This has been my third year as Chairman of the council.
It has been a busy year for all our Councillors and everybody in the village. It saw great celebration and street parties for our Queen’s Golden Jubilee. We gave Jubilee mugs to all primary school children and supported the celebration to the tune of £500. A great time was had by all. Thanks to all those involved in organizing the event.
This year saw the resignation of Mrs Gooders from the council after a short time due to personal issues. I would like to thank her for her contributions.
The parish plan committee sat for the first time this year with some Councillors and members of the public who formed the new committee. The purpose was to produce a parish plan. Every household in the village has been given a questionnaire via the ‘Villager’ and these are currently being collected. Mr MacPherson is chairman of the committee.
The Parish Council has met each month to consider a variety of matters. In addition working parties and committees have met to consider detail relating to: –
- Playing Fields.
- Common Land
- Personnel Matters
- Consultation Documents.
The Parish Council has representatives on other bodies outside the Parish Council. They are as follows:
- School Governors – Mr Johnson.
- Quarry Liaison Committee – Mr Precious.
- Police Consultation Committee – Mrs Swain.
- Village Hall Trust – Mrs Mitchell.
- Relief in Need Charity – Mr Johnson
- CALC Representative – Mr MacPherson.
- Youth Liaison Officer – Mrs Eldridge.
Mrs Mitcham has continued as Parish Clerk and has once again worked extremely hard on behalf of the council. She has completed the Certificate of Higher Education in Local Policy from the University of Gloucestershire, which makes her a qualified Clerk under the Quality Council guidelines. She is now working toward a diploma. (Well done to her).
Mr Gray continues as groundman and has reached the last three for the Hunts FA groundsman of the year award, Mr Swales continues as Village Handyman and Mrs Pearce as cleaner.
Roads and Environment.
The Parish Council has continued to monitor the state of roads, footpaths and streetlights and pass information regarding defects to Huntingdonshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.
In January 2003, Stagecoach East announced its plans to withdraw services 157/158 as from 24th February. In light of recent changes to the bus network, notably the withdrawal of the Whippet bus to St Ivo School, services 157/158 are currently being subsidised by Cambridgeshire County Council. This is a temporary arrangement until July 2003, by which time a fuller assessment of the situation will be made. The council is working extremely hard to get the school bus reinstated.
During the year the council has considered and made recommendations on 45 planning applications. One of which was for housing association housing to the rear of Spinney Way. After a lengthy debate the council supported the application on planning issues and permission was later granted.
We have continued to co-orperate fully with our local police sector, and have been represented at local consultative meetings by Mrs Swain. Our community liaison officer is PC D Carter who makes regular monthly reports to the Parish Council. We are grateful for his hard work and commitment. Crime in our area remains low. I would like to thank WPC K Raine for her hard work prior to PC Carter.
This year our Consultation Documents Committee have looked at a number of documents including: –
- Local Investigation and Determination of Misconduct.
- The Future Development of Air Transport on the United Kingdom – South East.
- Survey of Highways and Engineering Services – Cambridgeshire County Council.
- Shaping our Future – A Community Strategy.
- Regional Planning Guidance
- Draft Supplementary Guidance on re-use and re-development of Farm Buildings and Outbuildings.
- Local Plan alteration.
IN April 2002 we adopted the model code of conduct. In this year we have also adopted: –
- Race Equality policy
- Health and Safety Policy
- The model publication scheme under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
- Grievance and Disciplinary procedures.
- Amended standing orders and Financial Regulations.
The website continues to be very popular with a wide range of information available. We will be linking to the MP’s website.
This year the council invests a large amount of money with the installation of new rabbit netting around the perimeter of the cemetery, which has kept rabbits out. The cemetery looks very smart and the grass remains well maintained thanks to Mr Swales.
The Parish Council continues to fund the Nite Café; This is to help the newly formed Nite Café committee to employ two youth workers. This committee is not a Parish Council committee, just volunteers who want to help to try and raise funds for the café. Mrs Bannell is chair of that committee.
This year CCTV has been installed at the village heal with 4 cameras. Also various cameras have been installed at Millfields. It has been a success.
In conclusion I have enjoyed my thirds year as Chairman. I would like to thank Mr Paul Brant as our District Councillor and John Eddy as our County Councillor for their hard work and monthly reports to our meetings.
As you are all aware this is an election year and sadly some of out Councillors have decided not to stand for re-election. Again may I take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and commitment over the years.
Mr Sid Brown has been a Councillor since 1986, some 17 years of service, Mr Johnson since 1991, 12 years and Mrs Eldridge and Mrs Bannell more recently. Mrs Bannell has been Vice-Chair and worked tirelessly in committees, village organisations and projects for the council. She has edited the ‘Villager’ for a number of years. They will all be missed.
I am sure you have noticed all the hard work shown by our village handyman and grounds man – Mark Swales and John Gray, our tree warden – George Britton. Our thanks to them all. Finally, our clerk Mrs Mitcham for her hard work over the last year. She has done a great job for us and keeps me in line. Thankyou.