Parish Council – 2018/19 SNC David Harries Report for Heyfords & Bugbrooke Ward

Nether_Heyford_Parish_Council_2019

ANNUAL REPORT OF DISTRICT COUNCILLOR – DAVID HARRIES
Heyfords and Bugbrooke Ward – 2018-19

General
The South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) area continues to be ranked as one of
the best 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.

Reorganisation of Local Government in Northamptonshire
The Government Inspector called in last year to assess Northamptonshire County
Council issued a damning report. The conclusion was that the County Council’s
failures were “so deep and ingrained that it is not possible to promote a recovery plan”. It was recommended that Northamptonshire should be divided into two unitary councils, West and North. In the meantime, Government Commissioners were brought in to oversee the County Council. In a process similar to North Korean elections, the Government then invited local councils to submit proposals on the future of local government in Northamptonshire, but imposed criteria that could only lead to one outcome: the abolition of all existing councils and the creation of two unitary councils – North and West (Daventry, South Northamptonshire, Northampton Borough and the ‘west’ part of the County Council). Having gone through this charade, councils in the ‘West’ are now actively working to create viable unitary councils. The Northamptonshire District and Parish elections have been postponed from 2019 to 2020. Subject to the vagaries of Parliament (who seem to be a little distracted at present) from April/May this year each unitary council will have a Shadow Council comprised of all the members of all the District and Borough councils and those from the County Council who represent the area. This mammoth organisation of over 150 councillors, including those who led the County Council to destruction, will appoint an executive to take vital decisions on setting up a new unitary authority in which they may play no part. Elections will take place in May 2020 and South Northamptonshire Council will disappear from April 2020. In the current chaotic situation of our Parliament, however, nothing is certain. Watch this space!

Separation from Cherwell
Sadly, the reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire means that one
of the most successful examples of councils working in partnership will have to be disbanded. Work has begun to unpick the joint arrangements with Cherwell District Council that has produced significant efficiencies and saved millions of pounds.

Chief Executive/Senior Management
The separation from Cherwell and the appointment of Yvonne Rees as Chief
Executive of Cherwell and Oxfordshire County Council led to the need for yet
another restructuring of the senior management team. We were fortunate to appoint Richard Ellis, who has considerable experience at South Northamptonshire and beyond, as Chief Executive. In my view the next 12 months of uncertainty will not be comfortable.

Finance
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 the total £191.33 per year. The increase is in line with inflation. SNC has always been one of the best councils at collecting council tax, with 99% of all tax collected.

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

Local Plan/Neighbourhood Plans
The Local Plan Part 2 was submitted to the Inspectorate in January. If any issues requiring attention are raised by the Inspector, they will 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, replacing the 1997 South Northamptonshire Local Plan.
Neighbourhood Plans have been adopted for two neighbouring parishes: Harpole
and Kislingbury.
Although some expense is incurred when preparing such a Plan, it is an important
means of protecting our rural villages that should help to avoid speculative
development by promoting development that is locally acceptable.

South Northamptonshire Land Supply
National Planning Policy demands that every council has a bank of planning
permissions granted so that development can take place in that area. SNC has built up a good reserve of 11.2 years of land supply. (The Governments guide is 5 years plus 20%.) The anticipated Unitary Council, with SNC at 11.2 years and Daventry DC at 6+ years failing to compensate for Northampton BC’s derisory 2.3 years, will not meet the average figure required by the Government’s minimum requirement.
This will put greater emphasis on the need to protect our rural villages and should encourage the production of more Neighbourhood Plans.

West Northampton Development– No Secondary School
A joint development of 7,700 dwellings in the area from Kislingbury to Harlestone Heath includes a proportion on SNC’s land known as Norwood Farm. This development will include the usual primary schools (2), health centre, shops, green spaces, sports fields and the Sandy lane Relief Road. I continue to have grave concerns about the lack of a new secondary school to serve these houses and have been lobbying all those involved about it for some years. A failure to build a new school will put an intolerable burden on the existing schools in the area, including Campion, which simply do not have the capacity to cope with thousands more pupils.

Waste Recycling
SNC were the 7th best authority in England for recycling out of 345 areas and one place higher than last year. 60.5% of the waste collected 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.

Personally
As an Independent I was pleased to accept the offer to be chairman of the Audit
Committee. It was a demonstration of the Administration’s confidence that their
finances are sufficiently robust to withstand independent scrutiny. And they are! As a member of the Community Funding Panel, I continue to pick up useful information about how to prepare a successful application for grants; and I have been able to support and assist local applications. The Scrutiny Committee of which I am also a member, provides further opportunities to examine the workings of the council in detail. The Moat Lane Project Board continues to meet regularly and produces some interesting issues regarding the regeneration of this part of Towcester.

During the year I have managed to help local people get much-needed housing and provided advice on various planning issues. It is particularly pleasing to help meet some genuine individual housing needs.

Once again, I have managed to maintain an almost 100% attendance record for council and relevant committee meetings.

DAVID HARRIES
email: david.harries@southnorthants.gov.uk

April 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

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.

Nether Heyford Parish Council – About Us

Nether Heyford has a Parish Council of 9 members and a Parish Clerk. The Council meets in the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom (situated between the Village Hall and the Baptist Chapel overlooking the green) on the first Monday of each month at 7.30 pm (unless stated otherwise and notified via The Prattler and village noticeboards)

Agendae for full Parish Council and for Committee Meetings are posted on the Notice board next to the Post Box and The Village Hall three days prior to the meeting.

Members of the public and the press are welcome to attend and can take the opportunity to raise issues with the Council at the beginning of the meeting. The District Councillors and the County Councillor generally attend, and the local PCSO sometimes attends.

The responsibilities of the Council are varied and include the provision of the following services:
– Churchyard
– Cemetery
– The Green
– The War Memorial
– Seating & litter bins
– Street lighting
– Grass cutting – via Agency agreement with Northants County Council
– Litter picking and provision and maintenance of dog bins
– Making environmental improvements as and when thought appropriate
– Liaising with the county council on highway safety and repair
– Liaising with the county council on public transport matters affecting the parish
– Liaising with the county council on the state of footpaths and other rights of way
– Liaising with the police on matters of concern within the parish
– Considering and commenting on planning applications within the parish and on major planning applications in neighbouring parishes
– Making grants to village organisations from council funds

Annual Parish Meeting
All Parish Councils in England are required by law to hold an Annual Parish Meeting between 1st March and 30th June each year. The meeting allows the Council and local community organisations to explain what they have been doing over the last year and electors can have their say on anything which they consider is important to the people of the parish.

Who may Attend?
Anyone may attend but only registered electors may ask questions. An elector may also make suggestions and comment on anything pertinent to the people of Nether Heyford – this will be welcomed and it is the whole purpose of the meeting.

Who will chair the meeting?
Normally the Chairperson of the Parish Council will chair the meeting otherwise the meeting will elect a Chairperson from amongst those electors present.

Will Parish Councillors be there?
Usually they do attend and will speak as necessary but the purpose of the meeting is to enable the electors to have their say. Councillors will listen and as electors themselves, also have the opportunity to raise questions and make comments if they wish.

Can I suggest Agenda items?
Yes, just get them to the Clerk to the Parish Council or come along to the meeting and raise the item then.

Are Minutes taken?
Yes – they are published in the monthly village newspaper The Prattler and displayed on the village notice boards.

Parish Council – Main Contact:

Guy Ravine
Clerk to the Parish Council
Address: c/o Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH
Telephone: 01327 340410
Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com

Parish Council – Councillors:

Charles Kiloh
Address: 19 The Green
Responsibilities: Chairman, Planning, Finance.
Telephone: 07779 900860

Mike Brasset
Address: The Foresters Arms, The Green
Responsibilities: Canal Matters, Planning
Email: mikethepub@hotmail.co.uk

L. Dilkes
Address: 1A Roberts Field
Responsibilities: Village Hall Rep, Youth Club, Vice Chair, Finance
Telephone: 07967 753216
Email: thedilkesfamily@outlook.com

Lynda Eales
Address: 3 Church Lane
Responsibilities: Allotments, Playing Field
Telephone: 01327 341707
Email: lyndaeales@aol.com

P. Green
Address: 8 South View
Responsibilities: Joint Burial Board
Telephone: 01327 349072
Mobile: 07763 244065

Neil Haynes
Address: 30 Weedon Road
Responsibilities: Tree Warden, Planning, Joint Burial Board
Telephone: 01327 340167

A-M Collins
Address: 25 Wakefield Way
Responsibilities: Arnold Trust, School Governors
Telephone: 01327 341180
Email: anna-twenty5@sky.com

Sue Corner
Address: 7 Close Road
Responsibilities: Allotments, Planning
Email: sue.corner@sky.com

A.Williams
Address: 26 Church Street
Responsibilities: Planning and Finance
Email: anthony.k.williams@talk21.com

Dave Musson 
Address:
Responsibilities:
Email: davemusson073@gmail.com

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Pot Holes / Road Markings / Street Lighting / Broken Pavements / Grit Bins / Road Gritting

The County Council’s Highways Department will only deal with problems that have been reported on Northamptonshire County Council The Street Doctor website. Alternatively, phone 0300 126 1000 and ask for Streetdoctor.

Streetlights

All the streetlights in the village belong to the Parish Council so if any are faulty please phone the Clerk, Mr Guy Ravine on 01327 340410.

Refuse collection

South Northants County Council, Towcester, Northamptonshire

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Parish Council – March 2019 Meeting

ParishCouncilNotes

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

PCSO agreement
All being well the village should have a part time PCSO in place shortly. Police methods are very different now, and police personnel generally less visible so it will be good to have a regular police presence in the village again. The officer is already at work in Bugbrooke and will share duties between the two villages.

The Annual Parish Meeting
Will take place before the normal Parish Council meeting on April 1st . This is an opportunity for village organisations to give annual reports and for general discussion. Please send any reports to the Clerk by e-mail.

Public Participation
A Parishioner complained of the dumping of trade waste and burning of apparently toxic waste in the field behind Denbrook, as had other Parishioners. The Clerk had reported this to environmental health at SNC who had acknowledged, and had already been made aware by Parishioners. Fire men were apparently putting in a report and there were Police incident numbers. Neighbours were concerned that hazardous materials and trade waste were involved.

There were comments about the parking situation around the school. It was acknowledged that parking around schools was an issue in most villages.

It was reported that SNC were waiting to hear from parliament about confirmation of 2 unitaries. There was a proposal that there be 18 councillors chosen as members of an unelected shadow council.

Lights
The Chair and Clerk had attended a seminar on lighting. The cost of the streetlights has increased by 100% over the past 3 years, but it seems that by switching to LED lighting that anything up to 75% could be saved on electricity costs. It was felt that a working party could look at all existing lights and work on proposals for the village as a whole. The project would be a costly one, but there is a Government supported agency able to give interest free loans.

Allotments
All but 1 of the rents have now been collected, and some new allotment
holders have come forward. Volunteer Saturdays were being held in March, and an
Open day for the Orchard on April 6th. Small strips of land would be offered for rent.

Dog Mess
As ever an ongoing problem, with complaints that irresponsible dog
owners continue to let their dogs foul the Green and elsewhere and do not clean up,
Some who do, proceed to throw the bags into hedges or trees. There are surely
enough dog bins available to avoid this.

Roads and Pavements
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

Next Meeting
The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday April 1st at the Baptist Chapel Schoolroom at 8 pm and is, like all Parish Council meetings, open to all Parishioners. It is preceded by the Annual Parish Meeting

Parish Council Notes by the Clerk; Guy Ravine c/o The Old Dairy Farm, Upper Stowe, Weedon, Northamptonshire, NN7 4SH. Telephone 01327 340410 Email: netherheyfordparishcouncil@gmail.com – March 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.