The trustees of Stimpson’s Piece continue to have serious concerns about the future viability of the pavilion on Reepham’s recreation ground.
Addressing the annual meeting of the charity on Wednesday 10 May, chairman Les Paterson noted that, in an effort to generate more interest in the pavilion among residents and users, a working group had been established, under the chairmanship of David Loxton, with the intention of taking over the running of the pavilion as a community-centred amenity.
“Unfortunately, because of the lack of adequate support, the working group felt it had no alternative but to leave control with the trustees,” he told the meeting.
“Although the trustees have committed themselves to keeping the pavilion open, this commitment cannot be open-ended and will depend on the cost of any repairs needed to keep the building safe and usable, and continuing to generate sufficient income to maintain it.
“If the trustees are faced with either high costs of repairs to the building or a significant drop in income from hirings, then they will have to review the options open to them.”
Mr Paterson explained that hirings of the pavilion are generally healthy, but “unfortunately, many hirers do not use the pavilion during the school holidays or, in the case of the football club, from May when the football season ends to August when the new season begins.
“Inevitably, this means the pavilion is underused for some three months of the year with the consequent loss of income.”
During the past year the trustees commissioned a legionella and asbestos survey of the pavilion and, apart from a few minor points requiring attention, confirmed the building as a safe environment for users.
Following the survey, a water management agreement with the football club and the nursery school, the two main users of the pavilion, was instituted.
Apart from routine grounds maintenance of the park the trustees have commenced a programme of clearing old, diseased and damaged trees and generally opening up the wooded areas to provide more light at ground level to encourage more diverse plant growth.
A continuing commitment is the maintenance of the skate-park and the children’s play area. The old, dilapidated wooden fence around the toddlers’ play area has been replaced with a metal fence similar to the existing fence surrounding the skate-park.
The wooden play equipment generally is subject to wear and decay, and there is a continuing need for regular inspections and replacement of components whenever necessary. Similarly, the skateboard ramps need repainting several times a year to prevent corrosion.
“In general, the trustees have been fortunate that most residents and users of Stimpson’s Piece respect the facilities and there are relatively few complaints of anti-social behaviour or vandalism,” said Mr Paterson.
“The single most common source of complaint concerns fouling of the area by dogs and despite regular exhortations in Reepham Life and elsewhere, and the erection of notices advising owners where dogs can be exercised, irresponsible dog owners are still allowing their animals to foul the area.
“There have been relatively few cases of vandalism on Stimpson’s Piece, mainly centred on the area around the skate-park and children’s play area, and all such cases have been reported to the police for their attention.
“The trustees are committed to working with the police Safer Neighbourhood Team to control anti-social behaviour by, for example, locking the gate at night to prevent cars congregating in the car park and recording registrations of vehicles left on site unattended.”
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