Your local community shop and post office

Ide Community Shop and Post Office

Minutes of Management Committee Meeting 

23rd January 2014 

1. Present: Trevor Gardner (Chairman), Simon Cain, Barry Hookins, Imogen Walsh, Nikki Pattison, Penny Smith, Ann Boyce, Rose     Saunders.

In attendance: Susanna Morgans, Elizabeth Butland.

2.Apologies:  Alan Saunders, Liz Bishop

Trevor thanked Alan for continuing to assist the committee while he is unwell.

3. Minutes of meeting dated 7th November 2013: These were approved.

4. Matters arising:

  • Ann provided guidelines for young volunteers (under 18).  They should not be left unattended, should be supervised by two or more adults, and a risk assessment is needed for the work they would be asked to do.  It is good practice to provide a role description and obtain written parental consent.

           Insurance policies may not cover under 16’s so this needs checking.

           Action points: Ann will prepare the consent forms.    Simon to check insurance documents.

  • Susanna has ordered a Health and Safety poster.  The Year Planner has been purchased and put on the wall in the stock room.

5. Financial Matters (SC):

a)     December 2013 Management Accounts

Simon provided the accounts for the year showing turnover of £139,830, an increase of £40,492 on the previous year – a tremendous result. The gross profit margin of 20.8% remained the same with net profit showing at £14,709.

Corporation tax for 2013 was just £9 but this could increase to approx. £2k for 2014.

b)     2013 Draft Accounts

Simon circulated Draft Accounts and will arrange for an independent examiner’s report to be done.

c)      2014 Budget

A Cash Flow Forecast has been prepared to show expected Receipts and Payments throughout the year.

d)     Financial Update/matters

£1,000 is being transferred most months from the operational account (Co-op) to the Santander account to build up funds for shareholder repayment and large expenses such as the air-con unit.  There is currently £11k in this account and the Co-op runs at £2.5k to £4k.

The Stock Take took place on 12th January and total stock of £12,308 (selling price) was recorded.  Simon equates this to £9,196 cost price.

Rose advised that money taken from the donations pot is being used for shop purchases, e.g. card spinners, vacuum cleaner, coffee machine, with the cash being paid in separately to cover the cost.  It was suggested that we let customers know how this money is spent and Ann will cover this in Ide Times.

The maintenance contract for the EPOS till and linked scales system is due and a quote for full maintenance cover came in at £58.00 + VAT per month.  The quote for software cover only was £34.00 + VAT per month.  All agreed that we need the full cover but thought the cost excessive.  Alan will contact South West Systems to negotiate a discount and report back. 

6. Operational Matters

a)     Volunteer co-ordinator’s report

No problems to report but more volunteers are needed and this will be highlighted in Ide Times.

b)     Handbook and Training

Progress has been made on the handbook with input being received from the FAB sub-group. A reminder sheet of the most important instructions has been prepared and will be sent by Penny to all volunteers.  A copy will be placed near the till and all volunteers will be asked to sign to confirm that they have read and understood it.  When the handbook is ready and approved some evening training sessions will be arranged – possibly over a glass of wine.

Susanna will arrange fire alarm training.

c)      Post Office/Staff report

Commission for the year has increased by 70% compared to the portacabin with £948 received.  There has been an increase in all types of transactions and there are a lot of new customers.  This was particularly evident in the run up to Christmas. 

The Post Office are looking at the re-structuring of their branches across the country and want to promote Post Office Local – which is not appropriate in a Community Shop set-up.  Our current rate of funding and terms of contract are guaranteed until March 2015 when it will be up for review.

Susanna and Elizabeth, with help from Trevor and Simon, have completed a Post Office survey about the business model for which a payment of £2,000 will be received (less tax and NIC).

d)     Stock Group report – see notes of 14th January

Imogen gave a quick review of our first Christmas in the new shop – a great success.  Notes about what we did right and what we need to change have been placed in the daybook for 1st November 2014 so we will have something to refer to for next Christmas.

There are no problems to report with suppliers.  We have however asked Martin Bragg from Shillingford Organics to meet us at the shop to discuss our method of ordering.

e)     Cleaning

Nikki and Penny have obtained quotes from three cleaning firms. As it would be necessary for a keyholder to be present when the cleaning is done it was decided that it would be easier to set up a roster of volunteers to do it.  Penny will send out a plea for willing helpers and set up a rota.  The daily cleaning schedule will be re-instated and volunteers encouraged to work from it.

f)       Ice Cream Freezer

At the end of the season the freezer was taken away for storage and any remaining ice creams and lollies were moved to the bottom of the main freezer.  They were recently checked and found that they had partly melted and re-frozen and were not fit to sell.  There had been a problem with the lid of the freezer having been left open during closed hours one day and we queried whether the ice cream freezer is efficient enough for our needs.  It was agreed to keep it for at least another year and volunteers will be asked to check that the lid is kept tightly closed.  

g)     Shop display

Pete Bishop is now available to build us a display unit for the rear wall of the shop so we need to give him a design to work from. Rose has done some work on this and circulated her ideas for comment.  There is still concern regarding the display of newspapers (indoors or outdoors?) and Imogen will arrange a meeting for further discussion.

Pete will be asked to build a dresser type unit to our specifications and Rose will purchase a display unit for magazines.


Barry advised that the water meter is faulty – S W Water will replace it and review our bills for last year.

7. FAB Sub Group

  • Fire assessment – this is in hand, with input from Clive
  • General Risk Assessment – also in hand
  • CCTV/Security

The camera at the front of the shop needs to be re-positioned as it faces the new spinner.  It was agreed that the camera should be moved to provide a clear view of the front door and forecourt as recommended by the Crime Prevention Officer.  There was disagreement on setting up the fourth camera inside the shop so this will be brought up for consideration by shareholders at the AGM.

We need to have a policy in place as to who can look at the footage and under what circumstances.  

                                      Action point: Ann to set up policy.

Penny suggested having a closer on the door to the stock room for security purposes.  This door should be kept closed as volunteers leave their personal belongings in there. Ian will be asked to arrange this. (At the same time a closer for the front door should be considered as this can still blow open if a heavy lorry goes past!)

  • Loft railings – these are now in place.  Trevor apologized for the misunderstanding as to who was to install them.
  • Outside light – Brian Bezley has put up two temporary external lights. Everyone was happy with the result and agreed we wouldn’t need the more expensive ones that had originally been planned.   The lights are on a sensor and timer.  Barry will ask Brian to change the timer to come on from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 8. Marketing Group (AB)

a)      Notes of meeting dated 8th January – points for discussion

Ann produced a list of promotions and events for the year and will tie this in to Facebook advertising.
She suggested a low-key celebration of the 1st birthday on 4th February – to be marked with a light-hearted quiz and some prizes.
Community Shop Fortnight takes place in mid June and we need to think about how to mark it again this year.

b)     The website is almost complete and Ann asked for more feedback.  The minutes and accounts will be put on from 2014 onwards but as the rota can change from day to day it was decided to leave this off.

Following recent email discussion about the future of the Loyalty Card it was decided to continue with no change to the current terms.

 9. Discussion items

a)     Duty Manager – this continues to work well.

b)     Community Fund – 2014 proposal

In 2013 £850 was awarded in grants with the remainder of the £1,000 allocated given out as raffle prizes or gift hampers.

The guidelines are to be clarified as to eligibility i.e. beneficiaries of awards are to be constituted groups only. This was always the intention, but the wording was ambiguous.

                                                              Action point: Simon to produce new rules.

c)      A G M

 i. 5th year anniversary and 1st year of new shop
Following the success of last year’s AGM it was decided to organize a hog-roast again.  Barry will contact Kenniford Farm to arrange this and book the school hall for the agreed date of Friday 4th April.

ii.Elections – committee

Simon will check to see whether elections are required. 

Trevor announced that he is stepping down as Chairman and will no longer stand on the committee, following the AGM.   He will support the committee in identifying candidates to replace him.

Penny voiced her sadness at Trevor’s decision and thanked him for getting us where we are today. All agreed we will be sorry to see him go.

iii.            Accounts – Simon will have these checked and ready for the meeting.

 10. A.O.B. n/a

 11. Date of next meeting – 20th March 2014 at 7 p.m.