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, email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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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