THE BASIL IONIDES MEMORIAL CENTRE Framfield Road, Buxted (Charity No 305192)
AGM Minutes 12th November 2019, Five Ash Down Village Hall 8.25pm
Present: Vivienne Blandford (Chair), Nick Bolton, Peter Coxon, Chris Humphrey, John Rose, Toby Illingworth, Simon Johnson, Fiona McQuarrie, Adrian Marshall, James Roberts and clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
1 members of the public present.
- Apologies: Morna Cox and David Wells
- Annual Report
This is the second AGM after the parish council took on management responsibilities for the Ionides Land and it has proved to be another frustrating year waiting and negotiating to bring long-term projects to fruition.
Sadly, the Buxted Community Hall Trust was wound up earlier this year and the Trustees of that charity are passing on the residue of their funds to the Ionides Trust. The funds amount to around £22000.00 and will come with a covering letter stating the funds are to be kept by the Ionides Trust and to be used for the building of a new village hall in Buxted. We are currently awaiting notice of the transfer of the funds and the exact wording of the letter. The funds will be deposited in an account, probably with CAF (the Charity Bank) in whichever account offers the best rate of interest.
Exactly three years after official negotiations opened with the local Scout Group to alter the area of land, they lease from the Ionides Trust so that the Buxted Community Hall Group could sign their lease for the new village hall, we are still waiting to finalise the updated Scout lease. Even though the Hall group had ceased to function it was in everyone’s best interest to complete the lease with the Scouts, as they would have an up to date extended lease with clear and sensible boundaries for their leased land. This would enable the immediate signing of a leased area for the site of the new village hall if the building of that hall recommenced. The Ionides Trust had already paid the Scout’s solicitor in advance to the sum of £2400.00 before he would act on that group’s behalf. In September representatives of the Ionides Trust signed the lease only to have it returned for alterations asked for by the Scout Association. The scouts have requested that the table tennis table, to the side of the scout, be removed as they do not use it and will fall within their leased land. Happily, the football club were only too delighted when it was offered to them as it would be an added attraction on match days when families are present, and at other times. The exact location is yet to be decided.
After much discussion over the chaotic parking around the surgery and on the community Ionides car park it was decided to enlarge the car park and put a ‘fit for purpose’ surface on that area and improve the drainage around the small children’s play area. Three quotes were eventually obtained, having been given the same exact specification. Coppard’s proved to be the most competitive and were awarded the work. The work should commence in April 2020 and users of the car park will be informed of the programme of works when we have those details. It is anticipated that work could take up to 3-4 weeks. The car park will be enlarged along the back edge which will provide an extra eight to ten spaces and prevent the inconsiderate parking and damage to the bank that occurs regularly. The work by the contractor will cost £44, 280.00 and it has been decided it will be funded by using the residue of the section 106 money left after the Stage 1 groundworks, for the new village hall, had been completed. This amounts to £35,000.00 and the Ionides Trust will pay the difference. When the works has been completed wooden bollards will be put in place to prevent cars driving over the bunds separating the two car parks. Excess spoil will be placed in the dip on the other side of the bund, which itself was spoil from the surgery site. Extra work and signage will amount to around £1000.00 to £1500 depending on how much land needs to made good, reseeded and graded.
The surgery will be asked whether they can contribute anything to the costs as they will benefit from further parking spaces. Currently a member of staff from the surgery lowers the barrier at night and it is not raised again until after 9:30 am. This is to prevent staff from local business and computers parking their cars all day when the parking is meant to be short term and for users of the recreation facilities and other tenants of the land. When the barriers are down users of the recreational facilities can park in the surgery car park which remains open.
The small children’s playground is due for refurbishment and will be closed on 13th November 2019 for a short time whilst repairs take place. The cost for this is £7000 (ex VAT) and will be paid for from section 106 funds that were put aside for play equipment.
The Bonfire Society’s Christmas tree will be placed between the top entrance and notice board as last year’s site by Beechbrook Park road is due to be developed.
Once the lease with any additional unforeseen costs has been finalised and the car park finished, and the land made good, it is hoped to set up an annual grant award programme. Local community groups will be able to benefit from some of the excess funds within the charity, after all annual running costs have been paid and reserves set aside So, we look forward to the forthcoming year of 2020 when two long term projects will have been achieved and also look to the future whereby the management Trustees help maintain this important green space within the heart of Buxted.
- Advance notice of works to be carried out to the community car park on the Ionides Land
The works to increase the size of the car park should take place in April 2020, however if we get a spate of cold weather and the ground is hard the works could take place before April, but advance notice will be given. Notification to Buxted Surgery, the Scouts and the Rifle Club has been provided and will be updated before work commences in the Spring.
- Finance Report
Presented by clerk, Claudine Feltham. This report is to give a brief overview of the current financial position of the Ionides Trust finances for this financial year so far.
Date range: 1st April 2019 to 1st November 2019.
The Ionides finances are held within the CAF bank (a bank for charities and not for profit organisations); a cash account and a gold account. The starting balance was £43,263.70 (£18,213.11 in the cash account and £25,050.59 in the gold account).
There are relatively few transactions on the accounts. Currently the main expense is the grass cutting which has cost £2160 so far, this financial year.
There has been expenditure of £3,958.85, and an income of £6,749 (£18.94 interest and £6,767.49 in doctor’s surgery rent from Magnus Opus). The rent is paid quarterly (March, June, September and December) so there will be two more rent payments before the financial year end.
|CAF Cash account||£20,998.26|
|CAF Gold account||£25,069.53|
Predicted income by the financial year end
£6,767.49 should be paid into the account before the financial year end for the doctor’s surgery rent. There should also be a small amount of interest paid in by CAF bank.
The Trustees of the Buxted Community Hall Trust have agreed to pass on the residue of their funds to the Ionides Trust. The funds amount to around £22,000 and will come with a covering letter stating the funds are to be kept by the Ionides Trust and to be used for the building of a new village hall in Buxted. It will be a recommendation that these funds are put into the CAF gold(deposit) account.
Total predicted income: £28,767.49
Predicted expenditure by the financial year end
CAF bank charge £5 per month in fees, so this will amount to £25 by the year end.
£150 will be paid by Direct Debit for dog bin emptying.
The planned repair work to the children’s play area is anticipated to cost £7,000 and this will come from the S.106 funds held by the parish council.
Improvements are to be made to the parking area and this is scheduled for April 2020. The cost is anticipated to be £44,280. £35,000 will come from the S.106 hall funds, held by the parish council, and the remainder (£9,280) is to be funded by the Ionides Trust. There will be additional expense for the wooden bollards (to stop vehicles driving over the bunds separating the two car parks) as well as new signage, and some land will need to be made good and reseeded. The doctor’s surgery will be asked whether they can make a financial contribution towards the costs as they will benefit from further parking spaces.
Total predicted expenditure from Ionides Trust Funds: £9,455
Predicted end of financial year balance
Considering the current balance, the predicted income and the predicted expenditure (to 31.3.2020) we could anticipate the end of year balance to be £65,380.28
(Current balance £46,067.79 plus predicted income £28,767.49 minus predicted expenditure £9,455)
- Any Other Business
Meeting closed at 8.45pm
A representative from the Buxted Shooting Club attended the meeting to address the Trust:
The club building is not in good a condition with some of the walls being held up by acrow prop with a large amount of blue asbestos in the roof. The middle of the structure is wooden which has become unstable. Quotes to repair the building is are in the region of £50,000. The representative attended the meeting to ask if it would be possible to have rolling finances to help make improvements and save the building.
The following questions were asked and answered:
Are there grants you can apply for? Having a gun range is not necessarily well received in public perception and grants are not easy to obtain. Lottery funding would be the best option but by the time any funding is received the building may have fallen.
What guns are used at the club? 22 live ammunition, shot and air guns. They have a licence from the Home Office and insurances, so all public liability is covered.
How big is the membership? 50 to 70 and they get quite a few disabled shooters, but they are turned away due to the state of the building.
Cannot be sure how many members of the club live within the parish, but most members live within or around the parish.
Are there any disabled associations that could offer grants? You need the building up to regulations prior to making adaptations via grants applications.
Trust members commented that the issue the Trust has is that if it agrees to assist the club, we would then be asked by other groups that would want to have an equivalent amount of financial assistance.
How much would it cost to effectively patch the building to make it safe? If the asbestos was sealed instead of removed it would cost less. Following that, club members would be far more likely to assist with other works to the building.
The Trust requested costs for the sealing of the asbestos before the Ionides Trust and Parish Council consider some financial assistance. It would be helpful to have a plan and cost of proposed works to gauge whether any assistance make financial sense.