Friends of Lakenheath Library Meeting, March 2013

Title:  Friends of Lakenheath Library

Location, Date & Time:  Lakenheath Library, 12th March 2013 at 7pm

Attendees:  Chris Howard, Bill Rockett, Madelaine Rockett, Anne Cross, Mary Dimond, Marilyn Shone and Sheila Smith.



The chair thanked all for attending.  The meeting was opened with apologies given from Parish Councillor Iain Frost.
Minutes of Meetings

Sheila Smith reported that the minutes of the last two meetings were not yet available nor was the agenda for this meeting.  This matter will be addressed as soon as possible and action taken to ensure it does not recur.

Treasurer’s Report 

The raffle held at the visit of Alison Bruce to the Library raised the sum of £27.00, which was deposited in the group bank account.

The current bank statement shows a balance of £113.00. However, this should only show a balance of £101.00 – upon checking the account; it appears that Chris Howard has yet to deposit the reimbursement cheque of £12.00.

Following on from Anne Cross’s attendance at the Fundraising Focus on 23rd February in Mildenhall, Marilyn Shone spoke on the telephone to Simon Waldron, the information officer for Suffolk Association of Voluntary Organisations, who was very helpful.  Marilyn Shone contacted the Suffolk Foundation and spoke to Julie Rose of the Suffolk Fund who informed her that to apply for a grant for up to £2,000 under the heading “West Suffolk Initiative”, the group would have to supply a copy of the signed constitution, bank account details and most importantly, detailed information of what the money would be used for.

Julie Rose asked for confirmation on who owns the library building and details regarding leasing to Suffolk IPS.

Chris Howard to find details about current library building ownership and leasehold information from Suffolk IPS.

It was agreed that following the signing of the Small Charity Constitution, Suffolk Foundation would be approached for financial support to purchase laptops, e-readers and/or wi-fi.

A discussion was held on the potential procurement means and ownership of the equipment.  It was suggested that purchasing through the IPS would ensure that the equipment would be certain to meet requirements and through life management including security would be assured.  The management processes would also be as directed by the IPS.

Marilyn Shone has also reported contact with James Hargrave, the new IT Manager for the Suffolk Libraries and guidance on the equipment and systems required including wi-fi will be provided.

Sheila Smith provided an update on the Locality Budget Visit Lakenheath website payment.

A number of emails had been exchanged between Sheila Smith and Cllr Colin Noble (see Annex A), with the request from Cllr Noble that a prompt decision be made to enable prompt payment to the website creator.   Sheila Smith reported that Cllr Noble had discussed the matter directly with Alison Wheeler, IPS General Manager and been provided with the same information as Sheila Smith and Chris Howard had reported in the meeting held 27th February 2013.

There being no further guidance available, Sheila Smith asked the group if a decision could now be reached.

Concerns were raised at the inclusion for this request for a decision to made without prior notification and without all of the members in attendance.  Sheila Smith responded that to wait for the meeting on the 27th March with Alison and Cllr Noble was unlikely to provide any additional information and this may needlessly delay the payment to Steve Warren for his services to date on the website

The vote was taken on whether to allow the use of the F.O.L.K bank account to act as conduit between the Suffolk County Council Locality Budget and Steve Warren, Visit Lakenheath website provider,

Result:  5 in favour, 2 abstentions.

It was agreed that the payment of Steve Warren by Suffolk County Council Locality Budget was be provided through the Friends of Lakenheath Library bank account.

Sheila Smith to notify Cllr Noble and IPS General Manager of the decision with clear notice that any such similar situation cannot recur in the future.  Cllr Noble will also be asked to provide the group with the necessary information to enable completion of the funding details as requested by the Business Support Co-ordinator at Suffolk County Council Scrutiny & Monitoring Function.

Post meeting note:  The email to Cllr Noble and IPS General Manager has now been sent along with a completed funding details confirmation letter to the Business Support Co-ordinator (see attached). It not known if the payment has arrived in the F.O.L.K account.

IPS/Library Updates

Chris Howard reported that both Mildenhall and Brandon libraries had already arranged funding to provide laptops and wifi capability. Sheila Smith stated that in a later email from County Cllr Noble, he alluded that if returned to office as County Councillor in the upcoming elections he would be happy to fund the provision of wi-fi in the library.

Small Charity Constitution.  Concerns have been raised as to the role and responsibilities of those who become trustees of the Friends of Lakenheath Library especially in regards to financial culpability and the need for indemnification action to be required.

Chris Howard stated that Alison Wheeler, IPS General Manager had offered her assistance in understanding all the points in the constitution.

Sheila Smith to contact Alison Wheeler to arrange a mutually convenient date and time to meet with the group.

Publicity/Library Events

Anne Cross reported that although the numbers that came to the Alison Bruce event were disappointing, the participation of those that did attend was brilliant.  Alison was extremely good, and eagerly answered all the questions put to her.  Feedback after the event was also very good and Alison Bruce offered to attend the Book Club meeting as long as there were other new people to meet.

Sheila Smith reported that she had been approached by a Parish Councillor, Hermione Pusey, who had asked if the F.O.L.K would like to run a competition for a ‘Clean the Streets’ Poster to be run with the Clean Streets campaign.

The members reported that they felt this was not something within the F.O.L.K group remit.  They would be willing to act as a drop off point, place to hold the award ceremony, place where children can drop their posters off and a place to display the posters.  It was suggested that the competition should be run by the Parish Council.

All agreed that Bill Rockett’s idea of a village Treasure/ Scavenger Hunt would go ahead but the majority felt that it was too late for advertisement to happen at Easter plus the weather will still be unpredictable.  It was suggested that it might happen on the run up to the Carnival in August with the prize giving to be at the Carnival itself.

Due to the size of the event, further planning is necessary and as such it will be on the next meeting agenda.

All members to bring Treasure Hunt questions or ideas for questions to the next meeting.

Marilyn Shone reiterated the necessity for the group to look for fund raising ideas as we still had some money to raise towards the budget set by Suffolk Libraries IPS.  F.O.L.K has done a number of awareness events to bring more people into the library and these have had variant levels of success.  Whilst we can continue to do some of these, we cannot sustain large quantities of them and must now look to making some money.

All members to propose other ways of making money to take care of the remaining deficit of £525.

Chris Howard reminded the group about the Cub Scouts visit on the 25th March at 6:30pm. Mary Dimond and Madelaine Rockett have offered to assist.

Any Other Business

Marilyn Shone reported that her investigations had identified that it was possible to have a charity with an income of less than £5,000. F.O.L.K and the library being identified as a charity on its own may attract more funding streams.

Marilyn Shone to identify if there is a cost to setting up F.O.L.K as an independent charity.

Date of Next Meeting

To be confirmed.

Sheila Smith
Minute taker
12th March 2013

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