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Presentation - Blue Pool options - 17th July 2023

About Us - Friends of Melksham Assembly Hall

Thank you for visiting us.

Updates are often posted on Graham Ellis's Councillor Blog - see (here) for recent mentions of the Assembly Hall.

On 9th August 2021, a well attended Melksham Town Council meeting considered the future of the Melksham Assembly Hall. With so much public interest in a topic that had only been added on to the agenda a few days before, and participation limited by technical issues, only a decision (on a unanimous vote of all councillors) to rule out closure or mothballing at this time or at the next meeting was made. This was stated to be to reassure users that although mothballing was in the report being considered, we (Councillor Graham Ellis writing) would not be taking this option forward as a possibility at our next meeting.

Our council vote on 9th August has left the big question - though - what now?

Melksham Assembly Hall has been used by so many people over so many years, and is much loved. As I write, even coming out of pandemic lockdowns, it's booked every Saturday night until next March (except one) and there are dozens upon dozens of other private, club/group and public bookings too. However, it's used by people from many miles away, and runs at the moment (and pre-covid was doing so) at a significant loss, which has been made up by the council tax payers of Melksham TOWN alone - Melksham Town being the inner 'parish' stretching a mile (if that) from the Market Place.

The Friends of Melksham Assembly Hall comprises - initially - of community members who are just that - friends of the hall. We want to see it vital, lively, friendly, affordable, good for the town's economy, happy, ... and many more words to add. We do NOT, as a friends group, want to take it over and run it, but many of us would love to assist and be involved with that. And amongst our number, we have a great deal of enthusiasm, experience and expertise.

So - if we're not wanting to run it ourselves, what might we suggest? It could stay with the Town Council, but the issues listed above would need to be addressed. It could be run by a Community Interest Company or a Charity - and those have the advantage of opening extra funding routes. It could be run by a commericial outfit - either sold off by the Town Council or leased by them (there are other examples in town). It could be something else, or a combination. Each has its pros and cons and on the day of writing (in mid August 2021) we don't know - or at least I don't as I "seed" this page. I have put together a few very early ideas - outlines to see what might work ...

Plans are for a handful of us - those with the time and enthusiasm to form an ongoing central group ("Committee", "Officers", "Board" - call it what you will) to meet on the evening of 2nd September to take this forward. If you have those qualities and want to be deeply involved, please get in touch with Geoff or me - info@fomah.org.uk reaches us both, or contact us via the Facebook group. Experience welcome, but not a pre-requisite - we want and need, at this early stage where the outcome is unclear, all sorts including newcomers to this sort of thing too. We need to reach not only the experienced old-timers, but the younger people. We will have Zoom running that evening, using the setup I have been using to run such meetings for a long time.

 

Next meeting - Zoom and in real life - 14th October 2021 at 19:00
The "in real life" setting for this meeting 48, Spa Road

On the agenda for 14th October 2021
To be provided - 13th October
Provisional ...
Answers from last time
Report back from Paul S and Terri W
And ... what, where does that take us?
Volunteering and options
Marketing

Graham Ellis is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: FoMAH
Time: Oct 14, 2021 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81200642454?pwd=RzJiMEhCSk5veWxHYjhPSXF2Zm1WQT09

Meeting ID: 812 0064 2454
Passcode: 733786
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kEsIoZOmt




 

Next meeting - Zoom and in real life - 23rd September 2021 at 19:00
The "in real life" setting for this meeting 48, Spa Road
The "in real life" setting for this meeting is the Assembly Hall
On the agenda for 23rd September 2021

* Co-ordination with the Assembly Hall team
* Publicity
* How friends can best help / use of volunteers
* Joint objectives
* Long term - what needs doing (maybe for next meeting)

Graham Ellis is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Friends of Melksham Assembly Hall
Time: Sep 23, 2021 07:00 PM London


Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83705902990?pwd=TXBVb3N4VHBZaUxPdzZpYlJDMGFDQT09

Meeting ID: 837 0590 2990
Passcode: 875058
One tap mobile
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+442080806592,,83705902990#,,,,*875058# United Kingdom

Dial by your location
+44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom
+44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom
+44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom
+44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
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+44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
+44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 837 0590 2990
Passcode: 875058
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdyxrFSMhI



 

Next meeting - Zoom and in real life - 16th September 2021 at 19:00

Topic: Friends of Melksham Assembly Hall
Time: Sep 16, 2021 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86931577325?pwd=aHNMUFpkNnhuMnVETWgwQTJseVdEUT09

Meeting ID: 869 3157 7325
Passcode: 979528
One tap mobile
+442034815240,,86931577325#,,,,*979528# United Kingdom
+442039017895,,86931577325#,,,,*979528# United Kingdom

Dial by your location
+44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom
+44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
+44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom
+44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom
+44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom
+44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom
+44 203 481 5237 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 869 3157 7325
Passcode: 979528
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kYl48k9Rl


On the agenda for 16th September 2021
1. Introduction around the room, and welcome
2. Report back from Paul and Terri
3. Where we go from here
?4. Structures
?5. Committee / officers / etc
?6. Date of next meeting
See also ((here)) for comment/detail.




Beyond 2nd September, I can purely guess. The point of doing work ahead and looking at the aspects is so that we can start to work it out on that night. 2nd September will NOT be a pre-scripted meeting!

Slide set from 2nd September meeting (including a review of where we are and where we should be looking) at http://www.fomah.org.uk/2021902slides.pdf ... recording of meeting at http://www.fomah.org.uk/zoom_20210902.mp4

2nd September meeting report - informal write up by Graham Ellis

There were around 20 people present at the meeting, split almost equally between those present in real life and those on Zoom, and it was a real "quality" gathering.

Whilst there was some concern as to how we got to this point (and some present expressed a lack of trust in the Town Council) the overall view was to see the current discussions as an opportunity. We are ALL moving forward whilst being aware of the concerns.

Good groundwork, common goal wanting to see positive outcome, vibrant hall needed, sustainable economic model, wide range of events to be held way in to the future. The meeeting appointed two members (Paul Seemayer and Terri Welch) to liaise with Town Council meeting was unclear as to who and how to talk and what the new setup is now that staffing at the Assembly Hall and elsewhere on the council has been reduced. There was a universal desire to work with and in partnership with the council - help fill gaps, perhaps, but not to take over.

We note other town / models working well - mention made of the Cheese and Grain in Frome. Suggestion made to get in touch - but we already are and have some really useful feedback. Suggestions made about running / working as a CIC, and we have experience in the group at that. And we have ... so much rich expertise and enthusiasm.

Within those present, all agreed to sharing of names and email addresses WITHIN THE GROUP so we can easily communicate.

Next meeting - 19:00 on 16th September, same venue in real life, online link for Zoom on this page. By which time we should have better clarity reported back from Terri and Paul.


For those who don't want to be (quite so) deeply involved, please register your support via our Facebook page - tell us there about if and how you would like to see things go. Feed us stories from the past so they may help us think for the future. If you're not on Facebook, please email in - though we don't yet have all the mailing list type stuff in place. Please encourage us; please feel free (too) to play Devil's Advocate - make sure we're well informed of what you want, and aware of the hurdles that are there along the way.


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