Annual Parish Meeting
ANNUAL MEETING OF NEWTON SOLNEY PARISH COUNCIL – 10 May 2019
REPORT BY FREDERICK HILL, CHAIRMAN OF NEWTON SOLNEY PARISH COUNCIL for the year 2018/2019
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 2018 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 their full term. At the first meeting of the new Parish Council in May 2018 Councillors Hill and Smith were re- elected Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. During the year there was one resignation, Mrs. Judy Shorthouse, as she was leaving the village. Judy had spent a considerable number of years on the Parish Council, made a significant contribution and the Council are very grateful to her for her years of service. This meant that there was a vacancy on the Council and following the posting of notices regarding this vacancy Mrs. Lynne Charles was duly co-opted bringing the Council to a full complement.
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 were 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 Working Group continues to organise the bonfire on behalf of the Parish Council who is grateful to all the volunteers who make this event so enjoyable and successful. Our special thanks to Mr. Jeremy Winter who masterminds the event. The bonfire evening was very successful and made a profit of £1,198 of which the Parish Council made a donation of £600.00 to the Newton Solney Pre-school building project. The balance being kept in Council accounts for Council business.
The continued operation of the Newton Solney Pre- school being a vital part of the village school, it’s continued existence, a vital part of the community and one that the Council feel deserves the full support of the Parish community.
No organised football has been played on the Recreation Field this year.
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. Perhaps an organised village “litter pick” can be arranged and actioned at some time in the future.
Dog fouling has again been a problem from time to time but fewer complaints have been received this year than previous years. However notices have been posted and posters displayed urging dog owners to clean up after their dogs. Any problems should be reported to South Derbyshire District Council web site under “Report dog fouling”. 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 in the Parish Newsletter, Parish Magazine and on the Newton Solney web site so that all parishioners can be made aware of any proposed development. The Parish Council makes representations to the Planning Authority, where appropriate, at their Planning Meetings on issues that are considered unacceptable and will continue to represent the views of the village and Council on matters in the future.
The “Trim Trail” that was being considered for the Recreation Field received little or no support from the village and as a result the idea is not being pursued. However money ring fence in the accounts, £1,000 from Tesco and the remaining £1,000 from the “sports club” is to be used to provide one suitable piece of equipment for the Field. This is ongoing.
Posts on the Village Green have again been damaged by traffic. Other posts need attention and a quotation for their replacement has been obtained in the amount of £650. There is the possibility that this work may be the responsibility of Derbyshire County Council and this is being investigated. At moment it is an eyesore and the work needs to be undertaken as a matter of urgency.
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;
Cutting the Recreation Field, grass verges and area around the play equipment together with clearing footpaths and cutting nettles and Himalayan Balsom adjacent to the river. This is undertaken by South Derbyshire District Council and a private contractor, the works being part of a regular maintenance contract.
Providing a green bin for the Village Hall;
Being represented at the Remembrance Service at St. Mary’s;
Maintaining the defibrillator at the Villlage Hall;
Donations to the Parish Newsletter, Royal British Legion and Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre
Reports on the condition of the roads in the Parish;
A survey of the footpaths in the Parish;
With careful management the Parish Council has undertaken these activities and remains with a positive balance in the accounts.
The proposal for improving the security of the Common Land adjacent to the river has been approved by the regular users who need vehicular access and a competitive quotation to implement the scheme in the amount of £3,328.75 including £554.79 VAT has been obtained. The VAT is recoverable giving a net cost of £2,773.96. The proposal is in the form of a locking horizontal swing barrier together with a pedestrian gate to one side. A grant is being sought to cover the majority of the cost involved and work will proceed as soon as it has been obtained.
As previously mentioned the present Councillors have now completed their term of office and on 2 May 2019 there was the opportunity for an election allowing Parishioners to put themselves forward to become Parish Councillors. However having urged Parishioners of all ages to take up this opportunity and become involved in the affairs of the Parish to ensure that the Parish Council is truly representative of the views of the village and Parish, no names were forthcoming and no election took place.
All of the existing Parish Councillors with the exception of Mr. Jordan Coussins, have stated that they are willing to continue as Councillors. There will be one vacancy on the Council
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. District Councillors Peter Smith and Michael Stanton will be retiring and over the last number of years have provide valuable support on many matters. The Parish Council give them grateful thanks and wish them well in the future.
FJH – 6 May 2019