Washington Parish Council Open Spaces (Recreation, Allotments,
Footpaths and Conservation) Committee
MINUTES of the Committee Meeting Held on Monday 15th September 2014 at the Washington Village Hall
PRESENT: Cllrs Cook, Milner-Gulland, Thomas and Wyberd (Chairman of the Committee)
ALSO: Clerk to the Council Miss Petrina Kingham
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: 5
ABSENT: Cllr Doré
Cllr Whyberd opened the Meeting at 19:05
- Apologies for absence
Apologies were not received from Cllr Doré however the Committee accepted her reason for absence as surgery.
- Declarations of interest and Dispensations
None were declared
- Approval of the Minutes of the last Open Spaces (Recreation, Allotments, Footpaths and Conservation) Committee
The Minutes of the Meeting of 18th August 2014 were AGREED as being a correct record and duly signed by the Chairman.
The Committee NOTED the Clerks report that on a visit to the allotments on 8th September 2014 the clerk noted the marestail on Plot 3A was dying back. One more treatment is due on this at the end of September.
Tenancy Agreements and Rent Review
The Committee discussed the matter of clearance costs on Plots should non-organic waste be left behind on vacation. The costs of clearance by Horsham District Council was around £41.00. The Committee AGREED that a deposit of £20.00 should be applied to all new tenancy agreements as this combined with the addition obligation agreed in their meeting of 18th August 2014 should provide adequate financial protection to the Council whilst not being overly onerous to prospective plot holders especially considering the lack of current interest. The Clerk was asked to update the Tenancy Agreement for new tenants accordingly.
The Clerk advised that the existing Agreements have now been updated to incorporate the new Clause asking for disposal of non-organic rubbish and sent out to all existing plot holders for signature and return. A Notice has been installed on the Allotment entrance gate advising of the change. However the Clerk advised that the existing tenants were not under any obligation to sign the new Agreement and if they did not the old agreement would stay in force where applicable.
5. First Extension Graveyard
The clerk reported that Jeremy Tilley had contacted her and was to give a date for inspection. The Clerk will attend and asked if Members wished to be advised of the date to arrange attendance. Members asked to be informed of the date.
6. Recreation Ground and Parish Property
The bench by the MUGA needs to be affixed. The Clerk will obtain the appropriate fixings in due course. The grass had been cut prior to a visit on 8th September 2014by the Clerk. The hedges have had a further cut by D Flynn and are very tidy.
There has been a report of youths on the roof of the shelter. Their parents have been informed. The back panels of the shelter had also suffered some damage.
The Clerk is to obtain 3 quotes to address the issue of the exposed wire and removal of the box and cage attached to the roof. The Clerk enquired as to whether the Committee wished her to research suitable outside lighting for the shelter. After discussion on the types of use the shelter was now being exposed to and the reported damage the Committee AGREED to RECOMMEND to Council that the provision of lighting is not pursued.
Children’s Play Area
The Clerk wished to progress recommendations the Committee might wish to make to Council in respect of the replacement of the Washington recreation ground Children’s play area for a S106 Application. The Clerk has confirmed with HDC Parks Department that the three suppliers chosen to quote are all approved and we can therefore proceed to look at obtaining new quotes from them which fit the criteria set by HDC and S106.
SMP HAGs (surrey)
Playsafe Playgrounds (Midhurst)
The Clerk advised that the criteria for a S106 is for replacementnot improvement although some items can be left in situ if they are suitable). In addition the replacement needs to be innovative and fit in with the current ‘play strategy’ NOT like for like. The Clerk had circulated HDCs Play Strategy Documents to Members prior to the Meeting.The quotes obtained in 2012 do not fulfil the criteria for a S106 application or the Play Strategy which if possible must include proviosns for disabled access and play.
The Clerk advised she has arranged a site meeting with representatives from Playdale, Playsafe and HAGS -SMP on 19th September 2014 to informally discuss options. The Committee asked the Clerk to approach HDC to ask if someone with experience in play areas attend the site for a meeting. The Clerk confirmed she would see if this was a possibility.
The Clerk confirmed that the Council has £6500.00 set aside in reserves for this project. The Council’s Financial Regulations state that any potential spend over £50k has to be requested by tender not quotation. The Committee will therefore need to consider how realistic a bid of over 34K is.
Frank Hottenbacher has been asked to obtain rods for the sides of the tennis net. The Committee noted that the tennis nets are still being left outside the storage box provided. The Clerk advised she would look at wording for a disclaimer to go into the storage box and seek advice from Zurich.
The basketball net needs to be reattached at the far end ring and a request had been made to FH for this to be reaffixed.
The Clerk reported that the junior swing is installed and the two infant swings have been ordered. Once the infant swings are installed this will complete the work identified on the report. FH has been asked to sweep the infant area and the Clerk has sought advice from HDC Parks and Amenities for safe products to treat the moss.
The Parish Noticeboards should now have been cleaned and recorked where possible.
The Committee considered proposed works to the path on the north side of the hall and the addition of a soak-away. A quote had been received for the work by TG Landscapes in the sum of £270.00. The Committee recognised the requirement for the work which would alleviate the problem of the accumulation of surface water and AGREED to RECOMMEND the works and quote to Council
Veras Shelter – Ownership and Protection
The Clerk is to look at the appropriate cover for the shelter and carry out a risk assessment. Advice from Zurich has been sought. Clerk has spoken informally to Madeleine Shaw re the present position.The Clerk reported that Deidre Eddis passed away around three years ago and the hut is therefore possibly part of an inheritance. Cllr Cook observed that we may not be able to trace any beneficiaries as she believed that there was now no property in Heath Common owned by the descendants of Vera Pragnell. The Clerk suggested that we make tracing the beneficiaries' part of the Parish Council November Newsletter and this was AGREED. Cllr Thomas suggested that we might have a legal obligation to put in a formal notice. The Clerk was asked to investigate this further. The issue of insurance as we had technically adopted the shelter was to be pursued.
Tree Condition Report
Clerk has been advised that the works are to take place on or around 6th October 2014 and this was duly NOTED.
7. Footpaths and bridleways
Cllr Whyberd proposed that a volunteer group be created toreport on and / or maintainthe condition of the footpaths and bridleways. This was as a result of cuts to the relevant budget at West Sussex County Council of around £175,000. The current 9 month rolling programme of checks and maintenance was now 15 months. Cllr Whyberd believed a more realistic figure was 24 months. The Committee discussed ways of canvassing for volunteers. Cllr Milner-Gulland agreed to contact relevant associations through Southdowns Network and report back to OSRA as there was potentially already a group who may do all or some of this. The Clerk is awaiting feedback from WSCC as to whether a volunteer group could be funded and insured by the County.
8. Conservation issues
None were raised
9. Any other Open Space, Recreation & Allotment and Footpaths & Conservation issues that may arise
Community Asset Register
An update on the George VI post boxes is expected shortly. Cllr Whyberd wanted to proceed to apply for St Mary's School and The Franklands Arms to be placed on the Register. The Clerk is required to place this proposal on the agenda for discussion by Full Council.
The Committee wish to protect this area from development and review improvements and usage, possibly by Designation. The Clerk has approached the Sussex Wildlife Trust who are working with Arun and Rother Connections. There are a number of grants available for the improvement of wetland and wildlife habitats. Fran Southgate (SWT) has contacted the Clerk and wishes to arrange an informal assessment of the Triangle at a date and time to be agreed in November 2014. All Members requested involvement in this meeting and asked the Clerk to proceed to arrange it.
Entrance to the Village (A283)
The Committee NOTED receipt of an email with a plan of notable verges and cutting plan which was circulated to all Washington Parish Councillors by the Clerk on 9th September 2014. The Clerk advised that the member of the public who raised the issue of the verges was also given a copy of this email on the same date.
BT Grade 2 Listed Phone Box – The Street Washington
Late item – it was reported that the telephone box was looking in poor condition and required a re-paint. Cllr Whyberd agreed to research this further.
Washington Scarlet Apple Trees
Late Item - Cllr Cook confirmed she still had three trees, one she intended to purchase. The Committee confirmed a previous agreement that one tree would be planted in the allotments and the other donated to St Mary's School. Cllr Whyberd agreed to progress this with the assistance of the Clerk if required.
The Meeting closed at 19:47 hours
Date of next meeting 20th October 2014 at 7.00pm
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