March 7, 2008
Metheringham Parish Council News - Spring 08
Annual Village Meeting 2008 - The 2008 Annual Village meeting will take place on Tuesday 29 April starting at 7.00pm in the Village Hall. This is not a formal Parish Council meeting, it is a meeting for the people of Metheringham to present to each other details of their organizations and how things have progressed during the year. This year's topic is "GOING GREEN", and the programme will include subjects on RECYCLING, how to SAVE ENERGY and MONEY in your home. With ever increasing utility bills, why not come along to find out how you can save money. If you have any suggestions or comments regarding the Annual Village Meeting please contact me.
Dog Fouling - Many selfish people allow their dogs to foul on footways, verges, playing fields and other public places. This practice is unsightly, unhealthy and illegal. Dog excrement can at worst be responsible for the transmission of a number of illnesses and at best be extremely unpleasant. The amount of fouling taking place still causes a significant street cleansing problem. The good news, however, is that recently the number of owners who clear up after their dogs have notably increased. The Parish Council are operating a zero tolerance policy on dog fouling. If you witness an offender please report them to the Parish Council Dog Warden (01522 820814) or North Kesteven District Council (01529 414155). The Dog Warden has now issued four fixed penalty notices to offenders. So if you don't pick up, it could be you next!!
Parish Council Surgery - The Parish Council want to be more accessible and during 2007 we held surgeries on the first Saturday of each month. This year surgeries will be held on the following Saturday's 7th June, 6th September and 6th December, at the INFO-Links Office, High Street, Metheringham 10.00am - 12.00pm. If you have any questions or queries for the Parish Council, relating to any issues or suggestions you have about the village please drop in on one of the above dates.
Public Toilets - The Parish Council are responsible for the Public Toilets on Fen Road which are very well used by the public from Metheringham and the surrounding villages. The Council’s intention is to have the toilets open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Unfortunately the toilets are being continually targeted by vandals, therefore the cost of having public toilets is increasing. This is a total waste of tax payers' money. If the vandalism does not stop the Parish Council will be left no option but to close the toilets.
Youth Shelter - The Youth Shelter project is progressing well and applications have been made for funding. The proposed location for the Youth Shelter is the Prince’s Street car park, if anyone has any comments or would like further details please contact me Sharon Wetherall - 0800 6343307
Clerk to Metheringham Parish Council. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over a number of years the village has acquired almost eleven acres of superb playing fields for recreational and sporting activities. Some, like the Star and Garter field, was obtained after tremendous fund raising by the village. Other areas were bought by the Parish Council. However, by far, the largest section was acquired through a gift of land in 1927 and 1928 by Lord Londesborough. By all accounts this provided a much needed recreation area for the village but much of the land was little more than rough pasture. A condition of the gift was that the land would remain a recreation area in perpetuity.
However, in the 1960's, plans were being developed to expand the village. Permission was given to sell the "Rec", as it was known, provided new recreational areas were obtained. So started an ongoing need to provide recreational facilities for the village.
The original recreational land was sold in 1967 and land adjoining Princes Street was purchased. Over the years the village now has a playing field in which it can be justly proud. Part of the area purchased, some 1.5 acres, was sold to the County Council to enable them to build the Primary School.
In June 1971 the Parish Council leased 5.6 acres adjoining the school site to the County Council for use as a school playing field. The terms of the lease gave exclusive use of an area three acres in extent for use by the school children during term time. Outside this time and the remaining area, when not required by the school, was for the use by the public as a playing field for organized games.
Over the years this arrangement worked well but now the Parish Council wish to develop new changing room facilities for the swimming pool and all users of the playing fields. Our proposal is to build the new facilities adjacent to the swimming pool, to provide modern changing rooms with showers and disabled toilets. These are sadly lacking at present. Football teams would, for the first time, have changing and shower arrangements befitting a major amateur club. It is proposed that the new development would meet the needs of the whole community and this includes use by the school. The Parish Council sees nological reason for not building the new pavilion and changing rooms yet the County Council says no.
After years of discussion we have still not reached an agreement with the Lincolnshire County Council over our proposed building on the sports field. They steadfastly maintain their position: for us to build would be against the terms of the lease and be in breach of Government Guide Lines. This is bureaucracy gone mad. We have a swimming pool in the leased area. We have a play park in the leased area. We have part of a car park in the leased area. Therefore why not a pavilion and changing rooms in the leased area, on land dedicated to sports?
The difficulty lies in providing a secure area for school games. The County Council would like to have our Star and Garter field, but to many in the village this is not an option. The Parish Council has proposed that it will make a contribution to fencing the playing field and restricting access to the terms of the lease. In exchange we would require permission to build the new facilities. Unfortunately the County Council foresee legal obstacles to this approach.
We are now considering exchanging the lease on the existing playing field with the Star and Garter field under terms favourable to the Village. If this is successful we will have the freedom to build and develop the main field for use by the Swimming Pool Association, the Football Club and any other sporting group in the community. These users will of course still have full use of the Star and Garter field out side of school hours. The field will also remain in the ownership of the Parish. We hope you can support these proposals and the Parish Councils efforts to improve sporting facilities in the Village. Your comment would be appreciated.
Chairman, Metheringham Parish Council