Parish Council – June 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

The June 2019 meeting of Nether Heyford Parish Council was held on 3rd at the Youth Club, as a one off event. The July meeting will be in the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom as normal.

Public Question Time. A resident noted recent work on cleaning gutters: and hoped residents might take note and take responsibility for the gutters in front of their houses and remove vegetation and debris. Another resident complained that a Lime in the cemetery had not been pollarded. It had been inspected and was not suitable for pollarding, only crown lifting. It was agreed that a further inspection could take place.

Councillor Adam Brown reported that NCC was working towards a shadow authority, and that elections would come in May 2020. He reported that NCC had made a small profit on last year’s accounts, but would still need to find £30M worth of savings this year. He expressed concerns about social services for children, feeling it would be better if this were dealt with on a county wide basis, rather than by different councils.

Trees. During work dead wooding Robinias on the Green it became clear that 2 trees were hollow, and needed to be felled. A quote from Stowe Tree Services was accepted to fell the trees. A Silver Birch on Hillside Close would be checked for safety.

Allotments. Another plot had been allocated. Some of the New Homes Bonus money had been spent on a shed, which when secure, would house equipment.

Footpaths. No major problems. Broken stile near Wakefield Way removed.

Churchyard. Council to assume responsibility for safety checks on the gravestones in the churchyard.

Joint Burial Board. Meeting arranged. It had been arranged for emergency repairs on metalwork on the gate.

Youth Club. It was reported that the club had reached 50 members, and no more could be accepted with the volunteers available. A waiting list had been opened.

Defibrillators. Both checked and in working order. There was concern that the ambulance service had given out the wrong code in an incident recently. Fortunately, an ambulance arrived promptly, and the situation was resolved positively.

Street naming. Council to recommend the name Hillcrest for the new Affordable Housing off Hillside Crescent. Subsequently SNC informed Council that this name was unsuitable as other streets with the same name have similar post codes.

Neighbourhood Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan team reported on progress towards the next step in the process, Consultation. This process would be started shortly, after another bout of work, to follow 2 years of work done already. A draft/pre submission version of the plan was shown, highlighting the policies within the plan. The policies are the most significant part of the plan; as they will be part of what will become a legal document, that will be referred to by planning departments in the future. The policies are all evidenced by statements from residents, taken from previous questionnaires. Wellbeing is a core or overarching theme throughout the Plan, which is intended to always produce a positive impact. It was also hoped that any future development would be Community led rather than developer led. Attention was drawn to density of development, which should always reflect the character of the area. The village has less than 25 dwellings per hectare – apart from Bliss Close – and it is intended that any future development would not exceed this limit.

A Councillor expressed concern as to the definition of Affordable Housing. This
would be addressed within the plan with reference to the village. Cllr Phil Bignell asked whether disabled access to housing was being born in mind. It was replied that it was.

Play Area Inspection. The annual Play Area inspection had taken place and while no major problems were encountered, there are some low risk issues that will need addressing. Chair felt that the Play Area was showing its age and that Council should be looking at replacing and extending it.

Village Fete. Thanks to all involved in the preparations for this wonderful village event. The Green looked in excellent condition thanks to a lot of voluntary efforts in addition to the contractor’s work. Unfortunately the weather was less co-operative and threatened the day, but relented sufficiently for most of the event to take place.

Local Government Reorganisation. The situation has clarified somewhat now.

“The waiting is over, now the Government has given the go ahead for a new West Northants Council and a new North Northants Council, replacing the current County Council and seven District or Borough Councils. Subject to Parliamentary approval, it’s now full-speed ahead to the go-live date in April 2021.

“I’m pleased that the Government has listened to local voices, and included in its announcement the decision to hold elections in May 2020 for members of first the Shadow Authority (from May 2020 til March 2021), then taking over running each new Council when they go live in April 2021.

“In the meantime, I’ll be pressing ahead with my fellow councillors already elected to the current eight authorities to make all the preparations necessary ahead of those elections next year, as well as continuing to run the services we currently provide as business as usual.

“Here in South Northants, that will mean not taking our eye off the ball in delivering one of the best and most popular waste collection and recycling services in the whole country.

“The publication of this ‘Prospectus for Change’ (see link below) sets out in more detail how we are approaching managing this change, and I am pleased that people can see from it that we really mean business.”

Cllr Ian McCord, Leader of South Northamptonshire Council

https://www.southnorthants.gov.uk/news/article/474/statement-on-publication-of-thenorthamptonshire-prospectus-for-change

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday July 1st at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

Parish Council Notes by the Clerk; Guy Ravine June 2019

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.

Roads and Pavements.
Parishioners are reminded that anyone can report a pothole or other highways
problem online to the Fixmystreet service, and this can refer to problems outside the village too. https://fixmystreet.northamptonshire.gov.uk/
Alternatively, phone 0300 126 1000 and ask for Streetdoctor.

Nether Heyford Community Wildlife Area – July 2019

Take the time to just stand back and watch the bees in your garden and you will be amazed at their variety. Its the sound they make that is so wonderful, from the high pitched hum of a bee swimming in the stamens of a poppy to the deep drone of a queen bumblebee.

On the wildlife patch on the allotments I have counted ten different types of bee so far. They come in all shapes and sizes ranging from the tiny “hairy footed flower bee” (I think that is the best name ever) that darts about and hovers in front of flowers. The females are black with orange hairs on their back legs for collecting pollen. Red and buff tailed bumble bees on the other hand seem huge in comparison, and the flowers bend under their weight. Honey bees and bumble bees are social insects, where the queen lays eggs and daughter workers do all the work. Solitary bees work on their own and make their own nests in different locations, from a hole in the ground or brick or cob wall. You will often find their holes grouped together but each nest is completely separate.

Amongst the bees that I have spotted so far are two that are called nomad bees that on first sight appear to be tiny wasps for they have bright yellow and black markings, but in fact they parasitise solitary bee’s nests. They lay an egg inside host’s nest and the nomad grub then destroys the host’s egg or grub and proceeds to feed on the food store.

The best thing we can all do for bees is to grow a variety of flowers in our gardens particularly those which flower early and late so providing nectar for the longest possible period. Different species of bees have tongues of different lengths so need flowers of different lengths of tube. This doesn’t stop some short tongued bees from cheating. You can see this happening if you stand by a clump of comfrey; not all the bees will be entering the flowers but some will bite a hole at top of the flower to get the nectar. This unfortunately prevents the flower from being pollinated.

For the allotment holders having such a number and variety of bees in the wildlife patch is good news for they will be out and about pollinating the fruit and vegetables. The best crop of runner beans we ever had was when the beans were planted next to our lavender bushes (a good reason to grow some flowers amongst the vegetables, which also looks beautiful).

To make a solitary bee nest site:
1. Cut the top off a plastic drinks bottle.
2. Fill the bottle with lengths of hollow woody plant stems, reed stems or bamboo cane to make lots of tunnels for the bees to crawl into and make their nests.
3. Hang the bottle up in the garden (at a slight angle so the rain doesn’t get in) where it will get some sun but not be baked all day..

Mary Newstead

Revitalising the Allotments – July 2019

Tasty
I know it sounds a bit ‘holier than thou’, but gardeners and allotmenteers will all agree there is nothing quite like picking and eating something you have just grown. Some would also add that taking an item of fruit or veg from the freezer in the middle of winter and reflecting on the fact that it was grown on your patch of land during the warmth of summer is even more satisfying. There aren’t too many food miles (or nasty chemicals) involved in that and as for taste, nothing compares.

Caring for what we have
Bearing that in mind, we on the allotments are aware that our little patches of borrowed land are not hidden behind high wire fences or locked gates. Indeed we have actively encouraged the community to join us and to eventually share in the fruits of our labour on the community jam patch and in the community orchard.

However, the produce from the individual plots that fellow allotmenteers have nurtured remains the fruit of their labour and we would ask everyone in the village help us ensure that applies. If you see someone on the allotments who looks as though they should not be there, or is using it for purposes for which it was not designed, either report the incident to someone from the Parish Council or Allotment Working Group or, if you are feeling confident enough simply ask them what they are doing. As with Neighbourhood Watch we can all do our bit to help eliminate vandalism and theft if we work together.

Community Orchard
The trees continue to grow on well and the recent rain has been a blessing, even if it has meant more work cutting the grass. We are keen to add some signage to the allotments, particularly the community areas and, following on from the previous section, we hope that will help steer villagers towards the shared areas that we can all enjoy. Watch this space for more updates.

Thank You
A special vote of thanks goes to those good people who continue to mow the pathways and open spaces on the allotment. Your hard work really is paying off and makes the place not only look good but also a joy to work on.

Tester Plots and Renting and Allotment
If you are interested in trying out allotmenteering contact either Sue Corner on 01327 342124 or Lynda Eales on 01327 341707. We can offer a range of allotment sizes, to suit every need. Help is also on hand to offer advice and encouragement.

Food For Thought 
‘I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen.’
From Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne.

Mike Langrish

Revitalising the Allotments – June 2019

A lot to do
There is so much to do on the allotment (and in the garden) at this time of the year that writing is a luxury I can’t afford at the moment. So I’ll be brief.

Community Orchard
The trees continue to grow on well. There has been a good deal of blossom and all the trees are now in leaf. Fingers crossed things stay that way. Several new trees have also been added to our collection, now bringing our total to 31 (plus a further 7 trees in the hedgerow between the orchard and new playing field).

Those of you who have been down to the community orchard may have noted that the ground around the trees is now sprouting a collection of grasses and wild plants – some might even call them weeds. Once this undergrowth has established itself a little more we shall begin mowing it. Like the community area we created alongside the orchard, this will become a meadow that we will further enhance by creating pockets of wild flowers.

Looking Good
A villager who lives near to the allotment spoke to me the other day and commented on how attractive and cared for the allotments had become in the past year or so. Paths are mown, edges trimmed, sheds erected and, most importantly, plots are being cultivated and fruit and veg grown. This welcome news was completely unprompted and a real indicator of just how much progress has been made in in refurbishing the village allotments. Again, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those allotmenteers who continue to tend their plots and make the site such a productive and well managed space. Not everyone can spare the time to join a working party or attend a meeting, but their vital contribution, caring for the plots, is just as important.

Notice Boards
Do keep an eye on our allotment notice boards (situated by the gate on Watery
Lane and by the last gate on the access road to the playing fields). We try to keep allotmenteers and villagers informed about what is happening. If you would like to impart a horticultural message that fellow growers might find of use then do feel free to use the board. Free produce? Seeds or plants going spare? Equipment you no longer require? Already we have had one allotmenteer who mislaid a well loved garden tool reunited with it as a result of a message on the board board.

Wild Life Area
Thanks to the hard work of Dave Musson and Mary and Mark Newstead, our
wildlife area is developing well. Dave has written an informative piece about this for the current edition of the Prattler so I will not steal his thunder by waxing lyrical about it here. Needless to say, the area is another positive feature of the work being carried out on the site.

Tester Plots and Renting and Allotment
If you are interested in trying out allotmenteering contact either Sue Corner on
01327 342124 or Lynda Eales on 01327 341707. We can offer a range of allotment
sizes, to suit every need. Help is also on hand to offer advice and encouragement.

Food for Thought
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall
never sit in.— Greek proverb

Mike Langrish

Nether Heyford Community Wildlife Area – June 2019

Some readers will be aware that a group of vacant allotments have been taken out
of commission to be used as a “Wildlife Area”. In the same way that the Community Orchard is a project undertaken on behalf of the community as a whole, this Wildlife Area is also a Community Wildlife Area. The following is brief explanation of the “Hows and Whys” of the project to bring readers up to date with progress and to outline plans for the future development of this area.

Who is doing this? Under the umbrella of the NHPC Allotment Committee Mark and Mary Newstead and Pauline Musson with me overseeing are using our knowledge and expertise to plan, manage and develop this project from concept to fruition. We expect to involve others when necessary as appropriate as the project develops.

What are we doing? We are providing a safe area where local wildlife will be able to live, flourish and be enjoyed by our Community.

Why are we doing this? A recent study by 30 scientists has concluded that Right now our Natural World is at more risk than at any time since Human Beings first walked this Earth. Whilst we cannot change the world, we can change a bit of Nether Heyford to form an area where our local wildlife (plants and animals) will be safe and able to increase rather than decrease. Not only will this benefit our wonderful wildlife but it has been proven that being able to spend time in such an area (however small) benefits our own health and well being.

Where are we doing it? A patch of about 5 vacant allotments forms a rough triangle toward the Sports Field end of the Allotment field along the Watery Lane Hedge Border. This patch has been taken out of allotment use to form the Wildlife area.

How are we doing this? It is a known fact that if one provides the habitat, the wildlife will move in to make use of it. For example, nesting boxes were in use within hours of being put on our site. With this in mind we have chosen to provide a range of connected habitats that seek to restore the area to a state in which it may have been many years before it was ploughed or became allotments.

We know that a brook ran down that side of the field. We cannot provide a brook so we have planned a Wildlife Pond in the Area. There will be three other main
habitats. Sown along the length of the hedge, to a depth of up to 3m will be plants associated with hedgerows. This will be mown once a year. Other areas will be Wildflower Meadow which will also be mown once a year. We intend to establish “Tussock Areas” which will not be mown at all. These latter provide invaluable habitat for small mammals with many insects and other invertebrates benefiting from the undisturbed life. There will also be a wildflower lawn square with seating, surrounded by small trees to provide a peaceful area. This will all be achieved by using purpose designed seeds mixtures which are readily available on the open market and good management.

When will we do all this and how long will it take? We have already started the work and are busy recording the current Flora and Fauna for future reference. The area has been fenced off and pathways cut into the grass and the seating area has been mown. We have no wish to destroy any wildlife that already occupies the area and all development will be gradual, enabling life to move to suitable areas as patches become bare before replanting. If you were to visit this summer there will be an allotment size patch of old fashioned Arable Field Wildflowers in bloom. This patch will be re-sown with a Meadow Mixture in autumn to grow on in 2020.

The Pond should also be in place and some planting and landscaping around it.
There will be areas covered in plastic sheeting. This is to kill the present flora in order for us to sow these areas with appropriate mixtures in autumn 2019. We don`t expect the whole area to be sown till the autumn of 2020 or even 2021.

Unfortunately we have not yet established safe and sensible, unescorted public access to the Wildlife Area. This will come in the future. In the meantime we would be very pleased to welcome interested visitors. If you would like to visit the area please feel free to contact me on 01327 344461 or e-mail davemusson073@gmail.com

I would be glad to arrange an escorted visit with myself or another team member.

Dave Musson

Parish Council – May 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

The May 2019 meeting of Nether Heyford Parish Council was held on the 7th, at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom

PCSO agreement. The new PCSO that we share with Bugbrooke made his first
report to the Parish Council, and went through a list of crimes and problems
encountered in the village. He has made great efforts to get involved in the village,
and it is re-assuring to have a regular police presence.

Public Question Time. Cllr DH reported that there was no news on the inception of
unitary Councils. He suspects that there will be an election for a shadow council in
2020, rather than for the Unitary. He fears SNC will lose its best officers because of
the uncertainty. Jill Garratt referred to damage to the road sign at the Flore turn, and
reported that the Furnace Lane village sign was loose. She was concerned that
entrance decoration materials put in place by “Entrypreneurs” might be a problem
for Highways. The Chair thanked her for her efforts.

Since Cllr Harries report, the announcement about LGR has at last been made.
Local Government Reorganisation
The long-awaited announcement came on Tuesday 14th As expected, there will be
two unitary councils, West and North. Vesting Day will be 1 April 2021… 684 days
to go! The announcement was interesting for what it didn’t say. We know that all
parish and town councils in Northamptonshire will hold elections in 2020, but we
don’t know for what term.

VE Day 75
Plans are being put together to celebrate and commemorate the 75th Anniversary of
VE Day. 8 May 1945 was the day peace emerged after nearly six years of war, so
the 75th anniversary on 8 May 2020 represents an important milestone in the
country’s history. VE Day 75, will cover the weekend of 8 – 10 May 2020, and will
be an international celebration of peace – a time to remember, reflect and pay
tribute to the millions who played such a vital part in achieving it.
The planned activities over the weekend are as follows:
• The Playing of Battle’s O’er & VE 75 Years
• The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2
• The Cry for Peace, around the World
• Churches & cathedrals Ringing out for Peace
• Street parties and parties in pubs, and on village greens and in halls etc
• Services of commemoration and celebration in churches, including the reading
of the Tribute to the Millions and the playing of the Last Post

Lights Working Party had nothing to report as Aylesbury Mains were not
responding to queries and requests. Light outside 41 Rolfe Crescent reported out
again.

Quotes to clear the gutters in Furnace Lane between Winston Close and the canal
bridge, and to clear and spray the jitties were accepted.
Clerk had been contacted regarding a memorial bench that had been agreed to in
2017. It was agreed that the Bench could be installed subject to agreement as to the
location.

Playing Fields. Planning permission was being sought for the containers for which
New Homes Bonus money had been requested.

Trees. Permission has been given to pollard Limes in the Churchyard and on the
Green, but it was felt that as the trees were all in leaf now it would be better to do
the work later in the year.

Allotments. It was reported that the shed had been ordered, and would be erected
on May 21st. All rents were now in.

Footpaths. It was reported that wire had been put up along the fence to deter dogs
accessing the water-meadow; the land owner is apparently within his rights to do
this, and has asked dog owners to behave responsibly in the past.

Churchyard. It was reported that cracks in the new North wall had been treated.

Cemetery. Ivy on pines was being treated.

Youth Club. It was reported having to cancel a session for 48 because of lack of
adult helpers, the club needs more adult helpers, and on this occasion was a victim
of its own success.

Internal Auditor report. The Internal Auditor had sent her written report, and has
informed Council that she has no issues to raise.

Roads and Pavements.
Parishioners are reminded that anyone can report a pothole or other highways
problem online to the Fixmystreet service, and this can refer to problems outside the
village too. https://fixmystreet.northamptonshire.gov.uk/
Alternatively, phone 0300 126 1000 and ask for Streetdoctor.

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday June 3rd at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 7.30 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners.

Parish Council Notes by the Clerk; Guy Ravine May 2019

For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the councillors please visit our Nether Heyford Parish Council page.

Revitalising the Allotments – May 2019

Community Orchard
What a lovely day we had on 6th April. The official opening of Heyford Community
Orchard took place and we were joined by almost one hundred people, many of
whom had sponsored the trees or contributed to the creation of this village
amenity. It was lovely to say ‘Thank you’. As promised, the sun shone and the
conversation flowed – much of it orchard and allotment related. For those good folk
who were visiting the orchard for the first time there was a genuine sense of
surprise at just how extensive the planting has been and the scale of the allotment
‘make-over’. I guess that is something that those who have been involved from the
start, have come to take for granted.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those allotmenteers who
continue to tend their plots and make the site such a productive and well managed
space. Not everyone can spare the time to join a working party or attend a
meeting, but their vital contribution, caring for the plots, is just as important. Visitors
who have not been to the allotments for a year or two are quick to comment on the
improvements made.

If you haven’t seen what has been achieved so far then do come and take a first
look at the orchard and the allotments. You might even feel inspired to take on a
plot yourself.

Jam Patch
Like the orchard, this rapidly developing area will be clearly signposted so that
villagers who wish to take advantage of what is growing, are quite clear about what
is a community space and what are individual allotmenteer’s plots.

Part of the development grant that we have been able to access, to further develop
the allotments, has been spent on purchasing a large storage shed. This will be
sited on the jam patch and a good slab base has already been laid, ready for
construction later in the month.

Tester Plots and Renting an Allotment
It is very encouraging to note that more and more plots are being rented or ‘tested
out’ by villagers to cultivate. If you are interested contact either Sue Corner on
01327 342124 or Lynda Eales on 01327 341707. We can offer a range of allotment
sizes, to suit every need. Help is also on hand to offer advice and encouragement.

Food for Thought
What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
Pumpkin pi.

Mike Langrish