February 2024 Newsletter

Y Cross Cas-lai Community Benefit Society Ltd

The first signs of Spring are in the air, the daffodils are making a welcome appearance and we have completed a positi first 3 months of trading. We wanted to give everyone a quick update on the latest news and warmly welcome you all to the General Meeting on Tuesday this coming week.

General Meeting
You should all have received Notice of the General Meeting to be held at:

7pm on 27th February 2024 at Mathry Community Hall. SA62 5HD

Thank you for the many expressions of interest and for your proxy forms. We do hope to see as many of you as possible at the meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve gathered the answers to some of your key questions in advance of the meeting next week. We do hope this give you assurance and confidence and we invite your continued support.

Do I have a vote at the General Meeting?
Our Secretary is receiving lots of queries, largely from Women in our community who believed they had their own shares and therefore their own voting rights. If their share application was a joint application, only the first applicant got listed on the members register and the first applicant alone holds the voting rights.
If you are in this situation and you want your own voice and your own vote please register for your own shares using the forms at: –

If you register, and as long we have your cleared funds in account with your own name in the payment reference, we will register you as a shareholder in your own right immediately so that you can vote in the election at the General Meeting, express your interest in taking a bigger role, exercise your proxy and your share certificates can follow. Don’t delay. Please complete any applications asap.

What is happening with new grant applications?
There’s some great news to follow on that. We’ll be announcing that at the meeting on the 27th Feb so please come along.

Why is the Pub Currently Closed?
A number of unacceptable fire and safety risks relating to the pub were brought to our attention. Because we take health and safety and our duty of care to all our employees, neighbours and customers very seriously, we took the immediate and necessary precaution to secure the pub from any unauthorised access until all matters were fully investigated and resolved in close coordination with the required stakeholders. This included asking our staff not to enter the premises.
Please visit the website for the latest update http://ycrossinn.cymru

Why were the locks changed?
A staff member had previously barricaded themselves inside the pub and refused entry to a supplier and members of the Committee. This is a significant access and egress risk and misuse of community premises. When the Committee received notice of an immediate Health and Safety matter, we couldn’t access the pub with the keys provided and had to have them changed. Since then we’ve also had to change more locks to facilitate scheduled supplier visits.

Did the council close the pub?
No, a member of staff closed the pub in the first instance. The Committee kept it closed to investigate matters and ensure any compliance matters were addressed to the satisfaction of all stakeholders and all facts were established.

Was the upstairs full of combustible waste?
There were lots of things being stored and lots of general pub waste, including a huge quantity of empty bottles and rotting food waste both outside and inside the Pub that had not been disposed of responsibly by the pub staff despite clearly set accountabilities and the existence of a waste disposal agreement.

Were the floorboards, gas pipes and wires exposed?
Some floor boards in the unused areas upstairs had been left exposed when the electrical and other remedial works were being carried out. Whist untidy, it didn’t pose a fire risk.

If the council notified that the site wasn’t compliant, why did it take the Directors a week to get involved in such a breach?
The Directors were not informed until the 14th February and took immediate action. It appears that the council were not advised of the existence of key safety documents or the extent of extensive remedial actions taken prior to pub opening that were readily available.

Was the upstairs unsafe?
It was very untidy and had an unacceptable quantity of general pub waste that should have been disposed of properly.

When will it reopen?
We hope in a few weeks time. We will keep everyone informed.

Why did the pub manager leave?
He resigned.

Did the Operations Director micromanage the pub manager?
No, the Pub Manager was empowered to manage the pub, ordering stock, sales targets, hiring and training his staff, and keeping the pub compliant with health and safety standards. All work requests were reasonable and the Society soundly refutes any claims to the contrary as meritless.

Have you appointed a new pub manager?
The interviews are being held this week, we are working hard to have a new pub manager in place soon.

Why wasn’t a Fire Risk Assessment in place for opening?
There was a fire risk assessment in place and an asbestos survey and extensive works were carried out to upgrade the building prior to opening.

Who requested the Extraordinary General Meeting and is it

A number of the shareholders requested an EGM but the Rules don’t provide for such a thing. We only have General Meetings or the Annual General Meeting. The meeting on the 27th February is a General Meeting and yes, it is a valid meeting.

I don’t receive any emails about Society business or Newsletters, what’s wrong?
We may not have you on the mailing list, your mail address could have changed, if you have a “gmail” account check your mail provider settings, they sometimes see “newsletters” to multiple addresses as spam and you may need to adjust your settings. The newsletters are all posted on the website and if you drop a note to enquiries@ycrossinn.cymru they’ll be sure and get you on the mailing list.

When is the General meeting?
27th February 7pm at Mathry Community Centre.

Why is the vote of No Confidence of the Operations Director not on the agenda at the General Meeting?
Our Members are all volunteers who give their time freely for the benefit of the Community and the Rules and our code of conduct do not permit votes of no confidence.

Is the General meeting just for shareholders?
The meeting can be attended by members of the community if they wish to attend although voting in new members will be restricted to shareholders.

Why did the ex-Directors and committee members leave?
That’s really a matter of personal discussion with those ex-directors and committee members. Some have cited personal health reasons and burden of work commitments. Sadly some of them have also expressed deeply defamatory and polarised views and we are saddened at the hurt and pain it has caused in our lovely community. We want to bring the community together in the spirit of
collaboration and reset the Society with a common purpose where everyone has a positive outlook and enjoys being involved and is warmly appreciated for all the contributions they bring.

I have strong views and would like more of a say in how the Society runs, what can I do?
Become a shareholder, fill out your expressions of interest forms and join the Committee or even better, put yourself forward to be elected as a Director. We’re looking for new team members and would be delighted to see comments turned into practical action.

If roast potatoes and heated pies and pasties are provided, why can’t you provide meals?
Good question. You told us in June 23, via our community survey, that you wanted high quality traditional pub food on sale. When we acquired the pub, we discovered that the kitchen was a domestic not a commercial kitchen and needed modification to allow provision of a freshly cooked hot meal service. We approved upgrading the kitchen at the Committee in November and the works have still to be done. We are a bit behind on this and our intent is to get the kitchen refurbished and up and running with high quality pub food as soon as possible. We’ve got menus all prepared to share with you – but we didn’t want to put the cart before the horse and offer you something we couldn’t back up with the actual facility to deliver it. Please bear with us as we get all the facilities in place.

The board of Directors and committee shouldn’t be made up from friends / husbands /wives and personal solicitors
We are a small community of volunteers and Societies like ours often have friends and relatives serving on Boards and Committees. The Rules do allow connected people to serve if the rest of the Board agree it’s not an issue. That is definitely the case with our Board as all appointments were pre-agreed in advance with no unacceptable conflicts reported. The Society also has multi – member signatory processes to ensure that no two connected persons make financial decisions or payments.

Is it true that the pub will become a ‘gastro’ pub?
Absolutely NOT, this is an entirely fake story. It’s also not going to be a Michelin Star “food led” dining establishment either. Our community asked us to provide high quality traditional pub food – and that remains our intent because that’s what you asked us to provide via the community survey. Once we get the kitchen fitted out, we will share the options via actual tasing sessions, not posters, and you can have some fun and let your own taste buds do the deciding at the same time!!

I hear there will be changes made to the pub
Yes, there will be a new upgraded kitchen and some changes to make the pub more accessible, but we need your thoughts and ideas to decide to what extent we do refurbish the pub. We want to consult with you all about what these changes mean and what you would like us to prioritise in your local community pub and hub. That’s why there’s a huge community consultation planned at the meeting to take on board all your views and suggestions.

We can’t wait to take the Society to the next level and we’re so
excited to do it together. Bring a pen to the meeting to cast your
votes and scribble your own ideas down