I spoke at this evening’s Mapledurham Playing Fields Trustees Sub Committee in support of the officer recommendations to follow the Charity Commission’s instructions.
I welcomed the exceptionally high response level to the consultation (about the ESFA's proposal to pay £1.36 m to the MPF Trust in order to compensate beneficiaries for a long leasehold interest of a corner of MPF) thanking:
- All beneficiaries who took the time to study the information and respond
- All resident associations and other community groups including the MPF Action Group and Parents of The Heights for raising awareness of the consultation
- Ben Stanesby and the other officer for their extensive work processing the consultation responses including much out-of-hours over weekends to deal with the thousands of answers and comments
As at previous Sub Committee meetings I emphasised that MPF Pavilion users remain desperate for the Pavilion to be rebuilt/refurbished as soon as possible. I hoped that those opposed would not stand in the way of the process moving forward as this would further delay the rebuilding of the Pavilion.
I said that the community as a whole needs the Sub Committee to agree the officer recommendations and additionally to urge the officers to do the required work without delay.
I said that the time has come for those against the ESFA’s proposal to accept the outcome of this latest consultation, to end the personal attacks and now work constructively to feedback their views on the Masterplan which will be required going forward. I cautioned them not to miss this opportunity.
As the local ward councillor and chairman of the MPF Management Committee I said that I would be working hard to thrash out how best our community, beneficiaries of the Trust, want the £1.36 million invested at MPF.
I concluded saying “surely the massive support for the ESFA’s proposal makes tonight’s decision absolutely crystal clear? The beneficiaries want the massive investment for the MPF Trust, so let’s make it happen!”
Earlier in my comments, with my MPF Management Committee chairman hat on, I relayed the responses to the recommendations in the reports to the Sub Committee from the committee’s meeting on 3 January. In particular I asked the Sub Committee to note that when the draft consultation document was discussed by the Management Committee there were no calls from the User Group or Mapledurham Parish representatives for an independent consultant to assess it. In fact, the User Group and Mapledurham Parish representatives only raised their strong desire for independent assessment after hearing the emphatic results supporting the ESFA’s proposal.
Outcome of the meeting
I was delighted that the MPF Trustees Sub Committee meeting agreed the officer recommendations so the next steps including for a masterplan to be worked up; that the MPF Management Committee is consulted on the options report and masterplan; and that officers engage with other stakeholders as appropriate including the Caversham Trents Football Club.
NB The MPF Trustees Sub Committee was not allowed to take education or planning considerations into account whilst making their decisions this evening.