October 2020 Meeting


Agenda details.


1. Welcome and IntroductionsAll
2. Agree Terms of ReferenceChair
3. Proposed Changes to Strategy and Action PlanMatt Rayner - WHBC
4. Presentation: Update on the Local PlanColin Haigh - WHBC
5. Action Plan - Current Priority ProjectsMatt Rayner - WHBC
6. Update from PartnersAll
7. AOBAll


Dates of Next Meetings

  • 9th March 2021 @ 10am
  • 21st September 2021 @ 2:30pm


1. Introductions

The chair welcomed everyone to the first operations group and brief introductions were made.

2. Terms of reference

Matt thanked John O'Callaghan from Herts Sports Partnership and Roy Warren from Sport England for their feedback and comments on the terms of reference.

Matt went through the document to highlight the purpose, aim, objectives and outcomes of the operations group and the structure that will be followed.

The group were happy to approve the terms of reference.

3. Proposed changes

The table of proposed changes were in relation to Badminton, Cricket and Skiing and WHBC have agreed and noted these questions and comments.

The comment from Hatfield Town Council in relation to Roe Hill will now have a direct impact on cricket so it was requested the ECB to note this in light with recommendation C10 and 11 and to provide comment and reflection prior to the next meeting.

Regarding the comments from the ski club, Tim confirmed that Bassingbourn ski site has shut permanently and will not be reopening, therefore this needs to be taken into consideration when the gosling master plan is undertaken.

A question was asked about what level of consultation/engagement the council and the consultants undertook during the draft writing of the strategy. It was noted that this responsibility was down to the consultants (4Global) who undertook a robust review process that involved Sport England and those National Governing Bodies of Sport who were mentioned within the strategy. Additional engagement was also undertaken with all site owners across the borough. It was noted though that there were some gaps in responses and as such some clubs/organisations felt that they were not given the platform to voice their opinion. However, the strategy was reviewed and agreed by the NGB's, Sport England and later through the council's political process.

It was also noted that the review and the option to put forward changes and items to note within the strategy was always open to anyone.

4. Presentation on local plan

Colin Haigh, head of planning at WHBC gave an update on the council's local plan.

The council want to protect and enhance facilities in the borough. Colin explained that on brown belt land section 106 funds can be claimed and secured from the developer to use towards sports facilities, and this is predominantly for capital projects. On green belt land it's a third party or the developer that build the facility and hand it over to the council.

There is also a community infrastructure levy which is where the council collects tax on a development and holds it in a pot which could be used towards facilities.

A question was asked about how it is decided where facilities are built. Colin explained that the council work with developers to decide on locations, they will take into consideration the nearest facilities and what is being built on the site to measure demand in that area. Sport England can also provide partial advice on proposals that the council receive.

5. Action Plan

Having looked through the recommendations and actions of the strategy a priority action plan has been put together and this is an opportunity to get updates on current situations and create task and finish groups.

These actions were discussed, and the document has been updated to reflect these discussions.

Members of the group were asked to feed in additional comments by the 29 October and then again early January.

6. AOB

At the next meeting an update on available section 106 funds will be given.

Terms of Reference


The Purpose of the Operations Group is to take oversight of the borough's Sports Facility Strategy and ensure all organisations are working collaboratively towards the delivery of the strategy's Action Plan.


The Vision for Sport Facilities in Welwyn Hatfield are to be:

  • Accessible
  • Affordable
  • Wide Ranging
  • Well equipped (including additional facilities e.g. changing facilities)


The Aims of the Welwyn Hatfield Sports Facilities Strategy is to:


  • To protect and enhance levels of sports facilities across the borough wherever possible.
  • To address facility issues associated with poor quality and poor management.
  • To maximise access to all facilities and in particular educational facilities.
  • To maximise investment into sports facilities.
  • Develop and encourage long lasting cross sport partnership working.


The Delivery Outcomes of the Operations Group include:

  • Biannual meetings to review and update the strategy's action plan as well as monitor facility supply and demand trends
  • Where available, effectively co-ordinate and use section 106 funds and potential funding from other sources to enhance local sports facilities to meet the strategy's action plan.
  • Through partnerships working access and co-ordinate financial and resource support from National Governing Bodies of Sport and Sport England in the development of local sports facilities.
  • Work with users, sporting bodies, owners and operators of sporting facilities to create and support delivery of masterplans for specific sites as highlighted within the action plan (i.e. Gosling Sports Park)
  • Formalise Community Use Agreements on all eligible educational sites plus support maximising community use on sites which already have community use agreements, to enable community access and to increase participation opportunities for residents and local clubs.
  • Collectively identify and seek to address issues on key sites across the borough which impact on participation e.g. access and tenure issues.
  • Input into shaping the priorities for future sporting facilities that could potentially be funded through Section 106 Funds.
  • Provide a platform for open discussion on sports facility priorities on strategic development allocations in the local plan e.g. Birchall Garden Suburb.

The Structure

The Welwyn Hatfield Sports Facilities Operations Group will comprise of an overarching group underneath which defined task and finish groups will be set up to address and deliver specific actions within the strategy's action plan.

The Operations Group will provide feedback and updates to the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Cross-Party Members Groups through the Chair of the Operations Group.

The Operations Group will provide feedback and updates to the Welwyn Hatfield Cultural Consortium through the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Head of Policy and Culture.

The Operations Group will provide feedback and updated to those Welwyn Hatfield community sports clubs and organisations that are members of the WelHat Sports Forum through the Sports Partnerships Officer.

Structure Chart


The Welwyn Hatfield Sports Facilities Operations Group will be governed by this Terms of Reference and will be chaired by the Borough Council's, Corporate Director for Housing & Communities, for a period of one year (until October 2021). The chair's responsibilities will broadly include producing the agenda (in consultation with members), chairing the meeting and ensuring that lead officers are held to account. The chair is also responsible for appointing chairs of the any associated Task and Finish groups deemed appropriate by the group.

The secretariat will be provided by the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's community partnerships team.

In terms of frequency of meetings, the Operations Group will meet biannually (usually in October and March). Task and Finish Groups will meet as required and will be coordinated by the chair of those Task and Finish Groups.


Membership of the group will include: (Appendix One shows current invitees)

Educational Representatives - Chancellors School (Secondary), 2 primary schools (TBC), Oaklands College and University of Hertfordshire
Gosling Sports Park - facility operator
Greenwich Leisure Limited - the Council's leisure operator
Herts Sports Partnership - Hertfordshire's Active Partnership
National Governing Bodies of Sport
Representatives from Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (officers only),
Representative from the borough's Town and Parish Councils (officers only)
Sport England
Any further organisation can make a request to join the Operations Group and this will be considered and voted on by the Group.

Representation of Task & Finish Groups will be the determined by the chair/lead of that group.

Appendix 1

Membership list.


Membership list (Oct 2020)
Edward JanesAyot St Lawrence Parish Council
Jennifer FowlerAyot St Peter Parish Council
Nick RimmerBadminton England
Graham MarrinerBowls Hertfordshire
Lauren ForrowBritish Cycling
David Croston - Local Secondary School RepChancellors School
Ed HuntEngland Athletics
Alistair HollisEngland Bowls
Ged McDougallEngland Cricket Board
Rob DrinkwaterEngland Golf
Simon DowdyEngland Hockey
Florence Jones (Furlough) / Charlotte Maylon / Sally WhittleEngland Netball
G SimmondsEngland Lacrosse
Chris PeachEngland Squash
TBC- Parish ClerkEssendon Parish Council
Greg HardmanFootball Foundation
Craig WoodwardGLL - Greenwich Leisure Limited
Matt PerrenGLL - Greenwich Leisure Limited
Vishal KariaGosling Sports Park
Carrie LloydHatfield Town Council
Dominic ChatfieldHerts Cricket
Steve MakerHerts FA
Tom RedfernHerts Rugby
Charlie Mann - Local Project OfficerHerts Sports Partnership
John O'Callaghan - DirectorHerts Sports Partnership
Leo TuttLawn Tennis Association
Chris WootonNorth Mymms Parish Council
TBC - Parish ClerkNorthaw and Cuffley Parish Council
Nicola CaigerOaklands College
Kieran Spencer / Rick BruinRugby Union
Tim FawkeSnow Sport England
Roy WarrenSport England
Richard LamburnSwim England
David Connell - Director of SportUniversity of Hertfordshire
Karen Sinclair - Planning Planning RepWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Matthew Rayner - Community PartnershipsWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Milan Johnston - Sports PartnershipsWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Paul Underwood - Head of Cultural ServicesWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Richard BakerWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Simone Russell - Corporate Director (Chair)Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Sue Tiley - Planning Rep Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Sian Chambers - Head of Housing and CommunitiesWelwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Caroline WilliamsWelwyn Parish Council
Janet PearceWoolmer Green PC
Ryan Davies