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We are aware that the publicity that preceded and followed the takeover of the Ferry by Blue Funnel carried some mixed messages and we thought it would be useful if we provided some clarification on the main issues that have arisen.
So here is our very own version of ' any questions ' we hope that this will answer the main points where there may be some uncertainty about what happens next now that Blue Funnel has bought the Ferry.
We now have a real opportunity to take our plans forward working together with Blue Funnel we can build a better future for the Pier, the train and the ferry. You can be a part of this as we develop this community initiative. If you want to see the Pier and the Train preserved and protected, if you want to share the history and heritage to ensure it is here for future generations then join us because...
Together We Can.
Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss other points you may want to raise.
Not exactly! The Blue Funnel takeover has secured the immediate future, so we can say that the threat of closure has been lifted. The long term success of the ferry will depend upon more passengers using it, we believe that the new owners Blue Funnel Ferries Ltd will take steps to improve reliability and comfort and introduce other changes to attract new customers going forward. The future of the historic pier, its train and the structures and buildings will be dependent upon the success of a long term community project to protect and preserve it for the benefit of all.
HPHA has been established as the organisation that can work on behalf of the community and wider public to secure the long term future of the Pier Train, Buildings and associated structures. We will focus on two key objectives, these form our Mission Statement and are as follows
1) To preserve and protect the pier, the train and the associated structures from further deterioration.
2) To celebrate and share the history and heritage of the pier, the train, and the ferry with the community and the wider public.
The purpose of the HPHA is to develop plans and organise activities, raise funds and secure grants to deliver these objectives.
HPHA has a simple structure. A group of six local people have put themselves forward to become Trustees of the new Charitable body we seek to establish and are acting as the management committee, or board, for the organisation. Within this group we have a Chairperson, a Treasurer and a Secretary. In addition, we have a Steering Committee plus various working groups which cover topics such as fundraising, heritage, pier development and public relations.
Importantly any supporter who shares our values and objectives is most welcome to join our group and help us. There is no membership fee at the moment although we will create a membership offer in the future.
We have created an organisation structure so we are prepared once we achieve charitable status.
In building our organisation we will incur some legal costs and other expenses. When we begin undertaking the tasks we have set ourselves we will need to have funds available. The work involved in preparing the information required to set up a new charity will take time and until we have a registered charity persuading other public bodies and organisations to commit grant funding may be difficult. By fundraising in the community we can begin the process and this will be crucial to the success of the project.
So far we have limited expenditure whenever possible. We have incurred some costs to hire a room to hold meetings and we have purchased campaign badges. Other materials and resources have been donated by members of the group.
All donations received and money raised through the community are held in our own account at LLoyds Bank. Auditable financial procedures are in place to ensure that all income and expenditure is recorded and can be accounted for.
We will ensure that our accounts are checked and reviewed by a competent person annually.
In 2003 Hampshire County Council commissioned a detailed survey of the pier, this exercise was undertaken following the incident that saw the dredger Donald Redford collide with the pier causing it severe damage. A copy of this survey report has been made available to us. Clearly we need to undertake some investigations and assessments in order to understand what now needs to be done in order to preserve and protect the pier and the associated structures from further deterioration. The first task in listing out a schedule of works required will be informed by our properly understanding the condition of the pier today.
Our first application to the Charities Commission was submitted in January. We had a response from the commission in March. This raised a number of questions and highlighted the unique challenges associated with the proposals we made in this first application.
The key items that we need to consider are as follows:
We have to show a clear separation of the commercial activity of the Ferry operator and the proposed charity. We must ensure that the charity does not subsidise or support the ferry commercially as public transport is not accepted as a 'Charitable Purpose'. We therefore have to agree with blue Funnel how this will be achieved.
Other questions which require further work include, evidence to support our claim that the pier and the train provide significant public benefit and are therefore worthy of support by the commission.
We believe that Blue Funnel Ferries agree with us that the best way to secure the long term future of the pier is to establish a new charity that will maintain and develop the Pier and Train. They are willing to work with us to formulate the agreement to satisfy the Charities Commission. There is a considerable amount of work to be completed, however we are proposing to prepare a new application for submission to the Charities Commission as soon as possible.
In the first instance please come to this web site (www.SaveHythePier.org.uk) where you will be able to get up to date information and find out what is happening plus other useful links related to our campaign and activities.
We are on twitter so check out our twitter feed @SaveHythePier
We also run our facebook page which is SaveHythePier
where we post regular updates and information about the group and what we are doing in the community and further afield.
If you have a specific question or issue and you want to talk to us please check our contact page
, where you'll find our email address and contact phone number (also on the bottom of every web page) - just send or leave us a message and someone will get back to you.