Chairman’s Report at the AGM of the Village Hall Management Committee 18 November 2015
I am very pleased to be able to give my report to this Annual General Meeting which reflects on a very busy and rewarding year. It has been a year in which we have continued to maintain and improve the hall and its surroundings made possible through general hire income and the generosity of the village through donations and its support of our own fund raising activities.
Our social and fund raising sub committee has had another busy and successful year. The Dad’s Army evening in April at the Village Hall suitably decorated inside and out, with entertainment by the “Bombshells”, was enjoyed by all with the “home guard “ showing up in force accompanied by land army girls, nurses and the never seen on television, Elizabeth Mainwaring. In October all manner of spooky characters joined in fun and games and dancing at the Halloween party in a transformed Hall. Meanwhile bingo has continued on a quarterly basis and has been very well supported. Thus the committee has achieved two of its objectives – to raise funds for improvements to the Hall and to help towards enhancing the spirit of the community which we could not have achieved without the wonderful support and enthusiasm of the village.
We have been very fortunate again in receiving donations and I will take this opportunity of thanking the History Group for not only hiring the Hall but donating some of the proceeds from its entertaining evenings.
We continue to promote the Hall and its facilities for hire by the community and beyond. The Hall is provided and maintained for the benefit of the village and of course hire charges are our main source of revenue. Importantly, we have, by way of the Parish Mag asked the village what it wants and expects from the facilities of the Hall. A pleasing number of completed questionnaires were received giving the committee most helpful guidance which we will be discussing later tonight and which we will be considering and acting upon in due course.
On the subject of maintenance, the property sub committee has had yet another busy year. Working closely with the Parish Council and in particular Mick Sargeant who worked and supported us throughout, we have installed new land drainage and resurfaced the car park. Much needed high level remedial work to the building has been completed; my thanks to Mike Webster for making a new high level louvre panel for us; external redecoration has been undertaken and my sincere thanks to all those villagers who helped, not only those who applied masonry paint to walls and quite a bit to themselves but to those who cleared and tidied the grounds. Also we have erected a new shed which houses the old plastic chairs which are available for use by the village – do speak to any committee member or caretaker Andrew Christy if you would like to borrow them.
A big thank you to Malcolm Kemp for mowing the grass in the Village Hall field throughout the season, to Keith Wilson and Mike Hood for looking after the electrical side of things, to Martin Seabrook for keeping an eye on our web site and to Andrew Christy our caretaker and bookings clerk.
We must also thank our auditor, Phil Bendall, who has worked with the treasurer for many years but who has decided that he will now stand down.
On the broader side of management and so that we can move forward on a sound basis, we have been working towards amending our constitution of 1936 such that it reflects the social structure of Goldhanger today and is fit for purpose in 2015 and some years to come. This is not quite as simple as it sounds and our particular thanks go to Sue Shepherd from the Rural Community Council of Essex who has been our guide and mentor throughout.
Turning to the management committee itself, tonight there are three long standing members standing down – Julie Cook who has given a great deal of enthusiasm and energy particularly on the social and fund raising committee, Martin Chellingsworth who has kept us in order when it comes to the all important health and safety side of things and last but by no means least Martin Gebel who has been our treasurer managing our financial affairs for so long that even he’s not sure how long it is but it’s about ten years. But also tonight we welcome Jill Crooks and Anton Jermy who have been working with the committee for most of this year. We also welcome members appointed by our constituent bodies – Kim Evans (PCC), Sandra Smith (WI), Steve Ellis ( Parish Council) and Clive Cheeseman (Friendly Brothers).
And now to the forthcoming year. Responding to the comments made in the questionnaire we now have early design ideas to extend the building to provide modern toilet facilities with improved disabled access incorporating a much needed entrance foyer designed to improve the function of the Hall and to make it more appealing. In conjunction with these works we intend to re roof the whole of the building.
This is a major project and one which will take some time to achieve. Initially we will be seeking funding and we are under no illusions that this will be easy but we believe that with the guidance of Sue Shepherd from RCCE our aim is achievable. In parallel we will be developing the design, seeking estimates of cost and obtaining approvals. We will keep the village informed of progress
The social and fund raising committee is already planning an event to mark the Queen’s ninetieth birthday in April next year in true Goldhanger style. Bingo will continue into the Spring. All our events will be publicised in the Parish Magazine, on our web site and on village notice boards well in advance.
My renewed thanks to the Committee – to Debbie, the two Martins, Kaye, Barbara, Helen, Julie, Steve, Andrew and Catherine and also to Jill and Anton for their energy and enthusiasm and also my thanks to the village for its support.
Chris Joslin, Chairman