We hope this finds you and your family and friends well and making the best of everything with this new way of life and strange times in which we find ourselves.
Thank you very much for being shareholders in the buildings of our community pub in Coverdale. This has been crucial to the survival of the venture in this unprecedented year. We are very grateful to you.
Despite the Lockdown - indeed because of it - the Board have been busy working with our tenants to support them in our Community pub, and at the same time acting in the best interest of all our shareholders.
You may recall that on 20th March 2020, a sudden dictum from the Prime Minister was for all pubs to close that night. Members of the Board who were not already isolating or shielding went into the pub to offer support from the CCP. This support has continued throughout the last 5 months both in person and by the altemative media some people are getting more used to!
The Board of Directors of Coverdale Community Pub Ltd were obviously not allowed to meet in person, but an early telephone conference enabled us all to agree the need to reduce the rent we ask of our tenants, and this has been reviewed regularly. Our end of year accounts are healthy, and there are no debts or outstanding concerns.
We had fortunately been in discussion in 2019 with Keith and Lesley about their lease, which was due to come to an end in July 2020. Following these discussions we offered them a two year extension to their lease, which was accepted and signed by both sides early in 2020. With the benefit of hindsight this was very fortunate - for both sides - as the CCP have had no recruitment costs, and our tenants are secure in their home and with a place to work until July 2022.
There is an attached update with this Newsletter from our tenants Keith and Lesley. This update explains how they have dealt with the situation over the last months, how they have responded to the changes and kept going through all of this.
From the perspective of the customers, Keith and Lesley have been busy keeping the local community fed and watered with takeaway meals and draught fluids throughout Lockdown. This has reflected very well on our tenants, and importantly has been a great advert for our Community pub.
There have been no major outgoings for the CCP. We have taken the opportunity to maintain the exterior of the buildings in the good weather, and Keith and Lesley have maintained the excellent appearance intemally with fresh decorating, as well as keeping the pub looking at its best from the outside with the lovely array of flowers in tubs and boxes.
The Foresters Arms re-opened on the 4th July with the full range of Covid-19 safety guidelines and legal requirements, and the pub has been well supported by locals and visitors. There was even an article in the country week section of the Saturday Yorkshire Post on 25th July which told a bit of our history since 2011 as well as the current situation. We have been delaying this Newsletter, expecting to bring you news of the date of our AGM, which in the last few years has taken place in early September.
However, it has become apparent in the last couple of weeks that there is unlikely to be any further relaxing of the lockdown measures, and perhaps more likely to be a further increase of lockdown measures in different local areas. We are hoping to avoid any local lockdowns in our area of North Yorkshire of course, but some of our more distant shareholders may be affected. lt is also apparent that even with the lockdown release at its fullest as of now, some local people are still not comfortable to visit public or community buildings, and people from out of the dale are not yet travelling, all of which is very understandable.
This would lead to an AGM which was not inclusive to all shareholders. Our Memorial Hall is only permitted to have up to 25 people in the Main Hall because of its size and social distance requirements, so our meeting could not be quorate. we have looked into our Rules which tell us that we should hold the AGM before the end of November, but with an AGM which would be neither inclusive nor quorate we have been looking at alternative methods. Many meetings have been held on Zoom or on other virtual platforms during lockdown, but this would also exclude some of our shareholders, and also be unlikely to ailow meaningful discussions if any were needed.
Your Board has sought advice, and we propose that the papers for the AGM are circulated by letter or email to all our shareholders as usual. Explanations will accompany the papers, and there will be a window of opportunity for you all to submit comments and questions back to us. we will bring these altogether to a Board meeting, find the answers and circulate the information to all the shareholders. we will also be asking you to vote by email or post for any agenda items where a vote is required, and we will inform you all of the outcomes.
This procedure could be created as a new Rule in our constitution as a co-operative, but to change any of our Rules we must hold a quorate general meeting and obtain a two-thirds majority vote of the shareholders at the meeting. We cannot hold such a meeting for the same reasons that prevent us holding an AGM.
We believe that the way described is the fairest method, and that it is in the best interest of Coverdale Community Pub Ltd for the shareholders to accept this proposed system of circulation of AGM information, the possibility of questions and answers, and of voting by email or post. Please let us know if you have any problem with this, thank you.
We are aware that some of you may be in different circumstances, or have moved since last year to a new postal address or changed email address. Please do let us know, and please inform John watson our membership secretary whenever you change postal address, telephone number or email address.
Or by post to: John Watson, Membership Secretary, Fell View, West Scrafton, Leyburn, DL8 4RU
Or by Telephone on: 01969 640241
We are delighted that our community pub is open and viable despite all the events of the year behind us, and our aim is to keep it so. Thank you again for all your support.
An update to our shareholders from Keith and Lesley:
We thought we would take this opportunity of writing to you, our valued shareholders, to let you know how the pub is doing during these interesting times.
Last year had mixed fortunes, with the flooding in July, bookings were down, even though we were not directly affected. November, flooding again, and the message was, North Yorkshire is closed. Frustrating times indeed. December and January were generally good. Then guess what, Floods again in February. However, bookings were still good for the time of year. Then Covid 19 arrived and closed us down.
Lockdown was a strange time. Worrying because we were uncertain as to how we would survive financially. How long lockdown would !ast. What would happen when we re-opened? On the other hand, we were isolated in the beautifulYorkshire Dales National Park, with the best spring on record, and we were in a pub with fresh beer delivered every week (for takeaway). lt could have been worse.
Your committee could not have been more helpful or supportive during this time, for this we are very grateful. Without this support things may well have been a lot more difficult. We have taken advantage of the various offers of assistance from the government. All of which has been very welcome.
We decided to offer takeaway meals and cask beer to the village and beyond. The response was tremendous. Especially Sunday Iunch, (which is being carried on due to popular demand.) We were overwhelmed with the kind and supportive words from customers old and we are pleased to say new.
This was best illustrated by the letter we received from Rishi Sunak, MP, acknowledging what we were doing for the community, even Barney got a mention. A proud moment indeed.
We continued to keep the pub looking pristine, including planting the now annua! display of flowers, which were in full bloom for the re-opening on the 4th July. This was a nervous time, not only did we not know if people were ready to come back to the pub, but the village was also filling up with strangers from all over the country.
Whereas it is true that some people continue to be cautious, we have taken all steps to keep both our customers and staff as safe as possible. Our rooms are now open, and bookings are looking healthy throughout August and September.
The Government's Eat out to Help out scheme, has been a great success. Monday to Wednesday have been fully booked and this looks as if it will continue for the remainder of the offer. We are also looking at ways to keep the momentum going into September with an offer of our own.
With no domino or darts league this year, we may be in for a quiet winter. However, many people are not willing to risk air tavel yet. Staycations may yet save the day.
Once again, our sincere thanks to our committee for their continued support, and indeed to our loyal customers old and new.
Keith and Lesley