Gretton Village Association (Registered Charity No. 298899)
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting October 29th 2020
Gretton Village Association (Registered Charity No. 298899)
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2021
Meeting: October 18th 2021, 7.30pm Gretton Village Hall
Jan Taylor (JT) Chair
Paul Hughes (PH) Committee
Laura Davies (LD) Committee
John Fleck (JF)
Sue Fleck (SF) Committee – Christ Church Representative
MT Green (MTG)Committee
Gwyneth Cocks (GC)
Geoff Hanson (GH) Committee – Parish Council Representative
Peter Massey (PM) Committee - Treasurer
Alix Scott (AS) Committee - FOGS Representative
Man from Gretton Fields
Mark Oliver (MO)
Lou Steele (LS) Committee
John Taylor (JWT)
Chris Vickery (CV) Committee, Judith Woodlock (Committee),
2. Minutes of AGM 2019
SF proposed that the minutes be accepted as a true record. Seconded by LD.
3. Matters Arising
Any matters arising were addressed in the Chair’s Report.
4. Chair’s Report
Copies of the Report were circulated.
· Covid closures and restrictions meant that with the exception of one or two permitted bookings in December 2020 the Hall was closed between November 2020 and April 2021.
· Classes and events have now resumed and are starting to pick up.
· Repairs have been minimal, there have been safety checks and the external windows and doors painted.
· New electric heaters installed (Greenfields Trust)
· Special mention for Tweedie Cleaning who have continued to clean the hall without charge. THANK YOU.
· The field has been inspected and pruning and clearing carried out.
· Grass cutting on the field continues to be shared with Gretton School
· Improvements to the playing field and hall grounds are being discussed in conjunction with the Sect. 106 grant. Any draft plans will be made available for discussion and feedback with residents.
· Importance of the Village Hall and playing field as central to village community and fun.
· Three new committee members very welcome this year.
· Peter Massey (Treasurer) intends to retire during the coming year and Kirsty Lightowlers has agreed to take over this role. THANK YOU, Peter for your outstanding work over many years.
· Jan Taylor reminded us that she feels unable to continue to shoulder all the many roles under the umbrella of chair and she is looking to share these roles with others. New committee members with new ideas and energy will always be welcome. Please come and talk to us.
Complete report available as Appendix 1 below.
5. Finance Report
Copies of the Accounts to 31st Aug. 2021 together with the Treasurers Report were circulated.
The report shows that while we are fairly stable at present we will need more income in future to counteract the rise in costs. Last year’s grant kept us going but from now on maintaining the hall financially is likely to become more of a challenge.
6. Election of the Committee
All Elected Committee Members except Peter Massey, were willing to stand for a further year & this was unanimously accepted by the meeting.
Peter Massey has agreed to remain as a co-opted member until his retirement.
Kirsty Lightowler was elected and will take over the role of treasurer.
Laura Davis, Alix Scott and Lou Steele agreed to remain as co-opted members and this is very good news.
7. Any Other Business
Mark Oliver reflected on the success of the Apple Rock and how the good will and enthusiasm shown during this event could be used to generate future social events in the village.
Some future events suggested included:
· Advent ‘Calendars’
· Wine tasting
· A history club
· A Christmas ‘do’
· A Summer ‘do’
· Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations
· Quiz night
· Auction night
Broader points emerging from feedback after Apple Rock included:
· Idea of a Welcome Pack for new village residents
· Good impressions of the hall facilities and hire costs. Can it’s availability for wedding receptions be highlighted?
· Can the playing field equipment be developed?
· Including FOGS was well received
· Can we do more together with the pub?
· There was discussion of the need to assign roles away from JT to relieve her work load.
· It would be helpful to have a data base of resident’s email addresses to facilitate the circulation of news about village events and requests for help
· While there was general agreement about this it was also noted that leaflets through doors (and knocking on doors to speak to residents) is a very effective way of reaching the community and especially those who may not rely on electronic communication.
· A data base would need to be run in accordance with the Data Protection Act and there is a resident (Alex Short) who could be contacted with a request to draw on her professional expertise in this area.
· Younger generations rely on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date and this is an effective way of communicating.
· GC asked if Church events could be included in GVA social communications.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 20.35.
Appendix 1Chair’s Report
Report for the AGM of Gretton Village Association October 2021
Year August 2020 to August 2021
Once again it has been a rather strange year for the Village Hall due to the various closures and restrictions imposed by the COVID situation. The year began with only limited use allowed under the regulations, followed by complete closure in November. With the exception of one or two permitted bookings in December the hall remained closed until April. Since then, some regular classes have returned to use the hall but some have folded up completely or are continuing to run their classes on zoom instead of in person.
From April to August bookings for children’s parties and other private events started again but not to the level pre-COVID. In fact, in this period there were only two children’s parties, both held outside in the garden, and five private events. I am pleased to report however that bookings are gradually picking up again now.
As the hall had so little use this year the repairs etc were minimal but, as always, the hall was inspected regularly to ensure that there were no problems and it remains in a good condition. Safety and fire precaution checks were carried out throughout the period. The external windows and doors were repainted during the year and this has improved the outside of the building.
New electric heaters were installed in the main hall thanks to a grant from Greenfields Trust. These heaters should be more efficient than the old ones and far more flexible in the timing controls allowing us to only heat the hall for the hours it is being used. The real benefit will be seen in the coming winter. The radiators can be controlled by Wi Fi and so this was installed in May. The router has been moved from its original position in order to improve the signal but the upstairs meeting room still does not have a good connection and we will take further advice to improve it.
I would like to thank our cleaners, Tweedie Cleaning for continuing to clean the hall without charge during this difficult time.
With the COVID restrictions it was difficult to hold an Action Day last year to tidy up the playing field but two days were held this year on 25th August 2020 and 3rd July 2021. The field is regularly inspected and any problems reported to the committee but a more detailed inspection was held by some committee members prior to the July 21 Action Day. As a result considerable pruning and clearing was done to the path at the rear of the hall and also low branches etc were removed from some of the apple trees in the field. Chris Arnold (Tree surgeon) had reported on the condition of the trees in the field and in August he came to pollard the large willow tree on the boundary. He reported that the other trees in the field were in good shape but to be aware of the Ash tree behind the play area in case of Ash die back
The agreement with Gretton Primary School for cutting the grass in the field is still in place and the total cost, (over £1500) is shared by GVA and the School. The GVA are very grateful to the Parish Council for their donation towards the cost of this work.
The GVA are investigating the best way to use the Sect 106 grant and plans for possible improvements to the playing field and hall grounds are being progressed. These will be made available for discussion with residents when the plans are more advanced. The main focus will be to improve access to the field and hall for everyone, but with special attention to people with disabilities and providing more car parking space near to the hall. The lack of a carpark has always been an issue and so even a small increase in the number of parking spaces would be a great advantage.
The AGM is the time to consider our village hall and playing field and how we can maintain it in the future. I have always believed that the hall should be the focus for village activities and social events and we should build on the community spirit that has been generated during the past two difficult years. The hall has the capacity to be self-sustaining as it is a beautiful modern space that can adapt to so many uses. Most people who come here for the first-time comment on how lovely it is with a blend of old and new. We will need to add to our hire income by fund raising at times but fund raising should be fun raising too and to do this the GVA need the support of you all.
The GVA consists of 6 elected members, representative members from village bodies such as Christ Church, Gretton School and the Parish Council, plus a number of co-opted members. I have been very lucky to have such a good and supportive committee to help to deal with the day to day running of the hall and to sort out problems as they arise. We have been delighted to welcome three new committee members this year and already they have proved a great addition to our team.
However, it may be time for some changes. Peter Massey has been our treasurer for many years and has always done an excellent job in keeping our financial situation correct but he has indicated that he intends to retire from the post this year. I really cannot thank him enough for all his work over the years. He has been involved from the beginning with the initial fund raising and grant applications when it was first proposed to extend the hall, right through to today when dealing with the day-to-day finance. I am very grateful to Kirsty Lightowlers for agreeing to take over the treasurers job. Peter will remain on our committee for a short while to offer his advice before retiring with honour.
I have also been on the committee for many years and chair for more than 12 years. I have enjoyed the position enormously but for some time now I have combined the roles of Chair, Booking Secretary and Premises management which is a heavy load that I can no longer sustain. I feel that it is time to pass on some of these responsibilities to someone new who can bring new energy and ideas to the jobs.
So, if you feel that you could add your expertise to our team, please do come and talk to us.
I would like to thank all of the committee for their support and work during this past year. Hopefully we can look forward to a new and exciting year ahead.
Jan Taylor (Chair of GVA)