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1.Arising from previous Council Meeting 10/01/12 C11/12.99.

  1. Draft Memorandum of Agreement between Sedlescombe Parish Council and the Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust is now complete.

  2. Capital Work at the courts. Summary of information included in Minutes of 10/01/12.
    1. See Clerk's Briefing Note MUGAs

    2. Parish Council resolution passed to support the Charity's proposals to upgrade the tennis courts to a MUGA for low to medium use of tennis, netball and football. The Council will, if required, obtain a loan to cover the Charity's shortfall in funding of this project. Upgrade to be kept to a reasonable level and, if possible, existing materials such as fence posts reused.

    3. Agreed that Charity should undertake the project and apply for the funding to include the cost of VAT.

    4. Funding applications to be made to Rother DC and Lottery Inspired Facilities.

  3. Since the Council Meeting of 10/01/12:
    1. An application was made by the Charity to the Rother Community Fund for a grant of £10,000 towards a £38,000 project. Result awaited. The remainder of the funding was expected as follows: Lottery Inspired Facilities £23,000 and local fund-raising £5,000.

    2. At the beginning of February, details of the second round of the Lottery Inspired Facilities Fund was announced (closing date 02/04/12) and it was found that upgrading of tennis courts was not going to be supported this round unless very good projects were submitted. The loss of this possible funding virtually rules out any possibility of the Charity or the PC undertaking a project costing £38,000.

    3. Cllr Wright applied for and obtained a grant of £1,500 from the Mrs A Lacey-Tate Fund. The money has been received by the Charity.

    4. Cllr Wright applied for a grant of £2,000 from the Sussex County Playing Fields Association. Result awaited.

    5. It has become clear that the installation of a permanent fence down the middle of the courts is not supported by the netball users nor possible football users. The fence would reduce the side-runs of each half to an insufficient width. The width of the two courts is 30.5 metres.
      1. Ideally a netball court requires a width of 15.25m with a side gap to the fence of 1.5 metres with 2 metres between courts.
      2. Tennis needs 10.97m with 3.05m at least from the court to the fence and 3.66m between courts.
      3. Five-a-side football needs 18.5m width. Both parts of the court would, therefore, be required if five-a-side football was to be played. However, the porous macadam surface that is proposed is too unforgiving for playing proper football games. Astroturf is needed which is not suitable for either tennis or netball. Some football use has been requested for kickabout or coaching practice but keeping the two areas separate appears to be impossible if the sizing is considered. According to the Sedlescombe Football Club, the area could be used for coaching but they would need floodlighting as most use during the week is in wintertime evenings.

    6. Consideration has been given to reducing the cost. Rebound fencing which is included in the preferred quote is expensive and is not essential for either tennis or netball. Leisure Surfaces has provided a quote with rebound boards for the football area only (as can be seen at the School's MUGA) with the remainder as a ordinary chainlink fence (chainlink fence £1,260 plus £900 for a partial rebound board against £12,627 for rebound fencing).

    7. The cheapest option if no major grant aid is available appears at the present time to be about £13,000 excluding VAT for replacing the surface only. The existing fencing is acceptable, colour spray could be omitted as could the rebound board for the time being. A lower cost project would allow the Parish Council to undertake the work rather than the Charity and, therefore, reclaim VAT (the lower cost would avoid the PC falling into the VAT partial-exemption trap). However, with local fund-raising of £2,500 currently with a possible increase to £4,000 if money is obtained from the Sussex County Playing Fields Association, the PC would still need to find £9,000-£11,500. As the replacement surfacing could not be called a capital project, a loan will not be available. General funds in hand would have to be used unless other savings can be found.

    8. Communication has been received from a local resident who has experience in encouraging healthy activity and fund-raising. He suggests the following:
      1. Give further consideration to developing and encouraging an "All Ages Whole Village" approach to sport and physical activity by further engagement with the school, sports clubs, other village clubs and small businesses so that we can be sure that everyone in the village is being offered "equal access to engage in sporting opportunities through the provision of a joined up approach between providers and the use of quality facilities".

      2. Offer Sedlescombe as a pilot site for developing a village sports and physical activity action plan through Rother DC's Active Communities initiative. The key objectives would be to build the capacity of the village to become more involved in sport ie more people of all ages regularly taking part within the village, and encouraging young people, parents and carers to volunteer and be trained to be coaches. This would then allow funding applications to be made to a later round of the Lottery Inspired Facilities Fund in July 2012/Rother Community Fund or possibly in 2013 for a grant towards general improved sporting facilities in the village.

      3. Proposals -
        1. Make the school more accessible to clubs outside school hours ie sports area and swimming pool.
        2. Encourage the school to use the recreation ground more by providing a well maintained path/cycle path between the school and recreation ground.
        3. Provide car parking at the recreation ground which could be used by parents and would reduce traffic congestion in Brede Lane.
        4. Tie in the issue of the tennis courts. If the other initiatives are wrapped around the need to create a MUGA, it makes the MUGA and other supporting projects and additional car parking at the recreation ground more attractive concepts to funders.

P J Raymond
Clerk/RFO, Sedlescombe Parish Council

5 March 2012