Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Floodlights and Poppies

Floodlights on the Norman Rodaway playing field are the subject of a presentation to be given by Hedge End Rangers FC to the Recreation and Amenities Committee of Hedge End Town Council this week. 

No decision on floodlights is required at this stage, and I expect there will be many more discussions about this, but those of us who are members of the committee are being asked to:
  • Approve the location of a textiles recycling bin for the Hampshire and IOW Air Ambulance
  • Determine the colour of poppies on the new gate for the War Memorial Garden
  • Approve a charity football match on Greta Park on 3rd June
  • Approve the use of Greta Park for next season by Hedge End Club FC.

There has already been some discussion about the poppies at Eastleigh News

You can let me know what you think about any of the agenda topics, either as a comment on this blog, or by email at hedgeendblogger@gmail.com  Alternatively, the committee meeting is open to the public and starts at 7:00pm on Wednesday 9th May at the 2000 Centre.

For the second month running, the Finance and Administration Committee is having to be rescheduled.  This time to avoid clashing with the Borough Council Mayor Making.

Picture credit: "Floodlight at Kennington Oval" by The Evil IP Address


  1. A couple of months ago, it was the cricket club asking for more from the Town Council. They wanted a pavillion. Now the football club want floodlights...

    I presume there's a point where the Town Council should draw the line, say enough is enough and require the clubs to self-finance and be self-supporting...

    I'm not 100% sure where that line is, but I'd try to distinguish between the essentials and the desireables. I would argue that the Town Council can consider helping with the essentials if the club would otherwise fold, but it probably shouldn't put hand in Taxpayers pockets to fund the desireables...

    Have the Town Council, or the R&A committee, even considered that issue, of where the line should be drawn...?

    1. Well, we haven't seen the presentation yet, so we don't know what the proposals for finance are, but when HE Rangers needed to build dugouts, and provide a barrier round the pitch in order to qualify for Hampshire League status, they raised the money themselves and just came to the Town Council for permission to build them on public land administered by the council.

      I'm sort of expecting the same thing to happen with the floodlights (although we won't know until Wednesday). The TC might choose to make a contribution, but I suspect the main discussion to be about whether floodlights will adversely impact other people's legitimate enjoyment of the field, and the wider impact on neighbours of football happening there in the evening.

      When HE Junior Cricket Club asked about sight screens, again they were told they would need to raise the money themselves. HEJCC have asked to use the existing pavilion at Turnpike Way for matches when it is not hired out for childrens' parties etc, and the TC have agreed what is felt to be a reasonable rate for that hire, so the cricketers will be paying if they want to go ahead.

      The cricket nets at Turnpike Way were funded 50/50 by HEJCC and the TC, so that they are available for public use when HEJCC are not using them.

      I think those decisions have been fairly reasonable. The TC has a role in encouraging sporting activity, particularly for young people, but in times of coalition austerity not necessarily to pay for everything. On the other hand footballers and cricketers (and their parents) are council tax payers too.

      The TC pays for the grounds staff and the maintenance of the grounds and changing rooms, but then the cricketers and footballers pay to hire the facilities.

      The TC agrees its budget at the start of each financial year. There is no provision for buying floodlights in 2012/13. If the TC were to be minded to fund these floodlights it would have to be agreed by the Finance and Aministration Committee - probably around December time. That's when the line is drawn for all the council's capital projects.

    2. But does the Town Council actually have a policy on what it can help with, or does it just consider each case on its merits...?

      If there isn't a policy, perhaps the Town Council should consider whether it needs one...?

  2. I'm not aware of any policy, Ray.

    1. Sounds like a perfect topic for discussion at a future meeting of the Full Town Council...

  3. It would be interesting, but any decision by the Town Council can be overturned (once a period of six months has elapsed) by the Town Council itself, so a "policy" wouldn't have any more standing than an ad hoc decision by the Council.

    1. That's intersting. I didn't know that. Thanks Keith.

  4. That was a good presentation actually. I was very pleased to hear that the Hedge End Rangers Football club weren't looking for financial support from the Town Council, having been given the floodlights and found a sponsor to pay for installing them. All they seem to want is a bit of support from the Town Council and practical rather than financial assistance...

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