Dispute over Hazlemere pavilion rumbles on

Hazlemere Sports Association members

Hazlemere Sports Association members

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A DISPUTE between Hazlemere Parish Council and a volunteer group has erupted after the council chairman suggested the group had been creaming off the profits of the village pavilion.

Writing about the pavilion on the councils behalf in a recent Hazlemere Fete newsletter, Cllr Brian Mapletoft made the claim, which he says was written based on fact.

In the notice, he said: “Whilst a definitive meeting with the other side (Hazlemere Sports Association) via our negotiators is still pending at the time of writing, our broad aims are to open the facility to all Hazlemere, including opening the preschool all day.

“Other ideas are to open up the changing rooms to the public for a fee and to hire out facilities without a middle man creaming off the profits.”

This comes after a long-running battle over the tenancy of the pavilion with the row centring over a ‘£1 peppercorn lease’ which the council’s solicitors saying the agreement has expired, it is not legally binding and they want a commercial lease in place on the pavilion, valued at £40,500 per year.

The sports association now have less than a month left in the pavilion, in the Recreation Ground, before a section 25 order means they have to vacate the premises.

In the letter to parish councillors, HSA representatives said: “This comment really is upsetting. For the past four years, the pavilion has been run by a small team of volunteers none of whom have taken a penny for their time.

“Membership subscriptions and other monies received are applied to the running and maintenance of the building and in furthering the objects of HSA which are the promotion of sport in this area.”

They added we invite the chairman to apologise for his misleading and defamatory comments and ask other councillors if they wish to associate themselves with these remarks.

John Horton of the HSA said: “That Hazlemere Parish Council under Mr Mapletoft's chairmanship has declined numerous offers to meet with representatives from our sports clubs, preferring to use expensive lawyers and surveyors to conduct discussions.

“(The HPC) has declined two proposals from HSA during this time for a new tenancy arrangement, without given us any explanation of their reasons, or make any practical concessions so far on the issues that we have raised through their professional advisers.”

However, Cllr Mapletoft has refuted the claims by saying his statement was based on fact.

He said: “I thought it was a non-controversial statement because I was stating a fact, they are using public facilities and charging people to use them but the money isn’t coming back into the public domain as the council do not receive anything.

“It is in the hands of our solicitors at this time and I have to say perhaps they are trying to cause problems by stirring things up.

“The parish council has tried to consult with them and the public to reach a solution. I don’t really know why they are bringing this all up now when they have had the whole of the last four years to discuss it.”

He added: “Since I have become chairman they have never made an adequate proposal for us to consider.

“I believe they did discuss this before I became chairman, they offered a proposal which was rejected because the council felt it was inadequate.

“Of course we are willing to consider their offers and we want to reach a solution but it needs to be right for the parish.”

Comments (5)

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3:12pm Sat 30 Aug 14

faircuppa says...

Come to agreement for the sake of the esteemed Ken Williams and other stalwarts.
Come to agreement for the sake of the esteemed Ken Williams and other stalwarts. faircuppa
  • Score: 6

6:32pm Sun 31 Aug 14

luverlylou says...

I think the HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own and I can not believe the Chairmanship comments. Let the facts be made clear to all and we will make our own decisions but surely a community facility should be purely for the community and the council should not make money from it...after all what do they do to help run it?
I think the HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own and I can not believe the Chairmanship comments. Let the facts be made clear to all and we will make our own decisions but surely a community facility should be purely for the community and the council should not make money from it...after all what do they do to help run it? luverlylou
  • Score: 5

10:50pm Sun 31 Aug 14

faircuppa says...

luverlylou wrote:
I think the HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own and I can not believe the Chairmanship comments. Let the facts be made clear to all and we will make our own decisions but surely a community facility should be purely for the community and the council should not make money from it...after all what do they do to help run it?
Well they need to cover costs and have a contingency fund. That can surely be mediated to a conclusion. I believe in you all to achieve that!
[quote][p][bold]luverlylou[/bold] wrote: I think the HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own and I can not believe the Chairmanship comments. Let the facts be made clear to all and we will make our own decisions but surely a community facility should be purely for the community and the council should not make money from it...after all what do they do to help run it?[/p][/quote]Well they need to cover costs and have a contingency fund. That can surely be mediated to a conclusion. I believe in you all to achieve that! faircuppa
  • Score: 3

9:11am Mon 1 Sep 14

mistamina says...

luverlylou wrote:
I think the HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own and I can not believe the Chairmanship comments. Let the facts be made clear to all and we will make our own decisions but surely a community facility should be purely for the community and the council should not make money from it...after all what do they do to help run it?
Totally agree. Community facility should be community and neither mapletoff or the council should make money from it

Any way Mapletoff's short record shows he has a severe thing against sports.

Please expand on ''HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own''. I have suspect something similar but do not have details.
[quote][p][bold]luverlylou[/bold] wrote: I think the HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own and I can not believe the Chairmanship comments. Let the facts be made clear to all and we will make our own decisions but surely a community facility should be purely for the community and the council should not make money from it...after all what do they do to help run it?[/p][/quote]Totally agree. Community facility should be community and neither mapletoff or the council should make money from it Any way Mapletoff's short record shows he has a severe thing against sports. Please expand on ''HPC are being difficult for some agenda of their own''. I have suspect something similar but do not have details. mistamina
  • Score: 0

8:43pm Thu 4 Sep 14

Hazlemere Man says...

This council has never attempted to consult with the public on this matter. Much as they have not consulted over the change in name that they agreed in private at their August council meeting. They have agreed that it should be re-named the Hazlemere Memorial Hall and they will be spending our money to do it!
This council has never attempted to consult with the public on this matter. Much as they have not consulted over the change in name that they agreed in private at their August council meeting. They have agreed that it should be re-named the Hazlemere Memorial Hall and they will be spending our money to do it! Hazlemere Man
  • Score: 1

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