Extraordinary General Meeting, 22 January 2018

1. Introduction

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Gotherington Parish  Council will be held In the Village Hall at 7.30 pm on Monday 22 January. At that meeting the Parish Council will decide whether or not to proceed with the purchase and renovation of the Church Centre. Please attend and give us your views during the public speaking section of the meeting. It is extremely important that we hear from as many residents as possible. There won’t be a public vote but the views of the  residents will be the most important consideration for the Parish Council in making its decision.

With the assistance of KBW Chartered Surveyors we have conducted a two stage tender process and analysis of the tender responses has led KBW to recommend a contractor. We are now ready to move forward with the purchase and renovation.

The decision on the night will be final. We will go ahead with the purchase and renovation or we won’t. There are no other choices.

This page and the linked pages have been set up to provide background information prior to the meeting. The main areas covered are the building and the finances

Caroline Meller has very kindly provided a short history of the building, also known as Gotherington Chapel.

Finally, further information will be transferred to this page over the weekend.

 

2 The Building

The condition of the building has degenerated in recent years and not wishing to spend money on its renovation in August 2016 the The Countess of Huntingdon Connexion Trust took the decision to sell it on the open market. First refusal was offered to the Parish Council and it has has taken us until now to come forward with the final proposal!

This section looks at the state of the building and the main recommendations for the renovations. The full scope of the works is detailed on the ITT page. At the start of our journey many residents voiced concerns that the building was in such a poor state that no amount of money would make it useable and it would continue to be a drain on the village’s resources. During the past year we have undertaken structural, damp, drains and asbestos surveys. If not covered by commercial restrictions these survey are included on the  ITT page. The results of the surveys have given us confidence that the building can be satisfactorily renovated and it won’t be a drain on the village’s resources.

External 

Render

The following photographs relate to the render on the outside of the building.

Front Elevation      Side Elevation

We think that the top photograph was taken in the early 1900s and and shows that render on the front elevation. The lower photographs were taken in the past few months.

We believe that the front cannot be successfully returned to its original condition of exposed brickwork and it will have to be lime rendered to ensure that the brickwork can breathe. In contrast,  the side elevations were painted and a cement render was applied later, probably in 1983. In many places the render has not adhered to the painted bricks and has cracked leading to rainwater entering the cracks and remained trapped behind the render, in turn leading to the general dampness in the building. It is possible that the render and paint can be successfully removed and the brickwork repointed with a lime mortar. If this could be achieved then the overall effect would be a lime rendered front elevation and exposed brickwork on the sides and rear, similar to this house on Malleson Road.

It appears that the building has been constructed to the same standard as other buildings in Gotherington that were built around the same time. It is not built of rubble as some residents have suggested.

Roof

Initial surveys suggested that replacing the concrete tiles with light weight slates would reduce the load on the roof  enabling the roof structure to be retained.  However, later surveys recommended replacing the entire roof structure, leading to a considerable escalation in costs. Following the recommendation we will replace the entire roof and it will be covered with Marley Eternit Blue-Black slates. (sorry, we can’t afford proper Welsh slates.)

Front Yard

The left and right walls will be rebuilt.  The existing concrete ground cover will be removed and the front yard will be covered with stone chippings.

Internal

Damp and Dry Lining

Many resident were concerned that the damp problems within the building could not be rectified and the building would always be damp. We have commisioned studies which led to the recommendation of a damp proof membrane for the following reasons:

(a) Once the membrane is fitted, replastering works can commence immediately and decoration works can normally be carried out within a few days, thereby saving many weeks of “drying out” time and, just as importantly, as opposed to a chemical damp proof course there are no restraints on the type of decorations that can be used.

(b) The membrane will deal effectively with all contaminants that may remain within the underlying masonry by forming a physical barrier, thereby avoiding the almost certain occurrence of future deterioration of plaster and decorative finishes due to salt contamination.

(c) By retaining the damp behind the membrane, the system will deal effectively with both rising and penetrating damp, thus avoiding the need to install a chemical damp proof course or have “tanking” works carried out.

(d) The membrane can be installed on top of the existing plaster which will avoid the considerable mess and disruption caused by plaster removal, in addition there will be a considerable saving in both time and money with this method.

The ITT specified Olroyd or similar for installation of the membrane. Two inches of insulation has been included in the specification leading to a thermally efficient building.

Ceiling

Unfortunately, as a consequence of removing the roof structure the lath and plaster ceiling, including the central moulding, will have to be removed. A new lath and plaster ceiling is prohibitively expensive and we will have to make do with  plasterboard.

Lighting

The ITT specified  cove lighting

3. Tender process

The tender was conducted as a two stage process. During the first stage a full Statement of Work (SoW) was issued and analysis of the returns identified areas where significant cost savings could be achieved. As a result of the following changes were made.

Windows

The top early 1900s photograph shows horizontal glazing bars on the left and right front elevation windows. The bars are not present on the current windows. In the first SoW we included replacing the windows with ones having glazing bars to improve the visual appearance of the building. However, as the current windows are perfectly serviceable we have decided not to replace in order to reduce costs.

Renovation of the left elevation sash window was included in the first SoW but has now been changed to a task for a village working party.

Wainscot Panelling

To save money removal of the wainscot panelling and floor coverings will now be undertaken by the Working Group

Kitchen

Removal of the kitchen will be undertaken by the Working Party. The installation of a new kitchen has been removed from the SoW. The old kitchen may be returned to its original place or,  pending funding from other sources, a new kitchen may be installed.

Doors

The first SoW contained line items for replacement doors for the stairs, toilet and kitchen. Those line items have been removed.

Telephone and TV aerial 

Removed to save costs

Front Yard

Stone chipping have been specified instead of flagstones to reduce costs.

 

Outcome of the Tendering Process

The responses to the second tender have been analysed by KBW and a recommendation has been sent to the Parish Council.

3. Finances

 

Overall cost of the Project

The future costs are outlined in the following table.
Item Cost
Acquisition 50,000.00
Conveyance Fees 1,000.00
Vat on Conveyance Fees 200.00
Renovation (approx) 120,000.00
Vat, on renovation 24,000.00
PM/CA Fees 10,321.90
Vat on PM/CA Fees 2,064.38
PC Contingency 8,000.00
Vat on PC Contingency 1,600.00
Seed funding to CC operations 1,000.00
Extras 1,720.90
219,907.17
Less PCC Funding -19,000.00
Less S106 -27,282.00
Additional Funding required 173,625.17

Acquisition: The building will cost £50,000 to be paid in two Instalments: £30,000 on exchange of contracts and a further £20,000 in March 2019

Renovation: This line item contains £8,000 of contingency.

PM/CA: Project Management/Contract Authority fees are 8.5% of project costs.

PC Contingency: Parish Council contingency is in addition to the PM/CA contingency. The contingency is used only used following a decision at a Parish Council meeting in public.

Seed funding to CC operations: This is initial funding to the building to pay  water, gas and electricity bills and any other expenses that may occur during renovation and the initial operation of the building

PCC Funding: The Parochial Church Council has very kindly donated £21,667 without conditions to the Church Centre acquisition and renovation. Some of this has been spent on survey work leading around £19,000 remaining in the donation.

S106:  The S106 funds from the Malleson Road and Gretton Road developments.

PWLB Loan

The Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) is part of the UK Debit Management Office and has the authority to lend to a number of public bodies including Parish Councils.

There is at least one precedent for Gotherington Parish Council borrowing from public funds. In 1964 the Parish Council part funded the purchase of the land for our current playing fields through a  public loan. Caroline Meller has kindly supplied some documents relating to the purchase of the field.  They are:  “Community Life in Oxenton, Woolstone and Gotherington“, published with Topics March 2005 Edition;  conveyancing( con1  con2  con3  con4  con5 con6 ) and related newspaper articles

Loans have an attractive rate of interest that is fixed for periods of up to 50 years. Once agreed, the loan has to be drawn down within one year. Interest is calculated and paid every six months. Interest rates vary and are set twice a day. All of the loan doesn’t have to be used.

 PWLB Costs 
PWLB calculations can be accessed via this page A loan of £173,625 over 30 years is currently £8526 per year and £710.5 per month

 

4. Cash Out and Cash In

The operation of the Church Centre is evaluated on a Cash In Cash Out basis. The assumptions are:

2020/2021 Tax Base   589

Precept £12/year , £1/month

 

 Cash Out is made up of two elements

Repayment of the PWLB Loans and running costs.
PWLB
The PWLB Loan of £173,625 has monthly repayment costs of £710.5
Running Costs
Where appropriate, running cost are derived from a comparison with VH costs. The VH summary Sheet is here.

National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR)

The Parish Council is allowed one building to be exempt from business rates, all others must pay NNDR.
The Rateable Value of the RRB (£2,215) is on this page , note kitchen is excluded.
The Rateable Value for the Village Hall (£2,429) is on this page , note kitchen included. There are no published rates for the Church Centre
The rateable of the Church Centre is estimated to be
38.4 Square metres at £20/square metre plus 5 square metres at £13.3/square metre  = £834.5
When the  Small Business Rate Relief Multiplier 0f 48.4 pence is applied the NNDR for the Church Centre becomes £404
Assumption: NNDR is £404 per year , £34/month
Water
 
The ST document scheme of charges in section A1.2  states that water charges are based on rateable value. There is a standing charge of about £3.50/month for all services.
As a % of the RRB and the VH it becomes
RRB £2,215  38%
VH £2,429   34%
Assuming water charges are proportional to rateable value, on an unmetered basis the CC will be just over 1/3 of the VH for water charges. On a metered basis it will consume less water (fewer hours) and the water charges are likely to be less than 1/3. The annual water charge for the VH is £285.43. 1/3 of the VH charge is £95
Assumption: Water charges are 1/3 of the VH, £95 (£8/month)
Electricity
 
Calculations are based on the VH hours used. From the VH summary sheet hours are:
Societies          1272.5
Bookings           201.6
Coffee mornings 24  (12@ 2hours)
Total  1497.1
The charge for electricity is £482, which includes a standing charge of £5/month. The variable element is therefore £422, resulting in a charge of £0.28/hour
Web references suggest that boiling a kettle costs £0.025 and a fridge cost £2/month to run
 
Assumption: Electricity standing charge £7 (£5 + £2 for fridge) and £0.28/hour
 
Gas
 
Using the same basis as electricity for calculation of gas we arrive at a standing charge of £7.50 and an hourly charge of £0.55. The Church Centre is a smaller, better insulated building than the VH and therefore running costs should be less. However, the lettings are assumed to be lower so there may be increased costs due have to heat the building for reduced periods of occupation.
 
Assumption: Gas standing charge £7.5/month  and £0.55/hour
 
Cleaning
 
Cleaning is possibly a major cost and we have a number of options. One hour of cleaning per week (about £500) adds £1 to the band D precept.
Option 1: Clean to the same regime as the VH. This cost £2400 and would add approximately £5 to band D.
Option 2: Cleaning based on usage. If lettings are 42 hours/month  (10 hours/week) then clean twice a week so that on average the CC will be cleaned after 5 hours of usage. Adds £2 to band D
Option 3: Voluntary daily cleaning up to a level of usage (say 50 hours/week)
Option 4: For residents only, a reduced hourly rate (say £5), or two hours for one, for a self-cleaning hire. Gotherington is in the top 10% of villages with a population over 70 years of age. There must be some scope for afternoon clubs on board games, card games etc.
 
Assumption: a combination of options 3 and 4 until income justifies professional cleaning.
 

Other fixed costs per month are in the table below.

Insurance, including public liability 36.00
Safety Checks 17.50
Repairs, maintenance and sundries 17.50
 

Income

 
To calculate income the GHN element has been removed from the VH income and 50% has been taken as the CC income. An income of £4000 equates to 42 hours/month at a rate of £8/hour. There may be other sources of income for the  CC as it will also have fund raising events but these are ignored those for the time being. The CC may also be let at rates higher than £8/hour
Assumption: The CC is let for 42 hours/month giving an income of  £336 per month
Precept
The precept is set at £12 per year, £1 per month. For a tax base of
The summary Cash In and Cash Out tables are shown below. The figures are monthly.

Cash Out

 

Item Cost
RFO 10.00
PWLB Loan 710.50
NNDR 34.00
Water 8.00
Electricity 18.76
Gas 30.60
Insurance, including public liability 36.00
Safety Checks 17.50
Repairs, maintence and sundries 17.50
Total 882.86

Cash In

Item Income
42 hours @ £8 336
Precept 589 @ £1 589
Total 925

 

Conclusion

For the above assumptions there is a surplus of £42.14/month which is  £505.68/year, which is approximately a saving of £1 on the band D precept.