Ready to help

I can’t begin to say how disappointed and angry I am at the report in last week’s Observer.

The Observer asked me for a comment regarding the complaint from the country and western members that their music evenings were being cancelled (I might add very few are actually members of the centre).

You failed to print my reply in whole and left out the half which shows we are still running the

event and open to discussions to keep it running.

This shows the Grange in a very poor light which, as you and members of the public know full well, is not a true reflection of the centre.

A few facts. Since Pam Cooper retired in September 2008, the Grange took over running the evening to ensure it kept going.

We have since booked the band using the same contacts and in the early days experienced average attendance of just under 100.

A steady decline in numbers from 2010 has resulted in us struggling to balance the books and from September 2010 the average is 42 – below a break-even figure.

Compounded by the extra cost of raffle prices, taxis, staffing and running costs, we have been left with an untenable shortfall in income.

If the Observer had printed my reply in full, it would have been clear that, as a charity, we have a responsibility to our members and trustees to manage the centre in a responsible way.

We are a community centre and are here for the community, as our track record shows.

As I mentioned in my letter, I am more than happy to meet with the country and western group and help seek a sponsor to assist financially.

If there are any local businesses out there who feel this is something they would be interested in, please contact me at the Grange.

As a final comment it would be good on occasion to report on the positive things that are happening at the Grange, such as the weekly tiny tots gym, exciting children’s birthday parties packages, the winter wonderland indoor ice rink, which is being held again this December, and the recent Home and Garden show, as well as the revamped Christmas Market in November.

These are just a few of the initiatives we are holding at the centre for the community as a whole.

Mike Boyce

Grange Centre manager,

Midhurst

* There was not space in the Observer last week to run all the comments of Mike Boyce in full.

We edited the comments to give a fair representation of his response to the complaints by the country

and western club members. We are happy to publish Mr Boyce’s comments in full here.