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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 30 November, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services

Centenary Field - Alexandra Park, Penarth.

Purpose of the Report

  1. To seek the approval of Cabinet to enter into a deed of dedication to provide 'Centenary Field' status to Alexandra Park, Penarth.

Recommendations

  1. That delegated authority is granted to the Director of Environment & Housing Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible and Leisure Services, to agree the terms of a deed of dedication to provide Centenary Field status to Alexandra Park.
  2. That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to sign the deed of dedication between the Council and Fields in Trust and register the same.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To progress the formal dedication to support the work of the third sector in the Vale of Glamorgan and to ensure the protection of this particular site in perpetuity.
  2. In order to execute and complete the legal documentation.

Background

  1. Fields in Trust (the operating name of the National Playing Fields Association) has developed an initiative called 'Centenary Fields'. This is a UK wide project which aims to protect, in perpetuity, war memorial fields and green spaces that include war memorials across the UK and provide a fitting commemoration for the Centenary of World War 1 (WW1).
  2. Fields in Trust has established a partnership with the Royal British Legion who has adopted Centenary Fields as one of three flagship initiatives that form their portfolio of work commemorating WW1, the other two being a project to protect war graves and the Centenary Poppies Campaign. Fields in Trust and The Legion are working together via a Memorandum of Understanding.
  3. This report requests authority to enter into the relevant formal agreement with the Fields in Trust. Alexandra Park was dedicated as Wales' first Centenary field during a ceremony held 17th July 2014 at the Sir Goscombe John designed Cenotaph in the park.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. Parks and green spaces are highly valued by local residents. Alexandra Park is well used by residents from across the authority for informal recreation. This dedication will benefit local residents and park users and contribute to improving their quality of life whilst also helping to address health inequalities.
  2. The Alexandra Park dedication can proceed immediately. A plan identifying the proposed dedication area is attached at Appendix A.
  3. The Centenary Fields programme sets out a number of objectives:                               
  • To protect the existing network of war memorial fields that were given in memory of those who lost their lives during World War I. This will be done through a legal Deed of Dedication between the landowner and Fields in Trust.
  • To ensure at least one of these spaces is protected in each local authority area thereby creating a living UK-wide legacy from the World War I Centenary.
  • To raise money for improvements to war memorial parks and fields, leveraging funding from other partners
  • To encourage schools to 'adopt' their local war memorial and park and undertake research into the war memorial and the green space, in order to understand the historical aspects of both, as well as the importance of preserving them for the future as an important part of local heritage.
  • To provide an opportunity, and resources, for local communities to come together and take part in an annual event focused on the World War I Centenary. This will enable people to explore community life as it was years ago and to reflect on the momentous events that took place then and the impact on their local community.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are minimal resource implications primarily with new signage and these will be funded from existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The dedication of these areas will help to recognise their value for the purpose of recreational activity. In addition, dedication could increase future funding opportunities which could further enhance their amenity value.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The terms and conditions of the Deed of Dedication need to be recorded in the formal deed of dedication. In the future, consent will be required from Fields in Trust for any change to the use of the park outside of the terms agreed in the Deed. Such consent would be related to major changes in the operation or design of the Park and it is not considered that this will cause any problems with the normal day to day operation of the Park.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. The Deed of Dedication may serve to reduce crime in the area by improving the status of these open spaces and increasing their uses by all sectors of the community.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. None applicable to this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The Corporate Priority and service aim is "To achieve a quality of the environment through the promotion and use of sustainable practices and by making the best use of current and future resources".

The Service Objective is "To provide, manage and maintain Parks, open spaces and play areas".

 

The provision of an agreement will improve the working with the Community, Stakeholders and the Voluntary Sector.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. The Local Ward Members have been consulted on these proposals. Councillor Lis Burnett has commented that she supports the recommendations of the report to protect this valuable park.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

  1. Cabinet Minute C2827 Centenary Fields 29 June 2015

Contact Officer

Dave Knevett - Operational Manager - Parks and Leisure Services.

Officers Consulted

Head of Visible Services and Transportation
Group Estates Officer

Operational Manager - Legal

Accountant - Visible Services and Housing

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment & Housing Services