CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR THE MEMORIAL HALL AGM
Once again we are pleased to report the trend of previous years that our hall is in a very strong position and proving ever popular, weekday bookings run pretty close to full capacity apart from Fridays with an average of about 3 bookings each weekend. At the start of the year we changed our cleaners as we were not happy with the company we used, our new arrangement works much better with a more personal approach as they live in the village this proving cost effective in the process. We also purchased 4 chairs and a table for the entrance lobby paid for by the Fundraisers and arranged to have acoustic panels fitted in the committee room since in the main hall they had proved so successful.
During the summer we had the lobby decorated and the badminton club repainted the lines marking their court.
In June we decided to go ahead with the store/office extension to the rear of the building the cost of which was thought to be around £45k. This was approved by both Planning and Building Regulations. We sent the plans to 17 local builders and spoke to many more but we have received 3 quotes back recently and missed the deadline to apply for a community grant. The higher quotes now put a question mark against this project as without a grant it leaves us financially stretched
The gardens have become very much a big part of our hall and we are investing in plants and bulbs annually. One of our helpers constructed the chestnut retaining fence to help deal with the banked area which is affected by the regular flooding from the Maidstone Road.
We now have paid help with grass cutting and hedges trimming during the growing season. A gardener is carrying out general maintenance two hours a week. We do still rely on a steady team of volunteers, led by Jane Jewitt once a month on a Saturday morning, and the Hardy Plants Society; to both groups we are very grateful because without them maintenance would prove a costly exercise.
Also during the year we set out clearly defined spaces in the overflow carpark. This now allows a much better awareness of parking spaces. We have painted white lines to the parking bays as requested last year. After the travellers’ saga we felt it prudent to install the height barrier to help restrict access to both them and lorries which occasionally park here.
Our hall, nearly four years on, is in a strong position and that is mainly down to a group of trustees who are passionate about this building and work hard to make it a success and I would like thank them all, with added thanks to both Barry Baker, bookings Secretary, and John Acott, Treasurer, who have held the most demanding roles.
David Vallance, Chairman of Trustees, 883422