Although it was a low turnout for the Parish Hall AGM last night (Friday), those present were united in their admiration for the improvements that had been made. New flooring, ceiling, toilets, decoration and kitchen gained praise from those present.
It was a shame that so few people attended.
Overall this is a lovely building that many hold dear in their hearts but the attendance was disappointing. What caused this is unclear.
Mr Bill Judge as Chairman firstly apologised for no Minutes of the last AGM, also reporting that a Trustee resigned shortly before the meeting.
He went on to outline the details of the excellent refurbishment and focussed strongly on the good work carried out in gaining some new long term bookings, saying:
“Since the Hall has been open, which is about a fortnight, the bookings book is red hot with people phoning up on a daily basis…”.
He went on to stress that there was no aim to make a profit, before giving his thanks to several benefactors who had made the work possible. The kitchen was praised and the new chairs and lighting are an improvement.
Mr Judge acknowledged help from the County Council but the handling of a grant application made to the Town Council was questioned, saying
“We have got to improve our relationship with the Town Council and them with us…”.
There were suggestions from the floor that the Hall could promote its activities through the official town website but the response was that the Hall was not in the business of promoting events itself. The Chairman added that there were also items that should not be on the town site which he disagrees with for which he has been asked for clarification.
As discussion continued the meeting became in part acrimonious as a Whitchurch resident, who has asked several times for a copy of the Hall’s Constitution, enquired why letters and emails had not received responses.
Another resident had also submitted a series of proposals to improve the Hall’s transparency with the community, but these were not discussed.
Most of the existing Committee were re-elected with the responsibilities to be decided at their next meeting. Bill Judge, Phil Cooper and Nick Reynolds expressed interest in being Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.
Discussion and offers
Following the meeting there was some open and constructive conversation between several present, while refreshments were supped.
This website offered to meet with the Chairman to help foster the spirit of working together for the benefit of Whitchurch but Mr Judge declined. It is hoped he reconsiders. It has also offered to provide editorial access so that the Parish Hall can add and edit their own news, in order to assist with their communication and a reply is awaited.