March has found us making great progress with the new planters, the soil has been ordered, delivered and put into the planters. The plants have been ordered to the modified plan that has been draw up by me and Cllr Neild, and will be delivered in due course.

It has been very much a team effort by me, Tony, Mark, and invaluable help from Anne who as been great at placing the orders and organising the deliveries etc.

There has been a noticeable increase in vandalism around the village hall site with lots of bottles being smashed, one of the benches has had its top two back panels broken and smashed off, and this is something that we will repair in due course.

The skate park has also seen about of graffiti being sprayed on it, and some of the more offensive words used have been cleared away by the clean team’s use of powerful chemicals.

I have also been sowing some seeds that I’ve collected onto the memory meadow and hopefully it will have a good display of colour on there this year.

It’s getting that time of year when we need to start thinking about starting the grass cutting rotas, so me and Tony have replaced the blades on the mower and have been checking over the strimmers.

Thank you for your time.

Sam Bevins (Groundsman to H.P.C.)



February has found us busy tidying up all the litter that comes with school half term and dealing with other issues that come along with groups of young people being around.

After having problems with the padlock on the Astro turf pitch, and there being such a short time with no lock on there at all, Paul (with a big help from me) has welded on the new lock and it is now secured as it should be.

I have now planted the 3 Peace Roses that were brought and donated by Councillor Darlington behind the Memorial Meadow, so hopefully they will do well there and really add to the look and meaning of this project.

Also with this area being named “Meadow”, that is what I am going to try and achieve with the flower beds there. This will be achieved by not cutting the grass each time. The grass is mown around the trees and this should hopefully allow all the flower seeds that myself and many others have spread over these beds to grow. Then later in the year, we can see if this area needs digging over, weeding, etc…

Mark and I have now finished cutting back any overhanging branches along the rural footpaths that we look after and all the areas are in a really good condition.

Tony and I have had a morning going around in the van doing a spring clean: tidying up some of the larger bits of rubbish like old tyres and broken for sale signs, etc… which can only be seen now a lot of the vegetation has died down.

There is still plenty of dog fouling on the Mease and Memorial Meadow to name just two places. However, all in all, I feel most areas in the village are looking good.

Thank you for your time.

Sam Bevins (Head Groundsman to Hilton Parish Council)


Hilton Parish Council and the Hilton Village Hall Directors are keen to find out who the horse riders are using the Village Hall site as a bridle path on 28th February 2015 between 11.30am and 12pm.

Horse and Rider

If this is you or you know who it is, please contact the Hilton Parish Council Clerk on: 01283 730969.

Hilton Parish Council and the Hilton Village Hall Directors would respectfully ask that you do not use the Village Hall site and surrounding Play Area and Football Pitches as a bridle path.







January has found us busy litter picking around the village and dealing with all the extra rubbish like wrapping paper and packaging that finds its way into the parish council bins at this time of year.

I am happy to report that nothing had been vandalised over the festive period, unlike in other years.

Dog fouling on the other hand does seem to be on the increase, with the Back lane football pitches and the Mease being just two of the areas affected.

The branches that myself and Tony pollarded from some of the willow trees in the parish council nature area have now been use by Mark and myself to make good the three remaining wigwams that the younger children enjoy playing in.

Tony and I have now finished making the modifications to all six of the steel planters, and I’m very pleased with the end results, we have also started to fill them with “crocs” to aid and maintain proper drainage, once I’m happy with this the soil will be ordered and the planters filled ready for planting out in the spring time.

Once the planting is established this will be something I hope we can all enjoy and take pride in. I’m very confident the end result will be well worth it.

A resident has passed comment to why the surface along the greenway doesn’t carry along the avenue of trees at the bottom of the large football pitch and the back gardens of Thames way, and if there is any plans to put in a better path ?.

With the hard frost’s we have been having we have been putting salt down where and when needed.

Some bright spark decided it would be a good idea to half remove the crossbar from one of the junior football goalposts; this was soon put right and made good.

This is all for this month.

Sam Bevins (Groundsman/Lengthsman H.P.C)

For a PDF version of this information click here: Expenditure_01_04_2014_to_05_01_2015

STAFF COST                        70,128.45
OPEN SPACE                        53,154.49      INC NEW PLAY EQUIPM MAIN ST/MILL LANE
GRANTS AND DONATIONS                 100.00      FURTHER £3K TO BE SPENT BY 31.03.2015
BACK LANE PAVILION                 1,022.00
BIN EMPTYING                       3,552.79
GENERAL ADMIN                     11,088.54
HR FEES                            1,715.00      THIS CONTRACT HAS NOW ENDED
INSURANCE                          7,400.06
SUBSCRIPTIONS                          0.00      £1,000.00 TO BE INVOICED BY 31.03.2015
AUDIT FEE 2014/2015                1,125.00
LEGAL FEES                         1,356.00
COUNCILLOR TRAINING                    0.00
SECURITY & MAINTENANCE                 0.00
ELECTION PROVISION                     0.00
EQUIPMENT & PPE                    2,659.23
GARAGE (NEW BUILD)                     0.00
VAN                                5,549.35
CONTINGENCY                            0.00

NET                              160,020.89
VAT                               14,540.32
TOTAL                            174,561.21

28.05.2014        PLANTERS                 SHELTER STORE LLP          2,394.00
30.07.2014        NEW PLAY EQUIPMENT       KOMPAN LTD                37,076.56
20.08.2014        PITCH MAINTENANCE        AUCUBA LANDSCAPES          1,542.00

30.07.2014        TREE MAINTENANCE         FAIRVIEW ARBORISTS           500.00
26.11.2014        SPORTSMOBILE             SDDC                         672.00
07.08.2014        MEMORIAL PLAQUES         ART STONE MEMORIALS        1,866.00
24.09.2014        WASTE COLLECTION         SDDC                       1,134.23
24.09.2014        WASTE COLLECTION         SDDC                       2,418.56
30.04.2014        OFFICE RENT              HILTON VILLAGE HALL        1,800.00
20.08.2014        ROOM HIRE                HILTON VILLAGE HALL          561.33
20.08.2014        STATIONERY               VIKING DIRECT                569.85
24.09.2014        AUTO ENROLMENT TRAINING  STEP BY STEP                 996.50
21.10.2014        OFFICE RENT              HILTON VILLAGE HALL        1,800.00
29.10.2014        AUTO ENROLMENT TRAINING  STEP BY STEP                 996.50
20.08.2014        INSURANCE                ZURICH MUNICIPAL           6,935.02
AUDIT FEE 2014/2015
29.10.2014        AUDIT 2013/2014          GRANT THORNTONS              950.00
29.10.2014        LEGAL FEES               FLINT BISHOP SOLICITORS    1,251.00
29.09.2014        MOWER REPAIRS            DESBOROUGHS                  541.66


We hope you find this information helpful.

For a PDF version of this information click here: Budget_2015_16

Bank Balance as at 05.01.2015                                       69,145.91
Less un-presented cheques                                              211.00
Total                                                               68,934.91
Income due for 2014/2015 by 31.03.2015
Concurrent Expenses 2014/2015 (actual)                              27,316.00
DCC Minor Maintenance Scheme 2014/2015 (actual)                        315.00
VAT reclaim 2014/2015 (estimated)                                   14,540.32
TOTAL                                                               42,171.32
Balance at the bank 
to be B/F as at 01.04.2015 (estimated)                             111,106.23
Less ring-fenced items within the accounts 2014/2015                                                              
Garage (new build)                                                  65,000.00
Village Hall site ground maintenance                                11,852.00
3 month Expenditure to 31.03.2015 (estimated)                       19,948.00
Total                                                               96,800.00
(Deficit)/Surplus as at 31.03.2015 (estimated)                      14,306.23
The budget set by Hilton Parish Council for 2015/2016 is as follows:

Staff Costs                                                         93,177.00
Members Allowance                                                    2,860.00
Open Space maintenance                                               9,871.00
Grants to Local Organisations Section 137                           23,100.00
Back Lane Pavilion                                                   1,900.00
Dog Bin and Litter Bin emptying and Maintenance                      3,600.00
General Administration                                               8,625.00
Insurance                                                            7,400.00
Subscriptions, Audit and Legal Fees                                  6,160.00
Councillor Training                                                    200.00
Security and Maintenance                                               500.00
Electricity                                                          2,000.00
Parish Council Election Provision                                    1,600.00
Equipment, PPE etc.                                                  3,000.00
Garage (new build)                                                  24,332.00
Van Lease, Insurance and Fuel                                        8,760.00
Contingency 15% of £165k                                            24,750.00
TOTAL                                                              221,835.00
Precept 2015/2016                                                  165,000.00
SDDC Concurrent Expenses                                            27,316.00
DCC Minor Maintenance Scheme                                           315.00
SDDC maintenance of the Memorial Meadow                                100.00
Astro Turf & Pitch income (estimated)                                6,000.00
VAT reclaim (estimated)                                             18,000.00
TOTAL                                                              216,731.00

(Deficit)/Surplus                                                   (5,104.00) 
                                                   This will be covered by the
                                                    B/F balance from 2014/2015

We hope you find this information helpful.

October has been another month that has kept us very busy, with lots of different work under- taken.

We have been making great progress with the hedge cutting and this work should see us well into the winter months.

Whilst undertaking this work we came across a large wasp nest right in the hedge where we were cutting, this was soon taken care of so it would not pose a problem to anyone.

Some of the more useful lengths of wood are going to be used to repair the “wig-whams” which the younger children enjoy playing in and the older ones enjoy vandalising. Other bits of hedge cuttings are being used to make habitat piles In the Parish Council Nature Area and to fill in gaps in the hedges, the rest we are now shredding and are using as mulch in the bottom of the hedges.

We have had some vandalism done in the Parish Council Nature Area, this has included another of the bird-boxes being knocked down (this would have taken a fair amount of force to knock down as it was well secured when we put it up.)

We have also had a number of the Dogwood plants that make the circler planted areas there damaged, this in some ways is not a problem as they will grow back but what won’t grow back is the Oak tree that was the central feature of this planting as it’s been snapped off at ground level. I have since replaced this with a Hazel sapling.

I have been doing some more work on the Memorial Meadow park area, this has included being in contact with local resident and his young son who have grown a number of small Oak tree’s that they asked if they could plant down there, so this fitted in really well with my plans to have the pathways lined with a corridor of oaks, So it was just a matter of me cutting the grass and marking the area out for the resident and his son to plant out these trees  in there own time (which they have done). I have put tree guards around all the trees that they have planted, and these fit in really well with the oak trees I donated and planted earlier in the year.

With regard to trees, I have a number of Hazel trees I’ve grown from nuts that were collected last year and I’m going to plant these along the edge of the Parish Council Nature Area where in the past I’ve tried Dogwood cuttings that were pulled out by the local kids (maybe there red stems made them stand-out and thus become a target?)

More Acorns, Hazel Nuts and for something different Sweet Chestnuts have now been collected and potted up and are being grown on, to plant out in the future on what ever Parish Council project requires them.

I also intend to take some more cuttings of Dogwoods and to try Wild Pear cuttings again after the ones I took last year started to show signs of growth and then all suddenly died.

I have been busy watering and rolling the newly laid turf on the large football pitch goal mouth after it was put down, and I hope with all the effort I’ve now put into it that it will bring this area of the pitch back to a playable standard.

The paint that was poured in front of the bench near Sour Close has taken a fair bit of elbow grease to sort out but I think I’ve just about got on top of it now.

I’ve also planted a number of Lilac trees that have been donated to us.

I thought a good place to put them would be along the fence between the village hall car park and the school playing field; I’ve already planted a row of Buddleia plants here and think the purple of these will go well with the newly planted Lilac trees.

The later half of this month has seen a change in the weather for the worse, which has been causing a few delays in more of the Groundsman duties that we do.

Anyone who walks on the Meadow Lane football pitch will have seen the piles of hedge cuttings there and when the weather allows we will deal with these in an appropriate manner as already mentioned earlier in this report.

Again when the weather has allowed I’ve been cutting the grass to extend the area either side of the trees on the war memorial planting, the ground here is very poor with bricks, large stones, wire-cables and other detritus littering the area, these are being removed when ever we come across them and over time we should be able to bring it up to a acceptable standard.

This is all for this month, thank you for your time.




Hilton Parish Council have received a complaint about the damage and pot holes to the car park in front of the Scout Hut.

In light of this complaint, the Parish Council have no choice but to close the car park until further notice from noon on 27th November 2014.

Building work on the new garages and office will start on 5th January 2015 and it is not cost effective to repair the car park area before the start of this work.

The Car Park will be re-opened once the building work has been completed.  The Parish Council are very sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.

For a PDF version of the report click here: Groundsman_2014_08

August has kept us busy with the extra litter that comes with the school summer holidays, having fires in the parish council nature area also seems to be the latest craze with people bringing card board to burn from out of the shop bins on Witham close retail area.

The planters on Main Street car-park are still looking really good for the time of year and I like to think brighten up an otherwise drab car-park. In the future these plants will grow and hopefully look even better.

I and Tony have been doing the on-going repairs that always seem to need doing on the all weather pitch fence; this is because there are times when it feels like it is under constant attack. It’s hard for me to imagine what the fascination is, with being in there, but there is one. I hope with extra of hundreds of houses that are going to be built on the Hilton business park site and the families that will be living there, that some thought has or is going to be given to putting in the right recreational facilities needed like a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), which if built I think would be very well used and hopefully reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour involving the parish council all weather pitch.

I have had a number of “comments” from residents about the bin on the Mease opposite Hilton Garage to the side of the Aldi store, this bin is not the responsibility of the parish council but we do seem to spend a un-fair amount of time picking up all the rubbish that spills out of it every week and then gets spread down the Mease etc.

I think it needs a bigger or even a double bin putting in and maintaining by the district council as it is done by them.

We have also had some vandalism done to one of our benches over looking the main football pitch on the parish council site and which I hope to have repaired by the time of this meeting.

With the change in the weather the grass that we cut isn’t growing as fast has it was earlier in the year and with the time saved here I’m hoping to make use of by making  a good start on our hedge cutting routes before the bad weather stars and we are unable to use the van on the field.

At the time of writing this report the saga of the planters for the drive way into the village hall site is still ongoing, the Parish Council Clerk has now given them a deadline for their delivery and action may be taken if they don’t fulfil there part of the transaction and deliver the goods that have been paid for. This delay as I’ve mentioned in other Groundsman reports has caused the knock on effect of me not being able to do any more towards this project.( like ordering soil, bulbs and plants etc).

This is all for this month, thank-you for your time.