NOTES ON THE JOINT PARISH COUNCIL/SPORTS ASSOCIATION WORKING GROUP HELD ON TUESDAY 18 DECEMBER 2007 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL
PRESENT: Cllr A Rand (in the chair and Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council), Cllr V Wright (Chairman of the Parish Council), Cllr P Glew (Chairman of Council’s Finance Committee), Cllr R Dellow, Cllr W Cameron. Clerk/Financial Officer – Mrs P Raymond.
Grant Burberry (Chairman of the Sports Association), John Noonan (Junior Football Club representative), Paul White (Sedlescombe Football Club), Ashley Davey
1. Current situation. Those attending were provided with the Clerk’s resume (attached).
2. Cllr Rand spoke of his and other’s concerns that, by trying to meet the Football Foundation’s requirements, we may be attempting to provide a pavilion that will be a liability in the future because of the cost of its running and maintenance.
3. The Sports Association had, apparently, come to a similar conclusion and would like to see a pavilion about the size of that approved in 2006. Some members of the Sports Association Committee liked the idea of a Scandinavian timber-framed building which might be able to be obtained for as little as £30,000. Piling might still be required and all the fitting would be needed. There was some concern that this type of building could attract vandals.
4. If a pavilion could be obtained for a total cost of £150,000, a lot more money would still need to be raised. The Big Lottery application could go ahead if the necessary information could be obtained before the end of February. The Clerk asked all sports clubs to complete a form regarding current and future uses of the field and pavilion and to return it to her by 4 January 2008. The Sports Association members agreed to change the date of their meeting to Monday 7 January in order for a report on their discussions to be available at the 8 January Council Meeting.
5. Cllr Glew asked how the Sports Association intends to raise funds to run a new pavilion of whatever size. Apparently, it had already been agreed that the rents paid by the sports clubs to the Sports Association will have to be raised and that fund-raising will need to take place. The field will also need to be run in a more business-like fashion and, where possible, more use made of it. Grant Burberry would like to see a proper competitive Village cricket team with a game each week instead of only eight games a year.
6. The Sports Association Committee will find three of their members to join the existing fund-raising group of Judy Torrance, Bob Harris and Ralph Dellow who have been working hard to raise funds and the village’s awareness of the pavilion project.
7. In summary, Cllr Rand said he would expect the Council to withdraw its application for funding from the Football Foundation. He would investigate cheaper timber-framed buildings. Fund-raising would continue and applications would be submitted to grant-making bodies. However, applications would be withdrawn if difficult to achieve criteria are set by those bodies.
BACK TO BASICS – DECEMBER 2007
CLERK’S RESUME - SEDLESCOMBE SPORTSFIELD – PAVILION
1. Situation in April 2007. When the Parish Council was asked by the Sports Association to help, we were in the situation where the Senior Football Club was being threatened with having to move from the field for the 2007/8 season because of the lack of a separate referee’s changing room. This was in addition to the ongoing problem that the old pavilion was in a very poor state of repair and did not provide essential facilities for current users. For example, no inside toilets, no hot water, no disabled access.
2. What has happened since April? The Parish Council has provided a portacabin with two toilets and washing facilities. The portacabin has, with the help of volunteers and some paid labour, been fitted out with separate rooms and benches and has been connected to main services. The Football Club is now secure as its immediate needs have been met.
3. What about replacement of the old pavilion?
a. In August 2006, planning approval was obtained by the Sports Association for a replacement timber pavilion 13 metres by 9 metres with changing facilities for home and way, 2 showers, a referee’s changing room, disabled facilities, 3 toilets, storage and a scorer’s box. This was the 6th approved application for a pavilion on that site. This approval expires in August 2009. It was a requirement of the approval that the building should be constructed on raised supports to allow the unimpeded passage of floodwater under the building.
b. In June 2007, the Council obtained permission to re-arrange the internal design to try to meet the needs of the Football Foundation who might provide a substantial grant towards the building. The revised layout reduced the size of the social area and increased other areas. However, this design did not accord with the Football Foundation’s basic requirements regarding layout and the changing areas were too small.
c. In November 2007, the Council submitted a new planning application (No.7) to Rother to provide a brick-built pavilion with an increased size of 18.94 metres x 10.7 metres (202.66 sq.metres). This design had, before submitting to Rother DC, been accepted by the Football Foundation as the minimum that they would be happy with. This application is currently being advertised by Rother DC.
4. What about the new disabled bays and demolition of the old pavilion? Included in the 2006 approval was the creation of a new access next to the pavilion and demolishing the old pavilion.
A member of the Sports Association, who has since left the country, arranged for the new entrance to be started and the Parish Council paid for it out of its Sportsfield Fund.
In November 2007, the Council had the old pavilion surveyed professionally and the result was that demolition was recommended. The Council has been approached by a local farmer who wishes to purchases the old pavilion and says he will remove the building and clear the site after Christmas.
5. What about fund-raising?
a. The Council has opened a separate bank account at Barclays.
b. Local fund-raising has been and will be arranged.
c. Various small amounts of grant aid have been promised or given.
d. A letter will be sent to local businesses by the Council in January looking for funding.
e. Negotiations have been in progress with the Big Lottery Fund and the Football Foundation for the major funding. The application forms for these two funders require the provision of very detailed information. This has highlighted the Council’s lack of knowledge on the current and proposed uses of sportsfield and the individual sports clubs are, therefore, now asked to fill in the gaps by completing some forms.
6. Where do we go from here? Estimated costings for this new building, based on the Football Foundation figure of £1400 sq.metre, are £283,724 excluding fees and piling (estimated at an additional £50,000). This might be able to be reduced to about £200,000 plus £50,000. The increased costs not only create an additional fund-raising burden but they also mean that a very good case based on all the funders’ difficult requirements has to be put together in order for them to agree to give us the grants in order to make the project feasible.
In December 2007, the Council’s Finance Committee was told by the councillors working on the project that the Football Foundation seemed to be pushing Sedlescombe into building a pavilion that was too elaborate for the needs of current users and was focused on ensuring the expansion of use in Sedlescombe when this would be very difficult to achieve. Several of the existing Sedlescombe Rangers teams are not able to use the field but have to play elsewhere because of lack of space on the field. If the pavilion was built, as currently proposed, a big responsibility would be put on Sedlescombe’s sports clubs and, instead of enjoying playing their sports, they would be forced to undertake fund-raising to keep the pavilion going and show continual expansion. The Sports Association Committee was also concerned about the difficulty of running the pavilion in the future. This raises some serious questions regarding the viability of the proposed building as currently proposed.