Friends of Lakenheath Library Extraordinary Meeting – February 2013

Location, Date & Time: Lakenheath Library, 27th February 2013 at 7pm

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

Apologies: Parish Cllr Iain Frost.

1. Extraordinary Meeting Attendance

The chair thanked all for attending this extraordinary meeting.

2. Summary of Events to Date

In late February, Cllr Noble requested that F.O.L.K act as a conduit to the transfer of funding from the Suffolk County Council Locality Budget to Mr Steven Warren who has on Cllr Noble’s direction began the provision and compilation of a Visit Lakenheath website. At that time, F.O.L.K saw no legal reason for refusing the request and informed Cllr Noble to go ahead. 

During the F.O.L.K meeting on the 18th February 2013, the group reviewed the Small Charity Constitution as provided by the Suffolk Libraries IPS and found an inclusion that caused the group to review its earlier decision.  

This meeting was called to discuss the single subject of the Suffolk Libraries IPS Small Charity Constitution, paragraph 8(1) which states:

Money and property must only be used for the Charity’s purposes.”

In reviewing the constitution prior to signing as trustees, a potential for the group to breach of the above clause by allowing payment from the Suffolk County Council Locality Budget to travel through the group account to Mr Steven Warren was identified. Whilst Lakenheath library will gain a web page from the arrangement, they will not be the sole recipients. 

Sheila Smith reported that as agreed, she had emailed County Councillor Colin Noble to inform him of the situation. The email and response is attached at Annex 1.

Sheila Smith recounted a conversation held with Alison Wheeler, IPS General Manager identifying that whilst allowing the use of the account is not illegal the action may be questionable i.e. it may raise questions regarding propriety. The IPS would not tell the group what to do but would provide assistance in discussing the matter with the Councillor if necessary. Chris Howard confirmed this conversation, stating that he had also spoken to Alison about this matter.

Members stated that knowing they had the IPS General Manager’s backing provided them with some assurance about any decision that was made.

Some group members commented that they had felt the Councillor had used the group for his own political gain with little regard to the propriety concerns that the group may find themselves in now or in the future. 

The following options were proposed:

  1. Go ahead with the payment, capturing all supporting documentation to ensure an audit trail.
  1. Refuse the use of the F.O.L.K account to pass payment to Mr Steve Warren.
  1. Arrange a meeting with the IPS General Manager, County Councillor, Colin Noble and F.O.L.K.

Option 3 was selected, Sheila Smith to contact the IPS General Manager, Alison Wheeler to arrange a mutually convenient date and time to hold a meeting.

3. Date of Next Meeting

The next full meeting will be held in the Library on Tuesday the 12th March 2013 at 7pm.

The meeting to discuss the Locality Budget payment will be circulated to all members following contact with the IPS General Manager.

Post Meeting Note: The next available date available for Alison Wheeler was the 27th March 2013.

———-

Minutes taken by Sheila Smith, Chair and Secretary of the Friends of Lakenheath Library, edited and uploaded by Parish Cllr Iain Frost.

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