Charity No 267775
c/o 5 Smithers Close
Capel St Mary
Tel: 01473 312026
On behalf of the Capel Community Trust Committee I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year to you all as I look back at our achievements especially over the last quarter of 2017.
Trustees believed it was important that the assets owned by the Trust were more clearly identified and therefore we started a process of improving and updating the Trust signage this included rebranding the village hall as the ‘Community Centre’ which houses the Hall, Library, Vine Lounge and the bar. We need to encourage more parties and bookings from outside the village as the building takes a lot of money to maintain and we don’t want to have to pass higher costs onto the not for profit village groups that use it. From listening to people within and outside the Village the term “Village Hall” suggests a small building with limited resources and our hall offers so much more than that. (Further plans are being discussed to identify ways this valuable asset can be enhanced still further. Future letters will provide more details).
We had a wedding party in the hall recently and if you look at the photos on the website (www.capelcommunitytrust.org) it shows how attractive the Hall can be and it is this flexibility that enables us to meet the needs of a wide range of hirers as well as enabling local Village groups to function.
The area around the hall has been made safer by removing crumbling flower bed walls, uneven crazing paving and making the approach to the Library and Hall more attractive as these are important Village functions. A new emergency exit incorporating a new ramp and lowered access step has been developed as we continue to protect the safety of users of the Community Centre.
Trustees agreed that the weed and bramble-infested hedging around the Hall play area should be removed to facilitate further opportunities to expand the play area and/or car parking in the future if possible when funds become available. This work was carried out by Stuart Harris and Iain Bramhill, both Trustees in cooperation with external contractors.
Safety is of prime importance to Trustees and none more so than the children’s play areas and as we had concerns that the monkey bars had deteriorated these were removed before an accident could happen. It was also an opportunity for a small working group to spend time carrying out some much-needed housekeeping in the area. We are looking to install a new piece of equipment but as this will cost a minimum of £10k we will need to wait for S106/CIL funds to be available.
The Trust was approached to provide greater facilities for teenagers in the Village including the provision of a skate park which Trustees have agreed will be a valuable increase in facilities and agreed this could be sited on the playing field. We are waiting for those who have proposed this development to raise the funds necessary for the skate park installation to start.
When the Hall is hired access to the bar areas is available and are shared with regular users. As part of our overall plan to develop the Hall the next area to be refurbished is the Vine Lounge and Family Bar. This will be a joint approach between the Association and the Trust. Funds for this redevelopment will come from a number of sources and include a new life membership scheme of the Association to help raise funds for this. A Membership form attached to this letter gives more detail.
Membership of the Association is a key fund-raising activity for the Trust and I would encourage all Residents to join the Association and get the benefits from joining such as discounted hall hire.
We almost had a white Christmas and a group of hardy volunteers including several Trustees joined together to support the Christmas float collection which was another successful fund raiser and village event despite the weather on the Sunday we still collected £1341.55. Thank you to Bypass Nurseries for the donation of the tree once more, to Mark Ward for providing the float and for all those who opened their doors to collectors and of course Father Christmas who again managed to bring smiles to the many young children he met!
Thanks to Graham Whybrow and his team once again for building an impressive bonfire which was the centre piece of Bonfire Night and those who were responsible for the fireworks which again attracted more than a thousand people who enjoyed a safe and enjoyable evening.
Trustees work very hard to maintain and improve our assets for the benefit of all Residents who in the main see the benefits of our activities and treat our assets with care and respect.
However regrettably some people in the Village choose not to do so and as a result we see damage to Village assets which we have to replace or repair. Whether this is indiscriminate dog owners not clearing up their dog’s mess when walking in the playing field; destroying new signage or damaging equipment in the play areas or even smashing doors to our premises through their own negligence. We have instances of children climbing on the Hall roof damaging the solar panels put there to reduce our carbon footprint.
We have to repair or replace these damaged assets using funds which Residents donate that could be better utilised improving or replacing things for the benefit of all.
I would ask that if you see damage or vandalism taking place or are aware of those who cause the damage that you alert the Police or other bodies to enable perpetrators to be identified – after all its your assets we are protecting!
Following the letter we sent in September regarding Scotts proposed development on the site next to the playing field and the subsequent meeting that took place I wish to reaffirm the Trust’s position.
As individual Residents we do not want any development to take place which puts additional pressures on facilities in the Village such as roads, doctor’s surgeries, etc.
As Trustees we are aware that the development, if it happens, will impact on the facilities for which we are responsible and we have to consider how we will meet these challenges. It is our view that failing to engage with developers irrespective of where in the Village development takes place will not enable us to enhance the facilities available to the Village.
We will continue to act responsibly and carefully as Trustees confident we have the backing of the majority of Residents.
Our next Trust Meeting is the AGM on 26th February in the Library at 8pm if you would like to attend or consider becoming a Trustee.
If you have any comments or queries on this letter or any matter relating to the Trust please email us at any of the addresses on our website.