Agenda item

Agenda item

Capital Projects Update

Report of the Leisure Services Team Manager


     Jason Knight, Leisure Services Team Manager provided an update on the 2020/21 capital projects, the details of which were set out in the report.


     Upon the request of the Chairman, the Leisure Services Team Manager took Members through each item in turn and invited questions thereon.


     Turning to the first item, Thringstone Miners Social Centre Training Pitch, Councillor Everitt advised that the issues surrounding the Club had been rumbling on for quite a while but he was hopeful that a solution would be found and that works could progress.


     Councillor Geary added that Thringstone once had a prime football club within Leicestershire which had rapidly declined and he had been following the circumstances around this very closely over the past few years and he urged caution on the provision of funding until they could prove beyond all reasonable doubt that they were capable of running a stable organisation. The Leisure Services Team Manager assured Members that the Club had now left the site and had no involvement whatsoever, so any funding would go to the Trustees and any resident clubs who would oversee any projects.


     On the issue of the Melrose Road Play Hub, Councillor Everitt asked whether stonemasons, who cut granite as a matter of course, had been contacted to do the work. The Leisure Services Team Manager advised that he could not confirm this but he would find out and report back outside the meeting. That said, he was confident that the contractors would be able to do this work and will be in a position to commence in the next two weeks.


     In relation to Coalville Park, the Chairman expressed his concern regarding the capacity of the park in retaining the ability to hold future events adding that it would be a huge shame to lose this space. Therefore he encouraged any planting to be around the perimeter of the site and not in the centre which would render it incapable of being used to host large events.


     Councillor Black and Councillor Allman echoed these concerns, acknowledging that enhancing green open spaces was vitally important but that this should not be at the expense of the ability to use those spaces.


     Councillor Legrys asked that his thanks and appreciation be passed on to the Parks Team for their efforts in keeping Coalville Park maintained throughout the difficult past few weeks. He asked whether local residents and volunteers could be consulted on the design element of the planting scheme before a final decision was made.  The Chairman gave his assurance that no scheme would be progressed if it did not meet with approval from local residents.


     Councillor Everitt stated that the problem over lack of green spaces was not limited to Coalville as this was replicated throughout the district with even the smallest pieces of land being built on. He endorsed the comments already made.


     Councillor Allman made reference to a protection order for Ashby Baths Grounds and asked whether something similar was or could be applied to Coalville Pak. The Leisure Services Team Manager advised that protection was in place for the Park itself but not the field at the rear as this wasn’t classed as part of the Park. If it were, then the Order might be able to be extended to cover it. In terms of consultation, he added that this was possible but regard needed to be had to the very strict timescales which needed to be met in order to access the funding so any consultation would need to be swift. It was agreed that he would look at some wording which could be put on the website seeking views from local residents.


Councillor Geary asked whether consultation on the skate park graffiti project could be deferred until Picnic in the Park next year to ensure that an opportunity to consult with young people was not missed. It was therefore agreed that this would be postponed until next year.


Turning to the issue of Lillehammer Drive, Councillor Legrys asked if there was any indication from Barratts as to when they were going to clear the site. The Leisure Services Team Manager advised that Barratts no longer have any responsibility for that site as it has been transferred to the District Council, and due to COVID-19 it was not possible to maintain it, but now that grass cutting had been resumed, this should now have been done.


On discussing Coalville in Bloom 2020, Councillor Geary asked whether the surplus could be spent on infrastructure for next year and would be ringfenced. It was confirmed that because the money was external funding specifically for this project then it had to be ringfenced to this project and would roll over to the next financial year with no impact on the precept.


Councillor Allman urged caution in extending the scheme into Ashby Road given that for much of next year it is likely to resemble a building site. The Chairman agreed that this would be taken into consideration.


In relation to Scotlands Bowls Pavilion, the Chairman asked whether the building was structurally sound and likely to still be a viable option to be taken on even if left empty for a while. He was advised that the biggest risk was damage caused through anti-social behaviour and additional fencing had been erected in an attempt to deter this. Councillor Geary sought clarification on the bowling green and how this was being maintained.  He was advised that the grass was being cut but it was not being maintained as a bowling green as this would incur additional costs but he was assured that to return it to its former glory would not be too excessive and would only take a few weeks.


Turning to the issue of Asset Management, Councillor Allman expressed concern over the amounts being charged to the local authority by structural surveyors. He asked that we check to make sure we were using the right people as the figures appeared excessive given his knowledge in this field. The Leisure Services Team Manager advised that he would check with Property Services who are responsible for the procurement of the structural surveyors.  Councillor Everitt echoed these concerns given his experience in the telecoms industry where over charging local authorities was said to be rife.


In relation to Scotlands Recreation Ground, Councillor Legrys asked if the football club would be inclined to want to fence it off to prevent dog fouling and he was advised that it would have to be retained as a public open space and could not be fenced off without Council approval and it would also be built into the lease that the Council could use the land for events should it wish to do so. Councillor Wyatt sought confirmation as to how much a lease for the football club would save Coalville Special Expenses. The Leisure Services Manager said that any income received above the annual fee paid by the club would effect a saving and that the club would also have to take on the liability and costs incurred through maintenance issues arising with either the grass pitch or the changing pavilion.


A lengthy debate was had on tree planting and the desire to protect trees from vandalism, ongoing maintenance, and the concerns expressed by local residents who would support tree planting to act as an intrusion barrier. Support was given to the possibility of planting more mature trees to help alleviate some of the issues raised and it was agreed to seek advice from the National Forest.


By affirmation of the meeting it was




(1)    Approval be given to the allocation of £5,000 from S106 funding for the planting of trees and shrubs in the rear field at Coaville Park.


(2)    Approval be given to allocation of a maximum of £5,000 from balances for the planting of trees, shrubs and plants at Scotlands Recreation Ground.


(3)    Authority be delegated to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman in consultation with the Ward Member to progress the above initiatives and agree design works. 



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