New Village Playground Area – Your help is needed

New Village Playground Area – Your help is needed

After years of hard service our Village Play area is getting a bit “tired” and is now in need of some major renovation work.

In view of this your Parish Council have taken the decision to use this as an opportunity to completely revise the whole thing.

We are planning a completely new Play Park that in addition to meeting the needs of younger children -as is the present case, will also cater for children into their teens. It is also hoped to put some “Outdoor Gym” type of equipment in place that can be used by all of us.

Right now we need to form a group who will work to plan and bring the project to fruition.

We already have three Parish Councillors prepared to work on this. Ideally we need two to three members of our community who are in touch with the needs of the proposed Play area users and who have vision, skill and ideas needed to complete a workgroup of six who will bring this plan to fruition.

We believe that we could have identified a source of funding. We have timescale to get the whole project finished by the beginning the next School Summer Holiday. We need to get going as soon as possible if this is to come together.

If you feel you have the vision, time and skills to be a part of this please contact either:

Dave Musson – Joint Project Leader –  davemusson073@gmail.com
Lesley Dilkes – thedilkesfamily@outlook.com

The Prattler – November 2019

The Prattler

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Sue Boutle, Christine Watts, Vicki Hamblin, Jez Wilson, Nick Essex, Richard Musson and Mary Rice. If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please get in touch.

The Newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Garden Club, Heyford Singers and Heyford Picturedrome as well as the advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Parish Council – October 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

The October 7th meeting was held as normal in the  Baptist Chapel Schoolroom.

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

Reports from the District and County Councillors
P Bignell SNC gave an update on Local Government Reorganisation, outlining the course of events and the timing. The next Parish Council elections will be in 2020, and will be for 5 years, thereafter it will be for 4 years.

Lighting
Work continues on the plan to renew lighting. LEDs seem to be the preferred option, and show substantial savings. AW reported that the Lighting Working Party was looking to ask for presentations and quotes from 5 companies.

Public Participation
The chair thanked Nick Essex and Dave Musson for their work on the Village Millennium sign, which was being repainted. The work has continued, and the sign now looks stunning.

Roads and pavements
A gutter on Weedon Rd was felt to be badly overgrown. Clerk to ask Mr Gibbins to look at it. There had been complaints about drainage on Watery Lane. Stuart Mann of SNC had been in contact with the clerk and subsequently with Mr Thorneycroft as a local source of knowledge on drainage systems. It was reported that the previous drains in Watery Lane were now disused as they had tended to contribute to problems as water from the river would back up them when the river reached a certain level.

The Green and Play Area
Some steps are missing from one of the Play Area rides, some older children had been seen with them. The Play Area working party were looking at different catalogues and formats and were hoping to recruit some non-councillors. Jez Wilson had been very helpful.

Allotments
There would be 2 volunteer Saturdays on Oct 19th and 26th. New plot holders had come forward. SC asked for the rent letters to go out earlier.

Wildlife area is progressing well.

Footpaths
NH reported a rotten stile remnant was now a trip hazard on the path from the fishery to the church. Clerk to report

Churchyard
Limes to be pollarded when leaves come off.

Youth Club
New lights to be put outside. New helpers had come forward.

Defibrillators
Both checked and working.

External Audit
It was resolved too accept the External Auditors report.
“On the basis of our review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return(AGAR), in our opinion the information in Sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR is in accordance with Proper Practices and no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.”

Overgrown hedge in South View
A petition had been put together and given to SNC who were appointing an officer to deal with this long standing issue.

Neighbourhood Plan
SC reported on progress. Midland Homes Association had been contacted regarding a Housing Needs Survey. SNC recommended that this be done again before presenting the NP for consultation. Site allocation would need to be worked on and must be well founded.

Precept Meeting
will take place on November and set the budget for the next financial year. Village organisations wishing to apply for funding must apply by November 25th at the latest.

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.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday)

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

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.

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 – October 2019

About two years ago we began to despair that the main allotment site in Nether Heyford was going to rack and ruin. Those conscientious souls who kept their plots in good order were often fighting a losing a battle, as weeds from abandoned plots encroached onto their veggie beds. Trying to find a way through the site involved hacking your way through a jungle of tall grass and vicious brambles and at the same time trying to negotiate your way round abandoned car tyres, scrap metal and various wooden obstacles. The allotments, taken as a whole, looked a mess.

Fast forward to the present and what a change has occurred. Thanks to the support of the Parish Council, a group of volunteers have been able to make the allotments not only look good but once more become productive – in so many ways.

A section on the site that had long been abandoned was cleared and, with generous support from local businesses, organisations and individual residents, over thirty heritage fruit trees were purchased and planted. As we approach the first anniversary of that planting, I am pleased to report that they are thriving and have put on a considerable amount of new growth. In the next few years we look forward to harvesting our first crop and inviting you to share in this bounty.

Maintaining good pathways around the allotment site had always been a problem. Several allotment holders went above and beyond their remit of keeping their own area in order and often mowed whole sections near to their allotment. But that became the exception, not the rule. Over the past two years that has changed and thanks to volunteers and more individual allotment holders, the pathways are in good order. No longer do you hazard life and limb when you enter the allotments.

Following on from the success of the community orchard, a “community jam patch” has been created, again using several abandoned plots and utilising fruit bushes that have been rescued in the clearance work. We try to ensure that nothing goes to waste. Plans are afoot to extend this by including a “community cutting garden”, made up of annual and perennial flowers.

Another, long abandoned area of the allotments, has been turned over to a “wild area”. This is not an excuse to simply abandon land but is a carefully managed space that includes a wild flower area, nesting boxes for birds and smaller mammals as well as areas for tall grasses to flourish and a host of butterflies, beetles and other mini-beasts to thrive. Pathways have been mown through the area for safe access and a clearly defined perimeter rope has been fixed to posts to show where the area starts and finishes. As this is an area of sensitive growth and development the wildlife volunteers would ask that anyone seeking to visit first contacts one of them to arrange a convenient time. The next development for this area will be the creation of a wildlife pond.

Having a place to sit and eat lunch after a hard session on the allotment or for just taking the opportunity to sit and admire the orchard and the surrounding allotments, requires a community seating area. Again, thanks to the generosity of villagers and fellow allotmenteers we have been able to create a green space with tables and chairs. It was a joy to be able to gather here several weeks ago and share a drink as well as BBQ some food. As the sun went down it was good to reflect on what a lovely village we live in.

For those intrepid, long standing allotmenteers who have cultivated their plots over the years, despite the sea of weeds and the piles of junk, a big thank you. If you hadn’t battled on regardless then the allotments could have been in real jeopardy.

Finally, and probably most importantly of all, it is wonderful to report that more and more allotments are being cultivated. Ever since I began reporting on the refurbishment of the allotments I have always included an invitation to everyone out there to take on an allotment. I think it is beginning to pay off. Once abandoned land is now being put to good use by villagers and from folk in the surrounding area. It is so heartening to see this change in fortune, and whilst we’d never want to deny anyone an allotment, wouldn’t it be an achievement to say that we had a waiting list!

So here we go again…If you are interested in trying out an allotment (you can have a small “taster plot” free for one year – or you can plunge straight in and select a more permanent plot that suits you) then contact either Sue Corner on 01327 342124 or Lynda Eales on 01327 341707.

Come and join us.

Mike Langrish

The Prattler – October 2019

The Prattler

The Prattler is run by an active voluntary committee comprising of Richard Musson, Mary Rice, and the rest of the team as detailed on the back page.

If you would like to submit articles or have any suggestions for future issues, please get in touch.

The Newspaper is supported by donations from the Parish Council, the Parish
Church, the Baptist Church, Heyford W.I., Heyford Garden Club, Heyford Singers
and Heyford Picturedrome as well as the advertisers.

Thanks are also due to the volunteers who distribute it every month.

Parish Council – September 2019 Meeting

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

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

Like all Council meetings it was open to the public.

PCSO. It was resolved that the employment of the PCSO would be continued for the time being, provided that Bugbrooke PC continued with their share of the arrangement, which has proved to be the case since our meeting. The PCSO is felt to have fitted well into the village and is making contacts with residents and businesses.

Car Parking on the Green. This has again become an issue with both Councillors and other residents complaining of vehicles being parked on the Green. This is felt to be unnecessary and unsightly and spoils the enjoyment of our magnificent Green for many residents. Council would be most grateful if those responsible would stop.

Lighting. It was reported that a start had been made on the plan to renew lighting. A brief needed to be written to send to lighting companies willing to quote.

Roads and pavements. Condition of Street Name Signs for The Peak and Manor Walk to be reported to SNC as the black paint needed to be restored.

The Green and Play Area. It was felt that the Play Area was in reasonable condition at the present, but that it would need refurbishment after winter. Clerk had attended a course run by the Open Spaces Society, and had been told that if the property behind Denbrook on Weedon Rd were to put in a planning application, then an Easement in order to allow access across the section of the Village Green would be necessary. Council should ask that this be a condition of the planning permission, and ensure that the applicant paid for it.

Fair. It was resolved to allow Mr Freeman’s fair to visit on the Middle Green from Sept 12 – 15.

Playing Fields. Mr Thorneycroft reported that the container for the Scouts and School was now in place. He had been told that the proposed Basketball/Netball court could not go ahead until an archaeological investigation was undertaken, Mr Thorneycroft had arranged this but would have to pay for the hire and fuel for a digger. Council agreed to pay for the digger costs.

Trees. A Robinia on Hillside Crescent had been damaged, and STS asked to deal with it. A Robinia on the Green would need to be removed because of rotting. The Limes would be pollarded after the leaves had fallen.

Allotments. It was reported that further expenditure had taken place on the shed, and more to come regarding a pond. H&S issues would be considered with regard to the pond and other water holding tanks; a risk assessment would be needed.

Footpaths. There had been clearance and strimming work carried out by the Rights of Way team.

Churchyard. The first internment of Ashes had taken place. It was likely that there would be a request for funds to help with re-roofing the Church after the theft of lead.

Canal. The railing had been re-painted on the bridge on Furnace Lane. Chair thanked Lee Pratt and Nick Essex for their continued work on behalf of the community.

Youth Club. To start back on 9th September, with a waiting list in operation. Anglian Water had repaired damaged drains.

Defibrillators. Both inspected and in working order.

Neighbourhood Plan (NP). It was reported that discussions had been held with SNC, who felt the criteria used for the chosen housing areas were not robust enough, and a further Housing Needs Survey needed to be carried out, as the Examiner might well take that part of the policy out if it were felt unsatisfactory. The NP was not as close to the consultation as had been thought. It was now felt that the NP would not be complete until 2021, but that it would be much safer with the additional work done.

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.

Council meetings take place on the first Monday of each month (unless there is a Bank Holiday) – the next one being on Monday October 7th.

Clerk to the Parish Council: Guy Ravine, c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 07935 931787
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

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.

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 – July & August 2019 Meetings

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

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.