Member Update – 20/11/2021

Following our second members meeting on Thursday 18th November at the Half Moon Pub I attach below a few notes on the discussions raised and decisions made. A total of 16 members attended, including 5 management committee members.

  • Premises
    • Trevor Nichols updated the members on the current position with the old Swan Surgery building in the Festival Hall car park. Whilst we have been informed that the Swan Medical Group now wish to sell the building: as we believe this would be almost impossible due to the shortish lease length with EHDC and its current poor state of repair, we continue our interest and investigations through EHDC and the Land Registry. The building maybe too big for us to start with but better than too small and it’s in a perfect location.
    • Trevor and Nick Broom updated the members on the Buriton changing rooms building opportunity. Our discussions with Buriton Parish Council have progressed well and very amicably; the next stage is a presentation to the Parish Council with our outline plans.

However, it was felt that many members do not favour progressing with this building due to its location and small size. Therefore, Trevor and Nick revisited the building to gain a clearer understanding of what would be required to make the building work for us and the likely costs for this. The conclusion was that it would need a substantial structural extension (at least half again), a significant steel beam to remove the centre wall (this may also incur having to raise the roof line) and significant improvements to the services. An estimate for work this was between £35K and £50K.

  • With this additional information, there was much open debate and questions among the members, encompassing location, should we plan to spend that level on a building in Buriton, what do we really/ ideally want to do in our shed, where the current membership lives (overwhelmingly in Petersfield town), are we missing better opportunities?
    • As it was felt, we could not keep Buriton waiting for our 100% commitment, it was agreed that following on from our discussion topics below (which are obviously related) I would ask each member in turn – are they for or against continuation of our discussions.
  • Building/ Land Search
    • To help ensure we are not missing any possibilities for our future shed building, we agreed that using Google Maps, Petersfield and the local area would be divided in to search zones. One, two or more members will take one or more zones to complete a walk/ cycle search for any possible buildings, land, and storage opportunities. Any found should be reported back to Chris Jeffrey (via our [email protected] email), who is taking the lead on this project and the prospect will be investigated further. Once an area is fully searched, it can be crossed of. Please look out for Chris’ communication and please sign up for at least one area. With all current 23 members searching, this will make the task easier and quicker.
  • Equipment Donations Storage
    • We are receiving a steady flow of equipment and tools donation offers which is great, but we have no shed and no storage! A recent donation that we are trying to sort was a real find, so we do not want to miss out on these if we can possibly avoid it. Hence, linking this search with the building/land search above; so if you come across an empty and lonely container or reasonable storage shed that you think we could secure, please also bring this to Chris’ attention.
  • Member Questionnaire
    • To help us better identify a consensus among members of what do we really/ ideally want to do in our shed, Nick developed a brief member questionnaire which all 16 attendees completed. If you could not attend this meeting but would like to still complete a questionnaire, please contact Nick via our [email protected] email. Nick will assimilate your responses and report back to us at our next meeting.
  • Are you for or against continuing our discussions with Buriton?
    • At the end of the meeting, having fully debated the Buriton building, we returned to the question above. Each member voted either “for” or “against”; the result was 4 “for” and 12 “against”. With a 75% majority it was agreed to stop our further discussions. I have now spoken to the Chair of Buriton Parish Council to confirm our discission and share some of our discussions regarding the pros and cons. Naturally, he was very disappointed but understood our reasonings.
    • Dave Grant introduced an interesting concept of the possibility of making Buriton a PMS annex with space for a single activity and social kitchen, which would not require anything like the level of investment. Although, finding our main shed premises remains our priority, Dave will try to establish the local level of interest.
  • Future Projects
    • As the content above, quite rightly took over all the meeting, we decided to defer this topic to our next meeting. Please bring your ideas and thoughts for projects we can still undertake without a premises.
  • Date/ Time of next meeting
    • Agreed Thursday 20th January at 2.30pm at the Half Moon Pub. We shall discuss the possibility of holding later meetings as well to help those members still working.

Steven Watts

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