Gainsborough playpark fun and games!
At the time of writing, work is well under way to install the new play equipment at the playpark. It has been really exciting to see this work in progress and the new units taking shape. We plan to officially ‘welcome’ the new equipment (there might even be the cutting of a ribbon!) on Tuesday 24th August, 5-7pm, so please come along with your children to mark the occasion with us. Here are a few photographs of what it was all looking like mid-July. We are very much hoping that the work will have been finished (or nearly so!) by the time you read this!
Town Hall Office re-opens to visitors
The Parish Office, situated on the ground floor of the Town Hall, has re-opened to in-person visitors on a Tuesday morning from 9am to midday for residents to be able to just ‘drop in’. All the doors will be open, and a new A-frame sign will be out on the pavement to indicate that someone is in the office. Inside, you will find either Simon or Nathalie who will be able to assist you in any matter relating to the Parish Council, or if it not a Parish Council’s matter we will be able to work out whose it is. The best way to contact the Parish Council remains by email or phone.
Our very own local footpaths action warrior now has a Public Strimming Licence. Cllr. Deborah Barsby, who has often over the years organised footpath clearance days, has now attended the training course offered by Somerset County Council (SCC) and has obtained her public stimming licence. As part of the SCC scheme, Cllr. Barsby also has the use of an SCC strimmer and so armed with this, her new steel top capped boots and a few other implements, she is now smashing her way through undergrowth along some of the local rights of way.
Footpaths are the responsibility of SCC, but they do rely on local volunteers to keep many of the paths passable in the summer. You can report any issues directly to SSC on their website at www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/report-a-problem-with-a-public-right-of-way/ Cllr. Barsby then works in tandem with the Footpaths Officer at SCC to try and resolve the issues.
The Parish Council’s community grants pot is well and truly open for applications. The grants are available to most local community groups, so if you 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 more quickly than you think.
Last year, the Parish Council was delighted to be able to support Milborne Port Primary School with £2,390 to buy some tablet computers for the children who had to home school. The playing fields committee received £2,775 grant. Sherborne Community Kitchen received £500 for the Covid relief efforts in the Village. The Milborne Port Food Bank was also supported through the lending of equipment.
We are sorry to report that the organisers of this event have again put it on hold this year due to the Covid concerns. The event was to be held at Springfield Rec on Sunday 22nd August. This is of course disappointing, but we can only hope it will finally be back next year.
Laptops4Learners Drop Point
The Parish Office has become a drop point for Laptops4Learners; please see the community website for more details. www.milborneport.org.uk/2021/02/07/laptops4learners/ We are collecting in old laptops, computers, and other electronic items so they can either be re-purposed or broken down and recycled. You can drop off on a Tuesday morning or email/phone for an appointment.
Sign of the Times
While talking on the phone and looking out of the parish council office window about three months ago, I observed the ‘South Street’ sign that is at end of the road, mounted on to one of the houses. This street sign is visible from the main High Street and I was taken aback as to how old and shabby it looked. This raised a question that I had not thought of before: what do the District Council do about old and faded road name signs? – so I asked them.
South Somerset District Council (SDDC) were very helpful but wanted to know if it was just the one sign that was faded or were there others in the village? – only one way to find out… Armed with her mobile phone camera and a Border Terrier, Nathalie visited and photographed every street sign that looked like it needed some TLC. Photos and locations were duly sent off to SSDC. The first thing SSDC wanted to try was just to give all the signs a wash, so they despatched one of their team to power-wash them all; this not only did not work, but in fact in many cases it has removed some of the last bits of black paint that were clinging on! So, the plan now is that black lettering is going to be hand-painted back on. Do look out for Picasso painting a street sign near you soon!
The wooden railings at the end of Church Walk (footpath) where it joins Church Street (road) have become so rotten that they have had to be removed. Cycling along the footpath is prohibited and it is likely that the wooden railings were originally installed in order to prevent (or at least put off) people from cycling along the path. Since the rotten railings have been removed, the Parish Office has received conflicting views from local residents as to whether they should be replaced or not. Some think that the railings were serving a useful purpose in discouraging cycling along the walkway; others have said they impeded people with walking frames/wheelchairs.
The pavement is part of the highway and so the responsibility for replacing the railings lies with Somerset County Council. Their local Highways Officer says that the railings can be replaced but that they would now be stainless steel ones not wooden, but they do not have to be replaced.
The Parish Council would be interested to hear your opinion if you are a regular user of this footpath. Would you like to see some new metal railings in just the same place as the wooden ones were, or are you aware that they were restricting use of the footpath for those using mobility aids? Do let us know; by email is the best way. The Parish Council will decide in September whether to formally request a replacement or not.
Many thanks to Dave Gay who has done a fantastic job of refurbishing and repainting the tired old Chapel Museum door; it is looking really smart now!
Make a difference
Do you want to volunteer to make a real difference to your local community and make important decisions that affect the residents and environment of our thriving village?
Your Parish Council is keen to recruit more councillors and is looking for local people aged 18 or over from a range of backgrounds and with real passion and enthusiasm to make a positive contribution to the life of Milborne Port.
If you have time to spare, skills and experience that you could bring to the role and a genuine interest in our village, why not consider putting yourself forward to become a councillor for Milborne Port Parish Council?
Come and meet some of our councillors at the event to mark the installation of the new children’s play equipment at the Gainsborough playpark on Tuesday 24th August, 5-7pm; they will be happy to share their experiences and tell you what a satisfying role it is!
The deadline for applications will be Wednesday 1st September and the plan is to co-opt new members in a meeting of the Full Council on Tuesday 7th September 2021.
For further information and/or an informal chat about the role, contact our Clerk Simon Pritchard by calling 01963 251267/07375 892631 Tuesday-Thursday, or by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.