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The Shop Project
Shop Project - Newsletters

AGM 28/06/16 Minutes

AGM 28/06/16 Presentation

EGM 30/07/15 Minutes

EGM 30/07/15 Presentation

EGM 30/07/15 Agenda

AGM 16/06/15 Minutes

AGM 16/06/15 Agenda 

Members Meeting 29/01/15 - minutes

Members Meeting 08/12/14 - Minutes

AGM 19/06/14 - Minutes


March 2014

Minutes of the Members Meeting held on 6th March 2014


February 2014


Dear Member,

You are invited to a special members meeting on Thursday 6th March at 7:30pm in the village hall.

The purpose of the meeting is to present, for comment and endorsement, the plan to purchase Green Lantern Storesto preserve the village shop for the future.

The plan will include summaries of:

  • the building's full structural survey by db+Paul
  • the legal services provided by Bartlett Gooding and Wheelen
  • the mortgage offering from the Ecology Building Society
  • the strategic consultancy support from the Plunkett Foundation and the Rural Shops Alliance 
  • the Community Share Offer
  • the shop Bond offer
  • an updated project plan
  • an updated business plan

 Following the presentation of the plan, and a Questions and Answers session, a resolution will be put to the meeting proposing that the plan is implemented.

The Management Committee looks forward to meeting you on the 6th March.

Yours sincerely,

Myriam Kniveton (Chairman), John Cozens (Vice Chairman), Simon Bruce (Treasurer), Mark Smith (Secretary), Penny Colwill, George Osborne



Copy of the Email sent to Members following the November 7th 2013 Members Meeting

Dear Member,

Please find attached the slides  that were shown at the Westbury Sub Mendip Community Shop Ltd Members meeting on 7 November 2013.

A revised Gantt Chart (page 4) will be issued in due course, with the chart reflecting that the 'Phase 2 (Proceed)' option was voted for by a large majority of the members. Minutes of the meeting will also be produced.

Yours sincerely,

Myriam Kniveton (Chairman), John Cozens (Vice Chairman), Simon Bruce (Treasurer), Mark Smith (Secretary), Julie Baker, Penny Colwill 

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it



October Newsletter

Additional Share Application forms, the Prospectus, the Business Plan, and the Society's Rules are available at the links below.

Application Form


Business Plan



A village with a heart

The Share Issue for the Westbury-sub-Mendip Community Shop was launched on 5th September and will remain open until 30th October.  The meeting was well attended and people felt a real sense of belonging to a close community.  The message was well received and people understood that the best way to keep our village shop to go from crisis to crisis and safeguard it for the long term future is for the community to purchase the property.

A village shop provides a heart to a village and a hub for its community.  A village shop is as much a place for people to go to when they want groceries as it is a place to meet other villagers and catch up with what is going on in the village.  A village shop is what stops people from becoming strangers within their community and a village from becoming a dormitory.

As you know our village shop is under threat and we needed, when we launched the share issue, £120,000 from the community to save it. We have been offered £50,000 in interest free loans so that we can revise our share target from the community to £80,000. We have already raised nearly £28,000 from 75 individuals (as at 16/10/13). This means we need a further £52,000 to reach this target.

In seeking grants we need to be able to demonstrate wide community support. This means that if a large proportion of the village subscribes and we reach the community share target our ability to attract funding from grants will be greatly increased. We have done well so far but with 650 adults in our community we need a majority of people in our village to become subscribers.

What would our village be like without its shop and post office? We all agree that it would be a very different and much less desirable place. We need for example another 500 people to purchase 10 shares each, or a mix of fewer bigger share purchases and many smaller ones to retain our village shop, and so keep the character of the village as a thriving community.

So please show that the shop and your village are important to you by purchasing at least one share of £10 or better still if you can, 10 shares.

With only a couple of weeks to go, we can do this, but we need your support now!


There will be a Members Meeting on Thursday November 7th at 7:30 pm in the village hall: formal invitations will be sent to all Members shortly. Non-Members will also be welcome, though they cannot vote.   



September Newsletter

The Westbury Sub Mendip Community Shop Ltd share issue was launched on 5th September at the village hall where over 50 people attended and heard the Committee members introduce the share offer. Questions were raised and answered, and have been collected into this QandA document, which will be updated as other queries are raised.

Additional Share Application forms, the Prospectus, the Business Plan, and the Society's Rules are available at the links below.

Application Form


Business Plan


If you have any questions you would like answered, please email us  and one of the committee will reply.

Printed copies of the Prospectus and Business Plan are available in the shop, and the share issue continues open until 30 October 2013. 



August 2013 Registration Update

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) registered the 'Westbury Sub Mendip Community Shop Ltd' as an Industrial and Provident Society (a form of Community Benefit Society) on 5th August 2013.

The Society's Rules are here.

They are standard rules used by many village shops throughout the country, so they are 'tried and tested', and cater for most foreseeable eventualities. They are flexible enough to cater for a number of different operating models which can be adopted as needs arise.

The Rules describe how the Society will be run in general terms. The specifics of how to join the Society, the share issue and the business plan for the Westbury Sub Mendip Community Shop will be described in the Prospectus and Business Plan documents which are being finalised at the moment, and will be published here when completed.  




July 2013 Newsletter


Westbury Shop Project Newsletter

July 2013


'Your Shop Needs You!'

The Westbury Shop Project group has gained in numbers since the last update and we are delighted to welcome Simon Bruce and Penny Colwill to the committee. This puts us in good stead as we move into the next phase of the project.

The committee has been very busy developing the best way to acquire the freehold of Green Lantern House for the village. We have consulted with The Plunkett Foundation ( and The Rural Shops Alliance ( as well as Aster (a housing association which owns and administers a number of properties in Stoneleigh and is very supportive of what we are trying to do in Westbury).

We are in the process of setting up a Community Enterprise called The Westbury-sub-Mendip Community Shop Company Ltd. The Parish Council have kindly agreed to fund the company’s registration costs (£570). The registration will be followed by an application for a £2,000 grant from the Plunkett Foundation which will contribute to professional costs associated with the purchase of the shop.

The Westbury-sub-Mendip Community Shop Company Ltd is being set up as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS), closely following the guidelines provided by the Plunkett Foundation. This means that anyone in the village will be able to buy shares in the company at £10 each, up to a maximum investment of £20,000.

Purchase of one or more £10 shares will confer membership of the company and every member will have one vote irrespective of how many shares are purchased. This means that everyone in the village has the opportunity to contribute  towards the purchase of Green Lantern House and to have a say in the project. More details and answers to frequently asked questions will be included in a Share Prospectus which will be circulated in August.

The shares issue will be launched on the 5th September 2013 in the Village Hall and available for purchase for eight weeks until the 24th October 2013.  Two additional dates have been set aside for surgeries to allow people to raise queries and /or discuss the shares with committee members on Saturday the 7th and 14th of September from 10 am to 1 pm in the Village Hall.

As an IPS the Committee can apply for grants and loans, making the task of raising sufficient funding to buy Green Lantern House much easier.  However the village will need to make a significant financial contribution for the venture to be successful. 

The Committee has already made a grant application to Aster’s Efficiency Savings Fund to meet the cost of refurbishing the shop and building toilet facilities for the staff and volunteers in the shop.

The Committee will assess the financial situation when the share issue has closed and consider how to meet any shortfall of funding with the view to complete the purchase of Green Lantern House early in the New Year. Paul will then lease the shop from The Westbury-sub-Mendip Community Shop Company Ltd at a sustainable rent, which will ensure its future.

The shop will continue to need your support!

The village shop and Post Office is a priceless asset to Westbury, providing access to food, milk, papers, and many other items, as well as a wide range of Post Office facilities. But more than that it is a social hub, providing a place to meet, exchange information, have a bit of a laugh and occasionally share some gossip.  For many Westbury villagers a visit to the shop is an essential part of their daily routine.

Finally, we would like to wish the very best to Paul Blackburn as the new shopkeeper in Green Lantern House , bid ‘bon voyage’ to Rachel as she embarks on her travels and express our gratitude to  the  volunteers, who have given so generously of their time and effort over the past 4 years. They have played an important role in ensuring the survival of the shop and we hope that their support will continue under Paul’s management.

Please help us to ensure the future of our village shop and look out for the imminent share issue!

The Westbury-sub-Mendip Shop Project Committee:

Myriam Kniveton, Mark Smith, John Cozens, Julie Baker, Simon Bruce, Penny Colwill 



The May 2013 Westbury News Village Shop update with introduction to Paul Blackburn can be read here...

Update on the Village Shop and Post Office 



April 2013 Newsletter

'Your Shop Needs You!'

It is nearly a month since the open meeting in the village hall on the 14th March. At that meeting the Village Shop Project Group proposed that the best way to retain the shop and post office was to buy Green Lantern House from LA Moore, and lease to a new tenant.

What has happened since?

A small group of people have met twice to start THE process of setting up a property company and attracting funds to buy the shop and keep the shop and post office in the village in the short to medium term.

Rachel will be leaving the Green Lantern store at the end of June and she has started the process of handing over to Paul Blackburn.  Paul, who already runs the shop at Draycott, is keen to run the Westbury shop and join in the community. He has started negotiations with LA Moore to take on a short term lease. 

This means the village needs to get on and set up a property company and raise the necessary capital funding to buy the property from LA Moore and subsequently lease it to Paul (at a more sustainable rent).

The Village Shop Project Group has sought advice and identified the steps needed to achieve this and needs donations of help in the following areas:

Communications, Marketing and Fundraising

Business and Finance 

Legal (contracts)

Surveying (legal)

Surveying (building)

A meeting will take place in the rear room of the Westbury Inn on Tuesday 23rd April at 7 pm to discuss the plan in more detail and explore how people in the village can help and/or get more involved.

Please come and join us (especially if you have the skills we need!).

You can email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   or contact any of the following Village Shop Group members for more information:

John Cozens               870096

Myriam Kniveton         870769

Mark Smith                871076

Julie Baker                 870785

The shop project group have taken over the email list from the Parish Council, and have the forms with offers of help handed in at the parish meetings but we are asking for specific help now.

We will send monthly updates via emails and the village website as well as printed versions in the shop and the pub.  Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it if your details are not on the Parish Council list and you want to be added to our mailing list.

We promise you better conditions and more fun than what Ernest Shackleton offered in his appeal for Antarctic explorers - “Officers wanted for hazardous journey. Small Wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”!


March 2013 Report

The Parish Meeting on 13th February 2013 agreed that there should be an investigation and report on 3 options to try to ensure that the community has a sustainable future for its shop and post office. These options lie alongside the options the freeholder is considering of their existing tenant buying the property and identifying a new postmaster/shop keeper to take on a lease.


The meeting agreed to reconvene on Thursday 14th March to consider the reports on the 3 options and determine whether any option can be taken forward.


Finances---It is not anticipated that the option appraisal will be costly; however the Project Coordination Team will apply for small grants from the Friendly Society. In addition the Parish Council will consider payment against specific items.

Manpower---The project team will hold a list of offers of potential support.


Project Coordination Team

A small team of John Crickett, Austin Little, and Ros Wyke together with the Parish Clerk, Mark Smith, will coordinate the project

Option Working Groups

There will be 3 option groups each with a different leader to spread the work load and ensure focus to meet a tight reporting timescale. 

In addition to the 3 option groups, a number of individuals will take on specific roles to support all 3 option groups. 

Single Issues

Some issues will be addressed by one or more option groups. To avoid duplication and confusion with external sources and people the following will be specifically responsible for the issue and 

We ask everyone in the first instance to consult with them.

Liaison with Rachel                John Crickett

Rural Shop Accounts, Viability and Sustainability   Austin Little and Simon Bruce

Liaison with LA Moore Ltd   The Project coordination team

Post Office                              Max Atkinson

Funding Awarding Bodies     Julie Baker 

Communications                     Ros Wyke 

Church Commission Liaison   Austin Little


OPTION ONE Led by Myriam Kniveton 

To consider the feasibility, challenges and risks of the community taking on the lease of the shop in June from LAMoore Ltd.

Among the issues to be explored

Lease with and without the accommodation and separation of the shop

Current local rent levels

Use of the garden and garage

Role of volunteers and paid staff


OPTION TWO Led by John Crickett

To consider the feasibility, challenges and risk of setting up a Property Company to buy the property and to set up a community-owned operating company to run the shop & PO.

Among the issues to be explored

Condition of the building

Type of organisations

The level of support within the wider community 

OPTION THREE led by John Cozens

To consider the feasibility, challenges and risks of identifying an alternative location for the shop & post office, indicative setting up costs for an appropriate trading area and community hub.

Among the issues to be explored


Type of building & activity

Realistic timescale

Lesson to be learnt from other village shop projects

It is anticipated that the option group leaders will call on individuals to support their investigation and report from both the resource list and from other members of the wider community.

We hope that anyone will feel welcome to offer help or feed in ideas or suggestions. It is intended that the project is as inclusive as possible, as the discussion and decision on the 14th March needs wide community support.

Contact Details

John Cricket                870275             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Austin Little                871151             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Ros Wyke                   870347             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Mark Smith                 871076             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Simon Bruce               870873             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   mobile: 07785-908120

Myriam Kniveton        870769             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

John Cozens                870096             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Julie Baker                  870785             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Max Atkinson             870600             This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  



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