The Parish Council welcomed several members of the public to our meeting in March, primarily relating to planning applications. It was great to have this level of interest and engagement. There were a large number of planning applications to be debated which resulted in a reduced agenda for the overall meeting. The recommendations made by BPC can be viewed on the relevant planning authorities websites.

BPC welcomed an offer from Hampshire Highways to replace the bollards installed at both ends of Shallows Lane. As a result of incorrect installation by HH  and damage caused by attempted vehicular access they need to be replaced. BPC was pleased HH has offered to correct this work. BPC will be requesting that more substantial bollards are installed as part of this work at a minor cost to BPC.

BPC adopted updated Financial policy and Financial Risk Assessment documents. It also agreed the appointment of the internal auditor for the year 2020/2021.

Due to the amount of work being done on the play area, it was decided to postpone the Annual Assembly until May. This is intended to allow BPC to present a more finalized state of the playground rejuvenation. The final date will be communicated next month.

The date for the next Parish Council meeting is April 12th. This will be an online meeting and details will be made available for the public to join.

In addition to our regular Parish Council meetings, work has continued on the recreation ground rejuvenation. You may remember that Boldre Parish Council [BPC] ran a community survey last Nov / Dec to gather thoughts and ideas on rejuvenating the play park and wider recreation ground at Pilley. As promised, BPC would like to share progress in this area so far:

Survey Response

Firstly, a big THANK YOU to all of you who took part! We were delighted to have received almost 150 survey responses – mostly from parish residents, but 1 in 4 responses were from outside the parish. All from families or individuals who use the park or are interested in helping shape its future. The survey allowed BPC to collect a good deal of information together with some great suggestions. This community feedback has not only already helped BPC shape the replacement play park project, but it will also provide a platform for future recreation ground projects (more on those below).

Football

The partnership with Lymington Town Sprites Youth Football continues and is viewed as long term so the football pitches will remain at Pilley. This partnership means that we have a strong, local (at least 4 parish boys play for Sprites) grass roots sports organisation to work with and the revenue from Sprites helps maintain the grounds, most of the cost of which would be incurred even without the upkeep of football pitches.

Play Park

BPC approached 7 playground equipment suppliers last year to start conversations, and to get indicative quotes and designs. With the help of your survey feedback, BPC has reduced that number to 4 and are now carrying out financial due diligence and refining products and designs to better align with survey feedback. And of course, this all needs to be balanced with a reasonable and responsible budget. As you might imagine, the play park project is quite complex as several parties are involved and the Covid lockdowns make everything just a little more difficult. BPC hope to shortlist down to two suppliers within the next couple of weeks and from there it will be about honing-in on which supplier has the best design, feel, and fit for our parish.

The timing of the removal of old, and installation of new play equipment is under discussion and it is highly likely that there will be a period without play equipment (except the swings near the kick wall). This unavoidable inconvenience is due to safety concerns over the proximity of the building site at Boldre War Memorial Hall to the new play park area. Obviously, we will try to get contractors’ project plans synchronised as close as possible to ensure that the new play equipment is installed as soon as practically and safely possible.

Future Projects

Other equipment and facilities suggested in the survey are under active consideration for delivery by future BPC projects, but the ideas need further planning, discussion and sign-off by BPC – more details will follow later in the year, but BPC hopes to have a number of recreation ground improvement projects running over the next few years… Of course, this is all about making Pilley recreation ground an even better space for our Parish community and, as things progress further, there may be opportunities to get involved (Covid restrictions permitting!). So please keep an eye out for more updates in the coming weeks and months!