PRESENT: COUNCILLORS J. DAVIES (CHAIRMAN), J. BRINE, A. CLAXTON, A. CONWAY, T. HUGHES, C. HILL (Clerk) and approximately 25 members of the public
1. Election of Chairman as a result of Cllr. Fowle’s resignation
Cllr. Brine proposed Cllr. Davies as Chairman, seconded Cllr. Claxton and carried unanimously. The Chairman signed the declaration of office form.
2. Apologies
No apologies were received.
3. Declaration of interest
No interests were declared.
4. To consider options with regard to play facilities and to agree preferred option
Cllr. Brine had circulated to councillors prior to the meeting a list of options;
option 1 make no decision,
option 2 as 1 but remove equipment,
option 3 refurbish on a reduced scale,
option 4 fully refurbish
option 5 to review options for play equipment in field.
Each option was discussed in detail. Cllr. Claxton said that he supported option 5. It was explained that the results of the survey would need to be reversed at a Parish Council meeting prior to quotes for play equipment on the field. It would also require 3 quotes. It would be good practice for a new questionnaire to be circulated to residents to support reversing the previous decision. It was agreed that this should be for the new Parish Council in May 2019. Cllr. Conway said that we are waiting for an inspection of the play area. She is concerned that if the inspection fails the children of this parish will have no equipment. She supported option 3 to ensure that the children of this parish have some equipment. Cllr. Claxton said that, in the event of the equipment failing he would arrange a residents’ working party to mend the equipment. The clerk pointed out that this would need to be agreed with our insurance company beforehand. Cllr. Brine said that if the equipment fails we may have no alternative but to remove all equipment. Councillors agreed reluctantly that options 2, 3 and 4 should be dismissed at this stage.
Cllr. Claxton reiterated that he believed play equipment should be placed on the field. The Chairman pointed out that a change of use planning application would need to be investigated. The clerk was asked to add this to September’s agenda.
ACTION: September’s agenda item.
Cllr. Claxton said that the field needs levelling. There are contractors currently in the village who are willing to do this. It was agreed that Cllr. Claxton should obtain 3 quotes but pointed out by the Chairman that this work can’t take place until change of use permission has been obtained. If change of use is refused then this public money will be wasted.
ACTION: Cllr. Claxton to obtain 3 quotes.
Cllr. Brine explained that the requirements for change of use should be investigated first as we may require an ecological survey to determine if any of the species present are protected. There could also be a bio-diversity requirement.
Cllr. Hughes said that he believes we should continue negotiating with Orbit for ownership of the play area but on a slower basis. Cllr. Claxton disagreed saying that it wasn’t suitable for a play area and we should let Orbit keep it. It was agreed that there are cost implications that should be discussed at the budget stage. It was further agreed that negotiations should continue.
ACTION: Cllr. Hughes to continue negotiations with Orbit.
Cllr. Hughes proposed that the Parish Council consider setting up a management company to manage the field. It was agreed that this should be an item for September’s agenda.
ACTION: September’s agenda item.
Cllr. Brine proposed that the Parish Council should choose option 1 and leave the decision regarding play equipment until May 2019, seconded Cllr. Hughes and carried.
Cllr. Conway and the Play Area Committee were thanked for their time and hard work.
6. Date of next meeting
Monday, 3rd September.