May 2021 Minutes Annual Parish Meeting


APPROVED Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 4 May 2021 via Zoom.

Present: Cllrs C. Woodhead (Chairman), P Major, D Cope, R. Stafford, V. Vince.

In Attendance: Mrs H Beaver (Clerk), C Cllr M Hill, D Cllr J Hansen & 2 Members of Public; Dr.Parry and Mrs J Parry. Apologies received from the PCC.

The Chairman opening the Meeting at 6.30pm

1.   Chairman’s Opening Remarks 

001. The Chairman welcomed everyone and stated that it was good to see some members of the public attend despite the current situation. An overview of the format was given.

2.   Chairman’s Annual Report 

002. The Chairman read her annual report:

“What a year we’ve all had!

A totally unprecedented one that’s for sure that’s brought harsh challenges for many in our community and around the world. It certainly brought challenges for the Council but with the excellent guiding hand of our clerk we’ve got to grips with zoom and working remotely and the legislation and guidelines in response to the Covid19 pandemic. It will be good to get back to ‘normal’ which I hope isn’t too far away.

we received very sad news in March as Cllr Fiona Stevenson died. She was a very valuable member of the Council who dedicated herself fully to the role of Councillor and who always worked to ensure the best for the village. Her input and humour will be greatly missed!

Despite the restrictions brought in to manage Covid19 we’ve not only succeeded in doing what we wanted to achieve in the year but also a little bit. As usual the majority of our work and expenditure was in and for the recreation ground. Here all the play equipment was painted and further paving was installed there and at the entrance gate. The metal green waste bins were replaced with new ‘guppy’ ones. We also installed one of these on the newly repaired pavilion patio. Our negotiations with the letting agent of the adjoining property resulted in the south boundary fence being repaired by them. The statutory five yearly electrical check was undertaken at the pavilion, which highlighted some issues, all of which have since been fully addressed and rectified alongside various cosmetic electrical updates, such as hot water in the and new strip lights. Some remedial work was also undertaken on the pavilion roof. The boundary hedge of the bowling-green had a substantial cut in the autumn and the plan is to keep it at this height. It was rewarding to receive so many favourable comments on its new look. New signage was installed re use of tennis courts, drug use, dogs in or passing through the play area and a car park disclaimer on the We also had all the old fencing removed for the 
skate park. Unfortunately; the recreation car park was used in the attempted robbery of the Co-op. Fortunately for us unlike the Co-op, the damage the robbers caused in gaining entry was minimal, with just the gate lock being cut.

Our biggest achievement of the year was the refurbishment of the Spring Wells Island, which I think looks magnificent and from the numerous positive comments we’ve received it would appear that this sentiment is felt by many. Plans to do this had been in the pipeline for several years so it feels exceptionally good to have at long last achieved this goal. We further enhanced our tourist attraction by painting all the benches etc. and having the trees on the island pruned. Recently we purchased a bench to commemorate VE day, which we hope will be installed in June. To complete the we plan to attend to the overgrown ivy and install paving in front of the benches that are on the grass. We are also considering employing a SW caretaker to ensure this attraction stays in tip top condition.

Elsewhere in the village we painted the allotment entrance gates, had the Pointon Road speed awareness solar panel installed, replaced the damaged litterbin in Vine Street and commissioned a survey on all Council owned trees. Any necessary work resulting from this will be undertaken in the coming months and we have at last decided on our new noticeboard and ordered it.

Prior to lockdown we were looking to employ a community warden to help address anti-social behaviour in the recreation ground, however as the restrictions of the pandemic eradicated this behaviour, we didn’t take this idea forward. Should this historic problem begin to emerge as restrictions ease, then we’ll pursue this option with vigour.

Following on from consultation with the village via our newsletter in respect to the possibility of the Council acquiring the police sub-station, we resolved at July meeting not to take this matter forward.

Our biggest problem this year has been illegal parking and speeding and try as we have to address it, unfortunately it’s still ongoing! we will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the various council departments in efforts to manage and hopefully eradicate it. To help in the area near the school we’ve ordered an additional speed awareness sign, which will be installed on the entrance to the village, applied to LCC to be assessed for a zebra crossing and intend to support the application made by the Traffic Management Officer, to have the double yellow lines on Victoria Street extended up to the school. In the High Street we’ve put up signs and have asked the school to run a competition to design a poster for us advising against parking illegally. The winning one will be printed and displayed around the village.

Another ongoing problem is the jitty between Brewery and Burton Lane, which is in a dire and dangerous condition. As our strenuous efforts to get either SKDC or LCC to accept responsibility and address this matter failed, we asked Cllr Hill to intercede for us, so hopefully he’ll be successful and get LCC to take ownership and repair the path before someone has a serious fall.

Through the diligent efforts of we have been successful in having the flooding problem in West Road car park resolved and in getting SKDC to do additional maintenance work in the Churchyard. We regularly check in with Cllr Hill re LCC’s progress in addressing the flooding of Road, the installation of the signage on the A52 and white lines and eyes on the approaches to our village, hopefully all these will be completed
in the coming year.

We now know that LCC intends to build 25 houses on the old Aveland School site, however, the plans as yet haven’t been submitted. We will as usual keep the village informed on this matter. The Aveland playing field still hasn’t been transferred to us and we have no idea when this will occur.

We had some movement within our team as in July David our cemetery caretaker left us and Jayne took up the role in October and in September Jon Surtees became a councillor, followed by Phil Major and Catherine who came on board in January.

Looking to the year ahead the Council plans to install an additional piece or two of play equipment in the recreation ground, improve Rd cemetery with the installation of new gates, general maintenance and planting, explore purchasing two custom designed village entry signs, spruce up the Spring Wells area, to light the High Street for Christmas and to have a Facebook page. We will of course continue with all our usual maintenance tasks such as grass and hedge cutting etc. and remember we always welcome ideas from you as how to improve the village, so if you have an idea or suggestion (polite preferably) let us know.

As I’d like to thank all those that have helped or contributed to the upkeep and improvement of the village but especially All those that have volunteered to help the more vulnerable in our community during this your kindness and selflessness will have made such a 
difference to so many people. a VERY BIG THANKS TO All of YOU

To those that helped with the refurbishment, which were Quarry (which is part of the Johnston Quarry Group), who so kindly donated 30 tons of limestone, to Mr & Mrs Mair of Billingborough who so kindly gave a financial donation and stored the stone for us and to S J R Contractors of Pointon Fen, who kindly delivered all the stone free of charge Thank you so very much on behalf of the village for your exceptional generosity and support that enabled us to not only restore but also improve the central feature of Spring Wells!!

To those that have signed up to be a ‘friend of the Council’ – thank you and To BAGS for managing the allotments on our behalf. To the Cricket Club for liaising with Anglian Water over the new pitch water system and installing it. To Jayne our new Cemetery Caretaker who joined us in October and whose efforts have brought an abundance of positive comments from the public – so many thanks Jayne. To Kim our dedicated community village cleaner, Mark our recreation ground caretaker both do an amazing job!

To our councillors who give their time and expertise and work diligently for the betterment of the village and who haven’t given in despite the complications Covid19 brought to role this year! Thank you everyone! To our super clerk Hayley! Who because of the pandemic has had to deal so many additional tasks on top of her everyday work, while managing ever changing directives, mountains of emails and us on zoom – not an easy task I can assure you. thanks beyond words go to you Hayley as you’re an absolute star and truly superhuman!”

3.   Receive Reports from Police, County & District Council 

003. Police. There was no report from the Police

004. County Council. C Cllr Hill reported that having investigated ownership of all the jitties in the village, most did not appear to be Public Rights of Way and were not on the LCC maintenance route. All Cllrs agreed that these should be made Public Rights of way and Cllr Hill offered to contact the relevant department. The Chairmann thanked Cllr Hill for the update

005. District Council. D.Cllr Hansen reported that as from May 7th, all virtual Meetings for Councils have been stopped so all Councils will be meeting face to face again. Due to the increase in fly tipping generally, SKDC are making this a priority and Cllr Hansen would like to hear reports of any fly tipping found in the SKDC area. He reported that he was aware of the planning application that had been submitted for 10a West Rd and if the PC had any feedback that required his assistance he was happy to help. Cllr Hansen also reiterated that were he to be successful in the elections on May 6th that one of his priorities would be addressing Government under funding to Lincolnshire, particularly to the Police. The Chairman thanked him for his report.

4.   Receive Reports from Community Groups & Organisations 

006. New Springwells Practice. The practice manager commented that they had completed a staff litterpick back in September, which had been a team building exercise primarily, which was very successful, Dr Parry commented that although, comparatively speaking there was not that much fly tipping around Billingborough, the area on Folkingham Rd, around the Piper Holt bridge seemed quite bad .He thanked the Council for all their efforts.The practice manager also confirmed that both the holly tree at the edge of the Springwells water and the one adjacent to the gates in the churchyard were going to be cut back after the nesting season. The practice manager then read out the following report: Report “The New Springwells Practice- The last year has most definitely been a challenge for the Practice. The Practice team have all pulled together, adapting to new systems, the implementation of a triage system - Ask My Gp, and different ways of working to ensure safety is maintained for all patients and staff. In addition, some staff have been helping out at the covid vaccination centre in Grantham as well as vaccinating our own housebound patients. This is on-going; this weekend we will be giving 2nd vaccines to our housebound patients and the vaccination centre is now starting to vaccinate the next cohort which is the 35+ age group. Locally, we are further forward with vaccinations than lots of other areas. We are now looking forwards…. On the 17th May we are going to be re-opening our front gates to patients, but there will be a limited footfall allowed in the Practice at any one time. There will be many precautions and procedures in place to ensure the safety of patients and staff continues to be maintained. Despite what the papers say, we have been seeing patients since the very first lockdown began. There have been a lot of medical issues which have been dealt with over the telephone without requiring a face to face appointment, but there have also been a lot who have come into the Practice to see one of the GPs, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses or HCSW. We would also like to get the message to patients – one appointment, one medical problem. Patients seem to be storing up their problems and trying to discuss 3 or 4 with the clinician who unfortunately does not have sufficient time to deal with this quantity, so they have to choose between asking the patient to re-book another appointment to discuss or seeing the next patient late. Plans are going well for the 17th May – they are being designed to keep everyone safe, so we ask that patients please follow our requests. There will be posters displaying relevant information and this will also be on our face book page & our website and in the next Practice newsletter which will be available next week. If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Jane Parry Practice Manager.” The Chair man thanked them for taking the time to attend the meeting.

007. BAGS. The Clerk read out the following report received by BAGS:

“Please report that the plots are now all currently let and the site is looking tidy thanks to members of the Committee who give lots of time for hedge maintenance, grass cutting etc. Due to COVID, there have been no fundraising activities recently, but we hope to re-start these as soon as possible. In particular, the May plant sale is always popular so we have scope to run and even extend this next year.

008. The Clerk reported that she had verbally spoken to a representative of Billingborough Arts group, who wanted to report that their group was restarting again and needed new members in order to remain viable, the Clerk reported that she had offered to display their new starting times on the Parish noticeboard and on the Parish website. She had also asked for the request for a donation be put in writing which could then be discussed at a subsequent meeting. 

009.The Clerk also read out the following report received from the Parochial Church Council: Andrew’s Church, Billingborough.

The Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent restrictions across 2020/21 have had a marked impact on St Andrew’s Church Billingborough, with not being able to fulfil many of its popular and well recognised Christian services, as well as having to cancel many of its well attended community focussed social events.

Since live services recommenced at Billingborough we have been able to provide key services that have been well attended by the local community such as the Annual Memorial Service, Midnight Mass, Easter Week and a Special Commemorative Service for HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Replacement of the stolen lead from the roof of St Andrew’s church is still pending. However, the insurance company only made a concessionary payment of £5,000 towards the £25,000 total cost of replacing the lead with Terne Steel. All those involved in the theft have thankfully received lengthy custodial sentences.

Members of the St Andrew’s congregation have been able to provide a number of Covid compliant fund raising activities for local groups during the period, albeit significantly reduced in number. Looking to the future, St Andrew’s hope to restart the very popular Thursday morning coffee mornings as soon as the guidelines allow.

We are also exploring the possibility of the weekly coffee morning and the soup lunches for people living alone, utilising the Village hall instead of the church from mid/late summer if restrictions allow. We would like to ask anyone to come along to our coffee mornings, you will be made very welcome & if you live alone please let us know so that we can send you an invitation to the soup lunches.

Each year we present many fundraising events, including garden parties, quiz night, village garage sale, live concerts & Christmas Fair with a visit from Santa Claus. These events are advertised around the village so please come along & enjoy, we love to meet new people, we do these for the community & of course to help keep the church open.

Finally, you may have noticed that the monthly ‘Church & Community’ magazine has ceased to be published in recent months due to retirement of the publisher. This magazine was not run or published on behalf of the church, although services etc. were printed in them, it was always meant to be community based.

Does anyone know anybody who may like to take up the production of a ‘new style’ of village notes. The previous magazine was invaluable to many villagers & advertisers alike & is very much missed. There would be an opportunity for someone to take control & create a new look magazine & raise money through advertisements for good causes.

For information on any of the above matters please contact any of the following people;

Rev. Neil Knox: 01529 497679
Trevor & Georgina Wells: 01529 241325
Andrew’s Church, Billingborough

010 The Toller Trust. Cllr Stafford said that he had asked for a report, but had not received one but never the less explained what the Toller Trust did.
011. Village Hall. Cllr P Major read out the following report on behalf of the The Village Hall 

“Report to Billingborough Parish Council Billingborough Village Hall Committee - 2020 to date Due to the Covid Pandemic the Village Hall and Community Gym has been closed for the past year to conform with Government Legislation. Therefore, our planned social events had to be cancelled and our regular users informed that the Village Hall was closed for business until the lifting of government restrictions. Fortunately we were eligible to receive funding from the Government & SKDC. These funds were granted to village halls to ensure their survival during the closure and subsequent loss of income. We are currently in the early stages of reopening the Village Hall in accordance with government guidelines and hope to see the return of our regular users. We are continuing with our planned refurbishment and are delighted that in 2020 we succeeded in replacing the hall ceiling incorporating new low energy LED lighting. However, during this process asbestos had to be removed by a specialist company which resulted in an additional unforeseen cost. The Annual General Meeting will be held on 26th May 2021 at 6.30pm at the Village Hall (subject to Covid Restrictions). Roy Greenwood Chair 

5.   Questions & Proposals from the Public

012. There were no questions or proposals from the Public.

013. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending the APM. 

014. All attendees were invited to remain and observe the Council AGM which follows.

The Chairman closed the APM at 7.15pm.