Parish Council – July & August 2019 Meetings

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The July 1st meeting was held as normal in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

The Chair thanked all involved in the voluntary efforts to make the green look as good as possible for the fete.

He also thanked Nick Essex and Lee Pratt for the renovation and re- painting of the sign on the Green by the phone box, and for all their efforts with painting and repairing on behalf of the village.

A resident noted recent work on cleaning gutters and hoped more work could be
done voluntarily. Chair felt it would be better to have it done professionally.

The PCSO reported that there had been a few minor incidents, but generally quiet. He reported concerns about the safety of the junction of Furnace Lane with Weedon Road. There will be an additional PCSO liaising with Bliss School.

Village Fete Felt to have gone very well despite being in doubt due to the poor weather. Despite fewer stalls it had brought in more money than the last fete.

New Homes Bonus – to consider applications. A list was considered and a working party of CK, SC and LD formed to look at proposals for Traffic calming lights, a new Play Area and Lighting. It was stressed that Community Benefit should be foremost in the applications.

Neighbourhood Plan There had been no presence at the Fete but there were 2 pages in the next Prattler to update the village. SC was disappointed that SNC had been unable to give much help with progressing the Plan at this stage.

West Northants local Forum report The Clerk gave a report from the recent forum at which concerns were expressed that “Our” Unitary would be much too Northampton centric, and that the process was not transparent at this stage.

The August 5th meeting was held as normal in the Baptist Church Rooms. The August meeting is a shorter than usual in respect of the holiday season.

Public Participation Concerns were raised about the Oak tree next to the Play Area being damaged by children climbing.

Cllr Adam Brown reported that NCC were progressing towards the Unitary deadline, but there were concerns that changes in government might disrupt this if there were to be a General Election. NCC were trying to improve Children’s social services after Ofsted had given adverse reports. Agency workers were being replaced by Council employees.

Geoff Thorneycroft gave a report on the aspirations of the Playing Fields
Association, and the various projects. Problems had been encountered with the
Environment Agency objecting regarding new changing rooms, despite a previous
time elapsed permission having been granted. He felt that concerns raised about
the potential for vandalism and theft at the allotments were unfounded because of the likelihood of pedestrians crossing the allotments to access the proposed new basketball/netball court. He felt that the opportunities afforded to young people and women outweighed any other concerns about problems caused by public access to the allotments. The Chair stressed that Council was in favour of the new facilities but felt that the issues needed raising.

Street name for new houses off Hillside Crescent. All of Council’s suggestions thus far had been turned down. The following suggestions were made. 1. Horsa Court in memory of a wartime glider crash. 2. Meadow View, 3. Canal View.

Cllr Adam Brown has sent this report.

You will be aware that in recent months there has been a spate of sheep killings
across Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties. In response to the livestock
crimes the Police have established Operation Stock which did a number of things:

• Brought all crimes under one investigative strategy
• Appointed a gold/silver/bronze structure to the issue.
• Received investment from the Office of the Fire Police and Crime Commissioner to kick-start immediate actions including overnight patrols of otherwise remote, rural, un-patrolled roads and locations, the production and posting of A1 correx roadside and gateway signs
• Streamlined response to new calls and information created by the public demand
and interest

The NFU has been incredibly helpful as a critical friend and hosted a farmers’ meeting with Police at a barn in Thornby, attended by over 130 local farmers and landowners. It was a tense but productive meeting where Police explained the very basic and elementary strategy, given the lack of witnesses, intelligence or information.

1. Police wanted to raise the awareness and involvement of the farming and rural
community so that, with our help and advice, they could target harden their
property
2. Police wanted to raise the awareness of the rural community and meat market so that intelligence and information would be more forthcoming.
3. Police intended to mount nightly patrols to be able to respond to farmer’s
requests for visibility and respond to any calls created by 1 or 2. It is not a secret that resourcing levels, reductions in neighbourhood policing, and a proper emphasis on threat, harm and risk, would mean that otherwise, rural communities would not have overnight policing presence, unless part of a response to an emergency call on a rural area.

The road signs have been successful, and the operation has had some notable
successes, falling short of prosecuting offenders (as yet). Of highlight are the
following:
• An unprecedented response to Neighbourhood Alert and media releases. Even a month later, interest and concern is not abating. Last Friday, Northamptonshire Police’s Press team had more media requests in one day than that which usually accompanies a whole major incident. The topic has been covered in the national broadsheets, on national radio, local radio and local television. There has been particular recent interest in deployment of the Police/Fire drone at night time
• Deployment of local farmers patrolling vulnerable areas equipped with front and rear dashboard cameras supplied by the NFU
• Commitment of the Commissioner to supporting particular needs of the policing
operation and response
• Meeting of the Commissioner with representatives of the NFU to receive
feedback and highlight issues of concern
• Meeting of Rural Policing representatives last week at NFU Stoneleigh to discuss tactics, improve communications and cross-flow of information and to plan next steps

Further meetings are planned for this week.

• Daily briefings between police departments to include cross-border information
flow
• Integration of this investigation onto a system known as DAMES – similar to those used in serious or major crimes, to ensure all information and actions are captured and responded to
• Continuation of overnight patrols, press releases and Neighbourhood Alerts. Reports from Neighbourhood Watch and Village Facebook groups that membership is expanding with people asking what they can do, and increased reporting of suspicious incidents (other rural crime has reduced in this time)
• Capture of evidence following forensic investigation of crime scenes. This has yielded some DNA opportunities which have been followed up. A man has been arrested in Portsmouth and interviewed by Northamptonshire officers, with some evidence recovered from his home address. He has been released under investigation.
• Following reports of a suspicious van with the livery ‘Plantation Shuttering’ at a sheep farm in Warwickshire, this appeared on a number of occasions in our
county. A Neighbourhood Alert prompted reports of this van in the villages of
Thornby, Sibbertoft, Kilsby, Long Buckby, Naseby and Arthingworth, all in one
day. Farmers saw and contained the vehicle and its two occupants in Naseby,
and called the police. The van was seized for being suspected used in crime, but
there was insufficient evidence to arrest the occupants, whose details were
confirmed. It has been returned to its owners and continues to attract our
attention, and/or that of colleagues in Warwickshire.
• Work continues with automatic number plate recognition enquiries and the
checking of many vehicles using the county’s country roads at night-time. This
has led to the removal of a number of unconnected vehicles for being uninsured
or untaxed (given the ability of the mobile ANPR system to detect such vehicles).

It is vital that local residents in rural areas, remain vigilant particularly those who live on or close to farmland where livestock are grazing.

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on the first Monday of the month 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 August 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.

Neighbourhood Plan – July 2019

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The next meeting will be on 25th July at 7:30 pm in the Youth Club. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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The next meeting will be on 25th July at 7:30 pm in the Youth Club. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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The next meeting will be on 25th July at 7:30 pm in the Youth Club. Everyone is welcome to attend.

For more information on Nether Heyford Neighbourhood Plan visit the website:

netherheyfordneighbourhoodplan.org.uk

Parish Council – June 2019 Meeting

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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.

Parish Council – May 2019 Meeting

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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.

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

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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.

Parish Council – February 2019 Meeting

ParishCouncilNotes

The February 2019 meeting of Nether Heyford Parish Council was held on the 4th, at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom

Public Participation – Cllr Adam Brown sent the following report.

NCC will meet twice this month: on 14th February to discuss the next phase of plans to establish two new unitary authorities in the county, and on 21st February to discuss the 2019/20 budget. On the 14th February Council will also debate a motion put forward by me which seeks to formalise NCC’s opposition to the proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges near Blisworth and Milton Malsor. In that motion I highlight the severe impact on nearby villages and the brilliant work by local activists in opposing the scheme. Having discussed the matter with colleagues within the Conservative group I am optimistic that the motion will be passed and a strong message will be sent to the planning inspectorate and the Secretary of State for Transport.

In terms of budgetary matters, our leadership team is increasingly optimistic that we will end this financial year on budget or with a moderate underspend. As a member of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee I have been part of the team analysing next year’s budget and we have highlighted a number of areas of concern, most notably: the desire for continued subsidy of youth groups which allows them to use school premises in Northamptonshire; an instruction to Cabinet for NCC to be more aggressive in its approach to procurement in order to realise over £1m of savings; the importance that additional spending on social care services be sufficient to meet the anticipated demand.

Next year’s budget currently does not account for the recent government decision to allow NCC to increase Council tax by 2% in addition to the 2.99% permitted by the Secretary of State. I have argued that should we accept that additional 2% rise then the money must be used to reinstate services that the public have clearly told us they wish to retain such as enhanced winter gritting. Whilst the 2% would raise approximately £6m, much of that money would need to be put into reserves to allow for potential pressures on statutory services. Of course NCC has previously been criticised for failing to raise council tax, and whilst we remain one of the lowest areas for council tax in the whole of England in the midst of ongoing financial pressure it would be irresponsible to pass up the opportunity to strengthen the County Council’s revenue raising ability.

Village Hall
Alwyne Wilson introduced herself as the new chair of the Village Hall.

Bliss Close maintenance issues
Tom Dodd spoke about problems experienced by residents of Bliss Close with the maintenance of the public spaces, or buffer zones. Residents ware paying a considerable amount for maintenance which they do not feel is being carried properly or with any reference to the costs they are incurring. Any requests to see the contracts are rebuffed, and it seemed that the agreements were in perpetuity with no right to appeal or withdraw. He was concerned to know what had passed between Council and the developers on this issue. It was felt that safety issues were a concern of the Parish Council, even if other issues were not. Cllr PG reported that there were similar maintenance contracts in place in Bugbrooke, but that they were being properly handled. It was suggested that there might be breach of contract. It was felt that at this stage the issue did not involve the Parish Council, as the Council referred to in the House deeds was almost certainly South Northants Council. Such maintenance contracts were becoming common and similar conflicts were arising all over the country, and causing concern in Government. SC felt this was not an issue for Council, and AW felt the residents would have to take legal advice. The Clerk was instructed to write express concerns on safety issues, and the Chair expressed sympathy and support on behalf of Council.

Allotments
Rent night took place on Jan 24th. All but 8 rents collected. SC suggested a reminder letter at the end of the month. AW suggested setting up online payments with monthly instalments.

Neighbourhood Plan
It was reported that information was still being received in the form of postal votes for preferred future building sites. SNC were looking for 25 – 59 new houses. It was felt the village would be more comfortable with 25 – 29,
and felt that that community led housing and self-build should be explored.

Dog Mess
This is a perennial problem and Councillors felt there was more on the Green than was usual and were disappointed. A new Dog Bin has been installed on Church Lane and it is hoped that this might help with the river area. This problem has been further highlighted by contact with David Banner who farms the field on the other side of the pedestrian bridge. This maintained as a traditional style water meadow and as such it represents a valuable amenity and environment. Mr Banner is disappointed that many dog owners let their dogs run free and foul freely. He would ask that dog walkers keep to the paths and that they keep their dogs on their leads at least until they have “done their business” and that this be bagged and removed. While there are often not sheep in the meadow, the grazing of sheep is an integral part of the meadow’s management. Dog faeces can contain a parasite that causes sheep to abort and can also kill them. He would be most grateful if dog walkers could remember this.

Election Dates
It has now been established that there will be no District or Parish elections in 2019 with the onset of the unitary council imminent.

Roads and Pavements
The installation of a 20mph speed limit was raised. This was felt to be an aspiration for next year, although it could be applied for under NHB.

Parishioners are reminded that anyone can report a pothole or other highways problem online to the Streetdoctor service, and this can refer to problems outside the village too. Alternatively, phone 0300 126 1000 and ask for Streetdoctor

Spring Clean
The annual “Spring Clean” would be taking place on March 30th/31st.

Signs
The Clerk had contacted Matthew Clarke at Keir/Highways who was still searching for a quote for a finger post for the church. He had also advised that renovation of the direction sign on the green would probably cost £1500.

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday March 4th 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 February 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.