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January 2006

Oh what a difference a year makes. This is the first report for the New Year 2006 and it is a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and also forward to the year to come.

Recreation Ground - a year in retrospect

Rebuilds and Renovations
It is very appropriate that the meeting of the Recreation Grounds Committee on the 23rd November is the main meeting to report this month. A year ago the main Recreation Ground was a building site with work taking place on the Pavilion, the Tennis courts and the Bowling Club pavilion. All three projects are now complete due to the dedicated work of many hard working and conscientious people. They should all be heartily congratulated for their efforts. Our community now has available transformed facilities for them to use and enjoy.

Budget Projections
Among the interesting items discussed was the Budget projection for 2006/2007. It was stated that as we had a new building to run and no past cost experience, we had to make a ‘best estimate’ for several expenses. For example there are many more showers and toilets now than previously and a bigger area to heat. In consequence of this hire charges for 2006 will only be marginally increased.

Professional Valuation
A Professional Valuation and survey of the whole main recreation ground has now been received and circulated to members. Readers may wonder why this has been commissioned. This document is required to help us move forward the process of obtaining a new Lease from the Herts. County Council for that part of the Recreation Ground that belongs to them. This lease includes the Watton Road entrance. Until this matter is resolved the Loan from the Knebworth Village Trust cannot be exchanged for the promised Grant and so clear the cost of the new Pavilion.

Visitors to the Rec. will have seen that pollarding is taking place of all the trees avenues that run North /South. A total of 94 trees are involved and this work has had to be undertaken when the trees are dormant. Our advice is that this work should take place every three or four years and we do try and budget for this expense. We have been helped this time by a substantial Grant towards the cost of this work from the NHDC. This work which is very visible will further enhance the appearance of the ground. It is also now possible to see that the pond is beginning to fill again which is another big improvement.

A barrier and fencing to help contain the problems of motorcycles and horses coming into the Recreation ground has now been erected at the Oaklands Road entrance. This has been designed as a deterrent but yet at the same time to enable free access for prams and buggies. The effectiveness of this will be monitored to see if this helps sort this problem. Reader’s comments would be welcomed.

Clubs have say
On the 28th November meetings were held in the Pavilion with the Tennis Club to discuss their new Lease and later with the Football Clubs to progress the Football Development Plans. It is a condition of the Football Foundation Grant that we have received that the Clubs prepare, implement and monitor such plans. It was pleasing to hear that good progress was being made in implementing all the three Plans. The Plans aims are 1) To continue to offer football for all, 2)To create a girls' football team and 3)To have active clubs to improve progression of players from 6 to 60. It was particularly pleasing to note that an under 11 girls' section of some 19 members was now operating.

John Bland 01438 812135


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To contact Knebworth Parish Council please email
Claire Graham, Parish Clerk

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