• Matthew Brennan

Grounds and Environmental Services Committee

This month the committee heard reports for Creasey Park, the cemetery, allotments, recreational grounds, town gardens and ranger services. The committee also discussed the budget proposals for the councils Grounds and Environmental Services department for 2021/2022.

The meetings are still held remotely over Microsoft Teams due to Covid-19 restrictions and anyone who wishes to attend them can request to do so up to the day of the meeting, I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in how the council makes decisions on matters that arise in the town (that we have control over) to join us in meetings. Whilst Covid-19 safety measures are in place, everyone in the town can engage with the council from the comfort of your own home. Though I have requested previously that all town meetings be recorded and broadcast for transparency like the meetings of Houghton Regis Town Council, this will not be happening when the council resumes meetings in person. This may be the best opportunity members of the town have to witness the workings of the council without leaving home.

As for what is happening:

Creasey Park’s pitches have been going through closures due to the pandemic which has had an impact on revenue. As many people will know Creasey Park is now home to a shiny new ATP (Artificial Turf Pitch) which was due to take bookings in line with Tier 4 requirements before lockdown hit. There was, at time of the report, some external landscaping works still to be completed and these were scheduled for April 2021.

As part of the budget review at the end of the meeting I asked whether or not it would be possible for the council to set some form of discounted rates to compensate residents who previously freely used the 2G pitch by GO Bowling which was closed by CBC and replaced with the new ATP. I was told no by Town Clerk and Chief Executive, David Ashlee. Brewers Hill road car park had been refurbished to service the new ATP but has now been turned into a Covid-19 Test and Trace centre.

The Council's First Electric Van was delivered and sign written. The team responsible reported that the vehicle is currently being charged twice weekly, but the operators think this could reduce to once a week in the summer months. This is a small but vital step for the council for its goal to eventually become carbon neutral.

Priory and Grove House Gardens are to be assessed for Green Flag retention. These parks have held their Green Flag status since summer of 2010, the same year that we were awarded a gold medal in Anglia In Bloom. It is obviously a source of pride for the town and a credit to the hard work of all those involved.

The next Grounds and Environmental Services Committee meeting is on Monday 8th March 2021.

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