Paxcroft Mead News - July 2007
Hello everyone. My name is John Marples, and I was elected Chairman of the Management Committee in May this year. I had not been on the Committee before then, but had attended about eight meetings in listening mode, to get a general feel for things.
I moved to Trowbridge quite recently - in March 2006. Before that I had always lived in Derbyshire or just over the border in Staffordshire. My wife, Pauline, persuaded me to move down here "just for a change", though I always tell people it was to escape from our children.
I have never been on a committee before, let alone be Chairman, so I'm new to the area and new to committee work, and have a lot to learn and a lot of catching up to do. However, everyone has made me welcome, and is helping me get established.
The Community Centre was built around six years ago, it being part of the planning permission for the Paxcroft Mead development that such a place be provided. A few very dedicated residents put in a lot of hard work to ensure that the building that was provided was one that we can all be proud of. More hard work by them and other volunteers, was then needed to get it running properly and onto a sound financial footing. All this was before my time here, and I can only imagine the effort that must have been involved.
One area where, through no fault of their own, they were not able to do as well as would be hoped, was in the matter of our "constitution". The ownership of the building was supposed to pass to Hilperton Parish Council as Custodian Trustees. A "Deed of Trust" should then have been registered with the Charity Commission to define an operating system for the Management Committee. There was a long delay in the transfer of ownership, and it still has not happened yet. This meant that the "Deed of Trust" could not be registered and we have really been operating in something of a no-man's land meanwhile.
The ownership of Hackett Place in total has now moved to Attivo, and it looks hopeful that progress will soon be made on transfer of ownership. This will allow us to revive our "Deed of Trust" and move to proper registration. My aims for this (financial) year, are to see this through to fruition, and to carry out a "Health Check" on the Centre. This is a process recommended by ACRE - Action with Committees in Rural England - which lets us ensure that we are meeting all the legal requirements placed on organisations such as ours. It is complicated by the Charities Act 2006, which is to be phased in over the next year or two, and which changes things for us somewhat.
It all makes for an interesting life, and if we manage to achieve these two objectives, whilst continuing to provide a very valuable asset to the local community, I shall be well satisfied.
The Centre is run entirely by volunteers, and we are crucially dependant on a small number of very dedicated people. We still do not have a Publicity Officer, or a Health and Safety Officer. If any of you feels you can help in these roles, or any other, we would be very pleased to hear from you.
We also need to maintain a high level of bookings to provide income. We need £2000 per month just to tick over. If any of you are thinking of organising group activities or one-off celebrations, or know anyone who is, please think of your Community Centre.
I hope you have been interested in what you have read here, and that we shall hear from you soon.
The PMCC Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 1st May. Despite a big publicity effort, with leaflets being delivered to every house and a piece in the Wiltshire Times Community section, the turnout at the meeting was very disappointing. However a new committee was elected. Thanks to John Marples who agreed to become our new Chairman. John's wife, Pauline, kindly offered to take on the job of Secretary. Jack Pope stays on as Treasurer and Chris Hicks as Minute Secretary. Don Hatt and Alan Thirlwell were re-elected as Booking Secretary and Security Officer. The vacancies for Publicity and Health & Safety Officers were not filled. Two other members were elected to the commitee - Ron Watkins and Jane Wosika. Jonathan Hawkes remained co-opted with responsibility for the Paxcroft Mead CC website.
Chris Hicks lead a vote of thanks to our outgoing Secretary, Sarah Content, and paid tribute to the huge contribution that Sarah had made to the running of the Centre over the past three years. Chris presented her with gifts of flowers and a bottle of wine, as a token of the Committee's gratitude for the valuable work undertaken and the commitment she has shown to the Centre.
PC Lee Pelling was introduced as the new Community Beat Officer covering Paxcroft Mead. He spoke to the meeting and outlined his role as part of the new policing arrangements. (Full details can the found on the PMCC website).
Following the recent local elections, there have been some changes in our local councils. Our District Council representatives are now as follows:-
|Paxcroft Hilperton (Avonside Ward)|
|Paxcroft Trowbridge (Trowbridge East Ward)|
If you are unsure of your ward, you can access the West Wiltshire planning portal to find it.
This link will take you there. (Opens in a new window)
TSMBC have been meeting on Paxcroft Mead for several years. Short mat bowls is played indoors, on 45-foot long mats, ensuring that it can be played all year round and is not affected by the weather.
The club has practise meetings twice a week at the Paxcroft Mead Community Centre - on Tuesday afternoons (2:30) and Friday evenings (7:30). Anyone can come along and try it out, as the club has spare bowls for use by visitors and beginners. All that we ask is that beginners bring a pair of clean and flat-soled shoes or slippers, or be prepared to play in socks, as this protects the mats, which are quite expensive.
The first visit is free, after that it is £2 per session with a £5 annual subscription for those who join. The club has a maximum of 30 full members, to ensure that everyone can get a game, however, visitors and members from other clubs are also welcome. Unlike the stereotyped image of bowls, the club is for all ages and club evenings are good fun, with all skill levels able to participate.
During the last year Trowbridge have been quite successful, being Runners Up for the whole of Wiltshire, in both the Winter and Summer Leagues and have entered teams in various competitions with different levels of success.
The club also runs social events, such as a recent trip to Highgrove House, Skittles Evenings and a Christmas meal.
A small number of members have recently left the club and we therefore have 4 vacancies. If you are interested in taking part please either just come along to one of the meetings or e-mail email@example.com.
We hope you have found this inaugral edition of the PMCC newsletter interesting. If you have, perhaps you could forward it on to friends and neighbours and encourage them sign up to the emailing list via our website - http://www.paxcroftmead.org.uk/contact_form.htm
We would also welcome suggestions and contributions for future editions. Please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org