Kingsnorth Community Cafe

Posted by on Apr 10th, 2019 in Community News, Featured, Latest News | Comments Off on Kingsnorth Community Cafe

Over two years ago Kingsnorth Parish Council was asked to support the idea of a community café that would operate from the sports pavilion on the playing fields.

This enterprise would have to share this space with users of the pavilion e.g. football clubs, private hire and the Parish Council as we hold our monthly Parish Council meetings in the pavilion.

The pavilion was re decorated to make it more welcoming as a café and storage provided to accommodate supplies and Borough Councillor grants secured to purchase the coffee machine.

The café has proved to be a success and over the two years settled into regular opening hours and supported and led on many community and charity events.

The café has been run by volunteers and money raised used to support local projects with support from the Parish Council, but the time has come for the café to have its own organisational structure, constitution, and clear purpose.

This lack of governance came to a head recently when decisions had been made regarding the use and access to the pavilion which belongs to the Parish Council and lack of clarity over who has the authority to make decisions and on what basis decisions are made.

The café is at a cross roads and considering extending its opening hours and possibly employing paid staff which moves it from a project to an enterprise which requires the appropriate governance arrangements in place.

As the café operates within a building owned by the Parish Council, we have a duty to ensure that their activities are fully compliant and that will depend on the constitution adopted by the café volunteers and the Parish Council.

To inform the future direction of the café we will consult residents and volunteers on what role they want the café to play as a community facility and assist in identifying the right form of governance structure e.g. a committee, board of trustees, registered charity or not for profit enterprise.

Until such time as these issues are resolved the café is suspended but could be used to support one off events.

We are currently without a Parish Council Manager and the number of Parish Councillors significantly depleted so we lack the resources to undertake this transitional exercise as speedily as we would like but hopefully this will soon be resolved as we are in the process of recruiting a new PCM and this will be one of their top priorities.

The suspension of the café is regrettable but we are confident that following this review process it will come back better and stronger with a more sustainable and clear future.