Thank you again to everyone who completed and returned the recent questionnaire. Its object was to help us focus our efforts on the projects which people most supported. Projects will only remain on our agenda if they prove to be viable and financially sound and meet the objectives of the Charity’s governing document. For purposes of clarification I quote these in full. The original donation of the Old Village Hall said that it was to be used for
.. physical and mental training and recreation and social moral and intellectual development through the medium of reading and recreation rooms library lectures classes recreations and entertainments or otherwise as may be found expedient for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Parishes of Great and Little Wigborough in the County of Essex and its immediate vicinity”. If the premises were sold the proceeds were to be “applied either in the purchase of other premises approved by the Committee and to be held upon the trust for the purposes and subject to the provisions hereintobefore set forth or as near thereto as circumstances will permit or towards such other charitable purposes or objects for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Parishes of Great and Little Wigborough as may be approved by [the Charity Commisssion].
Based on declared first choices there were 35.5 supporters for the Church Nave project, 33 for Peldon Village Hall, 20 for the Donated Land and 9.5 for the Investment project. Halves arise from indicating support for two projects equally. The full list of responses, minus personal details but including the many interesting comments made, will be available for study at the 2014 Annual General Meeting.
Given the results the Committee decided unanimously to undertake further work on the Church Nave and Peldon Village Hall projects and to do no further work on the Donated Land and Investment projects.
It is apparent that there are some misunderstandings circulating around the villages and I should like to set the record straight on these.
The questionnaire is a guide for the next stage of our work and not a mandate to implement anything. We cannot proceed with any investment activity without the approval of both the community and the Charity Commission. The process will be that the Committee will make recommendations to the community, which will be asked to vote on them and so define a way forward. If the community supports the recommendations they will then be referred to the Charity Commission asking for them to approve our plans.
The Committee regrets that some residents did not understand the questionnaire or its significance. In total 102 people did. Full details of all the Committee members were provided so that help was available. Some people took advantage of that.
As set out above the proceeds from the sale of the School Lane site have to be used to provide benefits for the Wigboroughs residents as near as possible to those envisaged by the original purchasers of the School Lane site. We use the convenient shorter description of ‘community facilities’ to encompass these. Colchester Borough Council has also made it clear that planning permission to develop the School Lane site will depend on the sale money realised being re-invested in community facilities.
Any suggestion that support for the Peldon Village Hall project involves handing money over to Peldon and then walking away from it is incorrect. If eventually a decision is made by the community, through the voting process, to invest money in the Peldon Village Hall redevelopment project it will be done in a strictly legal manner with merging of the two Village Hall Committees and the shared development and ownership of a Peldon and Wigboroughs Village Hall. This approach has the approval of the Peldon Village Management Committee. With this project money would therefore be invested in the tangible assets of a building and land just as it was originally in School Lane. If years down the track such a new shared hall became derelict or unused there would be legacy money to be recovered by selling that site in a repeat of the School Lane history.