15th August 2006

 Coe's Meadow Management Committee

Minutes of Committee meeting in Village Hall on Tuesday 15th August 2006


Those present: Ted Wood (Chair), Steve Cant, Irene Dickinson, Simon Harris, Ken Mills and Jeff Wright. There were 3 members of the public present.

1. Apologies.

     None had been received.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting held 4th July

     The minutes were approved.

3. Matters arising

  1. Securing tree trunks in car park area.

      Still outstanding but not urgent at present time.               KM and TW

  2. Urban Forestry & James Blake

     KM reported that a final certificate had been received from James Blake and that Urban Forestry has sent final invoices which have been paid. These will be submitted to Doorstep Greens to claim grant monies. It had been agreed that a quotation for consultancy work from James Blake would be ignored.

  3. Moving basket ball area.

TW reported that Parish Council vote had been 'not to move the area'. It was reported that a letter had been received by the Parish Council from the Franklins expressing their disappointment at the decision and reserving the right to take the matter further.

  4. User survey

KM tabled revised DG forms tailored to our needs on Coe's Meadow. It was agreed to carry out brief interviews with those on the Meadow at the time of starting each 2 hour interval on the chosen day, namely Sunday 20th August. SH, TW & MW, KM & MM, Mike Crome (am) SC, and JW would help at some stage of the day.                                                               All

  5. Goal Posts

It was reported that Andrew Huggins and Harry Wright had re-positioned and painted the goal posts. The Committee were pleased with their contribution.

  4. Noise reduction from the basket ball court.

     a) Sports surface noise reduction material

     SC reported that a surveyor from Play tops was scheduled to come to the Meadow on Thursday next to measure the court etc. and would then provide a specific quote for 40mm depth surface. Implementation would typically be 3-4 weeks from placing order.

     b) Foam filled balls    

     KM reported searching for such on the internet, e.g. Mitre, but to no avail. The suggestion had been made by David Hopkins. SH offered to research further.                                                                          SH

    c) Movement of the basket ball hoop

    TW reported that Wiles have quoted for moving the pole and hoop to the mid-point on the southern edge of the court. It is to be cemented into the grass area which should also help to reduce noise. SC would endeavour to liaise with Wiles to arrange for sand to be placed into the pole. The Committee agreed that the work should go ahead.

5. Gate opening and closing

TW thanked Irene & Tom Dickinson for opening and closing the car park gate during the last 18 months. ID then asked that someone else should now do this, either continuously or on a rota basis. It was asked whether we need now to close it but ID referred back to the original agreement; the committee agreed to stand by this agreement. Various suggestions were made in respect of a rota including separate mornings and evenings, but no firm conclusion was reached. ID was asked to come up with a firm plan as soon as possible.                                                                       ID

6. Water levels in the pond.

SH advised that the water level in the pond remains low. SH and AB have been in contact with Environment Agency who would be required to give permission to run a culvert from Vicars Orchard. SH described the basics of the reed bed etc. There was a need to accommodate sudden inflows. SH with AB to research further and to seek any grants to carry out a feasibility study as well as the actual work.                                    SH

In the shorter term there is a need to clear off the pond surface the duckweed. SH and SC wearing deep waders will attempt this on Sunday next pm.                                                                              SH & SC

7. Replanting of dead trees

SH reported one dead lime tree on right of avenue from the Street level with end of Franklin's garden, as well as all 5 birches to the left of the gate entrance. A pot grown lime is also in distress. Kings have undertaken to replace three of the birches. It was felt that there was a need for soil improvement when replanting the birches (just 3). SH will proceed with obtaining replacement trees.                                                        SH

SH indicated that the eastern boundary hedge needed topping to an acceptable level to encourage growth from below. It was agreed to do this in the Autumn.

8. Suggested notice to users of the meadow.

TW tabled a revised form of words for the code of conduct - "Coe's Code" (attached). There was considerable discussion regarding two items namely the wearing of appropriate clothing and footwear, and the request to be alcohol free. It was agreed that we needed to have more time to refine. Committee members are requested to e-mail their further considerations to TW. The notice is also to be sent to the Parish Council for their consideration. ­                                                               All

Discussion on how to present the notice was also discussed. It was agreed that users needed to be made aware of the code on entry to the Meadow suggesting a notice at each of the four entries but this was seen as making for a profusion of notices around the Meadow. SH is to see whether the general notices, currently in situ, could be extended reasonably easily. SH

9. Production of notice board

JW presented a revised quotation by Oakwood Joinery Services Ltd for the construction of the iroko notice board (excluding delivery) at £2080 ex VAT, and a quotation for the silver anodised sign display system (6 lockable units) for mounting on the hardwood frame structure at £2170 ex VAT. JW had in mind a firm in Sudbury to assemble the hardwood notice board structure which will require staining before and after assembly using the same stain as used on the other notice boards. The committee asked JW to continue with the chosen suppliers.

The wording acknowledging the grant giving bodies still needs refining before submission to Doorstep Greens - SH to e-mail the edited version again.                                                                                        SH

10. Further grants

KM re-tabled the statement showing the current financial situation and updated members on the present situation. Following a claim to Doorstep Greens (for which monies are now received) there will only be available a total of £5,190 funding from them. Additionally, there is available a similar amount of funds claimed which has not been used to pay suppliers i.e. from voluntary work. This will clearly not be adequate to pay for the main notice board (in excess of £4250) and for the change to the basket ball area (in excess of £6000). It was agreed to seek further funds, specifically from EET. TW and KM will liaise regarding the financial details having been advised by SC on the quotation from Playtops Ltd.                       TW KM

11. Opening of Coe's Meadow

It was agreed that the opening be held in June 2007; a precise date will depend upon availability of a 'celebrity' to make the opening. It was suggested that there would be involvement by the whole village with food and with villagers' participation. It could be described as a fete and could have a sporting theme. It was suggested that the different groups in the village could contribute events or activities e.g. W.!., folk dance group, indoor bowls, the Church and the School. It was suggested that someone take responsibility for overall direction but there were no volunteers. Members to consider how they might contribute before the next meeting. ALL

12. Blessing of the Meadow

The concept of having a blessing of the meadow was agreed by members, but only after both the basket ball area changes had been completed and the main notice board had been installed. This would likely make timing of the event in October. This could be coupled with the start of using the notice board. ID had spoken to the Rector who was most happy to carry out this blessing.

13. Any other business

     1. Football on Thursday evenings.

     SH complained about the group of footballers playing on Thursday evenings who seemingly have been abusive when challenged. They appear to come as an organised group and are particularly noisy. It is thought that they may come from Wickham St Paul and tend to use our facilities because the Meadow has a proper goal and a net unlike other facilities. Additionally they are obliged to pay at other facilities with a goal and net. They invariably wear full studded football boots which rapidly wear the goal mouth area presenting repair difficulties. Irene Dickinson, however, informed the meeting that her two sons played football on the Meadow with some friends on Thursday evenings. They were not a organised local football team although one of her sons did play for local team. They did not play every Thursday and played during the light evenings of the summer but not during the winter months. TW will try to talk with the Parish Ranger to find a way forward.                                                      TW

      2. Weeds on pathways.

     KM advised that there were numerous weeds now growiDg in the Breedon gravel. It was agreed that applying Path Clear weedkiller would be the best solution. SH and SC have sprays and agreed to do this on the following Sunday.                                                                     SH & SC

      3. Toddlers swing.

    SC advised that the gap in the swing timber support is now large and there is a need for a replacement swivel. TW is to write letter to Timberplay Ltd.                                                                        TW

     4. Drainage channels        .

     It was noted that the rabbits had disturbed quite a bit of sand from the channels making them a trip hazard. The grass is growing in from the sides but there is a need to replenish the sand (rather than add a soil/seed mix as Pearl had indicated that soil creates a stopper on the water drainage). KM indicated he had plenty sand and would try to fill in from time to time. KM

     5. Toppesfield Parish Council

     SH indicated that members of the above had visited the Meadow as an example of what could be done as part of their study for a similar area in Toppesfield.

     6. Weed control in newly grassed area.

     SH asked if the Parish strimmer could be used to strim the area. Margaret Mills indicated that she would carry out this work as soon as the weather permitted.

14. Next meeting.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 19th September in the Village Hall. TW to make the booking.