Chairman’s Annual Report 2019

Reading over last year’s report, which I started by saying …The Parish Council has had a few changes this year, I find I am going to repeat myself! Because once again, over the period of a year, we have had some councillors step down, but I am delighted to say we have welcomed several new faces to the Parish Council. Still here and positively wanting to make a difference are Steve Brooker, Dan Bayliss and myself, and we were pleased to have been joined by Steve Burrows, Jenny Knight and Robert Stepniewski. This Parish Council is working really well together as a team and achieving some great results. We had one vacancy for a councillor until recently, and that is likely to be filled by Nick Golledge at our next meeting, which is the Annual meeting of the Parish Council at 7:30PM on Tuesday 21st May 2019.

We have now moved our Ordinary Parish Council meetings to be on the third Tuesday of every other month. They start at 7.30PM, here in the Village Hall, unless otherwise notified on our notice boards, on our facebook and website pages.

More news from this past year – Carol Chamber our Clerk resigned in August. I was sorry to see her go after all the time and commitment that she had given the Parish. A period of uncertainly followed, but we were pleased to engage the help of an interim Clerk, David Hunter-Miller. David came highly recommended and was the Clerk to four other parishes. He has proved to be a great asset and in the autumn went on to accept the position as our Clerk to the Council, for which we were delighted. As a professional full time Clerk, David brings a wealth of experience which has already proved invaluable to the Parish. He has helped us move forward with our Data Privacy Policy and the creation of a new website, which can be accessed on line at whittingtonparishcouncil.co.uk

As well as finding and securing a new Clerk we have had several projects that have been a focus for the Parish Council – The Village Hall, the Parish Allotments, ongoing traffic issues, the noticeboards and signage for the Wildmore estate and the Parish Lengthsman.

The Village Hall

The Parish Council, along with the Village Hall Management Committee, applied last Autumn for funding from Wychavon District Council’s Community Legacy Grant. In March this year we heard the great news that we had been awarded a significant sum towards building a new hall that has the potential to be a desirable place where the community will want to come together more often. After numerous meetings, discussion, networking, collaboration, workshops, lots of forms and nail biting, we have reached a point where the future of a new facility on this site is looking positively possible. Our thanks are extended to Wychavon and Cllr Rob Adams for their support. I shall leave the detail of what we have achieved, and where we now stand, and what is to be done, for you to hear from the Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee. I would however like to congratulate and commend Malcolm on his contribution to this project. Without the voluntary work he has done it just wouldn’t have moved forward as it has. I would like to also thank David Chestney for the time he has given to help the project too.

The Parish Council Allotments

We owe thanks to Parish Cllr’s Steve Burrows and Dan Bayliss for time and energy spent dealing with the Uffnell farm allotments, which are situated within the Wildmore estate. Steve has led the formation of an allotment working group and they have liaised with allotment holders and local residents, reviewed the lengthy agreement and terms and conditions, suggested amendments to provide clarity and helpful ideas for consideration and implementation by the Parish Council. There are 16 allotments and they are available for anyone living in the Parish to rent on an annual basis. Contact the Clerk if you would like to apply to rent one.

Traffic

This continues to be an ongoing issue, especially because of where we are located, surrounded by main roadways criss-crossing through Parish. Wychavon District Councillor Rob Adams has continued to support us on concerns that the Parish Council has raised. Cllr Steve Brooker has been working with Rob over resident’s concerns about inconsiderate parking within the village. Steve, with the help of fellow councillors Jenny and Robert carried out a survey in the Old Road area and put forward parking recommendations to the Parish Council to be considered by Worcestershire County Council, we await the results of the request.

New Noticeboard

During the year the Parish Council moved forward with installing a new notice board within the Wildmore estate, thank you to Cllr Dan, who lives in that area, for managing the notices and communications for that part of our community. We hope to have more events that can help to bring the two communities together.

The Parish Lengthsman

The Parish Council is part of the County Councils Lengthsman scheme. Steve Gwilliam finished as our Parish Lenthsman this year after ill health. We thank Steve for his work that he did here. We have now employed a new Lengthsman, Sam Joyner who lives locally. Sam did a great job getting the area around the allotments into shape earlier this year. We are waiting for him to have some official training before he can take up the highways jobs within the Parish.

I have a couple of additional acknowledgements that I would like to make. Firstly to thank Robert Stepniewski for the work that he has done to help bring high speed broadband to parts of the village. Through his work we hope and expect that residents, businesses and the Village Hall users will benefit in the not too distant future.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank new Whittington Parishioners Mike and Chris for their public spiritedness and generosity cleaning the white gates at the entrances to the village and putting on a wonderful spring display in the flower troughs for us to enjoy.

Susan MacLeod, Chairman WPC

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