Open Spaces Strategy
Chapter 18 Aim 4: Voluntary groups are supported to use and manage open spaces
18.1. Volunteering in Harborough District Councils open spaces make an invaluable contribution to provision of the service. Volunteers carry out a huge number of activities from ornamental planting and environment initiatives, to play days and sports provision.
18.2. As the amount of volunteering increases or changes it may be necessary for the District Council to change the way it supports volunteer groups.
18.3. Volunteering groups range from groups that come together infrequently or on a 'needs' basis, to fully constituted groups such as Harborough in Bloom, Friends of Welland Park to sports clubs that provide activities for young people and others and fully autonomous charities such as Canal and Rivers Trust, Welland Rivers Trust and Sustainable Harborough amongst others.
18.4. Volunteers and voluntary groups require help and advice during their initial stages, to ensure they become valuable and sustainable contributors to open space provision and the activities that take place there.
18.5. Volunteering on open spaces should be welcomed, supported and promoted by the Council. Where needed, assistance should be given in the form of information and advice to help volunteering groups start up.
18.6. When inviting volunteering groups onto Council managed open space, the Authority will ensure that open spaces are as safe as is practical, and risks are reduced to a minimum.
18.7. What has been achieved since 2009:
£1m grant and xx hours of volunteer time since 2014
Welland Rivers Trust
£0.5m grant for River Welland restoration; also Stonton and Langton Brook restoration and improvements. Xx hours of volunteer time since 2012
Canal and Rivers Trust
Harborough in Bloom
Friends of Welland Park
Grant of £60k to resurface tennis courts
Provision of Sport on Open Spaces
Clubs and volunteers
18.8. Related Policies
Corporate Property Strategy
18.9 Objective 13: District Council teams are set up to providing suitable support and advice to volunteer groups operating on open space.
Actions to achieve this objective
Teams should review structures to ensure that they are sufficiently customer focussed to support volunteering on open spaces.
Teams should ensure volunteers are given timely and suitable support and advice, especially during the first few months of a project.
Teams will ensure that volunteer groups are signposted towards organisations that can provide further support, advice or funding
18.10 Objective 14: District Council officers will seek to encourage and facilitate new volunteering opportunities where resources permit.
Actions to achieve this objective
Teams should ensure that bureaucracy is avoided to allow volunteers to operate successfully on District Council open spaces
Licences to operate on District Council open spaces for less than 5 years ( Corporate Property Strategy, Supplementary Policy & Procedures, Disposal, Acquisition & Community Asset Transfer Policy) will be made on officer recommendation with Director of Community Services Approval.
Leases to operate on District Council open space will be mad by officer recommendation with Portfolio Holder approval in accordance with the relevant Corporate Property Strategy policy.
18.11 Objective 15: Where funding permits, S106 off site open space contributions will be directed towards volunteer groups that can add value to open spaceprovision or have provided match funding and can demonstrate sustainable projects
Actions to achieve this aim
Developer contributions that are collected for off site open space improvements will be directed as a priority to volunteer groups that can demonstrate that they have secured, or will secure, additional funding for their project.
Distribution of S106 contributions will meet the Allocations (grants) process and be in accordance with the Provision for Open Space Sport and Recreation.
Sustainable and long term projects will be supported as a priority
Teams should identify key areas where volunteer support will provide a clear benefit to the Council.