Part 5 of our Easy Guide to the Parish Council.
Many people only see the ground staff when they are cutting grass in the summer or when they are up a ladder putting up Christmas trees in the winter! What do they do for the rest of the year?
The children’s play areas on Elms Park, Vicarage Lane and Wilford Road all have to have the equipment safety checked every week and there’s a mountain of forms to fill in to ensure the council is fulfilling its health and safety requirements. These members of staff also help with general maintenance of St Peter’s Rooms, the Village Hall, the Jubilee Clubhouse and Elms Park Pavilion to ensure that users get value for money. Outside, they maintain the Green, Church Street Car Park, the War Memorial gardens, Vicarage Lane cemetery, St Peter’s Churchyard, Flawford Churchyard and the allotments. There’s grass cutting, fence mending, tree tidying, filling dog bag dispensers, strimming, chipping and general tidying up to help keep the village looking fit for visitors.
Did you know that there are 14 football teams using 6 pitches on the Jubilee and Elms Park playing fields, and 2 cricket teams play on the pitch (and artificial pitch) on Elms Park? These pitches need weeding, feeding (summer and winter), grass cutting, marking out and generally looking after. Ruddington Bowls Club play from May to September on the green prepared for them, also on Elms Park, which is much praised for the quality of its turf. Hedges need cutting back, CCTV needs checking and sadly, vandalism damage needs repairing.
Whenever the Parish Council takes on a new project, whether it’s installing a new play area or refurbishing an area of the cemetery, the groundstaff take on as much of the work as it is possible for them to do to keep outside costs down. This team of workers also help to keep the ‘Ruddington Gateway’ looking tidy as Highways will only cut grass for traffic safety and not for appearances. In the winter, they will grit footpaths on Parish Council premises including the car park, put up (and take down again) more than 75 Christmas trees with lights and Christmas trimmings in council halls.
As I’ve said before, it is often difficult to work out what is the responsibility of the Parish Council and what isn’t but if you contact the Parish Office, they will help you speak to the right person at the right authority. The office is open from 9.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday – or you can email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Next month – Part 6 – Getting Involved