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Marsden Community Trust - Inaugural General Meeting and appointment of Trustees

Marsden Community Trust will come into being at an inaugural meeting, to be held at 7.30pm on Monday 24th November 2014 in the Mechanics Hall.  The main purpose of the meeting will be to appoint trustees and adopt the set of objects and rules by which the trustees will manage the new incorporated organisation.  A good turnout of supporters and individuals willing to become trustees is essential. Only when trustees are in place will it be capable of taking full ownership of Marsden Mechanics Hall, on behalf of the community of Marsden, through the process of ‘Asset Transfer’ from Kirklees Council.

Call for trustees

The future success of the Mechanics Hall and its value to the village will be in the hands of a small number of key people who put themselves forward as trustees. This exciting opportunity is explained more fully in the expression of interest form, downloadable below. Those interested in becoming a trustee of the new Marsden Community Trust should complete this form, which will be made available to everyone attending the meeting to inform their voting, and ideally return it by Friday 21 November. Anyone unfamiliar with the role of a trustee will find the Charity Commission guide The essential trustee: what you need to know (CC3) useful, available via the link below.

Consultation reports

In June and July 2014, the whole community of Marsden was consulted about proposals to take ownership of Marsden Mechanics through asset transfer. Feedback was also requested on possible extension and modification of the building to make Marsden Mechanics a more flexible building.

The following documents are available:

Marsden Community Trust: Draft Constitution

Taking on a large community asset such as Marsden Mechanics, with its associated liabilities, requires a robust organisation that is charitable, democratic, with membership open to all members of the community and a transparent election process for its trustees. The recommended model is a charitable company limited by guarantee.

The following is a draft constitution for the new organisation, which will be proposed for adoption at the inaugural general meeting, subject to legal checks by a solicitor:

Anticipated time commitments for trustees

It is impossible to predict accurate time commitments but one or two general principles can be outlined from which individuals can identify tasks and frequency.

It is likely that the main Board will need to meet regularly at approximately monthly intervals but that work will need to be done between those meetings.  The work is likely to be subdivided in a fashion similar to the existing Management Committee, namely into separate teams dealing respectively with business planning; event planning; marketing; and building maintenance/development.

The groups (or teams if a similar title is repeated) ought to be populated by volunteers who are not necessarily trustees but the constitution suggests that there ought to be at least one trustee on each team and ideally to chair it and be responsible for reporting back to the board.

Frequency and duration of team meetings will vary considerably according to current activity levels and/or special projects being undertaken.  A particular example will be the management of the full feasibility study, for which the board may choose to appoint a professional project manager but such a manager will need a ‘client’ contact on a weekly, perhaps daily, basis.

This overall picture covers a range of trustee roles and responsibilities, which is likely to mean that a small number of Trustees will be kept pretty busy but that the workload can be shared more effectively if a healthy number of Trustees are appointed.