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Village Hall - Chair's Report 2023

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The purpose of this report is to provide assurance to the village and others with an interest in the hall that the activities of the management committee are such that the building we hold for them will continue to serve this village for many decades into the future.

In the words of our Constitution taken from the conveyance of 1951:

“The premises shall be held on Trust for the purpose of physical and mental training, recreation, social, moral and intellectual development through the medium of reading and recreation rooms, library, lectures, classes, recreations and entertainments or otherwise as may be found expedient for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish and its immediate vicinity without distinction of sex or political, religious or other opinions.” 

The past year:

I can report that the Management Committee has fulfilled its obligations and duties as dictated with the Constitution and has had a good year returning to normal operation after the pandemic. We have fulfilled our main purpose to provide a place for the village to use. There have been public and private events including the recent fireworks and harvest supper and a very successful jazz evening. Village groups and organisations have been using the hall including the Parish Council, the Coffee Morning and the Film Club, and has been hired by many individuals and groups. 

The closure of the pub highlights how very important this building, the remaining community asset apart from the church, continues to be to the life and well-being of the village. A place which can be used by and for everyone is of very high value for the population in promoting friendship and co-operation. The pandemic reminded us all of the need we all have for social interaction and a place where we can mix.

The Archive Room is not yet open for general use but progress is being made. It has been decided that the historic documents concerning the establishment and ownership of the hall which are in the possession of the committee will be held in our own archive room and not in the Oxfordshire County Archive. Future meeting during the year will receive reports on the Archive Room.

The Constitution was comprehensively updated in 2022 and this was agreed at the last AGM and then by the Charity Commission. In the Commission’s terminology it is the governing document. The Constitution and other relevant documents are available for public inspection in a folder kept in the kitchen.

Members of the Committee:

This report is my chance to pay public appreciation and regard to the members of the committee, those of long standing and those who have more recently joined. Each brings their own expertise, enthusiasm, and experience.  I can report that the management committee still has enough members to function, although more members are always welcome. The members are volunteers who arrange activities for the community and maintain the hall through fundraising and lettings.

It needs to be remembered that all members give their time voluntarily and the village will be grateful to them. In preparing to step down, I have been thankful to those who have taken over my remaining responsibilities and offer particular thanks to Fiona Hawkins who took over the treasurer’s role very ably. A special thanks to Susan Palmer who is standing down after many years. Her official duty has been as booking secretary, but she has done so much more for the committee, the fabric, contents and good running of the building and in supporting new and long-standing committee members.

We would also like to note with great sadness the death this year of Jan Rayner a former and highly valued member of this committee and of course John Paxton who gave so much of his time and energy to not only serving on the committee but inspiring the building of the back extension.  


We have had a full complement of trustees. Their names and relevant details may be found on the Charity Commission website. The Charity Commission provides very helpful advice for how to be a trustee, and the duties required. Our trustees who are also management committee members are unpaid.

The Fabric and Contents of the Building:

We have had some maintenance work performed this year. The kitchen skylight needs attention and we have been assured that the roof itself remains in a good condition. We have had a new combi-boiler installed which should increase the efficiency of heating the building, some electrical work done to meet all the recommendations in the last Electrical Installation Condition Report, and some small amount of redecoration during the year.

Thanks to a grant from SODC, we have brand new chairs, which will please all of those who have had to spend any time sitting on the old ones. They are easier and safer to store and move. The committee agreed that to obtain two chairs for particular use by those who find lighter and armless chairs more difficult to sit in and rise from. This is part of our aim to continue to promote full access to the hall within the constraints of the age of the building for all villagers regardless of their levels of physical ability. We are aware that there may be some accommodations which cannot be made due to the nature of the building. 

An asbestos survey was performed professionally before the pandemic. Low levels of low-risk asbestos is common in buildings of this type, particularly when work was performed in the second half of the 20th century. Its recommendation was that the floor tiles be inspected twice a year and a warning label attached so that removal of floor tiles, if ever required, would be done safely. The ceiling finishes in the newer part of the building may also contain low levels of asbestos. Any work required is informed by this low-level risk.

The Future:

We are acutely aware that this building is a hugely important asset to the village, bequeathed to us by former generations and which it is our duty to hand onto generations to come. The committee will continue in its aims to ensure that we do not fail in that duty. We are always be appreciative of new ideas and thoughts about how to run the hall and will always welcome new members on to the committee to achieve our exciting aims.

Finally, I would reiterate my thanks to all and to wish them luck for the coming years.

Linda Collins