Copyright 2016

Mapledurham Playing Fields Action  Group

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MAPLEDURHAM PLAYING FIELDS ACTION GROUP

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Mapledurham Pavilion and the EFA

In order to become Trustee, in 1985, Reading Borough Council promised to fund the net running costs of the Playing Fields. Ever since then, it has failed to maintain the Pavilion in a good state of repair.

 

By 2001 it was dilapidated, and Reading Borough Council proposed to sell some of the land to fund repairs. There were protests against the ecological devastation this would cause and the proposal was abandoned.

 

By 2006 the necessary repairs had still not been made, and Reading Borough Council, once again, proposed to sell land to fund the restoration. It was rejected, in a consultation, by a large majority of beneficiaries.

 

Most recently, Reading Borough Council and local Councillors provided high-level guidance and advice for The Heights Free School application to the government's Education Funding Agency (EFA), which identified the Playing Fields as the preferred location. It is inevitable that they will be soliciting funds from the EFA in exchange for trust land, funding that should have been provided by Reading Borough Council.

 

Once again, the playing fields are coming threat because Reading Borough Council have failed in their duty to maintain the pavilion in good repair.

 

In contrast, the Warren and District Resident’s Association (WADRA) has been raising funds for the restoration of the Pavilion for over five years. It has raised £100,000, secured the promise of a £100,000 contribution from S106 payments made by developers to fund necessary infrastructure expansion, had plans drawn up for a three phase restoration, obtained acceptable tenders, and was ready to proceed in April 2015. Over £200,000 has been raised by the local community, in part because the government and council promoted a "Big Society" approach five years or so back..

 

The planned restoration was stopped by Reading Borough Council.