SECOND PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE
OF THE PARISH HALL
6th February 2019
The meeting was attended by 24 people including both churchwardens. Two people had to leave the meeting part way through.
Mike Murkin and Simon Peel (churchwardens) led the meeting as the hall is the responsibility of the PCC (Parochial Church Council). The PCC wish to involve the village in discussion and any plans that may emerge for the parish hall.
- Background to the meeting
Mike summarised the work done over the years to consider the future of the hall, he highlighted previous refurbishments and ongoing general maintenance. He outlined the outcome of the last meeting held on February 7th 2018 notes of which were available.
- Surveyor’s survey
Mike reported that he had made two successful grant applications to fund a specialist surveyor’s report. Advice was obtained re possible surveyors. Two quotes had been obtained and the PCC commissioned a survey by Shattock Associates. This cost just under £1k meaning a further £500 is currently potentially available for some further survey related work if required if not it will need to be returned.
The survey has been available on the Bawdrip website for people to view. The version online had to omit photographs as the file was too big to load online. The version with photos can be emailed by Mike if anyone requires a copy.
Mike summarised the findings of the survey. The surveyor felt either a refurbishment or a rebuild were both possibilities. A full refurbishment was estimated at £112,000 (£145,600 inc VAT and professional and associated fees). This would future proof the hall for approximately 40 years. A rebuild was estimated at £302,400 (inc VAT demolition and associated fees).
Questions and comments were invited from the floor.
- Are there urgent works needed under health and safety grounds? No immediate action identified but walls need fireproofing with fire retardant paint. The need to consider alternative waste disposal arrangements as a matter of urgency was highlighted. Mike explained that there was no currently available money for works so fundraising would be a priority together with measures to incorporate volunteer labour. There was a need to draw up a plan of action/priorities if refurbishment was seen as a way forward.
- Could a partial refurbishment be considered? Yes, we could determine where to focus energies and do refurbishments in stages but would be good to identify total costs/works envisaged for seeking funding rather than seek funding in bits.
- Any refurbishment/rebuild would need a team of people to form a working party to plan, seek funding and manage the project together with undertaking the work with professional input where required. A number of significant and generous offers of practical skilled help and materials were made.
- Is the site appropriate for a rebuild? Do we need more parking space and a larger hall? Some of those present felt the constraints of the present site were an obstacle and more room was needed. Others felt the hall met identified needs and a larger hall was not required.
- It was recommended by some that an alternative site was sought to tie in to future village developments. Any development could include room for a new, larger hall as a ‘planning gain’. This was felt to be a good suggestion but concern was expressed at this holding up much needed work on the current building for what could be a number of years.
- Could both a refurbishment and seeking a new site be both pursued at the same time? This was felt to be feasible. The current hall could be improved to an agreed level whilst other attempts be pursued for a longer-term solution. It would be feasible for a ‘working group’ to take forward refurbishment whilst an alternative future, larger, site could be pursued by the Parish Council acknowledging that this may take some years to come to fruition.
- Ownership of the hall. Mike explained that the PCC is open to exploring the issue of ownership to see if the hall could be jointly owned/managed between the PCC and the proposed Village Trust at some point in the future. The changes could reflect the nature of the hall being a village resource. There would need to be discussion with the Diocese and legal advice would be needed. It would be important to clarify issues before funding was sought as grant making bodies will want clarity on accountability/ownership of any work to be supported.
- Issues for priorities for refurbishment mentioned were: insulation and heating as the cold prevents some people coming to the hall; fire proofing; drainage; kitchen modernisation; and toilet facilities including a disabled toilet. It was suggested that where possible the order of refurbishment activities begin with the range of skills offered from people in the village.
- Position of the PCC
The PCC discussed the future of the hall at its meeting on January 21st. The PCC were open to a partial or full refurbishment or rebuild if volunteers from the village could help in moving things forward if people in the village wish to pursue one of these options. The PCC’s own capacity was very limited. They could, without additional help, only manage ongoing minor maintenance work. The PCC were open to exploring ownership but needed to be mindful that as a charity if assets were disposed of, then the full market value has to be obtained.
- Way forward
The meeting unanimously supported exploring a partial refurbishment of the hall whilst simultaneously seeking a possible alternative site for a larger hall on a new development. A working party will be convened to take forward plans for refurbishment. Those present at the meeting were invited to ‘sign up’ if they were willing to serve on a working group. They were asked to identify what skills/experience/they could contribute. (Post Meeting note: As a result, 15 people have volunteered to be involved and an initial meeting has been arranged for 8pm on Tuesday February 19th in the Parish Hall). Further volunteers to be sought via the village website and The Link magazine. The Parish Council will simultaneously explore options for seeking an alternative site that could be sought from developers as ‘planning gain’.
You can read the 2019 surveyors report here