Councillor & Clerk Monthly Reports – April 2022

Cllr Julie Cottle Report

Climate Change

I attended an online Parish Council Network Event run by NACRE on ‘How to Green Your Community’.  It highlighted practical actions Councils can take in addressing the Climate and Nature Emergency.  I shall be looking to include some of these in a Climate and Nature Policy and Action Plan which I am working on. It also explained how the Levelling Up White Paper sets out how government will spread opportunity more equally across the UK.

Flooding

I have forwarded the contact details of the Solar Farm to Peter Bowman from Severn Trent and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust as he requested.  It is hoped he can encourage more flooding mitigation work to be introduced onto the site.

WNC Spatial Option 3a

I have made two site visits to the WNC Spatial Option 3a site.  My first visit was with Councillor Bolton and Councillor Humphreys (District Councillor).  My second visit was accompanied by Councillor Jonathan Nunn (Leader of WNC), Councillor Humphreys and Councillor Chantler to show the landform and to demonstrate why it is essential that Option 3a is removed from the strategic plan document and is not included in the next stage of this process.

I questioned Councillor Nunn on the impact any development would have on the countryside, on biodiversity, and on our resident’s well-being. I also questioned why they are consulting on an area of 106 ha on this site alone when the recommendations for the whole of WNC is 48 ha enabling sufficient buildings for employment. I also pointed out the major issues of noise pollution, light pollution and air pollution.

With this fact I also questioned why they are proposing this option when it goes against everything the WNC’s Clean and Green Strategy states and WNC’s pledge to become Net Zero by no later than 2045. I asked how they could justify this decision.

A meeting is planned with Crick, Kilsby and Lilbourne Parish Councils which I intend to attend on Thursday 31st March.

King Georges Field

Work is still ongoing to establish costs, potential sources of funding, suppliers and a programme of works. It is hoped to be able to report back at next month’s meeting.

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee arrangements are well underway.  We are planning to organise a walk along the Crick bridleway to attend the Lighting of the Beacon on Cracks Hill on Thursday 2nd June at 9.45pm and to join the residents of Crick for this celebration.  We then plan to have a full day of community celebrations on Sunday 5th June at Yelvertoft Village Hall.  Events to include The Big Platinum Picnic, The Yelvertoft Platinum Pudding Competition, Dog Show, Fancy Dress, entertainment, games, children’s Treasure Hunt, traditional stalls and much more finishing with a Village Quiz in the evening.

I plan to present a motion at the April meeting to request funding from the Parish Council to enable the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee working group to advertise and produce this community event.  We are meeting again on Tuesday 29th March to calculate our costings.

Crick Bridleway

I have emailed CRT again to report the rubbish abandoned at the top of the Crick bridleway. No response yet.

Church Walk – Mains Water Leak

On Monday 28th March I contacted Anglian Water again regarding the water leak as it is still running down Church Walk.  I spoke to Anglian Water again on 29th March and no one seems to realise that this is still running and when they are planning to fix it. I will continue to monitor but feel extremely disappointed that this water has been running for well over 3 months.

Yelvertoft Environment Group

I attended a meeting of the YEG on 16 March 2022.  They have agreed to send a response to the WNC ‘The Big Question’.

Cllr Chris Bolton Report

Street Lighting

  • Street light ‘shields’ – request sent to EON to install 2 ‘shields’ for street lights 30 (outside 29 Brookside Close) and 3 (outside 2b Ward’s Lane). Both residents have been informed.

Highways

  • Potholes – are a particular problem at this time of year and there have been some quite serious incidents. Please ensure any potholes or highway issues are reported as soon as possible via Fix My Street

Planning

Solar Farm

  • Community Fund – awaiting legal review of the draft agreement

Housing development – Hillmorton Lane

  • No update this month

SO 3a or DIRFT 4

  • Walked the proposed site with Councillor Cottle and Councillor Rosie Humphreys
  • Meeting with neighbouring Parish Councils 31st March

 Speed Sign Project

  • The VAS data will be downloaded, analysed and reported on in the coming weeks

Clerk’s Report

CEMETERY

Two internments are/have taken place this month.

Quotes have been requested from contractors to carry out the extension works to the cemetery path and to the cremated remains plaque area.  The volunteer who helps maintain the cemetery believes there may be some issues with drainage pipes in the vicinity of those two areas so a site visit with the volunteer, the preferred contractor, the grave digger, and the Burial Officer is being arranged.  We also need to consider a simple system for marking out graves. The second half of the cemetery is now being used and when plots are reserved it can be very difficult to ascertain where the plot should be.  The grave digger has suggested we measure out the plots and mark the head of say two rows of plots with a marker such as a wooden cross.  We also need to map out the second half of the cemetery accurately, The Assistant Burial Officer and myself spent a lot of time trying to do this but we do not have the knowledge of where the drains are, the depth of the drains, the drains do not run in a straight line, how far tree roots go out etc.  We plan to look at all this at our site visit which should take place in the next few weeks.  We believe that we are going to lose many plots due to the drains and tree roots.

We are supposed to have an area of the cemetery unconsecrated for religions which require this e.g. muslim.  The whole cemetery was consecrated many years ago so it may mean we need to unconsecrated an area. I have added this as an agenda item.

MAINTENANCE

Ongoing maintenance of footpaths/alleys is going well and no resident complaints have been received for a long time.

The small claims court application has been placed against the previous contractor who is holding our signs.  He has texted to say he will drop the signs off to me but nothing received so far.  Chasing.

YEAR END

The year-end payroll has virtually been processed, just waiting for final bank statements, and then the accounts are ready for the internal auditor. The internal audit is taking place on 20th May and we have to submit the external audit by July.  A VAT reclaim for 2021/22 has been submitted to HMRC.

LITTER PICK

I have been working with Julie to organise the annual litter pick. The Reading Room has been booked for 9th April and the pick has been advertised to all residents. We have decided to offer pastries instead of bacon butties as the Reading Room were not available to make these.

WNC have not paid the litter pick grant for the past 2 years.  This was chased and is now being processed for payment. We should receive the payments shortly. The organisations who carry out the quarterly litter pick (school, pre-school, youth group) and are given a percentage of the grant have not picked for the past 2 years. Maybe due to Covid?

TARRYS END

C2C Build Ltd laid and rolled recycled plainings on 12th March.  Project now complete.

FLOODING

The overgrown ditches along Crick Road have been reported to the EA and they have emailed to say that their Assets Team will investigate.

EMAILS

The volume of emails received is still very high.  I have managed to clear down over 300 this month.

SOLAR FARM AGREEMENT

I have contacted 10 solicitors asking to quote to look over the Solar Farm Agreement. Many have responded to say they are unable to check such a document, and the others are not responding.

ARCHIVING

I am working on making all the cemetery correspondence electronic.  Scanning it all is taking a lot of time but it will be a worthwhile exercise and add to efficiency in the future. Cloud back up has been improved and regular back ups take place still.  Once done, I intend to scan everything so we can reduce paper use and have everything stored electronically.