Minutes of Recreation and Environment Committee, 26 October 2015




Present:-  Cllr Carter (Chair), Cllr Cox, Cllr Crocker, Cllr Huntley & Cllr Lynch.

In Attendance:-  Mrs J Simmonds (Clerk)

Also Present:- Two members of public.



014/RE/15 Items by Members of Public Present 7.30pm-7.45pm

The meeting is open to the public and press and the first 15 minutes will be reserved, if

required, for public comment.  

No Comments.

015/RE/15 Apologies for absence.

APOLOGIES were received from Cllr Bagge.

016/RE/15 Declarations of interest

Members to declare any personal interest in any item of business as defined in the Code of Conduct 2012.  If that interest is a prejudicial interest as defined in the Code; the Member should withdraw from the meeting for that item.


017/RE/15 Minutes

RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the R&E Committee held on 22 June 2015 which were signed by the Chairman.

018/RE/15 Football Bells Hill

CONSIDERED annual rent costs for 2016/17 in new pavilion for budgets for all teams, Cllr Huntley

proposed a 2% increase on the three football teams, this was seconded by Cllr Lynch, RESOLVED to

agree all in favour.

019/RE/15 Nettleship Wood

NOTED that all further ditch clearance work has been carried out bringing the three year project to an end and that a maintenance programme can now begin in year four 16/17.  Decided on how the maintenance programme will run and Cllr Carter proposed to keep the budget amount the same as last year, seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.  Update was sent in from Cllr Fox who had agreed to do quarterly checks on the ditches, to continue to monitor and check on an Oak tree which needs attention.

CONSIDERED rent costs for grazing contracts and annual increase for 2016/17 for budget, Cllr Carter proposed a 2% increase on both rents, this was seconded by Cllr Cox, RESOLVED to agree, four in favour, one against.

020/RE/15  Bells Hill and Plough Lane Recreation Grounds

Dog Fouling – NOTED that the double picks during the months of April through to August as agreed were very successful and that no reports were made to the clerk for dog fouling in the recs during the spring/summer.  Cllr Huntley proposed that we do this again next year and then review again next October, this was seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

NOTED disappointingly that the football team due to play at Plough Lane have pulled out of the agreement after just one match and one training session, due to the amount on dog mess on the pitch.

NOTED that the flooding soakaway work had not yet started in Bells Hill today, clerk to chase.

DISCUSSED quotes which was tabled for tarmac work on car park and entrance to Bells Hill Rec. Agreed by all to ask a local builder to look at the quote and the spec supplied to ensure it is what is required and to bring back to the November Full Parish Council meeting for decision.

AGREED to research costs to replace the baby swings at Bells Hill Rec, and bring to Finance for decision of what to budget.

NOTED request from contractors on new builds in Sefton Close asked for the access to the recreation ground to be closed off.  Clerk written back to say no, public access, right of way and well used access etc.

021/RE/15 Pavilion

CONSIDERED annual rent costs for 2016/17 in new pavilion for budgets for all uniformed

Groups, Cllr Carter proposed that as they have only just started at the pavilion they should remain the same for next year and bring back to October 2016 for review, this was seconded by Cllr Lynch, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

DISCUSSED pavilion in general and agreed to keep a running list of snagging items to be dealt with.

022/RE/15  Allotments

NOTED that the Clerk and Cllr Crocker have obtained from advice from SBDC but have been unable to get a site meeting in place; however the officer has confirmed that the water table in that area is high, and any amount of work to rectify the problem will almost certainly be a waste of money as it is an impossible task , he confirmed that the ditches cannot cope with the amount of water coming off of the common and down Templewood Lane.  Agreed that we should take the advice of this expert and previous advice already sought by the council that this is a problem in this area and no amount of costly work will make any difference.

NOTED letter received from the Allotment Association on the same subject with proposal for works to deal with the flooding issues and a request to settle the outstanding invoice discussed last time which was agreed to bring back to this meeting.  Cllr Cox proposed that nothing can be decided until after the winter when we can see if the drainage is working, therefore we cannot pay the invoices either without further evidence, in light of the advice sought above we should not do any drainage works proposed yet, and both items should be deferred until at least February if not June next year, this was seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree, all in favour.

DISCUSSED allotments in general and work carried out to improve them by the Cllr Cox and the Clerk, in particular to decide on existing gates and access across the allotments and if gates should be removed and vehicles being able to drive all the way around the plots, and park up rather than returning them to the car park, both issues mentioned in the agreement but could be conflicting. Cllr Carter proposed that a letter be sent out with the rent renewals asking for the gates to be removed and for holders not to drive around and leave their cars at their plots, and if the request about the gates is ignored then notice will be given, and if ignored about the cars then bollards will be installed to stop any cars driving around at all, and all costs for this work will be reflected in future rent increases, this was seconded by Cllr Cox, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

DISCUSSED Willow Tree in car park causing a problem, the councillors could see no problem with the tree, but agreed to ask the grass cutting contractor to flail it next time he is there.

CONSIDERED rent costs and annual increase for 2016 for budget, Cllr Carter proposed that a full plot be charged at £30 and half a plot be charged at £16, this was seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

023/RE/14 Tennis Club

CONSIDERED rent costs and annual increase for 2016/17 for budget, Cllr Huntley proposed a 2% increase, this was seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

024/RE/14  Playground Inspections/Litter Picking

CONSIDERED annual increase for 2016/17 for budget, Cllr Carter proposed a 2% increase on both, this was seconded by Cllr Huntley, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

025/RE/15 Best Kept Village

RESOLVED to agree by all to defer until October 2016 meeting and discuss again then.

026/RE/15  Working Party for Xmas Lights Ceremony/Bells Hill Green

NOTED that original event was cancelled due to lack of helpers.

NOTED that a new event is planned for Friday 11 December for a procession to take place from St Andrews Church and then have carol singing back at St Andrews.  Cllr Crocker and Cllr Carter updated on administration for Parish Council event and that there was a lot of work and paperwork involved to enable this event to take place.  Cllr Crocker and the Clerk continue to work on this to ensure it happens legally.

NOTED that the Christmas Tree and lights should be in and on in time for 1st December 2015 as previous years, however the clerk has been informed today that the existing lights are broken and need replacing at a cost altogether of £3500 approximately.  Cllr Crocker proposed that she speaks to the contractor tomorrow to find out more information and then emails the committee and if this is the only option then this committee agrees to taking £1500 required from the general fund to add to the budgets left for new lights and that this is ratified at the next Parish Council meeting, this was seconded by Cllr Carter,  RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

RESOLVED to agree all in favour to transfer any money left in the Christmas Lights budget at the end of this financial year 15/16 into the Christmas Lights Reserve, if any available.

Cllr Crocker updated the committee that the replacing/repairing Santa’s sleigh will not take place this year.

027/RE/15 Finance Budgets 16/17

NOTED and Cllr Carter proposed that they agree budgets for 16/17 as circulated, seconded by Cllr Crocker, RESOLVED to agree all in favour.

028/RE/15 NOTED Date of next meeting:- 

22 February 2016

Meeting ended at 9.30pm