Subject: Kensington Gardens Reserve letter from 5 Sporting Clubs-22nd June
Kensington Gardens Reserve Sporting Clubs Strategic Planning Committee
Mr David Parkin, Mayor of Burnside.
City of Burnside Councillors.
Mr Paul Deb, Chief Executive Officer, Burnside Council
Dear Mayor, Councillors and CEO,
We write on behalf of the five sporting clubs resident in the Kensington Gardens Reserve who are all united in their views and committed to contributing to the important development of the Kensington Gardens Reserve Master Plan, with all stakeholders, to ensure the best possible community outcome.
We confirm our strong support of the Master Plan but are extremely clear and united in our absolute opposition to the centralised Hub concept for the reasons clearly explained below.
RE: Kensington Gardens Reserve Master Plan
The Burnside Council’s Strategic Community Plan linked to the development of the Kensington Gardens Reserve (“KGR”), aims to provide ‘a range of high quality sport and recreational opportunities and facilities that foster healthy lifestyle pursuits’ and to seek to ‘create and facilitate access to diverse leisure, recreation and sporting facilities and programs that are safe for people of all ages and abilities’.
The five sporting clubs that are resident in the KGR, the Burnside Rugby Club, the East Torrens-Kensington Gardens (ETKG) Hardcourt Tennis Club, the Kensington District Cricket Club, the Kensington Gardens Lawn Tennis Club and the Kensington Marryatville Bowling Club, hereafter the “Clubs”, support the strategic goal and recognise that a successful plan can only be achieved by all parties, the residents, the Council and any Council appointed consultants, working together in an open and transparent manner.
The Clubs consider that at present and over the Master Plan consultation period, this has not been the case. Our concerns relate to issues with communication and conflicts between perceived preferred outcomes. The aim of this letter is to provide all Councillors with an understanding of the contribution and goals of the Clubs and our concerns regarding the proposed centralised Hub as identified in the first phase of the master planning process and options for next steps.
The five sporting clubs are dedicated to achieving the best outcomes now and in the future for the KGR, for the Council, the community and the Clubs.
All of the issues need to be resolved before there is any move forward. The key stakeholders of the KGR request a rational discussion about beneficial changes to the Reserve based on the special characteristics of the KGR, the interests of the community, what is working for us now and what we think are the key elements required for the KGR and individual club’s success in the future.
We consider successful Clubs will ensure that the community wins, the individual sporting clubs win and the Council wins. It is therefore essential that the Clubs work with the Council on the vision for the KGR to ensure all aspects and concerns are raised, addressed and where possible, resolved. The Clubs are passionate and focussed on the best possible outcomes now and in the future for the KGR and for all users of the Reserve including the Council and the wider community.
All reserves cannot be put in a one fit situation, we do not see any benefit for the community we serve, or ourselves, in the centralised hub concept. The immeasurable value of the KGR is that it has separate sporting locations, sharing of traffic logistics, large areas for residential relaxation, no charge for enjoying the community sports and great children’s play areas.
There is individuality, respect for each other and the general community and plenty of open space. All of the Clubs operate harmoniously and without disruption from any of the other Clubs as the space had been set out superbly many years ago.This structure and design is still relevant today and for the foreseeable future.
John Draper wrote an email to the Burnside Rugby Club on 13th May 2015, in which he stated that he is aiming to produce a Master Plan that “will provide facilities and premises to support and promote each club’s membership and growth.” This can be achieved through upgrading the existing facilities, spreading the increased volume of members that we are predicting, as well as for the Council with the increased population looking to use the KGR.
A centralised single building simply will not and cannot cope with the volume of membership that we currently have between the clubs in three different locations, let alone in one.
As has been stated on the Burnside Council website, 3.13 City of Burnside Hub Precinct Strategy, the definition of a Hub has two options(see attachment).The current KGR structure of the three sporting clubs facilities and their locations is the perfect fit and answer to one of these options.
“If it isn’t broken, why change it?”
The Tredwell Management Services report successfully highlighted the fact that the KGR, in its current format, is a well utilised and loved place for recreation, sport and leisure.
We are heartened to see Burnside CEO, Mr Paul Deb, as quoted in the Eastern Courier Messenger on Wednesday 15th June, identify that clubs at the Glenunga Hub” faced some challenges” but that he would work with them to “look for solutions”.We consider that such an approach will assist in moving forward with the plan for the KGR.
We invite all Councillors to be our guests on a tour of the facilities of the Clubs and KGR at a time of their choice. We take this opportunity to book a deputation for the Presidents of each of the Clubs to speak for their allocated five minutes at the Council meeting to discuss the Master Plan.
We would also like to inform you that we have commenced our own petition seeking support for two positions: firstly, that the Clubs give full support to the Council’s preparation of a Master Plan for the KGR that would provide for improving or replacing the clubhouse and facilities of the Clubs over time, as the need arises, in their current locations and secondly, that the Clubs oppose the centralised Hub concept as presented in the Tredwell Management Services report.
Attached to this letter are some detailed comments and concerns that we have about what we understand are the current proposals, so that you have a better understanding of our collected thoughts.
As you are aware, the Clubs as key stakeholders of the KGR, have formed a Strategic Planning Committee to assist Council with the revised Master Plan. We consider this joint committee will provide a coordinated, workable platform for future discussion and consultation. We would ask that the Council work with our committee in future discussions.
Gary Slack on behalf of the Kensington Gardens Reserve Sporting Clubs Strategic Planning Committee.
Grant Chapman – President- Kensington District Cricket Club
Wally Bell-President – Burnside Rugby Club
Bevan Carson-President – Kensington-Marryatville Bowling Club
Neil Jones-President – Kensington Gardens Lawn Tennis Club
Alan Wells-President – East Torrens Kensington Gardens Hardcourt Tennis Club
Phillip Grant-Allan – Chairman of the Kensington Gardens Bowling and Tennis Club
Dated 22nd June 2016