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Management Committee for a community hall: how should it be run ?

0 votes
Our Town Council have recently built a new facility comprising large hall and meeting rooms which is hired out to both community groups and commercial organisations. It also includes the Town Council office and Council Chamber (which is one of the rooms available to hire when not in use). The building's construction and inauguration was overseen by the Finance Committee, however, we have now moved into an operational status and I'm wondering whether this continues to be the best way forward given that issues which arise tend to be more urgent and don't fit within the 6 weekly meeting cycle.
Would a some form management committee, comprising the 2 Clerks and a number of Councillors make more sense to allow it to be more re-active ? Would it need to work as a Committee, a Sub-Committee or something else ? How would this work within the standard rules given that perhaps it might need to make an immediate decision without the ability to provide 'x' days notice ? Where should the boundary exist between the Clerk - who is effectively managing the building on a day-to-day basis and Councillors, particularly when it comes to finance (eg an immediate repair is required)

Many thanks for any advice.
asked by (140 points)

4 Answers

0 votes
Your post made me smile. Two clerks - an embarrassment of riches perhaps:-)

Our small council has a large village hall with various rooms available for hire. This is managed entirely by our clerk, along with any maintenance and regulatory checks as and when required. Oversight and reports are made to council on a regular basis.
Another model that might appeal, which is used by another council close by, is to set up a non profit company limited by guarantee with charitable status that the building can be leased to and who deal with the running of the said building.
answered by (4.2k points)
0 votes
Worth looking at the advice from ACRE on running Village Halls. There are advantages in transferring operational control (not ownership) of the facility to an independent management committee with an annual rent - or grant if necessary. This can avoid decision-making delays and open up routes to grants etc. The people involved should be (s)elected for their competence not just because they are Clerk etc. The management committee can be required to provide quarterly operational and financial summary reports to Council ...
answered by (180 points)
0 votes
Does the clerk(s) use this as their base in this case it would make sense to have the clerk(s) overseeing the business with a committee of councillors to work together,

Day to day expenditure should be allowed for for example sundry items but there should be a set limit.
Having a management committee run it on behalf of the council really needs a full maintenance tenancy agreement draw up by a solicitor to make sure your property is protected and all health and safety aspects are covered. This protects all parties,
answered by (5.5k points)
+1 vote
A management committee would be a good idea but membership should be open to members of the public. It doesn't need to formally  be part of the Town Council committee structure. I question the need for a Clerk, but somebody has to record meeting minutes and carry out admin duties. Those tasks could be shared amongst Committee members.
answered by (24.4k points)
Oh dear see my recent thread re our local Community Centre  problem.  In such situations the PC either manages direct or passes management to an independent charity.   The problem we had was that the PC insisted on maintaining some form of control by appointing all trustees and sure enough it all got a bit messy and is presently unravelling .  My advice is yes contact ACRE they are the experts (and FOC I understand) . But you must decide the fundamentals first i.e. do you want a members based charity ? Should the  community have direct access to the management or not  . You then have a choice of going down the foundation model constitution route or the  association model . They also do a hybrid version . Getting the balance right between the community and the management to me is key especially if you want public support be it financial or volunteers

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