 2b)

The kitchen – strip out existing, batten out, insulate and plaster back wall, insulate ceiling and plaster, electrical upgrade, decorate throughout, new stainless steel kitchen units & and appliances.

The main hall – remove existing plasterboard ceiling, insulate the roof from below with sheep’s wool between the rafters, and 80 mm wood fibre breathable t&g boards below. The ceiling is then plastered with breathable hemp plaster. New electrics, new lighting, new infrared heating, and decoration throughout.

For now, we have decided to leave the windows as they are.

First Phase costs

Costing the work on a project of this scale has been time-consuming. Grant-funded public projects like these generally require multiple quotes from multiple contractors. Builders need meeting, costs need to be chased. It takes time and energy. At this stage, the expected costs of the project are a combination of fixed quotes from contractors, and best guess estimates by us, with contingency sums added, the percentage of the contingency being dependent on the level of costing accuracy we have for a particular part of the project.

In an attempt to expedite the project and get underway with the essential repair work ( ie the leaking roof ), we have prioritised the costing and quoting process to be in line with the phased nature of the works. Once the builders are on site and works are underway, we will firm up the costs and quotes ahead of us so that, assuming the funding is in place, one part of the project will lead straight into the next.

Please see the attached document that details the schedule of works and their associated costs, but a summary of the costs is as follows –

Hall roof work – £34,659 – fixed, quoted cost and including a 10% contingency

Barn roof & repair work – £7,304 – fixed, quoted cost and including a 10% contingency

Main hall floor – £17,640 – part fixed, part estimate, and including a 20% contingency

New kitchen – £29,419 – part fixed, part estimate, and including a 20% contingency

First Phase funding

The Sedgemoor grant of £45k is in the bank and available to spend

We have a grant from Wedmore Power Cooperative of £5k, specifically for use on the barn restoration, which is available on completion of the work

We are in the process of applying for a grant from the WPC, who have funds available from the Community Infrastructure Levy ( CIL ) from the new developments in Wedmore. We expect to hear the result of this in the next few weeks and are, at present, hopeful for a positive and generous outcome.

We are in the process of pursuing further grants from other bodies, for example, the National Lottery Fund. We are however still waiting for the lease. LISA- PLEASE CAN YOU ADD A BIT ABOUT THIS?

Who’s doing the work? 

At this stage we have a single contractor lined up to undertake the work to the main roof and the barn. His name is Sam Rowe and he has a team of builders based In Shepton Mallet.

Sam’s prices have been very competitive. He has worked on this kind of restoration project before, has worked with B2 architects, and is familiar with the kind of materials we are proposing to use.

We have had very favourable comments from previous customers and from what we can glean from his promotional material, he works to a very high standard.

He’s been charming, helpful, and patient as we’ve gone through the lengthy and often tedious process of specifying, costing, and quoting. He seems enthusiastic and positive and we are looking forward to working with him on the project.

As we continue the specifying and costing process, we will be asking Sam to quote for other aspects alongside other contractors. We very much see the benefit of a ‘turn-key’ approach to the project, in other words having a single contractor take on as much of the project as possible, but having said that, we will be constantly testing his prices. He will be contracted for the individual steps of the project rather than the whole thing.

Second phase works, costs, and funding

The B2 architect’s report identified several issues regarding the usability of the hall and has made suggestions for larger-scale projects. These include the following –

New entrance lobby

The existing lobby is small, cramped, damp, and cold. It is a modern brick-built extension that adds nothing to the heritage value of the original building. B2 has proposed a new larger lobby that spans the entire east elevation of the building right up to the back wall of the orchard barn. The advantage of this, apart from giving us a more roomy lobby and more welcoming entrance, would also mean that one could enter the building further up the drive and have an almost level access from the driveway into the new lobby, then on to the kitchen and the rest of the building, and do away with the awkward steps that currently lead into the hall.

New storeroom –

A new storeroom would not only free up the current meeting room where we presently store hall chairs, tables, and bar, but would also free up the orchard barn where we currently store the staging for the hall. The meeting room could once again be used as a side room for the hall for small events and meetings, whilst the barn would become available for other functions associated with outdoor events in the orchard. A new storeroom has been suggested at the western end of the parking space, with access into the hall via the present fire exit door in the NW corner of the hall.

New opening and connection into the orchard 

At present, the only link to the orchard is via the front door and through the gate. The newly bequeathed orchard to the south represents an excellent opportunity to reconfigure the southern extension to facilitate a link to the outside. Apart from an attractive feature for rentals which might diversify bookings, an additional egress point would also be helpful for fire escape. The new entrance/exit should ideally be fully accessible so the change of level between the hall and the orchard should be carefully considered. Increased openings along this elevation would also offer light and warmth (via solar gain from south light) to a space that is currently dark and damp. Furthermore, landscaping and a paved terrace would not only be a further attractive feature but could help with some of the damp issues currently experienced along the southern wall of the hall.

( see diagram 3 for the proposed floor plan)

Second phase costs and funding

The projects outlined above are much longer-term plans. They will require design work and planning consent. At present, we have not gone into the details of these and have been focussing on the phase one works. That being said, they are very much our ambition and have been taken into consideration when planning the works that lead towards them.

Finally, this is an extensive project with many aspects. We would encourage anyone who would like to get involved, in particular anyone with expertise and experience with projects like this. We would love you to join the team to help make all this a reality and to ensure Theale Village Hall remains the dearly loved and essential community hub that it is. 











Treasurer’S report

Theale Village Hall

Treasurers Report 2nd February 2024


Attached are:

  1. The monthly income and expenditure account to 31st December 2023.
  2. The draft unaudited annual accounts.
  3. The monthly income and expenditure account for January 2024.


The main points are:

  1. Fundraising for December relates to the Green Man event.
  2. Repairs and maintenance relates to the 50% contribution to the tractor repair. Anne Bodley contributed the balance.
  3. An operating shortfall of £101 was incurred for December, but a good operating surplus for the year of £700 was achieved. This compares to the previous year’s operating shortfall of £377.
  4. During the year £3800 was transferred from operating cash to the renovation fund. This largely explains the drop in operating cash across the year. Operating cash normally reduces during the first part of the year due to annual costs like insurances and fire equipment maintenance falling due for renewal.


  1. Notable points in the January 2024 results include Hall hire from last years Theale Show of £100, and £72 from last years table tennis. Licences and subscription costs largely relate to the annual renewal of the performing rights licence.

Nothing else to report.


David Neale



Minutes of Theale village hall Trustees meeting Tuesday 5th December 2023 at 8pm

In Theale village hall

Members Attending – Lisa Chittenden, Lesley Luke, Elizabeth Coulter, Bernard Coulter, Bill Woodroffe, David Neale, Dave Whitmarsh

Apologies – Sian Landers and Gail Millard

Item No Comments Action By Whom
1 Lisa opened the meeting with apologies from Sian and Gail    
2 Approval of minutes of previous meeting – Minutes of 17th Oct accepted and approved
3 Building and Orchard –A.    Renovations update –

Bill reported back on the Bat survey which he helped with and the news is good, as, apart from a solitary bat which was seen, there does not appear to be any use of the buildings for bat roosts, which means no restrictions on any work done.It cost £1020.

Dave W read out his summary with costings and timings, please see below.

Lisa will speak to Jackie to find out when next WPC meeting is with the intention of presenting our proposals to enable the CIL grant to be applied for.

It was agreed that Dave will contact the builder and agree a start

Check with Jackie re date next WPC meeting

Contact Builder re start


Dave W

4                                     Chairman Reporta.     Lease update -Nothing new, Richard Neale and Lisa still  chasing!

b.     A question was raised following the architect invoice re VAT and David N has researched the subject and is sure that we should be exempt, and in particular building work so he will investigate further.

c.     Lesley drew attention to possible grants from the National lottery, which was discussed at the recent SCC conference. She also pointed out that we need to ensure we have given the local community a chance to say what they think re our plans. We plan to hold a meeting on Tuesday 23rdJanuary at 7.00 pm, Lisa will advertise to the village.

Check VAT requirement

Public meet 23/1/24

Dave N

Lisa to notify village

5 FinanceA.    David explained that as agreed we keep a contingency of £5000 and that is now approaching £6000 but at the start of the new year there are several large bills which will need paying e.g Insurance, fire extinguishers servicing etc. With the fund raising events already held and yet to happen the financial situation is looking sound, possibly allowing some funds to be transferred to the project funds later in the year.

B.    Lisa explained that she has been looking at grants that we might be eligible for, in particular The heritage fund, The Somerset fund and now the National lottery. Elizabeth explained that she was slightly unsure about the £200 grant given to bring “Good Cheer” to older members of our community but that it would help to fund refreshments at the Carols in the orchard and also a free drink for people attending the Green Man.

C.     Ted Hatch has kindly donated a rooted Christmas tree to be planted in the orchard, but initially as it is in a pot it can be used in the hall this year.

.6 Communications and community engagementa.     Newsletter – Lesley explained that she had managed to get the newsletter finished and distribution had been started at the time of this meeting. Lisa explained that Gill Crane has volunteered to take over the Newsletter from about March/April onwards which will be very helpful.

b.     Update re website – Still waiting for PB to solve problems with the website.

Check with PB re Website Lesley
7 GovernanceLisa has checked and thinks all policies have been written they just need to be passed to Lesley for storage and publication on Website (See above) Need to finalise for Hallmark application Collate and store policies Lisa


8 AOBLisa explained that She and Lesley are meeting the new Hall cleaner later in the week, she prefers to do 2 hours every other week at £10 an hour. It was also agreed that the cleaner should keep track of cleaning consumables and deal with David N re costs.David pointed out that he thinks it is more like £20 so L & L will clarify at their meeting!

Bernard explained that he will organise the Wassail on Friday 19th January at 6.00 with the folk club following on from it.

Dave talked about a discussion he had with Blackford village hall chair reCollaborating and communicating so that we don’t clash with each other and he will let them know about our Christmas events and the Wassail.

Bill explained that he has spoken with Ken about a service that was needed for the mower at a cost of £668, Anne B has kindly volunteered to pay half the cost.

Dave W explained that we should have thermal images of before and after any work done in order to prove that we are making a difference.He is happy to contact WPC who have access to the equipment needed to take the images.In addition Dave suggested we create large posters explaining progress made in renovating the hall on a monthly basis, which can be displayed on the notice board opposite the hall. Dave also pointed out that he is struggling to raise the full rental costs when the hall is used for table tennis, but all moneys raised is paid to the hall, the committee understood and are happy with the situation.

Take Thermal images using WPC equipment Dave W
9 Date of Next MeetingTuesday 6th Feb, 8.00 in Village Hall



Overall summary of proposed works for Theale Village Hall


Decisions taken have been driven by the age and construction of the building. The problems with the floor and ceiling show the problems of damp. Because of this the hall will not achieve modern levels of comfort with these plans but by working with instead of against the building we should be able to get significant improvements. The main feature of this is returning the building to be a breathable structure. A specialist company Ty-Mawr was consulted and gave us a better understanding of the problems along with some sympathetic improvements which we can undertake:

Our proposals are as follows:

Phase 1 Main roof: strip existing tiles, battens and felt. Replace tiles and battens and add breathable insulation above and between the rafters. Costs still to be confirmed for these materials.

Costs of £25400 have been quoted for conventional materials.  In addition, a further £2000 should be allocated for scaffolding and £1200 to remove and refit Solar Panels.

TOTAL £32400 for conventional materials. Note It is also suggested that contractor for phase 1 makes an inspection of the floor to inform decision on phase 3. No costing has been made for this. Similarly, they may be able to carry out clearance and wall insulation of the kitchen.

Phase 2 Barn Roof: Strip existing tiles, copings, and ridge tiles, Install additional roof support which s sympathetic to the building. Raise and replace existing lintel removing failed stonework above.

TOTAL £6400 (Not this could be carried out alongside the main roof or earlier as we have some grant money specifically for this).

Phase 3 Remove flooring in main hall either (subject to inspection and further advice) use non compressed Glapor breathable insulation under existing floor joists and replace with new floorboards or revert to compressed Glapor and Limecrete slab.

Total Estimate at £16000 (still waiting on results of floor survey). if we have to go to Limecrete and compressed Glapor this will cost £26384.

Phase 4: Empty Kitchen appliances, insulate walls and replaster, insulate ceiling boards and replaster Fit new appliances, redecorate. New electrics in kitchen (£3000) and fit new kitchen It would probably make sense to do this work at the same time as the roof as we will have a contractor on-site with labour to make this happen. Quote for kitchen appliances plus fitting £23000. If we buy appliances only and get the Electrician at additional cost to fit we can do it all new from Nisbets at a cost of £12542.88   similarly some of the items (tables cupboards etc.) could be sourced as used items from H2products in Bridgwater although electrical items should be purchased new.

Total Estimate: £10000 for items plus £3000 for Electrics to fit + estimate of £2000 to insulate the south wall.

Phase 5: Rewire Kitchen and hall, Tidy up cabling and control boxes. Only one quote so far for the  hall, £5965 + £3000 for the kitchen.

Phase 6: Replace old light emitting heaters with more modern and efficient “dark Infrared” at a cost of £8080 plus fitting estimated at an on cost of £2000 if included in the General upgrade.

Note we are still awaiting finalised “Bat Report” which may influence some decisions and costs regarding roof and ceiling renovations. Some of the above figures are estimates, but all figures under current economic pressures will need a sizeable contingency (see SCC visit report)

All figures include VAT where applicable.

Bill & Dave


Minutes of Theale village hall Trustees meeting Tuesday 17th October 2023 at 8pm

In Theale village hall

Members Attending – Lisa Chittenden, Sian Landers, Lesley Luke, Elizabeth Coulter, Bernard Coulter, Bill Woodroffe

Apologies – David Neale, Dave Whitmarsh, Gail Millard and Andy Reeson

Item No Comments Action By Whom
1 Lisa opened the meeting with apologies from David Neale, Dave Whitmarsh, Andy Reason and Gail Millard    
2 Approval of minutes of previous meeting –

accepted and approved

3Building and Orchard –

a.     Architect ideas for the hall- Bill explained that he and Lisa had had a constructive meeting with B2, they had recognised their error but were happy to proceed with the revised figure of £50,000, in a phased manageable plan.Bill had to chase again and Emma delivered a new rather basic drawing on the day of our meeting.From that Bill can list about 10 items that we can get quotes for now.Bill will give names to Dave Whitmarsh to chase up quotes, starting with flooring and sub strate, then roof stripping back insulating and re-tiling, new kitchen, rewiring(meeting with Bernard, Phil B and Electrician on Thursday 19th), New heating-probably infra red, reconfigure of disabled toilet,new store room at back/front of hall and lastly the new entry lobby area.In addition the renovation of the barn to include structural repairs and new roof and hopefully new link from back of building to the orchard.

Committee were generally disappointed with what B2 have produced.

There followed a discussion as to the order in which the projects should be undertaken and general consensus was that the roof was priority.

Bill explained that a bat survey has been undertaken by a qualified person and an ecologist who will write a report before any work is done.It may be possible to maintain a bat roost above the ceiling in the meeting room when the work is done.

Bill will pass all info to Dave Whitmarsh in order for him to raise quotes for all the aspects we are hoping to cover.

Bill also talked about Pete Brown who has raised considerable monies for other causes and hopefully we can meet with him with a view to doing similar for the village hall.

b.     Kitchen update – Lesley explained that Vision kitchens have given us a quote for £33,000 but it includes some items which we would not require, and with that in mind she had come to a figure of £23000 + VAT . Lesley explained that this quote is just a starting point and we can consider second hand for the stainless steel trolleys, cupboards and sinks however it was felt that electrical appliances should be new to ensure Warranties etc.Lesley will forward the email including quote and design from Vision kitchens to all committee members.

c.     Community meeting – It was decided that a WhatsApp message to the village will be written by Sian and Bill summarising what has been done so far and we will hold a community meeting in the new year.

Pass information to Dave W

Lesley to forward email from Vision kitchens

Post message on Village WhatsApp




4                                    Chairman Report

Lease update – There is still no completion on the lease and Lisa is continuing to communicate with the diocese.

5                            Finance

A.    David explained that there is little to report on monthly accounts. He applauded the results of the fund raising achieved by Hazel Hudson’s talk. Bernard commented on the next talk which is by Tony Chau and his concerns about ticket sales.

David explained that this has contributed to a £310 surplus for the first 9 months of the year.

B.    Grants – CIL Lisa is in talks and will show WPC that we have one quote and are seeking 2 further quotes. B2 has pointed out that there may be grants to reconfigure the disabled toilet. Sian explained that CCS is hosting a conference on Nov 6thwhich will cover information about grants and she felt we should be represented , Lisa and Lesley agreed to attend.

Lisa explained that we can apply for grant of £400 to reduce loneliness and spread Warmth and Cheer during festive season which would fund the carols in the orchard

C.     Fundraising – Sian explained that we have Theale’N’groovy in November, and Bernard hopes to stage a Christmas review, plus the two talks arranged.Green man on 14th December, Hope to do Wassail in January.

Liaise with WPC


.6                  Communications and community engagement

A.     Newsletter – Sian and Lesley still working on it, hopefully before Dec meeting.

B.    Update re website and posting minutes – Lesley still to meet with Phil B as technical issues.

S & L


7Governance – No update at present

8AOB Plaque for Dave Bodley’s bench , Bill would like to carve a short memorial directly on the bench

David explained he has filed information on Charities commission and feels that it is not necessary to list all committee members as trustees.

David explained he needs to find a new auditor as Dave Whitmarsh, who was the auditor last year, is now a committee member Carve BenchBW9Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 5th December, 8pm in Village Hall


Minutes of Theale village hall Trustees meeting Tuesday 12 th September 2023 at 8pm

In Theale village hall

Members Attending – Lisa Chittenden, Sian Landers,     Lesley Luke, Elizabeth Coulter, Bernard Coulter, Bill Woodroffe, Gail Millard

Apologies – David Neale, Dave Whitmarsh and Andy Reeson

Item No Comments Action By Whom
1 Lisa opened the meeting welcoming Gail Millard as a new committee member and Stef from B2 Architects    
2 Approval of minutes of previous meeting – EGM & July

Minutes from July meeting and EGM were accepted and approved

3Building and Orchard –

Steph presented the proposed options for the renovation of the village hall, followed by considerable discussion at the end of which it became apparent that there had been a misunderstanding with regard to the figures of expected finance for the project and it was left that Steph would go away and engage a Quantity Surveyor to give us an idea of actual cost, hopefully in time for our next meeting.

Kitchen update – Lesley has spoken to Vision Kitchens and they have drawn a suggested plan based on our requirements but without costings, Lesley will ask for a quote based on the proposed plans.

Orchard Maintenance- Lesley had spoken to Ken Graham who has bought a tool for gathering fallen apples, cost £35 are we happy to reimburse?

QS engaged




4                                    Chairman Report

Lease update -Nothing new, Richard Neale still chasing!


a.     David Neale has sent his report, main concern that fund raising is imperative.

b.     Lisa has researched a list of possible grants that we can apply for, including the CIL grant, she noted that in a number of them they require the Hallmark to have been applied for.Lisa is intending to pursue level 1, but can only apply in the new year. She mentioned the Somerset fund and it was agreed that we could apply for funding For a new oven.

c.     Fundraising – Sian thanked Bernard for organising two speaker events in Oct/Nov and also the Halloween Disco beginning of November, organised by committee.

Apply for Hallmark level1

Apply to Somerset fund for oven



.6Communications and community engagement

a.     Newsletter – Sian and Lesley are currently getting to grips with the technical aspect and hope to produce the finish copy sometime in the Autumn. Distribution lists and volunteers will need to be revised.

b.     Update re website – Lesley has tried to add EGM minutes but she encountered problems and is now waiting for PB to get back to her.



Sian /Lesley



Sian explained that she is half way through writing 2 more policies, one is Zero tolerance, and she will go back to it and also Lisa and she will revisit original list of policies needed.





Lesley drew attention to the minor problem with very small piece of mortar falling out over entrance doorway.

Sian concerned about the matter of the fig tree in the orchard

Bill has been asked to hire out the bar again to someone from Godney, suggest £50 charge.

Bill pointed out that the gauze backdrop blocks light when people are playing table tennis, can it be removed and stored elsewhere?

Bernard commented on the untidy/dirty state of hall and it was agreed that if Janet Neal’s cleaner is happy to do it then we should  give her the go ahead.

Gauze removal


9Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 17th October in Village Hall


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 followedAsk for legal docsLesley3Chairman’s reportEGM – 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 LesleyContact WPC to ask again for response to our letter

Quotes for Kitchen and electrics



Lesley and Bill

Sian and Lisa

4Finance.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?

5Building & OrchardLease 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

6Communication and Community engagementNewsletter – 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.Newsletter


LL to speak to PB7GovernanceWe 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


8AOBBernard 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!

9Date of next meetingTuesday 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

2Introduction : 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.

3Treasurer’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.
4Election 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

5Date 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


Scroll to Top