Annual Parish Meeting
The last Annual Meeting was held on Thursday 10th May 2018 in the Village Hall.
ANNUAL MEETING OF NEWTON SOLNEY PARISH COUNCIL – 10 May 2018
REPORT BY FREDERICK HILL, CHAIRMAN OF NEWTON SOLNEY PARISH COUNCIL for the year 2017/2018
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 2017 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 three years of their term. At the first meeting of the new Parish Council in May 2017 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 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 £1,407.69 of which the Parish Council made a donation of £1,000.00 to the Newton Solney Pre-school building project. The balance being kept in Council accounts for Council business.
The Newton Solney Sports Club which evolved from the annual pub cricket match has taken a “back seat” over the last year and thoughts of greater utilisation of the Recreation Field have been put on hold. £4,119.00 was being held in the Parish Council accounts on behalf of the “sports club” and, following agreement from the various bodies that raised the funds, £3,000.00 was diverted and donated to the Newton Solney Pre-school building project. The remaining £1,119.00 being ring fenced for a proposed Trim Trail project.
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, 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 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.
The old bus shelter opposite the Brickmakers has been replaced with a new shelter that is in keeping with the village streetscape and will remain in place for a considerable number of years to come. This was at a cost of £6,774.78 plus VAT.
A new field gate to the Recreation Field has been installed to improve security at a cost of £472.89 plus VAT and the fence to the Recreation Field has been treated with a preservative at a cost of £170.00.
Damaged posts to the Village Green have been replaced at a cost of £70.00.
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 compost and plants for the planters that have been filled by the Horticultural Society on behalf of the Parish Council and we give them our thanks for that.
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.
Being represented at the Remembrance Service at St. Mary’s;
Donations to the Parish Newsletter and Royal British Legion.
After a considerable amount of prompting the speed activated sign at the entry to the village has been re-activated having been out of action for more than a year.
Regular reports on the condition of the roads in the Parish.
With careful management the Parish Council has undertaken these activities and remains with a positive balance in the accounts.
Consideration is at present being given to improving the safety of the Common Land adjacent to the river which is dependent on a scheme being agreed by all regular users of the un-adopted road, planning permission and finance. The regular users have been consulted and have given general agreement, subject to final detail. This project is considered to be high on the Parish Council’s list of priorities.
As previously mentioned the present Councillors are three quarters of their way through their term of office and in May 2019 there will be an election which is 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 – 9 May 2018