EVERLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Annual meeting of the Parish held
at the Crown Hotel on Monday 9th May 2011
Chairman: Cllr Matton (Chair).
Present: Cllr A Bradford, Cllr T McQuaid and, Cllr Goldsmith, Wilts County Cllr C Howard and PC M Bayliss
Apologies: Cllr Wheeler-Mallows, Cllr Bottomley
1. Chairman’s Report.
The Chairman reported that Everleigh Parish Council had very busy and successful year in 2010 /11. We have a strong team of very able and willing councillors who have consistently pulled together to produce some outstanding results and events for the Parish to enjoy.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Vice-Chairman, Cllr D Bottomley, for all his support and leadership on several issues and events. I would also like to extend that thanks to the other councillors who have worked tirelessly and very productively this year : Cllrs K Wheeler-Mallows, A Bradford, M. Goldsmith and T. McQuaid and to our Parish Clerk, Mr Phillip Gill, who’s invaluable knowledge and experience keeps us all in order.
May 2010 started with a very well attended litter-pick. These continue to grow in momentum each year, with more villagers turning out to help and the added bonus of free litter-pick equipment loaned from Wiltshire Council. We held a Picnic/BBQ in the recreation ground in July 2010 which was very well attended. About 60 residents (including 20 local children) attended and enjoyed a fun-packed afternoon. Many villagers helped out on that day and a real community spirit was felt. This spirit has continued to prevail all year as several work parties were organised to install a BMX track and maintain the play-grounds prior to completion of the over 12’s area. A huge thank you to all involved and to Cllr D Bottomley for his lead on this.
In September the Village show dominated the calendar and was another success for the villages of Everleigh and Collingbourne Ducis. The show has been rejuvenated in part, by the involvement of several ‘Everleighans’ who have provided resources, time and energy and their efforts do not go unnoticed.
A substantial grant was awarded towards the playground project. Again thanks to all involved. We were able, via Wiltshire Council, to provide very low cost compost bins in the Autumn. Not only does this make us a greener village but it also generated a small commission for the Parish Council- thank you to all who bought one in this way.
In November we had another successful litter pick and a fabulous Firework display. The now annual event had a slightly different feel to it this year as we raised money towards the playground from the sale of hot food and Penny-for-the-Guy donations. The mood was good, as was the weather and a large crowd enjoyed the display. Thank you to Cllrs M Goldsmith and J Copp for their lead on this and a huge thank you to Cyril, Dawn and Tracey Weinman at The Crown Hotel, for the use of their garden for this event and for accommodating us every second month for our meetings.
We had to await the new Government’s spending review in October to see if the previously awarded Playbuilder grant was still viable. Luckily for us it was and the equipment for the Over 12’s Play Area was due to be installed in December. We also were given a match funding grant from the Tidworth Area Board to complete the BMX track and other playground projects.
I would like to give special thanks to Cllrs D Bottomley and A Bradford for their hard work and persistence in obtaining this funding. The playground that we have now would have been totally out of our reach otherwise. Due to the very cold weather and snowy conditions this winter the installation was postponed for a few weeks and was finally done during a bitterly cold week in January. This left the only the Shelter. We were able to attract additional funding for this so, in March 2011, BAM Nuttal and Debut donated the materials and installed a robust shelter in the Over 12’s area. Thank you to Cllr T McQuaid, BAM Nuttal and Debut.
April 2011 saw another 3 very successful events. Firstly, a Coffee Morning at the Goa Balti Restaurant with a talk about the Great Bustard. This was followed by a litter pick. Thank you all who attended and to Cllrs Bottomley, Wheeler-Mallows and McQuaid who organised it all. A special thanks to Hasan Ahmed and his team of Staff at the Goa Balti for hosting the event and for all their support each year. The Final Event of the Year was the Official opening of the Over 12’s Play Area and a Royal Wedding Celebration. These two events went extremely well and a heartfelt thank you all involved. There was a marvellous atmosphere as Cllr C Williams (Chairman of TAB) cut the ribbon and 5 or so BMX-ers spilled onto the track to show off their skills, watched by a large crowd. A fun packed afternoon and evening followed. A truly fantastic team effort, which produced one of the finest village events yet. What a fitting way to round off a very successful year.
As well as all the above events, we have also tackled speeding, vandalism, planning and road maintenance issues, and presently our recently stripped back bus service. We have had various degrees of success and closure on some issues and are still working on others. With the Big Society becoming more of an everyday feature in our small village we will continue to serve our Parish as best we can and hopefully come to satisfactory conclusions on any issue we are faced with.
A lot of our success in reaching such positive outcomes in this Parish, on so many issues, is due to hard work behind the scenes of our local Wiltshire Councillor Charles Howard. Without his support all year, both at our meetings and by lobbying on our behalf with various County Departments, we would be at a loss. Thank you Cllr Howard for your unwavering support this year.
We also are able to react and adapt as needs be to the information we receive from the Wiltshire Constabulary and the NeighbourHood Watch scheme. Thank you to Sgt M Freeman and his team for keeping us up-dated from time to time and also to Cllr K Wheeler-Mallows and his NHW Co-ordinators for looking after our welfare.
During this past year we were able to fill the vacancy left by Cllr J Bradford, after her resignation, with Cllr Tracey McQuaid. Cllr McQuaid has proved a valuable addition to the team and we are very pleased to have her on board. Cllr J Copp also resigned during the year and we have a vacancy to fill. We have had an application to join the council and hopefully can report that in due course. We will undoubtedly feel the departure of our very able and accomplished Parish Clerk, Mr P Gill, at the end of this year, when he retires. If anyone is interested in this position please contact myself or Mr Gill for more details.
As we start 2001/12 I feel we are well placed to go on serving the Parish. Our Finances are good and our assets much increased, also we have been able to avoid increasing the precept this year, which is good news for everyone.
2. Finance Report. The Clerk reported that finances remain in a healthy condition with cash in all accounts at £ 2269.55 at year end which is £1652.09 less than last year but still sits with the Council’s reserves policy of 2/3 of the annual Precept which remains at £3100 for FY 11/12. The accounts have been prepared by the Clerk, audited by the internal auditor and will be sent to Mazars the external auditor to meet the statutory deadline of 30 June 2010.
Income for FY09/10 was approximately £5910 namely £2.525 in grants, £3100 Precept, £180 event income and a VAT refund of £105. Outgoings were approximately £7562, with the largest amounts being the £1740 used to secure the purchase and installation of new play equipment by Playbuilder to a value of £10K, £1.300 for general work and development of the play area, insurance at approx £900 and village events costing £700. The balance of the spend was on grass cutting, Clerk’s salary, audit fees, and other such costs needed to run the PC. It is anticipated that in FY11/12 that that all village events will at least be self funding.
3. Wiltshire County Council Report. Wilts Cllr C Howard reported that great progress has been made during the twelve months to implement the changes which were planned when the Council became a unitary Authority in 2009. A major part of these changes concern concentrating the Council’s main offices at four ‘hubs’ located at Trowbridge, Devizes, Salisbury and Chippenham with the workforce working much more flexibly, with many working from home and their cars, using new communications technology. It is anticipated that the savings generated by these changes will be substantial in the medium to long term. The Council has been obliged to make cuts in expenditure of £44 million over the two years 2010/11 and 20111/12. This has resulted in 240 staff leaving the Council last year and about a further 170 to leave this year. These redundancies are painful but necessary, but much less than neighbouring counties. The main reason for this is the efficiencies achieved following the change to a unitary Council. Despite these cuts, the Council is increasing spending on vulnerable and old people, and is carrying out improvements to waste collection and recycling arrangements and increasing expenditure on our leisure facilities and maintenance of the roads. All round, it has been a difficult but successful year, but much still remains to be done.
Speaking personally, I continue to carry out important work as the vice-chairman of the Wiltshire Pension Fund, and am now the chairman of the Eastern Area Planning Committee at Devizes. Turning now to activities in Everleigh, I have been involved in a wide range of issues including the replacement of a number of the road signs, road repairs to the Marlborough Road, speed monitoring and road safety, and planning.
4. Wiltshire Constabulary Report. PC M Bayliss provided the following report:
– Two incidents of Hare Coursing, an arrest has been made
– A rave took place on 17th April at JJ Crossing, the incident was resolved peacefully.
-A vehicle was seized after travelling through the village with no insurance.
5. Questions. There being no other business the Chairman thanked all who attend and closed the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.20pm