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Parracombe Community Trust – Strategic Objectives 2023/2024

A belated Happy New Year.  It promises to be an exciting year ahead for your Community Trust as there’s plenty happening and new challenges looming.  The fact that we’re going to meet those challenges with confidence is, as ever, thanks to our brilliant members and supporters who just keep making things happen. Now seems a good time for a brief update and look ahead.

The Trust’s management committee met in early January to agree a list of strategic objectives between now and the spring of 2024.  While that all sounds rather grand, it’s important to set clear objectives so that we know what we want to achieve and are better able to judge how we’re doing. We deliberately haven’t set priorities because work on different projects will inevitably move at different speeds.

Our Strategic Objectives

Play Area Improvements. To support a working group in raising funds and specifying / delivering equipment required. 

Village Hall. (1) To establish a funding group and start raising money over the next two to three years towards Village Hall refurbishment.  While grant applications are already under way, we’ll need to show our commitment by finding a substantial sum ourselves towards costs. (2) To obtain planning permission for the Village Hall refurbishment.

Affordable Housing. To obtain planning permission for six affordable homes for rent and to start building.

Pavilion Stores. (1) To compile a ‘high-level’ business plan ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Pavilion Stores. (2) To further develop the outdoor area around the Pavilion.

Communications. To improve the Trust’s website, increase activity on Twitter and other social media and increase the frequency of general communications.

Financial management. To establish a Finance Sub-Committee to ensure robust financial management and reporting across all Trust operations. The Finance Sub-Committee will be responsible for the Trust’s Financial Policy.

Partnership working. To liaise with Parracombe Parish Council to complete the re-writing of the Village Hall lease and transfer of land. To work with PPC to ensure a clearer definition of responsibilities between PCT and PPC.

In the coming weeks and months we’ll be providing more information on all of the above. But with specific regard to the play area and village hall, we plan to set up ring-fenced ‘pots’ within the Trust’s accounts so that if someone organises a fund-raiser for either of these two assets they’ll be able to state clearly in their publicity where money raised will be assigned.
 
On a separate note, we need to let you know of a few changes to our management committee. Dave Austin, who has led the Trust from the outset, has stood down as chair and has been elected by fellow directors to be our new treasurer (a job he’s recently been doing in an acting capacity). Nobody involved with the Trust is looking for thanks (there are too many to thank anyway) but we can’t let Dave’s tenure as chair pass without at least a nod to the huge amount of time and work he’s put in over the last five years. Together with Jeremy Holtom, Dave established the Trust, had a vision for what it could achieve, generally led the line and persuaded dozens of others to jump aboard. So, like it or not Dave, thank you.

Elsewhere, Nick Constable has retired as secretary and passed that role to Sarah McMahon – a very welcome addition to the team. Meanwhile, directors have elected Nick as chair. Our other directors – Jeremy Holtom, Simon Young, Nick Backhouse, Harry Harrison and Annie Constable – remain in place.

Please look out for further updates to the Trust’s work. We’re trying to be as transparent as possible so if you have any questions email secretary@parracombe.org.uk or chairman@parracombe.org.uk

Finally, we should just say that we can’t promise to please everyone. We’re a small organisation, mostly run by volunteers, and sometimes things will take longer than we’d hope. We can’t, as one director has acidly observed, ‘boil the ocean’. We will of course make mistakes (we’ve already made quite a few) but we’ll learn from them.

What we can promise, as your management committee, is commitment and a determination to do our absolute best. We’re always looking for new directors and volunteers and everyone, whether they’ve lived in this area 50 years or a few weeks, is a part of this community and has talents we need. You don’t have to become a director, welcome though you would be. You can easily join one of our friendly committees helping run the Pavilion Stores, the Village Hall, the housing project or countless community events. Or you could simply volunteer to do a shift at the Pavilion Stores – a great way to put a toe in the water and get involved. If you’re interested give Nick Constable a call on 07970 823464 or email the addresses above.

Thank you once again for your support.

The Management Committee,
Parracombe Community Trust

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