Following “Lock-down” at the end of March, the Council was required to close the Playing Fields and Children’s Playground. Some weeks ago, the Playing Fields were re-opened for exercise purposes and the first competitive cricket match took place last week. There has also been limited use of the Bowling Green. After a Risk Assessment and completion of the identified actions, the Council re-opened the Children’s Playground from 31st July.

Users of the Playing Fields and Playground are urged to follow Government guidance with respect to social distancing and hygiene and signs providing relevant advice have been posted around the site. Regrettably, whilst the Council has re-commenced its cleaning programme for the toilets, it is not practicable to clean them at the frequency considered necessary to reduce the risk of cross contamination of the Covid virus. Accordingly, the Council has maintained its advice to the public not to enter or use these facilities.

During the closure, much of the spoil heap deposited at the rear of the Tennis Courts was generously removed off site by a parishioner at no cost to the Council. The Council also used this opportunity to extend the mounding around the Tower Slide at the playground using this spoil. Some parishioners have queried this action. The slide was installed many years ago and has provided good service, although now approaching the end of its working life. The design guidance and safety standards in place at the time of its installation have been superseded. In particular, its guard rails do not comply with current standards. The initial mounding around the slide was probably installed to address this when first identified by reducing the potential risks of falls from height. The latest external inspection has noted some corrosion of the guard rails which raised concerns about their long-term durability and performance. The Council has considered a number of options, including withdrawing the slide from use. The extension of the mounding to its current height reduces or obviates the need for these guard rails and some have now been removed. Furthermore, in planning for the future replacement of the slide, the Council is cognisant of the more modern design approach, which is to position a slide on top of a suitably profiled mound, removing the risk of falls from height. In short, this work has secured the safe use of the slide for a further period and prepares the site for its replacement in due course. The slopes of the mound were sown with wild flowers on completion. However, the extended dry period following voided germination. Re-seeding will take place in the autumn.

The flat roof of the Pavilion is leaking. Work to install a new covering has been ordered and will be undertaken this month.

The second phase of the re-surfacing of the Car Park at the Playing Fields has been ordered and will proceed after schools re-open.

Finally, our current Parish Clerk, Ms Sarah Furniss, is leaving to make more time for her own personal interests. The Council would like to publicly thank Sarah for the expert and highly professional manner in which she has carried out her duties over the three years she has been our Clerk. Our new Clerk will be Ms Pauline Rigby, who will take over during the early weeks of August. Contact details will be updated accordingly in due course.