Annual Parish Meeting Report – April 2021

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.

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