Author Topic: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??  (Read 124925 times)

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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #520 on: March 13, 2014, 03:12:45 PM »
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One of the possibilities for the Mechanics' would have been to locate the New Library in a full restored building, and for that we could have got some Lottery Money, but it wasn't to be.

Good thought Richard but let's be realistic - when the Library was moved 'temporarily' to Princes Street the outcry was deafening - it's too far, it's too dangerous to cross roads - all sorts of claims were made.

The really big mistake was allowing Swindon Dance to occupy the Town Hall - which was the natural home for the Library and a small art gallery

Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #521 on: March 13, 2014, 03:16:28 PM »
No probs, before long the council will small enough to be able to move back into the Town Hall and the Mechanics can then become a centre for the ARTS.   
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #522 on: March 13, 2014, 03:24:31 PM »
That would scuppoer Coun perkins plan to create a cultrual avaenue from the top of Regent Circus to  Whale Bridge

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #523 on: March 14, 2014, 09:10:09 AM »
No probs, before long the council will small enough to be able to move back into the Town Hall and the Mechanics can then become a centre for the ARTS.

and from where will you get the money M?

Oh yes we could always add to our £120m worth of debt and borrow some more!!

As for the Council getting smaller we could start with the Councillors, why we would we want 57 of them when their responsibilities are rapidly disappearing and so many are so part time they cannot even stay for the whole of Council meetings!!

And as for the Regeneration King Des he will first have to impress the electorate of Hayden Wick!!   >:D
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #524 on: March 14, 2014, 07:22:04 PM »
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And as for the Regeneration King Des he will first have to impress the electorate of Hayden Wick!! 

Aarggh - wish you had put a comma between King and Des  and then after Des - I would hate people not to know you mean Coun Perkins is the 'Regeneration King' and it is he who has to 'impress the electorate of Haydon Wick'

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #525 on: March 15, 2014, 09:20:40 AM »
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And as for the Regeneration King Des he will first have to impress the electorate of Hayden Wick!! 

Aarggh - wish you had put a comma between King and Des  and then after Des - I would hate people not to know you mean Coun Perkins is the 'Regeneration King' and it is he who has to 'impress the electorate of Haydon Wick'

Aarggh my English let met down again!!

Unfortunately Des that is exactly what I meant to say!!

That said we are detracting from the subject at hand, so what on earth can happen to the Mechanics now? 

And before you suggest it M borrowing, £30m to pay for it without an economic future is not an option.
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Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #526 on: March 15, 2014, 03:02:57 PM »
Aye! Who? Me?

My posting:
No probs, before long the council will small enough to be able to move back into the Town Hall and the Mechanics can then become a centre for the ARTS.   

Was written with a large dollop of irony!!

But how would we - don't forget it's our money - pay for it?  Close the Civic, save on all the heating etc.  Sell of the empty Civic Office and site for housing.

Simples..... this suggestion is also ironic.  Lets have more people doing it, less space for them to do it in.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Whipling

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #527 on: March 20, 2014, 11:26:17 AM »
Just got back from Bucharest where I saw this delightful renovation project. Nice to see that Mr Singh got his hotel put up somewhere eventually.


Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #528 on: March 20, 2014, 04:51:12 PM »
Oh Whipling, Don't even give them the idea!
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #529 on: July 24, 2014, 04:25:34 PM »
WBCT raise enough money to buy former pub, just goes to show what people can achieve when they actually know what they're doing.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-28444745

I have deep reservations about WBCT's plans for a canal in the town centre, but credit where credit is due they have a track record of getting stuff done.

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #530 on: November 27, 2014, 06:49:45 PM »
Here we go again, http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11627706.Move_to_put_Mechanics_Institute_back_to_work/

Any restoration of the MI is going to cost £millions, the HLF don't give out 100% grants as far as I know, where is that money going to come from?

Others have already suggested it, convert it into an Art Gallery to hold our collection of 20th Century art (an idea I've really warmed to).  An art gallery would be a two-birds with one stone application to the HLF - save the MI and provide somewhere to display the best collection of modern British art outside London.  It's a no-brainer, trouble is the MI trust, forwardSwindon and SBC (including Cllr Perkins) are all involved.

Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #531 on: November 27, 2014, 11:06:15 PM »
Let's hope all parties listen to each other and reach a realistic, amicable decision.
It's good that all sides appear to be working as a team.
Just for once it would be nice for Swindon to lose its dustbin image and actually restore some heritage instead of just destroying everything and replacing it with tat and sprawl
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Offline Phil Chitty

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #532 on: November 28, 2014, 09:08:10 AM »
Here we go again, http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11627706.Move_to_put_Mechanics_Institute_back_to_work/

Any restoration of the MI is going to cost £millions, the HLF don't give out 100% grants as far as I know, where is that money going to come from?

Others have already suggested it, convert it into an Art Gallery to hold our collection of 20th Century art (an idea I've really warmed to).  An art gallery would be a two-birds with one stone application to the HLF - save the MI and provide somewhere to display the best collection of modern British art outside London.  It's a no-brainer, trouble is the MI trust, forwardSwindon and SBC (including Cllr Perkins) are all involved.


Have to say that's a brilliant thought for more reasons than just that. The expanded Outlet Village will be a bigger than ever draw to Swindon. Turn the Mechanics into another attraction and you will help to draw people into the regenerated town centre.

The problem with the NMIPT idea, apart from lack of money, it that they haven't come up with a viable use for the place. They seem to have forgotten about a Theatre which is not needed and are now bleating on about a Cinema, which is needed even less.

Lottery funding, whilst most certainly available for the right plan, will come with strings attached. The last thing Swindon needs right now is another Steam where the taxpayers are forking out to keep an "attraction" open that can't pay for itself. We are going to build a museum anyway, so it is just a matter of diverting the operational funding to a different building.

Offline the gorgon

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #533 on: November 28, 2014, 09:51:15 AM »
Yeah you've spotted the problem as well then, the MI trust still want their community use thing and SBC are still pushing for a separate museum and art gallery in addition to the MI.

Points West this morning mentioned that the Concorde museum at Filton has just got £5million of lottery funding as part of a £60million development!  Goes to show just how pricey these things are and small the lottery funding can be as a %, so in my opinion SBC would be far better off focusing its efforts on the MI as a gallery.

Offline swindoncentric

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #534 on: April 30, 2015, 10:01:53 PM »
The Mechanics Trust seem to be building their empire, but not with the building you'd expect, but any others they can find http://swindoncentric.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/do-mechanics-have-enough-volunteers.html

Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #535 on: May 01, 2015, 09:08:26 AM »
I take your point Swindoncentric, but let's hope they do have enough volunteers.  Local Community assets are being transferred left right and centre, and if they do not go to community groups and orgs like the Trust, they will be closed, built on and or demolished. 

Suffice to say they would not get their hands on anything if those with the power to distribute them thought they were unable to manage them - or is it that those with the power to distribute them are trying to get them out into community hands as quickly as possible and maybe being a little reckless? 

At the moment I would rather they were in community hands rather than with a Borough that would have no qualms about selling them off for whatever reason.

It does not help, that the Charity Commission (also having funding slashed) does not want several charities in an area where one will do and are therefore encouraging groups to work together.
 
Neither does it help that people seem enthusiastic about adopting say a bit of ground etc, and doing the physical fun-get your face in the paper-sort of work but don't want to be bothered with the onerous task of monthly meeting, minutes, constitutions. Those people can neatly sit under a larger group who does those hard yards for them. 

There will be agreements about the management of whatever, along with leases or tenancy at will. 

Concerned to hear about the close relationship of worker to a Trustee, but if the recruitment process was a fair Equal Opportunity process, which the Trust would be obligated to do, records kept etc. then the relationship is up to them to manage.   

I was in the same position once myself, as it happened my sister was a trustee of the charity I worked for.  She stayed away from decisions about my employment and was not my line manager - the other trustees ensured that this happened. 

One thing I am sure of is - that all of this will be in place - they would need to be as good at preserving the Trust and its good name as a charity, as they would at trying to preserve the Mechanics, because if they don't do the former, they will NEVER NEVER EVER get their hands on the latter.  I have no doubt they are very much aware of that.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Phil Chitty

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #536 on: May 01, 2015, 12:28:08 PM »
The Mechanics Trust seem to be building their empire, but not with the building you'd expect, but any others they can find http://swindoncentric.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/do-mechanics-have-enough-volunteers.html


Bakers Arms - that's an interesting one. Do the Council own the freehold?

The trust don't have the wherewithal to take it on but never the less if the Council do own it then perhaps they should let them, as long as it's on a non assignable lease.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #537 on: May 01, 2015, 12:56:16 PM »
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11812279.print/

Think they already have it, Phil, I seem to remember a 'launch' photo.  It probably won't be run as a pub I and if it is they would be subject to the same licensing laws as any other pub, but it could prove a useful income which could be covenanted back to the other projects, all perfectly legitimate, although they may have to run a trading company long side the charitable trust, again all perfectly legitimate and a good way to go, when it comes to income. This was common practise back in the day in community centres - albeit they inevitably went pear- shaped in the end! 

As to the paid position of Community worker, I can only find reference to a fund of £30K a couple of years ago, that would pay a worker for a year - with oncosts, so the fund probably ran out - whoever gave them it, would expect to see financial and written reports about the project for which it was gained.

So it could be that Hannah is a volunteer  - because she is also a trustee, the Trustees can create 'special' unpaid job titles so that people who want that service can go directly to a named person.  There is no need for a recruitment process.   It's much the same as being nominated and elected to being a 'secretary' or 'chair'.  Whereas the membership usually vote on the trustee board positions, it would even be possible for the trustees to elect or at least give a mandate to someone to act in that role in between AGMs.  A trustee cannot be paid to do a job without the express permission of the Charity Commission.  It could be that someone has forgotten to remove Hannah form the trustee list, so they'd better get that sorted if they haven't done on of the other 2 things.

As it happens had this in an email circular from the CC this morning:
"
Does your charity have authority to employ trustees?
 
You need authorisation to pay or employ a trustee or someone who is related or otherwise connected to a trustee. This authority may be set out in your governing document or you may need to request it from us. Check your governing document; if it doesn't allow you to pay trustees, you may need to get our consent to:

employ a trustee
pay a trustee for serving as a trustee
compensate a trustee for loss of earnings while on trustee business

If your charity is currently employing a trustee, or considering employing one, check whether you have the relevant authority in place. If not, read our guidance and submit this form requesting for permission to pay trustees. Remember that all payments to trustees must be disclosed in the charity's accounts."
 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Karsten

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #538 on: May 01, 2015, 01:25:00 PM »
>  charity's accounts.
 :2funny:

Anyone seen these??
Are they published? on web?

I remember a few AGMs in '00s where people asked for these and the name of an accountant.
Never got a name and there were no accounts or proper records of memberships.
Where are the records of such AGMs, and number of attendees.
How many members attended the last one? 
When was  the last AGM for the NMIPT? When is the next one?

Just ask them for numbers of their members?   They did claim 3000+  but can't provide any proper numbers.
Someone should check how much she was paid and if she was a Trustee at the time?
If so it should be reported.


Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Mechanics Institute - Just what is going on??
« Reply #539 on: May 01, 2015, 01:53:06 PM »
The Mechanics Trust seem to be building their empire, but not with the building you'd expect, but any others they can find http://swindoncentric.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/do-mechanics-have-enough-volunteers.html


Interesting and thought provoking blog. Thanks :)