Village Hall – Doing Alright?

The Village Hall is a fantastic village asset. Cllr Brian Hanks organised the transfer from the developer after completion. It was subsequently transferred to the Village Hall Trust to manage as per agreement. This Spring, the Trust decided they did no longer  wanted to manage the Village Hall. The Hall was a success under their stewardship, even though the automated grants were coming to an end. It was never clear why the Circus (so-called because most lived in Smith Barry Circus) management relinquished control. Was it financial loss during Covid, or was it unhappiness with their landlord the Council?

Since, 1st May 2021 the Village Hall has been run by the Council. The original Hallmaster booking system was transferred to the Council and is managed by the Parish Clerk.

During the last Council (13 November 2021) meeting the Clerk was asked at least twice how the hall was doing? She replied alright or words of a similar nature. The councillors asking the question wanted more specific answers to the question. It would be beneficial if the income costs published were always broken down. The extracts from the minutes below only show part of the story.

I am sure parishioners would like know whether the Hall is successful under Parish Council control, clearly the bookings do look exceptional regardless of Covid.

However, the facts show that the Halls monthly revenue is approximately £652 pm (see minute extracts below). Meaning an annual income of approximately: £7,824. It should be noted that there is £5000 allocated from the annual budget to the village hall. Which means an annual income of £12,824. I doubt £12,824 will be enough to cover costs. If these assumptions are incorrect, I will modify when more information is available.

In conclusion, this could have been a reason why the trust handed over control. With running costs, cleaners salary and now a potential care takers salary, the financial position looks extremely poor.

The following extracts are all I can see on the minutes published.

  • The 12 July Minutes state: Income Received: A list of payments had been distributed to P/Cllrs prior to the meeting totalling up to £1422.00 which included legal fees and hirers of the Village Hall.
  • The 9 August Minutes stateIncome Received: A list of payments had been distributed to P/Cllrs prior to the meeting totalling up to £652.00 which were all Village Hall hire payments.
  • The 13 September Minutes state: Income Received: totalling up to £654.00 which were all Village Hall hire payments.
  • The 11 October Minutes state: Income Received: A list of payments received since the last PC meeting had been distributed to P/Cllrs prior to the meeting totalling up to £23,953.00. The payments received had been from Village Hall hirers and the second precept payment from CDC.