Reports, Minutes & papers

Nailsworth Youth & Community Enterprise 

Minutes of Committee Meeting on Wednesday 12th July 2023 

 7.30pm in Upstairs Meeting Room, Subscription Rooms



            Present: Jonathan Duckworth (JD): Chair, Les Haines (LH): Minutes, Deirdre Lister (DL), Tracy Shipp (TS), Pam Brown (PB), Fern Bratby (FB), Dave Parker (DP), Fred Ashworth (FA), Andy Hammond (AH), Claudia Weston (CW), Cliff Jordan (CJ)


                     Apologies for Absence: Mark Peer (MP) (league match), Iain McIvor (IM) (work commitments)


  1. Minutes of Previous Meeting  on 24th May 2023: 

          Having been circulated by e-mail by TS (Minutes Secretary) on 9th June, the Minutes were agreed and can added to the website.


  1. Matters arising:
  1. Item 4.5 Severn Wye Energy conservation survey – DP spoke on behalf of the sub-group (made 

up of JD, DP, PB & LH) which had met on more than one occasion to review the report and its list 

of recommendations. 

  • They felt that the input from Severn Wye had been valuable and had prompted a focused discussion about our energy usage; members were reminded that this was a free service;
  • The fact that there were only a modest number of recommendations is testament to the good management of the building and its infrastructure over the past few years; 
  • Nevertheless, we recognise the need for vigilance especially in the light of surging energy costs and the impact on the planet’s health from the continued dependence on fossil fuels;
  • Specific actions to be carried out will include: 
  • installation of radiator deflector panels;
  • boiler flow temperature settings to be discussed with heating engineer at the next service;  
  • installation of LED lights in main hall - to be done when next repairs are needed. PB has already liaised with our electrician about this and our general approach to energy conservation from now on;
  • regular cleaning and maintenance of lighting: accepted and we will liaise with electrician 

      regarding a suitable programme;

  • more efficient windows (where not already modernised) - already approved and planned;
  • trigger points for energy efficiency opportunities – agreed to continue to bear this in mind 

     in decision-making;

  • other recommendations such as additional insulation material in the loft will not be taken  

     forward because of the costs and low economic benefit  

  • a summary of the report’s actionable recommendations will also be incorporated in the Business Plan for 2023/26 (to be discussed later on the agenda at 2.2)


       The Severn Wye Energy report also suggested that NYCE considered installing a solar panel scheme for the building; the sub-group has discussed this, done some research and spoken to potential suppliers and obtained 2 estimates. The energy costs for NYCE and the Community Workshops have been looked at separately. NYCE’s low costs do not seem to justify the capital expenditure costs of panel installation and much of its electricity use is in the evenings when solar energy is less plentiful; those of the Workshops are far greater and would justify further research for the potential savings which would result (much of its energy use due to running machinery and lighting occurs in daylight hours). However the Workshops are not in a position to fund such a scheme although they might re-consider if outside funding (i.e. a grant) was available to them. Meeting discussed briefly but inconclusively the principles of how much capital it was worth investing in a solar scheme because of the climate crisis against the return on its investment which would be very much in the long-term. The subject therefore remains a live issue and no decisions are required by committee at the present time whilst the sub-group continues its enquiries. 

Actions: PB with support from LH will look into possible grant-funding sources; a 3rd quote will be sought by the sub-group.


  1. Item 9.1 Business Plan 2023/26: LH reported that he has produced draft version 1.0 and has shown it to JD and PB for early scrutiny and any feedback; not only does it describe a number of items for NYCE to work on during the period up to March 2026 but in a number of appendices it



gives detail about how we operate, some policies, a bit of history and a full schedule of all the improvements carried out over the past 12 years of the refurbishment programme. It also for the first time includes references to climate change and our energy-saving aims. Action: LH aims to circulate the document with amendments as soon as possible.   


3)  Item 10.2 Nailsworth News situation update by JD: the July edition has been printed in full colour by a new printing company (at a reduced cost); advertising revenue has picked up a little, some sections are being sponsored and the net result of the adjustments is that NN is in a more healthy financial position and its future is secured at least in the mid-term.    


  1. Finance:
  1. Current financial position: DL has circulated by email the latest set of accounts; after paying a deposit of £6K to the windows contractor we have £63,591.50 on account. Future agreed spending includes a further £12.k for the windows and approx £3.7K for re-surfacing the hall floor (this is subject to further research and is not yet sanctioned).
  2. Contingency reserves: the meeting then debated what would be a sensible level of reserves to keep in hand for emergencies. As background, members heard that over the past five years annual income has been in the region of £24 - 26K (except 2018/19 when it was £78K) and expenditure usually in the region of £25K (except 2018/19 when it was £56K for higher building costs and 2012/22 when it was just £11.66K).   

Action: Meeting agreed that £24K would be an acceptable reserve figure and that will be reviewed annually each March; if at any time proposed levels of future expenditure came close to impacting on that figure the committee would look closely at it at the time.  

  1. Utilities: water, gas / electricity: DP reported that the new dual-fuel tariff with Octopus is fixed for 12 months from 1st July; if we decide to opt out of the variable rate scheme there is no penalty. It is a 100% renewable supply and Love Energy, our broker, identified Octopus as the best supplier for our requirements. DP supported by FB were thanked for their efforts on this subject.


  1. Building:
  1. FB gave an update on planned improvements to six windows and new secondary glazing of the front window of hall; she has booked a scaffolder, Cameron (who did IM’s recent roof works scaffolding), to erect high level scaffolding for the first weekend in August; this will enable Brian’s double-glazing company to come on site with a 4-week window(!) of opportunity to fit the 6 windows; if the 4 weeks are exceeded there will be a 10% price uplift for the scaffolding so timings are vital; Roman Glass are booked separately for the large front window works and will be using a tower for a short time; FB is also trying to book Jake Etherton for the high-level masonry repair on the left side top of the front facade but he is ‘elusive’ at the moment.

Actions: FB to continue to liaise with contractors to ensure their presence on site in a timely manner; PB to confer with users re. potential (but hopefully limited) disruption to hall availability on certain days; DP to ‘supervise’ contractors when FB is not available; and following the meeting FB sought out (and obtained) a consensus for the colour match for the inside secondary- glass unit for the front window.       

  1. Cleaning of garage roof / guttering – committee thanked PB for her efforts to engage local handyperson, Ray, to do the work to power-wash and remove the moss and other debris from the sloping garage roof and adjust the guttering set-up; the job was completed in June and the transformation is remarkable.  
  2. Proposal to re-surface floor of main hall: PB is seeking quotations for this much-needed work and has received one for £3.5K plus £700+ for relaying the badminton court- lines and she is seeking two other quotations from qualified contractors. An earlier suggestion that pickleball lines should also be added during the re-furbishment will not be pursued.

Meeting had an inconclusive discussion about whether the lines should be done by the chosen contractor or (much more cheaply) by in- house labour. 

Action: committee to await further quotations (to include re-lining) before making a decision on the contractor for this job and who will re-do the lines. 

  1. Minor maintenance jobs: LH reports that there are a few minor jobs in the pipeline including   

     Hammerite painting of the guard-rail of the retaining wall of the platform by the side entrance and  

     repair to blinds in meeting room overlooking hall. Action: LH, DP to follow up. 

  1. Removal of surplus metal items in loft and grounds: LH said that he now had the contact numbers for two scrap-metal dealers. Action: he will make enquiries for one of them to collect the items.  


  1. Grounds Maintenance :
  1. Gardening/clearing tasks – two work parties have been completed since the previous meeting; 

     Action: LH and DP will be arranging another work party shortly to remove any weeds and cut back 

     any overhanging shrubs and branches (later arranged for 25th July). 


  1. Fire Safety:
  1. Following a recommendation from Stroud Alarms, our fire alarms contractor, additional fire alarm sensors will be fitted in the loft next Friday, 21st July. A sensor in the lower entrance hall has a fault and has been isolated and a repair is required.

Action: PB has made the arrangements and CW (or JD) agreed to be on site to let the contractors in at 8.30am that day. 


  1. Updates from User Groups:
  1. Tennis Club: MP reported by email as follows: “The summer season is progressing with all teams performing well in their respective leagues. The smaller 3rd practice/coaching court was power-washed and repainted in June at a cost of £2.7K. We had that court further marked out in yellow lines for 2 ‘pickle-ball’ courts. This is to try to maximise that court’s usage as it cannot be used for matches due to the short run-back at each end and to respond positively to the interest in that game which was evident at our open day in the Spring. The Club has also purchased 2 pickle ball portable nets along with 10 bats and 2 sets of pickle balls for use by members. They are promoting the availability of these courts through their new website and making direct contact with those who have expressed an interest. The 3rd tennis court and pickle ball lines are marked in a non-slip paint so remain useable even in damp conditions. The club hopes that the introduction of the pickle ball option will increase membership which is down on last year’s figures”.


  1. Phoenix Table-tennis: AH said that mid-season activity has quietened down a bit (as is usual in their annual cycle); their Bat and Chat initiative had only limited success so they have suspended it until the autumn when they will try again; Phoenix will put the same number of teams into the Stroud League for the start of the season; because he anticipates that August will be a quieter month for TT activities he will liaise with PB about their less frequent use of the hall; CJ added that at a recent sports activity event at Deer Park School he learned that of 300 students present only about 20 played the game of TT; members discussed the amount of alternative sports coaching that was available in this area. FB said again that she is interested in the Bat and Chat opportunity but thought that some prospective players may be put off by the high level of skill shown by the players who engage in the sport here. AH and CJ said that they were trying to address that issue by increasing suitable opportunities for newcomers to the sport. 


  1. School of Larks - Circus Skills: CW updated that the younger class numbers are quieter at the moment but the teenage ones are fuller; the end of year show in June required a lot of work in its preparation but was worth it as it went very well and they had very good feedback; holiday ½ day sessions (1st week in August) are already full and overall class numbers are creeping up; the company has had a VAT review which was favourable; School of Larks is now a Common Interest Company and a potential new partner is interested in joining them.


  1. Community Workshops: PB reported that they are winding down for the holiday period; Gavin is working on a project in which he will demonstrate how to build many of the parts of a guitar in just 12 hours. They are hoping that the musician Billy Bragg will fulfil an earlier promise made to them to hold a concert at the Subscription Rooms. PB would like this to happen in February 2024 and they intend to make contact with his management team again shortly to confirm a date.


  1. Safeguarding:
  1. No issues have come to our attention since the last meeting in May and none were notified at this meeting. Action: TS said that there some forthcoming changes to safeguarding protocols in the education sector and she will inform us if this will have any relevance to our operations.


  1. Any Other Business:
  1. LH reported that the Charity Commission (CC) is making some changes to its online reporting service which will mean that he, as this charity’s main contact, will have an individual account from September when it goes live. Action: LH to remain in contact with CC and will enquire whether an individual account will also be available to our treasurer DL.
  2. Toilet rolls seem to going missing (i.e. being stolen) from the building and PB in liaison with our cleaners is trying to keep the spare supplies less easy to locate (in other words she is trying to get to the bottom of this unwelcome situation). 


  1. LH reminded the meeting that 8th November is the 170th anniversary of the public opening of the Subscription Rooms. He suggested that the minimum we could do was to have a promotional article in the November edition of Nailsworth News.

Action: Post-meeting note – LH has contacted David Cox, editor of NN, who has kindly agreed to provide space for a two-page spread and he will get Sharon Mansell, one of their main contributors on historical stories, to work with LH and others from the committee to do a piece that is appropriate for the occasion.  


  1. Dates of Next Two Meetings:      
  1. 7.30pm  Wednesday 13th September: Committee (Apologies: LH)


  1. 7.30pm  Wednesday 22nd November: Annual General Meeting / urgent business

NB: This date has been changed from 8th November by popular request.