Friends of Bealings Playing field


Minutes of the Project Team Meeting

Monday 7 March 2006

at Bealings Village Hall



Eric Barnett (EB) (Chairman) Jenny Shaw (JS) (Project Leader),

Margaret Wilson (MW), Roger Roseboom (RR), Julian Haywood-Smith (J.H-S),

Keith Beaumont (KB), Malcolm Watson (MXW), Rick Kerry (RK),  

Ferial Rogers (FR),(Minutes).


ALSO In attendance

Jim Newbold, major fund raising.


1. Apologies

Charles Barrington, Sally Johnson, and Mike Hudson who has resigned because he is leaving the district.


2. Minutes of previous meeting on Monday 6th February 2006

Minutes as distributed were agreed. JS reported that she had been advised of some minor typos since issuing and has corrected the master minutes but these had not been reissued.


3.  Selection of Landscape Designer Partner


3.1. Update on selection status

JS updated the meeting on the work of the design team – four companies were invited to present of which two stood out. After due consideration the design team has chosen Giles Hill, at the Landscape and Sculpture Design Partnership, who offers the best value for money and a greater sensitivity for the needs of our rural environment. He had recently been consultant to the project leader of a similar project in another Suffolk village, Cavenham. KB advised the meeting that he had been to see the site at Cavenham to confirm understanding. JS advised that a formal letter of appointment has been issued to Giles Hill and we have received his letter of acceptance.


3.2. Project Timeline/Next Steps

JS handed out the draft timetable for the design stage as prepared by Giles Hill for discussion. The timetable of work starts early March and completes at the end of June 2006 with submission of the planning application: JS advises that the plan shows monthly design team meetings around the end of each month but dates have not yet been set for these. The summary of comments received is as follows:

·         The timetable seems to fit well with date for Annual Village Hall Open Meeting.

·         The VHMC need to be kept informed and an extraordinary VHMC meeting needs to be set prior to the May 9th Open Meeting. Action JS Giles to be invited to present.

·         J.H-S suggested that the submission of the planning application would ideally be brought forward to the beginning of June. Action Design team

·         There was discussion about the project team’s original assumptions re the need for planning approval. With the inclusion of a toilet on site planning approval is certainly needed however RR suggested that as the hall needs some improvements (windows etc.) it might be better to have a separate project which caters for an extension to the Village Hall to provide equipment storage and toilets for field users. EB said that planning is most likely to be needed for heavy earth moving anyway.  

·         Giles’ timeline assumes that planning approval is required and it was agreed that we would work on this basis. EB suggests that we should assume that the planning response would not be received until late summer.

·         EB mentioned that the local development plan had at one time been very negative about the position of the play equipment, one reason being its remoteness.  He was aware that the comments in the plan had mellowed in the latest version. The meeting’s view is that the Playingfield is by far the best location, and in fact, centrally placed between the two parishes. Action EB to check whether the current planners are likely to object to our plans for refurbishing the field.

·         J.H-S wondered when the first sod could be turned, because we need to be seen to be doing something, to keep the interest up. It was agreed that we would like to see the earth work started in the autumn. EB said that we could install play equipment much sooner if it did not interfere with later engineering works.  The meeting agreed with J.H-S that we must present an approximate overall timetable to complete the project when we present at the Open Meeting on 9th May.


3.3. Project Issues

·         JS mentioned that the VHMC minutes of 17th January states that the project should include an on-field store-room for equipment. The project team should be aware that the project brief agreed by this team and issued to Giles Hill did not mention the store-room and that this may incur additional costs to all aspects of the project.

·         There was general discussion about where to bank the local funds raised before the Friends is in a position to open its own account.  It was agreed that it is preferable that the funds go into a separate account opened by the VHMC and we should wait for the VHMC approval to set this up currently expected to be once planning approval has been achieved. EB suggested that in the meantime, local fund raising for the Playingfield would be paid into GBPC.

·         JS advised that we have arranged to receive invoices from Giles Hill in the name of the VHMC which we believe is a charity and therefore able to obtain refunds of VAT.  Given the delay in setting up a special VHMC bank account JS asked if arrangements could be made for the designated Parish Council funds to be paid to the VHMC who would then pay the bills. After much discussion it was agreed that the invoices would be paid by the Parish Council’s when presented. However, there is a concern that this might make the project liable to VAT.  MW is not certain that the VHMC is able to claim VAT refunds and would look into this and report back.  Action MW.


4.  Major Fundraising

RR and JN have been conducting extensive research into options for funding and RR tabled a document on Rules for Preparing for Grant Funding and outlined the key points:

·         The ability to get lottery funding is effectively seen as the ‘diligence test’ which other grant funders follow. It is clear that most small grant providers will support projects which have already won lottery funding.

·         Too many of the previous lottery projects have not delivered the benefits that were foreseen and funders are therefore now looking for good evidence that the project is going to meet the stated needs. We therefore need to make it clear that our plans support facilities for all ages and interests and serve to local community as a whole and serve to enhance the local ambience by being sensitively landscaped. The football and tennis facilities need to be part of a much wider picture.

·         the initial lottery application seeks to gain agreement to the concept and a response would be received within 15 days. Once this agreement in principle is received the project team has six months in which to submit the full application with detailed costings, at least 3 quotes for the work as well as evidence of planning approval. The lottery will take 3-4 months to consider the full application.

·         RR suggested that when we have a strong case to show, we will be able to approach local people for additional sponsorship.

·         RR pointed out that it is also vital to have the full approval of the VHMC.  Further, it should be fully involved in the Open Meeting on 9th May. George Ball, the Chairman of VHMC, is planning to stand down.  RR suggested that he will volunteer to take on the chairmanship and that George stays as ‘Maintenance Adviser’, a job which George loves.  This was met with unanimous approval. EB suggested that a full-time maintenance person might be employed to do the work identified by George.

·         RR thought it vital that the Friends works in partnership with the Village Hall to improve all its facilities as a whole.


JN then reported that he had spent some time at Ipswich Council Voluntary Services (ISCV) going through their database of funders. There are many possibilities and we have to target the businesses that we think would be interested in us. 

We could also look at the Sports Watch fund.


JH-S suggested that the Friends might join the Co-op, but we would have to be a charity for this. MW said that as part of the Village Hall, it did have charity status.  


EB asked what the position is with Suffolk ACRE and RR is to follow up. Action RR


RR suggested that we invite the ISVC Grant Advisor to one of our meetings and advise on the process.  It was generally agreed that this would be very helpful and that the VHMC should also be invited.  FR who is on the board of Trustees for ICVS felt that if the Friends met the criteria, the funders would be extremely helpful. This would be carried through even after the grant is awarded.


5. Local Fundraising

·         MXW reported on the first event, the Car Wash on 4th March.  This had been an outstanding success with many cars to wash in the time span.  He praised his team of young helpers (and some older ones) who had worked hard and enthusiastically, despite the bitter cold.  A grand sum of £135 had been realised.

·         Plans are underway for the bike ride and fun event on 21st May.  The police have been informed, the insurance and licence still have to be arranged. EB can arrange for a gazebo tent on the field and for road signs.  MXW hopes that a local ITFC celebrity, whose children attend the school, is able to open the event. EB may be able to get signs from Rotary Club “Beware Cyclists” MXW to talk to Gil Peck about Public Liability. Actions for EB & MXW.

·         Two further events, the Curry and Quiz Night and the Casino Night have been arranged for September and November. 

·         MXW asked for suggestions to fill the long gap. RR suggested that we ask Jill Ganzoni to allow use of land on the Belstead Estate to be used for a car boot sale sometime in July or August. Another idea was an Antiques Auction.  Peter Carr at The Old Post Office might be asked for advice. 

·         FR pointed out that events arranged so far appealed to one section of the population.  We needed to draw in wider interest.  How about a talk on local history with emphasis on the two churches?  Also there are film and theatre groups, who tour rural locations that we can research. 

·         MXW advised that a target should be set for local fund raising and then publicised.  JH-S suggested 10% of the Grant application amount.  It was agreed that we should aim for £5k per year over the next few years.


6. Little Bealings Parish Council Update

·         JS advised that Little Bealings is seeking to progress the request for a permissible footpath as put to Mr Rolfe. SCC has asked for supporting evidence of how many people will use the path to form the basis of a case for SCC taking on the maintenance.

·         JS also advised that the LBPC has approved submission of a request to Peter Bellfield for an allocation from his locality fund budget. We can expect that LBPC will receive £1000 which they will put aside for the Playingfield project. 


7. O/S Actions not covered by the Agenda

·         JS advised that she has written very recently to Mr Rolfe thanking him for his support for the footpath and to ask for more information on the offer of land which might be considered for a future project – as noted in the minutes of the 6th February.


8. Any Other Business

The first draft of the Newsletter had been circulated prior to the meeting and amendments noted. FR/MXW would endeavour to have this ready for distribution by 10th March. There was unanimous agreement that the school has a Playingfield Logo competition, which will be judged by the revellers at the Fun Day. This will become the official emblem of the Friends and is intended for use on the Newsletter and letter-heading for all correspondence.


Next Meeting:  Tuesday 4 April at 7.30pm.