|Environment Committee 6th March 2006|
6th March 2006
Present: Councillors Mrs S Gilchrist (Chairman)
CJ Carey (Sub for CJ Mobbs)
Mrs M Larkins
Stuart Oliver (Deputy Town Clerk)
Apologies were received from Cllrs Mrs NJ Graham and CJ Mobbs.
5128 QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
5129 SPECIFIC DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Resolved: To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on the 16th January 2005 and for these to be signed by the Chairman.
5131 LATE ITEM
Members were asked to accept the following late item and, as representatives from Parkside Voice were present to talk about the request, to move the item up the agenda.
Resolved: To receive the late item on Parkside recreation Ground and to move the item up the agenda.
5132 PARKSIDE RECREATION GROUND
A request had been received from Parkside Voice (Residents Association) to hold three car boot sales on Parkside Recreation Ground in order to raise funds, which would subsequently be used within the community.
Representatives from Parkside Voice attended the meeting and outlined their work within the community and reported on the request to hold the car boot sales. It was stressed that they would marshal the events carefully, would tidy up afterwards and would be willing to pay for making good in the event of any damage being caused to the areas used for football. The request was for the 3rd June from 1.00pm – 5.00pm, plus one Sunday morning in each of July and August. It was agreed that the morning events would start at a reasonable time so as not to disturb local residents.
Resolved: To grant approval to Parkside Voice to hold 3 car boot sales on Parkside Recreation Ground in June, July and August 2006, with the proceeds going to Parkside Voice.
5133 PLAITERS WAY WILDLIFE RESERVE
Members were reminded that the land off Plaiters Way was scheduled to be established as managed informal open space with s106 funding attached to this land for its management (£32,500).
Members had received a copy of a work programme that had been developed from the draft Management Plan for the site, which had been prepared by the Greensand Trust.
Members were asked to consider the proposed sequence of events, as follows. SBDC would complete the following works, at an estimated cost of £5,500, which would be taken from the s106 fund.
Completion of tree surgery work
Installation of low level ascot fencing along the site boundary with the grass verge along Plaiters Way
Removal of rubbish and cut grass of whole site
Creation of gravelled footpath from the car park area to link to the footpath along the western boundary of the site.
Once this had been done the land would then be passed to HRTC together with the remainder of the funding. The Town Council would then undertake the following:
Installation of notice board by car park area,
Installation of litter and doggie bins
Tree maintenance work
Grass and footpath cutting
As none of the Town Council staff had the expertise, the habitat maintenance work, as set out, would be completed by the Greensand Trust, under a service level agreement with the Town Council. This would cost between £1,400 and £2,000 per annum subject to inflation and depending on the year of work.
Some reservations were expressed about the potential level of costs to be deducted by SBDC from the s106 fund, but Members agreed that is was in the Town Council’s best interests to take over the land after it had been made good, rather than having to undertake the preparation work ourselves.
Resolved:1) To approve the Work Plan for the Plaiters Way Wildlife
2)To seek to have the land transferred to the Town Council
once SBDC had completed the identified set up work.
3)To authorise the Greensand Trust to undertake the Habitat
Management Work under a service level agreement.
5134 GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT
It was reported that BCC, in partnership other local agencies, had commissioned a Green Infrastructure Plan. The aim of the plan was to deliver Green Infrastructure in the area to the north of Luton, Dunstable and Houghton
Regis (the MKSM growth area). The area around Leighton Linslade and the urban area of Luton had not been included, as these were part of separate, but complementary, plans.
It was suggested that a consultation evening should be held on 11th April at the offices of Dunstable Town Council, to which representatives from local organisations in Dunstable and Houghton Regis would be invited. Invitations would be sent out in the joint names of Dunstable Town Council and Houghton Regis Town Council.
Resolved:To note the report and endorse the consultation evening.
5135 VILLAGE GREEN PAVILION
Members were advised that the repair works and decoration arising from the fire at the Green pavilion had now been completed.
However, having inspected the pavilion following these works further improvements were suggested, as follows.
Replacement of the external double doors to the store area with a rolling shutter. The weight of the present doors causes the frame to split and whilst a new frame could be installed the problem will re-occur due to the exceptional weight of the doors. A rolling shutter would remove this problem whilst maintaining security. This element of the works would cost in the region of £4,000.
Replacement of the 2 toilets in the changing rooms and some associated plastering (approximately £1,000).
Upgrading of the electrics system to current standards. Whilst repairs under the insurance claim had been carried out, a number of further faults / issues had been identified and these would have to be rectified (approximately £2,500).
Members were advised that there were sufficient funds in budget code 6090 for all of these works to be completed, although this would result in a reduced amount being transferred to ear marked reserves at the end of the financial year.
The Town Council has the power to spend funds on pavilions under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 s19.
Members were informed that it was essential that the electrical work was undertaken and desirable that the toilet facilities were improved. It was reported, however, that proposed roller shutter door might prove a problem to the grounds staff, as it would reduce the height clearance and therefore restrict entry for some implements.
Resolved: 1) To investigate further the implications of a roller shutter
and to report back in due course.
2)To replace the 2 toilets in the changing rooms and complete
some associated plastering
3) To upgrade the electrics system to current standards.
5136 WINTER WORK PROGRAMME REVIEW
Members had received a report that showed the status of the winter work programme. Although it had been emphasised at the meeting in November 2005, when the programme had been presented, that it was not possible to complete all the projects listed, it was pleasing to see that more had been done than had been anticipated.
Members requested that the treatment of the algae on the surface of some of the play areas should be dealt with as a priority.
Resolved:To note the report.
5137 MOORE CRESCENT FENCING
Members were informed that recent inspections of the perimeter of the land owned by the Town Council at Moore Crescent showed that the fencing required attention. In some cases this would involve complete replacement, while in others, repair work would be sufficient. Quotations had been sought from 3 contactors for different types of fencing, and/or repair, for different sections of the complete perimeter and these had been circulated to Members for consideration. Members were reminded that s106 funds (£13,161) were available for this work.
Members were advised that since the agenda had gone out, SBDC had agreed to fund the repair / replacement of the fencing bordering the woodland area adjacent to Park Road North, so should ignore the quotations received for those sections of fencing. It was generally agreed that, as the money is available, it should be used to get the job done, and sooner rather than later.
The Committee debated the fencing alternatives for the section alongside the cycle path and felt that it needed to be something robust and secure. As a result the preferred option was palisade fencing. Unfortunately, only one company had quoted for this type. Elsewhere, it was agreed that repair work was adequate. It was also felt that it would be more appropriate to give the whole contract to one company.
1) To approve the installation of green coated palisade fencing along the section adjacent to the cycle path and to obtain quotations from the other 2 companies.
2) To refurbish the remaining sections of fencing.
3) To delegate responsibility to the Town Clerk, Deputy Town Clerk and Chairman of the Environment Committee to make the decision as to which company gets the contract for the work.
5138 RTV VEHICLE
Members were reminded of the circumstances that had led to the Leader of the Council contacting them to seek their views on obtaining the RTV before the new financial year and of their agreement to that course of action.
It was reported that the Council had taken delivery of the vehicle on the 1st March.
Resolved: To formally ratify the earlier decision to purchase the RTV.
5139 KEECH COTTAGE HOSPICE ANNUAL SPONSORED RIDE
A request had been received from the Safer Cycling Promotions Officer at Luton Borough Council for permission to use the car park and the pavilion at the Parkside Recreation Ground on the day of the sponsored ride (Sunday 9th July 2006). If Members approved the request, Cllr R Morgan had volunteered to take responsibility for the keys to the pavilion for the day.
It was reported that it would be a whole day event and that participants could start at Parkside Drive and finish at Wardown Park or vice versa, or alternatively do the round trip. The event was due to begin at about 9.00am and a risk assessment had been undertaken. Members agreed that this should receive their support, but asked that when writing to convey their approval, the letter should stress that vehicles and belongings are left at the owners’ risk.
Resolved:To approve the use of the car park and pavilion at Parkside Recreation Ground on the day of the ride.
5140 PROJECT UPDATES
Members were provided with an update on the progress of a number of projects.
The tree chosen was a Cherry Blossom Tree and it had been decided to site it equidistant between the two existing trees on the grass area in front of the Memorial Hall. The planting ceremony had been arranged by Firbanks for Wednesday 15th March at 11.30 am. Directors of companies involved had been invited to attend, along with the Town Mayor, the Leader of the Council and the Deputy Town Clerk.
Tree Survey / Management Plan
The Contractor began work on the survey on Tuesday morning (28th February) and would submit a report in due course. He had informed us that he would contact us if, during the course of the survey, he found anything that he deemed required urgent and immediate attention.
Boundary Fence at Village Green / Woodlands Avenue
The company chosen by this Committee had been instructed by SBDC to carry out the work and as far as it was known the work was due to be done before the end of this financial year.
Water at Orchard Close Pavilion
It was reported that Three Valleys Water now appeared to agree that the water consumption at Sleepsafe Security Systems (a company operating 5 days per week throughout the year) should be considerably greater than the water consumption at the pavilion (used on only Sundays for 7 months of the year). However, the allowance being credited to our bill for the pavilion, in consideration of water usage by Sleepsafe through the shared meter, compared with the consumption attributed to the pavilion, showed the opposite. As a result Three Valleys Water was in the process of undertaking a full check of the water supply to Sleepsafe to ensure that there were no leaks and that their meter was recording the correct consumption. Once this has been completed, Three Valleys Water would be in contact with the results.
In the last letter the Deputy Clerk suggested a way forward, which was to have a meter installed at the pavilion, which the Town Council would be happy to pay for, and to base our bills on that meter for a year. At the same time, readings from the current meter should continue to be taken as a comparison. At the end of the year, comparisons of the two sets of readings would show whether what we had been saying about not using the amount of water for which we had been billed, was valid or not. Three Valleys Water had stated that they had no opposition to the installation of a meter, if the current investigations did not solve the problem.
Resolved:To note the update information.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.58pm
Dated this day of 2006