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Trustee or representing a user group?

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The hall has been operating at a deficit and the trustees are discussing raising hiring charges. A representative of one of the groups who have a place on the committee objects saying their group would have to move elsewhere if hire charges are increased. Should the committee:

  1. Remind the person concerned that this is a meeting of the hall management committee and that the interests of the hall must come before the interests of an individual group
  2. Acknowledge that groups will struggle to find the extra cost and so postpone any decision until the following year
  3. Allow the group concerned to continue paying at the old charging levels as they are 'key users' and just charge the extra for other groups and casual hirings

There are really two issues here in this situation. The primary one is whether a 'representative' of a user group is really that or whether they are a trustee of the hall appointed by a user group. Underlying this is whether a committee of trustees should give way to pressure from one individual user group.

The first point is that 'representative' is, although commonly used, a really bad name for people appointed by user groups to the management committee. They are not appointed to represent their group, they are appointed to serve as a hall management trustee. At a meeting of the hall management committee they are a hall trustee and they MUST put the interest of the hall before the interests of the group that appointed them. As a result, option 1 is clearly the correct answer. 

A successful hall will continue to function as a venue for its user groups and so it is in the user group's interests to have a successful hall. If the hall is operating at a deficit then raising charges is one obvious way of maintaining a viable hall. Giving in to pressure from one group or making exceptions for a particular group are really not options as they put the groups interests before those of the hall and this form of weakness only compounds problems on an ongoing basis and so 'making exceptions' is really very bad practice. Neither options 2 or 3 should be even contemplated.