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Rockland St Mary with Hellington Parish Council

Green Lane Playing Field

At the Parish Council Meeting on the 8th December 2018 Councillor Wretham gave an update on Green Lane Playing Field. This is an extract from his report

"At the last meeting I reported that it was my intention to offer parishioners the opportunity of viewing the outline plans that had been drawn up by the two supplier representative who had visited the site.   Posters were placed  throughout the village and on the website.  In addition, the secretary at Rockland School kindly agreed to email parents of every child at Rockland and Surlingham schools inviting them to call in and view the plans.  She also put up a poster on the school noticeboard.  We deliberately set the time at 3.45 to coincide with the time when parents collect their children from school so that they could call in on their way home.  Only one person turned up.

 

In addition, I contacted each of the five people who had earlier expressed a tentative interest in participating in a planning/steering group.  I suggested that we should meet to take forward the project.  It transpired that for a variety of reasons none of them wished to become directly involved in the project.

 

So where does this leave us?

 

From discussions with South Norfolk Council and the suppliers it seems clear to me that a major development of a playing field requires buy-in from the local community.  You have only to look at villages where successful redevelopment of playing fields has taken place to see that there was a concerted effort by a team of about twelve people. I am thinking particularly of villages such as Seething and Thurton.  This level of engagement is absolutely critical because a project of this nature involves an awful lot of hard work.

From discussions with South Norfolk Council and the suppliers it seems clear to me that a major development of a playing field requires buy-in from the local community.  You have only to look at villages where successful redevelopment of playing fields has taken place to see that there was a concerted effort by a team of about twelve people. I am thinking particularly of villages such as Seething and Thurton.  This level of engagement is absolutely critical because a project of this nature involves an awful lot of hard work.

 

I think the sad truth is that people in Rockland simply do not have that level of interest.  It is one thing for people to complete a questionnaire saying what they would like but it is another matter for individuals stepping forward to put in the time to make the project happen.

 

My recommendations, therefore, are as follows:

 

  1. that we maintain the playing field as it is at present;
  2.  that we continue making the field as secure and safe as possible;
  3. That we replace individual items of play equipment as and when the existing equipment ceases to be operational and safe and that we make budget provision for this ad hoc replacement;
  4.  That we publish an update on our website and in Eleven Says to inform parishioners of our decision.
  5. That we also inform South Norfolk Council and the suppliers who have given up their time so far.

 

In a sense this is a disappointing outcome but it is better that we know now rather than having embarked on the project.  I think it also demonstrates that the Parish Council can only take things so far and that any major project requires input from parishioners."

Councillor Jim Wretham