EAST FARLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL
The Pump House Riverside Park, East Farleigh,
Maidstone ME16 9ND
T: 07999 414712
Minutes of the Parish Council Extraordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 14th March 2023 @ 6.30pm
In The Old School Hall, Lower Road, East Farleigh
Present: Cllrs Alex Fullwood (AF)(Chair), Steve Shearman (SS) (Vice-Chair), Adam Palmer (AP), Deborah Abbott (DA), Gina Ashcroft (GA), Pauline Tranter (PT),
In attendance: Desiree Home (Clerk), Nina Henley (New Clerk) and no members of the public & no members of the press.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Cllrs David Hussein, (DH) and Paul Billanie (PB). Apologies were accepted for the given reasons.
- RECORDING OF PROCEEDINGS; none.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND LOBBYING;
Cllr SS declared an interest in East Farleigh Pre-School
- EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
Members agreed that no items require this and is not relevant.
- VICARAGE LANE PLAY AREA
During the playground inspection course on February 14, 2023, attended by Councillors AP, AF, PB and Car Park/Maintenance Lee Owen, several risks were found including:
-the elephant bolts missing and spring lose
-the wet pour safety surface missing at the entry to the igloo
-the sharp metal corrosion of the swing set
-missing inserts on multiplay
Most of these issues were also highlighted in the Annual Safety inspection done in Dec 2022. For example,
Elephant had four findings including a breach of BS EN117 Part 6.
The swings had 5 findings etc.
The following issues were also reported in the Operational Inspection (done by third party and less comprehensive than Annual Inspection)
-swing seat corrosion
-wet pour on igloo climbing frame
Lee Owen is reporting weekly some of the same issues. Most of the issues are deemed low to moderate risk due to the nature of possible injury. However, not actioning replacement or repair could result in injury.
Although the response was low in numbers, the consultation comments and votes supported a refurbishment. Further posts on social media have indicated good support for refurbishments. The consultation stated we would look to spend 30k or under. The final proposal is for 20k total cost, plus VAT. A more comprehensive replacement was >50k (Quotes posted in Councillors area for the past month).
Differences from the 30k quote that we sent out to consultation.
- This quote allowed to resurface ALL wet pour. Which as stated above, is not required as it is still in good condition. This was a huge amount of the cost.
- This quote allowed for 3 new items of equipment. 1 to replace the elephant and 2 new additional items. It is proposed to replace the swing frame which is dangerous and, this now counts as one of the new additional items (3 new items)
The 30k quote had the additional items of a seesaw and roundabout which is as previously quoted.
- The 30k quote had a new bin and benches which EFPC have deemed not necessary at this time
- Councillors selected Kompan over Playforce as Kompan agreed to no price increases and Playforce said they had to significantly increase their costs from previous quotes.
Councillors Gina Ashcroft and Alex Fullwood have designated Kompan as the most reasonable. This company was also used by West Farleigh recently in their refurbishment and, who highly recommended Kompan. The lead time is 6-12 weeks.
The final costing, and planned spend, at tonight’s meeting actions/addresses the following issues:
- Total replacement of the elephant with a horse see saw and new wet pour surface under it.
- Rub down and repainting of flat swing frame which has no immediate safety issues but look very run down.
- Total replacement of cradle swing frame (which has corrosion and dangerous sharp metal).
- Patching of the wet pour on the igloo which is a trip and potentially more serious risk.
- Furthermore, we will add one additional item (Turning top) with new wet pour surface for that.
- Fencing off the entire playground during the refurbishment has a significant cost but is a health and safety requirement.
The final proposal does not address some minor issues:
- The algae to be cleaned off the wet surface (which EFPC should be able to manage separately)
- Chain corrosion on swings (which EFPC should be able to manage separately)
- Bushes wear (it was agreed to ask Kompan to address this as part of the quote)
- Trip hazards on uneven surfaces (this should be done by filling in some turf)
- Reordering inserts for multiplay
- Incorrect phone number on the sign, address of the playground needs to be on the sign.
- Wearing of wet pour we are leaving in place. However, the playground inspections show this has another 3-5 years life.
Further possible funding available:
- 1k from Members Grant
- 5k from the SE Water Community Payment
- CIL monies
- VAT is reclaimable
Grant applications submitted:
- FCC Communities foundation- decision in June 2023
- Kent Community Foundation- unsuccessful
- Golding Homes- decision in April 2023
- Biffa- unsuccessful
- National lottery- unsuccessful
- MBC “Love Where You Live” – decision end March 2023
It was proposed by Cllr SS and seconded by Cllr AP that EFPC proceed with this final quote from Kompan at £23,336.72 Including VAT, as summarised above. Councillors believe this is the right balance between a high cost and addressing safety issues.
It was unanimously voted to approve the project.
Closing of the Play Area
It was unanimously agreed that whilst works are carried out, the play area should be closed completely and further, closed during “out of term” time as the area is widely used when East Farleigh Primary School is open. It was noted that a full playground inspection will be due upon completion of the works.
- DATE OF NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING;
Annual Parish Meeting; Tuesday 28th March 2023 @ 7.30pm in the Old School Hall, Lower Road, East Farleigh.
EFPC Monthly Meeting; Tuesday 4th April 2023 @7pm in the Old School Hall, Lower Road, East Farleigh.
The meeting closed at 7.20pm