St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with

Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters

Preamble This is a desk based assessment of the implementation of Health & Safety legislation in the St Austell Masonic Hall, with special relation to the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Acts. It also includes an assessment of the structure of the presently constituted Masonic Hall Trust, with recommendations for possible incorporation in a future redrafting. Introduction The basis of this Strategic Review, is the document issued by the Province of West Lancashire, entitled A Code of Practice for the Management of Masonic Halls published in January 2009, hereinafter referred to as “CoPMH”. CoPMH is a comprehensive guide to the workings and structure of the Masonic Hall network in the Province of West Lancashire. According to the United Grand Lodge of England Masonic Year Book 2010-2011 there are 395 Lodges in that Province, compared to 80 in the Province of Cornwall. Likewise the Directory of Lodges and Chapters 2006 shows that in the Province of West Lancashire has 42 Masonic meeting places, compared to 33 Masonic meeting places in the Province of Cornwall, although it is unclear, in both cases how many are actual purpose built Masonic structures, as opposed to buildings merely used for Masonic purposes. Liverpool Masonic Hall has 88 Craft Lodges meeting there alone without taking into consideration the other side degrees that meet on such premises, although it should be noted that several of the Masonic Buildings in the West Lancashire Province have multiple temples. Hall Management: “Hall Trustees” and the St Austell Masonic Trust The constitution of the St Austell Masonic Trust, as detailed in the 2002 (as amended) Constitution is wisely vested in Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496, who hold such building, for the benefit of Freemasons in St Austell, and who use the facilities afforded by it. As the Premier Lodge in St Austell, it is right and proper that the members of this Lodge are the sole Trustees‟ of the building. The remaining three other Craft Lodges, together with the two Royal Arch Chapters, one Mark Lodge, one Royal Ark Mariners Lodge and Rose Croix Chapter, (or any other Craft Lodge or side degree who may at anytime begin to use the building) as tenants, and pay such fees as are determined from time to time by the Building Consultative Committee, in conjunction with the “Hall Trustees”. No other Craft Lodge, or side degree can claim the use of the building as a right, and the “Hall Trustees” may at their absolute discretion demand that such Lodge or side degree find alternative accommodation to hold their meetings, but in doing so, shall use the normal accepted Masonic etiquette, and shall make such decision, if, but only if, all normal and accepted means of resolution or mediation shall have failed, or the continued use of the building would lead the hall Trustees‟ to breach or violate any obligation imposed upon them under any Regulation or Statute in force, at the time the decision shall be made, or if the Page 1 of 9

St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters

continuation of any Lodge of side degree caused or continued to cause such obligations to be abrogated or violated. The decision of the “Hall Trustees” shall be final and conclusive. We have not seen the 1922 original document that vested the building in Trustees‟ hands, but can well imagine the construction of that conveyance when it was written. The interpretation given on it by W.Bro. Peter Browning, in his Commentary upon “A Code of Practice for the Management of Masonic Halls in the Province of West Lancashire” written in January 2012, hereinafter referred to as “ComCoP”, states that the 1922 conveyance was very specific as to how the Temple building should be managed, it is therefore important that any amendments or preferable redrafting of the entire Constitution, takes into account the wishes of the original members of Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496, from ninety years ago. Should a redrafting of the Hall Trustees‟ Constitution be deemed to be necessary, it would be advisable to redefined the basis for membership of the Trustees‟, and I will aver to suggest the following as a template. Hall Trustees‟ (who will be able to vote at meetings, and whom the building and other property will be vested in) to be the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Past Masters of Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496. Other Installed Masters in Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496, may sit on the “Hall Trustees”, but shall not be deemed to be Trustees‟ and shall not be eligible to vote, but may speak and put motions. As it presently stands, this will mean that, excluding the incoming Worshipful Master and his two Wardens, there would be 17 Past Masters eligible to be Trustees‟, and 5 other Installed Masters in, but not of, Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496 who could sit on the “Hall Trustees” It would be advisable to state on the face of any redrafted document, that the Treasurer and Secretary of the Trustees‟ must themselves be either be Past Masters or current eligible Wardens of Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496 This would make the “Masonic Hall Trustees” as a body, to be comprised of 25 members, 20 of which would have a vote. In addition to the above, I would suggest that each of the other 3 Craft Lodges, elects one Installed Master to serve on the “Hall Trustees”, for a period of three years, without reelection to the same, unless a period of 18 months has elapsed since the person retired from the “Hall Trustees”. Such elected brethren would not be entitled to vote. The power of co-option should remain as a prerogative of the Trustees‟, but such power should be used sparingly Hall Management: The Building Consultative Committee The Secretary of the „St Austell Masonic Hall Building Consultative Committee‟, hereinafter referred to as the BCC, would be an ex-offico member of the “Hall Trustees”, but would not be entitled to vote unless he was a Past Master or current Installed Warden of Peace & Page 2 of 9

St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters Harmony Lodge No. 496. There should be no time limit on the holding of the position, but the Trustees‟ would be advised to make such appointment on a yearly basis, and for such a person appointed to be deemed an “office-holder”. The „gift‟ of the appointment should ideally rest in the hands of the “Hall Trustees”, as opposed to the BCC itself. The BCC should consist of a Chairman (who should be the same such person as the Chairman of the “Hall Trustees”, but who shall be permitted to ask any other Trustee to chair such meeting on his behalf), and one representative from each Craft Lodge and other side degree that meets in the Hall. The Chairman and Secretary of the St Austell Masonic Club would be ex-offico members of the BCC. Nothing would prevent any representative from representing another Craft Lodge or side degree at one and the same time, although it would be advisable that each such side degree or Craft Lodge was so represented by a separate and distinct person. The “Hall Trustees” have the right to veto the appointment of anyone appointed to the BCC. Employment of a Caretaker and Cleaning of the Hall The employment of a caretaker, who is in receipt of emoluments, places several separate and distinct problems on the “Hall Trustees”. Such person, who must be paid in accordance with the Working Time Directives, and the National Minimum Wage legislation, irrespective of the fact that his employment is deemed to be either an honorary appointment, and thus in receipt of an honorarium, or as an employee subject to National Insurance, PAYE and or inclusion in a Stakeholder Employer Pension Scheme. The “employer” for this purpose, is the “Hall Trustees”, so I would respectfully take issue with W.Bro. Browning‟s interpretation, in his “ComCoP” analysis. Peace & Harmony Lodge, No. 496, in this respect is a tenant of the “Hall Trustees”, in the same way that the other Lodges and side degrees are, and as such pays the same such fees. The “Hall Trustees” would find it more advantageous, if they ceased to employ a caretaker, and instructed professional cleaners (who are insured and referenced) to undertake the cleaning of the hall. We are not privy to the current contractual arrangements that pertain to the current Caretaker, nor are we privy to his remuneration, but working on the basis that as a part time employee, who works around 18 hours a week and paid at the National Minimum Wage, then we are looking in the region of £108.00 per week Gross. The Treasurer of the “Hall Trustees” would therefore be saved much of his precious time from doing payroll for this employee. On researching this report, we have found a company called The Clean Team, based in the St Austell area, who are insured and can provide references. If they were invited to the hall maybe we could get a costing, which would enable the janitorial services in the hall to be budgeted for in the next fiscal year. The advantage of employing an outside agency to provide janitorial services, is that it would enhance our due diligence regime and move the shifting of „blame‟.

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St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters The Masonic Hall, as it currently stands, is not as clean as it could be, nor is it cleaned to a standard normally found in comparable such buildings. Such observation are not in any way made as direct criticism of the current employee, but are more an observation with regards to known facts.

Due Diligence It is envisaged that a „Due Diligence‟ plan be written by and for the BCC, to incorporate all the various requirements of Health & Safety that are incumbent upon the BCC and the “Hall Trustees”, the later more importantly, as it is this body that includes the persons to whom the legal liability for the building rests. As was written above with regards to the caretakers‟ position, due diligence is the means which enable the Trustees‟ to protect themselves from any consequences arising from the omission of any statutory duty, by showing that a properly written plan exists to cover all predictable circumstances that may arise or occur from the actions, omissions and negligent actions of any such employees (either deliberate or negligently). With specific reference to the benefits of not having a caretaker employed by the “Hall Trustees”, I shall dilate on what has been written above. Considerable advantage is had by employing an outside contractor, to undertake the day-today cleaning of the “Club areas” and the rest of the building, as it moves the due diligence aspects away from the Trustees‟ and onto the contractor themselves. For example, should an Environmental Health Inspector inspect the kitchen and or the bar area as it currently stands, then it is more than likely that we would be admonished for the general state of the kitchens, and in particularly the ovens, the insides of which leave at lot to be desired. The impact of which, especially if a „closure order‟ was served, would be drastic and severe for those Lodges and other side degrees which dine in the hall. It would almost certainly mean that the License for the consumption of intoxicating liquors on the premises, would be revoked. However, if the “Hall Trustees” employed an outside contractor to undertake the cleaning of the hall, then we would have a defence against any inspectors‟ report which, while not absolving the Trustees‟ for all blame, would limit what blame could be shouldered by them, if it was proved that the cleaning of the kitchen (and of course the rest of the building) was carried out by an independent contractor. In such cases, admonishment would likely be the only penalty, or at worse at fine, which of course would be recoverable from the outside contractor, if it could be established that they failed to clean to the standard expected in a food environment. Sadly, the world in the 21st century has become one of „blame culture‟, and neither St Austell, nor the Masonic hall can avoid this. However, steps can, and should be taken to protect the integrity of institution in which the “Hall Trustees” serve.

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St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters Gas Safety In recent weeks there has been a case of an incident in which it was found that one of the gas cookers had been left turned on and the flame having become extinguished, allowed gas to escape and build up in the hall. By good fortune, members arriving for a rehearsal of Tewington Chapter No. 5698, on unlocking the building, had the common sense to take steps to ventilate the building, before (rather bravely) continuing to hold their rehearsal. It does not need stating that there could have been a catastrophic explosion, which may have killed many (including our tenants in the flats next door), and destroyed the historic building. Not only would this have resulted in adverse publicity for Freemasonry as a whole, but it could have resulted in Criminal proceedings of the Trustees‟ by the Health & Safety Executive. It would therefore, be desirable to have some type of „cut-out‟ switch that could be employed by those locking up at night, that would isolate the gas to the cookers, but still allow it run the boiler. Alternatively, serious consideration should be given to alternative means of cooking in the hall, either by electric, oil or some other such means. It is suggested that a notice is placed on the inside of the front door, or the inside of the vestibule door, which reads “Have you checked that you’ve turned off the gas cookers?” or some other such suitable wording. It would also be desirable that each Craft Lodge and side degree, takes steps to advise who ever locks the building for them, that it is their responsibility to check the kitchen and the appliances contained therein, to ascertain that all such appliances are switched off. COSHH Assessments and Health & Safety Risk Assessments COSHH is the acronym for Control of Substances Hazardous to Health, and encompasses a wide variety of assessments. It is always preferable to record, in writing the assessment of any COSHH assessment, notwithstanding the fact that the particular assessment is not an „officially determined assessment‟ as detailed in legislation. The assessments of which are applicable to our building we will endeavour to assess below. The Kitchen Floor The surface of the kitchen is particularly hazardous, especially when wet, when the surface, if not dried immediately, becomes akin to a skating rink. This is particularly dangerous as it is possible that someone could slip while carrying an item containing hot liquid or substances from the cookers to or from the working surfaces and or sink, which could result in serious injury. An injury to one of our members would be serious enough, but considering the fact that a majority of the users of the kitchen are outside caterers‟, the “Hall Trustees” have a legal obligation to ensure that the working environment is as safe as can be possible. Page 5 of 9

St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters An accident occurring in the above scenario, would have no due diligence defence, as the criteria for all possible defences would not be applicable. We would suggest that the floor of the kitchen be covered with non-slip surface that is acceptable to the Environmental Health Department, to whom we would suggest be invited to give their assessment of the situation at the earliest opportunity. Generally speaking, such departments are only too happy to offer free advice, and by requesting a visit as part of our due diligence regime, would demonstrate our commitment to a safe and healthy working environment. Lavatories The urinal trough in the gent‟s lavatory, is leaking, and has been leaking for some time, while in the short term it would be desirable to be seen by a plumber, this type of urinal is well known to harbour microbiological organisms under the rim, as the water jets do not reach the underside of the urinal lip. Such microbiological organisms are more problematic to brethren whom are rather short but well endowed, and need to „hook‟ themselves over the edge of the urinal rim. Porcelain urinals are by far the more hygienic variety of urine catching appliances than the metallic variety, although, should the metallic trough urinal be preferred, then it is advisable to have one with no front, just a recessed base to allow the flow of urine to travel to the drainage outlet. An intermittent flow of water at regular intervals should be maintained at all times which will improve sanitation and reduce odours from accumulating. The water heater in the ladies lavatory appears to have a broken spout, the rest of the appliance appears to be in working order, it is suggested that a water retardant adhesive be used to reaffix the spout to the water heater, or to replace the water heater. The Bar Serving Area This area, whilst far from ideal, should have its flooring adjusted in the same manner as the kitchen, as the surface becomes dangerous when wet, although the risk of serious injury is diminished by the fact that, although there are risks involved with broken glass, the risks are not so profound as with the kitchen. Nonetheless, a more suitable floor covering would be desirable. The Anteroom The anteroom to the Temple, should have reasonable free moving space to enable uninhibited access from the Temple in the case of a fire or other such emergencies, when it become a necessary to move or marshal large numbers of persons from a confined area. The table in the middle of the floor should be positioned off centre of the room, to enable persons leaving the Temple‟s standard doorway to avoid meeting its edges, which although rounded in shape, could impede the progress through the anteroom, especially in the dark, and which may cause infirm brethren to fall onto the table, or more worryingly directly ahead, which could cause a „pile-up‟ of bodies on the floor.

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St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters The Temple Notwithstanding the fact that no one has crashed through ceiling, after failing into the grave in the floor, in the 112 years since the building was constructed, in terms of health & safety, this posies the largest „threat‟. The most logical solution would be to highlight the edges of the grave, with green fluorescent tape, which would delineate the edges, and prevent an unwary steward or other such person from falling into the grave in the dark during the ceremony. It would also be advisable to check on the supports that hold the plank of wood that supports the body, when it is lowered into the grave. The outside edge of the Secretary‟s table has an extremely sharp edge, which could do with being rounded off. The Royal Arch carpet would be advisable to be cleaned to remove the build up of flammable substances from accumulating on its surface and its fibres, from accidental spillages of inflammable liquids thereupon. As long as a formal fire assessment concludes that the Temple and its associated single means of escape is deemed to be sufficient, then I would aver to suggest that any additional associated means of access or escape be initiated only after a thorough review as to the implication associated wherewith the proposal, in terms of its impact on the integrity of the building, and the visual impact it would cause to an architecturally and artistically interesting surroundings. We would suggest that, notwithstanding the alteration of the law in October 2006, when the Legislative Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force, the occasional professional opinion be sought from the local fire authority, at least once in every five years. Rear Car-parking Area This area has an accumulation of building materials and other detritus, that is unsightly, and could be used as weapons to break glass and or cause damage to the Masonic hall and nearby buildings and residential properties. A level surface which has tarmac, or some other such surface would improve the area immensely Masonic Flats We have not had the opportunity to observe the layout of the said building, and the associated division of the property into separate dwellings, but the “Hall Trustees” need to keep in mind its external properties when carrying out any risk assessment analysis.

Fire Safety It would be advisable that a „fire escape plan‟ be enacted, this should be read at the start of every meeting held in the Temple, but especially at an Installation, when it would be desirable to read the short „plan‟ after the Provincial dignitaries have entered and taken their seats. Page 7 of 9

St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters

A short resume is all that is needed of what to do in the case of a fire, and where to assemble is all that needs to be read out by the Secretary/ Scribe E/ Recorder , in a similar manner in which one of the Deputy Grand Director of Ceremonies announces before the start of Grand Lodge. A logical assemble point would be down by the bus stop in front of the Cornwall House flats, on this side of South Street. Whilst the opposite side of South Street, at the junction with Duke Street is a larger assembly point, there is a busy main road intersecting between the Masonic hall and the Duke Street junction. This may create problems for those who are infirm, and cannot „dart‟ across the road as a more able body could, although, there still is a risk from being hit by traffic coming fast from the right. The BCC should compile a safety procedure, for issue to each Director of Ceremonies and or Secretary/Scribe E/Recorder. Such safety procedure should be displayed in a prominent position in the building, preferably on both floors, and be subject to periodic review. Electrical Safety Wiring and other fixed electrical installations should be assessed at least once in every five year period, and other portable electrical appliances should be the subject of annual testing, the BCC should draw up a list of appliances to be tested, and ensure that such appliances and any new or replacement appliances, or other such appliances that may be brought into the hall by others are so tested and the results so communicated to the “Hall Trustees” Food Safety and Health & Hygiene Food safety law in the United Kingdom is rather a complex affair, spread over several agencies, from local government to central government. In terms of the Masonic hall, this will apply mainly to the kitchen and the bar area, in addition to the sanitation arrangements in the lavatories‟ in the building. It would be advisable that the maintenance of acceptable standards of hygiene in the kitchen be formally part of the St Austell Masonic Club remit, as the kitchen is so interwoven with the bar area, and both are inspected by the same agency. The outside caterers should be able to produce for inspection, if requested, a copy of their certification issued by Cornwall Council, and the BCC, in conjunction with the licensee should ensure that any outside cater who undertakes the preparation and or heating of substances for human ingestion, should be duly qualified to do so. The “Hall Trustees” should empower the licensee to be able to refuse access to any such cater who fails to meet the above conditions. The “Hall Trustees” will ensure that any reported defect, omission or unauthorised addition reported via the licensee and or the BCC to the “Hall Trustees” is dealt with without undue delay or protraction. The Chairman of the St Austell Masonic Club, W.Bro. Paul Dunn should be empowered to undertake or cause such repairs to be undertaken, without further recourse to the BCC, up to a pre-determined cost limit. Page 8 of 9

St Austell Masonic Hall: Strategic Review on the constitution of the Masonic Hall Trustees and provision of compliance with Health & Safety Legislation and other inter-related matters

Conclusion This Strategic Review has covered the main essential points of note in the building with regards to implementing a health & safety plan, but we consider that the BCC could use parts of this review as the basis for a comprehensive review, which should be dealt with a their next meeting. Any health & safety plan together with such due diligence plan should be submitted to the “Hall Trustees”, by the BCC for enforcement. The conclusions with regards to the restructuring of the constitution of the “Hall Trustees” should, after discussion by the current Trustees‟ and “Hall Trustees”, be discussed at the next opportunity at Peace & Harmony Lodge No. 496, as it thought practicable.

Marc J Quigley-Ferriday January 2012

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