Alvechurch Parish Council have proposed some significant changes to the playing fields behind the village hall.
During 2019, several options had been put forward involving the creation of a car park to alleviate parking problems associated with visiting youth football teams. None of these options were taken forward.
July 2020 – Councillor Mark Worrall published a further proposal, which can be read in full here, along with Mark Worrall’s introduction.
During the presentation to the Village Hall Trustees and the RGA Executive, some concerns were raised about the suggested cost benefits of the proposal as well as the proposed increased commercialisation of the playing fields. The discussion also made reference to an alternative proposal from the Village Hall Trustees, which requested that they be given responsibility for the management of the playing fields.
Both proposals were discussed during a Council meeting on 27th July 2020, during which Nan Fellows represented the Village Hall Trustees.
Prior to the meeting, a number of residents had contacted Alvechurch Parish Council (APC) to express their concerns/reservations regarding the Mark Worrall proposal and to express support for the Village Hall Trustees proposal.
The full minutes of the meeting can be viewed here (Items 12A and 12B are the relevant items)
In addition, some appendices to the minutes are available for viewing :
Village Hall Trustees proposal (put forward by Councillor Tony Wallis)
A paper written by Councillor John Cypher outlining the aims to market/commercialise the playing fields
Following a meeting with the Parish Council, the Trustees of Rowney Green Village Hall have agreed to form a working group to discuss the possibility of an agreement with them, so that the Trustees take on responsibility for the finances and management of and future improvements to the park.
The first meeting is planned for 29th September. A questionnaire which requests feedback on suitable activities, and those which would not be considered appropriate has been issued to all properties in the village. These replies are being collated and summarised in readiness for the meeting.
Update from the village hall trustees :
Well over 60% of villagers responded to the questionnaire and it’s clear that, in principle, everybody was happy with the idea of Rowney Green taking over the park from Alvechurch Parish Council.
A subsequent meeting has taken place with members of the Council explaining the results of the questionnaire. Whilst, in principle, APC is willing to grant a lease, there is still a long way to go before reaching an agreement.
A further meeting has been planned for the end of October and a decision will be given after the APC meeting in early December.
In the meantime we are to prepare budgets and a business plan. The latter will follow the main requests from the villagers shown in the questionnaires.
It is a priority, by way of grant, to improve the children’s play area and to provide some benches. A grant has been awarded for car parking but the figure involved (£6,000) is half that originally applied for. We are trying to persuade APC with the facilities available at the hall, that extra car parking is currently unnecessary and that the grant should be put towards proper drainage of the field (this formed part of the grant application). APC has not made a decision on this yet. Through volunteers, we would improve the area generally, for example, hopefully removing the leylandii and replacing with more appropriate trees or shrubs.
It is likely that if this project is successful, a lease would not be completed until April next year at the earliest.
Alvechurch Parish Council minutes record that “an informal Working Party Meeting was to take place on 16th March 2021 to discuss the feasibility of taking forward a ‘joint management agreement’”.
A partnership approach rather than a lease agreement seems to be the Councils preferred option