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79 Attendees on a wet and windy autumn night!

The organisers were thrilled with the support shown by everyone who turned out on a very dark and miserable evening to hear about ideas to rescue The Thorold Arms. 18 people had also sent their apologies in advance of the meeting bringing the total very close to 100. At one point arriving attendees were queuing out of the hall into the rain!

27 new people attended the meeting, who the organisers had not yet heard from. This brings our supporter total to over 130.

Communications from the organisers to date have been through email. It is obvious that we are not reaching everybody. There was a call for “those that email” to buddy up with near neighbours and friends “that don’t email” and keep them informed and keep the organisers informed of their buddies’ ideas, hopes and offers of help. Hopefully we will now create a network of EMAIL BUDDIES. Please let the organisers know who is being buddied by who via our contact form or directly to Ian Tyler by email or phone.

The content of the meeting was as follows:

  • Thanks to attendees, Parish Council and Village Hall Committee.
  • Our ACV nomination is pending a decision at SKDC.
  • The pub is up for sale.
  • If a developer does buy the pub, they hopefully won’t be able to get planning permission because:
    1. we will object very strongly;
    2. the National Planning Policy Framework wants planning authorities to:
      • “…promote the retention and development of … public houses…” Page 9 [15 in PDF];
      • “…plan positively for the provision and use of shared space, community facilities (such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship) and other local services to enhance the sustainability of communities and residential environments” Page 17 [23 in PDF] point 70;
    3. a precedent has been set by the planning authorities when a past previous owner was twice refused planning permission for residential development in 2004 and 2006.

    However it would take ages to be able to buy the pub off a thwarted developer – a lot of time and money wasted while the building deteriorates and the hub of our villages remains shut.

  • We can buy the pub as a community business. There is loads of help and advice available from organisations like Pub is the Hub and The Plunkett Foundation and we have already been in touch with both organisations.
  • Q & A – plenty of enthusiastic discussion and sharing of information and ideas, including the observation of recent visits to the pub by builders/developers.

A “show of hands” vote, taken at the end of the meeting, was pretty much unanimous in support of a community buy-out of the premises leading to the re-opening of a pub and shop.

At the end of the meeting a questionnaire was handed out to gather ideas on: exactly what everyone expects from this project; to ask for potential volunteers to reveal their talents, skills, trade or profession (please don’t underestimate sheer enthusiasm!); and also whether people might be interested in investing in the project.

There are 2 main stages ahead of us and we will need enthusiastic help with:

  • organising the business and finances for buying the premises
  • refurbishing (maybe altering) the premises ready for reopening

A REMINDER here – please return your questionnaire ASAP (26th Nov at the latest) – Thank you!

An online version of the questionnaire is available. Please RIGHT CLICK** here: Survey and select “Save Link As…” and save the file to your computer (probably to your Downloads folder). Open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader and you should then be able to fill the form out on your screen, re-save it and then attach it to an email to Ian Tyler.

More detail will follow in another post when we analyse what went on, what was said and what gets written on the questionnaire.

** If you “left click”, the form opens in your browser. For some reason it does not necessarily render and display correctly. Sorry…

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