And so the Covid/Coronavirus emergency continues on, impinging on all of our lives. Things that we would not have imagined before have become normality after 8 months, and will continue to be for many more months. Due to continuing government regulations prohibiting public meetings; the October 2020 Parish Council meeting was held online, using the Zoom platform. This is in line with national advice. There is still no indication of how long these conditions will persist, but it is likely that meetings will take place online for at least the rest of this year. Parishioners wanting to participate in the Public Session should check the Agenda on the Public notice boards, or the Website, for the meeting ID on Zoom.
Due to difficulties experienced by Councillors unused to using the internet, a reduced number of Councillors attended the online meeting, but a quorum was achieved and was augmented by the District and County Councillors and an unknown member of the public.
The Chair had the sad duty of reporting the passing of Sue Corner, one of the Council’s most enthusiastic and capable members. He commented as follows:
Sue Corner joined Nether Heyford Parish Council in October 2015. On becoming a Councillor, she listened, appraised, and learned.
Her first responsibility was allotments, joining Cllr Lynda Eales in redesigning, reforming, and modernising a slightly moribund village asset. Between them they have created allotments to be proud of.
Sue’s next task was the Planning responsibility. This task can be complicated, but Sue took it in her stride, sharing issues, and dealing with all applications fairly, and responsibly.
With the Parish Council’s dream of creating a Neighbourhood Plan, Sue took the idea, created an amazing team, and knocked our collective socks off with her drive, and intelligence. Her team came up with ideas and strategies that were advanced, and revolutionary. Who’d have thought of filming Nether Heyford from the air by drone? This created the most fascinating picture of our village I have ever seen, and never tire of watching.
Sue’s intelligence, and drive have been a really great asset to the PC, she will be so very much missed on our team, and by Nether Heyford itself.
Mike Brassett has stood down due to pressure of work. This leaves Council 3 members short of its full quota of 11. We are able to co-opt new members, subject to them being eligible. The Parish Council does need some active new members, preferably familiar with IT – so if you feel that is you – please contact me or the Chair (details overleaf).
Reports from the District and County Councillors
Cllr Bignell reported that a number of SNC officers had been appointed to roles in the West Northants authority, but that SNC were continuing to operate, and had actually improved the rate at which Planning Applications were dealt with. Cllr Harries reported that a Rights of Way consultant had found that a number of footpaths had been changed in 2016 without any consultation. This applied to KS1 Parson’s Close, KS7 Wakefield Way and KS17. This meant that part of them may now be considered Highways. It was felt that this was not an issue for the first two, but enquiries would be made about KS 17.
Public Participation: None.
PCSO – a brief report had been sent, very few problems or crimes at present.
Lights Progress reports. NCALC had formed a partnership with Clear Utility Solutions to try and lower Parish Council lighting bills. CUS were able to act on Council’s behalf and could secure a 2 year contract with YU Energy, at rate of about 25% less than the 22p per unit Eon were currently charging. This should give a saving of c£2000 p/a now, with further savings when the LED lights were installed.
Roads and pavements Large pothole outside the White House in Weedon Rd. To be reported. Parking in Middle St had been exacerbated by the school staggering collection times and it was felt that Highways should be approached with a view to extending the yellow lines around the school house.
The Green /Play Area The Green was felt to be in good condition, but there was concern that repairs to Play Area equipment had been delayed. These should shortly be carried out.
Playing Fields LE reported that the fields were being well used, especially the netball court. Comments had been made about the gate between the allotments and the Playing Field being locked. The situation would be monitored, as the gate was not supposed to be locked.
Trees There has been further storm damage to trees around the cemetery. STS have been given a list of trees to work on.
Allotments There are efforts to form an allotment committee.
Footpaths Some felt that the Church Lane to the river was overgrown, and the Watery Lane to Middle St jitty.
Churchyard The trimmed hedge and grass were felt to be looking good.
Canal Damage to Bridge 32 should be reported to Canal and River Trust.
Defibrillators In good order. CK to look into replacing the batteries.
Planning. S/2020/0428/FUL Land behind Denbrook. Having received a report from Hedley/Wellers it was felt that the next step would be to consult the NCC Village Greens and Common Land registers. Concern was expressed at reports of building work possibly having been initiated.
Reporting Highway and Footpath Issues. The Clerk will report issues that Council is made aware of, but Council would encourage residents to use the FixMyStreet service to report issues themselves as there will then be no time lag and first-hand reports are almost always better than 2nd or 3rd hand reports. The service can be found here: www.fixmystreet.com It is easy to use; you can have your own account and can check up on any issues you have reported.
Parish Council meetings in 2020 will continue to be on the first Monday of each month, (unless a Bank Holiday) and start at 19:30. The next ones are Monday November 2nd (online) and Monday December 7th.
Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
For further useful information about Nether Heyford Parish Council and full contact details for the clerk and the Councillors please visit: