Background to Issues

The following was presented to the Parish Council in July 2018, as a supporting document to the Issues list which they had requested.

BACKGROUND

  • 1959 – Stapleford Tennis Club (STC) was established. All costs have been paid by the club using funds amassed from Membership fees, including initial laying of the courts, fencing, subsequent refurbishments, and all maintenance.

  • 1964 – STC lease signed with South Cambridgeshire District Council (SCDC).

  • 2005 – The court was re-surfaced; expected life is usually 10 years.

  • 2012 – STC’s shed was removed due to vandalism. This left STC members without an easily accessible storage area.

  • 2013 – at a minuted Pavilion Users meeting, it was noted that the courts had a life of three years left and would need re-surfacing c.2016.

  • 2013 – subsequent to the Parish Council (PC) buying the Recreation Ground from SCDC, a new lease was drawn between PC and STC.

  • 2014 – The new lease was signed, with a lease term of only five (5) years.

  • 2014 – a large tree on Haverhill Road was cut down. The PC Chair spoke of installing suitable car park matting at shared cost; this was not followed up. This officially leased area of car parking continues to be impeded by the overhanging remaining tree and by local residents using the parking area.

  • 2015 February – STC shared with PC their dilemma regarding a proposal to install a Practice Wall in part of the fencing, versus reserving funds to save for a full re-surface first. The PC Chair responded in a telephone conversation that he wanted to discuss the overall best way to manage the Tennis Club in the context of the whole Recreation Ground, using expected S106 monies.

  • 2016 – the STC APM report noted an urgent need for major refurbishment expenditure and availability of LTA and other grants. STC asked the PC to work on a shared vision, including other clubs using the Rec.

  • 2016 June – Tennis 4 Cambridgeshire advised that grants would only be available if STC has a long lease term, 20 to 25 years. The club requested that the PC extend their lease. The club could not now spend any of its funds on the much-needed refurbishment until an ongoing lease was assured.

  • 2017 January – at STC’s request, the Lleylandii hedge was removed by the PC. This revealed the damaged fence on that side. A temporary fix was arranged by the PC in June 2017. This has not held up well; the fence needs replacement.

  • 2017 July – The Parish Council obtained quotes for complete refurbishment works. They seemed to understand from a previous meeting that the tennis club proposed to ‘wind up’ and put all its amassed funds towards a refurbishment for the benefit of the whole community. The club’s officers made clear that this was not the case at all, and any contribution from club funds towards refurbishment costs would depend on having a satisfactory ongoing lease arrangement for access by club members.

  • 2018 January – STC and PC held a minuted meeting; no action was taken.

  • 2018 March – the club agreed to spend its own money just on fixing the worst side of the fence (ex-Lleylandii side), and had booked a contractor to carry out this work in May, prior to the main playing season this year. However this work was delayed by the Parish Council’s insistence on further quotes to replace the whole fence.

  • 2018 May – All quotes were provided to the PC for the May 2018 meeting but no decision was made. Instead another meeting was ‘actioned’ between STC and the PC, and the PC Chair opened the meeting to include all Pavilion/Rec users. This meeting has not taken place; the fence is still in disrepair.