The recent meeting on Sunday afternoon succeeded in drawing over 50 people to hear about and discuss the proposals from the Community Trust. Norman Watson (Trust chairman) commented that the size of the turnout indicates how passionately villagers feel about the Rose & Crown and its place in the community.
The recent survey (which will remain open until December 31st) has gathered 70 responses, and the results showed that around two thirds of respondents favour an ownership solution involving a community co-operative, while the same proportion are prepared to support the purchase of the R & C in some way. The facilities that people would like to see in the R & C include a restaurant, beer garden, coffee shop, B&B and off-licence.
Norman explained that the Trust’s preferred purchase option is a community co-operative for several reasons:
- This is the only option which protects the R & C in perpetuity, and gives the community full control of it;
- It would enable the potential future incorporation of the shop into the same building, should it prove impossible to sustain it as a separate viable entity;
- The co-op option is tried and tested in other places and is favourable in terms of financing.
- The co-op option provides an exit route for individual investors, without threatening the future viability of the operation.
- A co-operative provides the potential to build a fund to support other village initiatives in the future.
Ian Hancock, Parish Council chairman, also pointed out the importance of retaining the pub (along with the Shop, Hall, School and Church) as an asset that would help Slaley to maintain its support from the County Council. During the discussion session, many issues were raised and these will be considered at length by the steering group.
You can also add your comments online: just select the ‘Comments’ link below.
What will happen next?
Although some were concerned over aspects of these proposals, the formation of a steering group to take forward the detailed planning will be the next step, which will widen the involvement of the community at large.
- For a detailed report of the meeting, see the Minutes of the Public Meeting held on 16th December 2012 (written by David Allsop, Trust Secretary).
- If you’re interested in joining or helping the steering group, send an email to David Allsop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- To read about the Hudswell community purchase, see their website, read their prospectus, and visit the George & Dragon pub.
- The survey of people’s views is still open until December 31st 2012. You can use the online survey, or fill in the form and leave it in the shop, to give us your opinion!
- It is important to understand that any eventual organisation set up to manage the pub will be quite separate – the Rose & Crown will NOT be run by the Trust!