BVH Chairman’s Report, AGM 2013

Annual General Meeting of Beech Village Hall and Recreation Ground Charity

25th October 2013 at Beech Village Hall

I am pleased to report that the Hall has been in regular and continuous use this year, as in the past. It is clearly a successful and valuable part of our local community, providing a resource that we do not have any alternatives for in Beech.

This is evidenced by the Hall Hiring revenue which has risen by 15% this year, as you can see in the financial report, and reflects the increase in the use of the Hall by the local community. This takes the form of private parties and weddings, and also local clubs and associations.

The Hall is also in regular use for the Social Events, that are organised by the Social Committee, on behalf of the village. These events are organised and planned by a small team, whose efforts are well appreciated, but this is not always easy! The detail and work that goes into these is significant.

It is often a little difficult to say in advance how popular any event is going to be, and this adds to the challenge, and very occasionally there even has to be a cancellation at the last minute due to low bookings. Needless to say, if you plan to go to a Social Event for which a ticket is needed, it is best to buy early to guarantee your place, and so that arrangements for the numbers attending can be assessed more accurately. The Summer Party, the Quiz nights, the Bonfire night (2nd November this year), the Christmas Party, and the regular last-Friday-of-the-month Social evenings have all been great fun, and well attended.

We plan to widen the age range of people attracted to using the Hall and are, with the help of local young expertise, investigating how to plan and have social events for teenage villagers too.

The Hall has had no major works to its fabric in the 12 month period ending on 30th June 2013, but has benefited from maintenance work and minor improvements – the annexe, in the entrance and the lavatories being a good example. Again the volunteer force who did the decoration are to be thanked for having the fun of doing it! Our plans for the Hall are to upgrade the car parking area soon, and as an allied piece of work provide a better solution for use of the external area at the rear of the Hall, where we often leave the marquee for parties. The thinking is to have a timber frame structure, easily handled fabric roofing and walls, and lighting permanently installed. We shall also be planning to upgrade the lavatory areas in the main Hall as funds allow.

The main achievement in improved facilities over this past year has been the Play Equipment installed for the children of the Village, on the Green, in August 2013. This has been much loved and used since installation, and thanks must go to the contributors to the cost of this facility (many of who are very generous Beech villagers), and to those who put in so much work in planning and achieving this. The sight of so many happy children and on-looking adults on the Green is very rewarding. Looking to the future, the better use of the Recreation Ground is to be studied so as to provide play and social facilities for the older children of the Village.

The Management Committee has a mix of Trustees and non-Trustee membership. We are sorry that this AGM will see the retirement from the Trustee group of Dr Peter Frost, and Alan and Elaine King.

Alan and Elaine particularly have worked on the Committee for many years as Trustees, and their efforts have been long appreciated. They plan to continue to be active in village community life, and Alan will continue to run the bar at the Hall.

The Committee co-opted a new Treasurer (Anne Whitaker) this year, who has agreed to step forward as a Trustee, for election at this AGM. This also means that finally we have been able to allow Phil Ladds to step away from the work of Treasurer, and our deep thanks go to him, for standing by while a new Treasurer was found.

The Committee also now has, as non-Trustees:

  • Myles Scott, representing the interest of the teenagers in the village
  • Daniel Gordon, who has worked on the acquisition of the Play Equipment
  • Peter Cox looks after the business of Hall hiring with great success
  • Elaine King, notwithstanding her resignation as a Trustee, will continue to attend the meetings to represent the Gardening Club and Beech Ladies

Other Trustees on the Committee are myself, Ian Gibson (Hall fabric and grounds maintenance and improvements) and Malcolm Grace (Inventory and internal facilities management).

I am keen to hear of any nominations for the Management Committee. In particular a member to look after the communications for the Village Hall, with the community, would be most welcome.

The financial situation of the Charity is healthy, and the net income is currently sound, as the annual accounts show. This is important as it allows the Hall to continue in a well maintained state, and to allow for the improvements we plan. The original Charity Bank loan for the refurbishment has now been virtually paid off.

Nick Charman

Trustee, and Chair of Beech Village Hall and Recreation Ground Management Committee