We had our last Parish Council meeting of the year on Monday night which was well attended and productive. Thanks to Marian and Nola for providing the refreshments in the break. I thought I would give you an update of the key points as I saw them. I hope this is useful
We committed last year to the Speedwatch group and they have been diligently progressing a number of initiatives. Progress on the automated sign (VAS) has been delayed because of a key absence at the council but his replacement is now dealing with the matter and there should be a decision after Christmas. We hope to be able to deploy the VAS next year.
There is a county wide campaign to introduce 20 mph limits in all residential areas and it was agreed to support this, along with over 10% of parish councils. There is a long way to go before it becomes Gloucestershire County Council policy and there will no doubt be opportunities for residents to give their views.
The village gateway locations on Taits Hill, Echo Lane and Wick Lane have now been agreed with the council and we are looking to finalise the design, colour, wording, and size in discussion with potential suppliers and Highways. Kath has circulated some mock ups for comments – anyone who would like to be involved, please contact Kath or myself. There will be a chance for the village to comment before a final decision is made.
We also agreed to fund the feasibility study into an expanded playground and we were hoping for a Playground Group Update which didn’t happen last night. Hopefully we can get that soon and let everyone know the latest thinking.
You may have seen the new bin and flagpole outside the church, with thanks to Craig Lawfull for installing it. Please let us know if you have the village flags – we don’t know who has them at the moment!!! We are also looking into the possibility of a further bin at the end of the footpath across rugby club, by the bus shelter. Hopefully we will also have a new notice board for Old Hill Lane shortly as well.
Firstly, I’d like to give the Parish Council’s thanks to Chris Snellock who has served as footpath warden for the last 6 years and has recently decided stand down. Under his stewardship we have seen conscientious care, documenting, and reporting of our 60 odd footpaths – a heartfelt thanks for your efforts Chris!
John Thomas, from Wick Lane has agreed to take over the role, more details to follow.
There has been no real progress regarding the footpaths at Piers Court. I have recently met with a Police representative who stressed the need to record and report any incidents of harassment. A meeting is being arranged for early January with the PRoW office.
In the meant time, if you have any issues with the state of footpaths, (overgrown, access issues, damaged stiles etc) please report them to me (or any parish council member) and the PRoW
If you have any issues with people challenging, harassing or intimidating your legal use of a path, again please report them to me (or any parish council member) and the Police https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/report-threats-verbal-abuse-assault/
We had another incident reported last week where a walker went through a farmers closed gate and left it wide open allowing cattle to get into a field that he did not want them in. Fortunately the farmer noticed before they started damaging hedging that he was renovating. He has no issue with people walking through his fields but quite reasonably does expect that they leave gates as they find them. Please remember that while walking through fields, especially when not on public rights of way, gates MUST be left as they were found.
Other key points
You may also see that the Millennium Oak tree has been trimmed and new protective fences put around it – many thanks to Ian and Sandy and Chris for doing the work.
The Council has registered to be part of the chain of beacons on 2nd June for the Queens Jubilee and we have been allocated two oak trees as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy. Keep the date for next year, I am sure we will be celebrating with more than a beacon.
I took an action a while back to look at how we best use the Parish Council website, eNews and WhatsApp; I will do this over the Christmas period, and if anyone has any thoughts about how we can communicate better or what to communicate, please give me a shout.
On the finances side, we have had payments in of £7413 for this year and expect £5936 for next year. General expenses for this year were £1928 and forecast for next year is £2284. One off costs this year were £622 with a further £1900 planned but not yet spent. We also holdover a allowance of £6000 for the VAS and village gateways and £500 for the playground for next year.
The next meetings will be:-
- Wed 26th Jan, 7.30pm
- Wed 9th March, 7.30pm
- Wed 4th May, 7.30. Parish Assembly
- Wed 18th May, 7.30. AGM
All at the village hall committee room unless covid re-intervenes – just a reminder that all residents are welcome. If there are any topics you think we should be addressing, feel free to drop me an email email@example.com or give me a call on 0797 363 8792
Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.