Reports Vary on State of KGV Playing Field Negotiations

Two reports of a meeting between Effingham Village Recreational Trust (EVRT) and Effingham & Leatherhead Rugby Football Club (ELRFC) give significantly different accounts of their negotiations regarding playing field hire charges. EVRT manage the King George V Hall and playing fields (KGV).

The trust submitted a report at the Effingham Parish Council meeting (October 31, 2017) which stated that discussions were “constructive” and “ongoing” but according to a well-placed source, corroborated by correspondence seen by The Guildford Dragon NEWS, the day before the council meeting, rugby club representatives walked out of a negotiation with the trust, apparently because EVRT had proposed a 40-68% hike in the rugby club’s annual rental fees.

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1 thought on “Reports Vary on State of KGV Playing Field Negotiations”

  1. This is a disappointing Dragon article for three main reasons.

    1. The remark that ‘Howard of Effingham School faced with a similar increase decided not to renew their agreement’ is misleading. As can be seen from the earlier Dragon articles dealing with that matter, the School was in fact offered a new licence with a small 2.1% increase to carry on using the same facilities as before, but then reviewed their requirements and their budget and declined to renew.

    2. The remarks about a dispute between EVRT and ELRFC are a non-story. The situation is precisely as set out in the statement issued by EVRT Trustees (attributed to me in the article.) It’s a sad day when apparently private correspondence and unnamed sources are used to make allegations about relations between a village charity and a village sports club. No wonder it’s hard to find trustees or other volunteers to manage our village facilities and clubs when they face unpleasant media coverage of this sort.

    3. The key paragraph from EVRT’s report to the Parish Council is not mentioned. The report was not about asking the Parish Council to make up for the loss of income from the Howard. Rather the report said:
    “Although the decision of the Howard School not to renew their licence is obviously significant, the efficiency savings already made by the Trust mean that this reduction in income is manageable if other users are ready to pay the full costs of their own use of KGV facilities. EVRT has therefore reviewed the cost to the charity of maintaining the recreational and leisure facilities currently available to Effingham residents, and suggests that an increase of £19,000 in the SLA amount for 2018/19 is appropriate to enable the charity to continue to provide free public access to these facilities. … These facilities include playgrounds, amenity grassland, trees and woodland, maintained hedges, access to the KGV Hall for community groups and day-time access to a public toilet. ”

    This was a one-year only proposal. Speaking as a parish councillor as well as an EVRT Trustee, I hope that during 2018 the Parish Council and EVRT will work together to consult all Effingham residents and find out what facilities residents want at the KGV, and what they are prepared to pay for via the precept. Residents should have their say about the services they get for their council tax.

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