Villagers to get bigger say in Community Centre

Contributed by editor on May 20, 2005 - 11:51 PM


Villagers at the Annual General meeting of the Hawkinge Community Centre Charity last night (19 May) heard news of a new  management plan which could give them more of a say in the running of the amenity.

Some critics of the existing management structure agreed that, the Centre which, although successful in providing a superb resource for the village, was not abiding by its constitution and it was difficult to gain membership of the charity.

Treasurer and Trustee Trevor Johns agreed there were problems saying that the constitution drawn up failed to fit the model . He said: "We have been given poor advice from the Charity Commission and we are seeking guidence from them."

Cllr Peter Smith asked why there was no notification of the Agenda 21 days prior to the meeting. He said: "The Trustees should be aware of and uphold the constitution" and Colin Tearle asked of the notification of the Agenda to members.

Trevor Johns replied to the meeting saying that the notification had been posted in the Community Centre.

Hawkinge Parish Council Chairman Dave Callahan asked the Trustees to say who was a member. He said: "I applied for membership in January but have not received any written reply. The Executive Committee derives all its power from it's members.  I urgently request that you agree to define a member." He also asked the Trustees to appoint a Secretary and pay them in accordance with the agreed rates as he felt the Community Centre was of such size and turnover to warrant a paid and not voluntary appointment.

Trustee and Baptist Church Minister Ian Reynolds, explained the plans drawn up for a new organisational structure. He said that they had made mistakes but he wanted to bring in an elected Advisory Group which would be made up of  Trustees, The Hawkinge Partnership, and members who will represent the people of  Hawkinge. This group will work directly with the Trustees and the manager of the Centre.

Treasurer Trevor Johns outlined the years financial results for the Community Centre, with projected figures painting a picture which showed they were o­n target to meet their targets.

Although performing well as a whole, there were however disappointing figures for the large Main Hall, whose income dropped to £14K, some £7K short of the income for the small Hall which generated £21K.

"This is hoped to improve, now that accoustic work has been completed,"  Mr Johns said.

The issue regarding the expulsion of the Franze Academy refuses to go away and a supporter for the group told Trustees the issue had still not been resolved. The Trustees disagreed but Chairman of the Charity John Heasman said they would reply to the group in writing.

Following the meeting Trevor Johns said: " The new committee should be set up within a month. It is open now for people to put their names forward if they think they could benefit the Centre. I will be very disappointed if the setting up of the Advisory committee is not completed within the month".

If you feel your talent and committment would be useful to the Hawkinge Community Centre and you have what it takes to be part of the General Advisory Group please contact the Trustees.