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Members of St James’ Church are looking to develop the church for the benefit of the community.
At present the church has no water supply, kitchen area or toilet and the village has no indoor community space. To rectify these things and to apply for help with funding, a community audit asked how people feel about the village, what their needs are and how changes could answer their needs. Members of the fifteen associations in the village were asked how they felt and the answers were incorporated into the household questionnaire.
So, many thanks to the people of Melsonby for their help. We had 120 responses which is more than a third and is very good for a questionnaire of this type. We had assistance from Richmondshire District Council so that responses could be entered online, a big help.
In brief the results showed that (% are of those who answered that question):
The most popular features of living in Melsonby were (120 responses): The environment (87%), friendliness and support from villagers (69%) and accessibility of A1 and A66 (68%)
Issues about living in Melsonby in particular were (118 responses): No shop (94%), no Post Office (86%), no village hall or community space (81%)
Which facilities that residents would most benefit from (120 responses): Shop (91%), PO (87%), Village Hall/Community Centre (74%), activities for younger people (59%)
Greater likelihood of using the church building with water supply, kitchen and toilet(s) (92 responses): Concerts (80%), Exhibitions (76%), School services and events (42%), weddings, funerals, baptisms (50%)
Most likely uses of a flexible, larger room (109 responses): Part time post office (69%), Concerts and community shows (65%), Keep fit or exercise; village events e.g. Christmas Party (both 60%), Newspaper collection point, Regular club meetings, Coffee and a chat (all 51%)
In the question asking would it help improve community life if the church building were developed, of the 118 people who replied , 72% thought it would, 8.5% did not think so and 19.5% did not know. 61 people took the trouble to elaborate on their response. Most people who commented, said that the village needs a hub, a meeting place and a venue for a number of activities. They felt it would enable people to use the village more with local clubs meeting there. People are sorry to find currently that if they want to hire a hall for an event it has to be Aldbrough, Gilling, Eppleby or Barton, but not Melsonby, it could also possibly provide a venue for a community shop.
27 people gave their general comments on the proposed project. 10 were broadly in favour, 4 people did not want the church to be changed, 5 people were worried about parking, 3 were concerned with the situation of the church. Other requirements were: disabled access, a youth club, shop and PO and a project website.
Contributions to responses to the questionnaire were given by the full range of age groups as used for the Melsonby Parish Questionnaire in 2011.
The responses will be considered and a full report will be written. If anyone would like to see the results of this survey in full, please contact Lesley Black on 01325 718188.