The Parish Council has been giving regular updates in the parish magazine about the pavilion. Some residents have suggested that they are not hearing the full story, and there appears to be some misunderstanding about the current position. So we have written this summary and hope it will clarify matters.
The Parish Council Responsibilities
The Parish Council is elected to look after the best interests of the village residents. With regards to the pavilion there are three specific areas of responsibility that we currently have:
- Leeds City Council Option Agreement: The initiative for exercising the option agreement to purchase the land at Freely Lane for £250k lies with Leeds City Council (LCC) and not the Parish Council. We were given verbal assurances by a ward councillor on a number of occasions that payment of this money was imminent. Despite these assurances LCC have not provided a firm date for the exercise of this option agreement and we have not received confirmation that these funds will in fact be released, hence the councils frustration. In order to try and resolve this situation we have now engaged a solicitor to assist us and he is writing to LCC on our behalf. We hope that this will result in clarification as to LCC ‘s intentions.
- Funding Village Projects: If and when the council receives the £250k, we have been advised that the funds must be used for capital expenditure and to be a good use of resident’s (precept payers) money. There is a procedure known as “due diligence” and this is something we must follow before we handover funds to any village project in order to safeguard you as residents. The BSLA have requested permission for £108k share of the funds and have nearly completed their obligations under this due diligence. The outstanding item is estimates for the works on the pavilion that are still to be completed. Once we have received these estimates we hope this will enable us to approve the expenditure and complete due diligence. Payment will be made on receipt of invoices once the approved work has been completed.
- The lease of the playing field to the BSLA: The council has recently received legal advice that the original lease of the playing field to the BSLA is in fact invalid and therefore the council has resolved to offer a new lease to the BSLA and this is currently being drafted by our solicitor.
As soon as we have any more information with regard to these matters we will of course update you via the parish magazine and in the councils minutes.
The Pavilion Project and The Bramham Sports and Leisure Association
The responsibility for the design, build, fund raising and on-going maintenance of the pavilion is with the Bramham Sports and Leisure Association (BSLA). This is a group of volunteers that the council established in 2007 with the primary focus of building a pavilion for the residents of Bramham. The BSLA is run by three directors; Nick Lane Fox, Andrew Ellis and John Proctor, and a team who look after the building project. The Directors have advised us that they intend to recruit a new team of volunteers to become the “Pavilion Management Committee” to oversee the day-to-day running once the pavilion doors are open.
The Parish Council would like to clarify that they have had no involvement in the design, fund raising, project management or construction of the pavilion. The BSLA have spearheaded this project from the start and maintain that that is how they want to continue. The BSLA requested to commence the construction of the pavilion in November 2011 and stated that they were confident (without the potential additional support from the option agreement), that they had secured sufficient funds to complete the project and open the doors. Based on those assurances, the council granted a license to build. We are now of the understanding that the pavilion cannot be completed with the funds available as there is a shortfall and therefore works have halted. The council shares many residents concerns about what this now means for the future of the pavilion and have requested the following information from the BSLA:
- Details of work outstanding, to include estimates, to determine what additional funds are required.
- A visit to enable the council to look around the building and understand what remains outstanding.
- Details of “Plan B” if the money from the option agreement is not received.
We are still waiting for these details and this is why we are unable to update residents about the current position of the pavilion project. The council will continue to seek clarification from the BSLA and to encourage them to provide the village with information that will answer the question that you are all asking, “What is happening with the pavilion?” In the meantime you may wish to contact the Directors of the BSLA directly with your questions. We will invite the Directors to the Annual Parish Meeting on the 10th of April to give them the opportunity to provide residents with an update.
We hope that this summary helps to clarify the position of the council. The Parish Council is committed to being open and transparent. If you have a question or still feel that that there is something the parish council is not telling you we want you to talk to us to help us understand where that perception is coming from. Please pop along to our next meeting on the 6th March at 7.30pm in the Old People Shelter, stop us in the street, or send an e-mail to our clerk and we will endeavor to answer your queries.
We all have different views and ideas about our village and what are the priorities and we would like to ask people to show consideration for that and conduct conversations with regards to village matters in a respectful manner. The council are committed to help the BSLA open the pavilion doors and to help all village projects and committees prosper and by working together we will achieve this.
From all members of Bramham Parish Council
Contact Clerk: Tel: (01937) 841328 / e-mail.