Thank you all for attending tonight’s AGM of the ACSC.
Today marks the end of one chapter for the ACSC and the start of another. Six years ago, the ACSC was facing its most difficult period since its inception. The Community Centre building was in desperate need of maintenance and decoration, the changing rooms had been out of use for years, the Centre had lost the majority of it’s local clubs and user groups and there seemed to be a lack of interest from local people to step forward and take on the task of sorting out the problems, improving the financial situation, and making sure the Centre was used frequently and offered a variety of Clubs and organisations. Mike Burton, Alan Johnson, Dennis Leonard, Tony Dixon, Helen Franklin and I agreed to step forward. At that time we made a number of pledges to the Community. After six years, I am pleased that with the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers through that time we achieved what we set out to do and so much more.
In July 2006 we pledged:
- All meetings of ACSC should be held in public and include a public session.
This was implemented at our very first meeting and continues to be the case today.
- Minutes of ACSC should be easily accessible to the public.
We display the most recently approved minutes on our notice board and regularly upload them to our website.
- We will introduce a fund raising program.
As well as putting on annual events such as the Open Day, and the hugely successful Winter Fun Weekend and Aldingbourne Alive, we have obtained grants from many sources to fund refurbishments and improvements, including the Aldingbourne Parish Council, SITA, and Awards for All.
- We will contact those user groups that have left the Community Centre and offer them the opportunity to return.
The Aldingbourne Parish Council have returned to the Centre for their regular meetings, and we have a number of new groups including O’Mainnin Irish Dance, Ving Tsung, Whist Club, Slimming World, Aldingbourne Football Club, Friday night snooker club, Caravan Clubs.
- We will create a business plan for ACSC.
Tony Dixon worked hard to produce an initial business plan which is now regularly updated to reflect ongoing projects and fund raising.
- We will do all in our power to improve the poor condition of the Community Centre facilities.
- Main Building
- Refurbishment of the main hall, including:
- new skirting boards
- Replacement of ceiling tiles
- Installation of new low energy light fittings
- Complete refurbishment of floor
- New curtains including black backdrop on stage.
- Extension the the front of the hall to provide additional storage and the possibility of a backstage area.
- Replacement of stage lights and glitter ball.
- Installation of new coloured front stage lights.
- Refurbished hall doors.
- Installation of data projector and electric screen.
- Installation of amplifier, wireless mike system, and hearing loop.
- Refurbishment of the main hall, including:
- Redecoration of the meeting room including:
- Replacement carpet tiles.
- Installation of window blinds.
- Installation of storage cupboard and filing cabinet.
- Installation of 37″ LCD screen for presentations.
- Redecoration of lobby area and hallway including:
- New carpet files.
- Installation of main entrance security doors and replaced letterbox.
- New internal doors.
- New low energy light fittings
- Installation of notice boards for user group messages and information.
- Redecoration of the snooker room including:
- New low energy light fittings
- Renewed baize and repairs to table.
- Installation of notice boards for snooker information.
- Installed pictures to improve the general look and feel of the room.
- Replaced furniture, donated by the Social Club.
- Purchase of new equipment and cue repair tools.
- Redecorated the office, including:
- Acquired additional filing cabinets to improve storage.
- Installed new worktop
- Purchased new computer.
- Installed new colour printer, anonymous donation.
- Replaced boilers with new high efficiency units.
- Refurbished internal toilets including new hot water supply.
- Installed new water supply above the ceiling, removing the risk of further flooding caused by the aging under floor pipes.
- Completely refurbished the kitchen.
- Undertook a full safety check of the electricity supply for the whole site.
- Installed broadband and wireless access points.
- External Buildings
- Restoration and refurbishment of the changing rooms and outdoor toilets.
- Provided financial assistance towards a new roof for the Shooting Club.
- Cleared out the barn and made better use of the storage space.
- New electricity and water supplies for the Tennis Club.
- Removed the dilapidated caravan previously used for storage and installed new storage container.
- Installed new signage for the Community Centre off the A29.
- Improved signage on the main building and site entrance.
- User Group Agreements
- Resolved dispute with the Aldingbourne Social Club and implemented new Occupational License.
- Issued new 25 year agreement for the Barnham Trojans.
- Replaced the rotting wooden fascia around the front and side of the building with new UPVC.
- Clearance of the overgrown edges of the car park and renewal of white lining including the introduction of disabled parking bays.
- Repainted the exterior to the main entrance and removed the damaged and dangerous wall.
- Improvements to the outside areas, including pyracanthus outside the windows, new shrubs, and new benches at the front of the building and around the field.
- Reintroduction of recycling facilities.
- Replaced external doors to the courtyard.
- Worked with the Social Club to clear the courtyard and bring it back into use.
- Replaced electricity cupboard doors.
- Carried out initial refurbishment to the Children’s Playground.
- Installed additional dog bins and improved signage.
- Replaced exterior floodlights.
- Installed street lighting.
- Replaced a large section of the main sewer pipe.
- Improvements to the access control system including the issue of ‘override’ keys to user groups allowing them to unlock the front door when needed.
- Introduced CCTV.
- Fund Raising
- Implemented the annual Open Day.
- Winter Fun Weekend 2007 brought significant numbers of local residents to the Community Centre; some for the first time having not known it was here!
- Aldingbourne Alive 2010 paid for a large contribution of the kitchen refurbishment.
- A number of successful grant applications to the Aldingbourne Parish Council allowed for a number of our projects to get off the ground, not least the new boilers and the hall extension.
- Successful grant application to JDAC for cushions.
- A number of significant successful applications to SITA toward a number of refurbishment projects and CCTV.
- Successful applications to Awards for All toward Aldingbourne Alive and the Audio/Visual equipment and installation.
Due to a lack of funds early on, much of these refurbishments and improvements were carried out by the Trustees and other volunteers (usually their other halves!). Every user and visitor of this Community Centre owes a debt of gratitude to the Trustees and volunteers who give up their time entirely voluntarily for what sometimes feels like thankless work, it has always been and will always be the case that only the problems get noticed and however hard you try to resolve the problems as quickly as possible, it will never be quick enough! And so we say, not “goodbye”, but “thank you and hope see you often” to the following Trustees who have all given up their personal time for the last five years or more:
In 2006, Mike originally took the post of Secretary but has been so more than that. He has been the main driving force behind the refurbishments, fund raising, and in recent years the day to day management of the Centre. His tireless efforts in submitting grant applications had a huge affect on our ability to push forward with many of the refurbishment projects. Mike had a huge impact on all the improvements, but also he should be thanked too for his efforts in securing the initial funding for a pre-school building for Hopscotch. Mike had virtually single handedly obtained funding for the entire project and I know it was a huge personal blow when the planning was declined on a technicality and the funding lost. He also played a huge part in the relocation of the Barnham Signal Box to the grounds of ACSC. Mike is stepping down from ACSC to dedicate his time to family commitments and the continued refurbishment of the signal box. Thanks also to Sandy Burton who has also given so much of her time to ACSC.
Alan was previously involved in the Community Centre even before its inception. With his father, he helped lay the foundations for the Centre and was actively involved in the Committee that built it. Tired of seeing the sorry state of disrepair, he returned in 2006 to help with its refurbishment. Alan has been an active member of all working parties, always willing to lend a hand when required. He is almost solely responsible for the planting around the outside of the building, and also brought the outside taps into use which was an important aspect of convincing the caravan clubs to return. Alan has dedicated so much of his time to Community projects, not just ACSC but also the Search and Rescue teams and Neighbourhood Watch. His can do attitude and dedication will be greatly missed.
Linda joined the Trustees in early 2007 as representative of the Tennis Club. Linda has been hugely influential in the improved marketing of the Centre and its facilities, and has been actively involved in the planning of all our events, especially rallying the various user groups together for the Open Days. Linda raised a significant amount of money for the Aldingbourne Alive event, and played a key role in marketing the event making it a huge success.
Bill also joined the Trustees in early 2007, as representative of the Snooker Club. A retired plumber, Bill has always given sound advice whenever we’ve had problems with plumbing or boilers. He regularly attended working parties and helped out when required, also meeting contractors on site when needed.
I’m pleased that in the end we haven’t lost as many Trustees as we thought me might earlier this year. Dennis Leonard and I both enter our 7th successive year as Trustees. Jonathan Vinsome and Tom Tappenden will also complete 5 years next year. Although they left earlier on, I’d also like to make a special mention for Tony Dixon and Helen Franklin who were actively involved in all working parties and events in our initial years as Trustees from 2006.
The Past Year
The past year has been a very difficult one for the ACSC. Problems with the pipes that could not be resolved due to the fact they were buried in concrete forced the Centre to completely close for almost a week. Mike Burton’s tireless efforts in resolving the problems ensured we were closed for the minimum amount of time possible. A quick thank you to Alan Wells who kindly allowed us to borrow his plumbers leaving him without a kitchen and boiler for a week!
We completed the extension to the front of the hall including an upper floor and stair case for additional storage. The installation of the audio/visual equipment was finally completed and is already regularly used by various user groups.
We continue to receive many requests from new user groups to use our hall which we unfortunately have to decline. This however is a sign that despite the difficult economic climate, the Centre is still popular. However, we are aware that these difficult times are having a detrimental affect on our current user groups and the Trustees will need to be diplomatic in working with those groups most affected, the Social Club and Hopscotch Pre-School.
All in all, the ACSC remains financially healthy and with most refurbishment projects completed should have fewer problems for future Trustees to have to deal with.
While so much work has been completed, we leave many projects either non-started or somewhere near the beginning. The following items should be considered by the new Trustees as to whether they wish to pursue them or not:
- Create extension to the side of the hall for easily accessible storage of furniture.
- Create rear extension of the hall and extend kitchen.
- Purchase new chairs and a small number of higher spec furniture items for weddings.
- Fireproof treatment for curtains in the hall (due 01/13).
- Continue to improve signage where possible.
- Consider redoing the white lining of the car park and consider surface repairs.
- Patio areas to side of building, courtyard, and outside changing rooms.
- Service boilers and replace all radiator valves with thermostatically controlled (booked 01/10/12)
- Refurbish/replace Access Control system
- Create a Marketing subcommittee responsible for creating brochures and newsletters, consider mail shots, and email groups.
- Complete Lease Agreement for Barnham Signal Box Trust (at agreed peppercorn rent, with rent from users to go to BSBT to pay for insurance and ongoing refurbishment).
- Complete Lease Agreement for Bognor Regis Model Railway Club (with the inclusion of the barn at no extra charge until the refurbishments are complete).
- Complete ‘small’ user group agreements to include storage rates at £1 per month per sqm (as agreed by the Trustees last year, including ground rent for Hopscotch external storage buildings and Barnham Trojans equipment storage).
- Upgrade the storage capacity of the CCTV system (joint project with Parish Council due to the additional storage used by the new playground cameras).
- Work with Tennis Club in their plans to extend their building.
- Work with Railway Club in their plans to refurbish the barn.
Finally, I wish the new Trustees the best of luck in their continued efforts to support the Community by ensuring the continued success of the ACSC.