Annual Parish Meeting
The last Annual Meeting was held on Friday 12th May 2017 in the Village Hall.
ANNUAL MEETING OF NEWTON SOLNEY PARISH COUNCIL – 12 May 2017
REPORT BY FREDERICK HILL, CHAIRMAN OF NEWTON SOLNEY PARISH COUNCIL for the year 2016/2017
It is my pleasure to introduce this report on the activities of the Parish Council over the last year and to highlight some of the more significant events.
There were no elections in 2016 and the Councillors remain as Mr. Fred Hill, Mrs. Debbie Smith; Mrs. Kerry Haines; Mrs. Judy Shorthouse; Mr. Graham Plowman; Mr. David May and Mr. Jordan Coussins. The Councillors hold office for four years and have now completed two years of their term. At the first meeting of the new Parish Council in May 2016 Councillors Hill and Smith were re- elected Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. During the year there were no resignations.
The Neighbourhood Watch scheme continued to be administered by Mr. Roger Charles who is still endeavouring to extend his data base to enable rapid circulation of police notices and criminal activities to all parishioners. There has been limited success in this but the Parish Council encourage all parishioners to participate in this data base to help Mr. Charles in his role especially as we seem to be having increasing numbers of crime to report. Thanks to Mr. Charles for his efforts in providing this valuable service.
Newton Solney continued to be involved in Area 2 of the Mercia Safer Neighbourhood Initiative and the South Derbyshire Area Forum. The meetings are held on the same evenings and focus on the specific needs of the villages. Local crime remains relatively low in comparison with other areas but we all need to remain watchful.
The Bonfire and Cricket Working Groups continue to organise the bonfire and pub cricket match on behalf of the Parish Council and the Parish Council is grateful to all the volunteers who make these events so enjoyable and successful. Special thanks to Mr. Jeremy Winter and Mr. Angus Falconner and Mr. David Tidy respectively. Once again thanks to all concerned.
The Newton Solney Sports Club has evolved from the “Cricket Match” committee and is working towards greater utilisation of the Recreation Field for the benefit of the village and school. The Parish Council is represented by two Councillors on this body. At this time a sum of £4,019.00 has been raised by the Sports Club for items such as a water supply, a new storage hut and items of equipment and is “ring fenced” in the Parish Council accounts.
No organised football has been played on the Recreation Field this year.
An event was held on the Recreation Field to celebrate the 90th birthday of the Queen and took the form of sports for the younger generation, stalls, music, teas and beverages of all kinds. An enjoyable occasion for all the village who turned up to support the event in such numbers. Thanks must go to Mr. and Mrs. Falconer and their band of helpers in organising such an event and one hopes other events will follow in the future.
South Derbyshire District Council’s “clean team” has provided an excellent response when problems relating to fly tipping have been reported to them. However litter is always a problem on the verges and we are grateful for a number of villagers who pick litter when out walking. Maybe an organised village “litter pick” can be arranged and actioned.
Dog fouling has again been a problem from time to time, notices have been posted and posters displayed urging dog owners to clean up after their dogs. Any problems should be reported to the South Derbyshire District Council Dog Warden and dog owners who do not clear up after their dogs are liable to a significant fine.
The Parish Council continues to provide support to the Village Hall Committee on any projects that they seek assistance and also to the Newton Solney Village Hall Monthly Newsletter.
All relevant information of Parish Council, Village Hall activities and the Newsletter continue to be displayed on the village web site and this is looked after by Mrs. Kerry Haines and thanks go to her for that. All societies should endeavour to regularly update their information and inform Mrs. Haines of any changes and events due to take place so that the site is kept up to date and be as informative as possible.
The Parish Council continues to comment on numerous planning applications and strategic documents relating to the development of the East Midlands region. Planning applications that are received and subsequent decisions are included on the Newton Solney web site so that all parishioners can be made aware of any proposed development. During the year the Parish Council has made representations to the Planning Authority at their Planning Meetings on issues that were considered unacceptable and will continue to represent the views of the village and Council on matters in the future.
The Village Plan was revised in 2016 following a village meeting in November 2016 where a number of Parishioners were present and numerous points discussed. A draft was prepared and issued for comment. Adjustments were made, the document formally adopted and is displayed on the village web site. It has been made available to South Derbyshire District Council for them to incorporate within their area plan.
The Parish Council is considering the possibility of providing a “trim trail” on the Recreation Field for use by both children and adults alike. A sub-committee has been set up to investigate this proposal together with any funding that may be available. This is ongoing and dependant on funding.
I am pleased to report that the legal action being taken against the Parish Council, reported last year, for an accident on the climbing frame has not come to fruition.
The bus shelter opposite the Brickmakers, as reported last year, is in a poor state, beyond repair and now needs replacing. Quotations are being obtained to replace the shelter with one that is similar to the one opposite the Unicorn. It is an expensive exercise but a contribution to a new shelter will be made by Derbyshire County Council. Hopefully action will be taking place in the not too distant future. A sum of £5,000.00 is “ring fenced” in the Parish Council accounts for this project.
As well as the activities mentioned above the Parish Council have been involved in;
Providing mobile play equipment for children during the summer holiday supplied and supervised by South Derbyshire District Council and we give them our thanks;
Providing a new Parish Notice board that is in place on the gable wall of the Brickmakers by kind permission of Burton Bridge Brewery. Financial help has been received for this with a donation from the Leadership Scheme from County Councillor Linda Chilton.
Providing five new planters adjacent to the Alms houses that have been filled by the Horticultural Society on behalf of the Parish Council and we give them our thanks for that.
Giving financial assistance with the Queen’s birthday celebrations and a Halloween party for young children.
Making a donation to the “mower fund” at St. Mary’s Church which has enabled them to purchase a new mower.
Being represented at the Remembrance Service at St. Mary’s;
Donations have been made to the Parish Newsletter, Royal British Legion, St. Giles Hospice and the Village School.
As previously mentioned the present Councillors are half way through their term of office and in two years there will be an election and an opportunity for Parishioners to put themselves forward to become Parish Councillors. I would urge Parishioners of all ages to take up this opportunity and become involved in the affairs of the Parish and ensure that the Parish Council is truly representative of the views of the village and Parish.
In conclusion I would like to thank my fellow Councillors and the Clerk, Mr. Ron Parker, for their hard work over the last year and the support that they have given which has been invaluable. In addition I would also like to thank County and District Councillors Linda Chilton, Peter Smith and Michael Stanton for the advice and support that they have given over the last year, their contribution has been significant and most welcome.
FJH – 11 May 2017