Council Reports April 2021

Councillors and Clerk Reports – April 2021

Cllr Cottle’s Report

KGV Field

Following our last meeting I received a message of concerns from a resident regarding the legality of our plans for the KGV Field.  I have contacted The King George’s Fields Foundation as planned, to run the draft plan by them to confirm that everything is agreed before we start to finalise our plans and look at grant funding.  I hope to get a response from them to bring to the next meeting.

I have now spoken to The Fields in Trust who manage the King George V Fields and they have said we need to consult the village again as the previous survey was in 2011.  Once this is completed, they will look at our ideas and if necessary, come to the village to assess the field and advise us accordingly.

I will be putting a motion forward to consult with the village residents on future plans for the KGV Field and ask for ideas and suggestions, at the next meeting.

Flood Alleviation

As a result of the site visit from Peter Bowman from Severn Trent/WWT last month I invited Nicola Jameson from Natural England and Peter Bowman to attend the Yelvertoft Environmental Group (YEG) meeting last week.  They informed us how they have a collaborative approach to Natural Flood Management (NFM).  We are part of the Avon Catchment Area and as such we are considered as ‘high priority’ when it comes to flood alleviation and support.  They are very keen to work with the Parish Council and YEG to introduce some NFM into our catchment area.

Having already considered the KGV Field and the opportunity to introduce NFM into the plans Peter Bowman also identified the Allotment Field as an ideal area belonging to the Parish Council that NFM could be introduced to demonstrate NFM techniques.  This would involve a similar scheme to the proposed KGV Field draft plan. If you look on our Parish Council website, we have been aware of NFM for some time.

The Environment Agency have told us we need major extensions to our Flood Alleviate ground on Crick Road or major interventions on private property to increase the size of the culvert from Crick Road to Yelvertoft Brook to address the problem, but funding is not available.  The Parish Council need to look at all options to try to reduce the amount of surface water pouring down into our village.  As a landowner, the Parish Council can lead the way in land management to demonstrate techniques used in NFM.  It is a shame we do not own land on the Crick Road but at least we should be able to reduce the flow down the Bridleway and entering the Yelvertoft Brook and it will be visible for other landowners to view.   This would be monitored before installation and after to assess the effect such a technique will have on the environment.

I shall be putting a motion forward to introduce NFM to the Allotment Field and associated ditch at the next meeting.

Cemetery

Having spoken to a local farmer he has advised me that lifting a 20ft container across the field and into the Cemetery is not possible.  We need to rethink how we get a storage unit into position as soon as possible as we need to vacate the current storage location very soon. A resident is obtaining quotes and speaking to suppliers. A farmer has agreed to house the equipment temporarily whilst we get the problem sorted.  A resident has advised me that a container can be placed on the ground with just bricks or slabs to level it.  Once we know the size of unit we are purchasing we can get the ground prepared. I will speak to other Farmers who may be able to help transport the container for us.

Blocked Footpaths and Bridleways

I have arranged for Nick Wedgebrow, Rights of Way Office, NCC, to do a site inspection on the High Street to Lilbourne Road footpath (FP4) and to confirm its exact route and access across the fields. I am waiting to hear his response.

I have also reported the sighting of sewage/horse manure in a ditch on the Wards Lane to Elkington Road footpath which discharges directly into the Yelvertoft Brook.  The Clerk is following this up.

Shrubs and Grass Trees

I received concerns from residents about a tree at 9 High Street Yelvertoft.  I checked to confirm that there was not a TPO on this tree and that the proposed work was in order.

I am still waiting for the tree stump to be removed opposite the Reading Room.  Vaughan Wright has quoted £175 to do this but needs to wait until he hires a grinder for other jobs to make if economical for him.

Cllr Andrews – Allotment Officer’s Report

Current PlotholdersWe welcomed one new plotholder last month, meaning there are currently 24 confirmed plotholders and 4.5 vacant plots are presently available, although there is capacity to add more on adjacent land if needed.

Maintenance

Last month we turned the water supply back on, having turned it off for the winter
period as usual. In April the communal grassed areas and paths will receive their first cut of the year.

Cllr Bolton’s report

Street Lighting

  • All street lights have now been completed to low energy LED lights.
  • The relevant YPC web page has been updated
  • Maintenance of lights remains with E.ON.
    Action
    – Further investigation of ‘agreement’ required (costs and benefits)
  • ON is the current supplier of electricity for the street lights. Investigation was undertaken by ex-Councillor Jesson into other suppliers who may be cheaper.  The investigation showed that no money would be saved by switching supplier.  It is therefore recommended that the Council stays with E.ON
  • Speed road signs. – ex-Councillor Jesson was leading on this aspect. Councillor Bolton will be picking this up and making recommendations to the Council

Highways

  • Potholes continue to be a problem in most areas of the village. Residents should be encouraged to report these through the YPC website or directly through Fix My Street
  • The YPC potholes webpage has been updated
  • Concern has been raised over the state of the road at the Crick Road//High Street junction.

Actions:

  • Mail has been sent to Lightrock as when the Solar Farm construction begins, this will be on the route for construction traffic.
  • Mail has also sent to Gigaclear in the same area as reinstatement of grass verge was inadequate
  • The proposed housing construction at the end of Hillmorton Lane will inevitably create more damage to the road surface. Once planning is agreed, it is recommended that Councillor Bolton act as point of contact for this

Neighbourhood Watch

  • The PC NHW group is being re-constituted after recent resignations from the Council
  • The YPC webpage has been updated
  • Councillor Mercer has agreed to be the co-ordinator for the group. He has also agreed and signed up to be the Police Liaison Representative
  • Councillors Bolton and Mercer to meet as soon as possible to agree plans for the future of the group and actions to be taken.

Cllr Mercer’s Report

I’m getting the emails fine on my ‘phone but having issues getting the account added on my desktop! So I sometimes don’t see your emails as my ‘phone keeps stacking threads.

This month I have registered as the Police contact for YPC (although I am going to talk to someone in person if I can). Also, on Chris’s recommendation,  I enrolled on  ‘our watch. org’ the national neighbourhood watch scheme. Hoping to have a catch up with Chris on Monday possibly, to get up to date with current issues and start to plan things going forward.

Clerk’s Report

CEMETERY

‘Old’ cremated remains area

The ‘old’ cremated remains area works along the hedge has finally been completed.  The new maintenance contractor spent 3 days installing a row of kerb stones which match and continue those that were laid around the Rose Garden, and gravel laid which also matches that recently laid around the Rose Garden.  We initially thought that a backing board was not required for under the hedge but it was found that this was required as it didn’t look pleasing as there was no apparent border and the stones would have disappeared / disbursed under the hedge and into the ground.  The contractor initially quoted double what we had budgeted but agreed to do the work for the budget amount, however, the backing board was extra at £200 so I authorised this using my delegated power in order to get the job done.  I will take this from the Cemetery maintenance budget. Initially, it was decided to lay the gravel around the daffodils and the memorial plaques but it was found that the plaques were uneven and it looked awful.  Julie and Vivien very kindly went to the cemetery and discussed with the contractor.  We agreed that it would be best to lay the gravel and place the memorial plaques on top of the gravel so they were all level and treated the same.  The contractor took careful measures to ensure that all plaques were laid in the exact same place as they were.  It would have been good for us to contact all of the next of kin to gain permission to do this but we do not have their details (I am working on this). Julie did kindly visit some of the known next of kin to speak to them.

Bin surround

The new contractor has built the wooden bin surround to hide the wheelie bins.  There is also a spare section for storing the plastic vases that Vivien kindly supplies.  This has really tidied up the area.  We need to ascertain if getting the bins in and out will be easy enough as there is now a step and some mud.  Further works may be needed.  The wood is treated.  Initially, we looked at staining it dark brown so that it blends in.  The contractor has left this for now  as it currently looks natural and will weather so we need to decide if we want it stained or not.

Cemetery ashes sign

I am having no joy with getting the sign back of the old contractor.  I will persevere.

Cemetery Path Extension

I am obtaining quotes to extend the path all the way up the cemetery as we are now using the second half of the cemetery.

Cemetery Path Jet Washing

This is a h&s issue as very slippy.  I have added the quotes to the agenda for approval.

Cemetery Headstone Complaint

I contacted the next of kin regarding an unsafe headstone.  She asked that the PC get it secured and invoice her, which I did. The son is complaining.  Alan and I are dealing with this.

Burials

I have had none for months which is really unusual in the winter months.

POLICIES & PROCEDURES

You will see that I have added the annual review of policies and procedures to the April agenda.  We are supposed to do this in May but the internal audit takes place before the May meeting and they want to see all the reviews.  I have therefore added it to April.

OLD MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR

The old contractor will just not respond to me. As stated above, he is holding the Cemetery ashes sign, along with the bridleway no vehicles sign.  I will continue different ways to resolve this.

NEW MAINTENANCE CONTRACTOR

The new contractor seems good – reliable, friendly, accommodating.  However, very expensive!  He has agreed to meet the budget for existing planned works but I am concerned that any future works we will need three quotes which goes against the whole point of the reason we agreed to contract someone we can just call upon.  We may need to rethink this.

VILLAGE PLANTERS

A volunteer is now kindly looking after the two village planters.  See will also do the diamond jubilee garden if she has time.

 

New campaign urges public to get tested twice a week

On 9 April, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) launched a major public information campaign encouraging people to get into the habit of using lateral flow tests twice a week.

Everyone in England is able to access free, regular rapid coronavirus testing delivered through:

·       a home ordering service

·       workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home

·       community testing, offered by all councils

·       collection at a local test site

·       testing on-site at schools and colleges

·       collection from participating pharmacies

The campaign will run across TV, radio, press, digital, and social media.

Read the government announcement here. 

Click here for the home test ordering service.

Council Reports March 2021

Allotment Officer’s Report, March 2021

Current Plotholders

Two local residents have given up their plots for 2021, however we have since welcomed two new plotholders to the site. There are currently 23 confirmed plotholders and 4.5 vacant plots are presently available, although there is capacity to add more on adjacent land if needed.  There has been regular communication with plotholders in recent weeks, as we have updated our allotment records, secured outstanding rental payments and kept everyone informed about maintenance activities at the site.

Maintenance and security

A number of maintenance jobs have recently been undertaken at the allotment site.  A new gate has been installed and a new hardstanding surface has been laid at the entrance point. We have also addressed some issues with the culvert beneath the entrance.  Now that we have a new gate, it is important to ensure that the site is made secure. We will be adding a padlock to the chain that is currently around the gates and providing the combination code to plotholders only.

Water supply

In March we will be turning the water supply back on, having turned it off for the winter period as usual.

Councillor Nichols Report 

This month I have ordered the Rose bushes for the Cemetery and they arrived today. They should be by the weekend.  I will be looking for some ground cover plants to cheer the plot up as it will take a while for the roses to become established.

The grant for the storage building was sadly turned down and there is no appeal process. I have forwarded all emails regarding this to the rest of the council.

Clerk Report 

Village Planters / Diamond Jubilee Garden

I asked for volunteers to maintain the village sign planters – one opposite the Village Hall and one opposite the Cemetery.  The idea was they had all year round bloom but they have looked very dreary for a while.  Tricia Davis has volunteered so I am liaising with her.

We also need someone to maintain the Diamond Jubilee Garden as again it is dreary.  I have asked Tricia if she would like to maintain that too.

Maintenance Contractor

I met with the new maintenance contractor and we went round looking at the outstanding jobs in the village.  He is a lovely guy, very willing, very reliable.  I asked him to quote for individual jobs, especially the larger jobs, to ensure we keep to budget.  His quotes came in over budget.  I told him we would use another contractor instead so he has now agreed to do the jobs to our budget.  He can also carry them out next week so we can get the work done and invoiced in this financial year, as per the budget.  He will be working on extending the cemetery path and gravelling the cremated remains area, erecting a wheelie bin storage shelter at the cemetery.  He may also do the grass block in School Close – he is investigating this.  I have asked him to quote for jet washing the cemetery path too.   He is not keen on doing small gardening jobs so we need to look for another contractor.  For the timebeing I will see how it goes and any jobs that need doing I will get 3 quotes and bring to Council for decision.

OUTSTANDING MAINTENANCE JOBS

  • Cemetery ashes sign to be erected in the cemetery. Place on left on grass as you go through the gate into the cemetery.
  • Shelter to be built/bought for bins at cemetery. C2C doing.
  • Maintain village planters – ongoing.  There is a planter at the Village hall end of the village on the verge on the left as you go out of Yelvertoft, and another on the left verge opposite the cemetery.  They have Yelvertoft on and a planter.  Please keep these planted up with nice flowers. VOLUNTEER now doing.
  • Maintain Diamond Jubilee Garden – ongoing.  Corner of Elkington Road and High Street on left.  A diamond little garden that needs to have nice flowers all year round – bulbs are ok too. VOLUNTEER NEEDED, OR CONTRACTOR
  • Maintain Millenium garden – ongoing. On the war memorial green on the left is a stone and a little garden with bushes.  Please ensure this is kept nice. VOLUNTEER NEEDED, OR CONTRACTOR
  • Clean any road signs that need it (possibly re-painting needed too).
  • Jet wash cemetery path.
  • To lay grass block in School Close. On agenda for decision.
  • Allotment works – cutting hedges, tidying, removing bonfire etc.  Iain arranging.
  • Removal of tree stump on green left of the old Post Office. Julie asked Vaughan Wright to do at £150 – waiting for a response from him.
  • Extension of gravel path from Rose Garden along cremated remains area by hedge. Should be done this week.
  • Levelling of graves in cemetery.
  • Level and seed the verge outside the Rag factory. Not sure now – waiting for environment group to advise as talk of leaving it / wildflowers.

Cemetery

All unsafe headstones have now been re-erected / secured.

SLCC Annual Virtual Conference

I attended the 3-day conference participating in 3-5 webinars a day.  I did obtain a few useful contacts / information which I will be following up on.

Solar Farm

Spoke to Lightrock and asked them for an Agreement for the £10k fund, and the requirements of it.  Awaiting.

 

 

 

New Covid Testing Centre in Daventry

A community Lateral Flow Device Testing Centre has opened at Daventry Leisure Centre. 

This complements the existing provision in Northampton, Corby, Wellingborough and Brackley and offers a more local testing venue for those in Daventry and the surrounding areas.  Lateral Flow Device testing is otherwise known as rapid testing and is used in people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19.  The aim is to identify the one in three people who may be infectious without being aware, in order to reduce spread of the virus.  Rapid testing enables swift action to be taken to protect colleagues and family members of those who test positive with COVID-19 and to reduce any onward risk of transmission.

Booking a test

The new site is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 6.30pm, providing a wide variety of testing slots.  Each test involves a swab of the mouth and nose and provides a result within 30 minutes.

Priority is given to workers in the following sectors:

  • Health or social care
  • Transportation
  • Education or childcare (if not receiving regular rapid tests via the workplace)
  • Essential shop, supermarkets or financial services
  • Food production or processing
  • Warehousing, packing or distribution
  • Essential public sector services including waste, bin collections, security etc
  • Construction, utilities or communications
  • Agency workers.

Annual Parish Meeting 2021

To: All Yelvertoft village organisations

Re:  Annual Parish Meeting Invite

We are writing to invite you to the Yelvertoft Annual Parish meeting which will be held at 7pm on Monday 12th April 2021. 

Due to Coronavirus please note that all face-to-face meetings have been suspended so the meeting will be via web conference. 

We would really appreciate a report on what your organisation has been working on over the last 12 months, and also a presentation of your accounts.  This is a great opportunity for you to inform the village about your work, plans, achievements, and anything else you wish them to know.

We are often approached by village organisations with requests for funding, which we welcome.  Please note that priority for funding will be given to those groups that attend the Annual Parish Meeting as the Parish Council has a duty to all residents to ensure all funding awarded is made on a fair basis and in order for us to make such decisions we need to know what groups contribute to the village, how active they are and have an overview of their finances.

If you, or a representative, are unable to attend the meeting then you are welcome to send me a report which I will read out at the meeting.  If you are attending the meeting I would really appreciate you emailing me a copy of the report also to include in the minutes.

Zoom details:   

Join Zoom Meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83699783306
Meeting ID: 836 9978 3306
One tap mobile +442039017895.  Dial by your location +44 203 901 7895 United Kingdom
Meeting ID: 836 9978 3306

Please try to access the meeting at least 15 minutes beforehand so you can test your audio.  Your pc may also want to do a small download in order for Zoom to work on your pc.

The agenda will be available at https://www.yelvertoft-pc.gov.uk/agendas-and-minutes the week before the meeting.

Please do advise if you are able to attend.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Yelvertoft Parish Council
www.yelvertoft-pc.gov.uk

First-ever Elections to the new West Northamptonshire Council

Residents in Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire are being encouraged to apply early to vote by post for the first-ever elections to the new West Northamptonshire Council this spring.

On Thursday, 6 May voters across the three areas will go to the polls to elect a total of 93 councillors for the new unitary authority, which will be formed on 1 April this year, replacing the existing district, borough and county councils.

On Polling Day residents will also be able to cast votes for the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and to elect representatives for many of their local parish councils.

Work is underway to ensure that residents can cast their votes safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with a range of Covid-safe measures being planned for polling stations, alongside the other usual options such as voting by post or by proxy (when someone votes on your behalf).

People are urged to apply for postal votes as early as possible ahead of the deadline of 5:00pm on 20 April and those wishing to vote by proxy can also do this now before the deadline of 5:00pm on 27 April.

Anyone who is not yet registered to vote must do so by Monday, 19 April in order to take part in this spring’s elections.

Polling arrangements are currently being organised by elections staff in Daventry District, South Northants and Northampton until the new West Northamptonshire Council is formed on 1 April. In the run-up to this, residents will still need to apply for postal and proxy votes via their existing district or borough councils.

Voters in Daventry District can apply by emailing   or calling 01327 871100, Northampton residents should email  or call 0300 330 7000, and people living in South Northants should email  or call 01327 322128.

Residents unsure whether or not they are registered to vote can check by contacting their local elections team on the contact details above. Those who need to register can do so online, where they will be asked to provide their name, National Insurance Number and date of birth.

REGISTER TO VOTE

Census 2021

Every ten years the census takes place in England and Wales, providing insight into the people who live across the country and what their lives are like. This year, census day is on Sunday 21 March. You may already have seen advertisements on the TV,  in newspapers and social media.

What is the census?

The census is a series of questions that gives a data picture of British society and this year it will give future generations a fascinating insight into how we lived during the coronavirus pandemic.

But, more importantly, it helps the government plan and fund services in local communities. The responses might highlight a need for a new school, increased health care facilities or other services in your area.

How does it work?

Next week (from 22 February) every house will be sent a Purple Postcard in the post to remind everyone that the census is on its way.

The following week every house will be sent an Information Pack. This will contain a unique code which will give access to the census form online using any device. The Pack will also explain how to complete the census and how to get help if anyone needs it.

If someone doesn’t want to complete the census themself, a family member or a trusted person can do it on their behalf. People can also request a paper copy. Everything will explained in the Information Pack.

What information is collected?

The census collects information about individuals, their households and their homes. This information is collated and analysed and the first figures will be released next year. Billions of pounds of funding depend on the results of the census.

Is personal information safe?

Yes. Any information that is published following the census is fully anonymised. This year’s census records will be held securely and will be released into the public domain in 2121 when they will be available for everyone to read.

Does everyone have to complete the census form?

Yes. It’s a legal requirement to complete the census.

A dedicated telephone number has been released for people who want to request a paper form: 0800 876 6276.  No other help will be available on this number.  The general help line number of 0800 141 2021 remains and over 500 additional staff will be answering calls.

For more information visit census.gov.uk

 

Garden Waste at Yelvertoft Allotments

Yelvertoft Parish Council would like to remind all local residents that the dumping of garden waste at Yelvertoft Allotments is strictly prohibited.

The dumping of domestic garden waste has increasingly become a problem at the allotment site over recent years.

Access to Yelvertoft Allotments is for plotholders only  and we are in the process of making security improvements at the site.

We would like to ensure everyone is aware of this position and thank you for your cooperation.

 

Grant funding for Northamptonshire Schools

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL TO PROVIDE THE COUNTY’S SCHOOLS WITH COVID-19 RESPONSE GRANT FUNDING

Financial support will now be given to Northamptonshire schools from the County Council through COVID-19 grant funding of £24.90 per pupil; total funding allocation of £3m. This funding will be used to cover future costs or those already incurred from infection prevention and control measures on items not already covered by government funding.

Schools across the county have been responding to COVID-19 on the front line since March last year, working extremely hard to follow all of the necessary guidance to operate in a way that is COVID-19 safe and secure for all pupils.

As a result of this, additional costs for schools have been incurred during a time when they are already under immense pressure.

The grant will be given to schools on the express condition that all monies received will be used only in accordance with the spending criteria, on eligible items permitted and in line with the objectives of the grant.

Cllr Fiona Baker, cabinet member for children, families and education at Northamptonshire County Council, said “This year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and our local schools must be commended for their dedication to making their learning environments as safe as possible so that the county’s children can continue to access the best possible education.

We’d like to thank our county’s schools for their continued hard work, continuing to put the interests and wellbeing of pupils first during this extremely challenging period.”

For more information please email

Bus Service Petition

We all have the right to a full, rich life – wherever we live. But without regular bus services, many people in rural communities are being cut off, isolated and left without the means to live an independent life.

The people living in our towns and villages deserve better.

As we start to rebuild, will you join us in calling for a reliable bus service for every community, wherever they live?

More than 25,000 people have already signed our petition – will you add your name?

 

CPRE, Feb 2021