News, Parish Council

Chairs Annual Report – 2016-17

CHAIRS ANNUAL REPORT 2016-17

I am further encouraged by the progress that we have made this year. I would again like to thank all of the parish councillors who, despite their full-time jobs and voluntary commitments, give their time freely and work hard for the benefit of the village throughout the year. I would also like to thank our Borough Councillor Leigh Hunt and County Councillor Philip Morris-Jones for the support they continue to show for the village. The Parish Council has achieved a great deal over the past 12 months:

HIGHLIGHTS – ANNUAL REPORT 2016-17

  • Elections in May – 6 Members were elected unopposed – The Parish was divided into 2 Parish Wards: Clifton upon Dunsmore and Radio Station (which has 1 Member at present).
  • Sale of Air Raid Shelter – the proceeds from which will contribute towards the refurbishment of the playground and enhance other assets of the village

Policies created by the parish council to further strengthen accountability

  • Adoption of the General Power of Competence for the term of the council
  • Development of Community Grants policy and application process for local groups

Additional savings made this year

  • Significant financial savings made by the re-negotiation of a new 3 year insurance policy
  • Purchase of new Laptop, external hard drive and Printer (via successful grant application £565)
  • Defibrillator (via successful grant application £1700)

Increased communication – delivered to each household

  • Development of a 5-year plan
  • Regular Parish Council newsletters to inform residents of upcoming actions and events

Community engagement

  • Litter Picks November 2016 and March 2017 (Great British Spring Clean)
  • Creation of the parish Conservation Group. Activities included: flower festival / churchyard improvements/bulb planting etc
  • Christmas festivities – Tree and Community Carol singing
  • Training sessions for the defibrillator was made available to all residents

Partnership

  • Created formal lines of communication with Newton Parish Council
  • Invitations accepted by speakers to attend meetings: Urban & Civic, RBC Local Plan Team, Traffic Calming, WCC Ground Based Solar Farm, Travellers policing team

Caring for our community

  • Resolution to refurbish play equipment (grant funding application in progress)
  • Commenced development of a Community Emergency Plan for the parish
  • Refurbishment of the car park
  • Defibrillator training day
  • Traffic Calming scheme – any day now!
  • Bi-annual Village walks to identify and rectify local issues
  • Strengthening playing fields security
  • Strengthening safeguarding of pavilion

Challenges met this year

  • Travellers were negotiated off the playing field, at no cost to the parish
  • Vandalism at the Pavilion over the summer – extra security installed
  • Reduction in the amount of Council Tax Support Grant paid to parishes
  • Old street lighting in need of updating/renewal – strategy still in planning stage

A reminder that we are currently in the process of putting together the makings of a summer fair which we plan to take place on Saturday 9 September. We are interested in collaborating with residents to help make this event as successful as possible and welcome any offers of help.

The parish council thanks those villagers who are attending parish council meetings, providing written feedback, and responding to questionnaires in increasing numbers to inform the thinking of the work that the councillors undertake. We sincerely hope that this trend continues so that we are able to address the many varied local concerns that arise.

Financial report 2016-17

The Annual Parish Meeting is held just prior to the end of the financial year. It has therefore not been possible to submit the final accounts for the year 2016-17 to support the Annual Report.

I anticipate that this will have taken place by the next parish council meeting on 3 April 2017 in the meantime; I shall present an overview of the accounts as we currently understand them. I should confirm that the accounts will be subject to the Annual Return Internal and External Audit process in June 2017, and will be available to anyone who wishes to see them during the period of public inspection.

In the meantime; the parish council began the year with £21,202 in the bank; of which around £2,570 is earmarked for the replacement of play equipment.

For the financial year 2016-17 the parish council received £23,252 in precept from the Borough Council. We also received monies from the football clubs’ use of the playing fields, from the allotments and grazing fields and we have received around £2,265 in grant funding.

The sale of the site of the former Air Raid Shelter in Church Street in April 2016 has provided the Parish Council with £64,950.  The Members agreed that 10% of the net sale will go into the Councils General Reserve to increase financial resilience and the remainder (£58,455) earmarked for the improvement of existing community facilities or purchase new facilities for the benefit of the community.

Significant outgoings this year are for the usual costs of running the parish council meetings, street lighting costs, insurance and maintenance costs associated with the pavilion, playing fields and street lighting. The cost of the refurbishment of the car park in Lilbourne Road amounted to around £8.2k.

Having started the year with funds available of £21,202 we are likely to have finished the year with a bank balance of around £81, 534.

Marion Nash
Chair – Clifton upon Dunsmore Parish Council
27 March 2017