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New Village Hall Needs

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After many years of looking after the administration of Haddenham Village Hall, Sue Parkinson has decided that it is time for her to retire, and to pass on the management baton to others.

Sue took on the task at the request of her late mother-in-law, Mabel Parkinson, who also served the village for many years and, indeed, has a room in the village hall named after her.

We offer a warm vote of thanks to Sue for all her hard work.

The task of managing a public building has grown exponentially in recent years and village halls have become subject to a raft of requirements.

ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) publishes no fewer than 42 separate information sheets (each running to several pages) on managing village halls and community centres!

These guidelines cover legal requirements and best practice on everything from health & safety (fire, gas safety, electrical installations and appliances, water testing, asbestos, food & hygiene, risk assessments) to trustees' obligations, safeguarding, data protection, treatment of VAT, alcohol, and asset management (repairs, maintenance and longer term planning for re-investment in premises).

ACRE also publishes eight model documents covering constitutional and other Charity Commission-approved legal arrangements.

None of this is for the faint-hearted, and essentially means the professionalisation of management within the voluntary sector.

Members of the village hall management committee are currently examining how best to provide for these legal and health-and-safety requirements and, in consultation with the parish council, are looking at options for funding a professional Services Management service in the near future.

In the meantime, they are hoping that there may be well-qualified residents within out local community who might be able to provide temporary but immediate assistance in terms of 1. overseeing operations and 2. looking after the financial requirements (invoicing and payments).

Offers of assistance, please, to Sue Geenes — Tel: 292378.

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