Nether Heyford Annual Meeting 2019 – SNC Report

Nether Heyford Annual Meeting 2019 – Phil Bignell SNC

A Great Place to Live
South Northants District continues to be ranked as one of the better places to live in the country. Unemployment is one of the lowest in the country although SNC runs a job club to help anyone get back into work. The waste and recycling record is one of which we remain proud and is the best in the County. We had a successful year as SNC, the Brackley Pool was opened, we had visit from HRH Prince Harry to Silverstone, we had a successful commemoration lunch to mark the 100th anniversary of the ending of WW1. We also held dinners to celebrate the sporting achievements of Mercedes Formula 1 team who won for the 5th successive year, and we celebrated the success of Brackley Town FC who won a fairy tale final at Wembley to bring on the FA Trophy. As we move forward with LGR we are holding regular Parish & Town Clerks Forums, with alternate Forums including PC Chairmen.

Local Government Reform (LGR)
The past year has been dominated by the events at NCC dealing with the fallout from it. As we began the new municipal year in 2018 NCC had just issued a Section 114 Notice, the local government equivalent of a bankruptcy notice. Max Caller had reported in his opinion Best Value was not being satisfied and that such was the mess at NCC it was not possible to recover this in a sensible time period and concluded that the best thing to do was to have two new unitary councils.
The unitary councils would abolish NCC and all the 7 districts and boroughs. He proposed that there should be one in the North encompassing Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northants and one in the West taking in Daventry, South Northants and Northampton Borough.

SNC Financial Highlights
Funding from Central Government is now limited to the Rural Services Delivery Grant. However, our growth in terms of homes and businesses allows us to continue to balance the books. SNC continue to be one of the best at collecting council tax with 99% of all tax collected. The national average is 98% and SNC remains the 16th best in the whole of England on collection rates. We are considerably higher than the other Authorities in Northamptonshire. The SNC part of the Council Tax bill was raised by 2.99% which is £5.55 a year for a Band D property, making total now £191.33 per year. The increase is in line with inflation. SNC only get to keep 11% of the total bill. Northants County take the biggest share at 71%, PCC 14% and the Fire Service 4%.

New Homes Bonus
Unlike many Councils SNC uses some of the New Homes Bonus it receives from new developments to invest in the local community. Local organisations can bid for grants to help them achieve their objectives. In 2018-19, almost £1.507m of grant funding was awarded to communities within South Northamptonshire across 167 projects to improve their environment and lifestyle. Over the lifetime of the New Homes Bonus Scheme over £3.3m has been re-invested in the Community.

Nether Heyford Bowls Club – relaying of concrete slabs – £4,000
Nether Heyford Parish Council – allotment equipment and shed – £2,586
Nether Heyford Tennis Club – court resurfacing £14,457

Planning
Local Plan part 2
After five lengthy years, South Northants completed the LPP2 and submitted it to
the Inspectorate ahead of schedule on the 22nd January 2019. Should issues be
raised by the Inspector requiring attention, they will once again be presented for public consultation and should this be the case, it is likely that the Plan will become ‘statute’ during the winter of 2019.
South Northamptonshire Land Supply
This Council has built up a good reserve of planning land in-hand. We have been
fortunate with growth for both dwellings and employment land in Brackley,
Silverstone, Deanshanger and Towcester. This has enabled us to build to 11.2
years of land supply. (The Governments guide is 5 years plus 20%).

Communities
Good Neighbour schemes are established by communities and run by local people to provide day to day support for other residents in their village and community, particularly those more isolated or older residents, who may need help on an occasional or regular basis.
South Northants Council Wellbeing Activity Map, developed by SNCs Community Services Team is now live on our website. You can search for activities near where you live by entering your postcode on the website. Lots of the activities are free of charge and none cost more than £5 per session. They include opportunities for sports, arts, learning and socialising.

Environmental Services Report
Waste & Recycling
We were the 7th best authority in England for recycling out of 345 areas and one
place higher than before. Of the waste we collect, 60.5% is recycled thanks to our residents taking care to make sure the right things go in the right bins – this is good for the environment and keeps costs down.
Our booking system for collecting bulky waste – such as kitchen appliances and
furniture – is now on line. This has seen an increase in the number of collections
made and has proved a great success with 97% of those who have used us happy
with the service. For £34 we will collect up to six items.

Supporting Local Business
This year, South Northamptonshire features in a national league table of local
authority areas as being in the top 40% places in the country. The ranking is a
measure of growth, innovation, social equality, health and happiness. Despite it
being a time of uncertainty, the District continues to be a good place to live, work, invest and grow.
Eighty-three per cent of the working age population is employed, and the District‘s workforce also has an above average level of education, with over ninety per cent qualified to NVQ1 and above. The District has historically experienced high levels of out commuting and low job density, which has impacted on the sustainability of urban and rural settlements. Despite low levels of official unemployment, demand is still high for the Job Club and Job Match Service, which has been running since 2009 and supported 477 people into work.

Conclusion
It has been a year of change and uncertainty and still a lot has to be resolved. I have enjoyed as always representing the village at District level and helping resolve any local issues that I could. Next year may well be the last for SNC but rest assured whatever follows will seek to serve the residents as well or better in the future.

Phil Bignell
Deputy Leader SNC

 

Nether Heyford Annual Meeting 2019 – Parish Council Chairman’s Report

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

Chairman’s Report 2019

At the time of writing, Nether Heyford is awaiting the first signs of spring, and with
luck, a summer. We all look forward to warm evenings and cold drinks.
Unfortunately there are tasks to perform, and obligations to be met, in order for our
lives to be orderly and comfortable. No less so for Nether Heyford Parish Council,
and the conscientious and forward thinking Parish Councillors, with tasks to
perform, and a responsibility to the residents of Nether Heyford.

As in previous years, village organisations have responded brilliantly in a clean up
effort, with volunteers litter picking, up, through, and round Nether Heyford, and the
immediate area. The Neighbourhood Planning Group have got into their stride,
having worked hard to create a Neighbourhood Plan that represents the
development Villagers have asked for, and accommodation that Nether Heyford
actually needs, and which will be suitable for all, rather than the few.

Some amazing things have been occurring in the allotments, and Parish Councillors
with responsibility for this aspect of Village life, have taken the existing system of
allotment management and shaken it up into a sensible, practicable and user
friendly success. A very pleasant leisure area has been created, utilising disused
allotments, and the planting of sponsored fruit trees. Mr Bill Corner has voluntarily
been keeping grass areas between allotments tidy, strimming, and mowing, and
keeping things tidy. The siting of sheds on allotments is also designed to make life
easier for allotment holders. This has been accomplished by communication and
cooperation from all concerned.

The maintenance of our footpaths, and highways is the responsibility of the Local
Authority, and as we know they are in serious financial difficulties. Any and all pot
holes, and subsidence noted should continue to be reported to Street Doctor,
available on line, or by contacting South Northants Council. Although the road
surfaces remain in an appalling condition, generally, I was amazed to note that the
give way signs at all junctions, within the centre of the village are repaired, and lit at
night. That only took two years.

Grass cutting, and tree maintenance continues as always, and the contractors are
aware of their responsibilities, and are responsive to the desire of the Parish Council
to ensure Nether Heyford remains well looked after.

The cemetery is also being serviced regularly, and this will continue. This service is
intended to enhance the maintenance that family members perform to individual
plots.

Over the years, it seems, we see less and less of Police Officers patrolling our
Parish, let alone our village. We have seemingly learned to accept, and tolerate this
situation. Nether Heyford, as of April 2019, will share a PCSO, with Bugbrooke. This
is intended to reassure villagers, and provide a precepted community spirited
service for our village. I would encourage residents to get to know him, and
welcome him to Nether Heyford.

The siting of two defibrillators within Nether Heyford, one at One Stop, and the other
near the Bowls Club in the Playing Field area, continue to provide a public service
that will save lives. They are accessed, on need, with a code provided by the
Ambulance Service. Both machines are inspected on a monthly basis, and kept to a
high standard.

Street lights in Nether Heyford, have over the years had problems. The existing
lights are dated, and of mixed types. As a result they are expensive to maintain, and
are limited in the light they provide. The Parish Council are considering replacing
existing lights, and adding some in new areas. In effect redesigning the lighting
system replacing them with a more modern, and efficient system. New LED lighting
will be more environmentally friendly, provide more effective lighting, and be
cheaper to run. Consultation within Nether Heyford as to type, style, and placement
of new lighting will be announced, hopefully via the new website.

Nether Heyford Parish Council have a somewhat neglected website, and it has
become normal to communicate and allow communication, in the 21st century, so
that everyone knows what is going on. With this in mind, the Parish Council will be
working with Mr Jez Wilson, to ensure the creation of a new website, that will be fit
for purpose, and accessible to all.

I would like to thank, Mr Guy Ravine, Parish Clerk, for his excellent services, and
patience. Also the enthusiastic, forward thinking and progressive members of
Nether Heyford Parish Council.

There are still vacancies on the Parish Council, please give serious thought to
volunteering.

Charles Kiloh
Chairman – Nether Heyford Parish Council

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.