AN OPEN LETTER from LCCL
AN OPEN LETTER from the directors of Loans Community Centre Ltd (LCCL) to the community of Loans and its environs and to all who wish to use Loans Village Hall, present and future
• Loans Village Hall re-opens + improvement plans
• Council support ends: implications
• Urgent help needed to manage village hall and sustain community company
It has been a long and difficult 18 months for everyone, with many feeling the sad effects off loss and isolation. LCCL and the community have very recently lost our director, colleague and good friend, Janette Haempel, who worked tirelessly for the community and whose presence will be greatly missed.
As time passes and lockdown measures are eased, we can hope as a community to be able to begin to support one another in moving forward, albeit slowly and carefully. The Village Hall has been much missed during the lockdown period but has not been without attention. During this time we have managed to have the Canadian maple floor in the main area sanded and varnished and are amazed with the result – bright and light and ready for action! We have also had the old fire extinguishers replaced and have had a new alarm maintenance plan set up following the withdrawal of input from South Ayrshire Council (SAC). We will continue to tick off our ‘bucket list’ of future improvements which includes loft insulation and the much needed replacement of tables and chairs.
Over the past number of weeks the hall has been open and a few activities have been re-introduced. Unfortunately we have lost some of our previous users, but have gained some new ones and await the decision on the timing for a couple of our more ‘active’ groups to return. We presently have input from our Community Hub group, Yoga, Ladies Belly Dance and Children’s Acrobatic groups. These have adhered to Covid procedure, as in small groups with appropriate social distancing being respected where necessary. At the moment we regret we are not in a position to accept bookings for larger functions or adult parties, but will give consideration to small numbers for young children during daytime hours.
HOWEVER! In this ever changing climate things are also changing for us in a way that seriously affects the management and running of the Hall.
From the time that LCCL took over the voluntary management of the hall on behalf of the community, SAC continued to support us with an input of 19 hours hall keeper time and payment of utility bills such as gas and electricity. We have now lost the services of our hall keeper, George, and are awaiting a date for withdrawal of utility finance – not unreasonable as we have lived ‘under the radar’ for an extended period of time. We have been responsible for ongoing maintenance, insurance, music licence, accountancy and boiler fees for some time now. BUT – this does mean that LCCL has to become more business minded to run the hall as efficiently as possible.
PRESENT AND FUTURE NEEDS
LCCL are appealing for help from people in the community or from hall users who are able to offer appropriate skills or simply a willingness to help, to create a vision for the future of the hall and to help action that vision. Proposals have already been put forward for the possible development of a small café system and a ‘Men’s Shed’. Everyone’s ideas are welcomed. In practical terms we urgently require help with hall keeper duties, as in opening and closing and being in attendance during private parties/functions. The possibility of a retainer system for such duties has been discussed if it cannot be achieved on a voluntary basis but this is by no means a definite approach. Help is also needed to keep the hall in a standard of cleanliness that meets appropriate levels of health and hygiene.
LCCL –The Community Company – URGENT INFORMATION
The company can have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 directors. Due to the sudden and tragic loss of Janette, LCCL presently has 3 directors. Another is due to take retirement from post at the time of the Covid delayed AGM in November this year, leaving only 2 directors in place. This situation would not be viable for the continuation of the company under the terms of its constitution, therefore the hall would fail with the loss of the company and its charitable status.
Please note that more company members are needed and application for membership can be made at any time.
At the AGM company members are invited to be put forward for directorship on a voting basis. Interest in this would be welcomed prior to the date of the AGM for information to be exchanged.
Loans village hall has proven to be a superb and much used asset to the village in the past but we urgently need people to step forward, both as members and directors to avoid the very real danger of the failure of LCCL, which holds ownership of the hall. Such an outcome would mean the loss of the hall to the village and the community.
PLEASE DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN!
Bill Lockie, Veronica Hickman, Robin Archibald for LCCL
or message 07444 549 968