Minutes – Annual General Meeting held Thursday 30th March 2023

Constable Burton Reading Room Committee
Annual General Meeting held Thursday 30th March 2023 at 7pm


Barry Snarr – Chair to the Reading room Committee

Hilly Dobson – Vice Chair 

Charles Wyvill – Patron

Niesha Snarr – Treasurer

Apologies: Jeff Lane- Committee Member

Mandy Lane- Member of the Community

Mrs Rebecca Duff- Member of the Community

In Attendance:

George Tomlin – Project Manager

D’Arcy Wyvill – Member of the community

Imogen Wyvill – Member of the community

Tony Duff – Member of the community

Kathy Ayers – Member of the community

Laura Ferguson – Member of the community

Attachments: Appendix 1- Chairmans Report

Appendix 2- Treasurers Report

  1. Acceptance of minutes from AGM 2022. 
    • Minutes accepted as a true record-proposed by Hilly Dobson and Seconded by D’Arcy Wyvill. 
  2. Chairmans Report 
    • See Appendix 1
  3. Treasurers Report 2022-2023
    • The accounts were this year again audited by Mr A.G Cape FCMA. 
    • Refurbishment work on the Reading Room was now complete and had received very positive feedback from people who had attended events held since completion. We feel that the Reading Room facility is now an inviting space that is fit for purpose and can be more fully enjoyed by the community. 
    • See full Treasurers Report at Appendix 2 for further financial details. 
    • Discussion took place as to how much the committee needed to generate just to cover the basic running costs of the Reading Room. This equated to approximately £3500 per annum. It was important therefore that there continues to be a full and robust events programme to generate enough money to meet that basic figure. There were suggestions about some actions we could also take to help us manage the impact of the huge increased cost of utilities, such as buying our oil supplies in summer.  There was also discussion about how we as a committee try to ensure events planned are cost effective  but also consider the value, they bring to the village in terms of bringing the community together and meeting the needs of villagers (an example of this discussed was the warm room initiative which had sought to deliver on both of these issues. These initiatives were timed to coincide with our pop-up bakery to reduce cost, support our local business and also provide a warm, inviting environment for villagers to come together).  
  4. Future Events
    • The current provisional programme of events to date includes:
    • Afternoon Teas– already commenced with a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea. These are due to be held throughout the year again, on an approximately monthly basis.
    • Pop up Bakery will continue weekly on a Tuesday and villagers will continue to be notified of any changes to their attendance programme if these occur. 
    • The warm space initiative will be replaced by a ‘cosy corner’ weekly event which will coincide with the Pop-up bakery. We will constantly review this to ensure it is of value to the community.
    • Fish and Chip evenings. There will also be occasions where people can eat their fish and chips together in the Reading Room on the evenings when the fish and chip van comes to the village. This will be at the discretion and availability of a member of the committee.     
    • Kings Coronation-This was discussed at length, and it was agreed that, after the success of the Queens Jubilee last summer, a celebratory event will be held on the Village Green on the Sunday after the Coronation itself (Sunday 7th May 2023). This will allow people to watch the Coronation itself on TV on the Saturday, but then celebrate this auspicious event together the day after. We agreed that we would hold a ‘Royal Picnic in the Park’ and would ask villagers to confirm if they intended attending the event.  Barry Snarr confirmed that as yet, unlike on the Queens Jubilee celebration, there is no council funding available for the event. We will erect the marquee and people will be able to opt to bring their own picnic or purchase food from our BBQ. Other ideas currently are to hire a bouncy castle, face painter and have a small selection of children’s games (such as a competition to decorate a crown) to help keep the children occupied so that the adults can more fully enjoy the event.  There will of course be a ‘Royal’ red, white, and blue theme with bunting etc. D’Arcy Wyvill asked how we advertised these events to promote attendance and support from the villagers and George Tomlin explained the many ways we do this (flyers, notifying local businesses, village notice board, Honeybees WhatsApp group, Facebook etc).  Barry Snarr as Chairperson will also be writing to all villagers. We agreed to investigate the purchase of Mugs again and sell these on the day. We will also hold a Bake a Cake competition again with the prize for the best and tastiest cake.  
    • Private Party has been booked with use of our Marquee in May
    • Duck Race/Summer Fair will take place as usual. Detailed plan has yet to be determined and agreed. 
    • Halloween Event- much loved by the children and will go ahead as usual.
    • Christmas Mince pies and Mulled wine, plus Santa’s Grotto– will go ahead as usual.
    • Publicising Events- D’Arcy Wyvill raised the issue of our current signage outside the village that we use to publicise our events calendar- Barry Snarr has already started to investigate purchasing new signs. 
    • As a committee we had requested a Constable Burton Village Facebook page be set up which was actioned, however currently this has been under-utilised and it was felt by all in attendance that we needed to use this fully to publicise our events both within our village and to neighbouring villages Facebook groups to promote attendance and assist our fundraising efforts. Imogen Wyvill suggested that it would also be useful to set up an Instagram Village page and is happy to take this on this responsibility herself. 
  5. Ukraine Appeal
    • This will be ongoing while ever the conflict in Ukraine continues. It was noted that our village Ukraine family are due to return to their home in the Ukraine to explore the option of returning there on a permanent basis. Everyone wished them a safe journey and every good wish for the future. 
  6. Election of Committee Members
    • Nominations had been received for the following:
    • Barry Snarr – Chairperson. Agreed unanimously by all in attendance.
    • Hilly Dobson- Vice Chair and Events Organiser. Agreed unanimously by all in attendance. 
    • Niesha Snarr- Treasurer. Agreed unanimously by all in attendance. 
    • Imogen Wyvill- Event Organiser. Agreed unanimously by all in attendance.
  7. Any Other Business
    • Defibrillator- a vast majority of villagers had contributed to the purchase of new battery and pads for this village asset. Discussion took place about the need to keep a register of all the people who have donated where possible. The defibrillator was never non-operational thanks to the speedy response of George Tomlin in addressing the situation on our behalf. 
    • Tony Duff- wanted to thank George Tomlin for applying for and successfully obtaining  RDC funding to support the Reading Room. All agreed and thanked George for all his hard work. 
    • D’Arcy Wyvill- Thanked the Committee for all their hard work over the year, acknowledging that work was done voluntarily and appreciates what hard work it is,
    •  he went on to say that he felt that all the community had benefitted from this. He also wanted to say how fabulous the redecoration and refurbishment of the Reading Room was and again thanked everyone involved. 
    • Barry Snarr– informed everyone that he had now resigned from the council due to a lack of confidence in the Parish Council Leadership team and because the Parish Council leadership team stated that the Parish role and Reading Room Committee role was seen to be a conflict of interest. Hilly Dobson has also resigned from her Parish Council role for the same reasons
  8. Next Meeting -Date and Time to be agreed.
    • The meeting was closed, and everyone thanked for coming.  



Thank you for your attendance and your support throughout the year, an Eventful Year.

It was the year we celebrated the Queens Jubilee, a fabulous day on the village green which was well supported and felt full of harmony and laughter. Little did we know that we would be mourning her death in the same year, a sad time across the nation and a time of reflection, again the village came together to show our respects, along with the nation, we held a minute’s silence on the green.

This was the year we also lost our Trustee and great friend, Keith Leadman, not only was he a friend to the committee but also to the wider community, who he served over many years. As a sign of our appreciation for the many years of service to our village we have purchased a memorial bench in his honour which will shortly be positioned overlooking the village green.

We oversaw the completion of the village hall renovations with the addition of the new front door and casing and the decoration of the hall. This project started over 3 years ago, a lot of people have been involved along the way to make it what it is today, a village hall to be proud of.

The newly introduced pop-up bakery run by Claire and David every Tuesday here in the hall, freshly baked pies, cakes and bread every Tuesday, they have quickly become an integral part of village life.

Again, on a Tuesday, we introduced the warm room initiative, a place to come and sit by a cosy fire, enjoy a hot drink, a soup and more importantly to have a chat and a laugh. Thanks, in particular go to Hilly for running this. 

The Ukraine Appeal, this has continued throughout the year and will continue for the foreseeable future. We even received a letter of appreciation from the then Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, directed to Hilly thanking her and the village in general for all their hard work in raising awareness of the plight and for raising much needed humanitarian aid for the victims of this terrible war. A special thank you must go to Cliff, for opening his home to the family. I understand they are soon to return back their family in the Ukraine.

The Summer Gala and Duck Race, another great day out, the weather was on side for a change and through everybody’s efforts on the day we managed to raise £400 for our very own Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a voluntary organisation who rely heavily on donations like ours.

The creation of the “Honeybees” WhatsApp group, now with 17 members. Used in the main to support the village, to give ideas for improvement, to find solutions etc. Thanks go to Dawn Gelder and Niesha Snarr for organising.

More recently, we held a charity event , a film and supper evening, raising much needed funds for the Turkish and Syria Earthquake appeal, so far raising £272 and we still have more coming in from previous pledges. It was a great night, and everybody said how much they enjoyed it, which made my slaving in the kitchen all the more worthwhile!

And of course, we had our ever-present annual events, these included the Easter event, Halloween, and the Christmas event. Santa’s grotto saw all the children from the village come for a chat and receive their gifts, and the adults did a good job of demolishing the mince pies, washed down with plenty of mulled wine, a lovely afternoon, special thanks go to all the people who give their time voluntarily to make these events a continued success.

The “Human Dynamo” better known to us all as Hilly- kept us all in Sunday afternoon teas, again with help and support of a number of people from the village, she even managed to cajole me into baking cakes for her! My mum would never have believed it!

So many people throughout the year have volunteered their time etc to make the events a success, from keeping the grass mown, the planters full of flowers, erecting the Marquee on the green, the afternoon teas, so much more, far too many to mention by name, but I’m sure you know who you are, I want to go on record as saying that your continued help and support is much appreciated, not only by me but the village as a whole. 

I feel I must give thanks to a certain gentleman who continues to be an avid supporter, I would go as far as to say, unswerving support, his commitment to the Reading Room and therefore the village in general, I find George Tomlin a reliable ‘go-to guy’, always prepared to help whether asked or not! 

It would be remiss of me not to thank the committee for their support throughout the year, in particular Hilly, who just makes things happen-as if by magic sometimes. And to Niesha who stepped into the Treasurers role left vacant part way through the year. To Dawn also for her input at the start of the year as a co-opted member to fulfil the secretarial/media role along with Jeff Lane and Allen Percey,. 

I’d also like to thank on behalf of the Reading Room Committee, our Patron, Charles Wyvill –

And personally, as chair, thank you for your listening ear and your valuable counsel, your continued support and that of The Wyvill Estate team is very much appreciated and I know we can rely on in the future. 

During the last twelve months we’ve seen many ups and down as a nation and as a village, but as a nation and as a village we’ve endured, I would like to see the year ahead in Harmony rather than the challenges we’ve faced over recent months. The New Committee must try where possible to positively impact on the village and its residents. It was heart-warming and a great personal pleasure to see a new arrived member of the village, Mike Hale, canvas for new ideas to introduce new activities within the village, i.e. Book Club, Walking Club and I understand that there is a strong possibility we will also have an Art class.

The Changing face of the Village.

New Arrivals. 

Welcome to the following people:

Mike and Lauren @ School House

Vida, Tim and Fox @Park Gate House.

Sarah and Paul @Plum Tree Cottage

Claire, Keith, Jack and Freddy@ Hall View Cottage

Nigel and Anne @Donald Smith Court

Sue @No3 Ashfield Close

The Radchenko Family, Galyna, Alex, Max Kseniia and Dimitrii -Our Ukrainian Family 

And of course, our new arrival, baby boy, Digby, Congrats to Dave and Edwina.

Goodbye and Good Luck.

Mike and Sheila Phillipson- Great supporters of the Village and in turn the Committee

Jeff and Mandy Lane. Great volunteers for the village, Jeff was a member of the Committee and I found him very supportive of the RR Committee and its ambitions. He has also become a good friend. 

Maureen, from Donald Smith Court, always good for a chat over the garden wall whilst out walking her beloved dogs.

Allen Percey, took the position of Treasurer last March but due to increased commitments elsewhere he felt he couldn’t invest the time needed so he decided that he would have no option but to resign his role, I would like to Thank Allen for his support both before he took the role and his time and effort during his tenure,

Sad Losses.

We lost Keith Loadman , our Trustee and active supporter of the committee and village during last year. Judi continues to visit and support the Reading Room.

Ian Hough, A long standing member of the village and community, a very recent and sad loss.

Julie remains the mainstay of the family and will always have our support if she needs it.

Appendix 2

Reading Room Committee

Financial Update 2022-2023

Balance as @ 28th February 2023
01.03.2022Opening Balance£14,201.04
Closing Balance£8,999.99Includes Ukraine fund£355.00
Petty Cash£322Includes Turkey DEC fund £272

Financial Analysis

The opening Balance for 2022/2023 started high again largely due to remaining monies from Government Covid Grants from 2020/2021.  

This year, as a team we managed to raise £6888.35 through a mix of planning and hosting social events, and applying for government, Council or Locality grants available. We could of course not have raised this without the support of the Constable Burton Community, local businesses and those who support us from outlying areas and we thank anyone who has supported our events or donated over the year.

This year, in addition to fund raising for our own use within the village we committed to support other valuable causes such as our new Ukrainian fund, which was to support people displaced in the horrific Ukrainian war, this included donating to a local national humanitarian effort to provide aid to Ukrainian citizens.  In addition to this, more recently, we fund raised to support the DEC funds being channelled to help the Emergency rescue efforts following the earthquake in Turkey, and donated funds from our Summer Fair fundraising to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. 

Our expenditure this year reflects these humanitarian donations, and also the now completed refurbishment costs to make our Reading Room a welcoming and safe space for us all. 

As a committee we also made a decision to hold a celebration event for the Queens Silver Jubilee which would be free to any Constable Burton Residents who wished to attend. A marquise was purchased to ensure the event could be moved indoors as we did not want it spoiling due to the unpredictable British weather.  We received funding for this and towards the cost of our festivities from Richmondshire District Council.

In addition, due to the huge increase in the cost of living and in the knowledge that people may be struggling with fuel and food bills because of this we decided to provide a warm space and hot food on a weekly basis for people to access, again at no cost to them. 

 At year end we did have additional assets of £130 in amazon vouchers, but these have now sadly been returned to the donator. These originally totalled £200 and had been kindly donated by Wicksteed Ltd, who had originally installed our new play equipment through a grant applied for by the Parish Council. Due to these established relationships with Wicksteed, we approached them as we do with many local businesses and they agreed to donate the £200 in individual vouchers as prizes to support our fund raising efforts. As with all financial assets, these had been entered onto our financial spreadsheets and held by the Treasurer. Due to someone raising this as an issue with the Parish Council, the Parish Council determined that the donation should have been given to them for use across the whole Parish and not the Reading Room. As this was not what was agreed with Wicksteed, nor within the terms of why they donated the vouchers, it was agreed with Wicksteed that we would return all £200 and they would donate the vouchers to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance on our behalf. 

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