The Jubilee Project
It is heartening in these summer months to see the field and its facilities being enjoyed by young and old alike.
We have added this summer some additional items of play equipment, some additional swings, a rota bounce- whatever that is- and a mushroom table and seats for our younger residents, all seem to be being well used. In addition to the usual work of maintenance the BMX track has had work done to the surface.
It is the intention of the Parish Council to keep the Field and its equipment in good order for the enjoyment of all. To this end may I address the issue of DOGS. Dogs are not banned from the field except from the fenced off young children’s area but please exercise your dog responsibly. Keep it on a lead near young children and other users and pick up dog waste, it is an offence not to do so, bag it and use the bins provided. You are asked to use the field responsibly so please do so.
Some new swings and other items have been ordered for the Parish Field and this will bring to an end our Jubilee project of improvement to the field. The items are expected to be delivered and erected towards the end of June so should be in place in time for school summer hols. The funds for the items are from the balance of Section 106 monies from West Lancs. Borough Council in respect of new housebuilding in Haskayne.
It has taken a little time to organise but we now have a contractor responsible for cutting the grass and maintaining the field and the triangle of land at Downholland Cross.
There are just a few small items to be done and the Jubilee work is completed. There is a kerb to be dropped, some bins required, some picnic benches to come, bulbs to be planted in due season but all in all the job is done and delivered and I hope the area will be much enjoyed.
The work on the Parish field is more or less finished. There are some wild flowers to be planted but that is about all. Recently some picnic benches were installed and a kerb was dropped at the top of the car park by the path. This should be helpful to people with prams and to wheelchair users. From what I see and hear the improvements have been well received.
Thanks are appropriate to all who helped with the community planting at the Jubilee Field.
Parish Councillor Dianne Cull writes as follows:
At the beginning of November, the older children from Haskayne School, along with some adults, planted nearly 800 bulbs along the length of the park adjoining the canal. In January we should be able to enjoy snowdrops, followed by crocus and then mixed daffodils taking us through to April/May.
Each year they will increase in number and the mass of spring colour will hopefully brighten our lives.
A special ‘Thank You’ to Roy and Kath Cunliffe, Jamie Melling, Trish Statter and the children and staff from School who joined members of the Parish Council in a very pleasant few hours planting in the sunshine.
Anytime now, we hope to have about 14 fruit trees to plant in the same area, the hope is that in a few years you will be able to pick yourself an apple, pear or plum as you walk around the park!
Perhaps some of our Teenagers would like to help with the planting and staking of the new trees? They too would be able to say they helped in making the park a lovely place to spend some time.
If anyone else would like to be involved, younger or older, you will be made most welcome.
It has taken much longer than anticipated to get to the stage where we have plans in place that we can make public but at last we are at that stage. The plans will be on display at the Village Hall on Friday 13th September between 6pm and 9pm. Members of the Parish Council and Steering Group will be in attendance to hear your views and comments. Please come along and see what is proposed.
We are pleased to be able to advise that the full £85,416 of the S106 Funding has been awarded by West Lancashire Borough Council to the Jubilee Project Steering Group for the improvement of the layout and facilities of the playing field.
Who we are….
We are members of the Parish Council and five other local residents who
responded to the appeal by the Parish Council in the Autumn 2012 Edition of the KIT Newsletter.
Following the Public Meeting and Questionnaire in Summer 2012 a number of
projects were put forward that could benefit from the £85,416 funding arising
from the LO Jeffs Redevelopment. We discussed and considered these projects.
What the money is for…
The funding agreement allows monies “to be used for the provision of outdoor recreational facilities and or amenity green space in the ward of Downholland”.
What the money is not for…
We have learned that projects such as the Road & Canal Footpath Improvements, and a locally funded shop are all not eligible to receive funding.
What we did…
With this in mind we proceeded with the project to improve the layout and facilities of the playing field.
We hope to hold a public presentation in July to enable everybody to view and comment on the plans. It is hoped that the funds will be supplemented by a further grant from the Lancashire Environment Fund. We will hear whether our bid was successful in June.
You will remember that ,as a result of the housebuilding on the L O Jeffs site, the Parish Council has access, subject to West Lancs. Borough Council approval, to £84,000 (which may be enhanced by grants) to spend on outdoor amenities.
The rules of S106 and the agreement between the Developer and WLBC are very tight. The agreement says the money is……’to be used for the provision of outdoor recreational facilities and or amenity green space in the ward of Downholland but for the avoidance of doubt shall not include a contribution towards the maintenance of any public open space.’
We must keep within those rules, so the money is not available to support a local shop,for road works or traffic calming or other ideas that some people have suggested. It is only available, as the Borough Councils agreement says, for recreational facilities and amenity green space.
The Parish Council’s idea is to develop the parish field and make it usable by a wider range of residents.
We sent out a questionnaire on this plan and followed it up with a public meeting on 18th July. Many thanks to those who completed the questionnaire and attended the meeting.
A considerable majority of those who attended the public meeting agreed we were working on the right lines but various other possible projects have been suggested. For instance that we should consider other green areas such as the Canal bank or the Nature reserve in Barton.
At this point nothing is decided. Our initial understanding was that we had to formulate and submit our plans very quickly. We now realise the time-scale is longer so we can take a more considered view and look at possible projects in addition to our ideas for the parish field.
In the past when we drew up a Parish Plan, we had a committee, a steering group of local residents, to help the Parish Council prepare its plan. I would like to revive that idea and form a Steering Group to assist the Parish Council formulate its plans for this money. Plans which could then be put to the public to see and comment before being submitted to WLBC.
If you would be prepared to serve on a Steering Group would you please ,before the end of September, email the clerk on email@example.com or, alternatively, let any of the Councillors know of your interest.
If you do not want to be on a committee but have any other ideas as to where the monies may be applied- always remembering the strict rules that apply, again please let us know either by contatcting a Councillor or by emailing the clerk.
Owen Connolly – Chairman of Downholland Parish Council.