On 17 February Shavington Primary School published information in their newsletter detailing that the school’s Main Road car park will be closed from 22 April between the hours of 6pm and 7am. As a result of this article, Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council released the following statement to inform its residents on the merit of the decision taken and on its willingness to support the School in keeping the car park open to residents.
Over 30 years ago, Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council purchased Shavington-cum-Gresty Village Hall from Cheshire County Council to be used as a community space.
In the years following the opening of Shavington-cum-Gresty Village Hall, Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council worked with St Mark’s Church, Shavington Methodist Church and Shavington Youth Club to contribute towards the cost of maintenance of the car park on Main Road, owned by Shavington Primary School, so that the car park could be accessed by the users of the four community buildings.
At the time, the arrangement was that each organisation held a key to the car park so that they could open it when their own users wanted to use it. Otherwise, the car park remained locked for general use.
Over the years that followed, each organisation withdrew from the arrangement except Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council, who then ended up paying the whole fee.
In 2015, Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council were paying a sum of £1200 per year.
Shavington Primary School has since become an academy and Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council now deal directly with the school’s governing organisation, The Learning for Life Partnership.
In 2023, the current donation amount proposed by The Learning for Life Partnership is almost 500% higher than in 2015 – set at £5984.
In recent years, whilst the car park has remained open all the time, instead of being opened by keyholders, the availability of spaces has vastly reduced as it is now the main entrance for Shavington Primary School, meaning it is often full during school days Monday to Friday. This has not been the case for the majority of the past 30 years.
Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council has had to make difficult decisions regarding the budget for 2023/2024 and has opted not to impose this inflated fee on residents.
Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council made a resolution on 7 December 2022 that although it would like to work with The Learning for Life Partnership to find alternative solutions to keep the car park open and accessible to the community, it cannot afford to give a donation of £5984
– which is almost a 500% increase on where it was in 2015, far beyond levels of inflation.
At its meeting on 1 February 2023, Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council resolved to offer a donation of £3000 to The Learning for Life Partnership as a gesture of goodwill towards keeping the car park open for the community for another 12 months.
On 9 February Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council received an email from the Learning for Life Parnership. The email rejected the offer of £3,000 and it was made clear that the Partnership would not engage in any further negotiations in respect of the use of the car park.
Towards the end of April 2023, when the current arrangement comes to an end, whilst it is hoped that this offer will be accepted and that the car park will remain available, it is down to the discretion of The Learning for Life Partnership and their own budgetary constraints as to the future use of the car park outside of school hours.
Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council wish to thank Shavington Primary School for their commitment to supporting the community of Shavington-cum-Gresty over the past 30 years and look forward to continuing their positive relationship for the benefit of all in the community.
In 1995, the annual fee paid by Shavington-cum-Gresty Parish Council to Shavington Primary School for use of the car park was £688. If that figure had increased in line with inflation, it would be £1246 in 2022. The currently proposed figure for 2023 by The Learning for Life Partnership, Shavington Primary School’s governing organisation, is £5984.
18/03/2023 Updated information
30/03/2023 Further updated information