Chairmans Report to AGM 29th June.

Chairmans Report to AGM 29th June from David Young, endorsed by new Chairman Larry Hyett.

What a year (or 2) to report on. Covid has taken its toll on the Village Hall, it has remained closed in compliance with Government instructions. That is apart from weekly use this year by the Primary School and the Local Elections.

In that time we have had Larry & Jacqui Hyett resign their respective officer posts to be filled by Paul Redstone who is currently Treasurer and Secretary, and myself self stepping up from Vice-Chairman to Chairman. We have a new caretaker/Cleaner in Kirsty Doorey who has taken to this role with great enthusiasm. Ensuring the hall remains Covid secure.

I would like to thank all the Trustees for their continued support in attending the monthly meetings via the Parish Council’s Zoom account. In particular, thanks are due to both Larry & Jacqui who have held the reigns for a couple of years. Paul Redstone has also been a great help in moving the booking system to a fully automated process, a new website for the Village Hall all at the same time as managing our Accounts and applying for numerous grants. Despite having a very reduced number of bookings our Income line has never looked better. I will leave Paul to update on the figures which were reviewed by Richard Farhall.

Rother District Council have also been very supportive in awarding the Hall a grant to purchase some new Go-Pak tables, the Hall now has good Chairs and Tables to allow hirers to be at comfortable ease. The District Council has made a good number of awards to the Hall which has enabled us to remain afloat despite not being open to the General Public. Trustees are thankful for this support.

Of course, the really big news is that Trustees are now looking into the future of the Village Hall. We would be negligent if we chose to ignore the fact that the Hall is getting run down with ongoing remedial work costing at least £1,000 per occasion. The heating broke down last year and we had to close the hall while second-hand parts were sourced and fitted. Not really up to modern Gas safety standards. The roof, with asbestos and concrete continuing to leak in several places, again costing yet more money in undertaking patching work. The Foyer has suffered due to the ingress of rainwater and has had a full redecoration, again costing more money. Locks have had to be fitted to doors to make the rooms Covid secure. A challenge with doors that are not fire safe. Trustees have established a working group to seek ballpark figures and options to take our well used Hall into the next few decades. Trustees will be presenting its finding to the Parish along with indications as to how we can fund the much needed next steps. The Parish Council, via Anne Alecock, has been very supportive in the supply of grants to the hall along with establishing a war chest for the future. We are eternally grateful for this support and it is comforting to trustees to know the Parish Council continues to regard the Hall as a central part of our Parish life.

Looking forward we have seen, Zumba, Pilates and the Art Club return along with an early expression of interest about the use of the rear committee rooms. Yes, they need a new door and some new locks! Hopefully, the Lunch Club will return to the monthly feast.  Anybody body fancy cooking for 30 people once a month? A few Jumble Sales are also looking into their welcome return.

We are desperatly in need of some new trustees and members of the management committee. You do not have to be a Trustee to lend a hand or be part of the committee. The current Trustees are all getting on in life, while all are happy to continue we do have to think about the future. With exciting times ahead your Village Hall needs your support more than ever.

Paul Redstone I know will be standing down as Treasurer and Secretary due to his ESCC councillor role but will, I am sure, remain as a Trustee. David Bowles, from the Parochial Parish Council, is currently co-opted as a Trustee will become a representative Trustee if the constitution is changed as recommended to you. Welcome aboard David.  As major users of the hall, we would love to see the school play a more active role in what is their PE and Play Hall.