Agenda and draft minutes
Contact: Jodie Kloss/Alan Garside Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Apologies for Absence/ Committee membership
There were no apologies for absence. Councillor Cavinder was absent without apologies.
Disclosures of interest
There were no disclosures of interest.
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2017 to be submitted and signed.
The minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2017 were submitted and signed.
A report of the Section Head – Parks and Open Spaces providing the panel with an update on the contract.
The panel will also receive a presentation.
The panel received a report of the Head of Community and Environmental Services updating them on the delivery of the parks service. The report included an overview of the services provided by Veolia and those which remained in-house. The council had a strong partnership with Veolia in undertaking the projects. Some of the recent successes included:
· the achievement of 11 Green Flags
· Cassiobury Park voted as one of the top 10 parks in the country
· the completion of the Cassiobury Park restoration
· the adoption of various 10-year strategies to underpin park work
· the relocation of the Gaelic Football Club.
All the parks and green spaces had been audited and their high value to the community was important. There were some which needed improvement but many had been brought up to Green Flag standard.
A strong partnership with Veolia, continued support from the community, the significant investment programme and the strategic approach to delivery ensured that the parks service performed well. While resources in the service were stretched with operatives being shared with street cleansing, standards still remained high. The panel was also given an overview of the forthcoming issues which included:
· income generation and a more commercial approach to the service, including at the cemetery
· charges for other services
· grant opportunities.
The Section Head – Parks, Open Spaces and Projects then made a presentation to the panel; the slides were included with the agenda. The presentation covered:
· The parks improvement programme
· The allotments improvement programme
· The play improvement programme
· The adventure playground projects
· The relocation of Glen Rovers
· Cassiobury Park restoration
· Other events and activities
· Future plans.
Matthew Crane, Veolia, informed the panel that Veolia enjoyed working with Watford Borough Council and there had been a lot of successes that they were proud of. The teams worked well together and the pride employees took in the work was evident.
There was a discussion about the challenges faced in the first summer of operation of the paddling pools. A number of issues had been encountered including the failure of certain components which had now been replaced. The pools had been independently assessed and were considered to be a very good and safe facility. The pools would be open after Easter and a number of additional sun shades would be available. There were no plans to hire out parasols.
Officers worked with Daisy’s to ensure that there was capacity at busy times. The council received a set amount per year from the café and a percentage of profits above that level. The prices were set by Daisy’s as an independent business.
Following a question about the occupancy level of the allotments, it was confirmed that overall there was 90% occupancy. At Paddock Road, which had been extended, 22 of the 24 plots were in use. Most allotment holders who were previously at Farm Terrace had moved to Holywell or Brightwell Allotments.
It was reported that satisfaction levels with the parks remained high at 95%; the panel asked how this figure was established. ... view the full minutes text for item 26.