Willaston Memorial Hall is owned by the village and managed by a committee of Trustees, nine of whom are nominated by the organisations who use the Hall and four are elected at the Annual General Meeting; the Trust Deed allows for the co-option of three other trustees. The local council does not financially support it in any way.
Memorial Hall History and Background.
The late Duncan Graham of the Lydiate erected “The Willaston Institute” as a gift to the village for the purpose of a Club, Lecture and Meeting Hall, Reading Room, Library or such other purposes as may be found desirable for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish and neighbourhood of Willaston.
290 square yards of land to the side of the Institute were purchased for the sum of £60 on part of which was erected The Willaston War Memorial Hut by the then Willaston Village Society.
Following consultation with village organisations it was agreed that The War Memorial Hut (which was then beyond repair) should be pulled down and replaced by a new permanent building joined to the Institute.
The two Charities, The Willaston Institute and Willaston War Memorial Hut, were formed into one charity to be known as the Willaston Memorial Hall.
Following extensive fund-raising, substantial refurbishment of the Hall was undertaken and an extension housing new toilets was built because no major improvements had been made since the erection of the new building and the Hall did not meet current regulations for its use.
Following the receipt of some external grants, further major refurbishment of the Hall was carried out.
Management of the Hall
The Memorial Hall has two sets of Trustees. Firstly, the Custodian Trustee is the Official Custodian for Charities. The Hall is vested in the Custodian Trustee whose responsibility is simply to hold the legal title of the Charity’s property and to act on the lawful directions of the Committee in any transactions affecting this title.
Secondly, the Managing Trustees are members of the Management Committee, and are responsible for the day to day management of the Memorial Hall, in accordance with its governing instrument (i.e. the Trust Deed). The Committee consists of up to sixteen members in total, nine of whom are nominated by organisations of the village that regularly use the hall and four are elected at the Annual General Meeting in March; a further three Trustees may be co-opted. (Volunteers who help with the running of the Hall are also invited to attend the Management Committee meetings.) The Committee usually meets on the second Tuesday of every other month. The Trustees elect a number of officers from within the members.
There are approximately 8,900 village halls in England, the majority of which are managed in this way. Few problems are experienced as long as committee members manage the building with all reasonable due care and attention, in the same way that they would manage their own affairs.
Committee Members are expected to attend the meetings in order to have a full knowledge of how the Committee is run, its financial situation and the decisions made and why. They should bring their thoughts and ideas on how this vital village asset can continue to be run and managed successfully. Although they may have been nominated by a village organisation to become a Committee Member, they must act in the best interests of the Memorial Hall. They are entitled to put their organisation’s views but, if there is a conflict, they must make decisions in the best interests of the Hall. If a Trustee is unable to attend a meeting, they may nominate a substitute to attend in their place, but that substitute cannot vote on any matter.