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VPS AGM Chair’s Opening Address

Following on from last night’s first VPS AGM and in advance of the publication of the notes taken at the meeting, we thought it might be helpful for the Chairs Opening Statement to be included below. We welcome everyone’s input and hope for as wide a participation as possible for all the events coming up.”

Thank you all for taking the time to come to today’s AGM, I know that a ZOOM meeting isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but with COVID cases in the village, vulnerable people and general illness it gives everyone the opportunity to attend. I was hoping that the publicity surrounding this meeting in the parish magazine and on social media, would encourage a wider attendance and interest from the village. Particularly because of the false claims that the VPS was formed and conducts its business behind closed doors.

Over the past few years, we have as a collective achieved a lot within the village and shown what can be achieved when the majority work together and have a voice.

It’s my personal vision for the village to have separate teams of people championing the church, campsite, pub, parish council and VPS. Some of these teams already exist and currently there are some cross over and links. There is a need for each of these teams to be able to come to the table and work together towards cohesive well-timed events and activities for all. In order for the village to move forward we need to be able to work together. We need to change our village culture, to create an environment where we are able to air grievances, mend them, if possible, agree to disagree if not and move forward without fear of repercussions or animosity.

I used to believe the VPS should be a separate entity, separate from the church and parish council, my opinion has changed, we need to work together to move forward and for practical reasons for example, having a member of the parish council on board the VPS helps and speeds up planning events with on hand advice as to cans and can’ts. Therefore, everyone on the committee has a role to fulfil or a skill to bring to the team.

Jim – VPS Treasurer and Clerk to the Parish Council brings the knowledge of the do’s and dont’s when planning an event for the village ie health and safety advice, general legal stuff and is knowledgeable when applying for grants and where to look for them.

Angie – Our Secretary and is the one who has the creativeness and enthusiasm to create and deliver the children’s activities ie craft workshops, activity bags etc

Jeff – a committee member representing the campsite. Since Jeff has joined us, relations with the campsite have been easier and the campsite have been very welcoming to the village on many of the festivals and events that have been held there.

Olivia – also a committee member and a breath of fresh air in regard to the village relationship with the church. She has played the main role in making the church accessible to the whole village by being open to totally new ideas such as helping to create the village hub and kitchen area for villagers to use and also homing the new village pantry

Martin Luther King once said

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise of democracy, when you volunteer, you vote everyday for the kind of community you want to live in”

So, today at our first AGM we get the chance to move forward, you get to choose the future for the village and who you’d like to represent you. It would be great to have more members on the committee bringing new perspectives and ideas. This doesn’t mean you must attend every meeting, but it gives you the chance to vote for what you’d like to see in the future and help create the direction. If you choose not to be on the committee it doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with ideas and help at events, everyone in the village above voting age is part of the VPS everyone has a say.

So, we’ll begin the meeting…..

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Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council