Friday, 29 October 2010

WALC AGM - 27 October

On Wednesday night, I attended the 2010/11 AGM of the Warwickshire and West Midlands Association of Local Councils (WALC) in Warwick.

Representatives from 40 of the town and parish councils in Warwickshire met at Shire Hall to elect the officers and the county committee of WALC for the forthcoming year, and to hear a keynote speech from Jonathan Horsfield, Renewable Energy Advisor for
Warwickshire County Council.

The topic of Jonathan's speech was 'UK Energy Security and Peak Oil', which may not be at the top of every parish council's agenda, but was an interesting subject nonetheless. The concept of '
Peak Oil' is that it is the point at which the maximum amount of oil is being extracted from the earth. After this point has been reached and then passed, oil production will rapidly decrease, prices will dramatically increase, and the knock-on implications for travel, heating and food production etc will need to be tackled by governments, energy companies and individuals.

It was perhaps all a bit 'Doomsday scenario' for a gathering of mostly geriatric parish councillors, but the general theme was that all of us will be required to re-evaluate our dependency on oil and be prepared for changes in lifestyle and disposable income as a finite natural resource becomes ever more scarce. Jonathan outlined in practical terms what the impact of increasing oil prices could have on the services the county council provided, including highways maintenance, transportation, catering and children's services.

If you want to learn more about this issue, have a look at the
Oil Depletion Analysis Centre website, or watch video from Warwickshire County Council's seminar held in June on energy security and the implications of oil supply for local authorities here.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Parish Council Meeting - 5 October

Last Tuesday I attended the October meeting of Shilton Parish Council. It was my first parish council meeting for two months and it was good to get back up to speed with a number of the on-going issues that had been a feature of recent meetings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the main topics of discussion was the events of 24/25 September in Barnacle that ended up with the submission of a planning application for the creation of a gypsy caravan site for three families in Top Road. Borough Councillors
Tony Gillias and Rachel Watts attended the meeting to update the parish council on events as they were developing, including the High Court hearing that was taking place in London the following day (more here.)

The parish council were being consulted on the
planning application for this development, and after a full discussion, councillors agreed to inform Rugby Borough Council that they objected to the granting of planning permission, principally on the grounds that the area was in the Green Belt and it was therefore inappropriate for development of this type to be permitted there.

In other business, a local resident in Shilton had complained in the past about the speed of traffic in Wood Lane. As a result,
Warwickshire County Council had undertaken a covert speed survey on 9 September. It was now reported that the outcome of this survey showed an average speed of 34.6mph along the road, qualifying it for a more in depth speed survey to establish the full extent of the speeding problem in the area. In the meantime, look out for Smiley Sid to be making an appearance sometime soon to encourage us all not to exceed the speed limit!

Finally, the parish council appointed Emma Raymont as its new Clerk to take over from Andrea Mogano, who had stood in following the retirement of Chris Warburton. Emma's contact details will be publicised in the next edition of the BASIS newsletter, but can be contacted at if you need to get hold of her before then. A huge thanks needs to go to Andrea for everything she's done over the last few months - the parish council would've been in a much worse state of affairs were it not for her efforts!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Planning Applications Consultations and Decisions

This week, planning applications have been submitted by:
  • Land south side of Top Road, Barnacle - change of use of land for use as a residential caravan site for gypsy families, comprising three pitches for the siting of three mobile homes and three touring caravans, including ancillary works.
  • Tree Tops, Shilton Lane, Shilton - alterations and extensions to dwelling to include extension to side and provision of living accommodation in roof space, erection of detached triple garage to front and alterations to access.

Full details of the applications (including site plans) can be viewed here (Top Road) and here (Shilton Lane). All comments on the applications must be received by Rugby Borough Council by Thursday 28 October (Top Road) and Wednesday 20 October (Shilton Road).

Rugby Borough Council has also reached the following decisions on planning applications submitted in June/July:

  • Land west of Bulkington Road, Shilton - erection of a stable and tack room, and provision of a menage - approved.
  • The Spinney, Shilton Lane, Shilton - erection of a day room/amenity block to existing authorised gypsy site - approved.

The full decisions on these applications can be viewed here (Bulkington Road) and here (Shilton Lane).