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.
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