Save our Pavilion Campaign

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 November 2014

Four years of hard work down the drain

Despite months of talks with the advisers acting for Hazlemere Parish Council, there have been no concessions whatsoever, nor any meaningful attempt made by them to negotiate on their original demand for an annual commercial rent of £40,500.  The whole process appears to have been nothing more than a smokescreen, to create a false impression that negotiations were actually taking place. Some of our clubs may now face an uncertain future, but we will carry on regardless, even more determined to make sure that sport continues to prosper in Hazlemere. 

A Freedom of Information request revealed that Hazlemere Parish Council has spent around £30,000 of tax-payers money on legal/professional advisers to achieve Mr Mapletoft’s personal mission to “wrest back control of the pavilion”. As we said in our last newsletter, negotiations are only effective when both parties engage in the process.

How many Hazlemere residents will be using the building now Mr Mapletoft & Miss Natasha Howard?

August 2014

Pavilion Threat comes to a head.  Sports Association face up to being evicted from their Sports Pavilion home in September. 

There is a long running dispute between Hazlemere Parish Council (HPC) and the Hazlemere Sports Association (HSA). Despite over 1,200 signatures and messages of support, HSA face eviction from their natural home at the Ken Williams Memorial Pavilion (KWMP) in the near future.

HSA is a voluntary body that oversees 6 sports clubs and numerous fitness classes who use the Pavilion.  On Saturdays alone, at least 300 girls and boys aged between 5 and 16, as well as up to 100 adults use the facilities to play football there.  Our clubs include Holy Trinity Juniors FC, Hazlemere Sports FC, Hazlemere Bowls Club, Hazlemere Cricket Club, Hazlemere Tennis Club and High Wycombe Croquet Club. Our long standing members from the pigeon club (the High Wycombe Columbarian Society) have already been forced to find a new base at Holmer Green Sports Association.

From 2002 to 2010, the Parish Council and the Hazlemere Sports Association worked in harmony together to create the Pavilion, a great sports facility, with funding from both the public and HSA. The latter made possible by the many hours hard voluntary work from members of the sports clubs.

The present Parish Council reneged on the peppercorn rent agreement signed in 2010 and instead has hired the international law firm, Nabarro, to evict HSA, the current tenants of the Pavilion.  Nabarro have offices in London, Brussels, Singapore and Dubai and who act for clients such as Google and Virgin.  Nabarro have found a way through the poorly documented 2010 arrangements to achieve this.

The Parish Council has used three different firms of surveyors too.  We can reasonably assume that all of these professional fees have been funded from the Parish Council’s allocation of the Council Taxes paid by the residents of Hazlemere.  Not surprisingly, the Parish Council through their current Chairman only give evasive answers to questions put to them in public meetings, but the cost to Hazlemere residents must now exceed £20,000.

Throughout the process, the Parish Council has refused to meet with us, discuss the KWMP in any open sessions of their monthly meetings, and have only worked behind their lawyers and surveyors.

Unless the Sports Association pay the demanded annual rent of £40,500, they are likely to be evicted in the near future.

As a voluntary organisation, HSA uses Association funds carefully. In our financial year ending June 2013, we made a net profit of £11,435 before tax.  In our last financial year we have had to pay out nearly £5,000 from these profits to repair the Pavilion’s heating system and approximately £1,000 to repaint the upstairs function room.

If you care about organised sports in Hazlemere, please take a moment to read the following open letter (please click on  HPC letter_120814) to read the full contents.  If you feel strongly about the issues, please express your concern by going along to the next council meeting on Tuesday 2 Sept at 8pm, at Cedar Barn, signing our petition at www.hsal.co.uk/pavilion, write to the Chairman, Clerk or your nearest Councillor – please go to: www.hazlemereparishcouncil.org.uk/about/your-parish-councillors and of course vote in the next Parish Council elections (May 2015).

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