Friends of Whitecotes Playing Field
Annual General Meeting Minutes
Held at Potters Place on Wednesday 1 August 2018
Keith Falconer – Chairperson
Andy Hill – Vice Chairperson
Josie Cooper – Treasurer
Linda Oades – Secretary
Linda Coles – co-opted member
Welcome from Chairman
Keith Falconer welcomed all those present to the meeting. He said that a lot of work had been carried out behind the scenes by the three ladies on the committee and their total commitment had come to fruition. The play and sports equipment along with the seating were now being enjoyed by the community. This has been achieved in just over two years, our first AGM having taken place on the 1 August 2016 a really impressive achievement.
Approval of Previous Minutes
The minutes of the previous AGM meeting which was held on 1 August 2017 were approved and signed.
Josie reported that signed audited accounts were available to view for this year to the 30 June 2018. Although the account is looking healthy the Big Lottery cheque in the sum of £7237.08 which represents the football/basketball combined goal,tarmac for the foot/ball basket ball, five a side football goals, springer and three seats had still to be presented and a further £2758.04 (3 barriers for disabled access along with tarmac) of this will also be going out of the account when the improvements to the entrances are completed. Josie also reported that a generous donation had been received from a supporter of the group who is sponsoring a new seat which has now been ordered along with a new plaque.
The latest incident of the damage to the Viper play equipment (Wednesday of last week and Monday of this) has been reported to the council who confirmed that out of 4 vipers they have in the area this is the only one which has been vandalised. We have emailed members of Friends of Whitecotes and have advised them to be vigilant and to contact 101 if they witness or hear anything suspicious. The 101 line is the Safer Neighbourhood number and Zoe Blount of the Safer Neighbourhood Team based on the Grangewood Estate said that any sign of anti-social behaviour should be reported straightaway on 101.
Hilary one of the attendees pointed out that the Safer Neighbourhood teams hold regular tasking meetings and in order to bring the problems we are having to the fore we should make certain that we keep on ringing their 101 number. The fact that there are clearly vulnerability issues, drugs, alcohol, sexual activity should escalate the matter to the Multi agency teams who manage the youth workers.
Linda (Secretary) reported that on her way to the meeting she had stopped to chat to the local Safer Neighbourhood Team Officer based in Grangewood called Jo who was just about to go onto the playing field. The details of the recent incidents had been passed onto the team via Derbyshire Constabulary and they are looking to patrol as often as they can. It was pointed out that the antisocial behaviour has been going on for years and needs to be rectified once and for all.
Several residents from the Hucklow Avenue side of the field were at the meeting as they wanted to report on the issues they were being subjected to over the last few weeks. This included lots of teenagers congregating around the newly erected seat, shouting, screaming, swearing etc making it impossible for the residents further down to sit out in their gardens in the evenings.
The residents had raised their concerns via the Borough Council’s complaints/compliments/comments line.
Paul one of the attendees floated the possibility of dog walkers being recruited as informal wardens as some of the verbal abuse suffered by female residents was totally unacceptable.
Some weeks ago the problem of litter had been raised with Colin Clark from Environmental Health via the Borough Council help line and the old mattress which posed a fire hazard had been moved from under the tree opposite the blackthorn bushes. Colin had also arranged for two new bins to be sited one at the bottom end and the other at the top. It is hoped that this will go some way to alleviating the present problem. However, the rubbish which is being thrown down the banking is presenting a much bigger problem and it was felt that the re-siting of the bench down there should be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
Update on Equipment so far and New Funding for Paths
Linda C reported that careful consideration had been given to the siting of all the equipment whilst taking into account the impact on the environment and to keep the open feel to the field. The project management of these improvements is essential as delay can result in the account not being presented in time in which case the funder can request full return of the funding. The holdups on the field had presented a lot of problems as the timeline for the project had been very tight indeed.
The next stage is to complete the work on the disabled entrances at Hazel Drive, Whitecotes Close and Hucklow Avenue. This work has been funded by the Big Lottery and it was hoped that this could be done in conjunction with the paths but unfortunately these plans have had to be reconsidered and we now need to make sure the account for the completion of the work is settled before the end of September – use it or lose it.
Linda went on to show a diagram of the proposed paths which include tarmac ones and also a specially constructed grass one running down from the top to bottom of the field with a specially designed drainage system. A copy of the path diagram can be seen on the website www.whitecotesplayingfield.co.uk which continues to be maintained by Simon Marriott whose company Spire-Dent has sponsored this website for us for which we are very grateful.
At this moment in time the Borough Council are unable to give permission for a path going across to Whitecotes Close to join up with the other paths because of long term maintenance issues which may arise from too many paths, so we have had to amend our plans accordingly.
Currently the funding bid for the paths has been submitted to Viridor Credits and the outcome of this will be known on the 13 September 2018.
Linda (Secretary) thanked those who had sent in their support for the project for us to be able to use for the funding submission. It really gives the committee a boost to know how appreciative the users of the field are in the improvements made so far and those envisaged.
During the year several funding applications had been sent off to a variety of organisations including The 5 Ways to Wellbeing Small Grants Scheme, The Mansfield Building Society, Action Grants Programme DCC – Awaiting outcome, Derbyshire Environmental Trust in the process of applying.
We have been successful with Viridor Credits, The Big Lottery and more recently the Tesco Bags of Help one from which we are to receive £1000.
The daffodils which were given by the Borough looked lovely in the Spring and the tree whips provided by Woodland Trust are still hidden amongst the long grass.
One of those present suggest applying to the Postcode Lottery to see if we are eligible for community funding.
Linda read out an article she had come across extolling the virtues of parks:-
“The UK’s parks save the NHS more than £111 million a year, according to a report. Regular users of parks and green spaces are likely to be healthier and make fewer visits to their GP. Such spaces provide more than £34 billion of wellbeing benefits by improving mental and physical health.”
We look forward to continuing to improve the park for the community.
Vote for New Committee members
The vote was carried to elect the current committee for another term and a vote of thanks was given by those present.
The opening event has been announced for Saturday 1 September 2018 at 1pm on the field. The mayor has this in his diary and we have invited guests from Viridor Credits, The Big Lottery and the council. We have called this Picnic in the Park as we are hoping to attract families who will bring along a picnic hamper and enjoy the events we have in store which so far are:
The Smoothie Bike
Hook a duck
A request was made for any volunteers and if anyone has a gazebo or chairs they could let us borrow for the occasion this would be really good, along with more ideas for the day. One lady has shown an interest in running a stall.
Any Other Business
It was confirmed that the council were looking at costing the replacement rope for the Viper. Although the council are insured it is costly when something like this happens as when the bottom half of the climbing wall was vandalised and taken under the tree at the bottom of the field, this cost £700 to replace the cost of which had to be borne by the council as the insurance does not cover these “smaller” amounts.
The positioning of the viper was also questioned but it was pointed out that at Holmebrook Valley Park the viper there is in a very secluded area but this has not incurred any damage.
Cameras were also suggested but again this would be a matter of cost.
Date of Next Meeting