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News from Stinchcombe Parish Council

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Stinchcombe Jubilee

Jubilee Celebrations

Its nearly here!  Shame the weather isn’t looking great but things can change …….

We all look forward to welcoming you to Stinchcombe Jubilee weekend and here is a note of what to expect.

It all starts on Thursday at 10 am with a playtime before the punch and judy show by Tom Foolery, all the well-known characters will be there: Punch, his wife Judy, Baby, Joey the Clown, The policeman, Crocodile, Ghost – and – of course – the sausages.

This is followed by the teddy bears picnic and home-made Queen’s Platinum Crown Competition.  If you are attending these, hopefully you have already put your names down with Margaret Wannell and please remember to bring your teddy and lunch.

The hog roast looks set to be a great evening, we have around 130 people attending!  The hog will be ready to serve from 6.15/6.30 with a serving of 75 people half hour – so plenty of time to mingle, chat, and have a drink.  Thank you to everyone who has entered the pudding competition, we can’t wait to try your pudds! Limited tickets remain, speak to Dave Clare if you need some!

We will do a quick toast to the Queen at 8pm now (was going to be 8.30pm) to allow a little more time to walk up to the beacon for the 9.45pm lighting.  The bar at the village hall will remain open while we light it and be there when we get back.  There won’t be any refreshments at the beacon location and it may well be dark on the way back, so bring a torch.

For Saturday, we are running Family fun and games for the energetic of us!  A fairly informal series of popular games like sack and 3-leg races and a few with a twist as well.  This is probably the only event that is weather dependent, so fingers crossed the current forecast is wrong.  The games will start behind the overspill car-park at 2pm, and the bar will be open then too! You may want to bring your own water if you don’t want to visit the bar.

Afternoon tea is served from 4pm to 6pm in the village hall.

The weekend then closes with Thanksgiving Evensong at the church on Sunday at 6pm. This will be followed by cheese and wine.

Any questions, ask any of the village hall, PCC, or parish council members.

Looking forward to seeing you at some point over the weekend.

Chairman’s Report

Chairman’s Report to Annual Parish Assembly to be held on Monday 30th May 2022

Since the last Parish Assembly in 2021 there has been the AGM and 9 full Parish Council meetings, most of which were attended by the County and District Councillors. The PC aims to meet every six weeks, primarily in the Committee Room at the Village Hall unless dictated by COVID regulations.

At the AGM on the 26th May 2021 the following appointments were confirmed:-

Footpath Wardens –              Mr Snellock and Mr Packer

Tree Warden –                          Mr Kirkham

Playground Equipment Warden – Mr Cheetham

Rep to Village Hall Committee –  Mrs Shaw

Snow Warden –                        Mr Davies

Snow Plough Operator –             Mr Longstreth 

The following were also appointed as representatives of the Parish Council to other organisations:-

Stinchcombe Hill Trust                                            Ms K Hudson

Stinchcombe United Charities                               Mrs J. Thomas

Dursley United Charities                                         Mr R Holloway

Village Hall Committee                                            Mrs M Shaw

Berkeley Stakeholder Group                                  Mr C Davies

Parish Councillors

The Council is operating at full complement, Simon Packer took over as Chair last year with Kath Hudson acting as Vice Chair.

I would like to thank Marian Shaw for her hard work as departing Chair and helping me as I settle into the role.

Since the AGM, Chris Snellock has stood down as footpath warden and John Thomas has taken it on. Laurie Bradley has also replaced Russ Holloway as Dursley United Charities representative. Many thanks to Chris and Russ for their work.

Kath Hudson has worked very hard on Speed Watch and getting the Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) ready to install – more later.

We will all miss Richard Cheetham and are grateful for all his efforts over the years. 

Financial Matters

As a result of a survey last year, the precept for 2021/22 was increased from £3,550 to £5,500 to facilitate the provision of traffic calming measures in the village and exploratory Playground works. This will be maintained for 2022/2023.

Planning

There have been 28 planning applications within the Parish and Parish Councillors have seen, consulted and commented on them all.

Notification was received from Planning of a screening request for proposed 60 dwellings, public open space and ancillary works at land north of Taits Hill Road, which caused considerable concern among residents. A Residents’ Association was formed across Stinchcombe Village, Taits Hill Road, Clingre Down and Orchard Leaze, including parts of Cam parish as well as Stinchcombe, which sought advice from a planning consultant.

Facilities

A new bin and replacement flagpole were installed by the church – Many thanks to Craig Lawful for fitting them.  A further bin is ready for installation by the bus shelter outside the Village Hall.  This will replace the bin that DRC had at their entrance there.

A new notice board has been obtained and is ready to be installed to replace the one knocked over at Old Hill Lane.

The Playground group have presented their proposals at a combined Hall, Church and Parish Council meeting.  The designs look good but there are still a number of unanswered questions about insurance, maintenance and public consultations that need sorting.

Highways

Standle Lane has been completely resurfaced with thanks to all those who helped push this one through.

The Speed Watch group now have a preferred make and model of VAS and the evidence to support the recommendation.  The final steps are getting the nearby residents’ agreement to the installation, buying it, and installing it.  If anyone knows a “street works” accredited contractor, please let Kath know.

Design for the village gateways is complete with a series of options ready to go to residents for consultation. Work on the planters has gone ahead – thanks to all those involved

After the parking issues with the rugby club earlier in the season, we had a very constructive meeting with a series of actions that I am pleased to report seem to have solved this problem.

Footpaths and Rights of Way

There was a litter pick held in March this year had a poor turnout but nevertheless produced more than 20 bags of litter.

There have been ongoing discussions between the owners of Piers Court, PROW officers and Parish Council representatives regarding the use of public footpaths on Piers Court land.

General

It’s nice to see a lot more collaboration between the various village bodies in the last year, I hope that that continues – Don’t forget the Jubilee celebrations on the 2nd and 4th of June!

Thanks go to Kath Hudson and Nola Bradley for continuing production of the village Newsletter and to the team who distribute it.  Richard Bartlam continues to update and maintain Stinchcombe E-News for which we thank him.  Richard would welcome Stinchcombe news and photographs to include in E-News.

Summary

Thank you to my fellow Parish Councillors and Clerk for their help and support over the past year.  Thank you also to the Tree, Footpaths and all the appointed Wardens for their time and efforts in keeping our Parish running smoothly and such a pleasant place to live and to our County and District Councillors for their time and support which are very much appreciated.

Feel free to join us for the AGM and assembly on 30th May in the Village Hall.

Simon Packer

Stinchcombe Jubilee

Stinchcombe Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

Join us as Stinchcombe celebrates the Queens Platinum Jubilee

What’s On

All at the Village Hall unless otherwise noted

Thursday 2nd June

  • 10am to 12pm
    • Children’s Playtime – Please register for places at children’s entertainment.
    • Punch & Judy,
    • Teddy Bears picnic,
    • Home made Queen’s Platinum
    • Crown Competition
  • 6pm to 8.30pm
    • Hog Roast and salad – £10 each
    • Pudding competition
    • Cash bar 6pm to 11pm
  • 8.30pm
    • Toast to the Queen
  • 9.45pm
    • Lighting of the Beacon at the Village Green – on the Hill

Saturday 4th June

  • 2pm to 4pm
    • Family Fun
    • Fun and games for all ages
  • 4pm to 6pm
    • Afternoon Tea – £5 each

Sunday 5th June

  • 6pm
    • Thanksgiving Evensong at the church, followed by cheese & wine

To Register and for Info

  • Facebook Group:
    • Stinchcombe Jubilee 2022
  • Children’s entertainments:
    • Margaret Wannell – 01453 546200
  • Hog roast tickets and Pudding Competition:
    • Dave Clare – 01453 519571 or d.clare007@btinternet.com
  • Afternoon Tea:
    • Margaret Wannell – 01453 546200
  • Or through any committee member of the Village Hall or Parish Council

Please register for places at children’s entertainment, Buy tickets for Hog Roast £10 and for the Afternoon Tea £5, and enter the Jubilee Pudding competition.

Gloucestershire Recycles

Reuse, repair and share old items to help create a Greener Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire Recycles is encouraging people across the county to bring items back to life by repairing them.

Many items are thrown away with almost nothing wrong with them, but lots of people don’t have the skills to repair things themselves.

Repairing and reusing items is even better for the environment than recycling, it can save money, reduce carbon emissions, reduce plastic waste, and reduce resource use.

If everyone in Gloucestershire repairs just one item, more than 600,000 items could be saved – the equivalent of 125 lorries worth of recycling.

Repair Cafes have been set up across the county, where talented volunteers can repair items for you. Items such as clothes, electronics, furniture, bric-a-brac, and bikes are all regularly brought along and repaired.

Those people that have DIY or crafting skills are encouraged to get involved and share their skills at their local Repair Cafe.

There are Repair Cafes all over Gloucestershire, including in Cheltenham, Cirencester, Yorkley, Newent, Tewkesbury, Stroud and Nailsworth.

Get involved using #GreenerGloucestershire on social media, with your stories, hints and tips on repair.

For more information, visit https://www.gloucestershirerecycles.com/reduce/repair/, or email, waste@gloucestershire.gov.uk.

For the latest news in this area, subscribe to the Gloucestershire Recycles Recycling and Waste Minimisation newsletter, or the Greener Gloucestershire Climate and Sustainability newsletter.

Queens Jubilee

Platinum Jubilee Oak Trees 

A joint Parish Council/Village Hall/Church committee is working on plans for the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which are well under way and more details will be available soon.

As part of the celebration, the PC has been allocated two commemorative oak trees to form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy. They’re currently being carefully looked after by Diana Davidson and are doing very well, but they should be planted soon. The PC is having trouble deciding on the best site, or sites, for them and could do with some help. Do you have any suggestions as to where they should be planted? If so, email the clerk or let any Parish councillor know your ideas.

Pothole Cat 1

Kath looks into Stinchcombe Potholes

Sniper on Standle Lane?

Only if you’re using the terminology from the rather whimsical RAC Guide to the Great British Pothole and Other Road Surface Defects 🤣 Potholes, definitely aren’t a laughing matter though. The Parish Council agreed with residents that the state of the road surface on Standle Lane was unacceptable and reported the worst defects to Gloucestershire Highways. When Highways said that repairs would be carried out this month we obtained clarification on what they would comprise and answers to residents’ questions.

A happy ending for now on Standle Lane

On 7th February 2022, Highways’ contractors applied 40 mm inlay patching to the potholes and large areas of 50 mm overlay, totalling 1,236 m2. Ringway Supervisor Perry Holder estimated that these repairs would last 5-10 years under normal conditions.

When Parish Councillors Diana Davidson and Kath Hudson visited that morning the lane was a hive of activity with a large team and numerous vehicles getting stuck in. Photos can’t to justice to the amount of work going on because it was over such a wide area. We were taken with the Vögele road paver which is supposed to be especially compact and manoeuvrable, an asset on country lanes!

Vogele Paver
The Vogele Road Paver

The wider (and deeper) pothole issue

Over 43,000 potholes were reported in Gloucestershire in the first half of 2021. Small wonder that Highways is struggling to keep up, especially during the pandemic.

Rishi Sunak’s £2.5 billion pothole fund was announced in 2020 and in the current financial year Gloucestershire received nearly £10 million from it. On the downside, there was a 22% reduction in overall capital funding for local road maintenance in 2021/22.

The Asphalt Industry Alliance estimates that £10 billion would be needed to make England’s roads pothole-free. It criticises short-term boosts in funding that encourage wasteful patch and mend repairs rather than a more proactive and cost-effective approach. All right, they’ve got a vested interest but they should know a thing or two about road repairs.

Opposition councillors in Gloucestershire recently called for a ‘root and branch review’ of the way highways services are delivered. They describe the highways system as ‘broken’ with councillors being inundated with appeals from residents to fix potholes, mend signs and clear blocked drains.

As things stand at the moment we need to work with the existing system. It’s worth knowing about the policy on potholes, how to report them and how to claim compensation.

Gloucestershire Highways Policy

Gloucestershire Highways’ Safety Inspection Manual classes carriageway potholes as a safety defect if their maximum horizontal dimension is greater than 300mm and they are more than 40mm deep. They are divided into two categories:

  • CAT 2 40 – 75 mm deep or 1 1/2″ – 3″
  • CAT 1 >75 mm deep or more than 3″

On local access roads inspectors have some discretion as to what action they take. They can choose to repair CAT2 potholes within 28 days or within 3 months or, at worst, simply erect warning notices. In the case of CAT1 potholes the choice is between repairing or making safe within 1 working day or a more leisurely 28 days.

Reporting potholes

Potholes and other problems can be reported online to Gloucestershire Highways

CAT1 Potholes are classed as an immediate danger to public safety. They should instead be reported on their emergency number 08000 514 514.

Defects reported by the public are supposed to be inspected within 5 working days

We know that many residents already report potholes. Highways generally inspect promptly and carry out basic repairs if they consider the criteria have been met. Please continue to report them.
a) so they get repaired and
b) because anyone suffering damage or injury can claim compensation only if the defect was previously reported.

Claiming compensation

There is plenty of reliable advice on the internet about how to claim compensation if a pothole. Or other defect causes damage to your vehicle e.g.

It has to be said that Gloucestershire has a poor record for paying out. In fact, one of the worst in the country. According to thisismoney.co.uk out of 847 cases lodged in 2020, just 17 were awarded compensation.

If your claim is turned down, try the appeals process. As a last resort you could take it to the Small Claims Court. You may be liable for costs if you lose the case so it is sensible to seek legal advice first.

A few things to think about

  1. Is pursuing our individual right to compensation a good thing?
  2. Does it encourage local authorities to improve their road maintenance practices and fulfil their legal duty to maintain safe roads?
  3. Gloucestershire County Council has paid out around £80 million in compensation over the last 3 years. Would it have been better spent on road repairs?
  4. To what extent are the problems caused by inadequate and inconsistent funding from central government and to what extent by local shortcomings?

Your thoughts are welcome and will be shared with our District and County Councillors.

Kath (Parish Councillor)

20 Plenty

Time to reconsider 20’s plenty?

Valentine’s Day – time to reconsider 20’s Plenty?

Until a couple of months ago I thought 20’s Plenty was all wishful thinking and wheelie bin stickers.  Then the Parish Council got an email from Scott McNeill, campaign organiser for Gloucestershire. Scott urged us to pass a motion supporting 20 mph as the default speed limit on village and urban streets where people live, work, shop, play or learn.

A Persuasive Campaign

Following up on the links Scott sent us, I was amazed at the head of steam behind the campaign both nationally and locally. More than 1 in 3 of the UK population live in Local Authorities which already accept 20mph as the right speed limit where cars come into contact with people.  That includes our neighbours in Oxfordshire, Bath & North East Somerset and Bristol and the whole of Wales.  In all these areas and in many others the process of rolling out 20 mph limits has started.

Yes, but …

Like me, you’ve probably got questions and doubts about how 20 mph limits would work.  As a starting point, have a look at this short video by Rod King, founder of 20’s Plenty

Video is on the website or see the video here

20’s Plenty Gloucestershire

Here in Gloucestershire there is strong and growing support for wider use of 20 mph limits.  85% of the 121 town and parish councils responding to a county council survey last December were in favour.  The survey was rather a rushed affair in the run up to Christmas and we suspect that it was overlooked by a considerable number of councils.

At the most recent count, nearly 50 councils, including Stinchcombe PC, have confirmed their support for a 20 mph residential limit by passing a motion. Some of the District Councils are included and the Greens in Stroud District plan to bring a motion at the next full council meeting.

Gloucestershire Constabulary now strongly supports the use of 20 mph zones and encourages their greater use, especially in residential areas. (Based on letter from Chief Constable Rod Hansen to Eastington residents, quoted in GCC Environment Scrutiny Committee minutes of 12/1/22.)

Since I signed up as the 20’s Plenty campaigner for Stinchcombe I’ve been talking tactics with Scott and other campaigners around Gloucestershire.  I’ve also made contact with neighbouring councils, some in full support, others undecided or  unaware of recent developments.  At the national level, Rod King and Campaign Manager Anna Semlyen are approachable and full of knowledge and enthusiasm.

Public Consultation

GCC accepts that “20 mph limits are going to be a key instrument in delivering safer roads”.  It has included 20 mph limits in a wider review of its Road Safety Policy.  Full public consultation is expected to take place in April/May this year.

I’ll do my best to ensure that Stinchcombe residents are notified in good time and know how to participate if they wish. 

Let’s start talking now

We don’t need to wait for the consultation to begin considering this complex issue.  If you have thoughts or questions about introducing 20 mph limits in Stinchcombe you can contact me at Stinchcombe@20splentyforus.org.uk

  • Was the Parish Council right to pass a motion of support?
  • Where would you welcome a 20 mph residential limit in Stinchcombe?
  • Are there stretches of road you think should retain a higher limit?
  • Would you want a 20 mph limit by your home?
  • What benefits would 20 mph limits have for you and your family?
  • What doubts or concerns would you have?

I won’t have the answer to every question but if it’s possible to get one for you I will do so.

How would it fit in with our other planned traffic calming measures?

Our vehicle-activated sign (VAS), when we get it, could be used with 20 mph limits just as well as with 30 mph limits. It would provide useful data on how speeds changed with the introduction of a lower limit.   In case you’re wondering, the current position is that our VAS application is still with Highways, nearly 4 months since we first submitted it.  County Councillor Linda Cohen is helping us chase up a response.

Village gateways are compatible with 20 mph limits and are often used to reinforce them.  We have identified a preferred supplier for village gateways on Wick Lane, Echo Lane and Taits Hill.  There will be a meeting soon between representatives of the Parish Council and Stinchcombe Speed Watch and residents who have offered funding to come up with a detailed proposal.  The proposal will then be publicised so that others have chance to comment.

Kath Hudson 🦸‍♀️

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