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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  9 September 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development

 

Cowbridge Bowling Club - Replacement of Playing Surface

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of the condition of the bowling green surface at Cowbridge Bowling Club and to agree a proposal for the replacement of this surface.

Recommendations

1.         That the playing surface at the Cowbridge Bowling Club is replaced subject to a financial contribution of £12k being received from the Cowbridge Bowling Club in part payment for the works.

2.         That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to draft the necessary legal agreement for acceptance of the funds by the Council in contribution.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure the replacement of the green during 2014 subject to a suitable financial contribution being received.

2.         To ensure that the Council's interests are protected in respect to the financial transaction.

Background

2.         Cowbridge Bowling Club is a Council owned facility located off the Broadshoard in Cowbridge.  The pavilion and artificial playing surface were constructed in the early 1990's.

3.         The Club has been complaining for some time about the condition of the playing surface which is now close to the end of its useful life.

4.         The Club is so keen to progress the replacement of the current playing surface that it has offered to contribute £12k towards the replacement cost, provided that the surface is replaced in April 2014.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         As a consequence of complaints received by the Club in respect to poor green speed, surface runs and level problems, an independent report was commissioned by the Institute of Groundsmanship to establish the condition of the playing surface.  A copy of this report is attached at Appendix A.

6.         The report advises that even with good maintenance the green surface has no more than 2 - 3 years life remaining (2015 / 2016).  Provision would therefore have to be made to replace the playing surface by at least 2016.

7.         The Club are unhappy with the outcome of this report and feel that the green will only last for one season at the most (2013).  The Chairperson for the Club advises that complaints about the green are increasing and that this is starting to affect the Club's viability.

8.         The Director of Visible Services and Housing had previously advised the Club Chairperson that the green should be scheduled for replacement in accordance with the recommendations of the independent report, though he further advised that even then this work would have to be prioritised along with a large number of competing Parks and Grounds Maintenance schemes.

9.         The Club were however keen to progress an earlier green replacement and, knowing the significant demands on the Council's budget, offered a sum of £12k towards the green replacement cost which is estimated at between £50k and £60k in order to progress and guarantee its earlier replacement.  In providing this money the Club have however requested that the new surface be installed in time for the 2014 / 2015 playing season which commences in April 2014.  Confirmation of this offer is detailed within a letter and e-mail exchange between the Director of Visible Services and Housing and the Club Chairperson, attached at Appendix B.

10.      There have been some delays in the Club agreeing the terms of a new lease for the Bowling Club due in part to the inclusion of additional chargeable elements.  The Club have however indicated that they are now happy to enter into a new lease agreement as proposed and this matter is progressing.  The agreement to this new lease reduces the Council's running costs for the operation of the Pavilion and Cowbridge Bowling Club are one of the first Clubs to agree the new lease arrangements which are planned to be rolled out to all bowling clubs on the expiration of their current leases.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      It is proposed that the Visible Services Asset Renewal Fund for 2014 / 2015 be utilised to fund the difference between the Club's contribution and the replacement green cost and this is estimated to be £38k to £48k.

12.      The asset renewal budget for Visible Services for 2014 / 2015 is £500k.  The funding required would be allocated from the Parks and Grounds Maintenance element of this budget.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      It is hoped that a new playing surface will increase the number of users at this sporting facility hence contributing to the improved health and wellbeing of residents in the Cowbridge area.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      It will be necessary to draft an agreement for the acceptance of the financial contribution from the Bowling Club and the replacement of the playing surface will be dependent on receiving the prior contribution of £12,000 and execution of the Bowling Club Lease and Management Agreement.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      Environment - Current and future generations of Vale residents and visitors enjoy the built and natural environments of the Vale of Glamorgan and actively protect and maintain them.

Policy Framework and Budget

18.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

19.      The local ward Members have been consulted on this proposal and no adverse comments have been received.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

20.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Phil Beaman - Operational Manager, Parks and Grounds Maintenance

Tel:  01446 709 543

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager, Legal Services

Accountant, Visible and Building Services

Group Estates Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

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