PARISH COUNCIL REPORT – ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
15th APRIL 2021 GIVEN BY DUNCAN STEWARD – CHAIRMAN OF RISELEY PARISH COUNCIL
As you are aware, this time last year, covid-19 and the associated Government lockdown rules were just tightening their grip upon us and the NALC decided to take the decision to cancel all Annual Parish Meetings for 2020.
That said, it was another very busy – unprecedented and challenging year for us all on the Parish Council, in which we all faced the technical and often perplexing issues of Zoom – which before the pandemic struck I knew as an iced lolly from my childhood. Joking aside – I’m extremely proud for the manner in which we adapted to this new working method which ensured we met our constitutional obligations to our residents throughout this Covid 19 pandemic.
Just recently our very talented and highly respected Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer – Jane Presland stepped down to pursue her new life in Stow Longa, our sincere thanks go to Jane for her sterling work in guiding us over the last couple of years. I welcome our new Parish Clerk Sam Langley who I’m sure will apply her own style and methods to steer us through the challenges ahead.
We also thank Thurma Cohen who stood down after many loyal years of service and welcome Nicky Perfect into the role of Parish Councillor. A reminder we are here till the next election in May 2023.
Financially through prudent spending we have maintained our healthy position and in our precept and budget meeting in January we agreed budgetary expenditure of up to £34800 plus possible expenditure of up to £31500 on special projects. The decision was made not to increase the Parish precept and keep this at £26k with expenditure above this coming from reserves. We currently have £31307.15 in our community account and £20284.76 in our Business select account.
The Neighbourhood Plan group under the excellent chairmanship of Mark Chamberlain has made significant inroads towards developing our plan and the village consultation period will be upon us soon.
The major project of replacing our old sodium orange street lights to the more efficient and brighter LED lights has been completed and a saving on our electricity bill is already being seen.
Despite a couple of hiccups phase 2 of the primary school development was completed on time and the pupils and staff are settled into their new accommodation. Demolition of the old Margaret Beaufort building has commenced and the Borough Council have outlined their vision for a new housing project in its place.
Ross meadow and the Allotments, our pocket park, continues to be a very enjoyable spot in the centre of our village. The green fingered allotment holders benefitted from having the newly installed water supply which I’m sure boosted their yield immensely. A special mention also goes to the volunteers who help keep Ross Meadow looking so tidy and colourful.
The playing field managed by the Riseley Recreation Association continues to be a great asset for the younger generation and hopefully, with the summer months approaching and the loosening of lockdown rules, we can look forward to seeing happy smiling children playing there again soon.
Our website is being remodelled and revamped to make it more user friendly with speedier updates and will be managed locally and hopefully it will become “a one stop shop” for anyone seeking information in or about our village
The Parish Council newsletter in its new format and design goes from strength to strength and is a vital media for us to communicate with our residents. The editorial team deserves a special mention for producing the newsletter despite there being no functions or events on which to report due to Covid -19 restrictions.
We have received and commented on 20 Planning applications throughout the village this year, ranging from minor alterations to a listed building consent and the development of significant sites such as the lower school and The Paddocks.
And last but by no means least, my personal acknowledgments.
My sincere thanks to Borough Councillor Martin Towler for his help and support to both me and Riseley Parish Council throughout the year.
My sincere and genuine thanks go to all individual Parish Councillors – and as a collective Parish Council in carrying out your duties. Your contribution and achievements as volunteers are immeasurable and often go unnoticed.
It has been a privilege to work with you all, and you have all helped me considerably in performing my role as Chairman.
Would anyone like to address the Chairman or the Clerk?
Duncan Steward – Chairman of Riseley Parish Council – April 2021.