I have been asked, in my position of Secretary to the Racecourse Public Parks Trust (HRPPT), to give an explanation of the present situation that exists between the Trust and Haverfordwest Town Council (HTC)
In the best interests of clarity and transparency I have chosen to submit the following under two separate headings.
1. HTC has given HRPPT an annual grant since 1981.
2. HTC has now decided to cease this support.
3. No reason has yet been given.
4. No explanation has yet been received from the three town councillors that also serve on the committee of the HRPPT.
5. Hopefully all will become clear when the minutes of the January 2021 Council meeting are published later this month.
6. HTC assisted greatly in the development of the all-weather surface paths.
7. The trust is presently 10 years into its second 40 years lease.
8. HTC is the Landlord and HRPPT is the tenant.
9. HRPPT has to pay its landlord an annual rent of £1,250.
10. The lease stipulates that it can only perform those duties imposed on HTC
by Statute Law (1838 Enclosure Act and subsequent legislation).
11. Our task therefore is to develop the land for ‘the recreation and exercise of the local population at their free will and pleasure’. (the same obligation placed on HTC).
12. The committee of the HRPPT feels that it has achieved a high standard in meeting its obligation to the people it serves. It remains eager to continue its efforts.
13. We feel that we are making a meaningful contribution towards the mental and physical well-being of our fellow townspeople, neighbours and many visitors.
I must stress that the following is my personal opinion.
1. The HRPPT should not have to go cap in hand to HTC for the financial assistance needed to carry out what are the Town Council’s obligations to the people of our town. We should be automatically granted, each year, at least £5,000 of the £312,000 Haverfordwest people give each year for such purposes.
2. If HTC can grant the County Council more that £60,000 over a five years period to keep its library open on Saturday afternoons, it can surely grant £25,000 over the same period to allow our people to enjoy the obvious advantages afforded by what many consider our town’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’.
Peter Lewis JP
Haverfordwest Racecourse Public Parks Trust