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Meeting of the Parks, Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces Committee on Monday 4th October 2021

 

Those present:

  • The Town Clerk/ RFO, Miss Michelle Taylor
  •                            The Senior Officer/ Allotment Officer, Mrs Tracey Collins
  •                            The Estates Officer, Mr Robert Workman
  •                            The Administration Officer/ Minute Taker, Miss Emilie Perry

In attendance:

Councillors Holder, Holford, Keats- Rohan, Kidley, Lester, Sinkinson and Whelan

Public attendance:

There were 5 members of the public present

The meeting commenced at 7.00PM

246/21.TO ADVISE ATTENDEES OF THE PROTOCOL FOR THE MEETING

Councillor Holder advised attendees of the location of the fire exits, that the meeting was being recorded and that IT equipment and phones are to be  used only for Council business during the meeting

247/21.APOLOGIES

Apologies to be received:

The Mayor, Councillor Harris

248/21.DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

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):

No interests were declared

249/21.MINUTES

To resolve that the minutes of the Parks Committee meeting held on the 19th July 2021 as set out on pages 41-42 of the minute book are a true record of this meeting and can be signed as such (previously circulated to members):

It was proposed by Councillor Kidley, seconded by Councillor Holford and RESOLVED THAT the minutes of the Parks Committee meeting held on the 19th July 2021 as set out on pages 41-42 of the minute book are a true record of this meeting and can be signed as such

250/21.PUBLIC PARTICIPATION–NOTIFIED AND IMPROMPTU (Total 15 Minutes)

Members of the public who wish to speak at this meeting must email the Senior Officer at senioradmin@wallingfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Ms. Lynda Atkins: Ms Atkins presented to Members the proposal of a marble bench for the Castle Gardens in memoriam to her mother Betty Atkins- ex Councillor, three-time Mayor and Alderman Emeritus of Wallingford. It would be a practical sculpture within the Gardens. The Atkins family would fund the bench and all future maintenance, it would be placed wherever Members saw fit, and would have Ms Atkins’ mother’s name carved into one side and her father’s name carved into the other side.

Ms. Victoria Baker: Ms Baker provided feedback regarding the Great Big Green Week and explained the map activity that was on offer to the public; the response from the public was positive, and showed that Wallingford’s parks and green spaces are very popular.

Mr. Stephen Verge: Mr Verge questioned Members as to why the allotment  rent had increased for this year. He expressed concerns regarding a rat problem, lack of grass mowing onsite and lack of tree and hedge maintenance. Mr Verge reported that the road track was in bad condition             and questioned where the monies previously allocated to skips are being spent currently; he also reported that the neighbouring bush needs to be cut             back to the boundary line.

The Senior Officer reported that she was aware of all of Mr Verge’s concerns; the neighbour had arranged for the bush to be cut back at the end of October; with regards to tree and hedge maintenance, she is waiting on a quote from local tree surgeons. Mrs Collins reported that pest control had             gone out with herself to the allotment site and set traps to keep the small vermin problem under control.

Mr Gilbey confirmed that his team had mowed onsite; he reported that allotment holders’ vehicles prove to be an obstruction for mowing on the             main grassed area, and the pathways between each allotment plot is the allotment holder’s responsibility to mow.

251/21.CHANGE FROM ‘PARKS, GARDENS, ALLOTMENTS AND OPEN SPACES’ COMMITTEE TO ‘ESTATES’ COMMITTEE

Finance and Properties Committee Minute 225/21 refers; Members to recommend to Full Council that this Committee incorporates the Properties element of Finance and Properties to become the ‘Estates’ Committee:

It was proposed by Councillor Holder, seconded by Councillor Lester and RESOLVED THAT this item be deferred to the next meeting of the Parks,             Gardens, Allotments and Open Spaces Committee

252/21.ALLOTMENTS

(i) The Allotment Officer to give an update:

Mrs Collins reported that there were now 30 people on the waiting list and that there was only one other complaint regarding the no dog rule; it was proposed by Councillor Sinkinson, seconded by Councillor Lester and RESOLVED THAT the no-dog rule on the allotment site should continue in place   within the allotment tenancy agreements in future

(ii) To review the allotment agreement to be sent to all tenants:

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Sinkinson and RESOLVED THAT the new allotment agreement be sent out to all tenants; this agreement was drawn up to ensure all tenants were abiding by the same terms   and conditions.

(iii) Discuss ways to improve the road track long term:

Mr Gilbey reported that the budget for resurfacing the road track was £500 per year, and type one and two materials are deposited into the potholes annually. The rise in cost for these materials were not reflected by a rise in the budget so it is increasingly difficult to sufficiently fill the potholes long-term.

It was proposed by Councillor Holder, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT this Committee recommends that the Estates Officer and Councillor Holder look into the costings of completely resurfacing the road track and bring the costings back to Committee

(iv) Members to note there have been no updates from Site B/Solicitor with regard to possible new allotments:

Noted by Members

Action: The Town Clerk/RFO to chase Site B developers regarding allotments

(v) Members to note the winner of the Allotment trophy 2021:

The Senior Officer reported that the winner of the Allotment trophy 2021 was Louise Carson, for the best-improved allotment. Members noted this and congratulated Ms Carson on winning the trophy

253/21.KINECROFT

(i) To receive a report from the Senior Officer on the 2021 Michaelmas Fair:

The Senior Officer reported that the Showmen’s Guild had arrived at the Office on Friday 17th September to collect the Kinecroft keys when no             booking had been made or insurances received. Mrs Collins also had to speak to the Guild regarding flyposting, and reported that the Guild’s             representatives showed intimidating behaviour to Council Staff and poor conduct generally throughout the event.

Members noted this report, agreed that the Office should write to the Showmen’s Guild regarding their unacceptable conduct, and look into the             Charters to investigate what rights there are for a Michaelmas Fair to trade on the Kinecroft.

(ii) To note forthcoming events: Bonfire and Fireworks, Saturday 6th November:

Noted by Members

254/21.BULL CROFT

(i) To receive and note the RoSPA safety inspection report and the Health and Safety Officer’s summary; documents previously circulated:

Noted by Members

(ii) To consider and resolve the implementation of floor tiles in the junior play park; quotes previously circulated:

The Parks Foreman reported that moving some of the play equipment would reduce the cost of the floor tiles because the area due to be tiled would be smaller.

It was proposed by Councillor Keats- Rohan, seconded by Councillor Sinkinson and RESOLVED THAT the Office will find two quotes pertaining to the floor tiles in the proposed smaller area

(iii) Councillors to note the works to the footpath at St Georges Road entrance have been completed:

Noted by Members

(iv) Bull Croft Rec Rooms concrete update; Councillor Holder to report:

Councillor Holder reported that the total works were initially supposed to take 1.5 days over 2 lorry loads; instead the works took 6 days over 4 lorry  loads, and all of the concrete has now been removed. Councillor Holder thanked the Parks Foreman and Team for their efforts in the removal and             reported that the vegetation had been dealt with.

Councillor Holder thanked James McKnight, the part-time Parks Assistantwho was a great help to the Parks Team over the summer.

(v) To note; no forthcoming events:

Noted by Members

255/21.CASTLE GARDENS

(i) To discuss band concerts:

It was proposed by Councillor Holder, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT Councillor Holder and the Estates Officer will look into the lease and other documents for more details and bring back to the next Committee meeting

(ii) To discuss a memorial bench:

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Kidley and RESOLVED THAT this Committee supports Ms Atkins’ request.

Mr Gilbey, Parks Foreman, suggested a location looking over the wild area of the gardens and the Castle Meadows

(iii) Members to note; the Parks team will be notified to, under supervision, cut back ivy on the St. Nicholas’ Ruins and neighboring party walls. Town Clerk/RFO and Councillor Keats- Rohan to give an update:

Councillor Keats- Rohan reported in depth on the process for the surveys and repairs on the St. Nicholas’ Ruins in Castle Gardens. Here, concerns were raised over the Parks Team’s safety and training.

It was proposed by Councillor Whelan, seconded by Councillor Sinkinson and RESOLVED THAT the scaffold will go up, health and safety and training will be checked, and then the works can commence

(iv) To note: no forthcoming events

Noted by Members

256/21.OPEN SPACES

(i) Telephone boxes: To consider the costs involved in replacing all the Perspex panes in two telephone boxes. Councillor Holder to update             members:

Councillor Holder reported that from BT the Perspex panes are available to buy for £540 per telephone box.

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT this Committee recommends this expenditure to Finance and General Purposes Committee for approval

(ii) Councillor Lester to discuss adopting the telephone boxes at Wallingford Bridge and at the taxi rank:

Councillor Lester put to Members the idea that the Council could adopt the telephone boxes by the Bridge and the Town Hall taxi rank: the bridge box to house a defibrillator, as the defibrillator at the Boathouse isn’t always accessible- and the taxi rank box to potentially contain community plants.

It was proposed by Councillor Lester, seconded by Councillor Whelan and RESOLVED THAT the Estates Officer will contact  BT and request that they undertake the upkeep work on these Grade 2 structures such as pane replacement and repainting before Wallingford Town Council will adopt them

(iii) Wilding and Radnor Road green spaces/ community gardens /low mow; Councillor Holder to give an update:

Councillor Holder reported that there was a residents’ working group who are working on creating community spaces within the Radnor and Wilding Road green spaces, so that they would get used for a variety of reasons; he reported that there would be fundraising efforts and grant applications to aid this process

(iv) Platinum Jubilee Celebrations/Queens Green Canopy:  Councillor Keats-Rohan to give an update:

Councillor Keats- Rohan reported that the Canopy is being very well received by many OX10 parishes and that the schools in particular are being targeted  and responding well to the project

(v) Tree Surveys- Councillors to note the medium risk works were completed as instructed and now the low risk works should be actioned:

It was proposed by Councillor Keats- Rohan, seconded by Councillor Lester and RESOLVED THAT following the surveys the low level risk tree works be carried out

(vi) To note forthcoming events- Remembrance Sunday, 14th November:

Noted by Members

257/21.MOORINGS

Full Council Minute 82/21 refers; to note that the license for works at the area of subsidence was granted in June 2021 but the works have yet to be completed by the contractor or the Riverside Working Group.  Councillor Whelan to give an update:

It was reported by the Town Clerk/ RFO that Greenford have advised the works are ‘a low-cost repair to slow erosion’, and ‘not a cure’.

It was proposed by Councillor Holder, seconded by Councillor Sinkinson and RESOLVED THAT Greenford should proceed with repair works as described

258/21.TERMS OF REFERENCE

To review and resolve to agree the Terms of Reference for the Parks Committee:

The Terms of Reference were reviewed and noted. They were not altered so no resolution was needed here

259/21.TRIANGLE SPACE ADJACENT TO KINECROFT

To note that this Council is trying to establish ownership of this piece of land; Members have an opportunity to discuss:

There was no update to be received from the Locum Clerk; Members noted this item and it is deferred to the next Committee meeting

260/21.MAPS OF SPACES

Councillor Holder to present to Members the maps he has obtained of the Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces that this Committee has responsibility for:

  •             Maps noted by members

261/21.FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

Members to consider any future agenda items

  • ·       Market Place use – The Mayor, Councillor Marcus Harris
  • ·       Community Gardens/Low mow – Councillor Holder
  • ·       Queens Green Canopy (rolling item) – Councillor Keats-Rohan
  • ·       Gate in Castle Lane – Councillor Keats-Rohan, Monument update – ongoing
  • ·       Lidl Bench and Notice Board Update – Councillor Lester
  • ·       Band concerts in Castle Gardens: what sort of music will be deemed suitable?
  • ·       Spring bulbs to be planted in reflection of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • ·       Allotment updates:
  • –        Water troughs
  • –        New allotments and access
  • ·       Castle gardens updates:
  • –        Opening and closing times
  • –        Access
  • ·       Update on flooding by the Coach and Horses
  • ·       Climate change update
  • ·       Update on water fountain following 13th July 2020
  • ·       Moorings signs
  • ·       Charges for use of open spaces

261/21.EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To resolve that due to the confidential items about to be transacted that Members of the public and press are asked to withdraw from the meeting

It was proposed by Councillor Keats- Rohan, seconded by Councillor Sinkinson and RESOLVED THAT due to the confidential items about to be transacted that Members of the public and press are asked to withdraw from the meeting

It was here that the members of the public left the meeting

CONFIDENTIAL SESSION CONTINUES ON PAGE 96

 

The meeting closed at 9.40PM