Neale Roberts


Chairman’s Report 2019

Needingworth Village Hall Chairman’s Report – May 2019

During the last year two new members have joined the management committee, namely Noel Grasse and Penny Peart. We now have a group of nine people who work together as a good team. As part of our review of the Trust deed we have contacted relevant societies/parish council and may expect some further interested parties. We would like to reiterate if you know someone who would like to join us on the management committee as a Trustee please let me or a member of our committee know. We meet six times a year and the duties are relatively light.

In July 2018 we held our annual Music Festival again, the weather was kind to us and we managed to raise £5000. Recently in March we had another very successful annual trivia quiz with 115 attendees.  The Music Festival this year will be on the weekend of the 6th July with the Preschool Group joining us on Sunday again to make it a family day. We will offer probably 10 real ales at the bar again, an aspect of the festival which has proven to be popular in recent the years. We will require plenty of volunteers so I hope members of the village will join in, help and enjoy the weekend entertainment.  The security arrangements will be the same as last year with the private security Company Kanazawa. All funds go towards the refurbishment and improvement of the village hall.  

During the last 12 months we have undertaken significant investments alongside minor improvements and maintenance. We have continued the concept of replacing lights as they default with LED equivalents. We have redecorated the hall and the small meeting room. In the latter respect we have decided to make that room the village hall office. The refurbishment of the kitchen has widened opportunities; we have had bookings for wedding receptions, one for three days etc. We had our first ‘pop up dinner’ last July, followed by another 17th April, which was fully booked with 66 covers. Our next is 9th October.

The draft income/expenditure accounts for the year show a surplus. Aside of fund raising our accounts  remain buoyant, partly due to increased room utilisation year on year but with a slightly lower use of the bar facility. This winter the bowls club purchased mats and started indoors bowls twice a week. We hope the improved kitchen will further increase our bookings as we will be able to cater for different groups. We still have vacant periods particularly at weekends and wish to encourage potential hirers to come to us rather than other facilities in the locality. Hopefully, excluding exceptional items, we will continue to be healthy in the forthcoming financial year. We now have a general reserve fund plus reserve funds to cover substantial significant improvements/repairs. The Parish Council no longer makes any direct financial contributions to the Village hall upkeep. 

I am pleased to advise I will be standing down as Chairman of the Trust and hopefully Andy Kilorad will take over. With the support of an overall younger committee I am optimistic for the future.  During my 10 year tenure as Chairman I have overseen considerable changes. My philosophy was to manage the facility as a business, during that time reserves have gone essentially from zero to a significant sum whilst overseeing the refurbishment of the old changing rooms, new chairs and tables, new flooring, storage room extension, refurbished ladies toilet, essentially LED lighting throughout, most recently a new kitchen and in hand a large projector screen in the hall for public use and potential film projections, all individually at a cost of several thousand pounds.  All the latter is in addition to a number of minor improvements and décor. Also not least a new long term lease between the Parish Council and the Village Hall Trust. We will also be making some minor changes to our Trust deed for the future management committee /Trustee association.

One of the top requests by villagers for the CIL monies is the extension of the village hall incorporating a stage and possibly other amenities for the benefit of the community, which I would hope to promote.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Village Hall management committee, whom are proactive and undertake work voluntarily making our village hub as pleasant as it is. We receive many complimentary comments about our Village Hall.

Roy Fountain                                                                                                                      23/05/19                                                          


AGM 2016: Chairman’s Report

Needingworth Village Hall Chairman’s Report – April 2016

This last year is the beginning of a new era with the establishment of a 25 year lease agreed with the Parish Council and a reciprocal arrangement for the utilisation of facilities for the Parish Council office. Subsequently we have also made small changes to our Trust deed/constitution.

During the last year we have had a similar committee and we have welcomed the addition of Andy Killoran. We are still short of a person who can undertake the full role of Secretary which is an important function; currently the secretarial duties are shared. We have a management committee of 9 members inclusive of 8 Trustees. We are always keen to find additional members to join our management committee, please let me or another a member of our committee know if you are aware of anyone, the duties are relatively light.

In June 2015 we held our annual Music Festival, the weather was kind to us this time and we managed to raise £5500. Also last December we organized the Christmas bazaar which contributed a further £620 to our funds. Recently in March we had another successful annual trivia quiz with 113 people attending raising £650 + bar profit of ca £200. We will have the added bonus of two elections this summer which make a useful contribution to our overheads. The Music Festival this year will be on the weekend of 2/3rd July with the Preschool Group joining us on Sunday again to make it a family day, it is their intention to broaden the range of activities. The BBQ was successfully managed by the Scouts who will continue to run the BBQ this year. We will offer 8 real ales at the bar again, an aspect of the festival which has been growing in popularity over the years. We will require plenty of volunteers so I hope members of the village will join in, help and enjoy the day’s entertainment. On the Saturday we will have a police presence. All funds go towards the refurbishment of the village hall and we will endeavour to have more fund raising events in future, please check the villager and notice boards.

During the last 12 months we have completed the refurbishment of the ladies toilet at a cost of £7300 which was part grant funded by WREN. We have also undertaken some improvements to the gents including new sinks/taps, urinal trough, tiling and redecorating. We have repainted the corridor and replaced the ad-hoc lights with LED strips which give a whiter light. We are currently applying for a grant to help with the replacement of all the lights in the hall and pavilion with LED strips, which we have worked out in the long term should significantly reduce energy costs with roughly a 3 year payback on the capital. For some while we have had a low voltage electricity supply to the complex which primarily caused the fluorescent lighting in the hall to flicker. After two years of chasing and several tests and recordings, UK Power acknowledged the problem and have installed a new underground cable spur to the village hall, which seems to have resolved the issue.

We have changed our accounting year end to the 31st December so more time is available prior to our AGM to review and audit the accounts. Our Treasurer will report on the income/expenditure accounts for this nine month year, which has generated a surplus. We should now be self-supporting and unless there is a disaster or large project hopefully we will not have to prevail on the PC for financial support. In order to cover the extra costs like insurance etc we have increased the letting charges to local organisations by 25%, but we have left the letting charges to private functions the same; we have periods available for hire, particularly at weekends and wish to encourage potential hirers to come to us rather than other facilities in the locality. We anticipate, provided that we do not have low returns from fund raising or exceptional costs, we should at least break even this financial year, albeit we now have a general reserve fund and a reserve fund to cover substantial improvements/repairs eg roofing.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Village Hall management committee all of whom have been proactive and undertake work voluntarily to make our village hall complex as pleasant as it is.
We receive many complimentary comments on how nice our facility is.

R J Fountain 12th May 2016

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