Conference Speakers Day 3

09:30 - Key Note: Louise Beaton OBE (Action with Communities in Rural England)

Louise is an independent Community Buildings Consultant who has worked with the ACRE Network for over 40 years. Previously, she was ACRE's Village Halls Advisor and then for Action in rural Sussex, remaining as consultant for the ACRE Network. She has written publications, contributed to consultations and draft legislation and research and evaluations of Big Lottery Funded projects. When as Secretary to the National Village Halls Forum, she led the successful campaign for 0% VAT on new halls, ran Network training for village hall advisers, contributed to charity legislation, helped establish Community Action Norfolk and served as a trustee of CDA Hertfordshire and Acting Director of Dorset Community Action.

Louise has been an ACRE board member since 2017. Earlier this year, Louise received an OBE for services to rural communities. She remains central to the advice that ACRE provides to halls during the pandemic.

09:45 - ACRE’s ‘Village & Community Halls Survey 2021’ and ‘Covid-19: Impact Report 2021’ - Dr Tom Archer (Sheffield Hallam University)

Dr Tom Archer is a Research Fellow at Sheffield Hallam University, specialising in the community and voluntary sector. Tom’s doctoral research focused on the collective ownership of housing and other buildings in England and Canada. He has led major evaluations of funding programmes relating to community ownership, alongside various other studies concerning community-led housing and housebuilding. Tom co-authored the influential report Our Assets, Our Future for Power to Change, and also ACRE’s Village Hall Survey and follow-up research on the impact of Covid-19.

10:05 - Community ownership: towards rural revival - Chris Cowcher (Plunkett Foundation)

Chris joined the Plunkett Foundation having spent a decade working in the rural community development sector; with the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and South Gloucestershire Council. He has also worked on national policy directly relating to sustainable communities, whilst working for Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) the national umbrella body for the ACRE Network. At Plunkett Chris is responsible for all the policy and advocacy work, representing the membership of community-owned businesses that the Foundation supports UK-wide.

11:00 - Charity Trading Law - Some key issues for village halls - Dr Gareth Morgan (Kubernesis Partnership LLP)

Professor Gareth Morgan is senior partner of charity consultants The Kubernesis Partnership LLP (now based in Dunbar) and Emeritus
 Professor of Charity Studies at Sheffield Hallam University.

Gareth has advised a very range of small/medium charities on constitutional and accounting issues including a number of village halls and community assocations. His work includes many projects concerned with different types of charity trading and he frequently advises on the interaction between charity law and tax rules.

He is the author of two widely-used books:  The Charity Treasurer’s Handbook (DSC 2017) and Charitable Incorporated Organisations (DSC 2018).