Meads Community Association
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I have been asked to circulate this letter to MCA readers in order to make clear the current policy relating to the Parish Hall. There seem to be rumours circulating in the village about its future and, worryingly, the possibility of its imminent closure. The purpose of this letter is to assure you and, through you, the community that no such plan exists.

At its meeting in December 2011, the Parochial Church Council discussed the viability of the hall as a trading entity (it did NOT discuss, or consider, the closure of the hall or the disposal of the site).The issue was solely that of viability, considering the drop in income during 2011, set against rising expenditure. The conclusion was that the hall will continue to operate as it has but, unless its income improves, the PCC acknowledges that it will be consuming its small reserve of funds and that these will eventually expire.

It was agreed that the local community needed a clear signal that the hall is safe and that there are no plans for the hall’s sale or re-development. With this, however, there needs to be an understanding that the fabric of the building will require some expensive work doing to it in the years ahead and that we have no contingency fund for this.

At present the hall’s income almost matches its expenditure and as long as we remain in that position the hall will continue to be viable for several years yet. Only if the income falls significantly, or our expenses rise to an unacceptable level, will the matter need to be reviewed. There is no expectation of this happening within the next three years and the PCC put that  figure as a milestone for the future. This is particularly important in order to give our long term hirers the confidence that the hall will remain available for them to use. It will be updated as time goes by.

St. John's Hall
St. John's Hall Interior

In practice, barring something cataclysmic happening, our reserves will permit the hall to function well beyond that period. It is the PCC’s intention that the hall will remain available to the community for as long as it is viable to operate: only if that viability comes into question will the PCC need to reconsider its options.

None of this should be news to you. I explained early last year that, with the demise of the Lunch Club, that the income would drop and that we would be reliant upon our reserves in order to meet the bills; I also said that the reserve would be exhausted within about three years. (I will update you on this at our next meeting.)

What we need in order to keep the hall going is at least one or possibly two “good lets” that will bring in about £2,000 per year to replace the income lost by the demise of the Lunch Club. Tricia Sneath and Bridget King are producing a publicity leaflet, which I hope we can approve at our next meeting, and which I hope will generate some new business.

In summary, the only worry is that of viability. As long as the hall is viable it will remain as a community asset for the community to use.
Somehow rumours are circulating that the hall is in imminent danger of closing. In the light of the above I write this letter to clarify matters.
Chairman PCC

“The Council are proposing the demolition of the “redundant life expired Wish Tower cafe”. Part of the building will be retained to protect/support the wall of the Wish Tower pending agreement with English Heritage regarding the removal of the internal section of the restaurant building.
MCA are strongly opposed to this demolition.
A public enquiry into this situation must precede any action, particularly given the controversy over the Council mangement of this site.
The Planning Ref. is EB/2012/0020/0021. Please register your objection to the demolition with the Planning Development Manager, EBC, 1 Grove Rd, BN214TW”

Meads residents may have noticed an unusual degree of activity by contractors around the pavilion at Helen Gardens. This follows lobbying of EBC by the the Meads Community Association,  The Meads Neighbourhood Panel, our local Councillors and St Johns Bowls Club with the result that the ladies and gents toilets are currently being updated and the pavilion roof which leaks following heavy rain is being repaired.
In the longer term we would hope for a replacement of the thatch roof but recognising that this is costly we may have to wait some time or accept a compromise of a tiled roof.
 There are also plans this year to provide a ramp to make access to the kiosk disability friendly currently there are only steps.
Helen Garden
The dual use of the existing pavement outside Helen Gardens for pedestrians and cyclists was discussed at a recent meeting of the above organisations with East Sussex County Council and further consultations will take place in March.
It seems that the only path widening will be outside St Bede’s School and subject to a further risk assessment and costing the scheme would be introduced late August early September.

The above is an extract from the Meads Community association Newsletter March 2012
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Telephone Sue Enfield 01323 3416515
Email suenf@waitrose.comk

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