West Pennine Villages u3a


Committee Meeting 15th March 2023


Attendees: 9

Apologies:- 2

 The Minutes of the previous meeting were approved  subject to the following amendment:- “With reference to the reconfiguration of u3a google accounts- although the uptake has improved it was suggested that the need to use business addresses be relaxed for group convenors, although use of a google account will still be recommended.”

Matters arising:

  1. Sport England – Reapplication. The  re-application has been submitted  for £3.000. A further £ 1000 will be sought  from the Croquet Association once  a croquet section of the host club is established.
  • Progress with Correx boards– This is ongoing.
  • Progress with committee photos -where to find– Just 2 photos remain to be uploaded. The Web Editor is to be asked  to re-site the committee pictures and minutes [ some feel these are difficult to find.] The chair will request these changes.
  • Amendments to Welcome page wording- Progress.- This is complete – just awaiting uploading.
  • Correct Website addresses in u3a sites -This has now been done.
  • –A positive response has now been received from Chorley Council Community fund.
  • Members informed re. requests for funds -Members have been contacted and informed of the availability of funds for group use.
  • Publicity push-Posters previously approved are now available for collection and posting. There was a query regarding parish noticeboards and an appropriate contact was suggested.
  • Response to cleaning rota appeal- One cleaning team has been established and is timetabled.
  1. Inspire Youth Zone visit and resulting opportunities ( see main business for issue raised) -The visit went well and there was great interest in the  facilities and variety of activities provided. Contact has been made with regard to a link with wpvu3a. The charge of £25 an hour for use of the facilities was thought to be quite expensive. Another route would be a partnership with the Youth Zone. Funding has been sought for multi-generational activity [similar to the Warm Hubs that have been set up]. Some groups, including wpvu3a have been invited for discussion. Original plans for such links have been delayed by the Pandemic.

There was a request that information be sought re. transport for children from outlying villages.

One wpvu3a member has already run a cooking session as an offshoot of the visit.

  1. Updating of Web pages and Calendar -progress has been made.  An offer of help has been made for those still having difficulties.
  1. Alternative venues– Wheelton and Brindle facilities have been explored again and Wheelton is now being used as a Tai Chi venue. A venue in Brinscall  and a further contact were suggested and will be followed up.
  1. Update on Folk Dancing group- owing to lack of response this group is unlikely to restart at present.
  1. Group Convenors Evening– This was thought to have been successful and appreciated- even though the venue had been more crowded than anticipated.

Thanks were offered to the Groups co-ordinator for her efforts in arranging this.

  1. IT workshops – These had been successful, and thanks were offered to the Web Editor for his work in running these.

Main Business

  1. Treasurer’s report, -[ previously circulated]
  2. There were no significant comments on this- the small deficit was thought to be unimportant considering the healthy surplus funds available.
  3. The Charity Commission have introduced a range of questions to be answered at the next submission. Of the ones that apply to wpvu3a all are covered by the policies already established.
  4. Thanks were offered to those responsible for these policies.
  • Charitable Donations- A donation was made to the Youth Zone for refreshments which technically shouldn’t have been made, since it is a charity. A small individual charge for such visits would avoid this issue in future [ ie.  on the next Speaker Meeting]. Individual donations from members would likely outstrip fees that wpvu3a might offer- therefore it might be wise to wait until donations are known and then top up with a fee as necessary. Anyone organising a similar visit needs to be aware of the rules regarding donations and should speak to the Treasurer for clarification prior to any visit.
  • It was clarified that the charge for Speaker meetings covers refreshments and any necessary expenses. 
  • WFSSC are looking to increase rental charges [caused by energy costs] and a document was circulated to aid understanding of the effect on wpvu3a. On average , the current charge has worked well. An example was given of the necessary charge if wpvu3a choose to increase group charges.

There are activities using the room for which no charge is made.

An  estimate was given of the likely increase in room charges .

It was thought best to leave management of the increase to group convenors.

It was pointed out that even with the increase room hire at WFSSC is still very good value for money.

Thanks were offered to the Treasurer for his analysis.

Resolved to inform membership of the possible increases and the reasons why. This to be issued in the newsletter.

  • Speaker Secretary report [document circulated-]- All imminent meetings are already approved, and some suggestions are offered for future meetings. There were no adverse comments about any of these. The Speaker secretary is concerned about donation fatigue. The committee consider this not to be an issue for concern since there is a long summer gap where no Speaker meeting takes place and the three speakers prior to that have requested no fee. If it is made clear to speakers that we cannot, as a charity, donate, then we can offer a fee to be used at the Speaker’s discretion. Again, thanks were offered to the Speaker secretary for his work.
  • Inclusive u3a and Social Prescribing Update– [document circulated]-Following conversations across Lancashire , a meeting has been held with West Lancashire. Links are established with GPs through a Social Prescribing Co-ordinator. Those referred to a u3a may be accompanied into the u3a activity. Attention was drawn to a number of points. Clear communication is necessary. The next stage was to contact the co-ordinator for Chorley Borough Council and an invitation to a  team meeting has been received. It was confirmed that wpvu3a remain interested in proceeding with this. Some issues were raised including how fees would be paid .

Again, referring to a previously circulated document, discussion followed  on ways of being friendly and welcoming, including:

  • A survey to gather wider suggestions around practical ways to improve ‘welcoming/ friendly and being inclusive. 
  • New members ‘mentor’  offer as an option
  • Group convenor’s role around ‘welcoming/ friendly and being included –   perhaps a group member could have a ‘buddy’ role.
  • WhatsApp was suggested as a quick way of organizing / contacting.
  • Range of venues across the villages to ease access to groups and activities, making it feel ‘local’ to all.
  • AGM– This is now set for 10 a.m. April 19th.
  • Nomination form must go out 28 days prior to the meeting
  • These need to be returned 21 days after that to give time to process [ 11th April].

Those present were asked if they were willing to stand and confirmed that they were.

Each will need a proposer and seconder from this u3a.

There was clarification regarding terms of office and rules re. quorum.

  • New Groups Progress – All new groups, including Tai Chi, talking about Art and Pickleball have been well received.
  •  Report from Cluster Meeting– The reception was friendly and it was agreed that wpvu3a would not participate in the reciprocal membership arrangements adhered to by the previously established cluster.  It was thought useful to hear of the problems and successes of other groups  e.g. the fact that we should be aware that membership will get older and associated problems. There have also been successful ventures such as setting up stalls for  self -promotion.
  • Succession Planning–  After extensive discussion re. constitutional issues it was pointed out that those in current roles will need to change to another role or non-role. It is therefore necessary to consider this as a matter  of  urgency.

There will need to be information included in AGM notices that go out.

There is also the possibility of a buddy system for roles for non-committee member[ they could observe committee meetings]

This issue should probably go in reports for the AGM.


  • The issue of contact numbers for day visits was discussed. It was thought, after much discussion, that supplying a contact number cannot be made compulsory but that a polite request could go out in the Newsletter for such a number. However wpvu3a cannot be held responsible for such contact.
  • There were requests for funding for pickleball bats and for a small number of camping stools for sketching trips.  These were approved.

Date of next meeting- 10th May

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