David King, chairman of Effingham Residents Association has written to The Guildford Dragon regarding the recent Effingham Village Recreation Trust AGM. His letter is included in full below. The letter in the Guildford Dragon can be read here
Having attended the AGM, and as an Effingham resident of 47 years, I read with interest both the report in The Guildford Dragon and the letter from Mrs. Hogger. My own view was that the report was a pretty true representation of the meeting. My comments below are in order of points raised by Mrs. Hogger.
1. It came over to me that the plans for the rebuild of the hall had been rushed through because it was necessary to have a plan in place for the Berkeley Homes Appeal. Because of the rush, they had been prepared without full dialogue with the users, particularly the Rugby Club. It was clearly true that those particular plans were dependent on the outcome of the Appeal.
In my view this was not a major issue for the AGM since the village sincerely hopes that the Appeal will be rejected and then future proposals, and funding thereof, can be developed in an orderly, co-operative manner.
2. The village awaits with interest to see the results of the EVRT survey.
3. The Rugby Club may have been consulted at the earliest opportunity but according to the Rugby club representative it was in insufficient time for meaningful dialogue.
4. The Loolabelle’s café has been a very successful addition to the KGV. However, the location of the café was severely criticised by an immediate neighbour in that the noise from customers was grossly disrupting the resident’s quiet enjoyment of their own garden.
5. The formal letter to EPFA, a major issue and an extreme action by EVRT, was not even mentioned in the Chairman’s Annual Report. Why? There was also severe criticism voiced by the Rugby Club representative.
6. My understanding is that EPFA had answered in detail the “charges” against them but have not received a comprehensive response.
7. The meeting was shambolic because the Chairman did not stick to the Agenda. The Agenda clearly included a questions period for each item, but the Chairman, without consulting the meeting, simply said all questions would be deferred to the end of the meeting.
In the event the time taken by the various reports severely eroded any time for questions and discussion at the end.
8. To say there was a small minority of grumblers is disingenuous. The two major customers of EVRT, namely EPFA and the Rugby Club, both of whom have been at KGV since inception, are clearly very unhappy. It would appear that work needs to be done to improve communication and inter-personal skills.
9. Mrs. Hogger misleads when she says Trustees are not considering their position. The Chairman clearly said towards the end of the meeting: “I do not know why we bother”.
All in all, I consider the article in the Guildford Dragon well captured the unhappy atmosphere of the meeting and that Mrs. Hogger’s spin on it does nothing to resolve the schisms that clearly exist.