After a very hectic and successful 2017 it was inevitable that 2018 would seem an opportunity to relax particularly as a pre-planned overseas trip for Chris and I would mean being absent from Mid January to early May. Many thanks to Ted Rowe for taking over the reins and ensuring finally the successful transfer of the Post Office to the Perceval on February 13th for the grand opening.
During the year small issues with the Post Office have gradually been rectified although the main access door had to be replaced using the good services of Rock Joinery. In January it was agreed to improve and renew white line markings in the parking areas. An initial planning enquiry was completed to improve access to the rear car park. This had been agreed by the Diocese several years before and the PCC advised previously but delayed as implementation required joint agreement with The Old Forge Garage.
A new projector for the hall was supplied and permanently mounted for easy operation with the existing drop down screen. Final decorating touches were completed by Dan Taylor to the store room.
Finally the Post box was moved close to the bus shelter. The old telephone kiosk which we hoped to take over as a lending library after some repairs had been purchased by the Parish Council and continues to languish unloved and unused.
Architects were appointed in June to advance the access to the rear car park. There were grave problems with the existing shared access. Planning permission was sought. Estimated cost £3075 for completion of work and expenses. The new entrance partially completed just before Christmas is now fully operational and much appreciated by users.
The new PCC Treasurer expressed some concerns over the increase in hiring costs for the PCC year on year. A full explanation was given and accepted and our minutes recorded the agreement and agreed it would continue at £5 per hour being the same rate as charged in 1995. This appears to have led to an increased level of interest from the PCC after many years of relying on our management on their behalf. There are legal changes in the reporting lines for the PCC as it is now a charity in its own right and to enable them to be better informed of our day to day management, copies of our minutes will be forwarded to the Secretary and Treasurer when approved. This does not alter our normal practice to seek permission in advance from the PCC and Diocese when major plans are being considered before any commitment is given or work carried out.
In fact the recent access improvements to the car park were preceded some years ago with the permission of the Diocese agents. I should mention that the car park is not part of the PCC trusteeship, just the Diocese agents. Members of the PCC may wish to sit-in on our meetings although I trust this will not be necessary whilst I continue to be an elected member of the PCC, as I am already personally responsible to meet the terms of the Charity Commissioners on behalf of the PCC as well as that same responsibility for the Perceval charity reporting. We hope that the new arrangement with minutes will allow an easier line of communication.
We agreed to commence a Memory Cafe in September with assistance from Wadebridge Memory Cafe and the Rotary Club of Wadebridge. Three successful meetings in October November and December have been held and we are grateful as well for the grant assistance from CornwallRCC grants for the start up costs. A clear need has been established but there is a shortage of leadership skills in the community which ideally we must source to share the burden of preparation and organisation.
Unfortunately the hall piano had been structurally damaged and it was agreed to accept the electronic piano from the church originally presented in memory of Charlotte Richards by Joyce Buse and her brother Goff Richards as this was not being used and deteriorating in the damper atmosphere of the church. We are grateful for Ruth Varcoe’s agreement and the Buse family re disposal of the old piano through Wadebridge Pianos.
Finances have benefitted this year from considerable fund raising in 2017 which has enabled us to restore our normal levels of reserves and continue the programme of renewal and improvements. Toilet areas now offer baby changing tables for each parent gender and hand washing and drying facilities will shortly receive improvements. Maintenance of the main halls flooring will be undertaken as soon as possible on its quinquennial basis.
Fund raising has continued assisted with 2 coffee mornings and a grant from Port Isaac Co-op Community Fund (Plastic bag charge) and we continue to receive a steady trickle of donations from the Easy Fund Raising team for online purchases.
The hall hirings have benefitted from regular users for Dance, Chairobics, Pilates, Juniors’ French classes, Yoga, Rehearsals and Memory Cafe in addition to the church based meetings. It remains our aim to have live bookings on the website. In my opinion the hall’s reputation has benefitted greatly from its Air sourced heating system enabling a warm welcome for all users whatever time of day or night. We continue to co-operate with Cornwall Council as an emergency centre. In addition seating has been enhanced with an upgrade after replacement of the thermo plastic chairs (gifted to the Friends) with upholstered folding chairs.
Maintenance issues continue to need constant attention which fortunately for the moment we achieve on a self help basis with the benefit of Ted Rowe’s expertise. I also express my thanks to our committee for their tireless support in particular to our Secretary Liz Williams for all her work behind the scenes.