Minutes of the Parks, Garden's, Allotments and Open Spaces - 23rd April 2021

WALLINGFORD TOWN COUNCIL MINUTES of the Virtual TEAMS meeting of Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces on Friday 23rd April 2021 at 7pm



Councillors Holford, Keats-Rohan, Kidley, Lester

In Attendance – Tracey Collins (Officer and Minute Taker)



Councillor Kidley reminded attendees of the protocol for the meeting.


Mr Bryan Gilbey, Councillor Sinkinson and Town Clerk, Paula Lopez


There were no admissions to the Public


A Councillor with voting rights who has a disclosable pecuniary interest or another interest as set out in our Council’s Standing Orders code of Conduct (Item 13) in a matter being considered at a meeting is subject to statutory limitations or restrictions under code of conduct and his right to participate and vote on the matter (guidelines are available at the meeting and all Councillors have received a copy prior to the meeting).

There were no declarations of interest.


Mr Steve Holder spoke with regard to agenda item 13(iii), he has been working closely with Wallingford Wildlife Hub and Wallingford & Cholsey Green Spaces looking for sites suitable for no or low mow, suggested areas will be discussed later.  The idea is to keep mowing to a minimum although mowing would need to take place around Autumn time to spread the seeds, it would be ok to mow edges of footpaths to ensure safety of pedestrians.  When looking to communicate the low mow initiate there is a lot of support and these hashtags can be used.

# nomowmay #letitbloominjune  #kneehighinjuly

An allotment holder spoke with regard to the allotment path and asked that it could be looked at properly. There is nowhere for the water to drain so rather than just filling the holes the camber of the road needs to be looked to allow drainage.


To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces Meeting held on the 18th January 2021 as set out on pages 250 – 255 of the Minute Book, copy circulated to members.

It was Proposed by Councillor Lester and Seconded by Councillor Holford and


THAT the Minutes of the Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces Committee Meeting held on the 18th January 2021 as set out on pages 250 – 255 of the Minute Book, copy circulated to member to be signed as a correct record.


i) The Allotment Officer to give an update on the allotments to include the waiting list.  It was noted that the annual invoices had been sent, four allotments had recently been returned and offered to new tenants.  There was now 32 on the waiting list.

ii) Plot 82A/83, There is a large gap in the hedge allowing access from the sports field, this needs urgent attention. There is already a couple of barriers but a couple of Heras fencing panels wedged into the gap would be more suitable, if this doesn’t solve the problem a more permanent and costly measure may be needed. The parks team will attend to this.

iii) Update from the Allotments Officer on Play equipment – The tenant had not received the first letter but called the office when the second letter was received, the swing will be removed with immediate effect. Another tenant has also been contacted who has a homemade hop frame with swings attached and been asked to remove it.


There is no report from the Parks Foreman – Noted by Councillors however councillors reiterated how important it is that they receive this report.

Councillor Keats-Rohan would like to know how chemical friendly the Parks Team are and what changes could be made, also whether they could start composting rather than burning garden waste – Parks team to report back at the next meeting.

It was noted that nobody from the Parks Team had attended a meeting for some time but felt it would be helpful for someone from the team to attend.  The Officer will ask the Foreman to attend the next meeting


i) Councillor Keats-Rohan to give an update on the area that flooded near the Coach and Horses – Councillor Keats-Rohan explained she was getting nowhere fast, she would keep chasing and update at the next meeting.

Noted provisional dates, are dependent on Covid Restrictions.

29th April-1st May – Perry Hatwell’s Spring Fair.

The fair has sent all documents to the office, part of their risk assessment is to have track & trace and issue wrist bands to those tracked, there will be no money transactions and all the rides will be socially distanced.

6th November – Bonfire and Fireworks Display


Noted provisional dates, are dependent on Covid Restrictions. One group have booked to use the area for PT sessions.


i)         Wallingford WI would like to take on the responsibility for the Rose Garden. Councillors to discuss the possibility and implications this may have – Councillors discussed the WI providing their own flowers and disposing of their waste materials and agreed it was a good idea. Councillors agreed to give the WI the opportunity to tend to the Rose garden but will be reviewed in a year’s time.  The office will ask for their Public Liability Insurance and an agreement will be drawn up.

It was Proposed by Councillor Lester and Seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan.

 ii)        A resident of Castle Lane would like to install a gate to stop cars parking and possible illegal activity.  Correspondence emailed to Councillors understood the concerns of the residents but was unsure how access could be maintained by pedestrians and council vehicles. Councillor Keats-Rohan was concerned because access would be required in the not-too-distant future for contractors working on the monument. It was agreed that this item should be carried forward to the following meeting for updates on the monument.

Noted provisional dates, are dependent on Covid Restrictions.

No events booked


i) Councillor Sinkinson to discuss planting spring bulbs in the open spaces, i.e. Bull croft, Kinecroft, Castle Gardens. Discuss costs, management and grass cutting implications? – As Councillor Sinkinson was not present this was deferred to the next meeting

ii) Councillor Lester to update on Lidl’s bench and notice board. – Everything has been applied for and we are now just waiting to hear that that it has all gone through.

iii)        Discuss the no mow areas.  Kinecroft, strip running along the railings opposite Museum and Bull croft, small grass area behind the Lodge.– Councillors Keats-Rohan and Lester stated they were in full support of this everyone agreed they were good places to try the no mow incentive.

It was Proposed by Councillor Keats-Rohan and Seconded by Councillor Lester

RESOLVED: THAT the area in the Kinecroft running along the railings and the area behind Bullcroft Lodge should be left as low mow areas.

iv) Benches on Market Place – Five of the seven benches have been removed from the Market Place to allow social distancing. The Officer has been working with SODC Environmental Health and their Covid Patrol for some months to ensure the safety of members of the public on busy days. Although lockdown is easing, it means two more stalls will be back trading very soon which will limit the area on the market place for sufficient social distancing, increasing the risks to members of the public and worse case, risk the market being closed down.

Should the benches be bought back once their refurb has been completed what about alternative options i.e. closing part of the road every Friday for a few weeks/months? – The Officer explained she had been working with SODC for a number of months to keep the town safe especially during busier times i.e market day. The weekends are getting  very busy when the weather is nice and when the buskers play in town, this encourages groups of people to gather.  The Council cannot control the volume of people nor the sanitising of benches, it was a suggestion by SODC, used by other towns to allow more space when the markets trade.  Councillor Lester suggested half the benches or at least one bench be returned for the elderly or infirmed.

There has been a suggestion that part of the road is closed from the traffic lights outside Waitrose to the Island outside KP every Friday till the end of June. Road Closures can be a lengthy process, will incur costs and not everyone will be happy with this due to the local road closures and current traffic build up. Councillor Lester would like the benches returned for the elderly community.  The Officer suggested some alternative nice places to sit, i.e. Moorings, Castle Gardens, Bull Croft and Kinecroft, Councillor Keats-Rohan stated that the market place this was not the nicest place due to the volume of traffic and car fumes. Councillor Holford suggested the benches be returned following the Governments end to restrictions on the 21st June.

It was Proposed by Councillor Holford and Seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan

RESOLVED: THAT the benches be returned to the Market Place for the 21st June 2021.

Councillor Lester objected to this proposal and declined to vote.

Noted provisional dates, are dependent on Covid Restrictions.

No events booked


i) To inform Councillors the summer season has now started and daily charges are in place.  One boat has engine problems so will be moored  being charged the daily fee till end of April.

Following the resolution at Full Council, minute number  713(i)/03/2021, the new charges will not take place until the new signs are in place, the markings have been put on the bank and the policy has been amended.  – Noted by Councillors.


  • WI and Rose Garden update – Officer/Councillor Lester
  • Gate in Castle Lane – Update from Councillor Keats-Rohan on Monument
  • Lidl Bench and Notice Board Update – Councillor Lester

Meeting closed at 8.30pm