19th Sept. 2006


Coe's Meadow Management Committee

Minutes of Committee meeting in Village Hall on Tuesday 19th September 2006

Those present: Ted Wood (Chair), Steve Cant, Ken Mills, Sean Maynard and Jeff Wright. There were 2 members of the public present.


1. Apologies.

       Received from Simon Harris.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting held 4th July

       The minutes were amended at paragraph 13.1 then approved.

3. Matters arising

       1. Securing tree trunks in car park area.                         KM and

          Still outstanding but not urgent at present time.                 TW

       2.Urban Forestry & James Blake

          KM explained that an invoice had been sent for consultancy work    by James Blake Assoc. and that this was for signing off the project and issuing final certificate. KM had spoken to the administrator (7 September) pointing out that such work had not previously been charged due to the previous history of the project, and thus it was inappropriate to do so now. The administrator was to speak with James Blake directly but nothing further has been heard as yet.

       3. User survey

          KM thanked those who had carried out the survey, which had been delayed to 3 September. KM had received all the forms back now but had not yet analysed them. He will do so in the next few weeks.                 KM

       4. Suggested notice to users of the meadow.

          The members again reviewed the wording of this notice and the comments that had been made. JW sought a less authoritarian and softer approach, and tabled suggested wording. KM suggested that the key requirement for users of the Meadow was that they behave reasonably and sensibly; thus, the statements about respect and noise levels should be at the start. He also wondered whether the Council could place all risk on the user. SC felt that it would be better to have a notice in the car park saying 'no motor bikes beyond this point' than on this notice. The members finally agreed a form of words, and it was agreed that they should be published in the forthcoming 'What's On'. We might then get  some feed back before finalising the 'Coe's Conduct' notice.                                                TW

       5. Production of notice board

            JW advised that the board had been made and was now with Percy Brown (builders) who will install in the tarmac path in about 3.weeks. It was pointed out that if the firm are to use a JCB to create the holes for the posts then, to protect the tarmac, spreaders must be used to take the weight of the machinery. The firm will also apply at least one coat of teak oil. JW also stated that the cases were scheduled for delivery 28th September.

        6. Blessing of the Meadow

           The above dates suggested that if the basket ball area could be sorted in a similar time scale then the blessing could take place mid-October, possibly after a 10.30am service i.e. at about 11.45am. Father Buchanan had indicated some flexibility in the matter but service dates and times needed to be checked.                                                          KM

        7. Further grants

           KM tabled a supplementary budget (attached) covering the costs of the notice board and basket ball area changes. These costs are to be funded by Doorstep Greens, the Parish Council and possibly by another funding body, such as Essex Environment Trust. TW to follow up with EET to see if they might help.                                                              TW

        8. Drainage channels

           KM advised he would need transport to deliver sand to the Meadow. SC offered this and would indicate when available. Best approach would be to load on wheelbarrows already full for subsequent placing in drainage channels.                                                                       SC

        9. Weed control in newly grassed areas

           KM reported that Margaret Mills had strimmed the area. There is, however, now a fine display of ribwort plantain, knapweed, yarrow and dock. KM suggested that these be left except for the dock which should be spot treated. There was some grass present but no real evidence of the grasses that were supposed to be in the original mix. Also hand weeding around the laurels followed by strimming between them should be done. A working party was suggested and the date of Sunday 1 October at 2pm chosen. KM advised he would be away over that weekend but could make the sand available for collection.                                                     ALL

4. Noise reduction from the basket ball court.

   a) Sports surface noise reduction material

  JW advised that he had made the order to Playtop Ltd. and that they had issued an order acceptance which requested us to contact their contracts supervisor. SC agreed to manage the contract and make contact with them to start as soon as possible. ­                                                  SC

   b) Foam filled balls . .

    SH had reported that he had found the 'Voit Tuff Coated Foam Basketball' but could not find a company to supply to the United Kingdom. He will continue his search.                                                            SH

  c) Movement of the basket ball hoop

   Wiles have moved the pole and hoop to the mid-point on the southern edge of the court. It is cemented into the grass area and this has helped to reduce noise from the ball striking the board. SC advised that he now understood that putting sand in the tube would have little sound reducing impact, and so this had not been done.

5. Gate opening and closing

TW had created a rota whereby members opened and closed gates on the same day each week. Some members had found business interests getting in the way of opening the gates and JW offered to open on an extra day but in the end the rota was left unchanged. It was agreed that the code should now be changed on the padlocks. As JW had the instructions to do this he will do this and advise committee members accordingly.            JW

6. Committee Membership.

TW advised that 2 members had resigned and that replacements were required. As the resignations were from ladies it would be appropriate to have such as replacements; also one needs to be a representative of the Parish Council. A number of persons had been approached but it was agreed that more time was­needed to discuss the matter with the relevant people.

Irene Dickinson was thanked-for her time and work on the committee.   ALL

7. Levelling of earth along Limes Avenue and car parking area.

TW reported that soil had been moved onto the section of the Meadow behind Joan Steed's house and levelled neatly. The car park section now needs some soil before further matting is laid down. This will provide space for two more cars. SC and SH are working on this.                        SH & SC

8. Review of cricket net funding.

TW advised that SM was keen to promote a cricket net facility on the Meadow following results obtained from a survey, and in this respect was seeking to review the possibility of getting funding for such a facility. As this was the first time the concept had been raised with the committee KM asked what was involved: SM explained a facility of just one net with a suitable bowling strip such as 'Astroturf'. The likely costs of set up would be of the order of £800 upwards depending on quality. SM advised that there had been considerable interest shown by youngsters using the Meadow the age group of such being between 10 and 15 yrs old.

JW questioned the 'real' interest, as his own experience relating to his own son did not suggest a great level of interest from youngsters living in the village. Additionally, to play with a hard cricket ball required that youngsters had a helmet, a box, and full pads as well as the cricket bat. These items would cost in the order of £100; as those who had such equipment treasured the items it was not likely they would lend them out. The burden would thus fall on the family of the youngster. KM felt that there was a need for a proper case to be made and asked if the survey results could be made available to the committee with an argued case for a 'net'. SC suggested that a 'net' facility could be made multi-functional allowing it to be used for golf swing practice etc. JW raised the issue as to whether the village were seeking a further facility, and was particularly concerned that a 'net' might give rise to further complaints as had been experienced with the football and the basketball issues. TW put to the meeting whether to go for funding research. The meeting gave equally split views. TW asked SM to analyse the survey results and produce a statement for the committee.                                                    SM

9. Any other business

    1. Voluntary work

  KM pointed out that there was a small amount of Doorstep Greens funds left which could be used by submitting for voluntary work over and above that already noted. He suggested that JW should submit an 'invoice' for say 3days 'voluntary professional work' on the notice board and signs design etc. which c.ould be charged at £150 per day. It was recognised by the meeting that this was but just a small part of the total time taken but was limited by the funds remaining. The meeting agreed to this proposal. JW agreed to create an 'invoice'.                                                    JW

   2. Modus operandi.

KM suggested that it would make the committee meetings easier if there was greater communication to all members between meetings e.g. by e­mail. For example the 'fuss' about the movement of soil could have been avoided by an earlier explanation. Also proposals for actions could be considered before the meeting rather than trying to force a result at the meeting based upon ill-considered thoughts (e.g. gate closing rota).

10. Next meeting.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 5th December in the Village Hall. TW to make the booking.                                                      TW