Sunday, 23 September 2018

Bowls club closure delayed in last bid to find committee

PEPPARD Bowls Club could be saved from closure.

PEPPARD Bowls Club could be saved from closure.

The club, which plays at the War Memorial Hall in Gallowstree Road, was shut down last month after too few people volunteered to join the committee.

Now the closure has been postponed until Christmas at the request of the trustees of the hall, who are concerned about their loss of income.

The hall receives about a fifth of its income in rent from the club and without this would make only a small profit.

The agreement to postpone closure of the club was agreed at a meeting between the committee and some of the hall trustees last week.



Clive Mills, chairman of hall trustees, said: “The club has agreed to hold off dismantling for six weeks to allow the trustees time to try to find if it’s possible to get someone to come forward and take over.

“The current committee have been running the club for a long time. They have really made every effort to save it but it has not been possible.

“I would like to think somebody is going to see the seriousness of the situation and will come forward for the sake of the community.

“It’s important because this closure takes away from us from a money point of view. It would be particularly hard to find a long-term replacement for that revenue stream.

“We don’t want any big problems with the hall because of the financial situation this leaves us in. It could not have come at a worse time.”

The hall committee is trying to raise money to replace the roof of the building, which will cost £55,000 to £60,000. This includes the removal of asbestos tiles by specialist contractors.

Mr Mills, from Peppard Common, said the trustees hoped to receive a grant from the Trust For Oxfordshire’s Environment for insulation in the roof. An application for a grant towards the cost of the new roof would be made to to South Oxfordshire District Council in the spring.

“The parish council has earmarked £2,500 this year and £2,500 next year towards the hall,” said Mr Mills.

“Without the bowls club we have got to be careful how we dip into our surpluses, which have also gone towards the funding. The tiles on the roof are showing signs of age and it’s right that we make every effort to refurbish the roof and install insulation.”

Other organisations that use the hall include Peppard Table Tennis Club, the Peppard Revels and Peppard Luncheon Club.

Mr Mills said: “The hall is a tremendous asset for the community. It’s used a lot by all ages, from kids to the elderly people who use it for the lunch club.”

The decision to close the bowls club was made at an extraordinary meeting last month due to a lack of volunteeres for the committee.

It was the second time this had happened following a previous attempt to form a committee at the club’s annual meeting in September. The club, which was formed in 1929, had about 50 playing members last year as well as additional social members.

Club president Elaine Roberts said: “It has been very difficult over the past few years to introduce enough new members to carry on with the number of fixtures required to maintain a profitable club.

“This aside, the biggest problem recently was that not enough of the current membership were willing or able to take on the responsibility of running the club with all that entails.

“There was therefore, regrettably, no option other than to close.”

If you would like to help run the bowls club, call Mr Mills on 0118 972 4154.



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