Bawburgh Parish Council - CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – 17 MAY 2018

 

The PC has undertaken a routine set of tasks and duties, as reported in PC minutes, Bawburgh News (to a lesser degree), the village website, and online on our Parish Council website (for transparency requirements).  Those I consider most important, I will now report to you.

 

1.    Planning Applications.  Throughout the year, many planning applications were considered and PC comments were submitted within allotted timescales.  Unfortunately some decisions by South Norfolk’s (SN) Development Management Committee (DMC) (planning authority) were not always in line with our opinions.  Importantly the lengthy absence of a 5-year plan for housing land supply for SN has now been replaced by Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) figures - which state that at least a 8-year supply now exists, and the SHMA will now be the benchmark used for planning policy decisions. Consultation phases continue apace for the Greater Norwich Development Plan (GNDP), a successor to the JCS, for the 2026-2036 timescale. Building of a Field Trials Station for John Innes commenced up past Sparrows Hill.  Consultation continues with Taylor Wimpey and Costessey Town Council for plans for allotments and a sports pavilion/nursery facility on a southern leisure zone in Lodge Farm Ph II – still within Bawburgh’s parish boundary.

 

2.    Gypsy & Traveller short-stay transit site – adjacent to Park & Ride.  Regrettably no changes here as concerns remain regarding the characteristic untidiness in and around this site.  The site has been opened and closed at times in the past year. We continue to urge SN Council to ensure all site rules and regulations are strictly enforced.

 

3.    Village Amenities.  Routine maintenance work has been carried out through the village, and the Highways Agency and Highway Rangers have been dealing with most issues promptly.  The family of the late Evelyn Minter has planted a black poplar tree on the village green in her memory. Mr Mervyn Buck continues a contract to maintain the greens and other sites around the village. Other enhancements include: - a) 2 grit bins have been replaced;  b) the broken lifebelt post is being painstakingly rebuilt by Cllr Markham;  c) a new bench will be provided on the village green thanks to grants made available from our 2 District Councillors community funds - for which Bawburgh is extremely grateful.

 

4.    Conservation Area Appraisal. This was completed with no significant changes.

 

5.    Precept.  The annual precept was £6000 but will be increased to £6500 for the next year to budget for increased expenses.  Council Tax (parish) contributions were again slightly reduced for Bawburgh village residents – but this will increase to former higher levels in 2019, as occupiers in the Lodge Farm estate move into Costessey Town’s responsibility, in line with recently announced Government Boundary Review decisions. (see later)

 

6.    Vacancies on Parish Council.  Cathy Alborough resigned from the Parish Clerk post on 31 December to allow more time with her family, and we welcomed Nicola LeDain as her successor in January.  We are grateful to them both for keeping Bawburgh PC in essential working order.

 

7.    Boundary Change Reviews.  As part of various boundary changes, Bawburgh might become part of Norwich South constituency in the future - to balance electoral rolls.  For SN District Council, it is expected that Bawburgh will transfer from Cringleford ward to Hethersett ward as from 2019.  Parish boundary changes have very recently been announced that will see Lodge Farm Ph I & II (Bawburgh) becoming a 2 councillor ward, and Bawburgh Village reducing to a 5 councillor ward – this enables Lodge Farm ward being acceded to Costessey Town – scheduled for 2019.

 

8.    Parish Partnership Scheme (PPS).  Mark Tudor has ceaselessly deployed our SAM machine at varied approved locations through the village. Evaluation of data has proved its worthiness of reducing some traffic speeds in Bawburgh.

 

9.    Police Matters.  Norfolk Constabulary has now removed all PCSOs from its force as part of future plans for re-brigading (Norfolk 2020).  Councillors have attended briefings on current and future policing matters at Wymondham HQ.  I wish to express my thanks to our former PCSO Darrin Sore for his remarkable loyalty and strong sense of duty to Bawburgh for several years.

 

10. Norwich Western Link (NWL). PC representation continues at meetings and a public consultation process has just begun for the ongoing long-term project to hopefully link the NDR (Broadland Northway) to the A47 once full dual carriageway is built.

 

11. Norfolk Association of Local Council - membership.  With uncertainties experienced during fundamental changes in the structure and personnel of NALC, the services of Norfolk Parish Training & Support (NPTS) have been used (as a superior alternative) for our clerk and councillor training.  Continued membership of NALC, is therefore doubtful - at least until a new PC website is established.

 

To conclude, I wish to thank my fellow councillors and our Parish Clerk, for their steadfast commitment in attending meetings, briefings and conferences on behalf of the Parish Council during the last year. My thanks are extended to our County and District Councillors for their advice and support - and latterly the Norfolk Constabulary for their assistance in traffic and other matters.  Many challenges lay ahead, with elections due in 2019 and boundary changes taking effect simultaneously, but I believe we have a firm foundation and the wherewithal to serve Bawburgh’s community interests in the foreseeable future.

 

 

 

 

David F Goodman

Councillor

Chair, Bawburgh Parish Council                                                               10 May 18

 

 

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