Public benefit comes in many forms but doesn’t mean free and doesn’t mean always available.
A village hall is a good example. Whilst normally kept locked they are available for use by members of groups of members of the public. So for example an indoor bowls group could use it or an individual could book it for say a wedding reception or private party. In both instances the premises will have to be pre booked and opened up and a fee would be paid. However village halls are deemed to be for public benefit and are therefore charitable.
Charity Commission has strict guidance on what is and isn’t community benefit and also states ‘Where benefit is not to the public generally, it can be to a ‘section of the public’ where restricting benefit in that way is reasonable and relevant to the charitable aims. Public benefit will be affected where the restrictions are unreasonable. Therefore a section of the public would be Spalding United and their supporters.
However it does need to be better managed so that a greater proportion of the public can use it.
Perhaps the group looking at the replacement for the flower parade could also take on an activity programme for the field.
The flower parade of course always use to start and finish there but I am not aware of any other significant use other than football.
What would be interesting to know is what Mr Johnson (an open letter to the community 11/7) and others would like to see happen to the field.
If the walls are simply removed it will rapidly become just a short cut from Pinchbeck Road to the bus station, as has recently happened to the former tennis court at Castle Sports Complex.
Do they have a plan or are they just not happy with the existing situation?
So it’s time for someone to get a plan together for more active public use and save it from Corbo, Mr Garvie and South Holland District Council.