The Institute Management Committee's
2018 Annual General Meeting was held on Wednesday 23rd May.
This is the Chairman's report:
An increased number of
bookings during 2017 led to the Institute’s best ever revenue
income. It’s worth noting as well as a good number of one off
individual bookings we have benefited from an increase in the
number of community benefit classes running in the Institute for
the village. Bookings for events such as Slimming World, Pilates,
Keep Fit and Zumba are well attended by villagers, but they are
effectively business bookings and therefore attract a higher
With such good
financial news to start my report I must immediately highlight
that the person these extra bookings create the work for is our
wonderful Hall Manager Lucy. She not only has to deal with the
bookings, but also has to try and fit cleaning and maintenance
work in around the bookings – not and easy task when you have
bookings running back to back. Thank you Lucy.
I must also thank
Lucy’s husband Reg who often completes odd jobs for us around the
building to keep the place operational.
We are currently in
the process of undertaking work in several areas. In the kitchen
the laminate on some of the doors is peeling and so these are
being replaced imminently. The oven has been fully serviced by a
professional catering equipment expert and we have replaced the
lower tray and plate holders in the dishwasher.
After the back
upstairs room was vacated by Adderbury Theatre Workshop it became
available for all users of the building as a break-out area. We’ve
had the heating system extended to this area and know some people
already make use of the space. We are waiting to redecorate the
area but first need to have the window fixed or replaced; it
currently doesn’t close properly and isn’t double glazed. This has
turned into something of a mission as most traders shy away from
the job. The experts we have found are not cheap with the work
costing in excess of £1,400! We did discover some damage to the
wall in this same room caused by children after a New years Eve
party, but thankfully the parents of those responsible took steps
to rectify the issue.
We’ve also had to
contend with users blocking the toilets and issues with the
drains. Plus we had planned to fully reinstate the partially
installed hearing loop system. However, some helpful soul
unbeknown to us tried to do this themselves and in doing so
incorrectly wired the system which would appear to have done
irreversible damage to the amplifier.
It is worth noting the
new GDPR rules which come into force on Friday which will be
discussed by the Committee immediately after the AGM. I am fairly
happy that we will be prepared and compliant which is good news
because I think many village organisations don’t realise the
implications for non-compliance.
Our village’s main
community hub was used for parties and celebrations, meetings,
keep fit, health and wellbeing sessions, film screenings and
amateur dramatics, music workshops, youth and senior group
meetings and a raft of other community activities.
I have now mentioned
for the last three years that the time is right for us to look at
the fees we charge, but again this year we haven’t put through any
increases. It is great that so many villagers and village groups
are making use of the Institute and give us such positive
feedback. Of course there are always those that aren’t happy. As a
management committee we are told very occasionally that the
Institute is already “too expensive”. Sadly the reality is that
some other village buildings are probably under charging. We set
our hire rates based on the realistic cost of running the
Institute, including a contingency fund so we can deal with
problems when they arise. As part of my role with Working For
Adderbury Community (WFAC) I have visited a number of other
community buildings in Oxfordshire, most of which charge more than
the Institute. We have held our prices, but our service costs are
rising and increased usage means increased ware and tare.
Another issue we
sometimes hear about is that of availability. In days gone by the
Institute was used a couple of times a week and so one group could
easily block book the Institute. Today the building is busy and as
a Committee we have a simple rule of first come first served. No
one group or booking is more important than another. I realise
this is not helpful to some who prefer exclusive building use, but
the building is for everyone and no one group or individual should
be treated adversely because of another. We do our best to fit
everyone in, but for some the new Community building on the Milton
Road will ultimately be better suited to their requirements.
It is worth mentioning
in conclusion that whilst the Institute has just had it’s most
successful year in terms of income revenue, this has been achieved
by a very small Committee of just four people. I mentioned and
thanked Lucy our Hall Manager earlier. I also must offer a huge
amount of gratitude to our Treasurer, Sandra. I know Sandra’s work
life has been “hectic” during the last year, but she has still
managed to keep everything in order financially for the Institute.
Thank you Sandra. The other member of our team is Anne who
continues to offer us her support, knowledge and guidance at
Committee meetings and within the various email chains between
meetings. Thank you Anne.