March 7th 2012 Minutes

Meeting 7th March 2012     11a.m. Judges lodging, Swan room 2                               Present;

Graham Winwright, David Exell, Jackie Wesley, Carol Tarrant, John Wallis, Alex Wynne and Bob Corn.

  • BCC promised Survey of the building? – BCC has commenced survey today 7th March – Condition survey only, with input from Bucks CC Structural Engineer. No full structural survey will be forthcoming as BCC does not do these. Noted that heating in a t least two of the rooms does not appear to work, and a suggestion was made that a drain camera inspection would be beneficial to check for cracks. BCC only really interested in Walls, foundations and roof structure – Bob mentioned future solar energy array of panels on South Facing Old School Roof, District/County Councillor Avril Davies very keen on idea. David Exell said Bucks CC not looking to invest in the building. Results of the ‘conditioned survey’ will be available to us after it has been prepared, as they might need to be built into the business case we make.


  • Timings/Lottery bid – and other funding bids – no one wants to take us on when we do not have a lease – often for at least five years. BIG Lottery has withdrawn our application, but suggests that we apply again when they roll out further grant schemes, even adding another ‘aspect’ of funding requirements. A new heating system, furniture and solar energy greening initiatives were lightly covered as our preferred options.

Graham suggested that we could use the phrase that we have been offered ‘first option’ on the lease,’ Decision in principle’ having already been achieved by being at stage two.

Timings however look so slow, even with our shortening of six months allowance, as sequence (6) slow. BCC suggests for speed, we draft Lease as well as Business Plan.


  • Our Projects future expected tenants are at the present reduced from three to two, the cookery school having pulled out to pursue their business in another form elsewhere. However our second tenant, the theatre school, has put together an extended timetable expressing their desire to hire as much of this second space as we feel is available, much of which will be to deliver community classes themselves. As a group we are conscious of the need to keep some room spare for ad-hoc occasional bookings for other community needs such as jumble sales, auctions, parties and meetings etc. The cookery school itself who wish to put on a food fare in the summer on the village lawn adjacent the Old School and wish to hire as and when this occurs also. We envisage that Sports events and other seasonal events and celebrations on the village lawn, will very likely wish some form of collaborative support from our building on occasion too. Bcc pleased we have reserve businesses awaiting inclusion. We had discussions on the shop ‘café’ threat and the emphasis on faster timings to reduce our risk of being pipped to the post.


  • CAT/Leasing – In response to question as to where the transfer aspect of Community Asset Transfer comes into this glorified leasing discussion, following advice from Locality at BIG Lottery Conference, we asked about the rent contributing to an eventual purchase of the building, by the community? David Exell said BCC does not do Mortgages. No valuations done on the building as yet, not a BCC thing.  Preferred option of Bucks CC as mentioned by Graham Winwright – Lease for the building with the ‘option to purchase’ included. We would then need to conduct our own survey prior to purchase. The building might be offered at ‘Valuation price’ Gavin Kinsman would be best contact for financial discussions, Rent, Mortgage and legal issues on Bucks policy. Our business plan should reflect rent free period proposals, contingency plans if businesses pull out, all manner of scenarios (risk assessment) . Business case needs to be put forward with as much detail as we can, as far as we are prepared to take it. BCC are prepared to discuss draft proposals to iron out creases.  Localities Act enables local communities to Lease or Purchase but at market value.  Jackie is to let us have a cabinet report re lease/purchase option.


  • Sample lease for us to see, as we are working in the dark? /no sample leases, all leases tailored to specific premises.



  • John’s Liability clause          Limited Liability
    The Liability of the Holding Trustees for the time being in respect of any breach by the (Name of the Organisation) of any of its obligations under this Lease is to be limited in amount to the realisable value of the assets of the (Name of the Organisation) that are for the time being vested in the Holding Trustees and nothing contained in this Lease entitles the Landlord to any right or remedy against the personal estate, property, effects of assets of any of the Holding Trustees or against any assets for the time being vested in the Holding Trustees that are not part of the Name of the Organisation.  – put this in as part of our proposed ‘Heads of Terms’ proposals.



  • Business Case Model – We are advised to check back with Mark Auterloney after we have drafted our ‘model lease’ in case anything now needs planning permission. After a ‘Fit for Purpose’ Survey – our responsibility will be the buildings fixtures and fitting and internal decoration. The drains and the basic kitchen will also need scrutiny and ‘fit for purpose refurbishment, we suggested. The business case must be one we can support which is attractive to the County. We can tackle this but not this and we look to County to do this instead, plus freehold idea as well. We should show where businesses have others in the wings as ‘reserves if needed’ too. We must prove the sustainability of it all, and make it attractive to BCC.


  • County sequence of events for CAT – Business case (draft better first, incorporating draft lease proposals): negotiations: BIG (Bucks Investment Group)would consider business case: Cabinet member report: ‘Call’ for scrutiny might cause a delay:  Drafting of the tailored final lease with length, break clauses and ‘options to buy’ written in. Obtaining Lease concludes sequence.
  • Martin Phillips is the Cabinet minister responsible for ’Community’.
  • Jackie Wesley to liaise re:  Ivinghoe Public meeting in May 2012.
  • Thanks to Graham Winwright for his open dealings with the SOS Community group .