Minutes of Trustee Meeting – Jan 2020



Present:  David Hope. Jane Hope (Minutes), David Rule, Tessa Watt (Chair), Adam Hart (representing Council present for part of the meeting.)



Action By When By


1. Actions from last meeting
Dues to Europe.  JH is working on a fair system of dues sent to Shambhala Europe. Finance team to agree the decision. JH

Finance team

2. Approval of Accounts    
DH and DR approved and signed the Annual Accounts.

There is a projection of £9000 loss this year – this includes redecoration of the main hall.  DR pointed out that if we deduct the loss of £9000 and also the reserve amount (which we need to keep) of £30,000 from our Savings account of £53000, it would leave £14000 which is very little to go forward with.

Membership and programme income are down and the Trustees recommend that the Finance Team make a further substantial reduction in dues paid to SE

It was noted that dues income has decreased and will probably continue to decrease. .  Revenue from room hire has increased because of Karuna Training but they will not contribute further)

Honorariums – there was large variation in amounts paid.  Finance team will work out a new system and will inform P&E.














Finance team to check


Finance team






Finance team

3. Appointment of New Trustees    
Angie Newton will replace David Rule – announced on Shambhala Day.  Tessa Watt will retire at Harvest of Peace.  The intention is to appoint 2 new people.

The statement on diversity will be sent to Adam Hart and the criteria for becoming a Trustee will be revised.




Who will do this?

4. Proposal to Disaffiliate from Shambhala Europe/International    
There was a long and detailed discussion on disaffiliation from SE/SI.  It was felt premature to consider disaffiliation.  There was no unanimous view but issues that came up were:

The Boards letter about the Sakyong teaching Rigden Abhisheka was extremely unwelcome news for many.  There was criticism of the way the decision had been reached and many thought that it was unskilful  that the Process Team had not been involved.

The Council felt it was a priority that the Centre should adopt a position on the current situation.  The Shambhala brand has been damaged and if we bring newcomers in, they need to know what our view is.

All of these could be raised on Shambhala Day and an Open Space meeting could happen at a later time.  A possible outside facilitator was proposed who has excellent experience.  Her name is Roma Iskandar (Note later from JH – I know of her from my work life – she is very well respected in the child bereavement world) and has considerable expertise in ‘Open Space’ meetings and decision making.  It was agreed to hold ‘Open Space’ meeting in April and feedback from that would be fed back to the Trustees.  At that point we may be in a position to consider disaffiliation.

The Trustees urged the Council to write a letter to the Board/Sakyong (?) urgently.













Who will invite?









5. Risk assessment and insurance provision
An old risk assessment on the physical space conducted by Keith Ryan is still relevant.  Other risk assessment issues to be worked on by Health and Well-Being team  

Health and Well-being

6. Review of Team Governance
Adam Hart reported that communication has been a major issue – it is not clear how members access the Minutes of team meetings.

Some teams are large (Diversity) but can be flexible on how much they do.  Others, like P & E have a large workload that is not flexible.  P & E to look at their structure.

There will a review in March of the Team structures.





P & E team

7. Proposed Financial Strategy    
There was discussion on Adam’s financial strategy paper.

Austerity Measures – cutting the amount paid to SE.

Further re-negotiation with SE gives us some leverage on what happens in Europe.

There was agreement on stopping payment to the Oxford Centre

Revised budget to be produced taking in all the cuts

Finance team to discuss pricing of programmes/volunteer pricing





Who informs?


Finance Team

8. Renewal of Lease    
We were advised by Paul V to go to Section 25.  Issues that came up were: Could we sub-let?  Advisability of 7-year lease, can we sell it on?

It was agreed that Jez would have informal discussion with Oddfellows not mentioning the redecoration at this stage






9. Importance of Marketing    
The Council will be asked to look at marketing.

Fiona Holland and Louise Somerville have been vaguely interested in the past.  Could they be involved?



Who will ask?

10. Trustee Involvement in Decision Making    
There will be a joint Council/Trustee meeting on a 6-monthly basis Who will inform?
11. Date of Next Meeting (Joint meeting with Council)    
There will be a joint meeting with the Council in April.  Doodle poll will be used to fix date. JH