Parkside Hall AGM 10th April 2017
Another busy year for the trustees, management committee and volunteers of Parkside Hall.
The hall, now in its 4th year since major refurbishment continues to develop its service offering to the local community. It strives to build and maintain a healthy operating margin to protect itself in the long term and ensure the ongoing viability of the hall for the people of Ampthill and the surrounding villages.
Area’s of focus during 2016 were as follows:
- Fund raising continues to be of prime concern for the trustees to ensure financial stability. This year the very successful ‘Anthill Comedy Club’ has continued to provide significant fund raising for Parkside Hall. Three events were held this year, with sell out audiences enjoying the London Comedy scenes finest in rural mid Bedfordshire. Thanks go to Margie Hudson for her continued support in organising these events, despite a hectic personal and professional life. The trustees are pleased that we plan to hold another 3 events in 2017.
- Parkside Hall food fair was held in the Spring & Autumn of this year, again providing a good source of fund raising for the Hall. This event takes a lot of organisation and involves the coordination of many stall holders, again Margie Hudson was a key factor behind the success of these events. The autumn 2017 event is now in planning with Kirsty Bourne taking over the stewardship, I’m sure it will be a continued success.
- We have continued with our resolution from AGM 2015 to migrate to a CIO. Thanks go to our pro bono notary Anthony Northey who is progressing this for us via the Charity Commission. The new CIO charity has been established, bank accounts have been transferred to the new charity (including significant disruption, courtesy of Nat West - smoothed out by Treasurer Brian Russell) and our land registry assets are in the process of transfer. It is expected that we will complete the formal transfer by the end of the current financial year, followed by the demise of the old charity.
- Changes to pension law have created an additional administrative overhead this year, resulting in Parkside Hall having to take on a pension consultancy firm to oversee our statutory requirements. Meetings have been held with both staff members, who have taken advice and elected to opt out of the scheme. Our notification back to the pension regulator will complete by the end of March 2017.
- Medium term planning has been taking place with regard to the day to day hire process for Parkside Hall. An independent IT company Intrada were invited to provide consultation advice for the upgrading of the Parkside Hall website and associated social media. Following a successful meeting they were commissioned to replace the existing website, and incorporate a much simpler online booking enquiry system to reduce administrative activity. The new website went live in early March, and is significantly better that our old website. Thanks go to Brian Russell and Eileen Summerfield for leading on the interaction with Intrada.
- Meeting room 1 has undergone a £15,000 soundproofing exercise this year. Although our meeting rooms are proving very popular across all demographics of hirers, we have lost bookings when noisy events have been taking place in the main hall. As a result of the soundproofing the impact of noisy events is much reduced. Plans are in place to complete similar works to meeting room 2 and also lobby doors. Roy Tebbutt has submitted a grant application to Biffa to fund this work.
- Excessive temperature of the main hall continues to be a problem even in winter time, and although we have had 3 quotes for air conditioning (approx. £16k) the trustees have not placed an order for this work to be carried out. An additional grant application is being submitted to Mick George plc. For these works to be carried out. If successful these works will be very intrusive to the operation of the hall, and will require the complete closure of the hall for at least one week.
- Other ongoing maintenance and estate operation works have been progressing throughout the year. Steve Todd has been working with Central Beds to finalise and complete the arrangement with the Coroners court to allow parking (by permit) in the Hall car park. This was part of the agreement to resurface the ex-Netball courts and repair the existing surfaces. Steve is still working to ensure snagging works to the resurfacing are carried out to our satisfaction. In addition to resolving ad hoc maintenance issues with our contracted maintenance agents, Steve has managed to get permanent repairs done to our self-actuating windows which have been a source of ongoing problems. Hopefully this problem is now eradicated.
- Storage is a problem at the hall, and as part of our storage plan we have purchased a ‘half size’ container to provide additional external storage. The ground work was prepared free of charge by Andy Teague in return for allowing some building skips to be sited at Parkside. The trustees now need to provide external screening for the cabin and to fit out internally to avoid condensation. In addition the stage doors are in need of replacement so that under stage storage is more accessible, this will incur additional cost of £1.5k. Much of our onsite work is carried out by Terry White and our thanks go to him for his flexibility and helpful approach in keeping Parkside in good order.
Parkside has a small and committed band of volunteers that keep the hall opened up the various hirers on a day to day basis. To recognize and thank them for this support a ‘Volunteer meal’ was held at the White Hart in early February, and was enjoyed by the 30+ volunteers who attended.
Thanks must also go to our paid staff, Linda White (caretaker) and Jenny McKay (Volunteer/Weekend manager) for all their combined efforts in making the hall the superb venue it is, enjoyed by so many different and diverse community and business organisations.
My thanks go to the trustees and management committee members for their ongoing support, Doreen Stodart, Roy Tebbutt, Steve Todd, Eileen Summerfield, Ann Russell and Brian Russell.
Chairman – Parkside Community Hall
30th March 2017
Parkside Hall AGM 16th May 2016
2015/2016 has been another busy year for Parkside hall.
Since the refurbishment and reopening of the hall in December 2013 Parkside has continued to develop as one of the best local community venues in the villages of Mid Beds. Bookings have grown steadily with our calendar of bookings stretching out into next year and beyond. Our meeting rooms are also now very popular for a wide and diverse assortment of hirers.
Due to the success of Parkside it is also taking more time to manage and run the hall. We now have a team of 30+ volunteers who effectively provide caretaking duties for the halls hirers. On some busy days we can have 7 or 8 individual groups using the various parts of the hall at different times of the day. To manage these volunteers we have a recruited a weekend manager who produces the volunteer rota, manages our higher profile events (such as weddings) at the weekend and undertakes routine maintenance tasks around the hall. My thanks to Jenny Mackay for her hard work in helping this complex hall run smoothly for our hirers.
Our bookings success and the resulting maximisation of hire in part goes down to our bookings officer Eileen Summerfield, who I would also like to thank. Eileen plays an important role and has made a significant contribution towards to £40,000 operating turnover so far this year alone. Eileen has indicated a desire to stand down from her role and we are seeking to find a suitable replacement. The replacement will need to be capable of implementing the online automation of our booking process and support the weekend manager. We did recruit a candidate, but unfortunately for personal reasons she has had to step down before the transition could commence. We are now searching for a new candidate who will become a paid member of the team.
After 2 years of stop and start activity Steve Todd our hall maintenance manager has successfully concluded the project to resurface the existing car park, surface the disused netball courts and provide much needed external lighting. Working in partnership with Central Beds, we have made an arrangement with the Coroners court to be provided with 10 spaces for 10 years. This covered the additional cost of the works (above Central Beds contractual obligations). The completion of the car park has now really transformed the hall, and Steve should be congratulated for his endeavours and patience. We need to get Central Beds to confirm the maintenance agreement has now novated to the Alameda School Academy.
Steve also needs to be thanked for all the work involved in the maintenance aspects of the hall. From tweaking an errant tap washer to procurement of various ad hoc items. Steve has also deployed his theatrical knowledge, and working with Brian Russell, we now have a very state of the art Lighting and Sound capability at Parkside Hall. Our thanks go to Tom Bardon for a sizeable donation to this project, as a result we have named the stage after Tom.
Brian has now formally taken over as Treasurer, and is in the process of working with our Auditor to refresh and simplify some of our financial processes. As part of our move to CIO status (as adopted at the 2015 AGM) we have had to migrate all of our bank accounts to the new Charity. This has resulted in considerable inconvenience around online banking, but corrective actions are now in place. My thanks go to Brian for all his work on picking up this role within the Charity.
Transition to the new CIO status should be complete by the end of this year, and we will file two sets of accounts to the Charity Commission. Final actions to be completed include transfer to bank accounts to the new charity (as mentioned above) and transfer of land and assets with the Land Registry. Anthony Northey is working this through on our behalf and we extend our thanks to him for overseeing this activity.
Margie Hudson has again continued to dedicate a lot of personal time and angst in driving the fund raising for Parkside Hall. She has very successfully continued our Comedy Nights, which are now a firm favourite in the Parkside calendar and very popular in the community. Food Fairs have continued and again provide a good source of fund raising. Margie has had to step back slightly due to taking on full time employment, which makes all her efforts even more remarkable. Well done Margie.
Linda White continues to work as Caretaker and Cleaner, a role she undertakes with good humour and diligence. Linda provided the highlight of the year when she test drove the new Scrubber Dryer for the first time, and successfully gained her provisional license. Thanks also to Terry White for all his good work on the maintenance aspects beyond the range of Steve.
Sue Cannon also must be thanked for the work she does managing the payables and wages aspects of the hall, again as a volunteer.
We still have several large programmes of work to undertake this year and include the following:
- Provision of Air-conditioning at Parkside – we are currently considering 3 quotes following an ITT process. (Lockcraft, Ambivent and Airco) Approx cost £20k
- Redecoration of the Main Hall. Approx cost £1.5k
- Provision of sound proofing to Meeting room 1. Approx cost £6k
- Provision of Pension arrangements for employees
I would like to thank the remaining trustees and members Doreen Stoddart, Roy Tebbutt, Ann Russell for all the work they put in to make Parkside Hall the superb community venue it is.
Finally I would like to thanks the 30+ volunteers who make Parkside work. Without them Parkside would not be able to operate. To thank our volunteers we held a successful recognition event at the White Hart and I think this was very well received.
Chairman – Parkside Community Hall
16th May 2016
Parkside Hall AGM 20th April 2015
2014/15 has been the first full year of operation since the Hall closed for refurbishment in spring 2013. It has been a busy year for Trustees, Staff and Volunteers who have successfully run the hall for the local community.
There have been no major issues or concern as we have worked progressively to adapt to meet the needs of Hirers and make the operation of the hall as smooth as possible for Volunteers and Staff.
In December 2014 the Council decided to withdraw from the lease of the Nottingham Rooms which were knocked down by the Council, leaving the ground in need of remedial work. This has taken some time but the whole area will be converted into a car park this summer.
As part of the decision also , the Council no longer provide clerical support to Parkside Hall directly and alternative arrangement for administration have had to be made A ‘Liaison Committee’ consisting of Trustees and Council continues to meet regularly to keep each other informed.
The operation of Parkside Hall is a full time activity and we are fortunate to have a small team of staff & volunteers that runs the hall. Many people do not understand the demands of running a community venue which requires £35k just to operate per year.
A summary of the activity we have worked on this year is as follows:
- Oversee the end of year 1 snagging and agreement to final payment of approx. £12k
- Received a donation of £6k from Tom Barden which has allowed us to provide new Theatre lighting and sound mixing systems in the Hall. Many thanks to Tom for this donation.
- Purchasing a new cleaning tool to speed up floor cleaning and polishing, cost approx. £1.7k
- Closely with Alameda and Firs schools with respect to the Safe Route to Schools access.
- Steve Todd continues to work on our behalf with Central Beds to progress the resurfacing of the car park and land recently used by the Nottingham Rooms. An agreement with the Coroner’s Court in for them to use some car parking spaces during the day will allow for a full resurfacing of the car park in the summer 2015.
- Once the resurfacing has been completed, the Trustees will consider other parking plans.
- together with the provision of an external storage.
- A sound survey has been carried out to improve sound proofing in Meeting Room 2.
- A large television will provide advertising and audio/visual capability.
- A bar shutter will be fitted to improve the operation and security of the of the
- Signage to recognise the local organisations that have financially supported Parkside during the refurbishment.
- Changed toour pricing structure in January with an across the board increase of 10%. We have not adverse feedback from our hirers.
- Sue Cannon has picked up the admin and payment work from Donna Searle, we are very grateful to Sue has accepted the role as a voluntary unpaid position. Our thanks go to Donna for all her support over the years.
- Margie Hudson continues to be our marketing manager has put on several very popular and financially successful events. The comedy night and food fayre are now popular events in the Ampthill calendar.
- Brian Russell has now taken over the treasury reins from Alan Cardwell. Alan has put in a tremendous amount of work before and over the period of refurbishment.
- Eileen Summerfield continues to act as our Bookings Officer and works tirelessly to ensure we maximise bookings and drive revenue for the hall.
- Jenny Mackay joined the team as Weekend/Volunteer manager in February. She has a helped us to look at existing processes and made suggestions for improvements. again.
- Glass washers and dish washers have now been provided in the Bar and Kitchen.
- Steve Todd has been a stalwart member of the team leading on a variety of issues, his professional background has been an asset to Parkside and he has managed to take on and resolve many issues regarding the operation of the hall.
- My thanks also extend to the eternally cheerful Linda White, supported by her husband Terry, who acts as cleaner and Caretaker at Parkside. Despite many challenges she remains upbeat and positive in the face of many difficult situations
- As part of our ongoing drive to improve the operation of the hall we have worked closely with Anthony Northey, Nigel Milway and Mark Smith to draft a new Charity Incorporated Organisation to replace our long outdated constitution
My final thanks go to all those not metioned in this report, especially the volunteers who help us run the hall. You all know who you are. The people of Ampthill would not have such a splendid venue if were not for the time and effort you all put in.
Chairman – Parkside Community Hall