Parish Council Meeting Report – 9th March
There was no public comment.
On Butt Close, the football club has commissioned a report from the FA which identifies problems in the turf, drainage etc. The PC has agreed to pay for the report and will now commence arranging the schedule of mowing, deep spiking and other measures during the growing season.
The play area maintenance and repair tasks could still not be completed because of the state of the field. A resident has reported some graffiti on the skateboard ramp by a post on the East Bridgford Together Facebook page. The graffiti was generally puerile rubbish with some racially stereotypical images written in permanent marker which has now been removed, together with another smaller piece on the cricket scoreboard shutter.
On traffic, the timetable for the decision about a permanent closure of Trent Lane has been clarified. Formal consultations and data gathering will continue until May this year, and then a decision will be made by a committee of the County Council sometime thereafter. The yellow lines at the end of College Street have been re–painted, as have the existing bus stops. The proposed new yellow lines and bus stop at the crossroads are still awaited at the time of writing.
Problems arising from vehicles parking on pavements are being increasingly reported, especially where pedestrians, mothers with pushchairs or those with mobility scooters have to step into the road to get by. Serious cases of obstruction are a police matter.
The scheduled work to improve drainage on Kneeton Road was completed but issues remain with the amount of water which overloads the culvert further north.
The Council has agreed to re–surface the car park with granite stone which is harder wearing and remove the worn wooden bay markers. This will necessitate the car park being closed for at least a day.
The three new noticeboards have been fitted to the bus shelter opposite the village hall at the same time as the shelter was re–stained. These boards are for community use. The PC noticeboards at the Post Office and Medical Centre will have new Perspex windows fitted to aid visibility.
Large poppies for mounting on lamp posts in the run-up to VE Day have been obtained, courtesy of Martin Waring and the British Legion. It seems that any further events which might be being considered may be affected by the coronavirus situation so advice will need to be obtained and updated by organisers as the situation develops.
The four trees ordered from RBC in conjunction with the Friends of Springdale Wood have been planted in Bridgford Street meadow by volunteers from the Friends.
To allow for Easter, the next meeting will be on Monday 6th April at 7.30pm in the Methodist Chapel. There will also be the Annual Parish Meeting on Thursday 23rd April at 7.30pm in the WI Hut. Details of this will be available nearer the date via the website.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 10th Feb
In public comment, a resident referred to the repairs needed in the car park and to plans for VE Day celebrations. A member of the Community Plan group urged the Council to focus on the 5 priorities identified, and he highlighted the recent moves to create a Civic Society in the village. Another resident suggested that minutes should reflect discussions not just decisions made. He felt the Council's composition did not reflect the general make-up of the community and that the Council could better 'project manage' the process of decision-making.
On Butt Close, a report on the condition of the football pitches has been commissioned to inform the maintenance programme for the playing fields now they are owned by the Council. A number of defects have been found on the play area, particularly affecting the gates. These are scheduled to be corrected but contractors cannot access the field until conditions allow. A field maple has been planted to replace the felled one near the cableway.
The ROTAKIDS, a group of children at St. Peter's Academy working with the Rotary Club on various environmental issues around the village, have held a further meeting with interested parties. The Council is very impressed with their enthusiasm and looks forward to their initiatives bearing fruit. The positioning of planters was approved.
On traffic, the Council has received an analysis of traffic movement changes on Butt Lane, Trent Lane and Kirk Hill from VIA following its surveys in October. Traffic on Trent Lane has not surprisingly reduced to marginal levels, with the closure limiting traffic to access only. On Butt Lane, traffic into the village after 2009 initially dropped after the A46 was built, then started to rise, and with increasing problems on the A6097, there was a major surge in 2018. In 2019, after the closure of Trent Lane, it has returned to just above 2009 levels. On Kirk Hill, vehicles entering the village have increased in 2019, by just over 600 vehicles, the number being virtually the same as the number previously using Trent Lane to enter the village (less the number equivalent to those still accessing local premises). The numbers for vehicles leaving along Kirk Hill are particularly interesting. Although there are 340 more than 2018, this is much less than the reduction in outward traffic on Trent Lane suggesting that cut through traffic has been significantly reduced. In 2009, over 2000 vehicles used Kirk Hill to get on the A6097, falling to about 1600 after the A46 was opened. Figures were relatively stable after that which may be the impact of the traffic lights being 'self limiting'.
The work to improve drainage on Kneeton Road where the 'pooling' of water occurs, was expected to be done during half-term week at the time of writing. Other problems with drainage further up Kneeton Road have been identified, and these are in the process of being dealt with. Recent weather conditions have been challenging and residents are advised to check that structures and trees have not been made unsafe by the high winds in particular.
The car park will have surface repair works as soon as conditions allow, and the light in the telephone box will also be replaced when an electrical check is completed.
The Council formally gave permission for the Village Show to be held on Butt Close on the final Saturday in June, the traditional date which starts 'feast week'.
Preparations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day have begun. The Council will purchase more large poppies so that they can be displayed on lamp posts along Main Street, Kirk Hill and Kneeton Road as well as on the village name signs at the entrances to the village. The Council will consider supporting financially any community-led activities – details of how to apply for a donation can be found on the village website. Any residents thinking of holding street parties are reminded that any planned road closures need specific permission (see Notts CC website for details).
The public access notice boards to be fitted to the bus shelter opposite the village hall should be installed in late March, when the whole shelter will be re-stained at the same time. 3 boards will be fitted, two on the front-facing sides and one on the back rear wall so that the notices can be placed there by organisations etc rather than on the walls of the shelter itself.
The next meeting will be on Monday March 9th at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 13th Jan
The Council ratified the appointment of Liz Reid as Deputy Clerk and she was warmly welcomed to the post.
In public comment, a member of the Community Plan Group (CPG) referred to traffic on Kneeton Road and the message to drivers urging them to curb their speed which was placed in the magazine. It was felt that this should be followed up by sending a letter to businesses and organisations to request that they publicise this issue to their employees, contractors and delivery firms. Another CPG member asked about the engagement plan. The PC then agreed a statement about engaging with the community which will guide future practice. A former Councillor drew attention to the condition of the car park which will need attention when weather conditions improve, and a blocked gully at the end of Brown's Lane. The Welcome pack also needs updating. A biodiversity group member raised the issue of tree works not being referred to the new Tree Wardens, and issues with footpaths. He also asked that the digital mapping facility be used to assist with various issues and publicised a 'carbon literacy course' which will take place on the 21st March. Finally, a parent of a child at the St. Peter's Academy highlighted the emphasis on recycling and reduction of plastic waste which pupils are focussing on. The PC agreed to plans by Rotakids, a group of children from the Academy, to site planters at the entrance to Butt Close by the WI Hut. It also said that it supported the aim to restrict plastic rubbish and increase recycling.
On Butt Close, waterlogging has been a major problem due to the wettest autumn on record for Nottinghamshire, causing major problems and frustration for the football club in particular. The PC is investigating the most appropriate maintenance programme for the playing fields now they are owned by the Council, including any possible projects to improve them. A tree in the copse near the cableway which was in dangerous condition has been felled and a like-for-like replacement will be planted in that area. Further pruning tree works on the field and in other locations were approved.
An exhibition about proposed housing development of land north of Butt Lane, land which was recently removed from the green belt in the RBC Local Plan(2), was due to be held in the village hall the day after the Council meeting. Whatever one's views about developing this land, the willingness of the potential developer to provide this opportunity to the public to interact with them is welcome. Elsewhere, there has been a sudden 'spike' in planning applications around the parish. It is hoped to begin reporting on these in the magazine and website again in the near future.
In respect of other Community Plan priorities, the Biodiversity group has begun a project to 're-wild' areas of land, for example by arranging for wildflower meadow hay to be spread along the verges along Springdale Lane near to the wood. It is hoped that the seeds in the hay will germinate in the spring and populate the verges to increase their biodiversity. An encouraging number of people attended, and this support will be useful as this and further work including planting trees develops.
On traffic, there is as yet no final decision on a permanent closure to Trent Lane. Revisions to the yellow lines scheme at the crossroads have been made and this work should be done soon. Although road markings indicate forthcoming work to improve drainage on Kneeton Road where the 'pooling' of water occurs, leading to flooding, no start date has been forthcoming and this is being followed up. Vehicles parking on pavements is an issue, especially where the whole of the pavement is obstructed, causing hazardous situations especially for pushchairs. Drivers are requested to avoid this practice.
Permission has been given for public access notice boards to be fitted to the bus shelter opposite the village hall. 3 boards will be fitted, two on the front-facing sides and one on the back rear wall.
The PC agreed a precept of £41150. The RBC formula indicates that the Parish element of the Council Tax will rise by 0.4% for a Band D property as a result.
The next meeting will be on Monday February 10th at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 2nd Dec
In public comment and in correspondence, a resident raised a query about an application to RBC to remove a tree and whether a replacement would be planted. This was an application in the conservation area by a resident and notified to the PC (residents are reminded that all tree works in the conservation area should be sent to RBC at least 6 weeks before they need to be done except in emergency). The Tree Officer at RBC decides if a Tree Preservation Order is appropriate and in some cases asks for the views of the PC. It was decided to ask RBC for sufficient time to seek the views of the new Tree Wardens. The resident also asked about an incident on the field where a contractor drove across the playing surface causing deep ruts. The heavy rain has meant that the ground is very mobile and the ruts have settled back themselves. Since no football has been possible anyway, this is a fortunate outcome. Nevertheless, it raised questions of access and the key used has been recovered. Problems on Lammas Lane were reported, including the state of the triangle at the junction with Kneeton Road, mud on the road and a blocked dyke. A possible issue with the stability of a wall adjacent to a road was reported, and this will be referred to Highways.
Councillors considered the recent flooding on Kneeton Road and also its effect on a property on Trent Lane, which was another one of the issues raised in public comment. Firstly, they were very impressed by the community response to the emergency, and thanked those who went to help in any capacity. Although problems arising from social media and smart phones are often cited, in this case their use and a willingness to respond enabled a number of people to go and help, which was magnificent. The footage from phones has been relayed to Notts Highways who have indicated that drainage work at the site of the main pooling & run-off will take place. They also pointed to issues arising from land drainage further north and will be investigating with land owners. This incident shows the value of having a "Community Emergency Plan" which would list important considerations and contact lists. The worst time to try and think quickly about what to do and how is in the middle of an emergency, so the PC will be looking to adopt one as soon as possible.
The PC is a statutory consultee when planning applications are considered at RBC. This is an important duty which Councillors take seriously in deciding whether to object or not. Sometimes, the applications are notified very close to the meeting date which makes this difficult unless an extension of time is requested. Planning applications are very important to the applicant and very often to neighbours and others in the community. The PC decided at least one week is needed to give time for proper consideration. Listing applications and decisions in the magazine is valued in the community. This has stopped temporarily since the person who did it has retired, but it is expected that a new appointment will be made in time for this to resume in February.
On highways matters, the recent concerns about the speed of some vehicles on Kneeton Road were considered again. It was agreed that a request for a message about this would be made for insertion in the magazine and copies sent to employers along that road. VIA has agreed to put a temporary speed indicator sign on one of the lamp posts at the PC's request.
Another example of public spiritedness was in an incident where some young people started to set fire to old school books at the pavilion. Some residents on the field at the time intervened rapidly and ensured the material was extinguished and removed. The Council is very grateful to those residents whose timely actions prevented a possibly unthinkable outcome.
A plea was made for the Council to be more actively involved in some of the processes deriving from the Community Plan. Many of the proposed improvements need this direct involvement if they are to be implemented. It was suggested that the PC should also have defined priorities which would inform their budget-setting process which is currently under way.
A request was received from the group of pupils at St. Peter's Academy called Rotakids, for a donation towards their work. Councillors agreed to donate the £200 requested as part-funding towards planters. A scheme to plant more bulbs from the Open Gardens group together with St. Peter's was highlighted. The initial area considered on the over-bridge to the A46 is problematic since mowing etc can take place at any time but it is hoped that current spring floral displays on the verges of entrances to the village can still be enhanced.
The pattern of meetings for 2020 is changing – it will generally be the second Monday in the month when full Council meetings take place, except in April to avoid Easter and August when no meeting will take place. Hence, the next full meeting will be on Monday 13th January at 7.30pm.
A Happy New Year to everyone living or working in the parish!
A message to drivers along Kneeton Road
The Parish Council is very concerned about reports of vehicles speeding along Kneeton Road, especially as the entrance to St. Peter's Academy and the busy cross roads are sited at one end. The Council appeals to all drivers, whether accessing/leaving their residence, travelling to and from work, or making deliveries, to respect the speed limit and the road conditions which, because the road is usually congested with parked vehicles, indicate an even lower speed.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 4th November
In public comment and in correspondence, residents raised several issues about traffic. VIA (EM) has proposed installing a new bus stop area on Main Street and double yellow lines around the crossroads of Main Street, Kneeton Road, Trent Lane and Kirk Hill. The issue of yellow lines in that area has been revisited from time to time ever since 2008 because cars parked very close to junctions, particularly with Trent Lane, have blocked visibility on many occasions, causing a serious hazard for emerging vehicles. However, the lines proposed on the eastern side of Kneeton Road, and northern side of Main Street were felt to be too long and hence would seriously affect the occupiers of those buildings with no off-street parking in that area. It was decided to write to VIA to support the measures but request that the latter lines be restricted in length accordingly (as per a suggested amendment by a resident who kindly provided it in consultation with other people who would be affected). Another resident has written to express concern about speeding traffic down Kneeton Road which may be linked to commuting. While we still await notification of the results from the recent survey equipment about the levels of traffic on a number of roads, to evaluate the effect of closing Trent Lane, we are reminded that a plea for temporary speed indicating signs which also record the numbers, speeds and times of traffic was made to VIA some years ago and this will be investigated further. These would help quantify any problems and indicate what measures might be best deployed to address them.
Following the publication of the national Planning Inspector's report of the Examination of RBC's Local Plan 2 on RBC's website, it was reported that the Community Plan Group had been in initial contact with a potential developer of land to the north of Butt Lane. It is understood that as and when an application is made, the developer will probably offer to hold a public meeting. This is to be welcomed since there is likely to be considerable interest and concerns to be addressed.
It was agreed to put three public open–access notice boards on the wooden bus shelter opposite the Village Hall following the concerns raised previously about the lack of space in the village, two on the outer front walls and one on the inner back wall. As with the telephone box library, a policy to manage the boards will be adopted.
A number of pupils at St. Peter's Academy are working with Bingham Rotary Club by forming a group called Rotakids. A Councillor attended a recent committee meeting of the Rotakids and reported back on what they are trying to achieve in helping to make our village more attractive and reduce its impact on the environment, by, for example, seeking to reduce or recycle plastic waste. The Council heartily supports this initiative and thanks the Academy and the children for getting involved, and the Rotary Club for giving their active support to it.
The Council has a vacancy for a Deputy Clerk. The post will be advertised in due course.
It was reported that residents have noticed that the problem of vehicles 'racing' each other round a loop between the Margidunum island and the new island with the A46 has started again, usually late in the evening. This represents a significant danger to other road users so please report any instances to the police immediately you are aware of it happening.
The next full meeting will be on Monday 2nd December at 7.30pm, immediately preceded by a meeting of the Policy, Personnel and Finance Committee, at a time to be confirmed. The Assets & Environment Committee will meet on the 25th November at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 7th Oct
It was reported that the Minuting Secretary, Jess Molineaux, was leaving her post. The Chairman thanked her on behalf of the Council for her hard work and support, especially over the past 6 months.
In public comment, a resident who is a Community Plan Group (CPG) member reported on contacts the CPG have had from a potential developer of the land north of Butt Lane towards Closes Side Lane. The national Planning Inspector's report of the Examination of RBC's Local Plan 2 has been published on RBC–s website. In effect, the examination appears to give the green light to removing the two sites north and south of Butt Lane from the green belt, so the current planning application for the southern one will presumably now be considered at RBC and an application for the northern one can be expected soon. These significant developments will be an active issue in the coming months.
A member of the Biodiversity Group attended to give details of a plan to enhance the environment around the village, in particular an initiative to plant a large number of trees along the A46 by–way from Springdale Lane towards Closes Side Lane (subject to landowners' permission). The group will also push for tree screening on the edge of any new developments off Butt lane. Trees can reduce noise but also cut down on particulate pollution and the PC supports this initiative.
On Butt Close, the PC formally granted permission for the Academy's Fireworks event in November subject to the usual conditions, and wished it every success again. In relation to dogs on Butt Close, following the two year review it was decided that the work of the group of dog owners has improved the situation and hence the status quo will be maintained and reviewed again only if necessary.
The Sports Club is looking to place a public access defibrillator on the external wall of the pavilion. The PC supports this which will supplement the provision of the current defibrillator sited by the old telephone box, enabling faster access in the event of a cardiac incident on the field which can happen at any time such as the Village Show, not just during a sports event. Hence, it decided to make a grant of £350 towards its cost.
Following last month's item about the notice boards, a resident has written about the current poor condition of the windows of the notice boards and about there being no space for community notices. It was decided to investigate how more space could be provided for notices and to get the current boards' windows repaired.
On Highways matters, the PC is pleased that the long–awaited gate on the by-way off Butt Lane has been installed by Notts CC. A glitch with the fencing which allows determined drivers to get by is being sorted out. The PC is grateful for the intervention of our MP, Robert Jenrick, with Highways England in resolving responsibility issues to enable this to happen. The PC would also like to hear if there are any developing issues of increased use of through traffic or fly–tipping along Brunts Lane. The PC then considered the closure of Trent Lane. It was reported that survey equipment has been installed so quantitative data will soon be available. In the meantime, feedback to the PC from both the village and from people using the A6097 is overwhelmingly in favour of making the closure permanent and it will respond to VIA accordingly. It has sympathy for those who would prefer a one–way system into the village at the bridge end, but this was ruled out on safety grounds when the decision was made last year.
The PC agreed to change the pattern of meeting dates for 2020. Meetings will take place on the second Monday of the month, except in April which would be Easter Monday when it will take place on the first Monday. As this year, there will be no meeting in August.
The next meeting will be on Monday 4th November at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 2nd September
During August, the Council received the news that the ownership of Butt Close playing fields has been finally transferred from Nottinghamshire County Council to the PC, nearly 3 years since the process was first initiated. It has taken time to complete the transfer because of the need for adequate safeguards to be put in place to protect its continuing status as a playing field for both the community and the school. The PC is grateful to the County Council for proceeding with this, and particularly to County Cllr. Kay Cutts who has supported the project throughout. It is also grateful to its solicitors, Fraser Brown, and to its Deputy Clerk, Euan Temple, (see below), who have worked on this on its behalf. In the coming months, the PC will look at how the field may be managed and maintained to the best effect.
In relation to Butt Close, it is now two years since the PC considered if it had become necessary to require dogs to be kept on leads because of problems with dog fouling and potential safety issues. It was decided then that an offer by a group of dog owners to monitor the situation and educate dog walkers for a period of two years would be accepted. The PC will be considering feedback about this at a future meeting and will decide how to proceed based on the impact of this initiative.
In public comment, a resident who is also now a Tree Warden for the village introduced a paper which proposed planting some saplings on the Bridgford Street meadow where there are a number of mature trees on the border which are in a poor state. It was agreed to apply to the RBC scheme so this could be carried out. Another resident mentioned that the number of vehicles using Brunts Lane despite its poor condition appears to be increasing. He requested that the PC approaches VIA to ask if it would consider closure at the A6075 end.
During discussions about planning matters, the PC considered whether to respond to a consultation about development at Newton. While details of the housing development itself are not issues for this Council, the impact of proposals for the provision of schooling, both at Newton and the new estate at Bingham, Romans' Quarter, on the school at East Bridgford is a relevant issue. The provision of a proposed footbridge between Newton and the Romans' Quarter estate over the A46 may also affect matters, depending upon where and when new primary schools are built. The PC is concerned that any delay in the provision of primary schooling as families move into the new housing may increase pressure on St. Peter's and will respond accordingly in due course.
To avoid having to make value-judgments when making a decision, and ensure space is always available for statutory notices, the Council has a policy that third-party content is not allowed on its notice boards. It was decided to vary this to allow notices about public surgeries by elected RBC & Notts CC Councillors, or by the constituency MP.
On Highways matters, the PC will be considering parishioners' views and responding to VIA about the impact of the closure of Trent Lane. The PC expects that VIA will carry out traffic surveys now that the autumn pattern of traffic is established to quantify what has changed. While VIA will not formally announce further consultation before making a decision about whether to make the closure permanent, people can still send their views about this to VIA directly.
It was reported that some parishioners are concerned about the PC's commitment to the Community Plan. As with the previous Parish Plan, the Council has adopted it and will contribute to the action planning process in achieving improvements for the benefit of the parish. It will be an organic process in that some issues will change in importance or new issues arise (an example from the Parish Plan of 2004 was how broadband provision became an unpredicted but vital issue during its lifetime). Work has started and a report about the Communications group was received. It was noted that social media plays an increasingly important role in this area, particularly the Together East Bridgford page on Facebook.
The Council has received notice that the Deputy Clerk, Euan Temple, was retiring from his post with effect from the 31st August. It was agreed that the Chairman would write to Mr. Temple to thank him for his service, and especially for his role in delivering the transfer of ownership of Butt Close referred to above.
The next meeting therefore will be on Monday 7th October at 7.30pm, preceded by an Assets & Environment committee meeting at 7pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 1st July
A further Councillor has been co-opted, Richard Thomas, who was welcomed to the Council together with David Powell who attended his first meeting. There is now only one vacancy left to fill out of the four vacancies after the election.
In public comment, a former Councillor congratulated the Council on the quality of the repair to the zip wire, which is very popular with users of the play area. He also requested that the inscription on the Council "medallion", worn by whoever is Chairman at events where s/he is representing the Council, which was donated by him to the Council some years ago, could be amended to show he had retired from the Council. There was also further input about the Community Plan and hence three Councillors will sit on the liaison group being set up. Finally, a resident who has a current planning application attended to raise an issue about it, but worryingly the Council, which is a statutory consultee, had not received any details about it. The Deputy Clerk was asked to investigate.
On Highways matters, the gate which should be in place near the layby on Trent Lane is still not in place. Incredibly, there are still reports of people in cars or on motor bikes, trying to move the concrete blocks by Gunthorpe Bridge, placed to allow cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders to get through. Experience suggests the A6097 traffic is flowing more smoothly, and cut-through traffic reducing, but data will be available when surveys are carried out, probably in the autumn.
The Council congratulated the organisers of two events in June, the Open Gardens event and the Horticultural Show. Both were blessed with fine weather and visitors' enjoyment was enhanced by excellent organisation. As always, the village is fortunate to have so many people willing to give their time voluntarily for the benefit of others.
The Springdale Wood Management Report was received. Although the Wood is owned by the Woodland Trust, it has been leased to the Council. The Council is grateful to the Friends of Springdale Wood which has produced this report and does much voluntary work there. The Friends are linked to the Biodiversity Group, and in the Council's new Committee Structure there are now nominated Councillors who will work with groups such as these, for example the Sports Club, the Village Hall Committee, and oversee facilities such as the allotments, the Play Area and so on to further better communication and promote effective strategies.
The first round of judging for the Best Kept Village competition has taken place. Although the results were not available for the meeting, it is now known that we were not shortlisted for the second round, although the scoring system points are not yet available. However, all those people who helped to make the village look even more attractive than it usually is, especially members of the Garden Club and the Scouts, were thanked for their efforts.
Notification has been received that Bingham is considering a Neighbourhood Plan and part of that is to look at the extent to which it is a 'hub' for activities involving surrounding communities, of which we are one. At some point, the Council and individual residents should be able to contribute to this aspect.
It was decided to change the meeting pattern in line with many other parish councils, and cancel the August meeting which falls in the busy holiday period, although provision was made to call a meeting if there is an urgent reason for it. The next meeting therefore will be on Monday 2nd September at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 3rd June
Two Councillors have been co-opted to fill two of the four vacancies after the election. David Powell and Monica Morri are both warmly welcomed on to the Council.
In public comment, a resident who is a member of the Friends of Springdale Wood expressed support for and interest in the RBC Tree Warden scheme. The Council agreed that she should attend the introductory meeting about the scheme together with any colleagues from the group. There was also a request that any "tree belts" formed as part of any new development should become the responsibility of the PC in some way, like Springdale Wood. Another resident asked the PC to work towards better community engagement and noted that the PC input to the action planning processes of the Community Plan could be improved. The new seating arrangements in the room were felt to be a positive change, making it easier for the public to hear what occurred.
The Council approved a number of end-of-year Accounts and Governance statements which will appear on the website in due course. Circumstances have been challenging this year and the Clerk was thanked for her hard work and diligence in completing these tasks. The Council also thanked Alan Hopwood who voluntarily acts as the local auditor.
On the closure of Trent Lane, there have been some "knock-on" effects such as a long queue along Kirk Hill reported in the run-up to the Bank Holiday weekend but it is too early to say if this is temporary while road users learn or get satnavs updated. VIA surveys later this year should give more reliable evidence of any changing patterns.
After long lobbying by the PC which has been concerned about persistent fly-tipping, including an intervention from our MP with Highways England, VIA has advertised a proposal to close the Butt Lane by-way to vehicles from its junction with Butt Lane, where there will be a gate, to the place where it meets the by-way heading north from the bottom of Springdale Lane under the bridge & parallel with the A46.
There are reports that "car racing" around the Margidunum island late at night has re-started. It had stopped following a serious accident but if the reports are accurate, please be aware of increased risk in that area and notify the police if you suspect it is taking place.
The first round of judging for the Best Kept Village competition was due to take place during June, and volunteers helped to tidy up the village on two Saturdays. If the village is short-listed, a further round will take place in July. Please help by continuing to clear weeds etc. Apart from contributing to the process, it makes our living environment even more pleasant than it already clearly is.
On Butt Close, the PC welcomed the return to use of the zip wire or cableway. An unfortunate delay occurred with cutting grass in the play area because of illness. The PC gave formal permission for the Academy to hold its Sports Days on the field again this year, with best wishes for fine weather to grace the occasions.
Consultation will begin in July about a new Minerals Plan from the County Council, which may be accessed online when it goes "live". However, it is understood that gravel extraction from Shelford West no longer appears in the draft plan but the situation will be monitored.
The next meeting in be on Monday 1st July at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 13th May
This meeting, which was re-arranged to take into account the local elections, was the first of the new Parish Council. At the election, there were 7 nominated candidates who were duly elected "uncontested", leaving 4 seats vacant. The Council may now co-opt people to fill those seats. Councillors Bancroft, Clarke, Riddle, Stevens, Strutt and Verner were re-elected and the newly-elected Councillor is Julz Dawson. Cllr. Clarke is to be Chairman, and Cllr. Strutt Vice-Chairman. Generally, the number of "uncontested" elections in local politics is an issue, with the East Midlands region having the highest proportion nationally.
In public comment, three residents and members of the Community Plan group attended. One spoke about the outline planning permission application for the land by the Medical Centre. The Council decided to object because the land was still in the green belt, the scheme was larger than indicated in the Local Plan 2 proposals and because of issues around traffic & the planned access to the site. The second spoke about the forthcoming action planning phase of the Community Plan and introduced a paper. There is an important role for the Council to play in this and it will be a future agenda item when the Council has filled its vacancies. The third spoke about on-going traffic issues but thanked the Council for continuing to press for the Trent Lane scheme which, now implemented, people were already commenting positively upon. Its longer-term impact will need to be assessed, and VIA will carry out appropriate surveys in due course. There will need to be a period to allow any new patterns to settle down as motorists "learn" how to deal with it. Initially at least, there is some pressure at the traffic lights with difficulties turning right in the rush hour particularly. One suggestion from a resident is to request a "filter" period together with road markings to encourage cars to move further towards the middle when waiting but it is understood that this was ruled out some time by ago by VIA. On Main Street some works have been taking place to repair sewage/water chambers but news of any re-surfacing or other improvements is still awaited.
A request from St. Peter's Academy for permission to site a bicycle rack on Butt Close by the WI Hut was considered. It was agreed in principle that this is a good idea and will be investigated further. Please note however that cycling should not take place on the Butt Close playing surfaces nor on the footpaths leading to Butt Close or the WI Hut. Also on Butt Close, the major repairs to the zip-wire feature have been completed and it is now back in use.
Councillors considered a request from the organisers of the Open Gardens event for a grant towards the costs involved. Councillors resolved to make a grant of £50 to support this exciting new venture which will also hopefully raise funds for various causes. The Council also received details of preparations for the Best Kept Village competition organised by CPRE and sponsored by Wilkinson's (see below). Some problems with overgrown/encroaching hedges or trees impacting on footpaths/pavements have been reported again and residents are requested not just to trim them to tidy them up but to cut them back to the edge of the footpath.
Rushcliffe BC is introducing a Tree Warden scheme which will be discussed at the June PC meeting. Anyone interested in becoming a Tree Warden may contact the Council in the first instance.
The next meeting in be on Monday 3rd June at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Best Kept Village Competition 2019
This competition is organised by the CPRE and sponsored by Wilkinson's. The Parish Council has agreed to support the village's entry again this year. The judging criteria runs to a page or more but basically the judges are looking for evidence that the community takes a pride in the village. Hence, evidence that streets are generally litter and weed free, domestic and business properties appear well-maintained and attractive and there is a range of voluntary activities taking place would all be beneficial. Judging takes place in two phases – the main one sometime in a two-week period starting June 10th, and if we are successful in the short-listing, another visit in July.
In 2017, we were runners-up in our category, and last year we got into the last four. To help the village do well, please look around your area – are there pavement or gutter weeds you could (safely) remove? Could your frontage be brightened up with a floral display/hanging basket? Two "clean-up" days are being organised on June 1st and June 8th at 8.30am and 2pm meeting at the village car park. If you can spare an hour to join in that would be great and, hopefully, fun!
Parish Council Meeting Report – 1st April
A warm welcome was extended to the new Clerk to the Parish Council, Anne Chisholm, who was attending her first meeting. Communications with the Clerk can be made by e mail to email@example.com or by telephone to 07523 388809.
In public comment, a member of the Sports Club attended to support the report by the Secretary of the Sports Club about the new pavilion extension and other matters. The Council expressed its appreciation of the amount of effort which had gone into the project in bringing it to such an impressive conclusion. It was reported that arrangements to secure the area between the tennis courts and the pavilion which were first discussed and agreed in 2016 had been amended so that a new beech hedge could be planted to replace the one removed to build the extension, with a gate matching the one to the bowls green. A further key pad gate which could also be freely opened from within in case of fire is to be installed on the path leading to the entrance to the courts. It was agreed by the Council that the Sports Club could access part of the maintenance fund to pay for some identified aspects of the project.
A resident and Community Plan group member said that now the Trent Lane scheme was about to be implemented, was there any progress with other measures to tackle the traffic and parking issues raised over the past year? VIA(EM) has confirmed that it is considering a number of measures, such as a bus stop no parking area near the Royal Oak to give a larger "refuge" for vehicles waiting for oncoming traffic, primrose yellow lines at the crossroads and additional signage along Kirk Hill for example. At the time of writing, it is not known how many of these if any will be included in the Notts Highways programme for 2019-20. On Trent Lane, letters have been sent by VIA to residents indicating that temporary signs will be in place advising that closure of Trent Lane to vehicles in either direction between Gunthorpe Bridge and the lay-by near the old Toll Bridge will be completed by May 3rd. Two-way vehicular access will still be available from the junction with Kneeeton Road as far as the same lay-by where the road will be gated. Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders will still be able to get through to and from Gunthorpe Bridge.
Notice was received that the Hydro-electric project at the weir has been granted planning permission subject to a long list of conditions. Issues around access to the site have still to be resolved.
Also in planning, Councillors received amended details of the development proposed for the "fishermen's car park area" down the track from Old Hill Lane ("Green Lane"). This project falls under a little known area of planning law whereby a developer of a country house of exceptional design can seek permission not from the local planning authority but from a national body. While the views of Councillors have little weight in this case, it has been noted that there are public rights of way involved which should be preserved.
Councillors agreed that the village can enter this year's Best Kept Village competition organised by CPRE and sponsored by Wilkinson's. Judging will take place in two phases in June and July.
Last but not least, this meeting was the last as a Councillor for a number of long-serving colleagues who are not standing again in the election on May 2nd. It has been a great privilege to work with them in serving our community and I, along with many others, will miss their depth of local knowledge, great experience and willingness to "go the extra mile" when needed (not to mention a few times when, usually with good humour, they put the Chairman straight on one or two things!). The community owes them a debt of gratitude for their service.
The planned date of the next meeting in May has been changed to allow enough time after the election (see above) to publish the agenda and provide new Councillors with the required papers. It will now be on Monday 13th May at 7.30pm and will be preceded by the Council's Annual Meeting at 7.00pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 4th Mar
In public comment, a resident referred to the proposed hydro-electric plant at the weir. He had a number of concerns relating to noise, potential effects on the stability of the bank and also some environmental issues. The PC has raised some of these issues in its response to the planning application which RBC will determine and also via the independent agents being used to negotiate access along the track which is PC land.
A member of the Community Plan group attended following the public meeting in late February where the Plan was published. She said the attendance at the meeting was encouraging and thanked everyone who had contributed. The focus will now turn to addressing the issues via the action groups. The PC in turn thanked the group for their hard work with the Plan, and acknowledged that the PC has a vital role to play, not least in looking at a strategic vision for the village. This particular aspect should be a priority for the new PC following the elections in May. This also gives time for any decisions made by the national Planning Inspectorate in relation to housing development from the RBC Local Plan 2 examination to become known. In the meantime, some issues such as traffic will need constant vigilance and responses as appropriate.
Finally in public comment, another resident returned to express his concerns about the assets owned or leased by the PC. He had requested a list of these which was not forthcoming and said that there were opportunities for them to be better used for the benefit of the both the local and wider community, for example fund-raising events for charity. He was advised to request a specific agenda item for the next meeting in this respect. He also raised an issue about the condition of some bridleways or byways and their potential as important routes for cyclists and others.
The Friends of St Peter's wishes to organise another fireworks event on Butt Close in November this year, and it was resolved to give permission subject to the usual conditions, including for example, insurance, satisfactory risk assessments and protection of the playing surfaces.
The start of the Trent Lane experimental closure is still expected sometime after Easter. This will be publicised by the Highways Department by a letter to residents roughly a month before it is due to begin. In anticipation of increased traffic at the Kirk Hill traffic lights, there will be a sign warning drivers before the bend that there may be queuing traffic ahead. The PC has asked for a review of the speed limit from the rectory to the lights but this is currently unlikely. The over-grown hedge and verge near the traffic lights have now been cut back and an assurance received that these will receive attention in future maintenance by the landowner. Elsewhere, the Council has reminded Highways of the poor condition of some roads and pathways, particularly along Main Street, and of other possible improvements. It is understood that the schedule of works for 2019-20 across the County is being finalised and it should soon be learned which if any of these will be included.
Councillors have approached the manager of the garden centre about the issue of pedestrian access there. Further reports of people risking life and limb to cross the forecourt of the Jet petrol station have been made. It is not a right of way, and lorries in particular present significant hazards for anyone there. It is understood that some access may eventually be available through the new development on the old garden centre site.
Fly-tipping reports continue – the latest being a load deposited along part of the old Butt Lane near the stables which necessitated opening the gate there. Please report any suspicious behaviour if you have useful information such as number plates.
Thanks to the generosity of an allotment holder who grew some oak trees from acorns and offered them to the Council, these have now been planted to form a screen along the A46 and one of them has replaced a diseased elm which was felled by the memorial seat on Springdale Lane. This work was carried out by a local farmer, and Councillors expressed their thanks to everyone involved for their public - spirited actions.
Parish Council elections will be held in May on the same day as the Rushcliffe Borough Council elections. Formal notice of the election will be given on March 18th, and nomination forms will need to be handed in (not posted) to RBC by Wednesday 3rd April. Details about eligibility & how to stand for election will be available on the Rushcliffe website during March. If anyone is interested in standing for election and would like an informal discussion about what is involved, please contact the Chairman, Phil Clarke, on 20822 or any Parish Councillor. A number of Councillors will not be seeking re-election this time and it is vital that this important role is fulfilled.
Until a Clerk is appointed and takes up the post, communications can still be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org but telephone messages to the published phone line are no longer possible. If the matter is urgent, please continue to contact the Chairman. In the meantime, the council is very grateful to its other officers and a number of Councillors who are covering the necessary tasks of a Clerk.
The next meeting will be on 1st April at 7.30pm. There will also be the Annual Parish Meeting on Thursday 18th April at the WI Hut (see separate notice).
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 4th Feb
In public comment, a resident raised concerns about two footpaths, one from Cherry Holt Lane towards Butt Close and the other behind the tennis courts where tree roots were evident. In the latter case which is on land owned by the PC the path will be inspected by Councillors and any works necessary carried out. For the other path, Notts Highways will be contacted. The resident also pointed out that the surfacing of both road and pavements along Main Street was unsatisfactory so it was decided to request a site meeting with Notts Highways. Councillors are also seeking a meeting at the Garden Centre to discuss the problems of pedestrian access there. Also in public comment, another resident attended to say that he has ongoing concerns about provision for children and access to assets in the village.
The over–grown hedge and verge near the traffic lights on Kirk Hill have caused concern. The land is owned by Southwell Diocese which has been contacted and reminded that it needs cutting back before the bird–nesting season begins.
It was noted that extensive sewage system surveys have been taking place in the village. There have been numerous issues with the system over the years, especially along Main Street, so it will be interesting to see if anything results from this work.
Fly–tipping reports have increased dramatically in recent weeks, predominantly on the Butt Lane by-way near its junction with Closes Side Lane but also recently at the end of Brunt's Lane and on Old Hill Lane (the Green Lane from Kneeton Road towards the river). RBC are taking this issue very seriously. It was reported that RBC has evidence of traders offering to remove garden waste such as hedging or fencing for a price which almost certainly means it is going to be dumped somewhere. Residents are reminded that they may still be held responsible for any waste which is subsequently dumped and should ensure that they know how their waste is to be disposed of by any traders acting on their behalf.
The extension to the pavilion is in use and the Council extended its congratulations & thanks to those people who have been involved in the project. The amount of work needed to apply for funding, and then arrange for construction to take place should not be underestimated. It has also proved possible to extend funding such that the wooden shutters on the windows at the front and side of the pavilion will also now be replaced by electric ones. Electrical spurs were installed during the re-build of the pavilion after the fire to facilitate this as and when funding became available.
Representations have been made to Streetwise about the overflowing dog waste & litter bins during the post–Christmas period, so hopefully this will improve in future holiday periods.
Parish Council elections are due to be held in May on the same day as the Rushcliffe Borough Council elections. Details about eligibility & how to stand for election will be available on the Rushcliffe website during March. If anyone is interested in standing for election and would like an informal discussion about what is involved, please contact the Chairman, Phil Clarke, on 20822 or any Parish Councillor.
In the absence of a Clerk, communications can still be sent by e mail to email@example.com but telephone messages to the published phone line are no longer possible. If the matter is urgent, please continue to contact the Chairman.
The next meeting will be on 4th March at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 7th Jan
The details of the Trent Lane scheme, approved for an 18 month experimental closure order at the Community and Place Committee meeting at Notts CC in December, have been published in the December Parish magazine. County Cllr. Purdue-Horan explained that, because of planned works to Shelford Lane in March, the scheme is due to be implemented in April or shortly thereafter.
Traffic along Kirk Hill has also increased and there may be further implications from the eventual closure of Trent Lane. It was decided to request that the 30mph limit which runs from the crossroads to the rectory be extended as far as the traffic lights. If this is not possible under the rules, then a 40mph "buffer" limit similar to the one on Kneeton Road would be better than the current national limit of 60mph which applies currently.
The extension to the pavilion has been completed subject to final inspections, snagging etc. This is an impressive facility and the group of people involved in securing the funding then managing the project to fruition are to be heartily congratulated on the achievement. It is a significant additional asset for the community. Elsewhere on the field, the play area continues to need replacement to support logs in various locations. By necessity, this requires some equipment etc to be taken out of use for safety reasons.
Concern has been raised about overflowing litter bins during the post-Christmas period. Representations will be made to Streetwise about improving the rota of collections in the extended holiday period. One positive aspect of this is that it is clear that dog owners are responding well in meeting their responsibilities for picking up dog waste and putting it in bins. If a particular bin is full, however, could everyone please take any waste elsewhere rather than leave it close to the full bin to avoid consequential problems.
A number of oak trees will be planted near the A46 dual carriageway to provide additional screening and noise reduction, courtesy of a local farmer who has given permission to use his land, and an allotment holder who grew on the trees from acorns. The Council is very grateful to them both for their community-minded actions.
The Clerk to the Parish Council, Michele Sharratt, has resigned her post as from 4th January. The Council thanks Michele for her service over the past year. Communications can still be sent by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org but arrangements for telephone messages will probably not yet be in place. If the matter is urgent, contact the Chairman. A new Clerk will be appointed as soon as possible.
The next meeting will be on 4th February at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 3rd Dec
At the time of writing, two important meetings were about to take place. The first was a Committee meeting at County Hall where the fate of the proposed experimental closure of Trent Lane scheme was to be decided. The second was part of the prolonged examination process of the Local Plan 2 from RBC, in this case looking at the section which refers to housing development. The trial of the Trent Lane closure has now been approved and this should take place early in 2019.
In public comment, a resident informed the Council about the proposed Open Gardens event in June 2019. Councillors were grateful to those who are progressing with this exciting addition to the calendar and to the resident who came to tell them about it, expressing their best wishes for it to be a great success.
Information has been received that ownership of the Butt Lane by-way is being transferred between Government agencies with responsibility for the by-way eventually moving to Notts CC Highways, so the issue of installing gates may then need a similar process to that which has been taking place on Trent Lane, if it is to proceed.
The PC expressed its appreciation to all those involved in the commemoration events for the 100 year anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War. Feedback was universally positive with many comments focussing on how the events had the right atmosphere and respect for the level of sacrifice of those involved in the conflict, especially those who did not return.
The fireworks event was also very successful again this year, and thanks are due to those involved in its organisation. The PC understands that significant funds were raised to support the activities of the Academy.
The next meeting will be on 7th January at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 5th Nov
In public comment, three members of the Community Plan Group (CPG) attended.
It was reported that the public meeting to present the Plan will take place in February.
It is not known what the timescale will be for the conclusion of the Inspector's examination of RBC's Local Plan 2 and the impact of any decisions made that may have on future housing development in the village. The CPG would like to see digital maps available for downloading or viewing on-line. This is being investigated.
Finally, a query was made about progress with Trent Lane and measures to deal with increased traffic through the village. There is better news on these issues. Following pressure from the PC and our County Councillor, the experimental closure scheme is back on the agenda for the December Community & Place Committee of the County Council with a recommendation for acceptance. A further indication of this development can be seen in the road traffic survey equipment which has been sited on Butt Lane, Kirk Hill and Trent Lane which is in response to a request from the PC to monitor traffic before and after any scheme is implemented to identify the levels of traffic and the actual impact of the scheme. Finally, VIA(EM) for the Highways Department is looking at ways to provide more "pull-in" spaces on Main Street, especially ones large enough for buses – one possibility being investigated is another yellow bus stop zone on the north side outside the Royal Oak.
Also in public comment, two residents attended to bring to the attention of the PC issues they reported to have experienced relating to conditions which apply to planning permission on a nearby development. Anyone who has similar problems should contact the relevant department at RBC for advice and possible enforcement action.
At Butt Field, work on the pavilion extension is in its final stages with a projected completion date in early December. It will provide a significant enhancement of the current facilities and everyone involved in obtaining funding & organising the contract is to be congratulated. In the play area, the PC resolved to replace all the supporting logs on the zip wire/cableway platform. It was felt that this was the only way to make the platform secure in the long term and bring this popular feature back into use.
Fly-tipping of asbestos on the Butt Lane by-way has raised the level of concern about this issue and it was decided to involve the local MP in trying to break the deadlock & get the by-way gated.
The PC is grateful to everyone involved in the organisation of the commemoration events for the 100 year anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War, known at the time as The Great War.
As part of the Commonwealth Canopy Scheme, courtesy of the Woodland Trust and Robert Jenrick, MP, the Friends of Springdale Wood planted 5 native saplings during a brief ceremony in Springdale Wood in an area they cleared which is to be known as "The Queen's Glade". A notice commemorating this will be funded by the PC in due course.
The next meeting will be on 3rd December at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 1st Oct
A member of the Community Plan Group attended and asked about reports that the Trent Lane closure scheme, an experimental order for 12 months due to be presented to Committee at the County Council at its October meeting, had been withdrawn. He also asked if the PC would be developing a strategy to deal with the increasing traffic issues in the village. It was confirmed that an e-mail had been received saying that the discussion has been postponed until the November meeting following an issue raised about access for buses. The PC is very concerned about this postponement, especially since it is understood that the bus company agreed some time ago that Trent Lane was not suitable for buses. There has also been yet another accident on the corner near the marina access road, so it was agreed to write an urgent and strongly worded letter to advance the case for this scheme to go ahead at the earliest opportunity. One piece of good news on Trent Lane is that the flow of water onto the road has now stopped after the source of the leak was identified and eventually repaired. In relation to the requested strategy, the PC can only approach the appropriate authorities who have responsibility for action on traffic matters, and find whatever leverage might be available to obtain action. It is vitally important to have evidence to put forward and the forthcoming Community Plan and the associated action group for this theme will have an important part to play. Anyone interested in or affected by traffic matters is encouraged to get involved with this group.
The PC considered a planning application for a hydro-electricity generating scheme at the weir. Concerns about maintaining access on the public bridleway and footpath appear to have been addressed, and the use of variable height "doors" on the weir to manage water height also appear to address some potential flood risk issues. The PC decided not to object but made some recommendations. Implications of the development if it goes ahead for the marina and the access track owned by the PC are being managed by professional surveyors and solicitors appointed by the PC.
At Butt Field, work on the pavilion extension has continued, with the "skeleton" apart from the roof now in place. The Sports Club is seeking to use this development and other opportunities to widen sports-related use of the facilities, especially by young people. It is hoped that the transfer of ownership of the field from Notts CC to the PC will soon be completed.
Fly-tipping at the bottom of Closes Side Lane and the by-way from Butt Lane continues to be an issue. Please use the on-line reporting form at RBC if this is found RBC Online Reporting
or go to Rushcliffe.gov.uk and search for fly-tipping.
The PC has tried to persuade the relevant authorities to install agricultural gates on the by-way to restrict access, since the distance from passing traffic, i.e. possible witnesses, is what attracts the fly-tippers. It was decided to continue to make representations about this. New padlocks have been fitted to the allotment gates to maintain security but allow easier access for allotment-holders.
The PC has responded to two initiatives offering free trees for the parish. As a result of the RBC scheme, 10 oak trees will be planted at the bottom of Springdale Lane to help screen the A46 and, from the Commonwealth Canopy Scheme, courtesy of the Woodland Trust, Robert Jenrick, MP, and the Friends of Springdale Wood, 5 native saplings will be planted in Springdale Wood. Also on the subject of trees, occasional maintenance is required on land owned or leased by the PC. Some work will be carried out in the car park and elsewhere which may cause temporary access issues for safety reasons.
The next meeting will be on November 5th at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Sept 3rd
In public comment, a resident referred to a problem for pedestrians walking to the new Garden Centre. The pavement ends at the site of the old centre, and it is potentially hazardous to walk past the petrol station andinto the new site. The PC agreed to write to the Garden Centre, copied to RBC and Notts CC to raise this issue. On other traffic & related matters, the PC decided that a suggestion for parking permits for residents in some areas was understandable but would create many practical problems and on balance could not be supported. The Trent Lane closure scheme, an experimental order for 12 months, is being presented to Committee at the County Council at its October meeting. If it receives the go-ahead, it will go on to the next stage where a design is published for consultation. Feedback is awaited about any proposals arising from a site meeting with VIA(EM) to restrict parking at the Trent Lane junction and to create wider 'pull-ins' for traffic heading east along Main Street. Another resident expressed disappointment that work to trim trees in the car park which affected her property was not yet done. It was explained that it was advisable that the trees are pruned when they are dormant, later in the autumn.
Three members of the Community Plan Group attended, following a request for the PC to meet with the group to discuss the way forward and hence support the group prior to the November public meeting. There was a sustained debate about this, comparing the benefits of supporting the group in this way with how this might affect the principle that the Community Plan group was set up to be independent of the PC and how important it is that its findings & action planning are henceforward seen to be still independent. In the end, by a small majority, the PC decided that it would not become involved as a body at this stage to best preserve that independence. Individual Councillors may be involved in action groups when they are set up, according to their interests, and any action plans arising will be formally considered in due course.
The published version of the Rushcliffe Local Plan (2), which includes proposals for housing development at East Bridgford, has been submitted for examination by a national planning inspector. All of the consultation responses can be viewed on the RBC website at Rushcliffe Planning
At Butt Field, in the play area, the zip wire platform continues to need restoration work to supporting logs, and the sliding seat is removed until this is completed. Work on the pavilion extension has continued following a brief delay to accommodate amended insulation requirements. A water leak near the field entrance will be repaired when access issues have been resolved.
Preparations for the centenary of the armistice on Sunday November the 11th are at an advanced stage. Road closures will be organised during the day, so residents are advised to make a note of these when they are published nearer the day.
The PC agreed to financially support St. Peter's Academy in putting on another DARE event this year. This event seeks to help pupils make positive choices about their health and wellbeing when faced with the temptations of drugs, cigarettes etc.
The next meeting will be on October 1st at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 30th July
Mrs Jo Riddle was warmly welcomed as she took her place on the Council.
In public comment, a resident was concerned about whether the period for the Trent Lane proposed experimental closure would be too short and also said that the on-going traffic issues through the village were of great concern. It was reported that a meeting had taken place with VIA (EM) at 3.30pm on a Friday at the crossroads at the top of Trent Lane to coincide with both school egress and through-traffic increases. The person attending took photographs of the congestion arising from parking in the area, noted the issues of traffic trying to negotiate Main Street in both directions, and has taken away the details to consider what might be done. The Trent Lane scheme, is an experimental closure order for 12 months and hence needs to go through certain legal and consultation processes. The PC has asked for traffic surveys to be done before and after the implementation of the scheme to determine the impact. Residents will need to be aware that changes to Toot Hill school times as reported suggest that school buses are likely to be going through the village at about the same time as pupils are leaving St. Peter's when the new term starts in September.
Two members of the Community Plan Group attended, together with a representative of ARCAN, to contribute to the discussion about the interim report of the Community Plan. The PC thanked the group for their hard work in providing a very useful evidence base and framework for seeking to address the issues identified. After publication of the report in the autumn there will be a public meeting and work will be progressed by action-planning groups dealing with the particular areas of interest. Experience with the previous parish plan shows that engagement with the relevant authorities is essential and that evolving circumstances will mean that priorities will need to be revisited accordingly. For example, at the time of the publication of the last parish plan, broadband did not exist as such but rapidly became an essential service and needed to be considered and prioritised accordingly. No doubt similar issues not currently in evidence will also rise to prominence in the lifetime of this Community Plan. Nevertheless, it is an extremely important document which will influence decision-making and prioritisation for the foreseeable future, and it is vital that the action-planning groups are supported.
At Butt Field, in the play area, the zip wire platform needs corrective work to supporting logs which is being investigated, and the sliding seat is removed while being repaired. Work on the pavilion extension has begun and at the time of writing, the foundations were complete and brickwork had commenced. The PC is also investigating an issue related to a problem of access to the field by mobility scooters.
In the second round of judging for the best kept village, the winner of our category was Woodborough and the runners-up were East Markham, in a contest described as having a narrow margin. The judges' comments were not available at the time of writing, but in the meantime, many people and organisations have contributed time, effort and resources into the process of showing that we have a village we can all be proud to live in.
Details are emerging of the ways in which the village will mark the centenary of the armistice on Sunday November the 11th. Apart from the Service of Remembrance at 11am, it is planned to have "seated silhouettes" in the church during the afternoon, showing information about those people from the village who were involved in the First World War, together with other memorabilia, and a lantern procession in the evening followed by lighting of the beacon. These events are being organised by a committee of volunteers and the PC is very grateful to them and organisations such as the church, chapel and Local History group who are contributing.
The next meeting will be on 3rd September.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – July 2nd
In public comment, a resident complained about the effect of tree growth in the car park on her property. It was decided that some Councillors would investigate the situation and recommend what action might be necessary. She also said that there were problems with noise from the bottle bank outside of the hours listed on a notice on the bottle-bank. Hence, if you are using the bottle bank, please be considerate to neighbours and restrict depositing bottles to between 7.30am and 7pm as requested.
Two members of the Community Plan Group attended to explain that, after much hard work, the Plan was at the draft publication stage and that the next phase will be action planning. They urged the Council to be actively involved in that. Councillors were aware of how successful this process was in the case of the previous Parish Plan and decided to put it on the agenda for the next meeting to give time to consider the draft conclusions and their implications in some depth.
Finally, a resident also asked about progress with Trent Lane (see below).
Housing development – Rushcliffe Borough Council Local Plan 2
Formal consultation about the publication of RBC's Local Plan 2 ended on Thursday 28th June. The Parish Council responded and all responses should be available on the Rushcliffe website in due course. The details of the programme for subsequent public examination by the national inspectorate are not yet known.
It was decided that Jo Riddle will be co-opted on to the Council to fill the vacancy created when Tricia Norman resigned.
It was reported that no further information had been received about the timescale for the introduction of a full-closure trial scheme. In the meantime, there have been two accidents, and some concerns raised by cyclists about the impact of the scheme. It was decided to write formally to the department concerned and to ask our County Councillor to continue to pursue this issue on our behalf.
Butt Field, Play Area and Pavilion
At the play area, the ROSPA report has been received, and the minor issues identified are being addressed. Information signs have been replaced where they had become worn and the basket swing is currently being repaired.
Work on the pavilion extension was due to begin on the 16th July. Users of Butt Close will need to continue to be aware of the construction vehicles using the College Street access for several months while this project continues.
Best Kept Village
The village was successful in being short-listed at the end of the first round of judging, together with three other villages in our category. The second round was due to be completed in the first 3 weeks of July, with the final results to be announced at the end of July or early August. In the meantime, many thanks to all residents and businesses who have contributed to making the village look attractive this year, despite the demands of the hot, dry weather. Some issues with uncut verges and footpaths have unfortunately occurred which are outside of the control of the Parish Council but which are being pursued with the appropriate authority.
Village Show and Village Hall
Councillors congratulated the Horticultural Society on another very successful Village Show this year, once again blessed by lovely weather. The amount of work done by volunteers to put on this Show should not be underestimated nor taken for granted. Voluntary input is essential to many village activities and so it is of concern that the organisation of the Village Hall is under pressure because the number of people willing to work on the Committee is falling and it is proving difficult to find a new Chairman. This is being publicised already in the magazine and it is hoped that a solution can be found as soon as possible.
It is the time of year when hedges can grow over pavements and footpaths making it difficult for people using them. Can residents with hedges please keep an eye on this and cut them back as soon as possible if such a situation arises.
The planned August Parish Council meeting was due to be held on the 30th July, following a change in the schedule due to holiday commitments, so the next meeting after that will be on 3rd September.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – June 4th
There was a significant number of people present for public comment, most of whom wished to support the East Bridgford Residents' Group's efforts to stop the development in the green belt as put forward in the publication of RBC's Local Plan 2 documentation. The PC's position is that, in line with the majority of responses in the village appraisal carried out by the Community Plan group, it is against any development in the green belt. However, if development is forced on the village, it supported the Community Plan Group's attempt to try and ensure that the least damaging option results. The PC will object in the latest round of consultation, to be examined by a national planning inspector in due course, not least because revised proposals were introduced into the final document without a further public meeting and consequently denied opportunities for residents and the PC to be formally consulted at that stage. The deadline for responses is Thursday 28th June, which can be made by post, (Planning Policy, Rushcliffe Borough Council, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford, NG2 7YG), by e-mail (email@example.com ) or on-line (http://rushcliffe-consult.objective.co.uk/portal).
Also in public comment, a resident enquired about the latest position with respect to the proposed one-way system on Trent Lane near Gunthorpe Bridge. A communication received that day reported that problems had arisen with the design with respect to cyclists, and a safety audit which highlighted the potential for accidents if vehicles attempted 3-point turns or illegally drove the wrong way and encountered other vehicles using the one-way system. The Highways Department is now proposing an experimental full closure of Trent Lane near Gunthorpe Bridge, and asked for the PC's view. The PC decided to strongly support such a move and to urge the Department to monitor traffic before and after the introduction of the scheme to measure the effect on traffic in key venues, especially leading towards the Kirk Hill traffic lights. In a related matter, a resident had written to suggest using Cuttle Hill land to provide parking opportunities opposite the academy. The PC decided to wait until the effects of both the above scheme, and the new Bus Stop/yellow lines scheme recently installed near there, were evident before considering what would be a very difficult and complex project.
At the play area, a ROSPA report is awaited. Significant maintenance issues suggest that a major refurbishment project may soon be needed. Grass cutting is also an issue at the moment with the warm, wet weather.
Work on the pavilion extension is expected to begin on the 16th July following a pre-contract meeting on the 14th June which will establish routines etc for the contractors accessing the site. Users of Butt Close will need to be aware of the additional vehicles using the College Street access for several months while this project continues.
The village clean-up which was held on Saturday 2nd June, one of the preparations for the Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE and sponsored by Wilkinsons, continued over several days due to the weather. A large quantity of rubbish bags was filled by volunteers, including Scouts and their parents, and taken away by Streetwise who had provided the bags. A group of Councillors, members of the East Bridgford Garden Club and other volunteers have also been sowing poppy seeds around the village as part of the commemoration of the end of the First World War 100 years ago. They have also arranged for plants and baskets, generously donated on behalf of the East Bridgford Garden and Home Centre and its suppliers, by Steve Cole, the manager of the Centre, to be displayed at various locations around the village. This, coupled with many individual efforts, has helped to present homes, streets and other locations in their best light. If the village gets through the first round of judging for the BKV in June, there is a second and final round in early July.
A meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on 28th June at 6pm to consider candidates for co-option to fill the current vacancy on the Council, and make a recommendation.
Issues arising from planning permission conditions not being met continue to occur. Anyone concerned about this may report the problem to RBC Local Development which is responsible for enforcing planning conditions.
The next Parish Council meeting, will be on Monday, 2nd July, at 7.30pm. It was also decided to move the August meeting, originally planned for the 6th August, to Monday 30th July at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – May 1st
There was no public comment, but in correspondence and comments relayed to Councillors, it was reported that the problem of traffic cutting through the village is getting worse. Anecdotal evidence was heard of near-gridlock along Main Street and queues along Trent Lane of between 80-100 vehicles trying to access the A6097 at Gunthorpe Bridge. In addition, it seems that vehicles are now leaving the A46 at Kneeton and driving along Kneeton Road for the same purpose. It is clear that when people are trying to save time by doing this, some of them will drive more quickly than the road conditions and speed limits would indicate, increasing the risk to other road users. With delays to the Trent Lane one-way scheme, and no response to the PC's suggestion of movable speed indicator signs with data-logging capability to record the extent of the problem, an urgent site meeting is being requested with Notts. Highways.
On potholes, increased reporting appears to be having an effect. Please keep using the on-line system for any issues.
At the play area, additional issues with supporting wooden poles were reported and work will be needed to replace them. The field has been very wet, preventing contractor–s vehicles accessing the site, but the extra bark needed in some areas will be spread as soon as conditions allow.
Preparations for the Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE and sponsored by Wilkinsons continue. The village clean-up which was due to be held at the beginning of March but which was cancelled due to bad weather, will now be held on Saturday 2nd June, meeting at 8-8.30 in the Car Park for the morning session and/or 2pm for a second session in the afternoon. This will also incorporate a response to a national plastic clear-up initiative due in May. Individuals and village organisations who wish to help are very welcome.
Finally, Tricia Norman has resigned as a Parish Councillor for personal reasons. Tricia was initially an officer of the Council, responsible for taking the minutes, then eventually became a Councillor in her own right. In a reversal of the usual phrase, it could be regarded as a gamekeeper turned poacher, perhaps?! In any event, her experience and quiet wisdom have been a great asset to the Council for many years, and she will be missed by all of us.
The next Parish Council meeting, will be on Monday, 4th June, at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Housing Development Local Plan 2
Residents will be aware from the two public consultation meetings and associated documents, that RBC has been proposing some housing development in the green belt around several villages across Rushcliffe to meet their targets for house building which are set by national Government. The Parish Council and Community Plan group have responded to the consultation and responses can be found on the RBC website at
(scroll down to "Responses" and click on the appropriate name to download the documents)
A policy document was put on the agenda for a full RBC meeting on Thursday 26th April which included revised proposals for East Bridgford, some of which were based on specific responses made by the Community Plan group. A majority on the Parish Council felt that these considerations represented an improvement on the proposals which were published during the second consultation period. Nevertheless, the overall view of the Parish Council and the Community Plan group is strongly against development in the green belt. A letter has been sent to the Chief Executive of RBC protesting that the revised proposals were not re-issued for formal consultation with residents, nor for consideration at a full Parish Council meeting. Despite that, it is reported that the RBC meeting voted to accept the document as a whole. There is still a further formal period of consultation and a public examination later this year which residents may wish to contribute towards.
Coun. Phil Clarke
East Bridgford Parish Council
Annual Parish Meeting – 19th April 2018
Clerk to the Parish Council
In the autumn, Jill Barlow resigned from her post as Clerk to the Parish Council after 11 years of distinguished service. During that time, the demands on the Council in meeting various policies and initiatives increased dramatically. This also impacted on the role of the clerk, and Jill rose to those challenges effectively. Her term in office coincided with many developments initiated by the Council itself, and one huge challenge arising from the severe fire in the pavilion. The Council and the East Bridgford community as a whole owe her a great debt of gratitude and we wish her success and happiness with the new challenges she has taken on.
Following a selection and appointment process, Michele Sharratt, who is also Clerk to two other, smaller parish councils, was appointed to be our new Clerk. We welcome her to her first Annual Meeting and wish her well in her new post.
Butt Close and the Pavilion
At the time of writing, the process of transferring the ownership of Butt Close from Nottinghamshire County Council to the Parish Council is in the final stages. It has proved to be a more long-winded process than anticipated but a number of formalities such as referral to the Department for Education were necessary and became subject to unavoidable delays such as the general election. This is a major asset to the community, however, and so is "well worth the candle", so to speak.
Over the past year, the Friends of St. Peter's Academy, held two events on Butt Close, a Zorb football charity event, and a fireworks display. These were very successful, and since the Academy is now a member of the Sports Club, provide examples of how cooperation can generate opportunities.
The Sports Club project to build an extension to the Pavilion to replace the old "viewing lodge" at the tennis club and provide further facilities has secured funding from various bodies such that it can go ahead. This is the result of a great amount of work by a number of people but special mention must go to Peter Cross, the Secretary of the Sports Club, who successfully negotiated the labyrinthine world of the grant-funding bodies and Dot Crawford who galvanised everyone with a vision to replace the old viewing lodge with something more inspiring.
With the transfer of Butt Close going ahead, no further capital expenditure projects were identified for the time being.
Traffic and Parking issues
Residents have experienced significant increases in traffic through the village, especially after 4pm when congestion on the A6097 leads to motorists choosing to cut through the village. Many of these then use Trent Lane to access Gunthorpe Bridge, leading to hazardous situations when they turn right across the busy traffic. VIA(EM) for Nottinghamshire Highways has accepted the case for making Trent Lane one-way for about 100m from the bridge junction towards the village only, but implementation has been delayed while a solution for cyclists to be accommodated is found. The Council continues to try and persuade VIA(EM) that a speed indicator sign which also records data would be very useful to determine the extent of the cut-through traffic, what speeds are involved and which times of the day could merit a police check.
In relation to parking, a new scheme to incorporate a bus stop outside St. Peter's academy has been published and is "out" for consultation.
Dogs on Butt Close
Following a number of instances of dog-fouling and one reported incident of a dog biting a child's finger, the Council decided to consult about whether dogs should be required to be on leads while on Butt Close. A group of dog owners proposed a community-based approach to work with all dog owners to try to improve the situation. The Council supported this initiative which will be monitored over two years before review.
The Council decided, on safety and privacy grounds, to adopt a policy on drones and other unmanned aerial devices which prevents their use on parish owned or leased land except in very special circumstances. Full details are published on the village website. There has been one incident involving a drone which required intervention.
Development in the green belt and Planning applications
The Local Plan consultation by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) continued during the year, with a second public meeting to consider changes made to the original sites identified for possible housing development in the green belt. The Parish Council resolved to support representations made by the Community Plan group, and the issue is now back with RBC to determine the next stage of the process.
Over the year, there have been an increasing number and variety of planning applications which the PC has needed to consider as a statutory consultee, including one off Oldhill Lane ("Green Lane") which refers to a relatively rare aspect of planning law regarding the building of significant properties in the countryside.
Support to other organisations
Small grants were made to other organisations during the year, including the following:
St. Peter's Academy, for the DARE project.
The Parish Magazine, towards printing costs and also the distribution of information materials to all households in December, which, together with the East Bridgford website, continues to provide an invaluable service to residents and visitors.
A commitment to the St. Peter's church PCC for funding towards an automatic winding mechanism for the church clock, from the Heritage fund
A Donations Policy governs this process, details of which are available on the village website.
Following another year where the costs of legal services and the maintenance of the play area have both continued to rise in particular, the Council resolved to raise its precept by 4% for 2018-19. It is hoped that some of these costs at least might be recovered in due time, but for now the Council needs to ensure it can cover its expenditure.
Following the resignation of Suda Sharma last year, Gill Stevens was duly co-opted.
Best Kept Village Competition
In 2017, it was decided to re-enter this competition, run by CPRE and sponsored by Wilkinson's, and the village came runners-up in its category. This year, we intend to enter again, and so residents and businesses are asked to make every effort to show the village in its best light.
Volunteers are looking at various ways to add further to the attractiveness of our village, and information about these will be made available in due course. Mention should be made of the voluntary "clean ups" which take place, where Councillors and representatives of other organisation such as the Scouts, WI and Garden Club together with other residents, pick up litter or clean village signs etc. This sometimes coincides with national initiatives, and both RBC and Streetwise assist with the provision of bags, litter-picking sticks and with the removal of the collected rubbish.
1918-2018 100 years commemoration of the end of the Great War
November 11th this year is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the First World War, referred to at the time as the Great War. In common with most communities, this village lost a significant number of its men during the conflict. There are two services of Remembrance each year, on Feast Sunday in the evening, and on Remembrance Sunday, in the morning, which will have special significance this year. It is hoped to arrange other ways of commemorating these sacrifices in due course.
Finally, Council business continues to place increasing demands on both Councillors and Officers, who nevertheless give freely of their time and goodwill to try and ensure that our village continues to be a place where people are fortunate to live. Apart from the issues mentioned above, other examples include responding to consultations and changes in legislation, maintaining memorial and other seats, weekly monitoring of the Play Area, arranging for surveys of and works to trees on parish land, reporting fly-tipping, liaising with RBC about travellers' camps off Butt Lane, occasional cleaning & maintenance of information boards, the defibrillator and the telephone box, managing the allotments on Butt Lane and dealing with numerous concerns raised by residents. The Council is grateful for the work of its employees and contractors, who often go "the extra mile" on our behalf, and for the work of the internal auditor, Alan Hopwood.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 26th March 2018
In public comment, a resident referred to a planning application for further units on the business park to the north end of Kneeton Road and shared his concerns about the resulting effect of the increased traffic, especially delivery goods vehicles. The PC decided not to object to the application but has submitted comments which referred to a possible imposition of restrictions on the size of vehicles and the times when they access the development. (Subsequent to this, the resident submitted some photographs of a delivery lorry having great difficulty negotiating the road near the academy because of parked cars, and expressed safety concerns about future situations like this.) A second resident coincidentally attended to suggest using land near the church for car parking to alleviate some of the issues around the academy and the church itself. This land is not owned by the PC and is subject to a current lease to another organisation, which makes it difficult to see how this specific idea might be taken forward.
In relation to car parking more generally, the Council discussed a consultation document from RBC about off-street parking. The situation in Bingham is an on–going problem and residents should be aware that the two small car parks along Union Street, by the new Methodist Chapel, are regarded as separate. Hence, you need a ticket for 2 hours free parking from the machine in the car park you are parked in ONLY. People are getting penalty notices if they obtain a ticket from the machine in the car park on the other side of the road. The PC regards this as harsh on people who are trying to do their best to be within the spirit of the rules, the purpose of which is to prevent those car parks being used for long periods.
Planning is beginning for the centenary commemoration of the end of the First World War in 1918, referred to at the time as the Great War. There will be a special event on November 11th, which is the date when the armistice came into force, but there is also an annual remembrance in this village on Feast Sunday, the day after the village show at the end of June, with a service at St. Peter's church at 6.30pm.
At the play area, extra bark will be spread as soon as conditions allow. Ropes on the 'clatter bridge' have been replaced. An annual ROSPA inspection is due in May.
The PC is entering the village into the Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE again this year. A small group including volunteers from the Garden Club is looking at ways to prepare for this but the most effective preparation is for all residents to think about how they can personally enhance the attractiveness of the village. Judging takes place in June and July.
Alongside all other organisations, the PC is preparing for changes in the rules and regulations about possessing and processing personal data (known as GDPR) which come into effect in May. In due course, a new policy will be required which will be published on the village website.
It was reported that Councillors have met with contractors and Highways officials to discuss the work needed to clear power lines of tree and hedge growth along Kirk Hill. The PC is concerned that the work requires a full road closure for Health and Safety reasons and was originally scheduled for April 18th, a weekday, which would result in major disruption. After discussion, the contractors agreed to look at a Sunday closure instead. At the time of writing, this date had not been finalised.
The PC formally granted permission to the Friends of St. Peter's Academy to use Butt Close for another fireworks event in November this year, subject to conditions.
The next Parish Council meeting, will be on a Tuesday, 1st May, at 7.30pm, preceded by the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council at 7.00pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 5th March 2018
The scheme proposed by VIA(EM) for the creation of a designated bus stop with revised no-stopping regulations was the subject of further public consultation. This is designed to try and ensure that the school bus will not need to park on the zigzag areas which can cause visibility problems for children crossing the road. The Council has expressed a concern that, without additional measures to restrict parking near the cross-roads, the problems which exist there may be exacerbated.
On planning matters, residents may not be aware that applications which gain permission often have conditions laid down. These conditions can be found in the decision letter, which will be one of the documents on the relevant webpage. These conditions can be very important for neighbours and others affected by a development. If there are concerns that these conditions are not complied with, the planners at RBC can be contacted about enforcement.
Essential tree and hedge work to clear power lines by contractors working for Western Power, is required on Kirk Hill. At the time of writing, it has been indicated that this is currently scheduled to be on the 18th April when there is likely to be a local power outage and a possible road closure. At the request of the Parish Council, a site meeting has been arranged as soon as possible because the PC has pointed out the major disruption and traffic hazards which would arise from a full road closure there. Residents are advised to monitor any notices which appear nearer to the projected date.
The village 'spring clean' to coincide with a national initiative on the weekend of 2-4th March was postponed due to the weather and will be re-scheduled for late May/early June.
Issues arising from the Villager One bus service (V1) were the subject of a Radcliffe on Trent Residents' Association meeting recently. The main concern initially was about a disparity between the (higher) cost of the using the V1 compared to the Mainline service for people getting on the bus in Radcliffe, but in the course of the meeting it was reportedly learned that TrentBarton representatives were arguing that the service does not currently have enough revenue from all passengers for its long term viability. This is a worrying issue which will be monitored, but in the meantime the more people who use the service the better.
In public comment, a representative of the Sports Club informed the Council that its applications for funding towards an extension of the pavilion have been successful and thanked the Council for its support. It is hoped building can begin in early summer and be completed in about 5 months. The Council congratulated the Sports Club and particularly its Secretary, Peter Cross, who has put in a prodigious amount of work with the funding applications.
To account for Easter and the early May bank holiday weekends, and the Annual Parish Meeting (APM) which is held in April, the pattern of future meetings is rather unusual these next two months. The next Parish Council meeting, which would normally be in the first week of April, will now be on Monday 26th March at 7.30pm, and the one after that will be on a Tuesday, 1st May.
The APM will be on Thursday 19th April at 7.30pm in the WI Hut. Apart from the usual reports, it is also hoped that there will be a progress report from the Community Plan group and the Village Hall committee. As this remains to be confirmed, please see notices or the website nearer the time for final details.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 5th February 2018
The Council has noted the concerns of many parishioners relating to traffic through the village, parking issues, especially near the school, and the state of the roads and pavements. It is continuing to communicate with VIA(EM) which is the organisation responsible for these matters on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council. Two schemes which are progressing are a plan to make Trent Lane one–way from the A6097 towards the village for about 100m from the junction at the bridge and the creation of a designated bus stop outside of St. Peter's Academy. In relation to Trent Lane, it had been hoped that this would be in place by March this year. At the moment, the design is being amended to account for cyclists after which it will go to public consultation. The creation of the designated bus stop with no-stopping regulations will ensure that buses collecting and dropping off pupils do not have to use the existing no–stopping area, but the PC is expressing a concern that an opportunity is being missed to also use yellow lines around the Trent Lane junction corners, where parking causes visibility dangers and difficulties for vehicles turning or crossing the junction from any direction. Pot holes are also causing concern. Dangerous pot holes can be reported using an on–line form to be found on Nottinghamshire's website. Precise detail helps. A pot hole which was about 10cm deep outside the Methodist Chapel was inspected then repaired within 24 hours when it was reported as a significant danger to the many cyclists who use that section of road.
The PC agreed to make a donation to St. Peter's church council towards a scheme to install an automatic winding system for the church clock. This came from a "Heritage Fund" which was set up in the council's budget for this kind of situation. In this case, the clock was originally funded by villagers so that its chimes could be heard by workers in the fields etc and as such is a significant feature of the village's history and character.
Planning matters are once again increasing in both number and complexity, and the Council is fortunate that initial work on these is done by two Councillors who are former architects and whose analyses and advice are invaluable. However, the PC is only a statutory consultee which means that our views are entitled to be considered but final decisions are made by the planning authority, which is Rushcliffe Borough Council. Any resident may submit their own views, and planning application documents plus any submissions made can be viewed on the planning website. Since the planning authority uses national and local policies in making decisions, it is advisable to focus any comments on the impact of a planning application in relation to those policies. Residents are also reminded that proposed works to any trees in the conservation area must receive prior clearance from the Rushcliffe Tree Officer.
Following their distribution as part of the December Parish magazine pack, the footpath leaflet is being re-printed so that further copies can be made available in the future.
The precept for 2018–19 has been set, with the decision being to increase it by 4%. The main reasons for the increase are a rising cost of maintaining the play area and one-off legal costs, for example in the transfer of ownership of Butt Close playing fields.
A village "spring clean" to coincide with a national initiative is being considered for the weekend of 2–4th March. This has taken place at roughly the same time in the last few years and is an opportunity to do some litter picking and cleaning of village signs, the phone box and other communal assets.
The next meeting will be on Monday 5th March at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 2nd Janury 2018
The new Clerk, Michele Sharratt, was introduced to the Council which also expressed its thanks to the Deputy Clerk and Minuting Secretary for their assistance, and to the outgoing Clerk, Jill Barlow, for her cooperation, during the hand-over period in December. Contact with the Clerk is still via the existing dedicated e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillors discussed the results of the consultation about whether dogs on Butt Close playing fields should be required to be kept on leads, and the options available. It was decided to accept a proposal put forward by two residents to form a community-based group to work with dog owners/walkers via a range of initiatives to help address the issues involved without making it a requirement to always have dogs on leads and for them to monitor the outcomes. This needs a certain amount of time to establish and work through, so the Council agreed that a period of two years was appropriate in the first instance after which it will be reviewed. The Council will also consider what support might be needed, including signage on Parish Council land. In the meantime, dog owners are respectfully reminded that, in making a judgment about whether to use a lead, they personally are responsible in law at all times for ensuring that their dog is under control and that any excrement is cleared up.
Some residents at Holloway Close have contacted Councillors to say that they are unhappy to be losing the use of the garages there, the site of which is proposed to be used for 5 two-bedroomed dwellings. When the planning application was considered, the Council was told that the garages were not being used but it now seems that this was not the case.
At the request of the Sports Club, the Council agreed to become party to funding applications to bodies which give grants as a result of landfill tax, for example, for the purpose of building an extension to the sports pavilion. Substantial funds have already been secured, and this should enhance the likelihood of reaching the target figure for building to go ahead.
More bark is being ordered for the surfaces of the play area which need it and a number of repairs are needed to things like the retaining logs. The play area and its equipment are subject to regular inspections, including a formal annual one by ROSPA.
An approach has been made to Notts Highways and the office of the Police & Crime Commissioner about the possibility of setting up a project to trial the use of a temporary speed display unit which can also log data for downloading. This data is restricted to how many vehicles pass the sign, their speed, and the time of day. This data would test the views of many people that traffic has increased at certain times of the day, and determine to what extent speeding is a problem. It would also enable any targetting of police speed checks to be focussed on the times when problems exist.
New regulations about data are due to come into force in May of this year, and in common with many other organisations, the Council has to consider its policies on the use and storage of any personal data and determine what changes are necessary to meet these. One outcome, for example, will probably involve a change to the way people can contact Councillors by e-mail. These changes will be communicated as and when they are introduced.
The Council formally granted permission to the Horticultural Society to hold the Show on Butt Close on the last Saturday in June, subject to the usual conditions. It also resolved to make a donation towards the costs incurred distributing the welcome pack with the December edition of the parish magazine.
The next meeting will be on Monday 5th February at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 4th Dec 2017
It was reported that there have already been detailed responses to the consultation about whether dogs on Butt Close playing fields should be kept on leads. The consultation period was planned for the whole of December, including, by kind permission of the Community Plan group, inclusion in their public meeting on the 6th December. The issue will be on the agenda for the January meeting.
The sub–group tasked with the appointment process for the post of Clerk made a recommendation which was ratified by the full Council. The new Clerk should be in post in time for the next meeting.
Cllr. David Meylan has produced a guide which aims to support the Planning Authority as a measure of design proposals for any new housing allocation at East Bridgford, titled 'A Place Making Guide ' East Bridgford". This is a very impressive document, running to 47 pages, and the Council congratulated and thanked Cllr. Meylan for his input into this very important and complex issue.
It was noted that traffic congestion on the A6097 is getting worse, with consequential increases of through traffic in the village. Information was received that traffic density is being investigated as part of the on-going assessment of the impact of the new A46, with an updated report due next year. It was decided to investigate if a data-logging portable speed indicating sign could be obtained to assess the pattern of traffic in the village.
Cllr. Hunt has kindly distributed the bags of salt bought by the Council to be used for gritting at key places around the village in the event of snow and/or ice.
The Council agreed to contribute £500 towards the DARE project cost again this year. This project works with pupils at St. Peter's Academy to alert them to the dangers of drugs and other substances, and suggests strategies to help them make the right choices.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 2nd January at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 6th November 2017
On November 12th, Remembrance Sunday, a parade was held from the Car Park to the church, where there was the act of remembrance with its two-minute silence, during which wreaths were laid, followed by a service in the church. This was made possible by surrounding roads being closed for a brief period, and the PC is grateful to Francis Meylan for arranging this on behalf of the Scouts, and for road-users' patience while this important national event is commemorated.
A small group of Councillors has been working with the Community Plan group to prepare a response to the latest proposals from RBC for releasing land for development which was the subject of a formal consultation at the end of October. It was agreed by a majority that this response should be submitted to RBC. It is expected that further consultation will result if RBC revises its proposals as a consequence. At the same time, we have learned of a forthcoming planning application for 5 affordable homes on the site of the garages by Holloway Close.
In relation to dogs on Butt Close playing fields, the format for consultation was agreed and is the subject of a separate article in this magazine.
The Council has learned that, as a result of an investigation by Notts Highways into the circumstances of the recent accident near the academy, they will not be making any specific proposals for new measures to reduce risk in that area. However, it is worth reminding everyone of the need for watchfulness and consideration for others when using our roads, especially at the busy times of the day.
The next meeting will be on Monday 4th December at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Jill Barlow – an appreciation
The Parish Council was saddened to receive the resignation of Jill Barlow as Clerk to the Parish Council and Responsible Financial Officer. Jill has been in post since 2006, and for many of those years was also a resident of the village. She has always given outstanding service, and is particularly noted for her thoroughness in ensuring that Councillors receive the best advice in making their decisions. In recent times, there have been particularly strenuous challenges, not least the pavilion fire, and her role in helping to ensure that the pavilion was brought back into use at the earliest opportunity was a shining example of her expertise and diligence. Jill is moving on to new challenges, and has our very best wishes for success with those, and our heartfelt thanks for her invaluable contribution to our village life.
Parish Council Meeting Report – 2nd October 2017
During September, there was a special church service and reception to mark the 100th anniversary of the East Bridgford branch of the WI. The Council sends its congratulations and appreciation of the many very valuable contributions of this organisation to the village and the wider community over the years.
The proposals from RBC for releasing land for development were considered. It was noted that a further consultation event had been organised since one of the sites was not listed in the original consultation exercise. With the deadline for responses set later in November, it was decided to engage with the consultation and submit a response following the next Parish Council meeting. Residents are encouraged to ensure their own views are made known during this process.
There was no public comment, but a recent e-mail from a resident referred to a further problem for their child from dog excrement left on Butt Close. As mentioned in the previous month's report, the Council is considering making it a requirement for dogs to be kept on leads on Butt Close. It was decided to begin a process of consultation about this which will include an opportunity for people to contribute in person to the argument, and details of this and the specific proposals will follow in due course. A decision on how to proceed will be made at the January meeting to allow sufficient time for this process. Should the community support the introduction of a measure such as this, it will be for the community as a whole to implement and monitor it.
The PC will be contributing to the Community Plan public event, scheduled for the 6th December. This is an opportunity for residents to focus on the various issues raised in the questionnaires earlier this year, and to contribute to the action groups considering them.
It was saddening to learn of the recent traffic accident on Kneeton Road where a child was injured on the way to school. The Council understands that the child is making a good recovery, and sends its best wishes. Any investigation or proposals by Notts Highways about how improvements may be made in that area to make such incidents less likely will be supported by the Council. On another traffic related matter, the Council is pleased that additional bollards have been sited at the junction of Butt Lane with the old A46 to make visibility when approaching the junction better, something the Council has been pressing for over the past months.
An encampment on the Butt Lane by-way adjacent to the overbridge was noted again in recent weeks. Although it was only there a relatively short time, it could represent a developing pattern with similar ones in the area. The Council has requested agricultural gates at the entrance to that section which may require a change to the status of the by-way.
The notice in the village Car Park will be amended as follows:
"This car park provides temporary, short-term parking for the public.
Please do not use it for continuous, long-term parking.
Vehicles parked without a current MOT and/or road tax may be removed" This is to ensure that sufficient spaces are available for temporary situations such as events in the village hall or chapel.
Following the success of being runners-up in our category of the Best Kept Village competition, the Council considered the comments of the judges and decided to investigate how to make improvements for next year.
The next meeting will be on Monday 6th November at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report — 4th September 2017
In public comment, it was suggested that there was an opportunity to include information from the Welcome Pack, normally available to new residents in the parish, in the December circulation of the parish magazine, which is delivered to all homes in the village. This would be an opportunity to update everyone and was thought to be a very good idea. It was also suggested that we should build upon the success in gaining the runners-up spot in the Best Kept Village competition, and consider how we might "get past the winning post" next year.
Problems with litter and hazardous waste have been reported on the footpath along the River Trent. Interested parties, such as the angling club and local authorities are being contacted to determine how the situation can be improved.
Metropolitan Housing has indicated that it is considering building up to 5 affordable homes on the site of the garages by the flats on Holloway Close. The Parish Council will comment when a formal planning application is made.
On another planning matter, the Council is aware of concerns about a proposed telecoms mast near the sewage pumping station on Springdale Lane, including the recent article in the parish magazine. The Parish Council is a consultee in the planning process, but decisions are made by Rushcliffe Borough Council. Mobile phone masts are contentious — people using mobiles want a good signal but concerns arise when a mast is due to be sited nearby. There are constraints in the planning process — a really good concise summary can be found on Poole's website (http://www.poole.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/telecommunication-masts/)
The public benches and seats around the village have been assessed and are due to be re-decorated, and where necessary repaired, in the coming months. Similarly, equipment and surfaces in the Play Area have recently been repaired or renewed.
It was decided to amend the notice in the village Car Park to include a request that vehicles should not be parked for long, continuous periods. This is to ensure that the Car Park can meet its primary aim of providing off-road spaces for temporary situations such as events in the village hall or chapel.
It is now over a year since a plea was made to dog walkers to ensure that no dog waste is left on the playing fields at Butt Close, and for dogs to be closely supervised. After some initially encouraging signs of improvement, there have been several incidents this summer of the waste problem returning and one report of a child being "nipped" on the hand by a dog which was not on a lead. The Council will need to consider if it is now time to require dogs to be kept on leads while on Butt Close.
The first stage will be an agenda item in October to decide whether to take this forward to full consultation and if so, how that will be organised. Public interest will be high, and anyone who wishes to comment in the first instance can e-mail the Clerk at email@example.com.
The Council has received a request to supply a Christmas Tree for the festival which is planned at St. Peter's Church in early December. While the Council felt that it could not justify spending public money for this particular fund-raising purpose, it hopes that other organisations will support the festival and that it will be a great success.
The next meeting will be on Monday 2nd October at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report — 3rd July 2017
In public comment, County Councillor Purdue-Horan referred to several consultation issues relating to highways in the parish, and sought the views of the PC. The PC confirmed its support for making Trent Lane one-way only near to its junction with the A6097 (towards the village only), which is likely to be subject to a one-year experimental order from March 2018. It also welcomed the news that new signage is being planned at the junction between Butt Lane and the old A46, to make the junction more visible at night, also by March 2018, and also measures to highlight the sharp bend on Kirk Hill for traffic coming from the traffic lights towards the village.
It was noted that a large group of travellers's vehicles had stopped briefly on the Butt Lane by-way, before moving on to a field in Lowdham. NCC is consulting about a change to the status of this part of the by-way to bridleway so that some form of restriction can be placed there. The PC has been asking for agricultural gates, to tackle this type of issue and fly-tipping etc.
The PC congratulated the Horticultural Society for the excellent Village Show this year, for which the weather was very kind. It was clear that a very large number of people had attended and had a great time.
It was noted that the Feast Sunday service, which takes place on the same weekend as the Village Show, had a reduced attendance. There is an act of remembrance at the war memorial during this service, where the roads are closed for a brief period so that the uniformed organisations can parade to the memorial and a period of silence can be held.
In the Best Kept Village competition, East Bridgford was selected for the second round of judging, which is a short-list of four villages in the same size-category. This judging was due to take place in the first 3 weeks of July.
The Council has learned that David Maddison is retiring from his post as Head Teacher of St. Peter'ss Academy after many years of distinguished service. Apart from his service on behalf of the children of the parish, he has also contributed to other activities in the village, not least the Village Show. The Council thanks him for his service, and wishes him every happiness in his retirement.
The next meeting will be on Monday 7th August at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report — June 5th 2017
County Councillor Purdue-Horan was welcomed to the meeting and congratulated on his recent election to the new Bingham East ward, of which East Bridgford is now part.
During public comment, a resident on Kneeton Road raised concerns about a revised planning application for the site which was formerly the car park, grounds and outbuildings of the Reindeer Inn. During the discussion which followed, the PC decided to object to the application on a number of grounds. The most recent version of the RBC planning web site allows people to view relevant documents and the responses made.
The recent vacancy on the PC was filled at the meeting when Mrs. Gill Stevens was duly co-opted on to the Council, and welcomed as she took her seat at the table.
As part of the preparation for the Best Kept Village competition, a 'clean-up' took place on the morning of Saturday 20th May. A group of Scouts and Parish Councillors completed a number of tasks, including litter-picking, cleaning of the pillar box and signs, weeding the block paving at the junction of Haycroft Way and clearing areas of the car park. The PC is very grateful to the Scouts and their leaders for this contribution to our community.
The PC has decided to adopt a policy about flying Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, including drones and model aircraft) on land owned or leased by the PC. The aim of the policy is to ensure that the safety, enjoyment and privacy of people who are on such land, or who work or reside on neighbouring land, are not adversely affected by UAS. Accordingly, it was resolved that no UAS may be used on or over land owned or leased by the PC, in particular Butt Close where notices to this effect will be posted in due course. There may be a rare situation where the PC will consider a request from a professional operator to use a UAS, subject to very stringent conditions, the details of which are set out in the policy which is publicised on the village website.
It was reported that the draft Local Minerals Plan, which was due to be 'examined' in July has now been withdrawn and reviewed in the light of new data about the demand for aggregates which has become available. This was the Plan which considered the extraction of sand and gravel from Shelford West. The PC was opposed to this scheme for a number of reasons, not least the impact on the A6097 traffic, and it is to be hoped that the outcome of the review comes to a different conclusion about this scheme.
Midlands Rural Housing (MRH) is considering whether there could be another affordable homes scheme in the village. The first such scheme was the small development at Foster's Close, and, in the first instance, MRH is investigating if suitable land would be available near there for a similar development.
First brief readings of the results of the traffic survey and other analyses of the impact of the new A46 seem to support the view that traffic through the village has increased at peak times in particular, with a number of vehicles also using Trent Lane to by-pass the traffic lights. Notts CC Highways are consulting on a scheme to make a section of Trent Lane from its junction with the A6097 one way only (towards the village) and, subject to this process, this would be implemented in the spring of 2018. This scheme has the support of the PC.
The PC supported an application to divert a section of footpath 40 at Topfield Farm.
The next meeting will be on Monday 3rd July at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - May 8th 2017
During public comment, a resident raised issues about the leases for the Sports Club and its constituent individual clubs. In the ensuing discussion, it was reported that the lease for Butt Close has been delayed while the processes for transfer of ownership from Nottinghamshire County Council to the PC are completed. In the meantime, it was noted that St. Peter's Academy is now a full member of the Sports Club and the PC congratulated the Friends of St. Peter's organisation for their successful Zorb football charity event which took place on Butt Close in early May.
While we await the results of the survey of traffic on roads affected by the building of the new A46 which has been undertaken on behalf of the Highways Agency towards the end of March, we have received notification of a further analysis which is being carried out into the effects of the A46 project. Details will be put on the village website, and individuals will be able to respond if they wish either directly or to the PC which will discuss its response in a future meeting.
Problems with hedges projecting onto footpaths and pavements are recurring. Residents and land owners are respectfully reminded that it is not sufficient to trim hedges tidily if they still project beyond the boundary of the pavement edge or restrict the width of a footpath. They regularly need substantial pruning back to the correct line.
The PC has decided to re-enter the Nottinghamshire Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE. Judging will take place in the summer, starting from June 5th. The PC is considering how to prepare for this, including a 'clean-up' on the morning of Saturday 20th May. The Car Park will also receive a further 'top dressing' of crushed stone. The PC is very grateful to Tony Beresford for re-painting the telephone box, which it owns and which is used as a book exchange and source of power to the defibrillator. Residents are asked to think about how they may help with this at their own properties, putting yourselves in the place of the judges and thinking how you might be able to influence them positively, for example with hanging baskets, etc.
At the Horticultural Society's request, the PC formally approved the use of Butt Close for the annual village show and wished them every success for the event.
The next meeting will be on Monday 5th June at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
East Bridgford Parish Council
Annual Parish Meeting - 20th April 2017
Butt Close and the Pavilion
The rebuilding of the pavilion after the devastating fire was completed on schedule and formally handed-over on the 13th May 2016. A ceremony to recognise this was held later when it was formally
re-opened by County Councillor Kay Cutts (see below). The whole process required a significant amount of hard work and consultation by all concerned to ensure that the pavilion was brought back into use as soon as possible, and it was another example of the depth of expertise and experience available in our community and the willingness of people to go the extra mile when needed. Some snagging issues have arisen over the last 9 months or so but these have been resolved.
Since then, a significant amount of work has been done negotiating new lease arrangements with the Sports Club for the pavilion, bowls green, tennis courts and Butt Close itself. As part of this, a public meeting was held to discuss use of the pavilion. Part of the way through this process, however, it became known that Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) was prepared to transfer ownership of Butt Close to the Parish Council (PC), subject to a number of conditions mainly relating to protecting its use as playing fields, especially for St. Peter's Academy. At the time of writing, formal consent is awaited from the Government's Department For Education for this to go ahead. The whole process has required input from the PC's solicitors with consequential costs (see also the item about precept below).
Two planned projects, Improved Access to Cuttle Hill and the Trim Trail on Butt Close were set aside in 2015-16 because of the financial uncertainties arising from the pavilion fire. The former had attracted time-limited grant aid which was forfeited, but, although the scheme was on the reserve list for grant funding in 2016-17, this has not been forthcoming. The Trim Trail however did secure funding and the equipment was installed near the zip wire and skateboard ramp following widespread consultation about the types of machine and where they should be sited. The Council is grateful to Cllr. Atkins for seeing this project through to its fruition.
Traffic and Parking issues
Concern has arisen about the number of vehicles passing through the village, and their speed. Representations have been made to the NCC Highways Department, and the results of Highways Agency surveys of traffic patterns consequent upon the opening of the new A46, which have taken place in March of this year, are awaited to determine the extent of the problems. In the meantime, some Councillors have been trained to use the new speed-monitoring equipment which can be loaned from the police.
Parking is still an issue around certain areas, especially near the Academy at the start and end of the school day. Consideration by NCC Highways of some restrictions to parking near to the crossroads of Trent Lane, Kirk Hill, Main Street and Kneeton Road has been requested because of the visibility problems, especially for vehicles emerging from Trent Lane, and dangers from vehicles needing to use the 'wrong' side of the road near the junction.
Further problems with dog mess were reported last summer, especially on Butt Close. An article was placed in the magazine to explain why owners and dog-walkers need to ensure that this is cleared up, and what may happen if the problem persists. If reports of over-flowing dog bins are any indicator, this situation may be improving, and hopefully this improvement will continue. It will help if all dog walkers are vigilant and encourage others to be the same, if restrictions are to be avoided.
Planning applications, including tree works
At the time of writing, the publication of a further Local Plan consultation by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) has been launched, with a public information evening arranged by RBC at the Village Hall. The consultation for East Bridgford focuses on a number of sites in the green belt which may be considered for development in the future. The Council has submitted a formal response which was agreed at a special extra meeting of the Council and it is hoped that many residents will have too. Copies of the PC's response can be seen on the village website.
Over the year, there have been the usual number and variety of planning applications which the PC has needed to consider as a statutory consultee and the PC is fortunate to have the expertise and experience of architects amongst its ranks to call upon, as well as the support of the local RBC ward Councillor, Nigel Lawrence, who attends as many PC meetings as possible.
A new survey of trees on parish-owned or leased land has been commissioned to meet the Council's obligations under its Tree Policy. This will form the basis of a management plan for the trees in question.
Support to other organisations
Small grants were made to other organisations during the year, including the following:
St. Peter's Academy, for the DARE project.
The Parish Magazine, towards printing costs, which, together with the East Bridgford website, continues to provide an invaluable service to residents and visitors
A new Donations Policy is now in place, details of which are available on the website.
The PC also purchased some 'Road Ahead Closed' signs so that the Horticultural Society could arrange for roads to be closed for the parade to Butt Close prior to the annual Village Show. These have also been used by the Scouts so that parades to the war memorial for Remembrance events can take place again.
Unfortunately, after a number of years with either no increase or increases of less than 2%, it has become necessary to increase the precept for 2017-18 by a significant amount. One area where costs have risen dramatically is legal services. Over the past year, the PC has needed to secure an existing asset, prepare to extend its ownership of assets to include Butt Close, and formulate long-leases to the Sports Club. Another area of expenditure which is rising rapidly is the maintenance of the Play Area. Some of this expenditure is related to items which the PC believes should have lasted longer before needing repair or replacement and this is being taken up with the contractor. However, the use of the Play Area needs to be as safe as possible, so if closing certain pieces of equipment is to be avoided, the repairs need to be done.
Finally, the past two years have been particularly busy ones, for both Councillors and Officers, who nevertheless give freely of their time and goodwill to try and ensure that our village continues to be a place where people want to live. Not only have the major issues mentioned above needed dealing with, but all the small but nonetheless important issues (especially for nearby residents). Examples include responding to consultation about gravel extraction at Shelford, monitoring waste spreading on farmland on Kneeton Road, installing & maintaining memorial seats, weekly monitoring of the Play Area, negotiating with the Medical Centre about parking during building works, reporting fly-tipping, liaising with RBC about a travellers' camp off Butt Lane, occasional cleaning & maintenance of information boards, the defibrillator and the telephone box, managing the allotments on Butt Lane and dealing with numerous concerns raised by residents. However, notwithstanding the enormous fund of goodwill, the Council has a responsibility to ensure that its structure is such that it can meet its responsibilities to the community and its employees. Hence, the PC decided to appoint a Minuting Secretary to enhance the capacity of the team of Officers. The Council also recognises the valued contribution of the internal auditor, Alan Hopwood.
Following the resignation of Tanya Hartfield, an election to fill the vacancy was held and Michael Verner was duly elected. More recently, Suda Sharma has also tendered her resignation and a replacement will need to be co-opted. The Council has extended its thanks to both Tanya and Suda for their service. The Community Plan group is working on a replacement for the existing Parish Plan from 2003, which itself was a successful and effective document, and the results of the latest village appraisal by questionnaire organised by the group have recently been published. The PC looks forward to the creation of the Community Plan following work done by the various task groups now being set up to progress it and in due course helping to implement any improvements which are identified.
Following protracted negotiations, the PC has secured Springdale Wood for the parish on a very long lease. This will mean that the Friends of Springdale Wood, who do so much to maintain the wood so that it can be enjoyed by everyone, can implement the management plan agreed with the PC to ensure that the this continues as the wood matures.
A very successful beacon-lighting and fireworks display was held for the Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations on Butt Close on the night of last year's Annual Meeting. Consequently, the St. Peter's school PTA, the Friends of St. Peter's Academy, asked for permission to hold a similar event in November, close to Bonfire Night. This was granted and the experience from the first display enabled advice to be given about risk-assessment etc. The event was so successful that the Friends intend to hold another fireworks display around Bonfire Night this year.
Garth Powell Memorial
The new information board sited in the Car Park as a memorial to Garth Powell, the long-standing Headmaster of St. Peter's and Chairman of the Parish Council, was formally unveiled by Alison Powell last summer. It displays a poster and contains some flyers about landmarks around the village for visitors and walkers produced by the History Group and the project was funded by Alison Powell.
County Councillor Kay Cutts
The Council has been fortunate over the years for the continued valuable support of both the Rushcliffe Borough Councillor, Nigel Lawrence, and the Nottinghamshire County Councillor, Kay Cutts. Kay has been the County Councillor for the Radcliffe-on-Trent ward, which has included East Bridgford, for many years. During that time, she has attended most of our Parish Council meetings, and has offered her help and guidance on many occasions. However, with effect from the elections to be held in May this year, boundary changes mean that East Bridgford will be in a new County Council ward, Bingham East. Hence, whatever happens in the election, Kay will no longer be our County Councillor, so we extend our most grateful thanks to her for her valued support and our very best wishes for the future.
Parish Council Meeting Report - April 3rd 2017
In public comment, a resident attended to alert the Council to a spate of burglaries and attempted burglaries around the village. By an alarming coincidence, he had come across one such incident only moments earlier at the junction of College Street and Straws Lane. The suspects were middle aged and drove off in a silver Ford. It appears the pattern is that they will attempt rapid entry, in search of keys and portable valuables. Residents are urged to secure their property at all times.
The consultation on the RBC Local Plan Part 2 ended on March 31st. The Council's response was considered at a special meeting of the PC on the 27th March, and submitted before the deadline. There are three response documents which have been placed on the village website for residents to view.
In planning, it was noted that the significant development at the garden centre has begun. A revised planning proposal for a veterinary centre in the building near the garden centre has been submitted.
The Council resolved to order more Footpath leaflets to replenish stock and also to contribute to the cost of publishing the parish magazine.
Further maintenance work has been approved to the Play Area once the field is firm enough for vehicle access. Issues related to the condition of some of the equipment are being pursued with the contractors.
A survey of traffic on roads affected by the building of the new A46 has been undertaken on behalf of the Highways Agency towards the end of March. It should provide evidence about whether and to what extent traffic through East Bridgford has changed as a result. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been an increase in vehicles using Main Street to avoid queues on the A6097 at the traffic lights but it will be useful to have quantitative evidence when that is available
A request for a dog bin on Lammas Lane was received. The site will be subject to a visit by the dog warden who may recommend a dog bin be installed by RBC. The PC decided to wait and see what the outcome of that visit is.
There is a vacancy for a Parish Councillor and the procedure for
co-option was agreed. This is publicised on the village notice boards or you may wish to contact the Parish Clerk for further information:
Jill Barlow - tel 01949 861791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the Council believes it may be the right time to re-enter the Nottinghamshire Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE. Further details will follow in a later report.
The next meeting will be on Monday 8th May at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - March 6th 2017
As a result of changes in accommodation at Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC), a number of artworks have been offered to communities in the borough. A winter-themed picture of the church from Kirk Hill corner was presented to the Chairman by Borough Councillor Nigel Lawrence at the meeting. The Parish Council (PC) agreed to make a donation to the RBC Mayor's Charity.
In public comment, a member of the Tennis Club attended to introduce the plans for the pavilion extension and to discuss the next stages in the process of applying for grant funds to build it. The PC accepted the outline design and expressed its support for the project.
Committee members of the Friends of St. Peter's Academy also attended to formally ask for permission to use Butt Close for an event to raise funds for a charity which supports families with children who have conditions which will shorten their lives. The Academy is now a member of the Sports Club (SC) but the proposed lease of Butt Close to the SC is not yet complete, which is why the PC still needs to give formal permission in cases like this. The PC supported this event, subject to the usual conditions involving risk assessments and adequate insurance.
At relatively short notice, a major consultation on the RBC Local Plan was announced which relates to housing. In common with several other rural settlements in the area, a number of sites in the green belt around East Bridgford are identified as potential sites for housing. A public meeting was to be held on 17th March and responses needed to be returned to RBC by 31st March. Following consideration of guidance related to declarations of interest, it was agreed in the first instance to delegate this to a small group of councillors which would produce a draft response for consideration by a special meeting of the PC on the 27th March.
In planning, the PC supported a pre-application proposal for a new CTIL base station near Springdale Farm. Poor availability of a mobile phone signal in the parish is an issue highlighted in several surveys, and this ought to result in significant improvement for some services.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to use the new Community Road Safety equipment to monitor speeds along Main Street as planned for February because of an equipment failure at short notice. A new date will be arranged in due course and in the meantime, it was requested that the police organise a check of their own in one of the time periods when through traffic is at a peak.
The PC agreed to contribute towards the cost of repairing potholes and water damage on the track and bridleway leading from Trent Lane to the marina.
A survey of trees on PC- owned or leased land has been carried out by a qualified consultant. When the report has been submitted, a new management plan will be adopted.
Storm Doris did cause some damage to a small tree on Butt Close which affected a neighbour, and this is being addressed.
The next meeting will be on Monday 3rd April at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - January 9th 2017
Members of the Horticultural Society Committee attended and during public comment spoke about their proposal to contribute to the cost of repairing the damage to Butt Close caused by the fire engine at last year's Show. They have already contributed to the cricket club for the additional expense it suffered as a result. The Council accepted this offer and wished them good fortune with this year's Show. Also in public comment, a resident explained problems related to water draining on to his property and a potential solution which will be investigated.
A request by the Council for Notts Highways to install agricultural gates on the by-way leading from the over-bridge on Butt Lane to cut down fly tipping and anti-social behaviour has received some support from the team which manages footpaths and bridleways. It is hoped that some progress may be made with this over the coming months, especially since there is more evidence of fly tipping getting worse in this area, and also along Occupation Lane.
It was agreed that the Community Plan group could use the village website to publish its findings, sub-group meetings etc. It is currently in the process of setting up the sub-groups to look at individual areas identified in the survey, and volunteers to help with those should contact the group.
An issue with the use of Butt Close as a school playing field has introduced a delay into the process of the Council acquiring it from the County Council while formal permission is sought from the Department For Education in London. In the meantime, following some intense activity over Christmas, a lease over the land owned by the Parish already which covers the bowls green, tennis courts and pavilion is being put in place so that an application for grants to the Sports Club towards building an extension to the pavilion can be made. This extension, if it goes ahead, will improve provision in several ways, and it is hoped, for example, that table tennis could be offered when completed.
A sum of £500 is being allocated to the Friends of Springdale Wood in the first instance for management of the wood which is being leased by the Woodland Trust to the Parish Council over such a long period as to be regarded as virtually permanent.
In setting the precept for the next financial year, the Council has needed to consider the demands of taking over significant assets for the community i.e. Butt Close and Springdale Wood, together with the trend where the funding of tasks previously done by the county and borough is falling on the parish, if they are to be done at all. The play area costs are also starting to mount as the equipment begins to age. Good practice requires ever more attention to areas such as tree management, health & safety, and legal issues, and so the Council has enhanced its team of Officers to increase capacity. Hence, this year the precept set will involve a 6.2% increase. For a band D property, this would be £45.69, an increase of £2.66 over last year.
The problem with relation to poor visibility of the white lines along the edges of the A6097 in the section between the traffic lights and the new A46 island, reported last month by a resident, has been acknowledged by Notts Highways, and action to correct it is planned for the spring/summer.
The Council was saddened to receive the resignation of Suda Sharma and thanked her for her willingness to serve the community with energy and enthusiasm. The vacancy has been notified to Rushcliffe which will initiate the process of electing a replacement. The Council welcomed Jess Molyneaux as the new Minute Secretary, a post which has been created in response to the extra workload placed on the Council's Officers by the very significant changes taking place both currently and in the future.
Some damage has been reported to one of the bookcases in the old Telephone Box. Tony Beresford, who lives close to the Box, has kindly repaired it and he regularly cleans it out and tidies the books. The Council is very grateful for this community spirit which is typical of many others and East Bridgford is very fortunate in this respect. At the time of writing the Box has too many books, with many on the ground. These are cleared from time to time but it would be helpful if leaving quantities of books on the floor could be avoided, please.
The next meeting will be on Monday 6th February at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
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