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Open letter to the Aldbourne Parish Councillors about ARC
Posted: 07 April 2017 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2013-03-04
I would like to make an observation, after reflecting on sitting through this week’s Parish Council meeting. I am not associated with ARC, however I sympathise with their aims to improve the village.

If you, the Parish Council, are really committed to the principle of developing Palmer’s Field and the football field, why are you making it so difficult and complicated for the ARC group to proceed? The voting process you undertook was opaque to say the least, and even some of you were confused by the layering of amendments and language used. If amendments do not get either a proposer or seconder, you have to ask why they were there in the first place? From where I was sitting, there was no apparent energy, support or willingness to make the Heads of Agreement work.

The ARC representatives and others present made strong recommendations about simplifying the lease, but this did not appear to be taken on board. Only Cllr. Price spoke out for simplification. Once again some of your decision-making was deferred.

When the new Parish Council forms in May, I would encourage you all to try and work actively with ARC to simplify the process, the Heads of Agreement and outline lease (singular) for the benefit of the village. After all one of the prime purposes of a Parish Council is to build, support and encourage community centres, play areas and play equipment.

ARC have a difficult enough task as it is, without the Parish Council complicating and procrastinating. I know that you all commit your time to the village, it could be less onerous and time consuming for you if you could find a way to simplify the process and work with ARC for a common goal.

Nigel Payne
Posted: 08 April 2017 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  246
Joined  2008-09-05
I think the P.C. should be supported not criticised. They do a very hard job, always putting the village first. Williams' family have served Aldbourne well for generations. Alison is always ready to listen to any moans and acts on it. How many residents will be joining us for the litter pick this month? As i write this, there are boys 'playing football' on the pitch, the swearing is vile as is all the beer bottles on the field. IF (hope they do) they do not take all their litter home who do you think will clear it away?
Posted: 14 April 2017 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  15
Joined  2004-05-30
I apologise for being late responding to this but have been away working with little or no internet connection.
Thank you Nigel and Annie for your comments, its always good when the parish council meetings reach a wider audience. Whilst I do not want to start a debate on the internet I felt that this open letter deserved a comment. I am making this comment personally and not on behalf of the Parish Council.
In the 30 or so years I have been on the council I believe this is the most important decision the council has been asked to make so it’s not surprising that it is being cautious. They are being asked, in essence and with conditions, to surrender two of the village’s main assets to a Charity that has been set up to run them and develop them for the good of the village. This being for 30 years with a possibility that an extension to 50 years may be asked for in the future. Whilst the project has, deservedly, a lot of support in the village this support is not unanimous.
You ask why an amendment without a proposer and a seconder was there in the first place and I understand that. Unusually, because of the complications and the need to be legally correct, a suggestion of a voting procedure was given to councillors prior to the meeting, this was agreed on and if it wasn’t explained properly then I must take the blame for that. However it has to be recognised that the one lease option did not even get a seconder, so should not have been considered. I think the P.C. should be congratulated for allowing a decision on this to be delayed rather than to pursue the two lease option at the meeting.
A 30 year lease on Palmers field, in line with the Heads of Agreement, was voted on and agreed by the council. It is a shame that this is not being recognised as supporting the project. As said the council could not agree to include the smaller area, Southward Lane field (the football field) in the same lease. The proposal, that was not voted on as an amendment to delay a decision was allowed, was for this area to have a separate 25 or 30 year lease with additional conditions that would allow future parish councils to reclaim that area, or part of the area, “if in the view of APC (Aldbourne Parish Council) other village uses were more compelling”.
I too hope that the next Parish Council continues to support the ARC project, where we differ is that this support has been lacking thus far. To date the P.C. have paid for the plans and planning application for the track, spent many hours in meetings and discussions whilst I, as chair, spent a considerable amount of time, on one occasion over half an hour on the phone in a motorway services, persuading the planning officer that the plans for the access track should be allowed, and allowed they were. From the many pages of the Heads of Agreement we do not agree on only one, admittedly important, point.
One criticism that I have heard is that in not allowing the one lease option the council are in some way anti community. I think the Parish council is representative of the community and if others feel differently there is still at least one place available for co-option so please feel free to join.
Peter Lawler
Posted: 15 April 2017 09:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2015-11-21
I would like to take this opportunity to express my feelings for this wonderful village of Aldbourne which I and many others have had the privilege to be raised in and enjoy.

I have great concerns regarding the sports field project at Palmer’s field, although I have had a great interest in sport in the village and have participated over the years, I do believe that the present plans could be achieved but would be healthier if this was controlled by the parish council.

In my opinion this should not be contracted out to any other body e.g. charity (A.R.C.), although they may be competent in managing this project we will have given away the rights to parish owned land.

To give these rights away for the proposed thirty to fifty years to possibly an ever changing committee who could resign from their positions at any given time with no guarantees or redress is ludicrous.

The village should not be put in this position, it is not fair on the community or our youngsters, now or in the future.

If this is managed by the parish council we and Aldbourne would have guarantees and I think that the support for this project would be there. As it is, it is too much of a gamble.

It is prudent to be cautious.
Posted: 16 April 2017 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2015-03-25
I wholeheartedly agree with you Upfront.

The land belongs to the village and The Parish Council should be the body that continues to look after it, as they do with The Green,The Pond and other areas in the village.

It is not just a case of sub letting to ARC. They in turn are going to sub let to other will be a minefield waiting to explode.

The funds that will be needed to pay for the upkeep of all these facilities is also frightening. I do hope that The Memorial Hall does not suffer because groups will be encouraged to use the proposed new buildings on Palmers Field. ARC are going to need income from somewhere to pay for insurance,maintenance etc.

I am yet to speak to anyone in favour of this project ................ once the road has gone in,that will be that. The Football Field as we know it,will be gone forever.
Posted: 17 April 2017 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Total Posts:  246
Joined  2008-09-05
I also agree with Upfront, but why has She/He changed their mind? Comments on this forum dated 28 Nov. 2016 seems to support arc. Did they not say they were all for a bar, dance floor, skateboard park and dogs by the laws of the land were to be banned? I also have concerns regarding the future of The Memorial Hall. Vanessa, Heather and other members of the hall committee work very hard raising funds to cover costs. Tony and Molly left Palmers Field to The Village, if it is given to a third party would this not be morally wrong? Surely Aldbourne Parish Council should still control it. Just saying.....
Posted: 20 April 2017 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2012-10-10
I would think the village has cause for concern, A.R.C. is made up of four trustees, one trustee resigned from the parish council mid term because of the bickering allegedly.

The A.R.C. secretary (also a councillor) missed seven meetings on the trot in the last year and isn’t a councillor anymore and apparently has sold up and moved to Marlborough.

Isn’t this all reassuring?
Posted: 20 April 2017 08:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2015-03-25
Such a shame that the villagers with concerns will not stand up and be counted.

Agree with what you have said Murray.
Posted: 07 May 2017 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Total Posts:  11
Joined  2012-10-10
There seems to be some confusion??

According to an article in the Gazette & Herald on Thursday, A.R.C. are supposedly holding a public meeting about the Palmer’s field project in the Memorial Hall at 7:30pm next Wednesday (10th of May), the same time and date as the Aldbourne Parish Council meeting which is being held in the Methodist Chapel.

If this is the case what is the reason for these two meetings to clash and who will take the minutes for A.R.C. as the Clerk cannot be in two places at the same time, perhaps this has been arranged for this very reason?

If so, this seems a bit RICH!