Thursday, 23 August 2012

What's in a Name? - Part Two

As I write this, there's 12 days left to vote in this blog's first ever online poll, which is asking whether you support a move to rename Shilton Parish Council to Shilton & Barnacle Parish Council.

The poll was launched at the beginning of July, and the intention is to report the findings to the parish council meeting on 4 September. I shalln't rehearse the arguments all over again; suffice to say that if you haven't voted, and you'd like to, it's best that you read this post first.

The vote is current 10 - 4 in favour of changing the name to Shilton & Barnacle, so there's still everything to play for. And whilst the outcome of this online vote isn't the single determining factor on this issue, it is a useful tool to gauge what people think.

Of the four people voting to say that they didn't want to see the name changed, it was unfortunate that none of them gave a reason why they voted this way (the blog does allows comments, including anonymous ones). It would be helpful for the parish council to know why people didn't want the name changed - whether its a straightforward attraction to the status quo, or some other, more personal, reason. All views are equally valid!

My post on 9 July also contained something of a potted history of the parish council and its name. In response, I received an email from a resident of Shilton who was able to put me right on a few mistaken assumptions that I'd made, as well as adding more flesh to the historical bones of the parish.

I've reproduced the correspondence below for anyone interested:
The reason that the council is called Shilton Parish Council is because it is the council for the Parish of Shilton. The hamlet of Barnacle has been within the parish of Shilton for hundreds of years. When the Act of Parliament was passed in 1894 to form parish councils, Shilton parish decided to have a council and, of course, this included the hamlet of Barnacle, as it was within the Parish of Shilton. As you know, the first meeting of Shilton Parish Council was held in January 1895.

Most of the hamlet of Barnacle has always been within the Parish of Shilton. The part of Barnacle that belonged to the Parish of Bulkington was a small part in the Spring Road area. This was transferred to Shilton Parish in the 1930s.

I think I am correct in saying that it was probably mostly fields that were transferred from Bulkington in 1938. If you look at a map you will see that the there is a narrow strip of land which borders the Coventry Road which is still in Bulkington, the rest of the fields are in Barnacle. There should be something in the minute books about the 1938 transaction. There was a later exchange of land between Ansty and Shilton which I think was about 1980-ish. This should also be in the minute books.

The first meeting of Shilton Parish Council was held on the 2 January 1895 with six councillors under the chairmanship of William Birch of Barnacle Hall. William Birch represented the parish on the district council. His name is on Shilton Parish Council's chairman's chain of office as the first chairman, together with that of Sid Chivers who was chairman at the centenary.

Incidentally, the very old minute books were unfortunately put on a bonfire by the widow of Norman Ashman. He was Clerk to five parish councils and when he died, as she did not know which belonged to which council, she got rid of the lot. Such a shame because the original minute books would have made interesting reading.

Before Shilton Parish Council was formed, Shilton and Barnacle came under the auspices of the Foleshill Board.

The parish council first met in their new meeting room in 1924 when Josiah Bolton was their chairman.

I have a photocopy from a book about The City of Coventry and Warwickshire which says " 1649, too, Barnacle was being assessed for rates with Shilton, not with Bulkington".
Fascinating stuff!! If anyone else can add to the story, please do get in touch.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

New Fencing in Shilton Playing Fields

The next time you're in Shilton playing fields, you'll hopefully notice that there is a whole length of new fencing along that part of the field that runs alongside Wood Lane.

The parish council was aware that the existing fencing was looking broken and shabby due to its age, and so sought quotes to replace it. CJL Gates & Engineering from Clifton upon Dunsmore submitted the most competitive quote and were given the contract to supply and fit 60m of round post and half rail fencing. The cost to the parish council was £630.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Parish Council Meeting - 7 August

Last Tuesday night, I chaired the August meeting of the parish council.

The meeting opened with two members of the public wanting to raise the issue of the maintenance of land in Ash Tree Grove that was now under the ownership of the parish council. A number of hedges were becoming overgrown and some of the trees needed pruning. The council undertook to address these concerns, starting with the hedges being cut back in the next couple of weeks. It was good to see members of the public attending the meeting in order to get matters of concern to them resolved.

County councillor Phillip Morris-Jones and borough councillor Chris Pacey-Day then gave updates on local matters of interest. Phillip stressed the financial constraints that were continuing to be experienced by Warwickshire County Council, along with attempts to attract more members of the public to attend meeting of the community forums that met around the county, and the upcoming election on 15 November for the new Warwickshire Police & Crime Commissioner.

Chris reported that he has recently been appointed to sit on Rugby Borough Council’s new Gypsy & Traveller Strategy and Action Planning Group, which he hoped would provide a greater focus to the work being undertaken by the borough council to provide a satisfactory longer term solution to the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers in the area.

Streetlights have been a subject matter that’s exercised the parish council’s mind over recent months. On Tuesday, councillors received an update on the replacement of the damaged light in Church Road (which should happen in the next few weeks), and agreed to replace a unit in Hallway Drive that was reported to be flickering and buzzing intermittently. Both of the units will be replaced with more energy efficient LED lights, and so will look different to the streetlights that are currently there (this will be most obvious in Hallway Drive). The parish council was mindful of installing lights that had a reduced electricity consumption, and will be interested to hear the views of residents as to the quality and penetration of the light that the new LED bulbs emit.

New signs will also be ordered to designate the reserved parish council/cemetery parking outside the meeting room in Church Road after the existing signage was recently damaged.

The parish council has been formally notified that its clerk, Emma Raymont, will be leaving her post on 31 August, following her recent appointment to a full time job. Despite this being fully expected for some time, it is still disappointing that the parish council will soon no longer have Emma’s enthusiasm and dedication to call upon. In readiness for 31 August, councillors discussed the recruitment of a replacement clerk and what steps it needed to take to ensure that this key position was filled by someone willing and able to bring their own experience and ability to the role.

The remainder of the meeting focused on the regular financial matters, planning application consultations and other matters of correspondence.

The parish council will meet again on Tuesday 4 September at 7.30pm at its parish meeting room in Church Road, Shilton. Members of the public are welcome to attend, especially if they have matters/concerns they wish to draw to councillors’ attention.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Police Crime Report - July

Warwickshire Police has released its latest crime report setting out incidents it wishes to draw to the attention of local residents that have occurred in Shilton and Barnacle during the last month. One incident has been highlighted:
  • Sunday 15 July - Vehicle nuisance - Top Road, Barnacle
    Report that an unknown person was blocking the road, and when they were asked to move the vehicle the occupant got abusive. 
Warwickshire Police has asked that anyone with any information about these crimes should call them on (01788) 541111.