Questions to CM Culture and Leisure

Member Question: Councillor Chris Evans, received 11 December 2017 

Subject: MUGA, Rivermead

As you are aware there is much speculation regarding the MUGA at the Rivermead Centre. It has become apparent that a large sum of money is again to be spent, but despite this community access is to be restricted.

Could you answer the following questions, or forward on to via appropriate channels:

1. Please provide details regarding what works are planned, so far the only details shared are the cost and duration of works.

2. Please could you detail the process undertaken to determine the new planned opening hours, including any impact assessments in regards to accessibility outside of school hours (times when facility would be used by the target audience) and risk assessments regarding antisocial behaviour and noise.  What community engagement occurred? How was the decision made?

3. Please could the council provide a reason why more detailed information regarding ongoing concerns about the MUGA are not freely available on the council website despite multiple requests from local residents.

Response:

1.   The planned work will upgrade the facility and provide sound-proofing and noise insulation all the way around the MUGA to address nuisance complaints and reduce noise levels to an acceptable level. The council is awaiting finalised designs and specifications and as soon as these have been agreed the council will make them available.

2.  The decision to restrict the opening hours was taken at head of service level, as this is an operational matter.  Therefore, there was no requirement to undertake any community engagement beforehand.  It was necessary to take the decision urgently in order to resolve the court proceedings regarding the noise nuisance as, otherwise, there was a risk that the MUGA could have been closed completely.

However, the council has taken into account the views of the local community and the representations made by local ward councillors. The vast majority of local residents have indicated that they wish the MUGA to remain open, and this upgrade work, together with the revised opening hours, is the only way of securing this.

The decision was taken on the basis of technical and legal advice from environmental health, streetscene, community regeneration and legal, together with external acoustic experts.

3. We have never been requested to publish any information regarding this matter on the council’s website and it would not be appropriate to do so, given that the website is intended to provide information generally about council services, not specific ward problems.

However, all questions that have been raised with the council have been answered in full and NCC will continue to make every effort to inform local residents as information becomes available. Issued 22 December 2017