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Thread: Scout hut petition "Save our scout hut"

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    NHS (Scotland and more generally) probably do the best practice thing. But we sat and watched a professional asbestos removal company build an entire temporary structure (scaffold and heavy poly) around a 40 metre trench because the pipes there-in were asbestos clad. They even had some sort of ventilation machinery to make sure nothing escaped through any gaps.
    Different types of asbestos require different measures. Asbestos sheeting/board and corrugated sheeting is one of the least bad provided it is intact (no rule against removing it yourself at home, double bagging and taking to the tip). Asbestos Artex isn't a great threat either, though taking a sander to it would be unwise. Asbestos vinyl floor tiles don't even necessarily pose a threat if they break up. Blue asbestos pipe lagging on the other hand releases fibres if you so much as breathe on it - the worst sort by far.

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    The lese on our HQ expired aboiut 20 years ago. We are - finally, and after over six years of active discussion with the local Community Housing Trust who took over the lease from the Council, about to sign a new lease. We can then actively fundraise to replace our current hall, which needs replacing badly (it's not dangerous, but is not really good enough).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Different types of asbestos require different measures. Asbestos sheeting/board and corrugated sheeting is one of the least bad provided it is intact (no rule against removing it yourself at home, double bagging and taking to the tip). Asbestos Artex isn't a great threat either, though taking a sander to it would be unwise. Asbestos vinyl floor tiles don't even necessarily pose a threat if they break up. Blue asbestos pipe lagging on the other hand releases fibres if you so much as breathe on it - the worst sort by far.
    I was referring to the roof and sheet asbestos.

    Obviously, we cannot see inside the building, but looking at the concrete construction, and the roof, it is likely that the roof is sheet asbestos.

    Internally, asbestos-containing walls can be sheeted over using adhesive.

    Our wall insulation, possibly contained asbestos, but it was contained in polythene wrapping. The ceiling insulation... was an unknown quantity - and yes, we did commission an Asbestos Survey, but the company having done the tests failed to send us the report...

    Artex - if you have it is a pain. I have put a suspended ceiling over Artexed ceilings rather than try to remove them.
    Ewan Scott

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  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Edit. There's a group in Fife that has what looks like an industrial unit for a hall, it looks the business. It wouldn't suit where we are (it's a small village with no industrial units. But, having that sort of premises would be really cool. Big roller doors, loads of space. That would be cool. We're probably spoiled as we are, with a hall, garage, large shed and our own (sort of) yard area with woods off to one side. Yup, we're really lucky. /edit
    There's a group in Woking that has 1/4 of a massive community building, built in the same area as the leisure centre, it has that kind aesthetic, sports hall/industrial unit. You go there and the scouts are at the back, you walk past doors for the Guides and Cadets and District Scouts and Boys/Girls Brigade and Young Farmers and Sealed Knot Juniors and okay, maybe I exaggerate a little, but only a little. Wait, not much at all...

    https://www.volkerfitzpatrick.co.uk/...mmunity-centre

    Some serious hut envy when I went there for an evening.
    Last edited by ianw; 13-01-2020 at 10:08 AM.
    Ian Wilkins
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    The lese on our HQ expired aboiut 20 years ago. We are - finally, and after over six years of active discussion with the local Community Housing Trust who took over the lease from the Council, about to sign a new lease. We can then actively fundraise to replace our current hall, which needs replacing badly (it's not dangerous, but is not really good enough).
    We were in the same boat when we did our windows and doors. The company who we applied to for a grant wanted to see a lease before they'd release the cash - ours had also expired.

    A, we didn't really know we didn't have one, and B, we didn't want to rock the boat in case the cooncil decided not to renew and sell the land to Tesco or something. (The big Scout Group in the county capital lost their hall to the new council building's car park.)

    Anyway, it got renewed in the end. Although it took a few months to get it done. (The village is just having to muddle on without a Tesco Express...)


    (We actually thought the tennis club might make moves, they were looking for replacement club premises. They're right next door, as are our other mortal enemies*, the bowling club).



    * Joking. Sort of.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    We were in the same boat when we did our windows and doors. The company who we applied to for a grant wanted to see a lease before they'd release the cash - ours had also expired.

    A, we didn't really know we didn't have one, and B, we didn't want to rock the boat in case the cooncil decided not to renew and sell the land to Tesco or something. (The big Scout Group in the county capital lost their hall to the new council building's car park.)

    Anyway, it got renewed in the end. Although it took a few months to get it done. (The village is just having to muddle on without a Tesco Express...)


    (We actually thought the tennis club might make moves, they were looking for replacement club premises. They're right next door, as are our other mortal enemies*, the bowling club).



    * Joking. Sort of.
    We thought they were going to build on our site and turn it into flats. Instead, they're only doing that on some old garages behind our site - and that development should hopefully help us - they have also very publicly confirmed that we're not going anywhere in the publicity for that development.

    In the meantime when we've bene waiting, it's cost us thousands to do essential maintenance to replace the roof and boiler.
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    We thought they were going to build on our site and turn it into flats. Instead, they're only doing that on some old garages behind our site - and that development should hopefully help us - they have also very publicly confirmed that we're not going anywhere in the publicity for that development.

    In the meantime when we've bene waiting, it's cost us thousands to do essential maintenance to replace the roof and boiler.
    In a sense, we've been lucky (sort of). Our hall has no central heating, we don't even have a central water boiler any more - we have (rubbish) domestic water boilers under the sink in the kitchen, and another for the hot water taps in the toilets. We get a single basin of hot water out them, it's a fifteen minute wait after that - it's quicker to boil the kettle.

    We really need to upgrade.

    (That said, we're still proud of our dishwasher, and our new(ish) electric, remote controlled roller door on our garage... Which is quite sad really...)

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  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    In a sense, we've been lucky (sort of). Our hall has no central heating, we don't even have a central water boiler any more - we have (rubbish) domestic water boilers under the sink in the kitchen, and another for the hot water taps in the toilets. We get a single basin of hot water out them, it's a fifteen minute wait after that - it's quicker to boil the kettle.

    We really need to upgrade.

    (That said, we're still proud of our dishwasher, and our new(ish) electric, remote controlled roller door on our garage... Which is quite sad really...)
    One of the key parts of the concept design for our new HQ includes a garage with a roller door!
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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  10. #24
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    I'll spare you the gory details but our building was built in 1979, and other than a replacement roof has had not a lot done to it in the last 30 years. It was originally built by the leaders at the time who all happened to be builders or carpenters - and is of the form often used (down here at least) for classrooms - wooden clad, felt roof etc. They have all retired and in most cases passed away since about 1990.


    Fortunately it had a metal roof put on it which is in good condition and the structure appears to be sound but the rest is now the subject of what will probably become a 100k plus refurb programme. So far we've had the asbestos stripped. Next phase is to replace the exposed side windows which are literally falling out complete with frames as they are so rotten. (The sheltered side are fine and may just have secondary glazing added). The heating system died about 6 years ago and hasn't worked since - that was gas central heating - will probably be replaced with electric heating because once we've put some insulation in, its all that is needed. Wiring was duff but had an emergency rewire of the ring main a year ago - distinct smell of fish when anything like a heater was on, told me that the insulation was breaking down on the old wiring. Ultimately it will need a new kitchen, all the interior stripping out and insulating, the floor refinishing, and the toilets replacing. Then we'll look at improving the access outside (at present the pavement stops at the corner of the site but the entrance is 200m further up the road - so we'll put a path in from the corner so as to have safe access off the road), and hopefully creating a sloped access to the storage at the rear to avoid having to lug tents etc up 20 steps.

    I entirely take the point that regular maintenance is better than crisis management - the difficulty is that unless you have someone managing a rotation of regular maintenance, stuff just ends up getting fixed as it breaks - until everything is starting to break at which point someone asks why! But its now taking up a lot of everyone's time and energy, applying for grants and considering quotes for various stages of the overall plan.
    Does anyone know what's going on?

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mang21 View Post

    I entirely take the point that regular maintenance is better than crisis management - the difficulty is that unless you have someone managing a rotation of regular maintenance, stuff just ends up getting fixed as it breaks - until everything is starting to break at which point someone asks why! But its now taking up a lot of everyone's time and energy, applying for grants and considering quotes for various stages of the overall plan.
    Of course, but, the duty of the Exec and to an extent the GSL, is to make sure that the property is maintained.

    Stepping away from this particular hut.

    The issue runs much deeper through Scouting (volunteer organisations - and even into business) in that the minimum attention is paid to simple things, which then become major issues down the line. There is not enough training and support given to Execs. Most think that making sure there is enough in the pot to keep the sections running is enough - it isn't.

    Execs should be managing the funds, raising the funds, to cover the cost of replacement of kit through wear and tear, maintenance of the property, meeting all the bills, addressing actions to minimise costs and to invest in developing the group beyond the lifespan of the existing membership.

    Yes, trying to tell people that does not make you popular, but I'd rather be unpopular and a hall be in safe use than be popular and be responsible for a hall closing down.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  12. #26
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    Most Scout Leaders are, understandably, leaders because they want to do the activities and the youth-facing stuff. Not to maintain buildings.

    The ideal solution is to find people to be on the exec who can take on the building side - but again the exec often end up being well-meaning parents who have been pressganged into filling spaces.

    I've often thought that districts could support here by trying to recruit an ADC Premises (or similar) - someone with premises management experience who can advise and support groups, carry out building checks, etc. Clearly some groups will be able to manage on their own with maybe an annual visit to offer support - while others might involve regular support.

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    If we're putting out any advertising for exec-type people, we try to sell it as a building/project management role. Aiming at parents or retirees who might have or have had that sort of role before (being responsible for buildings and equipment).

    We appreciate any help, but sometimes having someone in a position who (with the best will in the world) is just not interested or has ideas that are daft and/or bizarre, does more harm than good.

    Add in to that - sometimes - the kind of people who are keen to get involved, are not the kind of people you necessarily want involved.

  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    If we're putting out any advertising for exec-type people, we try to sell it as a building/project management role. Aiming at parents or retirees who might have or have had that sort of role before (being responsible for buildings and equipment).
    It can be good to get "others" into the Exec and access their skills if you can.

    We appreciate any help, but sometimes having someone in a position who (with the best will in the world) is just not interested or has ideas that are daft and/or bizarre, does more harm than good.
    Oh, I dunno, sometimes the people who bring the unusual are just what you need to break the monotony - like an introduction to bagpiping, for example. Let's see - what have I done that was deemed daft or bizarre? We introduced firestaff. We developed Light Up The Woods. We have run events and activities when no-one else would. We essentially restored a Scout Hut.

    Right now I am party to reviving a Bike Track for local kids - I have a meeting next week with the local community to try and catalyse them into developing some youth provision to address ASB issues. Another contact has reached out to the thugs who caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to his business and caused his staff to miss their paycheques at Christmas and has offered one of the yobs a job and training - that is thinking outside the box.

    Add in to that - sometimes - the kind of people who are keen to get involved, are not the kind of people you necessarily want involved.
    Oh, that is so true, sadly.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 14-01-2020 at 02:23 PM.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  15. #29
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    I wasn't talking about leadership. I was talking about exec roles.

    The last thing you need if you have buildings and equipment that needs looked after, is someone filling a position who decides your hall could do with a thatched roof (say) because it would look nice. We've been down that road, it took us years to get rid and recover.

    We usually have at least one piper on board, so we're good on that front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I wasn't talking about leadership. I was talking about exec roles.

    Even then, sometimes you need that individual who can break the status quo and make things happen. Else, you can get stagnation and "that'll do".
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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