Stutton Community Association
Our new village charity
Stutton Community Association is now up and running. The two charities:- Stutton Community Council - Stutton Community Hall have come together under this new charity
Why did we create this new charity?
Both our Charity governing documents were adopted in the 1960s – some 50 years ago – and are out of date and need to be revised to be more relevant to the times in which we live. In that time our way of life has changed dramatically, and we need to be more responsive to the changing needs and expectations of our community.
Like most village organisations we struggle to attract new people to serve on our committees and having just one committee will help in that. For the last couple of years both our charities have organised joint meetings where possible. This has improved our combined knowledge and fostered partnership working.
In looking to the future both our committees were of a like mind, and agreed to form a single Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) as the model for the way forward. A CIO gives us greater powers to develop and provide new services and facilities including employing people (subject, of course, to the usual question of available funds) to better serve our community. We see this as a way forward to merge two equal parties, whilst ensuring that the key principles that underpin each of the charities will be continued under the umbrella CIO.
The constitution of the old charities places an undue burden on the existing Trustees where they themselves are open to financial risk. Under this new charity model, that risk is limited to a maximum of £1. We hope this will encourage new people to step forward to become a Trustee or to join the working committee.
We are not ground breakers. Other halls and Community Councils have worked together to establish these new CIOs over the past 4 or 5 years. We have also taken advice from other organisations that have gone down this route together with Community Action Suffolk and ACRE. This approach also provides external safeguards, with the Charity Commission managing the process and ensuring that the charitable objectives are protected.
Collectively we believe that this approach is the best way forward for our community.
The responses from all who visited our open evening were extremely positive both about the SCA and ensuring that the Community Hall remained at the heart of the community. There was some interest from a couple of people in joining the SCA but more were keen to help in organising events and helping ‘on the day’. There is obviously a lot of enthusiasm around village events, some of which are listed below:
Village social events both general and age specific – this was suggested by a number of people and ranged from afternoon tea parties to evening events with a bar
Specific events/clubs for teenagers
The opportunity to hire a smaller room for meetings (this fits in with our plan for physical changes)
There was a lot of interest in the suggestion of a ‘Club’ Night with a bar and the prospect of a snooker table scored extremely well
There was almost unanimous support for having a village fete and flower show
A lot of people were keen to have some sort of drama club and really missed the productions put on by Stutton Presents
A baking class if the Hall Kitchen can be certified by Health and Safety
Suffolk Sight use the hall once a month and there was a suggestion that there might be other similar organisations that may be interested in doing the same
Everyone who was asked agreed that the hall charges should be increased
Our plans are to improve the insulation, appearance and functionality of the the hall
This includes replacing the sloping felt roof with a longer lasting material with insulation built in
Replace the white plastic walls with insulated boarding
Build an extension so that two lettings can take place at the same time (with access to WC and kichenette).
Create a patio to the rear with doors opening out onto it.
Replace white plastic facia with a more attractive finish
Upgrade heating and electrics
There was broad support for these plans.
Ideas were suggested around funding - As yet we do not have a budget figure but we will need to secure grant funding
We should look at Community Infrastructure Levyy (CIL) funding from both Babergh and the parish council.
It was suggested that we should look at demolition and rebuild. Comment: We understand that rebuild costs could be in the region of £800,000. As this would mean that there would be no hall in the village for the constuction period, ecologically reusing of existing buildings is preferred and the high cost would make this option a least favourable option.
Further improvements suggested
Small tables and chairs with armrests for small meetings probably in the smaller space
Snooker table / Pool Table
Latest news - a planning application to make improvements to the Community Hall was submitted at the end of July 2022 and was approved on 23 September 2022 .
If you have comments or questions ...
Speak to a Trustee:
Bill Hewlett, Rosie Stuart-Thompson,Nick Pavitt, Ian Flower, Roberta Garrad