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Review of Maintenance Agreement - Staplehurst Parish Council

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					                REVIEW OF MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN
 STAPLEHURST PARISH COUNCIL (SPC) AND JUBILEE FIELD MANAGEMENT GROUP (JFMG)
                  MEETING AT PARISH OFFICE 25 JANUARY 2011


Cllr Best and Cllr Perry met with Nigel Stewart and Nigel Best to review the above
Agreement. The Agreement together with the Lease sets out the obligations for both parties
in the ongoing management of the Pavilion and Jubilee Field. The Agreement is in effect a
sub-set of the Lease and sets out the obligations and responsibilities in greater detail. It is a
working document and can be amended relatively easily provided all parties are in
agreement.

The Agreement has been in operation for over a year; and, while most of the requirements
seem reasonably clear, there are some that are either open to interpretation or need
further clarification. This particularly applies to some financial matters.

Given the above it was agreed that Cllr Best would review the Agreement and highlight any
areas that might need to be revised. These are set out below.


Insurance

The Agreement is silent on which party is responsible for insuring the building. It was noted
that SPC was the owner and was currently responsible and after further discussion the
Group concluded that it made sense for this arrangement to continue; the Agreement
should be amended to reflect this responsibility.

In addition, there was the question as to who insures the contents. The JFMG
representatives pointed out that the value was relatively small and for the moment these
remain uninsured unless they were covered by SPC’s policy. It was agreed that this should
be checked with the Clerk.


Safety Issues

The Agreement is clear that the JFMG is responsible for meeting the cost of all utilities such
as electricity, water, sewage and gas. This infers that JFMG is responsible for the day-to-day
operation of the building and that it is safe for use by the public. This is particularly
important since it is on public land and is a community facility.

The above suggests that safety checks and safety certificates such as, inter alia, obligations
under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate and
PAT Certificates are also the responsibility of the JFMG. This was accepted by the JFMG and
has in fact already been implemented. However, the Agreement is silent and this needs to
be corrected. Information and links to web-sites were given to the JFMG to assist in the
preparation of risk assessments. The Agreement will be redrafted to identify who is
responsible.
Financial Matters

Under the Agreement SPC would meet any deficiency in funding of the facility or an annual
loss. However, SPC does have the right to agree the annual budget which should be
completed by 1st of October of each year. There is, however, no obligation under the
Agreement to attempt to reach parity on income and expenditure and in theory SPC could
be faced with an unlimited deficit to fund. The Agreement is silent on what happens in the
case of a failure to agree a budget.

There is a mechanism which safeguards SPC from having to make up more than 5% of any
budget overrun; but, it is felt that this should also apply to the overall net cost of operating
the facility.


Liaison Committee

The two parties to the Agreement are represented by a Liaison Committee comprising two
Parish Councillors and two JFMG Trustees. However, this Committee has to date not met.
Therefore it was agreed that this Committee should be established; and to avoid any
possible conflict of interest it is recommended that the SPC representatives should not be
JFMG Trustees.

It was recognised that this Committee had an important role in reviewing the JFMG’s
budget; but, it was felt that its meeting dates needed to be more flexible and the
Agreement should be revised to state that it should meet at least once a year rather than
four times a year on specific dates as is currently the case.


Wider Use of Jubilee Field

Clause 3.2 of the Agreement introduces the concept of exclusive use of areas of Jubilee Field
to be used by footballers; but, the term ‘footballers’ is not defined in either the Lease or the
Agreement. Therefore it was agreed that the area on Jubilee Field and the term
‘footballers’ needed to be better defined; it is proposed to substitute the words ‘sporting
activity’ in place of ‘footballers’.


Recommendations

It was agreed that the current Agreement should be redrafted to take account of the
following:

•      SPC will be responsible for insuring the building i.e. the Pavilion.

•      SPC will investigate the inclusion of contents insurance; but for the moment this will
       be excluded.
•     The Agreement will be revised to incorporate JFMG’s responsibility for safety issues.

•     The safeguard mechanism will be redrafted to cover net cost as well as budget over
      runs.

•     The Agreement will make it clear that there are no conflicts of interest in respect of
      SPC Members on the Liaison Committee.

•     The area of activities that the JFMG is responsible for will be defined more clearly.

•     The term ‘ sporting activities’ will be incorporated into agreement in place of
      ‘footballers’.

Staplehurst Parish Council is requested to approve the above recommendations. If these
recommendations are approved a revised Agreement will be presented to SPC at a
subsequent meeting for approval.


January 2011

				
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