LETTER TO MEMBERS
Brentwood Borough Council requires vacant possession of Hutton Poplars Lodge for a change of use and has given Notice of Termination relating to the Club’s right to use the Lodge. This would deny us access to the kitchen, toilets and lounge for which at present we have an agreement and pay an annual rent.
Representatives of the Bowls Club Committee have met with both Leader of the Council and Chief Executive and have made strong representations to the Council to make them aware that without the use of the Lodge facilities the club would cease to be viable.
Following these representations, the Council have agreed to extend the Notice of Termination from the 30th September 2017 to 31st December 2017 so we will be able to carry on with our winter 2017 programme of social events.
The Notice of Termination does not refer to the Green which is protected by a separate covenant, and an agreement regarding the Pavilion for which we pay a “peppercorn rent”.
The Committee has made repeated requests to the Council for a copy of the Agreement to check that the Notice of Termination has been validly served. Whilst the Council has promised to provide a copy, it has yet to be received. The latest undertaking from the Council is to provide a copy of the Agreement by mid-
On the assumption that the Notice has been validly served, the Committee will do its utmost to ensure the future of the Club and that the standard of the facilities provided are at least equal to those we currently have.
Members will be informed of further developments.
M C Murphy
Hon Secretary Hutton Poplars Bowling Club.
HUTTON POPLARS BOWLING CLUB (HPBC)
Sent to Brentwood council 15/8/2017
FACILITIES REQUIRED TO ENABLE THE CLUB TO CONTINUE
WITHOUT THE USE OF HUTTON POPLARS LODGE
1. THE LOUNGE
The Club uses the lounge for social events for HPBC members and when entertaining other clubs during League and Friendly matches when sandwiches and light refreshments are served for up to 40 persons seated at tables. The Lounge contains cupboards for the display of the Clubs Trophy collection and other Club artefacts and for the storage of crockery and utensils together with a refrigerator. The Lounge has sufficient wall space to display boards depicting historic awards for League matches won by Club Members. The Lounge is locked shut when not in use to ensure greater security for the Clubs possessions stored in the Lounge. Club notices are only displayed in the vestibule.
The floor area of the Lounge is 46 square metres and the alternative accommodation should offer floor space of at least an equivalent area.
2. THE VESTIBULE
As the Lounge is locked when not in use, Club Notices are displayed in the Vestibule to enable members to put their names forward to play in forthcoming matches and to see which members have been selected to play. It is the main channel of communication between the Club and its members. The Vestibule is not locked and is accessible to all members who have access to the Lodge via a key code.
The wall area required for the notice boards is 7.5 square metres.
3. THE KITCHEN
Meals, teas and coffees for up to 40 people are prepared in the Kitchen which contains an Oven and Hob, large sink and drainer with hot and cold running water, a refrigerator, floor and wall storage cupboards and work surfaces for food preparation.
The floor area of the kitchen is 12.5 square metres, three sides of which are taken up by the floor storage cupboards, cooker, refrigerator and sink.
4. THE TOILETS
The club has access to 4 unisex toilets. One of these has disability facilities. On busy days when hosting games with other clubs these 4 toilets are often in use simultaneously.
5. CAR PARKING
The car park can safely accommodate up to 24 cars but this number is usually exceeded when other clubs attend League and Friendly matches being played at HPBC.
Unauthorised use of the lodge car park is made occasionally by members of the public.
Increased use of the Lodge during the day will require additional car park spaces to be made available.
There is currently no external lighting in the car park due to the failure to replace a defunct floodlight. This is dangerous for persons exiting the Lodge on foot at night and has security issues for the cars parked on site and their owners. Youths frequently assemble in the far corners of the car park at night.
6. TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
An increase in traffic for those using the Lodge may cause traffic queues building up at certain times of the day which may impact the movement of traffic on the Rayleigh Road. Additionally, the sight line to the right for cars exiting the car park is poor and any increase in the size of the car park should also factor-
Hutton Poplars Bowling Club
Affiliated to E.B.A. E.C.B.A.
103 Chelmsford Road
Essex CM15 8QP
Tel. 01277 231500
M C Murphy
Essex CM13 1BA
Dear Mr Ruck.
As per the agreement made at the meeting on the 1st August 2017 between Dennis Ray, Trevor Smith and Mike Murphy of Hutton Poplars Bowling Club with yourself and Councillor Louise McKinlay representing Brentwood Borough Council , we ask you to confirm in writing that the notice to quit has been extended from 30th September to the 31st of December 2017.
We are disappointed to note that we have still not received a copy of the 1996 Agreement under which notice has purported to have been given.
We would also appreciate a copy of the minutes of the meeting which approved the notice and the documents submitted relating to the 1996 Agreement.
We would appreciate a response to these points by Monday August 21st.
M C Murphy
Secretary Hutton Poplars Bowling Club
cc Louise McKinlay and Will Trump
d also appreciate a copy of the minutes of the meeting which approved the notice and the documents submitted relating to the 1996 Agreement.
Mr M C Murphy
(Secretary Hutton Poplars Bowling Club)
103 Chelmsford Road
Date: 31st August 2017
Dear Mr Murphy
Re: Hutton Poplars Bowling Club
I refer to your correspondence of 23rd of August 2017 and our meetings and discussions with officers, prior to that time.
As stated at our meeting, I personally wanted to review both the decision to give the Club notice to vacate Hutton Poplars Lodge, along with the proposals for alternative uses of the building.
I have now had the opportunity to carry out an extensive review and wanted to update you on the position.
As stated in our meetings, you will be aware of the intense financial pressures that local government is under, and Brentwood Borough Council is no exception to these pressures. However, I am also aware of the need to balance the provision of the statutory services with a commitment to the community and it is on that basis that I have reviewed the matter.
The reason for the original notice being provided to you is varied, and I can see that the officers were exercising a duty in relation to the stewardship of assets under the council's control, utilising the powers of delegated authority they have.
However, having looked at the proposals for alternative uses of the building, I am not satisfied that they would be acceptable.
Therefore, it is my intention to take the proposals no further, so there will be no need for the Club to vacate the building.
In terms of formalising this arrangement, on the 19th September, I will be making a clear recommendation, to the Policy Projects and Resources (PPR) committee that the Council enters into a formal arrangement with the Hutton Poplars Bowling Club. This will be enabled by a 10 year lease agreement, which will provide security for you and which will bring the Club in to line with other organisations that are operating from Council owned assets.
The constitution of the Council means that as such a lease agreement will be at less than market value, I cannot make this decision on my own, but will need the support and agreement of the aforementioned committee. This is a standard procedure, which covers such arrangements with voluntary/associations such as the Hutton Poplars Bowling Club.
Should the PPR committee agree this recommendation, we will indeed be entering into a new lease arrangement with the Hutton Poplars Bowling Club and officers will invite you in for discussion regarding the terms and conditions of the lease.
I trust you find the above satisfactory and wish you the best for the future.
Leader of Brentwood Council