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Minutes of the DVHA Committee Meeting held on Tuesday 24 November 2009

 at Upwey Old School Village Hall,  Weymouth, Dorset DT3 5QE


Chair: Baird Oldrey (BO) - West Moors

Secretary: Mary Mathers (MM) - Morden VH

Members: Michael Sheasby (MS) - Thorncombe, Bill Crumbleholme (BC) - Upwey VH, John Clode - Canford Cliffs VH

Peter Orchard (PO) – DCA

Apologies from: Marian Eldrett - Woodlands VH, Simon Thomson (ST) - LUCA, Brian Baggott (BB) & Pat Baggott (PB) - Moreton VH,

No contact from Colin Rhymes – Stalbridge, Pat Pullen (PP) - Walditch VH

1.    Welcome

BO welcomed everyone and thanked BC for hosting the meeting at Upwey.

Marian Eldrett had sent a letter of resignation from the committee but indicated her willingness to help with specific activities.  On behalf of the committee, BO thanked her and hoped that she would keep in touch.

2.    Minutes of last meeting

Minutes of meeting held on 4 August 2009 were agreed and signed.

3.    Matters arising (not covered below)

MM reported that the water rate legislation has changing.  Also Lois Rose has recently been elected chair of the NVHF. 

The NVHF membership has now been paid. 

Michael Stevenette has not yet responded to the query over the DVHA’s coat of arms so BO assumes that this is OK.

4.    Chairman’s Report

BO reported that he had missed the Thriving Communities meeting but as the minutes were incomprehensible, he probably didn’t miss anything of importance.  He will try to attend the next one.  The professionals are trying to measure 3rd Sector work which determines their budget.  The Government has various different measures of success.

Setting up the website is a priority.  PO has identified that the DRUPAL software as implemented at DCA does not have sufficient functionality so DVHA have paid for the website.  PO is contributing his time to setting up the structure.

BO recently met Steve Place (SP) and Alannah Bolt (who is retiring next year).  BO pressed for the website – DCA members only having access to the DCA part and DVHA members the DVHA part.   

Grant Services and Grant Finding Skills - SP reassured BO that the grant information was on the DCA website.  Chris Carman (who is on a 2-year contract) is funded for other areas but not VHs.  PO works with her but has no responsibility for funding and does what he can. 

BO advised SP that DVHA was able and willing to be a campaigning body.

MM commented that the NVHF has a 10 point plan on campaign issues (see attached).  BO proposed that we support the national campaigns.

The Connecting Dorset project board is winding down support to finish in March 2010.  BO proposed that DVHA takes over the co-ordinating role if no other body wished to.  Another option is to find further funding for a member of staff to continue support.  BO proposed that we meet other halls to swap experiences. .

5.    Secretary’s Report

MM proposed that Lois Rose (LR) be re-endorsed as the DVHA representative on the NVHF Executive.  Seconded by BO and agreed unanimously.  MM will confirm to LR.  LR has indicated that she would like to attend DVHA meetings.

6.    Treasurer’s Report

JC requested 5 missing statements and documentation for a credit of £900 approx plus Payment to LR.  JC reported that the DCA payment has been received and the payment to NVHF made. The current balance is £431.85.  BO thanked JC for trying to sort this out. 

7.    Correspondence

BO had received an email from Mike Lawford of Norris & Fisher who are visiting him next Monday to update him on their hall insurance offering. 

PO would like to organise an exhibition of services for halls in 3 counties.  Maybe talk to Hampshire?

It was discussed whether adverts should be permitted on the website.  DVHA has a policy of impartiality.  PO suggested that we hale a simple list of insurers only.

8.    Events

Training Events

PO addressed West Moors committee on trustee responsibilities which was an excellent event.  It was enlightening to learn that representatives are there to represent the hall not their user groups.   Training has now been given to 3 halls and will be open to “new” trustees.

Georgina Morgan is responsible for DCA’s corporate training policy, catalogue and procedures. DCA will be issuing a Directory of Training, including VH training, every 3 months.  All training will be organised by the admin team.

Chris Carman and PO are preparing a funding event and will give tips on applying.  They will invite all halls to express their views.

New training ideas include

·      Recruiting trustees (with job descriptions)

·      Hallmark of Success

·      Money matters including charging rates


BO asked if groups of halls could club together to commission PO to give specific courses.

Area Meetings

BO would like to target late January/February to introduce PO and website.  PO commented that the website was not yet sufficiently exciting to launch.  Date of launch to be decided after Xmas when PO has developed the website further.


Date proposed - Saturday 17 April.  Several venues were suggested including Horton & Chalbury (near Wimborne), Litton Cheney or Netherbury.  We will need a broadband connection.  PO will send list of connected halls to MM. 

9.    Websites

PO is building the website with the following facilities

~     Home page

~     Advisory service

~     Association pages

~     Information finder

~     Knowledge base

~     Hall support

~     Contact form

To be added

~     Venue finder

~     Activity finder

~     Events diary

Also it needs to be optimised for search engines.       

MM and BO will send DVHA minutes etc for loading.

PO reported that there are 132 affiliated halls and a further 3 promised.  88% of halls have now got email contact addresses.  15 halls don’t.  PO asked if volunteers could chase these up. 

The following levels of user are available

          DVHA members – can add comments

          DCA affiliated halls – can add comments

          Authorised users – DCA staff with contact with halls (read only)

          Site manager – people in DVHA/DCA adding content

MM to email list of committee members to PO.

BO asked if the forum and knowledge base could be linked.  PO said he would prefer if there was only one location ie the knowledge base.

There is a newsletter facility

10. Reports on Projects


11. Any Other Business

Data protection

PO said that on, halls are responsible for their own public information so data protection not applicable to that.  MM will check whether member contact lists require registering for data protection. 

12. Meeting Calendar

Next committee meeting Tuesday 9 February at Dorset Community Action, Dorchester starting at 10 am.  Future meetings to be scheduled in May, August and November.


Mary Mathers

Secretary Dorset Village Halls Association