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News

Filtering by Tag: pavilion

Hands Up To Join Our Team!!

Alison Mackie

teamwork.jpg

Are you creative? Do you have good organisational skills? Would you like to join a team in Bramham and make a difference to your community?

The Parish Council is looking for people to join a team to help see our new pavilion evolve into a great new sports facility for Bramham Residents to enjoy. The team will together explore new ways to generate users and income, manage bookings, be involved in fund raising and events, and no doubt lots more! If you are interested please get in touch to have a conversation about how you might be one of the team and be part of this exciting of new project in Bramham. Please contact the Clerk:

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Parish Council update on the Pavilion and lease of the Playing Field

Val Whitbread

Very understandably, many residents have asked why the Pavilion has still not been completed and brought into use.

Last year, solicitors acting for the Bramham Sports and Leisure Association set out its claim to have a legal interest in the playing fields and the Pavilion that effectively gives it full control of both.  The claim is based on a draft of a lease produced in October 2008 (before the BSLA came into existence) but never completed and which is invalid.

Although the Council’s own legal advice was that there was no basis for the BSLA’s claim, in April 2013 the Council offered to grant it a 30 year lease.  This lease would have been very similar to the 2008 draft lease, in that the rent would be £1 a year, with both the Council and the BSLA having the right to end the lease earlier if they chose, but limiting the BSLA’s use of the playing fields and the Pavilion to that of recreational facility primarily for residents.

The BSLA’s solicitors did not reply to this offer until September 2013 when they requested some amendments to the draft.   In response, the Council’s solicitors offered certain concessions, but by 8 November 2013 the BSLA’s solicitors had still not replied.  Accordingly, on that day the Council’s solicitors told the BSLA’s solicitors that if the BSLA had not accepted the proposed lease by 6 December 2013, there would no further negotiations.

On 5th December 2013 – that is, one day before the deadline set by the Council - the BSLA’s solicitors wrote back rejecting the Council’s proposed lease.  Instead, and whilst continuing to maintain its claim to a legal interest in the playing fields and the Pavilion, the BSLA have asked the Council to grant it a lease which would still at be at a rent of £1 a year, but for 99 years, with no right to end the lease earlier, and with no limits on the BSLA’s use of the playing fields and Pavilion. 

A lease in these terms would be the equivalent of giving the playing fields and the Pavilion to the BSLA for nothing for the BSLA to do whatever it wishes with them.  The Council cannot do this in any case, as the Local Government Act 1972 requires it to obtain best value on the disposal of any asset.  However, the Council’s primary aim is for the playing fields and Pavilion to be completed as soon as possible, so that they can then be run by a party working in partnership with the Council for the benefit of the whole community.  The Council has reluctantly been forced to conclude from the BSLA’s stance that it does not share this aim.   

The present position is that if the BSLA is to retain any chance of arguing its claim to the control of the playing fields and the Pavilion, it must bring court proceedings by 30 May 2014.  If it does not, the Council will then take control of both and can then proceed to complete all outstanding works with a view to bringing them into full use as quickly as possible.  If the BSLA does bring court proceedings, the Council will defend them, and has been advised that its prospects of doing so successfully are very high.

The Parish Council would like to reassure residents that it is committed to protecting the playing fields as an extremely valuable asset and important village amenity and delivering a completed Pavilion. 

Bramham Parish Council

 

Resident's update about The Pavilion

Alison Mackie

 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. Details of work outstanding, to include estimates, to determine what additional funds are required.
  2. A visit to enable the council to look around the building and understand what remains outstanding.
  3. 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.

Parish News for February

Alison Mackie

To all Bramham residents

Here is the monthly update from our February meeting….

Festival Tickets: A meeting has taken place with Festival Republic to discuss the ticket allocation for 2013 and full details of the application process will be included in the next magazine and on our website. We will be introducing some enhancements to the ticket allocations this year and we will put full details on our website as soon as all the details are finalised. Festival Republic have advised that again this year they will be ensuring the terms of their premises license will be enforced and no alcohol for personal consumption can be taken through into the Guest Area, only into the Guest Camping Area. This is a decision by the festival organisers and not a parish council decision. We will be looking again at the extended bus timetable until 3am as this was well received by residents last year.

The Precept: Leeds City Council has confirmed that because of the introduction by the Government of the new council tax support system, our 2013/14 tax base has been reduced to 712 band D equivalent properties.  Although the Parish Council has NOT asked for an increase in the precept that is currently £20,000, this will nevertheless mean a band D precept charge of £28.09. This represents a small increase on the 12/13 charge that is currently £27.32. Leeds City Council proposes to pass on funding to the parish council of £1,152 on top of, and separate to, the precept. This funding is meant to compensate parish councils for the reduction in their tax base.

Bramham Primary School: Our chairman recently spent some time at our village primary school and was made very welcome by all the children and teachers and enjoyed looking at all the wonderful work and projects that the children are engaged in. The Parish Council are keen to see the village school prosper and wants to encourage all parents considering which school for their children to attend to spend sometime at our local village school before making that decision. The Parish Council is committed to supporting the school in anyway it can in the future and is keen to establish a relationship with the teachers and head to work together on promoting this village asset.

Pavilion: We have included a separate communication with regards to the pavilion in this magazine and the article has been placed on the website www.thisisbramham.co.uk. Following conversations with village residents the council made a decision not to door drop every house in the village as there is no new information to share. However there is some suggestion that there were things the parish council were not telling you and we want to assure you that is not the case.  We have included this article to bring together all the information we have to hopefully clarify the current position and get rid of any misunderstandings.

Tour De France 5th and 6th July 2014: The Parish Council are looking for ideas for the village to celebrate the Tour De France coming to Yorkshire in 2014. Cycling event to include families and children, a street party, a charity bike challenge, street flags and screening of the event have all been suggested. The NSPCC are looking at a French style party on the Saturday evening in The Village Hall. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or would like to help organise the weekends events please contact our clerk.

Neighbourhood Plan: We are still waiting for more news on the Site Allocation in the Parish. As soon as we know this we can take steps to finalise the Neighbourhood Plan. The group will be meeting in the next month or so and we can report back to the Parish in due course.

Traffic Speed Limits: Our request to Leeds City Council to reduce the speed limit by the school has been turned down on the basis of it is not a priority. We are not accepting the response and are going to be working with the school and Clifford Parish Council on a joint effort to challenge this. It has been suggested that it is the cost of the signage that is the issue as Leeds City Council do not have the funds available. The council are looking into this to understand the costs and what funds would be required to make this happen.

Old Peoples Shelter: All ideas put forward for renaming the shelter will be considered at the next Parish Meeting.

West Yorkshire Metro: We understand that ten Sunday evening journeys on the Wetherby - Leeds routes X99 and 770 are threatened. There is a petition which is currently in the Wetherby Whaler and Save The Children in Wetherby, that you may want to sign to try and stop these cuts.

Potholes, Fly Tipping, Street Lights etc! A reminder that if you notice something in the village that needs fixing you can report problems directly online at www.leeds.gov.uk.

Next Meeting: The next Council meeting will be on Wednesday 6th March, 7.30 pm at The Village Hall. Residents are welcome to join us and to talk to us about any ideas and suggestions you have to improve our village

We hope you find this update useful. If you would like to read more detailed information about items discussed the minutes of the meeting can be found on our parish notice board and on our website www.thisisbramham.co.uk.

Contact:

Marie Lynch, Council Clerk

Email: clerk@bramhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Address: 1 Fossards Close, Bramham, LS23 6WD

Parish Council News for January

Alison Mackie

To all Bramham residents
Update from the January meeting:

Snow Champions: We have four volunteers but need to double that and have a volunteer Snow Champion to get this scheme off the ground. The team would keep a key to grit bins and co-ordinate snow clearing – it won’t be too onerous - PLEASE VOLUNTEER TO HELP TO KEEP OUR VILLAGE SAFE!

Playing Field: The Parish Council is arranging for a bin that can take dog waste to be put on the playing field. Hazardous waste from the bin that was set on fire has been removed.

Playing Field Lease / Pavilion: We want to clarify the decision to allocate some funds to pay for legal advice concerning leasing the playing field to the BSLA. Whilst there has been no expenditure so far it is likely that we will incur some legal costs in order to resolve some important issues that have come to light with regards to the lease of the playing field. These issues must be resolved and legal advice is essential in order to put a valid legal agreement in place that protects all parties concerned, the parish council, the BSLA and Bramham residents. We want to assure residents that this expenditure will be kept to a minimum. We do recognise and share the frustration regarding the completion of the pavilion and the lack of news on the Option Agreement with Leeds City Council. Please be assured that we are continuing to liaise with the BSLA and Leeds City Council to progress both these matters to a conclusion. Once we have received responses to the legal queries raised we will send a full communication, that will be delivered via a door drop to all residents, and will also be posted on our website.

The Bus Parked on Bowcliffe Road: The police have advised that as the bus parked in the layby opposite the Woodyard is not causing an obstruction or is illegally parked they cannot enforce removal.

Traffic Speed Limits: The Heavy Goods Vehicle industry is lobbying the government to increase the speed limit for HGVs on our roads. Cllr Martin Batt has researched the issue in some depth and will respond to the proposals on behalf of the Parish Council with a strong view that we are against this on the grounds of safety and environmental issues. We also have not given up on the fight to reduce the speed limit by the school and are going to be working with Clifford Parish Council on a joint effort.

Old Peoples Shelter: Some residents amongst those who use the shelter, have told us that they find the name of the shelter a little offensive. The Council agreed they are happy to consider renaming it and will be asking for suggestions via the website, contacting the Clerk, and a suggestions box will be placed in the Village shop.

Potholes, Fly Tipping, Street Lights etc! Whilst the Clerk is happy to report problems to Leeds City Council please remember that you do not have to contact the Clerk with such issues you can report problems directly online at www.leeds.gov.uk. You will receive an acknowledgement for follow up.

Police Commissioner Survey: All residents are invited to take part in a survey regarding police budget and crime plan at www.smart-survey.co.uk/v.asp?i=65098dhdaq

National Grid: National Grid have been working on pylon foundations via Spen Common Lane. When this is complete there will be no further work until April 2013. They have advised that they will make good any damage caused to Spen Common Lane. Please let us know if you are experiencing any problems.

West Yorkshire Metro: WYM are proposing changes that will affect our 770 service! Give your views on their survey at www.wymetro.com/busreview .

Junior Gym Membership: 2 months membership of Junior Bodyline is available for 14 to 18 year olds for just £5.00. Details and direction for applications will be on the Breeze facebook and twitter sites from 1 Feb to 18 Feb.

What’s on in Bramham:

  • 2nd Jan: Parish Council Meeting – Old People Shelter
  • 8th January: Bramham Discoverers 9.15 to 9.50 – Village Hall
  • 16th Jan: YCA – 7.15pm Village Hall
  • 25th Jan: Green Bin Day
  • 26th January: Burns Night Celebration Bramham Village Hall
  • 4th Feb: Monday Club – Village Hall 1.30pm
  • 12th Feb: Community Action Group AGM – Red Lion 7.30pm
  • 29th June: Bramham Gala
  • 6th July: Bramham Gala Gig
  • 13th July: Bramham Ball, Bowcliffe Hall

Next Meeting: The next Council meeting will be on Wednesday 6 February, 7.30 pm.  Old People’s Shelter.. Residents are welcome.

Contact:

Marie Lynch, Council Clerk

Email: clerk@bramhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Address: 1 Fossard Close, Bramham, LS23 6RH