2nd February 2015 :  HELD AT TRINITY CHURCH

Present                        Apologies

Stewart Coates         John Sandford

Chris Jackson            George Hill   

Gillian Spragg            Gary Myatt

Richard Higginbotham        

Brian Cheetham    

Stan Aspinall      

Phil Wood

Tom Quinn

Joe Friel

Stewart welcomed Tom to his first Committee meeting and welcomed Joe back to the Committee after his recent re-election. He also asked committee members to note that this is now the “slimmed down” version of the Committee, as agreed at the last AGM, and, whilst business can now be more quickly concluded there is more responsibility on individual Committee members.

The Minutes of the last Committee Meeting (21st October 2014) were accepted as an accurate record.

There were no matters arising.


(1) Appointment of 3rd Team Captain

This matter was deferred from the AGM. Of the two possible nominees Mike Llewelyn has indicated that he is unable to considered because of work commitments. James Carley has indicated he is prepared to stand and was elected.

(2) Impact of T20 Mini-league structure on the club.

Stewart reported that the proposal to run the CCL T20 competition in mini-league format was not adopted at the CCL AGM and is therefore not an issue for the club.

(3) Other Cricket Matters

Sarah McCann has provided a report for the meeting – copy attached. This reported that Katie Paterson has now passed on membership/subscription duties to Elaine Wickes. It was also noted that there subscription exceptional circumstances requests in relation four ladies – it was agreed that Stewart should negotiate these matters directly with Sarah.

(4) Future Planning for the Club

Stewart expressed his thanks to Brian Cheetham for all his hard work and time in compiling his Discussion Paper. He went on to outline the history of the club and the current position. The clubhouse was built in 1989 and which time it was suitable for the needs of the club and it’s playing membership. The last 5 years have, however, seen rapid growth in the club with Juniors and the Ladies being particularly significant. The club’s current status is that the church owns the land we play on and we have no rental charges and no obligations to the church. Club affairs are managed by the Committee and it’s members.

Because of this recent growth the facilities are no longer adequate and we need to consider our future plans and enable future expansion of facilities. To support us in this the club are buoyant and present and we have the backing of Cheshire Cricket Board through Mike Woollard. As a Committee we need to make recommendations to the club about how to take the club forward. Stewart outlined that there are 4 possible courses of action.

Do nothing – no change to the current club status and the simplest way forward – the club has enjoyed this status since 1923. This course of action would, however, provide no access to any grant funding other than small grants. As an example the ECB has recently opened the Small Grants fund and this would cover items we would benefit from. We are, however, precluded from making an application because we have no security of tenure.

Pursue a 7-year lease with the church (actually 6 years 11 months – anything longer would oblige church decision makers to pursue a commercial rent). We have been in negotiation with the church for 18 months over this matter and it is clear the church are only able to move slowly. The local Church council only meet twice each year and have to refer matters such as this to a central body. The church has indicated a willingness to agree such a lease at a peppercorn rent of £100pa. Such an arrangement would allow the club to pursue more substantive grant aid but not the funds that would allow significant clubhouse development. It should be noted that the club have already paid £500 towards the legal fees involved in this lease. Stewart added that he has had advice from John Sandford (who is knowledgeable in this subject) that if the club enter into such an arrangement requiring club trustees we should give serious consideration to the status of the club with a view to incorporation – Company Limited by Guarantee or similar – in order to reduce the individual liability if club officials.

25-year Lease. This course of action would open lots of doors to more substantial grants for which we would probably fulfil the criteria given the range of cricketing opportunities we offer. An example would be the Inspired Facilities Fund who offer grants up to £75,000. The cost of the annual rental (which the church would need to set on a commercial basis) is unknown at this stage but from the example of Hazel Grove CC (who have such an arrangement on Methodist church land) would suggest somewhere in the region of £3,000pa. This would be negotiable. It seems likely that the church would support such an arrangement but it raises the question of whether we could afford such an annual cost over the course of the lease at a time when many cricket clubs are struggling for members etc.

Purchase of the land. It was noted that because the land is designated as “Open Space/Green Chain” land the value will be lower than commercial value. From Brian’s investigation the estimated cost will be in the £20,000 to £40,000 range with costs associated with the purchase to be added. Clearly this depends on the church being willing to sell and the purchase price they are prepared to agree. It was confirmed that the club currently have surplus funds of approximately £10,000. The possibility of achieving grants to assist was purchase was considered but this seems unlikely – the only known source of such grants have as a criteria that there must be a threat to the current use of the land.

A long discussion followed focussing on the club’s current and future finances, the ability of the club to maintain the current level of success and membership and the willingness of club members to take on the management responsibility of the club in the future.

The following action points were agreed:

Progress the current work to achieve the 6 year 11 month lease with Trinity Methodist Church – Stewart and Chris

Investigate the church’s willingness to agree either a 25-year lease or purchase of the land and the likely costs for both a lease or purchase – Stewart

Undertake a detailed piece of work to look at and gain a better of the club’s finances – our current and future Income and Expenditure and our potential ability to meet the costs of a long term lease or purchase – Brian and Chris

Joe and Tom to enlist a group from within the club to look at all options to develop and increase our current income streams. They will then meet with Brian and Chris to bring this together with the work on the club’s finances.

Investigate possible options for the future status of the club (seeking advice from John Sandford where appropriate) to safeguard club officers – options will include Company Limited by Guarantee and Charitable Incorporated Organisation - Chris

Consider ways in which club members can become more involved in assisting with the running of the clubs by taking on some of the tasks currently undertaken by Committee members – Brian, Chris and Stewart. It was noted that a rota of club members to assist Stan with pre-season groundwork is already being developed.

Organise club events early in the season inviting all members and others interested parties (eg parents/guardians of junior members, Friends of Trinity CC) to share in the planning for the future of the club.

A further Committee meeting will be held on 16th March to bring together the work undertaken on these action points and to consider any other urgent pre-season matters.

(5) Club Welfare Officer Report

Chris reported that good progress is being made with all the required checks for club coaches and captains.

It was suggested and agreed that any new club members should be checked with the Cheshire Board to ensure they are not banned from cricket or pose any risk to Juniors – as suggested recently by the County Welfare Officer.

(6) Any Other Business

There was no other business.