Agenda and minutes

Grounds & Environmental Committee
Monday, 4th June, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 1HD

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 & Email: info@leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

111/GE

APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that Councillor R Berry be appointed Vice Chair of the Committee for 2018-2019. There were no further nominations.

 

RESOLVED to appoint Councillor R Berry Vice Chair of the Committee for the municipal year 2018-2019.   

112/GE

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors A Brandham, S Cursons, B Spurr and T Morris, as well as from the Town Clerk and the Senior Centre Co-ordinator at Astral Park.

113/GE

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

(i) Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

 

(ii) Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).

Minutes:

Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting. No declarations were made and no dispensations had been requested.

114/GE

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 1(f) and 1(h).

Minutes:

No members of the public were present.

115/GE

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Grounds & Environmental Committee meeting held on 5 March 2018 (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received the draft minutes of the Grounds and Environmental Services Committee meeting held on 5 March 2018.

 

Minute reference 103/GE: it was noted that proposals regarding fees and charges at Astral Park would be brought back to a future meeting of the Committee.

           

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Grounds and Environmental Services Committee held on 5 March 2018 be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.

116/GE

ASTRAL PARK pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive a general update report regarding the Astral Park Sports and Community Centre and to consider any recommendation/s contained therein (to follow).

Minutes:

The Committee received an update report in respect of the Astral Park Sports and Community Centre, including events, catering, marketing, football and school holiday activities. It was noted that income was on target for the year to date and although expenditure was slightly higher, this was due to paying some contracts early in the financial year.

 

Concerns raised by residents to Councillors regarding irresponsible dog ownership were flagged up for information. It was suggested that free, promotional dog waste bags be re-ordered for distribution from both Astral Park and the White House and that signage/social media should encourage responsible dog ownership.

 

RESOLVED to note the information.

117/GE

COMMITTEE OBJECTIVES AND WORKPLAN pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To receive and consider the Committee work plan for 2018-2019 (attached) and to consider future objectives to inform future budget setting.

Minutes:

The Committee received the work plan for the municipal year 2018-2019.

 

RESOLVED to note the work plan.

118/GE

LINSLADE RECREATION IMPROVEMENT

To receive a verbal update on the progress of the Linslade Recreation improvements

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update on the progress of the improvements at Linslade Recreation Ground. The play area refurbishment was complete and had been well received in the main. Some residents had expressed disappointment about the removal of a larger piece of play equipment but it was noted that the refurbishment of the junior play area at Mentmore Park, undertaken the previous year, provided suitable equipment in the locality for the older age group. Given its relatively small size, the play area at Linslade Recreation Ground was deemed more suitable for younger children.

 

Green Flag judging had been undertaken and the outcome was awaited. Officers had met with the Conservation Officer regarding improved entrance signage to the park. As Waterloo Road was the historic main pedestrian entrance to the park, any signage erected at the Station Approach entrance would need to be in addition to and subservient to that on Waterloo Road.

 

RESOLVED to note the information.

119/GE

REVIEW OF THE TREE MANAGEMENT POLICY pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive and review the current Tree Management Policy (to follow)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report reviewing the Tree Management Policy, which had been adopted on 2 November 2015. Other than some minor amendments to reflect revised legislation and guidance, the policy was deemed to still be fit for purpose, providing a clear, transparent and professional method for managing the Town Council’s tree stock.

 

RECOMMENDED to the Policy and Finance Committee to consider recommending to Council re-endorsement of the Tree Management Policy, for the period 2018-2021.

120/GE

"FRIENDS" GROUPS

To receive a verbal update regarding local “Friends” groups (in accordance with Objective 32 in the Town Council’s Three Year Plan).

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update regarding the potential setting up of “Friends” groups of volunteers for the parks. Previous attempts to attract interest from the public had not generated much response, but further publicity would be issued to try to generate more interest. It was noted that the Council was working closely with the volunteers from the local South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth group and from the Friends of Leighton-Linslade in Bloom.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

121/GE

PARSONS CLOSE RECREATION GROUND pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To receive a report regarding proposed kiosk offer within Parsons Close Recreation Ground (attached) and to consider the recommendations contained therein.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding the proposed expansion of the catering offer within Parsons Close Recreation Ground.  The proposal was in reflection of the developments within the park in recent years, which had increased both footfall and dwell time. The increased footfall had been evidenced by the footfall counters installed in 2017.

 

It was proposed that expressions of interest be sought, with a view to providing a quality offering in the park, to potentially begin trading in the Spring of 2019.

 

RESOLVED to:

 

(i)            Endorse the commencement of an expressions of interest exercise and thereafter begin a competitive tendering process with the expectation that the successful operator would commence their operation in Spring 2019.

 

(ii)          Delegate to the Town Clerk and the Chair of Grounds and Environmental Services the authority to review the tenders received and to return a recommendation to this Committee in respect of a preferred operator.

 

(iii)         That the successful operator be afforded a 5 year agreement with the potential that this be extended by a further 12 months if both parties agree to this.

 

(iv)         That the tender process offer tenderers the opportunity to propose a financial model that is considered to be fair and appropriate for a facility such as this thereby affording a fair outcome to both parties.

 

(v)          That any planning permissions required will be applied for in due course.

122/GE

ENHANCEMENTS TO THE CEMETERY SERVICE pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive a report regarding a range of enhancements to the cemetery service and procedural changes and to consider the recommendations contained therein (to follow).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered  a report regarding a proposed change of procedure in respect of transfers of grave ownership, whereby the Town Council would only carry out transfers upon receipt of specific forms supported by a solicitor’s letter. This would not only increase internal efficiencies but would streamline the process for families during a difficult time. Furthermore, recognising the introduction of the 2018 Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulation, the change would ensure the Town Council would no longer need to receive, process and retain personal and confidential documents.

 

In light of the much streamlined process, it was proposed that the current fee for transfers be significantly reduced.

 

RESOLVED:

 

- to note the report.

- to approve that the Town Council only transfer Grave ownership when supported by the required specific forms as well as a solicitor’s letter.

- to reduce the fee for undertaking a transfer from the current fee of £106.48 to £26.62.

 

123/GE

EQUIPMENT FOR GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To receive report regarding equipment for Grounds and Environmental Services and to consider the recommendations contained therein. (to follow).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding equipment for   Grounds and Environmental Services. It was proposed that an existing vehicle be replaced with a newer model and that an additional vehicle be purchased, to increase capacity for both internal and external service delivery.

 

RESOLVED:

- to note the report.

- to endorse the purchase of 2 x Isuzu D-Max (Double Cab) vehicles with a maximum combined value of £42,000.

- to endorse the sale or disposal of 1 x Citroen Berlingo (Y699 GNN).

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that the expenditure for purchasing two vehicles be funded by half Earmarked Reserves (9000/950 Plant & Vehicle Replacement) and half by entering into a five year hire purchase agreement for a maximum value of £21,000, for which all payments would be made within the Grounds & Environmental Services revenue budget.