Baydon Parish Council - Extraordinary meeting on 1st February 2017
News report by Barbara Furber
An extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council was held on Wednesday 1st February at the BYPA hall. Cllr Tamsin Witt chaired the meeting and four councillors were present.
Around 62 members of the public were also in attendance.
The planning application for a single storey side extension to 5 Fiveways was discussed. Cllr Witt declared an interest and refrained from the discussion. The neighbour David Verco expressed his disapproval. Cllr John Cockcroft also was concerned about the close proximity to other properties and the car parking space. The clerk was instructed to submit comments to the Planning Office.
It was agreed to register the Red Lion as an Asset of Community Value which will provide a 6 month period to enable the community to raise funds to purchase the property if needed. Three options appeared on the agenda but the current landlady did not agree to lease the pub to the Community. The clerk pointed out that if the Parish Council purchased the pub through a loan the precept would probably have to be raised threefold. It was not possible this year as the precept had already been set. Therefore option (a) that the Village Community purchases the pub and a committee run it was the option discussed more fully at the meeting. Cllr Kevin Howell then gave a comprehensive report on his visit to the Tally Ho, a pub which is being successfully run by the community. The money was raised by individuals buying shares, setting up a committee. 25 people work there voluntarily but the manager was paid a wage, as was some bar help. It was, Cllr Howell added, a larger pub with lots of through traffic and a strong active committee. All profits were ploughed back into the pub.
The discussion was then opened up to the public.
Dave Handley said that he had invested in the Tally Ho. He was able to give more information on the tax situation, and other matters.
Trevor Dominy asked what would be gained for £385,000. The landlady replied “The freehold, fixtures and fittings and any stock left”.
Mr Handley said that extra money would be needed as the toilets, for a start, would need to be improved. The Tally Ho community raised £350,000 and had a small loan.
Mr Bernie Gribble suggested purchase by a Community Scheme Grant.
Cllr Witt said that it was up to a committee to decide at a later date. Tonight was just an opportunity to decide whether or not to form a committee to look at all the options.
A laugh spread through the public at the suggestion that the Green be made into a car park to improve parking at the pub and village in general.
Sarah Chidgey asked if £385,000 is what the pub is worth. Cllr Witt said that it would have to be properly assessed at a later date.
David Price-Goodfellow asked if people would use the pub more. Mr Handley replied “If you put money into it you will use it”.
Sean Fourniss asked if the Council had considered a survey through the village, to which Cllr Cockcroft replied that that would be a future step.
The clerk said that the community would have 6 months to agree everything, but of course the landlady would be able to sell to anyone else in that period. If it is registered as a Community Asset “Change of use” could not happen for some time.
Seven people then agreed to form a committee :- Colin Newbold; Liz Carmichael; Dave Handley; Rob Howes; Mike Whale; Tom Spunt and Sarah Chidgey.
Cllr Kevin Howell agreed to be the Parish representative. 53 people agreed they had an interest in investing in such a scheme.
The committee volunteers stayed on after the meeting to discuss a further meeting.
Meeting closed at 8.50pm.