This committee meets every three months and is responsible for all recreation, sport, youth matters and related issues. It is responsible for all parks and recreation grounds in council ownership: Arlebury Park, Stratton Bates and Sun Hill Recreation grounds, Memorial Gardens and The Soke Garden. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the meetings.
Committee members have recently inspected all of the parks and recreation grounds and noted where repairs are necessary and improvements would be appropriate.
Every recreational project undertaken by the committee has had the benefit and support from Alresford sports clubs and numerous organisations that use the facilities and we would like to thank them for their continued co-operation and assistance. Unfortunately funding for playground facilities is in very short supply and so, while we can carry out consultation and prepare plans, implementation is likely to be some way into the future.
Regular maintenance and the excellent condition of all our Recreational sites is solely due to our Groundsman Peter Bridges whose diligent hard work has resulted in the well kept grounds that we all enjoy.
DOGS (FOULING OF LAND) ACT 1996
Alresford has been an area of irresponsible dog owners for some time. Of particular concern are the recreation areas at Stratton Bates and Arlebury Park including the sports pitches, routes to Sun Hill and Perins schools, and the roads, estates and green areas off Grange Road. Winchester City Council (WCC) do carry out occasional patrols in the area but it is difficult to catch offenders.
“Most owners clean up after their dogs these days,” explains Dave Griffiths, WCC’s Senior Animal Welfare Officer, “it is only a small percentage who are irresponsible so being in the right place at the right time is a ‘needle in a haystack’ scenario. That’s why we need the help of members of the public”.
How you can help
Offenders need to be identified. Should you witness an owner failing to clean up after their dog in an area to which the general public have access and you know the offender’s address, please report the incident to the Council and appropriate action will be taken.
We would ask you to state that you saw the dog defecate on public land and that the owner left the land without clearing up, give a description of the dog and the person walking the dog, where that person lives, give the exact time and date that the offence occurred and the exact location.
Where a dog is loose without an owner or keeper present; fouling is still an offence if the owner is traced.
The Act applies to all areas to which the general public have access with the exception of agricultural land, commercial woodland, marshland, moors, heath, rural common land and carriageways with a speed limit over 40mph. Privately owned land is included if the owner wants the Act in place and if the general public have access to the land; private gardens and drives are not included. Remember that leaving a bag of dog faeces on public land is not complying with the law unless it is placed in a bin.
Offenders caught by the Dog Wardens may be issued with a fixed penalty fine of £50. Failure to pay the fine may lead to prosecution with a maximum penalty of £1000.
Guide dog owners are exempt from the law.
Please don’t hesitate to call if you require any more information about the legislation.
Recreation and Open Spaces
Mention of the Local Plan causes a range of reactions: some people pull the duvet further over their heads; some reach for their blood pressure pills; some run away before they are asked for their comments again; and Town Councillors grab their tin hats and body armour. But it is possible to find some pretty uncontroversial good news in the Plan. This is the fact that it covers not just building sites and roads but facilities for recreation including open space. The planning regulations state that the Plan must make provision for allotments, equipped children’s and young people’s space, informal green space (“village greens”), natural green space (woods and fields) and parks, sports & recreation grounds and stipulates that 4 hectares per 1,000 head of population be provided spread across these categories. Alresford currently has a little over 11 hectares of such space in total (about 27 acres for those who like good old British units) which is actually less than it should have (about 22 hectares since the regulations changed on 1 April 2014). By the time all 500 of the houses required under the Local Plan are built, we shall need, within the Parish boundary, about 26 hectares. Some but not all of this will be provided by the developers of the new houses. More would have to be bought and this will be a tall order in terms of affordability of the land and this is one of the issues that the Local Plan will have to tackle
Extension to Skate-Park at Arlebury Park
Following a public meeting last year to discuss a proposed extension to the skate park to make it suitable for both BMX and skate boarders, we have submitted an application for funding to Sport England. Unfortunately we were not successful and we are currently exploring other ways of raising the finance for this project. The young people who use the facilities are also planning ways of contributing to the costs.
The need for BMX facilities is reflected in the Local Plan Part 2 and this will lend valuable support to future funding applications.
Improvements at Sun Hill Recreation Ground
The climbing frame in the fenced area is showing its age and while considering its replacement we are thinking of taking the opportunity to encourage the deconfliction of the senior school age group from the toddler and primary school age group. We have been looking at some types of equipment/facilities that might provide effective socialising and recreation opportunities and are seeking to consult with young people on the mix that they think would be most successful.
Changes at Stratton Bates Recreation Ground
Some time ago we provided play equipment suitable for disabled children. This has not been very successful and the swing in particular has become dangerous. We are therefore going to remove it and have asked for ideas on what to do in the vacant area.
Arlebury Park West Field
As can be seen from the panel on the left, the plans to use some of the land to provide rugby pitches are being implemented. The remainder will be left as open green space (as is required by the Local Plan). The possibility of providing a “wild play” area for young people on part of the land is being considered.
Disabled Swing at Stratton Bates
On the Stratton Bates recreation ground, the swing and roundabout for the use of the disabled have proven difficult and expensive to maintain. We are monitoring the wear and tear on the roundabout in particular. If you have views as to what we should install in its place, if necessary, please let us know. We are also looking at easier but still controlled access to the swing. If you use the swing, again, please let us know. Contact us via the Town Clerk.