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CLERK'S BRIEFING NOTE 15-12

FINANCING PROVISION OF A MUGA AT SEDLESCOMBE PLAYING FIELD
2012

SEDLESCOMBE'S PROPOSAL FOR A MUGA AT THE PLAYING FIELD

1. In 2011, Sedlescombe Playing Field and Recreation Ground Trust recommended to the Parish Council that it should set money aside in its 2012/13 budget to turn the existing tennis courts into a Multi Use Games Area. The courts are situated adjacent to the children's playground refurbished in 2006. The courts were first installed in the mid-1950s and were last resurfaced in 2000. Until eight years ago, they were in regular use by a Tennis Club which drew its membership from a wide area around Sedlescombe as well as being open to the paying public. The loss of the Tennis Club to the Sedlescombe Golf Club Courts, with its associated facilities of bar, restaurant etc, left the courts less well used.

SURVEYS

2. A survey of the whole of Sedlescombe parish (650 properties) undertaken in November/December 2011 by the Trust identified the need for retention and improvement of the facility. Tennis, netball and football were identified as the three most popular sports in that order. 72.4% of households that replied support upgrading the facility. Although some respondents would prefer the Council to increase the Council Tax for one year, the majority agreed that obtaining a loan to be repaid over ten years would be acceptable. The amount suggested in the survey was £30,000 which at that time would increase the Sedlescombe Council Tax by £3.50 to £10.50 depending on the banding.

3. In addition, the Hastings and Rother Leisure Facility Strategy (2009-2020) noted the low provision of MUGAs in the area and that youth consultations indicated MUGA provision is a priority for young people in Hastings and Rother.

PARISH COUNCIL 2012/13 BUDGET

4. Further consideration was given to the project following the survey and the Parish Council responded to the Sedlescombe Playing Field and Recreation Ground by inclusion in its 2012/13 Budget of a £14,000 loan to cover £14,000 expenditure. Provision for repayment of one instalment on the loan was also included in the Budget.

PROPOSAL

5. The following was agreed and formed the basis for the application for funding to Rother District Council:

  • To upgrade the surface of the old courts with all-weather colour coated porous macadam.

  • To mark the surface for the individual sports with different colours.

  • To provide sports fencing.

6. As there are no plans to provide floodlighting or raise the height of the fencing, planning permission is not required.

7. The proposed MUGA will be free to use and will be unsupervised, providing the opportunity for people of all ages to turn up and take part in informal sports activities.

FUNDING THE PROJECT

8. The initial scheme was expected to cost about £33,000 including VAT and the following sources of funding were identified:

  • Precept. Every thousand pounds raised by precept, puts approximately £1.50 on a Band D Council Tax. The 2012/13 Band D Council Tax for Sedlescombe is £49.53.
  • Fund-raising locally. It should be possible to raise some money locally through village events, a raffle etc.
  • Individual Donations. A donation of £1,000 was offered by a local resident as a result of the survey.
    Grants from appropriate bodies. The availability of grant aid would be considered.
    Loan. The affordability of the Parish Council taking out a second Loan (£52,500 loan to help finance a new sports pavilion was taken out by the Parish Council in 2009 and is to be repaid over 15 years) was considered a possibility because of the current low interest rate being charged by the Public Works Loan Board.

SEDLESCOMBE SPORTS IMPROVEMENT AND ENCOURAGEMENT INITIATIVE AND APPLICATION FOR GRANT AID TO SPORTENGLAND'S INSPIRED FACILITIES FUND

9. During further discussions, the project was expanded and became the SEDLESCOMBE SPORTS IMPROVEMENT AND ENCOURAGEMENT INITIATIVE with the following additional proposals:

  • To provide a mini-kickers' football pitch next to the MUGA. This was requested by the Sedlescombe Football Club in March 2012 because it had run out of space at the Sedlescombe Sportsfield opposite and where it seemed as it would be possible to form two more football teams for the 6-year olds if a new pitch could be provided at the Playing Field next to the MUGA.

  • To provide a series of outdoor gym units. These were proposed to encourage people who brought children to the mini-kickers' pitch to take some exercise, probably mostly people who do not usually take exercise.

  • To provide a series of self-financing training sessions.

SportEngland grant application

10. Provision of the additional facilities would have increased the total cost of the project to £53,946. A SportEngland Inspired Facilities £41,214 grant application was applied for in April 2012. This is a fund to help local communities refurbish or upgrade tired, worn out, old facilities as part of the Olympic legacy between 2011 and 2014. Grants are usually between £20,000 and £50,000.

11. The balance of the cost was expected to be financed as follows:

Local fund-raising and voluntary labour

  1. An application to the Mrs A Lacy-Tate Trust resulted in a grant of £1,500.
  2. An application to the Sussex County Playing Fields Association for a grant of £2,000 is still in the pipeline.
  3. A local resident offered £1,000 towards the MUGA project.
  4. Other clubs were expected to provide £500.
  5. Voluntary labour "costs" re completion of the pitch and installation of the gym equipment were included.

Rother District Council. Rother has supported the provision of MUGAs or Kickabout Areas, for example in Battle, although the special funding that had been available has now been withdrawn. However, an application to Rother's Community Grants Scheme towards the MUGA was successful and £5,000 was allocated to match other funding obtained by the Parish Council.

12. At the end of June 2012, the Trust was informed that its application to SportEngland for £41,214 had not been successful but that, with more information about community support, the application (same or amended) could be re-submitted for consideration in Round 3. The result would be known around Christmas.

EFFECT ON THE PROJECT OF DELAY IN OBTAINING FUNDING

13. Two parts of the Sedlescombe Sports Improvement and Encouragement Initiative are very weather dependent. The drainage work needed for the pitch and the surface for the MUGA can only be done during the spring or summer. Delaying the result of the SportEngland application until Christmas 2012 would mean that no work could be undertaken until at least April 2013. There is, of course, no guarantee of the success of the SportEngland application.

OPTIONS

14. The following options were considered by the Parish Council at its meeting on 10/07/12 and, subsequently, the Council agreed to apply for borrowing approval for a £10,000 loan detailed in Option 4 below:

OPTION 1 - MUGA with Sports Fencing to be undertaken by Charity
Income
£
Expenditure
£
Rother DC - confirmed
5000
Surfacing
12500
Sussex County Playing Fields Ass (tbc)
2000
Colour spray and lines
3500
Mrs A Lacy-Tate Trust - received
1500
Sports fencing
11500
Anonymous donation - confirmed
1000
Irrecoverable VAT
5500
SPC - to be applied for
5000
 
Rother DC additional grant - to be applied for
5000
 
Shortfall (could be covered by SPC loan
13500
 
TOTAL income
33000
TOTAL expenditure
33000
The disadvantage of this option is that a second application would need to be submitted to Rother causing further delay, the Parish Council would need to use its general reserves to provide a further £5,000 and a loan would need to be obtained with subsequent repayments. No pitch or gym equipment have been included but would need to be the subject of further fund-raising at a second stage.

OPTION 2 - MUGA with no Sports Fencing but with Mini-Kickers Pitch to be undertaken by Parish Council
Income
£
Expenditure
£
Rother DC - confirmed
5000
Surfacing
12500
Sussex County Playing Fields Ass (tbc)
2000
Colour spray and lines
3500
Mrs A Lacy-Tate Trust - received
1500
Drainage for pitch
2685
Anonymous donation - confirmed
1000
goals
385
SPC (tbc)
5570
Fencing between pitch & drive (est)
1000
Rother DC (tbc)
5000
Total excluding VAT
20070
VAT recovery by SPC
4014
VAT
4014
TOTAL income
24084
TOTAL expenditure
24084
The disadvantage of this option is that a second application would need to be submitted to Rother causing further delay and the Parish Council would need to use its general reserves to provide £5,570. Sports fencing would have to be provided at a second stage.
The advantage of this Option is that the Parish Council could reclaim the £4,014 VAT within its annual £7,500 partial exemption allowance.

OPTION 3 - MUGA with Chainlink fence and rebound but no pitch to be undertaken by Parish Council
Income
£
Expenditure
£
Rother DC - confirmed
5000
Surfacing
12500
Sussex County Playing Fields Ass (tbc)
2000
Colour spray and lines
3500
Mrs A Lacy-Tate Trust - received
1500
Chainlink fencing & rebound
2160
Anonymous donation - confirmed
1000
Total excluding VAT
18160
SPC (tbc)
4410
VAT
3632
Rother DC (tbc)
4250
   
VAT recovery by SPC
3632
   
TOTAL income
21792
TOTAL expenditure
21792
The disadvantage of this option is that a second application would need to be submitted to Rother causing further delay and the Parish Council would need to use its general reserves to provide £4,410. New fencing would be provided to make the area more suitable for football but not to provide the more expensive sports fencing.
The advantage of this Option is that the Parish Council could reclaim the £,4014 VAT within its annual £7,500 partial exemption allowance.

OPTION 4 - MUGA surface to be undertaken by Parish Council - RECOMMENDED OPTION
Income
£
Expenditure
£
Rother DC - confirmed
5000
Surfacing
12500
Sussex County Playing Fields Ass (tbc)
2000
Colour spray and lines
3500
Mrs A Lacy-Tate Trust - received
1500
Total excluding VAT
16000
Anonymous donation - confirmed
1000
VAT
3200
SPC
6500
   
VAT recovery by SPC
3200
   
TOTAL income
19200
TOTAL expenditure
19200
The disadvantage of this Option is that it only provides the first stage of the MUGA and none of the other improvements to amenities and that either the Parish Council will have to substantially reduce the amount in general reserves or a loan will need to be obtained.
The advantage of this Option is that it should be possible to do the work this summer and that the Parish Council could easily reclaim the £3,200 VAT within its annual £7,500 partial exemption allowance (the Parish Council reclaimed £1,500 of the £7,500 allowance in 2011/12).

USE OF RESERVES

15. According to the 2012/13 Budget, just over £13,000 is expected to be in General Reserves at the end of the financial year which is about 39% of the Sedlescombe 2012/13 precept. The recommendation is to keep between 33% and 50% of the precept amount in reserves for emergency use.

16. The Parish Council is currently having to consider use of part of its reserves for work at the Sedlescombe Sportsfield Car Park to extend the parking area because of the success of the Junior and Senior Football Clubs. Funding applications by the local Sports Association to outside bodies have been unsuccessful to date. The addition of an archaeological condition on the planning approval for the extension could increase the cost which the Council (as landowner of the Sportsfield) has agreed to pick up.

17. The Parish Council is aware of pressures from the District Council for it to take over some of its current responsibilities eg maintenance of public conveniences and public car park (Rother has consulted and has said that it will not be able to provide any funding).

18. The Parish Council is aware of pressures on County Council funds which have resulted this year in the local School approaching the Parish Council asking if it would pay for a School Crossing Patrol, for extension of the current public park, for snow and ice clearance of public roads and car park and for providing a pathway to the School to improve the safety of the schoolchildren across private land to include legal, planning and construction costs. In addition, the County Council is currently considering passing maintenance of fingerposts to parish councils.

19. The Parish Council has been, and is still being, pressurised into agreeing to purchase land in the parish to stop it being re-used as a second hand car sales lot. The current sale price of the land is £125,000.

20. The above-mentioned pressures are in addition to the ever-rising costs of maintaining the Parish Council's own property in terms of mowing, hedging, ditching, surfacing and other legal commitments.

LOAN

21. At £49.53 (96p/week), Sedlescombe Parish Council has the 14th highest Band D Council Tax in the Rother District (out of 31 parishes). It has a Council Tax base of 676.34. The range of Band D Council Tax for 2012/13 in Rother is £73.81 (Etchingham) to£4.74 (Guestling where the Clerk is an unpaid councillor).

22. Although the recommended Option 4 above shows the Council will need to provide £6,500, the Sussex County Playing Fields' donation has not been confirmed and other costs may increase. It is therefore proposed that borrowing approval for £10,000 is obtained.

PWLB 13 July 2012

23. Annual repayment costs on a £10,000 loan from the Public Works Loan Board over ten years would be £1,093.32 ie additional £1.62/Band D Council Taxpayer unless other savings can be identified at budget time. The 2011 Sedlescombe resident survey came out in favour of obtaining a loan.

24. Applying for borrowing approval from DCLG must be approved by the full Council and counter-signed by the Sussex Association of Local Councils prior to making an application for a loan. The full Council also needs to approve the application for a loan which can come from the PWLB or banks. Interest rates change from day to day. The first repayment is made six months after the loan is received and, therefore, either one or no repayment will need to be paid in 2012/13.

ONGOING COSTS

25. The MUGA surface will need attention during its lifetime of up to 12 years and the Parish Council will be responsible for maintaining the area in accordance with the Trust/Council Management Agreement dating from January 2012. Resurfacing will need saving for. It is estimated that the total cost will be £4.50 p.a. for a Band D Council Taxpayer, broken down as follows:

Purpose
How often
Cost
How many times during lifetime
Cost
Application of moss and weedkiller Once/twice p.a.
£40-£80
12-24 times
£960
Power washing and re-colouring Every 6 years £2,850 Year 6
£2,850
Cost p.a. to allow for increases      
£400
Annual cost
Maintenance
£400
Saving for resurfacing
£1,500
Repayments on loan
£1,100
Total annual cost
£3,000
Approximate cost to each Band D Council Taxpayer
£4.50 p.a.

RECOMMENDATION

26. At its meeting on 10/07/12, the Trust requested the work to be taken over by the Parish Council and the Parish Council agreed to do so and to apply for borrowing approval. This report provides background information and is to be approved by the full Council on 17/07/12.

RECOMMENDED: That borrowing approval for £10,000 having been approved on 10/07/12 following receipt of verbal reports, the supporting written Clerk's Report is accepted by Sedlescombe Parish Council and the repayment period is set at 10 years. It is noted that the annual cost for repayment of the loan plus maintenance costs and saving for the next resurfacing is expected to be about £4.50/Band D Council Taxpayer for the next 10 years.

Clerk/RFO,
Sedlescombe Parish Council

13 July 2012