20th May 2021

Dear Councillor,


This is to inform you that a meeting of the Sport and Leisure Committee will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 26th May 2021,  scheduled Zoom meeting to which you are summoned, for the transaction of the following business;




Meeting ID: 896 3031 1477

Passcode: 266846


Yours sincerely,


C.A. Lloyd

Town Clerk


1.               APOLOGIES

            To receive apologies for absence, if any.

2.               QUESTION TIME

The first fifteen minutes of the meeting will be given over to questions from members of the public on issues relating to the work of the Committee.


Members are reminded to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary and/or personal interests that they may have in relation to items on this Agenda.


You should declare at this part of the meeting or when it becomes apparent your interest by stating:


(a)        the item you have the interest in

(b)        whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest and the nature of the interest, whereupon you will not participate in the discussion or vote on that matter, unless dispensation has been requested and granted

(c)        whether it is a personal interest and the nature of the interest


Members are also reminded of their obligation to report any amendment to their Register of Interests to the Town Clerk as soon as it becomes apparent.

4.               MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 3rd February 2021.


In accordance with Standing Order 12;

a         The draft minutes of a preceding meeting having been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, shall be taken as read.

b         The draft minutes of a preceding meeting having been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, shall be taken as read.

c     There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of the preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy. A motion to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes shall be moved in accordance with standing order 10(a)(i).


d     The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.


e     If the chairman of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, they shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:

       “The chairman of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the (   ) held on [date] in respect of (   ) were a correct record but their view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”


To consider the attached report.


Hatfield Town Council shares the concerns raised by Platypus Swimming Clubs about their swimming club time and agrees to write to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Better requesting that they review their decision to avoid any further upset and to restore the hours previously set for Platypus Swimming club”

7.               DATE OF NEXT MEETING


The next Sport and Leisure Committee Meeting will take place on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.



Following on from the last Sport & Leisure Committee meeting in February 2021 where Members decided that;


·        The Head of Estates remove the hoop and back board temporarily to see the effect on noise to local residents;

·        The Head of Estates look at the Council’s portfolio for suitable, alternative sites for a basketball court should the whole structure need removing,


The hoop was immediately removed but due to lock down a longer period was left to see its effect on neighbouring properties.


In April the Residents’ Association confirmed that they wished to have the hoop permanently removed.  They have now emailed asking that the court be retained but moved.  The suggested locations are shown below.


Diagram, schematic

Description automatically generated


Groundwork Trust have made the following comments on the suggested relocation areas;


“As part of our design work we considered carefully all options for location of the court within the site, consulting with the community and assessing the potential risk as per CDM before identifying the chosen design. The location of the court is in line with this assessment and was identified in the playground inspection report as being low risk.  We do not agree that the site has been incorrectly located but acknowledge that there are issues concerning the court within the community that we are happy to try and assist with.


In previous advice we suggested that for those residents who remain concerned re safety, fencing could be extended for their peace of mind or the hoop and fence relocated to the other side of the court. Note however that moving the fence would lessen protection from balls into the playground and players will be playing into the sun.


Both new locations suggested are problematic as they will affect people using the area in the centre for ball games / picnics / entering and walking through.  Additionally gym users / seating areas are also potentially affected.


If the issue is actually one of noise rather than safety, then changing the court for grass court will help reduce the noise of the ball bouncing but will not reduce the noise of the ball against the backboard. Note, not unlike a grass tennis court, there are additional maintenance / line marking considerations with grass courts.  


If the proposal is to substitute just for grass plus protective matting, it will compromise play, particularly outside of the summer season when the ground will be wetter. Unlike netball, basketball players can only move about the court by bouncing the ball so a compact, level surface is essential. Whilst some enjoyment could still be had it is suspected that the long-term effect of restricting play in this way might be that the hoop was no longer used.”


In the meantime alternative locations were considered and Birchwood Playing Fields (see attached map) were considered the most appropriate considering the complaints about noise from residential properties.


Discussions with the Health and Well Being Manager (who works with One YMCA and other youth organisations at Birchwood Leisure Centre), has led to a more ambitious project, should Members agree.


The proposal is to create either a half basketball court or full basketball court with outdoor gym equipment.  There will be no floodlights to keep disturbance across the field to a minimum.


Quotes have been sought for the installation of the existing hoop and new equipment.




Gym Equipment







 £16,800.00 (includes more equipment than Company B - Calisthenic Chin Ups and Parallel Bars. These 2 extra units require more Grass Mats than the other items, as they do have a potential fall height, but this has all been included in the quantity of Grass Mats included

28m x 15m Court (2 posts)


14m x 15m (1 post)





This quote also includes a footpath from the Tesco footpath to the site

Gym Equipment


28m x 15m Court (2 posts)


14m x 15m (1 post)





Declined to quote


If Councillors wish to accept the lowest quote and include all the gym equipment, the cost of the project will be;


Full court - £50,180

Half court - £36,760


If Councillors wish to accept the lowest quote and include less gym equipment, the cost of the project will be;


Full court - £45,580

Half court - £32,160


The Ellenbrook Area Residents’ Association previously identified the new surfacing that can go onto the half court at Ellenbrook.  The cost should be £650 but they have negotiated a £50 discount, the Association did offer to contribute £500 towards the resurfacing, but as they have changed their opinion about the basket ball hoop at Ellenbrook, it is uncertain whether they will wish to fund changes to the existing area of play.  Members are therefore requested to consider resurfacing the court as detailed in Appendix B, if the basketball hoop is permanently removed.




Whilst other grants are sought, Officers are seeking authority to submit an application to the Hatfield Community Sports Fund, Small Grants Project.  The maximum grant given would be £49,999.  A full court is recommended by Officers, if Members wish to proceed.


1.     Creating opportunities for young people to play sport

2.     The development of an existing sport in Hatfield

3.     Getting under-represented groups involved in sport in Hatfield


Examples of projects that might be funded include:


Cllr Brandon represents this Council on the Community Sports Trust which manages the grant applications to Hatfield Community Sports Fund.  He has been sent a copy of this report and his comments are awaited.







Strategic Plan

Increases participation in sport

Improves offer at Birchwood Leisure Centre


Site will be suitable for all abilities (some gym equipment excepted)



Crime & Disorder

Provides positive diversionary facilities which are free


Max £50,000

Resources (including workforce)

Management of contract

Risk Management

Will be risk assessed before first use and regularly checked by Grounds staff and independent examiner


Members are requested to review how to proceed with the Basketball area at Ellenbrook, subject to funding the projects are not mutually exclusive.


Members are requested to input their views to this project and advise Officers on funding should they consider this a project to go forward with.



Report by;

Carrie Lloyd Town Clerk

Contributing Officers ; Ali Ogilvie – Head of Estates, Pav Medowski – Health and Well Being Manager



Site plan of Birchwood Playing Fields showing potential site for outdoor gym and basketball court (near to Tescos)



Layout of games on tarmac for Ellenbrook Play Area

Image of half a basketball court
Image of a full basketball court