Woodmancote Hall

Update October 2019

The Parochial Church Council has made the difficult decision to sell Woodmancote Hall, which means it will no longer be available to the community to use. It is currently listed for sale.

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Woodmancote Hall is closed for refurbishment and is currently being managed by a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) who plan to lease the hall from the Church. The CIO has approached Woodmancote Parish Council for a grant of £150,000. In order to fund this, WPC will have to apply for a loan to the Public Works Loan Board. The repayments will be made over 25 years and would lead to an increase in your council tax over this time approximately as follows:- 

 Council Tax Band  A  B  C  D   E   F   G   H 
 Current Annual Parish Council Precept  £20.95  £24.44  £27.94   £31.43  £38.41  £45.40   £52.38  £62.86
 Current Monthly Parish Council Precept  £1.75  £2.04  £2.33  £2.62  £3.20  £3.78  £4.37  £5.24
 Proposed Annual Increase per House  £19.44  £22.67  £25.91  £29.15  £35.63  £42.11  £48.59  £58.31
 Proposed Monthly Precept Increase per House  £1.62  £1.89  £2.16  £2.43  £2.97  £3.51  £4.05  £4.86

 

For reasons unrelated to this loan (which will remain as a fixed cost), your precept amount may rise over the term.

WPC are keen to see Woodmancote Hall reopened and available once again to the community. This is a fantastic opportunity to save this asset. However, we will only go ahead with the grant if our community agrees to the increase in their council tax.

Please return the postcard as soon as possible to confirm whether or not you agree to the proposal. We will go ahead on a majority, so please ensure you return this before 31st December to have your vote counted. Only one vote per household please.


Background Information 

Here are some facts to help you make your decision:-

  • Woodmancote Hall was closed in 2017 as it needs extensive refurbishment.
  • The hall is owned by the churchwarden and the vicar under a very complicated trust from the Church.
  • The Church are not able to fund the refurbishment.
  • The trust explicitly forbids the Parish Council from being a trustee or taking responsibility for the hall.
  • A group of residents have set up a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and have agreed to lease the hall from the Church for 35 years at a peppercorn rent. The lease will only be set up if the loan is agreed; the Church has written a letter of intent confirming this.
  • The CIO is a registered charity, number 1178412. Details of the charity including trustees and their aims can be found here.
  • The CIO has applied for several grants, and has asked residents for pledges for donations. The intention is that any grants received would reduce the amount of the loan being applied for.
  • The CIO has approached the Parish Council to apply for a fixed interest rate loan of £150,000. The Parish Council is able to apply for a loan with the Public Works Loan Board, which has low rates.
  • The loan would be granted to the CIO and repaid in full by the Parish Council, hence the reason for the increase in council tax over the next 25 years.
  • After taking legal advice, it was established that the CIO cannot repay the loan.


Next Steps

If the majority of survey responses is ‘yes’, the next step will be for the Parish Council to work with the CIO to ensure the viability of the project and then start the loan application. The grant to the CIO would be given with the condition (amongst others) that if the project fails the grant will be repaid to the Parish Council, although the legality of that will need to be explored.

If the majority of the survey responses is ‘no’, the Church intends to sell the land and the CIO will be wound up.


Results January 2019 

The results of the survey were as follows:-

Yes: 58
No: 35
Invalid: 1

Woodmancote Parish Council will now look into the requirements of the loan application, and updates will be posted here.

Your Precept will not be raised this year. If the loan application is successful, the first year's repayment will be made from money held in reserve.

 

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