The Council in Lockdown

We may have been in lockdown for April and May but that did not stop activities for the Parish Council.

Virtual Meetings: 

First there was the new technology to start getting used to, and the council now subscribes to Zoom to enable it to continue to hold meetings. Many a trial run was had in early April before the council held its first formal remote meeting, this being a meeting of the Planning & Environment Committee. The format has proved to be workable and the Planning & Environment committee will continue to meet in this way every third Tuesday of the month @6:45pm (its normal time slot).  Residents are welcome to join the meeting and can contact the Deputy Clerk for the joining details.

Allotments: 

Even in lockdown, the Allotments revolution continued. The allotments are now managed by the Deputy Clerk who has wiped-out the waiting list by getting all the plots that were overgrown and not in use back into use with some incredibly happy new allotmenters.  We are actively working on getting the very last of the useable areas back into use; one area involves the cutting back of some exceptionally large evergreen trees which are in private ownership.

The water leak has been fixed – sadly a rather expensive affair as it was two days’ work for two people and a lot of equipment.  We are also now exploring what to do about the entrance to the allotments as the rut is getting worse.

The gaps in the hedge are also going to be addressed come the Autumn; they look quite bad now as the undergrowth has been cleared away in anticipation of the forthcoming planning.  Also, the mound of earth that has built up over the years is to be cleared tto make more car parking spaces. The Allotments now have their own Facebook page that you can request to become a member of; this mostly involves allotment holders posting photos of vegetable growing or ones that they have just pulled out of the ground, with the occasional photo of a Terrier sleeping in the back of a car for good measure.

Playparks:

The playpark along Gainsborough has sadly been closed since lockdown. A project  has been started to install a chain-link fence around three sides of the playpark, with possibly a hedge and a more rustic wooden fence dividing the Playpark from the allotments. Also, the installation of at least one water fountain is being pursued.

Both Gainsborough and Springfield Playparks have had digital surveys carried out on them in the last month to enable projects to bring in more equipment to them. Now that we have had the surveys done, we can start to look at how things could be extended.

Springfield:

The Springfield playpark has had some remedial work done to it, fixing down some of the rubber matting and filling in the gaps with a liquid rubber. We have also had a professional carpenter in to look at the wooden shelter with a view to doing it up.

The Town Hall:

Talking about things needing doing up.. the poor state of the Town Halls window frames has been noted by the Clerk and estimates to paint them all gained. Sadly however, this highlighted that there will be a requirement for scaffolding onto the road; this will mean gaining special permission and maybe even temporary traffic lights. This will probably double the price, but the windows really do need some attention.

Community Grants:

The community grants pot is well and truly open. Organisations that benefited from it last year have been written to and invited to apply again. The grants are available to most local community groups, so if your are involved in a local organisation and need some money for doing something, do have a look at the grants policy on the Parish Council’s website to see if you would qualify and if so download the form and send it in. The cheque could be in the post quicker than you think.

Pew It’s Gone:

The pew that was advertised as being for sale in April has now been sold. This has made more space in the chapel for the History and Heritage group to have displays.

Room to let: 

The room above the Parish Office is still vacant; this may interest someone who has been working from home but now needs more space. It is a good size room that will easily take two desks and is noticeably light as it has two good size windows. Downstairs there is a small kitchen and toilet that you would have shared use of. The downside is the small wooden staircase to access the room; this makes it inaccessible for the disabled and a little difficult to get furniture up to it – difficult but not impossible. Apparently is was used as a barber’s until recently, but I think we are envisaging it being used as an office or for storage. The monthly rent would be open to negotiation, and we are looking for a long-term letting.

The Cemetery:

The Cemetery continues to look a little bit more special every year and the volunteer workers continue to do a wonderful job. Later this year we will be carrying out some work to all the yew trees as they have become excessively big and they have many brambles growing up through them. Over at the far end, a large amount of planting has taken place of various species of trees; sadly, a few did not make it through the very dry and hot May but the vast majority did and they are now enjoying some June rain.

The Parish Office:

This is currently not open for the public to visit. However, you can contact the Clerk by email and by phone. As well as the established office landline number, there is now also a mobile number you can call. The phone will only be answered during the Clerk’s working days and hours, normally a Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

Election of Chairman:

The Council held its Annual Meeting remotely on Tuesday 2nd of June and Members re-elected Cllr Austin Fletcher as the Parish Council Chairman, with Cllr Tim Carty serving as the Vice-Chairman. The Chairman of the two committees will be elected at the first meetings of the committees later this month.

Council Vacancies:

The Council now has two vacancies due to two resignations. So, we are actively seeking residents to become involved. If you would like to know more about any of the council’s activities and how you could help, do contact the Clerk.