Loss of Town Council Funding for the Racecourse – 2

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.

FACTS:

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.

OPINION:

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
Secretary/Treasurer
Haverfordwest Racecourse Public Parks Trust

Loss of Town Council Funding for the Racecourse

This year the Haverfordwest Town Council has withdrawn its financial support for the Racecourse.  We are not aware of any reason for this.

The following letter to the Town Clerk is to start exploring alternative funding sources,

Madam Town Clerk

I am in receipt of the email dated 27th January 2017 written in response to the application for financial support submitted on behalf of the Haverfordwest Racecourse Public Parks Trust.

You will almost certainly not be surprised to learn that we are very disappointed to know that Haverfordwest Town Council has withdrawn its long standing financial support of our work.

However, life goes on, and we must take comfort from the fact that so many of our townspeople express appreciation of our efforts, especially during these trying times when mental and physical health are under threat.

As Spring and Summer approach, we look forward to welcoming back our young cricketers and footballers, and participating in the weekly Park Run.

In her email, Ms Rees invited me to contact you for advice on possible alternative income streams.  Such help would be greatly appreciated and I hope to hear from you in the very near future.

Yours sincerely

Peter Lewis

Secretary of the Haverfordwest racecourse Public Parks Trust

 

A Message from Peter Lewis

Dear Supporter

The generous donations to my Sponsored Walk, from almost all of the committee, and from so many members of the public, has meant a great deal to me and my fellow officers. The latest donation given by Merlins Bridge AFC has pushed the total raised to over £1,700.

Such generosity, along with the numerous letters of support, requires more than an expression of thanks. It deserves an explanation of how the money is spent. But before I present that explanation may I give you the assurance that every penny received goes towards the upkeep of our wonderful Park and not a penny goes towards administration.

Over the last few years we have lost the financial support of Pembrokeshire County Council and the Bridge Meadow Trust. This has left a £5,200 hole in our income stream, leaving us more and more reliant on the generosity of members of the public.

Last year was a particularly expensive one as we had to contend with deteriorating seats and the problems experienced with an ageing tractor. We have improved the seating on the Racecourse by repairing a certain number and purchasing others. This has brought appreciative comments from a large number of people, especially our elderly users.

The main thrust of our work is the sixteen cuts of over 60 acres of grass. This cannot be done without a tractor. The repairs and fuel cost nearly £3,500 so I hope for a trouble free season this year. With a certain amount of hedge trimming added, the grass maintenance cost £5,000. I think everyone would agree that Mr David James is doing a marvellous job and has helped enormously to deliver a park that contributes massively to the enjoyment and mental well-being of the very many users of our facilities. It is reckoned that use of the Racecourse has quadrupled since the onset of Covid 19.

It was time for the miles of hedges and ditches to be brought up to standard and this set us back nearly £2,500. Add to this such items as gate repairs and the cost of new waste bins and you will understand that we have had to eat into our very slender reserves.

The land was given to the Town Council in 1838 to ensure that it is used for the recreation and leisure of the neighbouring population at its free will and pleasure. I hope that you will all agree that we are truly helping the Town Council achieve its obligation.

Peter Lewis     –        16th January 2021

Peter’s Fundraising Walk from the Racecourse to Little Haven

 

As you know, the secretary of the Racecourse Public Parks Trust, Peter Lewis, chose to mark the occasion of his eightieth birthday by partaking in a 10,000 metre walk which stretched from the Racecourse to the St Brides Inn in Little Haven.

The aim was to raise much needed funds for the Upper Racecourse and as I am his wife I undertook the responsibility of seeking financial support from those of you who use our wonderful facilities.

Peter reminds me that all he did was walk the six miles, the success depended on the generosity of others.

We set ourselves a target of £500 and you can imagine our surprise and delight when we report that the final figure is £1,530.

This speaks volumes for the popularity of the Racecourse and even more so for the generosity of the people of our community.

Thank you all and please please continue to support and enjoy our wonderful Racecourse.

Patricia Lewis (Committee Member)

❤   Late Donations Welcome

Sponsor our Secretary and Treasurer, walking to support the Racecourse

 
Walking
 
Our Secretary and Treasurer of the Haverfordwest Racecourse Public Parks Trust, Peter Lewis, is walking from the Racecourse to Little Haven on 6th December just prior to his 80th Birthday to raise much needed money for the Trust. He has been very active in supporting and running the Racecourse Trust since the late 1970’s.
 
He walked the same course last year at the start of his 80th year to raise £650 for the Haverfordwest Town Museum.
 
Peter has a long history of fund raising walks. In 1985 he walked from Dale to Bosworth to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Henry Tudor making the same trip in 1485 to seize the crown from King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field to become King Henry VII. Peter was the Sheriff of Haverfordwest at the time so he continued his walk to Nottingham to meet the then Sheriff of Nottingham. For this walk he raised money for the Racecourse and the Paul Sartori Foundation.
 
To make this a very special occasion please dig deep into your pockets and make a donation to acknowledge Peter’s sterling efforts on behalf of our most valuable resource, the Racecourse.
 
Please make donations to the Haverfordwest Racecourse Public Parks Trust and send them to:
 
Haverfordwest Racecourse PPT
c/o Mrs Pat Lewis
3 Laburnum Grove
Haverfordwest
SA61 1EU

Supporting your Racecourse using smile.amazon.co.uk

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Quiz Night

A Message of thanks from Pat Lewis

On Friday 6th March 2020 it was my privilege to organise, along with Bill Carne, a Fun Quiz Night designed to raise much needed funds for the Racecourse Public Parks Trust.

I am pleased to report that we raised the sum of £775.

Only too often we forget to say thank you to the people who help to make such an event successful. I would like to make sure that this is not the case on this occasion by listing those who made such important contributions. I run the risk of missing someone out and I hope they will forgive me if this proves to be the case. However, I feel it important to show appreciation to the many people who helped to raise such a fantastic sum of money.

Thank you to Haverfordwest Cricket Club for allowing us the use of its facilities and to Mark Coneybeare fo his assistance. Thanks to Bill Carne, our resident Question Master and his wife Marilyn, who together provided such enjoyable entertainment.

£235 raised by the raffle speaks volumes for the high regard that the Racecourse is held in by those present. Thanks must go to Councillor Roy Thomas and his wife Shirley for their wonderful sales technique.

It is a credit to the Committee of the Racecourse Public Parks Trust that so many members contributed to the success of the evening. All three officers gave a generous donation along with Mrs Maureen Pratt, Cllr Chris Thomas, David Loosmore, Mike and Rosalyn Wort,

Mike Codd and Roy Thomas.  This example set had the effect of encouraging supporters such as Mrs Tina Jones, Chris Mckeen, Brian Griffiths, John and Susan Hayes, Mark Edwards and my son and daughter to give generously.

Jonathan Twigg, Barbara Morgan and Roy Whitfield all provided teams and this in turn, encouraged the Cricket Club, Soroptimists and the Haverfordwest Ladies Choir to join in the fun.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the generosity of the winning team led by Lynne Hart and the Runners Up led by Tricia Thomas for donating their prizes to our cause.

Once again, thanks to one and all.

Pat Lewis  

New seats installed

We are delighted to say that the 5, most recently donated, seats have finally been installed along the NorthWest of the Racecourse.

Our thanks to Shane Owens and his team for the work involved in removing the old seats, laying the concrete and fixing the new seats in place.

Weary walkers can now find somewhere to rest at regular intervals.  Many of the seats are ideal for watching some of the sporting activities taking place every week.

Shane Owens and Team

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Quiz Night

Friday 6th March 2020

 

Haverfordwest Cricket Club at 19.30

Teams of 4 – £10 entry

In aid of the upkeep of Haverfordwest Racecourse

To enter a team please call:

Pat Lewis on 01437 764496

or

Alison Thomas on 07878 015427

Please support this worthy cause

and help to maintain your Racecourse

Valued Racecourse Friends

We have now had 2 special acts of generosity displayed on the Racecourse this year.

The first, in September,  was provided by LOOK for a BOOK 📚 – Pembrokeshire.   Part of a growing National Scheme, they provide books for younger readers.

As their Facebook page says “To bring excitement back into reading. There will be books hidden around Pembrokeshire. If you find a book feel free to take, read, keep or re hide it for someone else.”

The second, for Christmas Day itself,  was a pile of Secret Santa presents left in the Shelter (AKA Bus stop). 

A big thank-you to whoever organised these events.