Minutes Playing Field Committee 3rd May 2017

Minutes of Great Staughton Playing Field Committee Meeting held on 3 May 2017

Present:

Nicole Yates (Chair)                               Geoff Gilbert

Janet Bowen                                          Lauren Fisk (Piglets)

Bob Jewell (Treasurer)                           Sarah Rowlinson (Piglets)

  1. Apologies: received from Mike Keeble, Jo Reid, Margaret Sare, Frank Backhouse, Mervyn Young and Will Mumford.
  1. Approval of Minutes of the meeting held on 13 February 2017

The minutes of the meeting were approved and duly signed as a true record.

It was however requested that minutes be circulated following a meeting within a week to ten days in future, with the Treasurer’s Report embedded in the minutes for ease of reference.

  1. Matters arising from 13 February minutes:

b/f – Internet connection for the Pavilion via the School’s broadband is now thought to be more complicated, if possible at all. The School has been advised that we will not be pursuing this at the present time. A mobile 4G connection may be a more viable option to be considered.                                                                                                              Action: RJ

b/f – Paint to refresh the Pavilion is now available. RJ collected 20 litres from a CCC recycling scheme without charge. Phil Yates has kindly offered to paint the Pavilion during half term, which offer was duly accepted with thanks. Piglets will not be in session from 25 May to 6 June, however, the Horicultural Society Plant Sale will be taking place in the Pavilion on 27 May.                                                                                                                                         Action: NY 

b/f – The mole problem appears to have resolved itself.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

RJ circulated the above report prior to the meeting. Essentially, we are at breakeven as the excess of income shown is due to the grant received from HDC Community Chest. We now have no funds coming in from the Cricket Club as the Club has been dissolved. The roller owned by the Cricket Club has been sold with the sale proceeds of £200 being given to the Playing Field Committee. Money is still coming in regularly from the Little Paxton Colts Football Club and the Girl Guides.  With regards to expenditure, there is nothing too concerning however the income from Piglets will not be the same next year. The accounts are currently with the auditors for approval.

  1. Reports from Clubs & Users

Horticultural Society: – No attendance and no report.

Tennis Club: – NY reported that there is still not sufficient interest or support to bring the Club back to a fully functioning tennis club with a paying membership. There is a small group of people playing on a Sunday morning regularly but this is not sufficient to sustain a club and manage the inevitable costs of maintenance and repair going forward. Consideration to be given at the next committee meeting (TBA) to the possibility of turning one of the tennis courts over to a multi-use games surface.

School: – No attendance.

Football Club: – It is not clear whether the football club have been added to the contact list and invited to attend. Representatives to be invited to future meetings. RJ reported that the football team is playing regularly and will be having a BBQ after their last match in May. They may use the pitch again next year and may also have a junior pitch too.

Girl Guides: – As with the football club, it is not clear whether an invitation to attend has been extended. Representatives to be invited to future meetings, although meetings on a Wednesday evening will clash with their sessions.

Piglets: – L Fisk and S Rowlinson reported that Piglets is struggling to continue. They have a minimal committee and the lowest number of children they have ever had, with only 5 children due to start in September. They are making losses in the region of £500 per quarter. Advice has been sought from the Pre-School Learning Alliance. Since Piglets has had to dip into their reserves and the pre-school is not currently sustainable, the advice was to dissolve the charity and close the pre-school. With the minimum wage increases staff costs have gone up but Piglets cannot put up its rates, particularly due to very strong competition from Spice. The School has been approached and is not interested in taking over the pre-school. The option of the charity becoming temporarily dormant has been considered, however the advice received is that this would only be appropriate if there was a likelihood of re-opening the pre-school within a matter of months. Piglets does still have reserves and will, if the charity is to be dissolved and the pre-school closed, need to decide how that money is to be used. There is a strong will to keep the funds available within the village for the benefit of local children.

One option, to be considered by the Parish Council at its forthcoming meeting on 10 May, is for parish councillors to become trustees of the charity. An approach could then be made to Spice and if they are interested, negotiate as to the possibility of that business taking over and renting the Piglets room in the Pavilion as they are very limited as to space in their current building. The view of the Parish Council is to be reported back to LF and SR following the meeting. Piglets will be holding an EGM on 15 May 2017 to determine what action to take.

  1. Funding application for play equipment

NY reported that unfortunately the latest grant funding application to The Big Lottery Fund was unsuccessful. The rejection was on the basis that it had not been clearly demonstrated that there was sufficiently strong need for the play equipment to be replaced. There also appears to have been concern that Streetscape had such involvement in the application that they were gaining a commercial advantage. We were advised that we could re-apply at any time, ensuring that we take into consideration the reasons for refusal and do not simply resubmit the same application. NY has therefore redrafted the application form and has meetings arranged with reps from Wicksteed and Sovereign at the Playing Field to secure two extra quotes. NY also looking into the Tesco Bags of Help Grant scheme to try and top up the available funds a little more so we can do as much as possible at once.

  1. Operational matters:
  • The new grass cutting contractors have now taken over and have a key to access the Playing Field. The quality of work to date is good.
  • As mentioned earlier, the mole problem has resolved itself.
  • RJ reported that there has been some damage noted to internal doors in the Pavilion. It is not clear whether the holes are new or not. The doors remain functional however may need to be replaced in future.
  1. Correspondence:

RoSPA report and invoice received. In the absence of the Clerk, no other correspondence known.

Dates of next meetings

13 September 2017 at 7.30pm

15 November 2017 (AGM) at 7.30pm.

NY thanked everyone for their attendance and the meeting closed at 8.22pm