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Chairman’s Report 2017

APPENDIX 1

WIXFORD PARISH COUNCIL – CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT 2016 – 2017

This report is a summary of the activities that the Council has undertaken over the last year, April 2016 to March 2017.

Membership

Your Councillors are Cllrs Jack Fryer, Colin Hales, Andrew Reekes, Jon Haworth and Dean Morris. Jon Haworth and Dean Morris were appointed as rotating Chairmen in May 2016 and Colin Hales Vice Chairman.

Meetings

The Council has continued to meet every other month, usually on the second Tuesday of the month (actual dates are posted on the notice board and Parish Council website https://www.wixford-pc.gov.uk).  Our meetings are well supported by District Councillor, Sue Adams and by County Councillor Mike Brain who attend regularly and impart knowledge and advice. Mike will no longer be our County Councillor following the parish boundary changes but we thank him for his considerable efforts during his time with us and wish him well for the future.

The Council meetings are open to the public and provide an opportunity to ask questions on any issue relating to the village and generally to find out what is going on in the area.  We look forward to more people from the village making use of this facility in the future including the new residents.

What have we done?

Village Maintenance

Village maintenance has been assessed continuously and a number of projects are underway or have been completed. Highway maintenance issues are frequently assessed and the Parish Council has a good and communicative relationship with the District and County Councils. Despite continuing requests, re-surfacing of the roads through the village have been repeatedly delayed, presumably due to budget funding issues.

Traffic calming

Traffic calming continues to be a priority issue for your Council.  The Parish Council, with the assistance of Mike Brain, secured funding for a double-sided flashing repeater sign by the phone box to warm motorists travelling in both directions that it is a designated 30 mph speed limit. This sign was subsequently installed by the red phone box and is operative. It does not however record statistics about speeding vehicles.

The match funded scheme for new traffic calming road markings has not been implemented yet, that we are aware of, as we were awaiting the carriageway resurfacing before doing so. One has delayed the other.

Police Speed checks

Police attend randomly to carry out speed check but usually after rush hour. We are told this is because of the distance they have to travel from to Wixford.

A46 resurfacing

We have made representations for the A46 to be resurfaced in our proximity with quiet tarmac and with the assistance of Mike Brain. We are pleased to report that the work should commence in the near future.

Movement of the 30 mph speed signs

We have managed to secure the necessary support for the movement of the current position of the 30mph speed signs as traffic enters the village to extend the 30mph limits further out from the edge of the village. This should help ensure that motorists have actually reduced their speed appropriately before they enter the heart of the village. There are statutory processes to ensure those proposals are implemented and they are currently in mid flow.

Notice board revamp

We are currently taking steps to have the village notice board refurbished.

Gateway signs

2 years ago, we embarked upon a programme to upgrade the Wixford signs at the entrances to the village to “gateway” type signs which more closely resemble those in other villages such as Arrow. It is a costly undertaking and we elected to spread the cost over 3 years. The first and second sign has been in place for some time, a third and final sign is on order.

Village Hall

The village hall is important to village life and we fully support the village hall committee in their efforts to upgrade the building and promote activities which utilise it more fully. A sub group of the Village Hall Committee has been formed to explore replacement options and funding sources. We understand that various architects have put forward their proposals which are currently under consideration.

Websitehttps://www.wixford-pc.gov.uk

We have continued to use the website, notice board and newsletter to communicate activities within the village and are exploring a complete revamp of the website which we plan to implement over the next year.

Planning

We have assessed and provided local input on a number of planning applications.

  • Willow Farm made an application to use existing facilities for commercial livery proposes. The PC raised no objection to this application although no such commercial livery activities are yet visible.
  • The Parish Council were lobbied by neighbouring residents to object to the proposed caravan development by the Golden Cross Public house. We understand that application has been declined.
  • Oversley Castle made an application for a Lawful Development Certificate to demolish the castle – the Parish Council made extensive objection to any proposal to demolish the building, however unfortunately, the Certificate was granted. The PC have not been presented with any plans or proposals for the re-development of the Castle to date and we are unaware of any demolition having started.
  • Wixford Grange. The caravan park has been completed and arrival of most of the park homes is awaited. The houses are now all complete and occupied and represent a vast improvement to a section of uncut hedge frontage and caravans situated behind. We welcome the new occupants to the Village. There has been a recent application to change the planning permission conditions from 32 park homes over 10 month to 25 park homes over 12 months restricted to the over 55’s. The Parish Council are supporting this application on the basis that it represents the more positive outcome with regards to building community within the village and with regards to impact to those residents of the village affected by the development.

Finance

For the year 2015-16 Wixford received an unqualified audit return from the external auditor

Simone Bush was the Responsible Financial Officer to the Council.

The precept was set in November 2016 at £7000.  The budget has been set for 2017 – 2018.

The Council reviewed its Financial Regulations, Risk Assessment and Fixed Asset Register at the January 2017 meeting. True?

Statement of Accounts

Simone to insert ?

Communication with Parishioners

It is very important that the Parish Council communicates well with the Parish.  Over the last year the Parish Council has done this in the following ways:

Public participation in meetings

Regularly updated information on the notice board and Website, including agendas for meetings:  The website is the most up to date communication from the Parish Council and community forums and police newsletters are added as soon as the information becomes available, as are planning decisions.

Newsletters published at least four times a year.  Shirley Talboys and Jain Drinkwater do an excellent job as Editor and the professional looking publication promotes many local activities and news stories.  Input is sought from residents prior to publication.

The Clerk’s postal address, email address and telephone number are publicised on the noticeboard and on newsletters, as are the Councillor’s.

Councillors Details: Telephone: E Mail:
Cllr Colin Hales 01789 772343 n/a
Cllr Jack Fryer jack@jackfryer.com
Cllr Andrew Reeks aer@radley.org.uk
Cllr Dean Morris 01789 778518

01217111511(WK)

Dean@morrislegal.co.uk
Cllr Jon Haworth 01789 772732 jonathanhaworth@btconnect.com
Clerks Details:
Simone Bush 07788 252262 wixfordpcclerk@gmail.com

Your Parish Council and Clerk are here to help.  Do not hesitate to contact us.

Signed: Dean Morris and Jon Haworth Co-Chairman – Wixford Parish Council

April 2017

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