Friday, 25 February 2011

WALC Rugby Branch Meeting - 24 February

Last night I chaired the Rugby branch meeting of the Warwickshire and West Midlands Association of Local Councils (WALC) in Easenhall. This is the quarterly meeting of all of the parish councils in the Rugby borough area where we discuss recent developments and shared matters of interest.

There is always an invited speaker who gives a presentation on a topic of interest to parish councils, and last night John Cowley, Play Development Officer from
Rugby Borough Council attended to talk about the work of the Rugby Play Partnership over the last few years. The Play Partnership is a forum for local residents (including children) to meet with the borough council and other interested bodies to share ideas and give feedback on play facilities within the borough.

John Cowley spoke at length about the objectives of the borough's
Play Strategy and the progress made during the last few years with the delivery of its objectives. It would be fair to say that the focus of the Rugby Play Partnership has been more urban based so far, although it was now intended to expand the work to include more of the rural parts of the borough, something that would be done by working closely with parish councils in mapping the existing play facilities within villages and identifying where there were gaps in provision. As now seems to be the trend though, there were concerns that funding cuts may require the ambitions of the Play Strategy to be scaled back somewhat.

The WALC Rugby branch is fortunate to have Councillor Chris Hartny-Mills from
Pailton Parish Council as its representative on the Rugby Play Partnership. Chris is committed to improving the play facilties available for young people in the borough and will lead on the project to identify the facilties that currently exist in the rural area in order that funding can be targeted where it is most needed.

Elseware on the agenda, we received updates from other councillors who represent the branch on outside bodies and groups, including the Cement Community Engagement Group (which meets to address environmental concerns arising from the
Cemex cement plant in Rugby) and the latest business discussed by the Rugby Local Strategic Partnership.

The next branch meeting is scheduled for the end of April, when it is hoped that an officer from
Warwickshire County Council will be in attendance to talk about youth services in the county (and another area that has been hit very hard by recent budget cuts).

Friday, 4 February 2011

Planning Applications Consultation and Decision

This week, a planning application has been submitted by:
  • 2 Lower Road, Barnacle - extensions and alterations to bungalow to create two storey dwelling and use of roof space.

Full details of the application (including site plans) can be viewed here. All comments on the application must be received by Rugby Borough Council by Friday 25 February.

Rugby Borough Council has also reached the following decision on a planning application submitted in December:

  • Land rear of The Trossachs, Croft Farm, Parrotts Grove, Coventry - creation of a raised hard-standing for car parking and storage - refused.

The full decision on this application can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Parish Council Meeting - 1 February

Last night I attended the February meeting of Shilton Parish Council, our first of 2011.

The meeting began with updates from County Councillor Phillip Morris-Jones and Borough Councillor Tony Gillias. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both of them focused on the potential job losses at Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police and Rugby Borough Council. There were assurances that 'front line services' would not be affected, although I do wonder, even taking service delivery efficiencies into account, if councils really believe that the public will be unaffected by the levels of job cuts that are being suggested.

Amongst the other issues discussed by the parish council during the meeting, there was a report of the public car park in Church Road, Shilton being used late at night as a discrete location to smoke drugs. This has previously been reported as a problem in the Shilton Village Hall car park, and I hope the police action taken then didn't end up just moving it from one location in the village to another. The parish council agreed to raise the issue immediately with the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team, and then again at the Fosse Community Forum meeting in March, where Warwickshire Police will be asked to treat it as a neighbourhood priority for the next three months.

One issue I agreed to follow up on was the matter of the proposed Rugby Rural CCTV Network project. This was a project first highlight in December 2009, and which I blogged about in March last year. Since then, nothing much seems to have been heard regarding progress with the initiative, and so I agreed to look into the matter further and see what progress had been made. I shall report back on here what I'm able to find out.

In other business, a number of bills were paid, including £465 to E.ON for the supply of electricity to the parish's street lights for the last quarter of 2010, and a further £279 to E.ON for street light maintenance works over the same period. There were reports on the latest planning applications submitted to, and determined by, Rugby Borough Council, and a report from Councillor Stephen White on a meeting he attended last week regarding the formulation of planning policies on wind farm development in the borough (something that is currently exercising the residents of Copston Magna and Churchover). Finally, the parish council declined a request received from the Southam Action Area Group to contribute towards its campaign against the route of the proposed High Speed 2 railway line through the town.

The next meeting of Shilton Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 1 March at 7.30pm in the Parish Council Meeting Room, Church Road, Shilton.