16th March 2015 :  HELD AT TRINITY CHURCH

Present                        Apologies

Stewart Coates         Stan Aspinall

Chris Jackson            Tom Quinn

Gillian Spragg            Joe Friel

Sarah McCann    

Richard Higginbotham        

Brian Cheetham

John Sandford    

Phil Wood

Gary Myatt

George Hill

The Minutes of the last Committee Meeting (2nd February 2015) were accepted as an accurate record.

There were no matters arising that were not included in the agenda.


(1) Progress on Lease/Club Status

Stewart updated the meeting on the progress made in relation to the options of a short or long term lease or purchase of the ground – the church have now confirmed that the option of a short term lease (up to 7 years) at a peppercorn rent is now no longer available because the Charities Commission insist that Charities charge a “Commercial rent” for any land they lease. He also reported that he met, along with John and Chris, solicitors in Glossop to explore the options for the future status of the club. During this meeting John made a suggestion that “purpose” of the church and the cricket club might be closer linked and this could impact on rental/purchase costs.

John explained that he felt that we should challenge the requirement for the church to charge a “commercial rent” and there were two grounds upon which to do this. The first is that the club is a CASC (Community Amateur Sports Club) whose purpose is to use the ground for cricket as a community activity. This is close to what the church sees as a significant element of its mission - to support the local community. Given the closeness of club and church purposes in this respect a challenge to commercial rent seems viable.

Secondly the question of what constitutes a “market rent” for a lease that is restrictive is important. John feels that there is little alternative revenue generating potential for the ground and we could easily, and without detriment, agree to the lease being more restrictive – return of the ground to the church if the club were to fold up or a recognition of the churches interest should planning law/restrictions change in the future. The more restrictive the lease the less valuable the land becomes. John feels that the next step is to get together with the church locally and nationally – hopefully with the support of the local church we could meet with a representative from the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes to discuss a way forward. The discussions could include valuations for both lease rental and/or purchase.

Stewart confirmed that he has since spoken to Richard Parkes, Superintendent Minister of the Stockport Circuit of Methodist Churches, who is largely supportive of the club, and he was receptive to the idea of a meeting and dates for this are now being considered. It was pointed out that however we proceed this will not be a rapid process and could take some considerable time.

The meeting was also updated on the discussions with the solicitors about the status of the club. There is some relatively new legislation that has introduced a new status option – a Charitable Incorporated Organisation – which comes under the remit of the Charity Commission. Currently the club are unincorporated and members are individually or collectively responsible for the affairs and conduct of the club. This could leave a situation where individuals could have some personal liability. Currently the club has no significant liabilities but this may well change if the club were to purchase or lease the ground. The club could create trustees but this could lead to a cumbersome process to change the lease if trustees were to move on. It was felt that the best option would be to consider the Charitable Incorporated Organisation option – this would have the benefits of the club being a charity and having limited liability. The solicitors we met have experience in this field and could assist to achieve this status at an approximate cost of £500.

The meeting agreed that as the process to determine a way forward with the church is likely to be lengthy the best option is for the discussions to proceed before the options in relation to lease or purchase and the status of the club are considered at the next AGM in November 2015.

Stewart wished to express his thanks to Brian, John and Chris for their work on these issues.

(2) Club Financial Projections

Chris reported that he had undertaken an assessment of club finances over the last 5 years from the accounts in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the likelihood of the club generating a surplus or deficit on a regular basis. This is an approximation at best and takes no account of unanticipated expenditure although a contingency of 10% of the club’s expected expenditure is included. Chris distributed a document (included with these minutes) detailing projected income/expenditure and the calculations for these figures. He felt it would be really helpful if all club members could have a close look at the figures and make any suggestions of where changes could be made. On a positive note the projection is for an annual £2,500 surplus. It is important that we have a good understanding of club finances before we embark on any lease or purchase of the ground to ensure any decision is financially sustainable. Chris thanked Brian for his input into this document.

It was noted that the club currently have a cash surplus of approximately £11,000 in a savings account.

It was pointed out that as the season approaches it is important that every effort is made to ensure annual subscriptions are collected as soon as possible.

Chris also pointed out that all playing members are required to register for the forthcoming season and this needs to be done before 1st April, which is our deadline for submitting a list of registered players to the TACS league.

(3) Pre-Season Work

It was reported that there was a good turnout from the players’ groundwork rota last weekend and work is progressing quite well. Natwest Cricketforce day is coming up – Saturday 28th March. It was agreed that the work needing to be undertaken is:

Sightscreens – one has blown over during the winter and needs to be stood up. Both need repairs and painting. Phil Wood will make sure paint is available on the day.

The boundary fence around the gate needs to be treated – Phil will ensure suitable fence treatment is available.

The clubhouse needs cleaning and tidying.

Stewart will undertake work on the line markings on the square.

The guttering and facia boards on the clubhouse need to be replaced. Phil will investigate materials available from Jewsons via the ECB funded project whereby the club pay £50 to a Jewsons account and the ECB add a further £350.

Shelving needs to be build for Junior kit near the ladies toilet.

It was agreed that the start time for the day would be 10.30am. Chris will email all members with the plans for the day and to encourage full attendance.

(4) Cricket Matters

Stewart reported that the TACS league pre-season Captains’ meeting will be held on 8th April at Holmes Chapel CC. Balls and scorebooks will be available at the meeting. Gary Myatt agreed to attend this meeting.

The County League meeting has no date as yet but again we will need to attend to collect balls etc. George Hill agreed to attend on behalf of Trinity.

Chris reminded the meeting that a new rule for the TACS league is that results are entered on the Playcricket website following each game. This not something we have ever done before. Chris is able, as the site administrator for the club, to authorise captains/vice captains to enter results and will arrange a meeting with all club captains to explain how to enter results. Stewart will also attend to brief captains on the expectations of the club in terms of conduct etc.

(5) Update on Action Plan List from Last Meeting

At the last meeting it was agreed that “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.” Unfortunately this has not happened despite Chris emailing both to arrange a meeting. Stewart was disappointed that this had not been followed up and felt that it places a greater burden on those already busy with club administration.

Stewart confirmed that he intends to make contact with the person (details provided by Sarah) who was behind Elworth CC raising £40,000 in a year to purchase their ground.

(5) Club Welfare Officer Report

Chris reported that, as the season approaches, nearly all required DBS checks have been completed (including new captains and vice captains) and that all coaches are on track to have all the required qualifications – safeguarding and First Aid.  

(6) Any Other Business

It was pointed out that some club emails sent out by Chris are ending up in spam folders. It was suggested that future emails should be sent with the distribution list used in the bcc option on emails. This should reduce the risk of emails being categorised as spam, be better in terms of confidentiality and reduce the risk of accidental “Reply all” emails.