The latest from the Parish...
16th February 2017 - Parish Council seeks to preserve village's green and recreational space
In a matter of weeks Brentwood Borough Council will be issuing Council Tax statements for the year 2017-18. There is no doubt that these will show a significant increase when compared with previous years. It is highly likely that both Brentwood Borough Council and Essex County Council will be raising the level of tax, to offset the loss of central government grants and in the case of Essex CC to help reduce the shortfall in funding adult social care across the county.
In January the Parish Council approved a budget for 2017-18 incorporating a rise in the precept by £8 per annum per household based on a Band D property. This constitutes a weekly rise of 15p per household.
Over the past few months we have been talking to Brentwood Borough Council about acquiring Seymour Field & Pavilion. We initially asked for an ‘asset transfer’, but all that Brentwood Council is prepared to offer is a 25-year lease. We are still discussing terms and conditions.
Why is the Parish Council so keen to acquire this asset? Seymour Field is our only publicly owned recreation field. Fairfield is leased by the Parish Council from Lord Petre. Seymour Field is not only the home to all the village’s football teams; it is also widely used for casual recreation. It is used by dog walkers, youth groups and of course it’s home to the annual Ingatestone and Fryerning Horticultural Society summer show.
The village is growing and there was a genuine concern that the field could fall victim to property developers. The Parish Council is determined to ensure that it should remain a publicly owned recreation area not only for current residents but also for future generations.
The Pavilion, which was built in the 1980s, is in drastic need of refurbishment. We have obtained estimates of the cost required to bring it up to Football Association standards as well as providing a good quality facility for use by other local community groups. We will need to obtain around £70,000. The Parish Council are hopeful of obtaining significant grants towards the cost of the work. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee these funds and therefore have to budget on the assumption that we will need to self-fund the pavilion refurbishment as well as the upkeep of the field. In addition, following several incursions onto the field in recent years we also need to budget to improve security measures to ensure that the field can be enjoyed by local residents throughout the year.
The Parish Council did not take the decision to increase the precept lightly, indeed to facilitate the necessary work the Council will reduce its reserves for the year 2017-18. However, the recent survey that we undertook revealed that there is overwhelming support among respondents to preserve green space in and around the villages. We believe acquiring a lease on Seymour Field & Pavilion guarantees that it remains a recreational facility and provides a wonderful opportunity to develop a quality asset that can be enjoyed by the people of Ingatestone & Fryerning for years to come.
Paul Jeater, Chair – Ingatestone & Fryerning Parish Council
New Facebook Page!
The Parish Council has a new Facebook Page - please 'like' us and keep up to date with all the meetings and projects the Parish Council are undertaking...