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Background

The old Broad Chalke shop and Post Office operated by Robert and Sue Fry was very popular in the local community for many years and considered a valuable asset to the Village. However it closed at the end of May 2013 due to Bob’s retirement

Consultation

In 2011, following the recent relaxation of planning guidance and in response to the new NPPF Planning requirements, (Broad Chalke Parish Council) identified the need to develop a Village Plan. As part of this process it issued community questionnaires to all households in the Parish.

The retention & revitalisation of a village Shop and PO amenity was identified as fundamental to a thriving rural community in The Western Chalke Valley. The support for the Shop and PO has the backing of no less than 96% of respondents to our Community Survey so far-based on responses from almost 60% of the village’s 260 households (representing 650 residents)

A startup team was created in March 2012 to examine potential locations and feasibility of creating a new shop and this resulted in the creation of the Chalke Valley Community Hub as a vehicle to develop the shop along the lines of an Industrial Provident Society

In October 2012, the Start up Committee arranged two public meetings in Broad Chalke Village Hall. The purpose of the meetings was to present our proposals to the Chalke Valley community, to obtain feedback at the meeting through questions and answers and to issue a questionnaire. The meetings were very well attended and the proposals received enthusiastic support. The requirement for a shop and PO facility was overwhelming.

For more detail on the consultation process please consult the original business plan.

Company Summary

The Chalke Valley Community Hub Ltd is registered with the FSA as an Industrial and Provident Society (“IPS”) for the benefit of the community (Co No: IPS 29912R).

An IPS is a separate legal entity, regulated by Financial Services Authority. The company is owned by its members and governed by its own set of rules.

The Society has the following key features:

  • Anyone can subscribe for a share to become a member
  • Each member has one vote irrespective of the size of their shareholding
  • There are no artificial restrictions on membership
  • It can raise capital by way of grants, loans or an issue of shares
  • It can trade, enter into contractual relationships, acquire an interest in land etc.
  • It will be managed by a committee of at least 3 members
  • It will publish annual accounts
  • It will hold an annual general meeting each year to elect a committee and conduct other business

Staffing

The shop and coffee shop are run by a team of full and part time staff:

Ellen Smets (Retail Manager), Judith Samson (assistant manager), Sharon Morgrette (assistant manager), Richard James (Postmaster), Helen Atkinson (Benefice Administrator), Amber Cotton (Book-Keeper), Stephen & Caroline Mouland (Grounds & Cleaning)

All supported by a huge team of volunteers(see below).

Management Committee:

The Society’s strategy, policy and objectives are the responsibility of the Management Committee and its method of operation is set out in the Society’s rules. Membership of the Management Committee is by election at the Society’s Annual General Meeting.

The initial Start‐Up Committee, which saw the project through to opening stood down and has now been replaced by a management committee:
Will Hillary (Chairman)
Henry Flint: Treasurer

Rob Wilkins: Ex Officio
Revd. Jackie Lowe: URC Congregation
Annabel Waters: Public Relations
John Lace: Human Resources / Bowerchalke
Rachel Sykes: Alvediston
Hugh Pelly: Ebbesbourne Wake
Shosh Hobbs: Broad Chalke/Retail
Chris Rothwell: Facilities Management 

Caroline Dutson

Other Representatives:

Hub Manager: Ellen Smets
Volunteer Reps: Ann Ferreira, Ray Collins
Website & IT: Martin Altham
IPS Secretary: Michael Roe
URC Trust Rep: Peter Pay
Legal Advisor: Andrew Wiltshire

Volunteers

The Shop, PO and coffee shop staff are supported by teams of volunteers who contribute their time freely. As of Autumn 2015 we have some 100 volunteers supporting the shop and coffee shop. Some have regular slots each week and others fill in on an ad hoc basis. The volunteer teams are looked after by:

Anne Ferraira (shop) and Jan Fowler (Coffee Shop)  and Ray Collins,

Our Local Advisors – who have given their professional services absolutely free including, but not limited to:  Martin Altham (IT), Frances Bowen (Retail), David Gilbert (Works), Nicola Goodridge (Personnel), Peter & Chrissy Harris (Health, Safety & Fire), Chris Littlemore (Design & Planning), Andrew Wiltshire (Legal).

Opening

The shop first opened on the 3rd June 2013 for a trial period of 3 weeks in which we sought to find out about the products and stock levels we needed to meet the needs of customers.

Grand Opening

Following a successful trial period the Grand Opening took place on 22nd June 2013, with Sir Terry Pratchett formally opening the shop. More details

Best Village Shop/PO in the UK

On May 1st 2014, less than a year after opening, we were voted winners Countryside Alliance Best Village Shop/PO.