Dundry Parish Council: Statement on the use of Dundry Playing Fields

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Holger Laux
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Joined: Sat 15 Oct, 2016 9:34 am

Dundry Parish Council: Statement on the use of Dundry Playing Fields

Post by Holger Laux » Wed 11 Oct, 2017 9:16 am

Parishioners are probably aware that Chew Valley Football Club has begun running youth football activities on Dundry Playing Fields which are owned by Dundry Parish Council and are there for the benefit of the whole community. The Parish Council does not consider this organisation to be a legitimate user of the Playing Fields or their presence to be in the best interests of the parish.

We would like to give you a brief summary of the history and why we have come to the above conclusion.
The field on Crabtree Lane was bought by the Parish Council in 1977 and was initially managed and converted into a playing field by a Playing Field Management Committee consisting of representatives of various village organisations (Dundry AFC, Dundry Cricket Club and others) and two parish councillors.

By 2008, this management structure had changed and the facilities were run by an umbrella organisation called Dundry Sports & Social Club, consisting of various member football clubs (including Dundry AFC) without direct involvement of the Parish Council. This is why two legal agreements - a lease for the clubhouse and a licence for the use of the pitches - were drawn up and signed between the Parish Council and two named trustees of Dundry Sports & Social Club, outlining rights and responsibilities for both parties.

In summer 2016, Dundry AFC folded and left the playing field in an unplayable condition because of dangerous metal posts surrounding the pitches, which eventually had to be removed at the expense of the Parish Council. Because of this situation, all other football teams also left Dundry. The utility bills for the clubhouse were handed over to the Parish Council by the Secretary/Treasurer of Dundry Sports and Social Club (who was also one of the named trustees) but the key was given to one of the remaining representatives of Dundry AFC. Both named trustees and signatories stated that they no longer wished to be involved. No indication of any further handovers or future plans with regards to the contracts was given.

Efforts to sort this out with Dundry AFC were unsuccessful and no progress was made until, in May of this year, the Parish Council discovered by accident that a new club, Chew Valley Football Club, had started mowing the pitches and was making plans to use them for youth football activities. They claim to have been invited by the remaining few members of Dundry AFC to join the Sports and Social Club. Apart from this verbal assertion, the Parish Council has not been informed of this development by any named trustee and signatory or by any other existing member of Dundry Sports and Social Club.

The representative of Chew Valley Football Club appeared to be willing to communicate and it was hoped that a positive relationship could be established, provided they supplied proof that they were the new trustees of Dundry Sports and Social Club and that the lease and licence had been passed on to them in the correct manner.

Unfortunately, despite the Parish Council explaining in detail what is required, Chew Valley Football Club has so far failed to provide this proof. This means that there is at present no legal agreement between them and Dundry Parish Council regulating their use of this parish asset.

If this information is not received soon, the Council will have to assume that Chew Valley Football Club are not occupying the facilities under the terms of the lease and licence and will have to take action to regularise the situation.

If you have any comments, or would like more information please contact the Clerk, Judith Hoskin on 0117 9642804 (email: parishclerk@dundry.org.uk) or the Chairman, Holger Laux on 07740 191772 (email: holger@99computing.co.uk)

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