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Reply To: General

#57676

There is certainly a “do nothing” option with no major projects; please be reassured on that. It will be included in the survey. The minimal option will work within our existing resources simply to maintain the facilities as we have. That maintenance will of course require some activity. You can see at the moment the work being done on the north face of the club to repoint, replace rotting timber etc and next year we will address the south face. In the next few years, necessary maintenance will include the Tennis Pavilion, cricket pavilion and the East Wing, which are all in poor states. Some of these eg e the tennis pavilion work would certainly cost over £1m but could be covered with existing resources. However, if members want to avoid as much work as possible, we would not change the north wing and work on the west wing would be limited to plant renewal and redecoration eg of the changing rooms and the now redundant squash courts.

On the East Wing, we do have to take into consideration the Member Resolution and the reduction in external events. The purpose of that resolution, which members supported, was to free space to dedicate at least part of the East Wing for members use – so that would be a project which would go ahead, assuming that members vote the necessary increase in subscriptions to cover the full or partial loss of events revenue.

The separation of adults and children is indeed a priority. It informs three components of the projects developed by TRA:

– expansion of the cafe to create more space than the current Cafe (the former Harness Room) can afford. That is where we get most complaints about children vs adults. That expansion would not go ahead without the WW project. In that case, I imagine that the Cafe would focus on children and families and adults would be encouraged to eat in the Polo Bar – unless we spend the money on the East Wing to create something attractive there
– children’s indoor play area, designed to attract Children and families away from the Harness Room etc. Without a major project, we would continue with the play area in the old squash courts but we are told this is too far away from the Cafe for it to work well for families; the same argument is made by the young mothers in relation to locating it in the East Wing, though again if we spend something there perhaps that objection can be overcome
– second indoor pool. This would not go ahead without the WW project. We will be able to keep the outdoor pool open until Dec and reopen in March every year. Separation would have to be achieved by concentrating adult swimming there during the 4-6pm time slot (as we are currently doing) and probably for chunks of the weekend as well. Other wise we will not be able to accommodate demand for child access and lessons, which already exceeds capacity. We will know better after this winter how acceptable this proves to be.

It is unfortunately not possible to “freeze” the Club just as it is, because our current entry policies lead to rapid growth in the number of child members. We would have to change membership policies to avoid this. We have 80% more members in their early thirties than we have in their early 40s – so it’s predictable that in the next 5-10 years, as those 3-+ year olds start families, we will have 80-% more children under 10 than we do at present. If you think the Cafe is too crowded with screaming children now, it will be much worse in 10 years! And at the same time, our elderly population will increase substantially.

Overall, there are solutions to improve separation of adults and children, even without major projects, and particularly in the “no change” programme in fact includes some significant renovation of the East Wing, consistent with the Member resolution. But members will note the impact on the availability of facilities and must make their choice between those options and others offered by the more expensive and disruptive alternatives that are available.