Chairman's Annual Report for May 2019
As councillors we are both residents and representatives of your parish, whose aim is to always do the best. Over the last year the council has continued to work diligently on your behalf, ensuring that the budget is used wisely and appropriately and doing its upmost to be responsive to and supportive of village issues.
BPC council tax income for 18/19 was only £14,155 so not a massive amount to meet the costs of administration, salaries, grass and hedge cutting, general maintenance and capital expenditure, so we are very fortunate to have the additional income from our land and the cemetery to help us maintain and improve the facilities within the village.
From this April the grant from SKDC toward our precept ceased however the council decided to keep the increase to householders to a minimum and not implement the government recommended increase.
The main expenditure over the last year has been on the colour coating of the public tennis courts, general maintenance/safety work to council owned trees and the installation of a new sluice gate at Spring Wells.
This coming financial year the council plans to continue to update the recreation ground by refurbishing the sports pavilion, install new litter bins, repair and replace broken or missing fencing and paint entrance areas/gates. We also intend to install litter bins on Low Street and Birthorpe Road, a plan carried over from last year due to issues with SKDC, replace the speed sign on Pointon Road with a solar powered one, undertake essential maintenance work to the island at Spring Wells and look to update the fencing and gates at the cemetery.
The council also intends to develop a new emergency plan with the village. Our lead will be Cllr Pam Harvey-Volanakis. Although the council is happy to lead on this it is a village plan and therefore requires input and direct involvement from the village. We will print further details in our newsletter for all those wishing to get involved.
Anti - social behaviour - continues to be a problem that usually increases in school holiday times. The council appreciates that the village has little to entertain young people or places for them to meet and continues to explore avenues to bring a youth facility or programme to the village. The council always welcomes suggestions from the public as to how they can move forward or address this situation.
Dog mess - the council has received numerous complaints about the increase in dog mess within the village. This is a hard issue to resolve and it is only the district council that can prosecute identified offenders. As we all know it's the owners who are the problem not the dogs, we encourage you to report offenders and if you have any ideas as to how we can eradicate or minimise this problem please let us know.
The old Aveland site (ie playing field) transfer is still to be finalised, though it has moved forward, we still need agreement from the Crown Estates to finalise the transfer. Meanwhile the early entry agreement created to allow the development of the allotments has been extended and will be reviewed six monthly, until completion occurs.
Grimmer site - There is still no firm decision regarding this.
Aveland housing development - The new proposal of 39 homes on this site was discussed fully at the council meeting in March and a letter with the concerns raised sent to SKDC,
The council will continue to keep the village informed of any updates on all of these and other issues via their newsletter.
Please remember we are here for the village and that we always welcome ideas, suggestions etc as to how we can improve the village
I'd like thank all those who work for the village - so thanks to Kim our dedicated community village cleaner, who does an amazing job, going above and beyond her job description, to Mark our recreation ground caretaker, who ensures its upkeep and security 365 days of the year, to David our cemetery caretaker who ensures that our one business is presentable at all times and Chris our Clerk who joined us in December and who sadly has decided to resign, we thank him and wish him all the best for the future.
I'd like also like to thank everyone who's worked for free for the village - firstly the Youth Offending team, who regularly provide young people to undertake work within the village, which is very much appreciated. Secondly, to all our councillors who give their time to work for the village, with a special thanks to Bob who served as a councillor for nine years and vice chairman for seven years but who unfortunately left us last July and Mike who was a councillor and vice chair from 2007 and Chairman from 2011 to 2017 and who stood down this month. They were both amazing in their roles, highly knowledgeable and incredibly dedicated to the village. Thanks so much to you both! I'd also like to thank the BAGS committee for all their hard work with the allotments.
I'd also like to extend a massive thank you to our former clerk Michelle who left us in January. She was amazing! Michelle went above and beyond to ensure the best for the council and village and continues to support the council and new clerk when necessary.
Remember this is your village, so please let us have your ideas about what you'd like to see being developed, initiated etc or how we could do things better. You could even joins us and help us make that difference!