Annual Report from the Chair of Messing Village Hall Committee on their activities for the year ended 30 April 2018
Governing Document and Objectives
Messing Village Hall’s governing document is a Trust Deed contained within a Conveyance dated 27th June 1951. This Deed established the Village Hall as a charitable trust.
The objectives, as set out in the Trust Deed, are the provision of a village hall for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish of Messing and its immediate vicinity without distinction of sex or political, religious or other opinions.
The Trustees consider that the main activities of Messing Village Hall are in accordance with the objectives and that they are of public benefit. The Trustees have had regard to the guidance issued by the Charities Commission on public benefit.
There are now six Trustees on the Messing Village Hall Committee. Helen Longman resigned her position as a Trustee in July 2017. She had served as a Trustee for many years, working tirelessly with others to accomplish the renovation and refurbishment of the Village Hall. We are grateful for her commitment to helping to develop the Hall into the thriving community facility that it is today.
This year all Trustees agreed to assume specific roles and responsibilities. The Trustees, with their current responsibilities, are listed below:
Mary Mann Chair
Julia Scott Secretary
Patricia Craig Treasurer
Steve Smith Bookings Manager
Andrew Lucas Buildings Manager
Bob Suckling Maintenance Manager
The Trust Deed sets out the manner of appointing the Trustees, who also constitute the Management Committee of the Village Hall. Trustees are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. The Management Committee has the power to co-opt further Trustees.
Policies and Procedures
The Committee reviewed many policies, systems and procedures during the year. When signing the hire agreements all hirers agree to adhere to the Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy and the Equal Opportunities Policy.
In order to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations, effective from 28th May 2018, the Trustees are developing a new Data Protection Policy. We will endeavour to implement all the relevant changes contained within the new law which supersedes the 1998 Data Protection Act.
The Trustees are extending the system of risk assessments to encompass all the various hall activities. In addition to Hall and Fire risk assessments all regular hirers will be supported to produce risk assessments appropriate to their individual activities. Where necessary risk assessments will also be generated for some occasional hirings.
The year ended 30th April 2018 showed a slight increase in net receipts compared with the previous year. This is mainly due to more hirers using the hall with a regular weekly booking.
Following the revision of the Hall’s Finance Policy it was decided to upgrade the accounting system and a Sage accounting software package has been introduced. This is now running well and efficiently.
Booking Manager’s Report
The hall has continued to have the support of many loyal hirers. Events include Zoe and Michelle’s Yoga classes, Zoe’s Reiki sessions, Jackie’s Pilates class, Jane’s Dog Training, Anne’s Art Club, Mary’s Book Club, Carol’s Wine Club, Elaine’s Messing Mums group and Geoff’s Carpet Bowls Club. These hirings are all open to villagers.
In addition to these classes we were pleased to welcome Melinda’s regular Monday night Clubbercise to the hall. These classes have proved extremely popular. In addition to these hirings, we are grateful for the continued support of other regular hirers – Gary and Helen’s Monday and Thursday Martial Arts sessions, Margaret’s Ballroom practices, Tina’s Craft Group, the Parish Council meetings and Louise’s Drama classes for home educated children. We are also hoping that Amanda’s dance sessions will become a regular feature of the hall’s programme offered to villagers. We have continued to host the popular Messing Markets for our Village Church. A photo shoot, organised by the Church, was another highlight this year.
The hall has once again successfully hosted many occasional hirings. In 2017 we hired the hall for a July wedding in addition to the many children’s birthday parties that have taken place over the year. Chris Halls’ charity concert is now a regular and extremely popular event in the summer.
The main aim of the hall is to provide a service for our community and it is hoped that our events will attract ever increasing numbers to the hall in the future.
Maintenance Manager’s Report
During 2018, high-quality, eco-friendly hand dryers were installed in all 3 toilets to improve the Hall's facilities and remove a potential source of drainage issues. Rather than using unsightly plastic trunking, all cabling was channelled into the plaster. This meant that redecoration of the affected areas had to be carried out with the intention of maintaining the general appearance of the Hall. We will be taking this approach wherever practicable in the future.
In response to a request from a Parishioner, the external key safe was changed to a version that is easier to operate.
We are currently looking at door safety with a view to installing hinge guards on all doors in the hall. These prevent fingers being trapped in closing doors and we feel that the expenditure, although likely to be significant, is justified.
Buildings Manager’s Report
To provide a forecast of future maintenance costs, a schedule has been drawn up covering all items of the Village Hall construction from external walls to door handles. The estimated life of these items has been scheduled, along with their replacement costs, allowing for inflation. This has enabled us to draw up a budget for the next few years and to ensure that funds are available for the larger maintenance items such as redecoration of the hall.
The store room at the Village Hall is used by several groups and contains the chairs and tables when not in use. As the storeroom was becoming increasingly congested, the committee decided to purchase some racking. This was installed by a working party one weekend and has made a considerable difference.
During a period of snowy weather in February the hall was opened to enable families to use its facilities and play equipment. We would like to thank Elaine Smith who initiated the idea and who put in the time and effort to make it a success. It was pleasing to observe families of all ages enjoying time together-a real community venture.
Following the MVHC meeting in March we were pleased to announce our decision to offer the village hall free of charge to the Messing and Inworth churches. The Committee also agreed to withdraw charging the Friends of Messing Church for the Messing Markets and the Harvest Supper.
The Committee arrived at this decision after agreeing that the churches are an important element of village life and as such the maintenance of the buildings should be supported. This decision will be reviewed annually.
The Committee will have produced a new Data Protection Policy, ensuring that processes will be established to enable the Trustees to comply with the new framework as it applies to village halls.
The Committee is working to produce a more stream-lined system of internet-based data storage. It is to be hoped that this will provide greater security of data whilst being easily accessible to Committee members.
The area to the back of the hall remains a work in progress. The shed has been identified as not being fit for purpose, so the Committee will be taking measures to remedy this.
Following the success of the Snowy Open Hall Days the Committee will be investigating ways in which the hall can facilitate other community-based activities. They hope to liaise with other village groups.