AMENITIES & LEISURE COMMITTEE Minutes of a meeting of the Amenities & Leisure Committee held in the Council Chamber at the Council Offices, Radstock Lane, Earley, Reading on Wednesday 13th October 2010 at 7.45 p.m. Present Chairman – Councillor M Firmager Councillors Mrs A Ames, D D Chopping, and K J Miall In attendance: Councillor N Jorgensen Apologies for absence were received from Councillors A T Bradley (Work Commitment), T Chambers (Holiday) and T A Holton (WBC meeting). ____________________________________________________________________________________ 49. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING The Minutes of the meeting held on 1st September 2010 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chairman. 50. FINANCIAL INFORMATION The Committee noted details of the financial transactions for the period ended 30th September 2010, a copy of which is appended to these Minutes. Members further noted that the expenditure for water rates at Sol Joel Park was in excess of the estimate due to the necessity to water the cricket wicket more frequently than usual because of the exceptional dry weather conditions experienced during the summer. In response to a question from a Member concerning the low expenditure for gas and electricity costs, the Town Clerk advised that the gas supplier had failed to collect the Council’s direct debit payment. 51. ESTIMATES Consideration was given to major projects with which this Committee would wish to proceed to be financed from the 2011/2012 budget and, also, future projects for the following financial year, as part of the three year financial planning scheme. RESOLVED that provision be made in the 2011/12 draft Capital Budget for the following items:- Radstock Lane Community Centre - Ladies Washroom Sol Joel Park - Skatepark improvement/Adult Play Equipment Sol Joel Park - Pavilion Mays Lane Cemetery - Enhanced security new depot Wokingham Borough Council - Grass Cutting Contract. 52. FEES & CHARGES REVIEW Consideration was given to necessary amendments to the fees and charges for 2011/12 as follows: 2 52.1 Hall Hire Fees RECOMMENDED that the hall hire fees be increased by 3% rounded to the nearest £1.00. 52.2 Burial Fees RECOMMENDED that all burial fees, with the exception of headstones, tablets, additional inscriptions and memorial plaques for non-Earley and Non-Woodley residents, be increased by 3% rounded to the nearest £1.00. 52.3 Allotment Fees Members were reminded that at Minute 43.2, of the last meeting of this Committee, it was resolved that the Town Clerk submit a report to this Committee outlining a strategy to increase the charges, possibly over a period of time. Accordingly, he had calculated that a 10% compound increase over 4 years would be sufficient to cover 95% of the cost of maintenance of the allotments at current prices. This would entail increases in the first year as follows: 4 pole plot £20.00 6 pole plot £32.50 8 pole plot £38.00 As an alternative, it was noted that an immediate increase to the following levels would yield approximately 90% cost recovery in the first year: 4 pole plot £28.00 6 pole plot £38.00 8 pole plot £45.00 RECOMMENDED that the allotment fees be increased as follows: Existing Plot Holders New Plot Holders 4 pole plot £20.00 4 pole plot £28.00 6 pole plot £32.50 6 pole plot £38.00 8 pole plot £38.00 8 pole plot £45.00. 52.4 Fishing Permit Fees RECOMMENDED that the adult fishing permit fees be increased by 5% rounded to the nearest 50p and all other fees to remain at the current level. 52.5 Sports & Skate Park Fees Members noted that, because no flood lighting had been installed, there had been no exclusive use bookings to date. RECOMMENDED that there be no increase in the sports and skate park fees for 2011/12. 52.6 Sports Pitch Fees RECOMMENDED that the sports pitch fees be increased as follows: All Adult Football and Cricket pitch casual one-off games be increased by 5% rounded to nearest 50p 3 All Junior and Mini Football and Cricket casual one-off games be increased by 3% rounded to nearest 50p No increase for all Football & Cricket pitch block bookings 53. SOL JOEL PARK 53.1 Sol Joel Park Sub-Committee Consideration was given to the Minutes of the Sub-Committee meeting held on 28th September 2010 a copy of which is appended to these Minutes for the information of Members. RESOLVED that the Minutes be approved and the recommendations contained therein be adopted. 53.2 Skatepark 53.2.1 Continuing Projects The Committee noted that members of the Earley Xtreme Sports gave their presentation on 4th September in support of the Group’s bid to the Youth Opportunities Fund for funding towards the skatepark. The bid was for a concrete street which would be of low maintenance as there would no longer be a need for tarmac resurfacing. Informal indications were that an award would be made. It was further noted that that the Group was working on another bid for European funding. Additionally, the Group would be setting up a constitution, a sponsored cycle ride in conjunction with the Silverdale Centre, a jumble sale at the Maiden Place Community Centre and would be taking part in the Green Token scheme at Waitrose in Woodley. RESOLVED that the Town Council’s congratulations be conveyed to the Group. 54. MAIDEN ERLEGH LOCAL NATURE RESERVE 54.1 Reservoirs Act 1975 54.1.1 Annual Supervising Engineer's Report The Committee noted that the Annual Supervising Engineer's Report for the Lake for the period September 2009 to August 2010 had been received stating that the Reservoir was in a satisfactory condition and was being well maintained. It was further noted that a number of minor maintenance issues were contained therein. A copy of the report was being sent to the Environment Agency, as the Enforcement Authority, by the Executive Engineer. RESOLVED that the Committee’s appreciation with regard to the condition of the lake be conveyed to the appropriate staff. 55. MAREFIELD POND Members noted that, further to Minute 38 of the last meeting of this Committee, the draft legal agreement had been received and was being examined by Officers. There was some residual concern with regard to the planting scheme. 4 56. MAYS LANE CEMETERY 56.1 Bronze Plaques Members were reminded that there was a facility for people to purchase bronze memorial plaques and to have them placed within the Memorial Garden at the Cemetery. The current costs were: Earley resident £134.00 Woodley resident £216.00 Other £515.00 which included the cost of the plaque itself (approximately £55.00), and installation within the Memorial Garden for a period of 10 years. The service had been offered since 2002 and, therefore, during 2011, Council staff would be contacting the owners of the first plaques to be placed, to ascertain whether they wished to retain them. As this had been a relatively new initiative, no renewal price had ever been set and, accordingly, consideration was given to the level of fees to be charged for those wishing to keep the plaques in place for a further 10 years. It was noted that the renewal price would not have to include the cost of the plaque itself, or the cost of installation by Town Council staff. RESOLVED that the renewal charge for Earley residents be set at £25.00 and proportionate charges be made for Woodley residents and other residents. 57. CULVER LANE ALLOTMENTS 57.1 Best Allotment Competition 2010 Members noted that the Working Party had met on site on several occasions during the year to decide the winner of the Best Allotment and Most Improved Allotment Competitions 2010 and it had been decided that awards for 2010 be granted as follows: Best Allotment – Mr R Bonham Most Improved Allotment – Miss E Debonnaire. RESOLVED that the winners be invited to receive their awards at the Mayor’s Christmas Reception on 13th December 2010. 58. EARLEY FUN DAY Members were reminded that, further to Minute 84 of the meeting of this Committee held on 25th February 2009, this item had been an ongoing matter with enquiries continuing into the feasibility of a "community event". Further thereto, the Town Clerk had attended a meeting with representatives from Churches Together on 16th September at Brookside Church. At the meeting, he had the opportunity to talk about the work of the Town Council and, in particular, made the suggestion for them to consider the possibility of a family fun event in the summer of 2011. The Chairman of Churches Together appeared keen to use either Sol Joel Park or Laurel Park for such an event to be held towards the end of the summer next year and, it was understood that representatives were currently considering the suggestion and a response was awaited. 5 59. FINANCIAL REVIEW 59.1 Play Club Scheme 59.1.1 Attendance Figures Further to Minute 43.1.1 of the last meeting of this Committee, when it was noted that the attendance figures for the Scheme would be available at this meeting, the Committee noted the attendance figures as set out below with the previous year’s figures in brackets. It was further noted that, for comparison, the actual possible attendance figure at any one session per week was160. PLAYCLUB AM PM Week 1 47 41 Week 2 75 (61) 66(53) Week 3 56 (75) 51 (64) Week 4 42 (91) 30 (63) Week 5 30 28 Week 6* 30 21 TOTAL 280 207 * Short week because of Bank Holiday 59.1.2 Financial Information Members were reminded that the Town Council had agreed a net budget of £2,000 for 2010/11 and the Council had undertook to only contribute in the event of a loss up to that limit. In the event, the net loss was £2,784 so the subsidy to be paid to the After School Club was capped at £2,000. The Committee noted that attendances for comparable weeks had fallen compared with the previous year. It had been hoped that attendance might improve but a combination of factors, which included the economic climate and the availability of other schemes had contributed to the fall. 60. PUBLICATIONS Members noted that the following publication had been received and was available for perusal in the Council Offices: Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium The Journal, Autumn Issue 2010 Management: 61. ONGOING MATTERS 22/03/06 (86) Sol Joel Pavilion To be a standing item on future agendas until further notice 15/10/08 (47.2) Marefield Pond To be a standing item on future agendas until further notice 25/02/09 (84) Earley Fun Day 2010 On Agenda 03/03/10 (85) WBC Owned Parks To be a standing item on future 6 agendas until further notice 13/10/10 (67.1) WBC Owned Parks – Laurel Park To be a standing item on future Pavilion agendas until further notice 62. PRESS RELEASES RESOLVED that the items relating to Fishing Permit Fees and Earley Xtreme Sports (at the appropriate time) should receive emphasis. 63. CONFIDENTIAL MATTERS RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during discussion of confidential matters relating to Sol Joel Park (Meeting with Football Association), Wokingham Borough Council Grounds Maintenance and Wokingham Borough Council Owned Parks. 64. TERMINATION OF MEETING The meeting was declared closed by the Chairman at 10.33pm.