Hilton Parish Council has a vacancy for a Groundsman/Lengthsman on a Fixed Term Contract for 30 weeks, with the possibility of future Fixed Term Contracts, starting in the spring each year.

Hilton Parish Council is seeking to employ a Groundsman/Lengthsman on a Fixed-Term Contract for 30 weeks from 4th April 2016 to 28th October 2016. 40 hours per week Monday to Friday. £8.85 per hour paid monthly.

Groundsman Duties:

Ground maintenance work including (but not restricted to) mowing and strimming the definitive footpaths around the village, mowing and strimming areas on Parish Council land and hedge cutting.

Lengthsman Duties:

To keep the village tidy by (but not restricted to) removing litter, emptying litter bins and cleaning up broken glass on Parish Council land.

Essential:

  • physically fit.
  • flexible in hours worked (to suit any ground maintenance requirements).
  • a full clean driving licence
  • willing to attend training courses

For an Application Form and Job Description please email: clerk@hiltonparishcouncil.org.uk or telephone: 01283 730969

The closing date for applications is Friday 12th February 2016

Applicants who are not contacted within 10 days of the closing date can assume their application was unsuccessful.

Interviews will be held on Monday 22nd February 2016 and 29th February 2016.

Please note we are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

July has found us undertaking our usual work duties in and around the village…..

Work on the Memory Meadow is ongoing and I’ve sown more seeds that I’ve collected on the 5 main flower beds, mowing, watering and spraying of the Roses as also been taking place.

Cross-training Tony and Mark on the use of all of the machinery that we use are going well, and are being recorded.

All of the broken play equipment on the Village Hall Park has now been either repaired or replaced and is all looking very good.

The new office and garage build is now in full swing, and when finished will be a great asset to us. We have just about managed to relocate all of our tools etc from the garage into the container, with the exception of the 2 bins (which I’ve now secured with chain and padlocks) and a few other bits and bobs that have been stored in the pavilion for the time being.

I’ve tried to save some of the plants from the boarder by the garage to use on the areas I’ve mentioned in my last report.

The containers have also become something of interest to the local youths and kids who have tried to gain access and have been using them as some kind of climbing frame.

Paul and I have welded a new chain and larger padlock on to the All Weather Pitch in preparation for the onslaught of the school summer holidays, I have to say that this pitch seems to be the focus of a lot of unwanted attention.

It’s been nice to have positive comments from residents on the look of the metal planters now that the plants have started to really fill out; it’s also great to hear from people outside of the village say how much tidier Hilton is to where ever it is that they live.

 

Sam Bevins. Groundsman to H.P.C.

27 July 2015.

 

 

 

Over the last couple of months we have been kept very busy with our grass cutting routes in and around the village.

Me and Tony have been weeding the metal planters, and I have to say they are really coming on well, now that the planters are weed free, myself and Mark have put a layer of gravel down to improve the look, and to help retain moisture whilst hopefully keeping any further weeds suppressed.

Litter and vandalism are on the increase, with everything from the wig-whams being destroyed to the basket ride from the play area being broken and S.D.D.C having to come and remove it and hopefully repair it. Each day we deal with a multitude of broken glass, litter and vandalism.

The main bed on the Memory Meadow is looking good and I and Mark have prepared and sown a number of boxes of seeds on all of the wildflower beds, there and signs that they are starting to grow are looking good. I’ve also planted the replacement “Peace” Rose, and these Roses are on a regular rota of watering, feeding and spraying.

We have a couple of dead plants and a gap where someone stole a plant from the Main street planters, which I will try and replace in due course. But even so I think these planters are looking really good too

There is also a Lavender plant on both the Mease planting and Mill lane planted areas that also need replacing and I hope to get this done soon.

All in all I’m more than happy with all the progress we are making with our duties and I am looking forward to making further progress in the future.

 

Sam Bevins, Head Groundsman H.P.C

22 June 2015

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.)

24.3.2015

 

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)

23.02.2015

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)

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.

 

SAM BEVINS (HEAD GROUNDSMAN TO H.P.C.)

 

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.

SAM BEVINS (HEAD GROUNDSMAN TO H.P.C.)

For a PDF version of the report, with pictures, click here: Groundsman_2014_05

May has been a very busy month, with lots of different work undertaken and done,
A lot of it has been spent doing repairs after the latest bout of vandalism, which has included damage to the rubber matting on the play area and reattaching the play area sign to the playground on the village hall site.
In fact it feels like we have been under siege with the amount of antisocial behaviour.
The most time consuming and expensive repair has been to replace and attach the new padlock to the all-weather pitch gate, this padlock has been under attack since the last school holiday and in the end it was smashed off .Now only time will tell how long this new and more heavy duty lock will last ?.
In fact the all-weather pitch is being vandalised almost constantly, this can be having the prikka strips smashed off so the kids can then climb over or the bolts that hold the fence together being loosened and then the metal fence being bent back to gain access, Or just having glass beer bottles smashed on the playing surface.

We have replaced the broken and missing prikka strips and made a start repainting anti-vandal paint on the top of the all-weather pitch fence.
We have also had one of the bird boxes in the nature area smashed of the willow tree it was fixed to; luckily it wasn’t being nested in at the time.
Also some new graffiti has been painted on the skate park.

The work on the wild flower beds on the memorial meadow project have now been completed with all five of the beds being sown with the appropriate seed mix and if all should go to plan it should look great for the opening on the 4.8,2014
I have also been trying to keep on top of the grass cutting on this project which has been very hard work because of how uneven the ground is.
Over a three week period of working on this project Mark has been bitten twice by two different dogs, not enough to draw blood but enough to leave bruising.
I don’t think this is acceptable.
I have now taken out the old winter planting on the main street car park planters and replaced it with a sowing of pot marigold seeds after the success I had with them on the planter in front of the garage. I have also finished re-mulching our other planted areas.

I have also done the best I could trying to repair the fence on Back lane play area where the kids have broken it down.
It wouldn’t be a grounds man report without a mention of dog fouling; it is still rife in some areas and better in others.
Nearly all of the Hilton dog walker’s signs have either gone missing or have been vandalised.
That is all for this month.
Thank you for your time.

SAM BEVINS (HEAD GROUNDSMAN TO H.P.C)

For a PDF version of the report, with pictures, click here: Groundsman_2014_04

Imagine a world where children run wild and have no respect for any thing or anybody, where swearing, spitting and antisocial behaviour is the accepted norm.

Imagine an even darker version of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, well there’s no need to use your imagination because all you have to do is come down to the village hall site and the skate park In particular on any warm day on a school holiday and this is the vision that will await you, but anyway on with some of the work we have been undertaking.

Mark has been making great progress with the work I have set him on the memory meadow project it’s been very hard work and his effort is very much appreciated .And should put me in good stead ready for the wildflower sowing in early may.

I’ve now put edging around the memorial stone and put bark mulch down and I feel this really has made a good impact, let’s just hope it doesn’t get vandalised.

We have also put up the latest batch of bird houses we have made.

Tony and me have now repaired and replaced the catch on the Back lane park gate entrance.

We are still spraying the dog fouling with orange paint that we encounter and have made a start erecting the pick up after your dog signs from Hilton dog walking group.

I have had to take down one of the wig whams that has been vandalised, it’s a shame but I felt it was the best and easiest action to take as it’s getting to be a very busy time of year.

I’ve started to spray weed killer where needed and I have also started the grass cutting routes that we undertake and I have started to re mulch some of our planted area’s stating on the mease.

Tony and I have been doing more repairs on the scout’s car park and I have decided to use concrete on some of the pot holes as gravel on its own just doesn’t do a good enough and lasting repair.

Whilst on about the scout’s car park we have had a incident where a lady in her car crashed in to the hazard cone’s we put in front of the council garage (no one was in the garage at the time), we put these cone’s there to try and protect our self’s from people running us over by putting them there as a barrier between the garage door and the road way in to the car park.

The speed at which some people come flying in is completely reckless.

Thank you for your time.

SAM BEVINS

HEAD GROUNDSMAN H.P.C.