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Chairman’s report September 2013

Chairmans’s Report – September 2013

The Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Committee

How good it was to see so many residents at the AGM in June.

Since then the Committee has met three times.  All Officers were willing to continue in their previous roles so once again we have Melanie Newton as Secretary, John Hutchinson as Treasurer and I continue as Chairman.

We have continued exploring, inasmuch as we can, the potential projects we described at the AGM – the possible use of St Stephen’s Church, the search for green space in the village and the possibility of investing in Peldon’s planned new village hall.

We have discussed and rejected the possibility of using St Nicholas’ Church in Little Wigborough as a community meeting place.  This was suggested at the AGM but we felt that the site was too remote, the access along Copt Hall Lane too dangerous, the approach through Copt Hall’s land inappropriate and the likely ongoing maintenance costs excessive.

Our current focus is very much on preparing for the sale of the land in School Lane.  With professional assistance we are in the process of registering the land.  This has to be done in the name of The Official Custodian, a section of the Charity Commission, which holds the title papers for the site, having been entrusted with them in 1954.

Preliminary discussions have begun with the Planning Department at Colchester Borough Council about our proposed outline planning application.  As a result of feedback at this early stage we shall probably ask for two detached houses on the site.  But there is a way to go before we are in a position to firm up on the application and then share the thinking with residents before proceeding to apply to the Charity Commission for permission to sell the site.

At the AGM we were given a mandate to develop a method of postal voting so that residents unable to attend annual meetings may still vote on the issues raised there.  We are currently working out the details of a process which we hope will be acceptable to the Charity Commission so that we can use it at next year’s AGM.

As a Committee we want to explore more deeply how community life and aspirations for family recreational activities have changed since the old hall was last in use.  We shall be seeking to improve our understanding via a questionnaire and possibly focus groups.  We are mindful that any investment we make must satisfy all the legal constraints laid upon us, be financially sustainable and also deliver appropriate benefits for all the residents of the Wigboroughs.  We do not want to squander the legacy left to us by earlier generations by inappropriate investment.

We have now established a list of e-mail addresses to keep in closer contact with Wigboroughs residents and others who have an interest in our activities.  Please contact me (jinnychrisgale@btinternet.com) if you wish to be added to the list.  We also publish information on the Parish Council’s website www.winstred100.org and this can be found under the Community Section of the Main Menu.

Jinny Gale

Chairman WVHMC

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