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Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council

Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council

Chairman's Reports

Chairman's Report 2013/14

I should like to welcome you all to my first Chairman’s Report. It has been a great honour for me to have chaired the Parish Council and represented the local community in this last year.

It was with great regret and sadness that we lost one of the mainstays of the Parish Council early in the year when, due to ill health, Mike Gerrard took the decision to resign. As you all know, he has been a great supporter of Bidford-on-Avon and its residents for many years, representing the local community not only on the Parish Council but as the leader of SCAN, as well as assisting his wife, Heather, in her voluntary job as Village Liaison Officer. He is, and will continue to be, sorely missed.

The Parish Council was also sad to receive the resignation of one of its newer councillors, John Squire who, due to some changes in the work front, felt he would not be able to commit the time he felt was necessary to council work. I should like to take this opportunity to thank him for the work he did, especially on the Amenities Working Group.

And so we end this year two councillors short, but with the confidence that we shall soon be at full strength.

NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

As developers sniff around our beautiful village, searching for new site to build ever more houses, the decision to proceed with developing a Neighbourhood Plan, has taken root.

Many of you may be aware of the term Neighbourhood Plan, without knowing exactly what it represents. The Localism Act 2011 gives local communities the power to 'shape development in their area through the production of a Neighbourhood Development Plan' The real bonus is that, once adopted, they become part of the Local Plan and the policies contained therein will be used in the determination of planning applications. This is the first time that a local community is able to decide the future development of its environment and see it become a statutory instrument.

The most important part of a Neighbourhood Plan is that it is “community led” and must be approved by a majority of the local electorate when, at the end of the process, it is put to a referendum. It is a long and hard process but, the Parish Council believes, it will be of great benefit to the current and future generations. It is, after all, an opportunity to ensure the Bidford-on-Avon of 30 years hence, is still as delightful a place to live, work and play, as it is now.

The Parish Council will also be basing its future strategy on the results of the Neighbourhood Plan, which will determine how and when the Parish Council spends the precept.

So, as Chairman of the Parish Council and a member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee, I urge you all to participate in this huge project:

  • When you receive as questionnaire, please make sure you complete and return it
  • If you have an idea, please email it to the Clerk at infor@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk
  • If you would like to help host an event, again contact the Clerk and let her know
  • If you are willing to deliver and collect leaflets, let the Clerk know.

Neighbourhood Plan is all about ensuring a good quality of life in Bidford on Avon now and in the future – we like to call it 'Real Sustainable Development for the benefit of the Local Community'.

COMMUNICATION

This is an area which the Parish Council is constantly trying to improve and update.

Social Media IS the way forward, but we have to think of our senior citizens. So, although we have a Facebook page and a Twitter address, we still include a monthly newsletter in The Connection Magazine. We also publish notices on the Parish Council notice boards.

However, it has to be admitted, that online facilities do make it easier to communicate, and to communicate fast and the Parish Council has an excellent website www.bidfordonaovn-pc.gov.uk, which is user friendly and full of local information. It is also regularly updated.

The Parish Council also run an 'email information' system: once a week the Clerk will send and information email with links to the various events and notices. She will also advise of any adverse weather conditions or emergencies. It is an excellent way of being aware of what is happening locally and all you need to do is advise the Clerk that you would like to be included in the list. Please be assured you email address will not be disclosed.

GRANTS AND DONATIONS

Following the adoption by the Parish Council of the General Power of Competence, which allows the Council to do anything an individual can, as long as it is not illegal, grants continue to be an important part of the work carried out by the Parish Council, especially in the current economic climate, and I am delighted to say that we have helped the following local groups and associations this year:

  • Bidford Community Library - £5,000
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau - £3,909
  • Bidford Health Centre - £3,000
  • Bidford Youth Club - £2,676
  • Broom Village Hall - £1,500
  • Bidford Primary School - £1,500
  • Bidford Cricket Club - £750
  • Bidford Senior Citizens Annual Party - £500
  • Bidford Church Cottage Trust - £500

However, the Parish Council can also apply for grants and I am very pleased to advise that it was successful in its bid for a grant of nearly £9,000 from Sport England for the purchase and installation of 4 x outdoor table tennis tables: two have been installed on the Big Meadow and another two at the Dugdale Sports Fields.

Chairman's Report 2012/13

Last year, I was able to present a report which was in effect The Last Will & Testament of the Parish Council elected in 2008, and which with relatively few changes in personnel conducted the Council’s business for the four intervening years. That council had a clear commitment to progress along the lines proposed in the B50 Parish Plan approved in 2003/4 and to redressing some of the gaps in provision created in the parish by its spectacular growth in housing (and therefore population) during the preceding decade. By and large, this was not a matter of controversy within the council, and the watchword of the parish was extension and improvement in the quality of the services provided, on which its members were substantially agreed.

However, it was subjected to attack in the run-up to the 2012 election, and several new councillors were elected, while some serving members lost their seats. I have not previously had an opportunity to thank ex councillors John Sandle, Chris Hill and Rob Williams formally for their services to the council during their membership. I wish to do so now, and to use this occasion to acknowledge the contribution that they made as councillors.

It is said that every loss begets a gain, and as you are no doubt aware, we have gained a number of new members of the Council, namely (in alphabetic order) Councillors

  • Joe Harvey, elected to represent the Broom polling district,
  • Lee Pound,
  • Mrs. Charlotte Randell – in a council which twelve years ago included four ladies, it is good to see another lady taking membership,
  • John Squires.

All of you are welcome, and it is well within the bounds of possibility that some of you will make a distinguished contribution to the Parish Council in the course of your council membership. It has taken us a while, but I am confident that the new council has begun to operate more as a unit and I look forward to the coming year.

QUALITY PARISH COUNCIL STATUS

I am both pleased and proud to be able to confirm that on 8th September 2012 Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council was re-accredited as a Quality Council, effectively confirming the status originally achieved 4 years ago.

The aim of the Scheme is to provide benchmark minimum standards for parish and town councils. The scheme was reviewed in 2008 to better reflect the increased professionalism of Parish and Town Councils who, in order to achieve this accreditation must demonstrate that they have attained the standard required by passing several tests:

  • Electoral Mandate – At least two thirds of members must be elected – all the Parish Councillors have been elected.
  • Qualifications of the Clerk – The Clerk obtained her Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) in 2008, and her Foundation Degree in Community Engagement and Governance (CEG) at the University of Gloucestershire in 2012.
  • Council meetings – Meetings are publicised and are open to the public,. Who are welcome to participate in the Open Forum section at the beginning of the meeting. Minutes are published and posted on the website within the required 2 months since the date of the meeting.
  • Communication and Community Engagement - The Parish Council has its own website www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk which is regularly updated and includes: Contact details of councillors and officers; Its email address: info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk; Full details of the Council’s Procedures, meetings, Minutes etc.; Details of the 2 village halls: Crawford Memorial Hall and Broom Village Hall; Details of village events; Details of participating local businesses; Details of local associations and clubs.
  • Annual Report – this has been distributed to all households, However, in an effort to reduce costs, from this year onwards it will be posted on the website and some copies made available at Bidford Community Library.
  • Accounts
  • Code of Conduct – Adopted in July 2012.
  • Promoting local democracy and citizenship - Statement of Community Engagement adopted in July 2012.
  • Terms and conditions
  • Training – Councillors attend regular training sessions organised by its association Warwickshire Association of Local Councils and, if they feel it is necessary, arrange their own training sessions.

COMMUNICATION

Website – www.bidfordonaovn-pc.gov.uk

The Parish Council has an excellent, user friendly, website which is regularly updated. It contains information on:

  • Parish Council
  • Local groups – who have their own site
  • Local businesses
  • Local churches
  • Bidford Community Library
  • Newsletters
  • Photographs of our beautiful villages taken by local residents
  • Weblinks to a number of sites including: Stratford-on-Avon DC; Warwickshire County Council; Bidford-on-Avon Primary School.

Newsletter
The Parish Council also includes a monthly Newsletter in the local magazine The Connection, and edits and publishes the quarterly BIG Paper.

Social Media
The Parish Council is available on Facebook and Twitter – both of which it uses to communicate important meetings or events to a wide as circle as possible.

Email information
Another, innovative, way of keeping residents informed is via an Information Email system sent out weekly detailing events happening in the village as well as drawing attention to new notices. It is also sent when weather warnings have been issued. Anyone wishing to be added to this should contact the clerk on info@biddordonavon-pc.gov.uk - please note your email address will not be disclosed.

Notice Boards
The Parish Council does not forget to inform its residents via the good old fashioned Notice Boards! Notices for Public meetings, posters etc. are regularly posted: so if you wish to know what is happening, check the notice boards when walking past them.

Parish Council Surgeries
Councillors are aware that not all residents can attend Parish Council Meetings, or feel comfortable raising issues at such meetings. To cater for these residents, the Council arranges regular surgeries held at Budgens- this way the Parish Council comes to the local community and not the local community to the Council!

GRANTS AND DONATIONS

I am delighted to be able to advise that in September 2012 the Parish Council was eligible to adopt the General Power of Competence, which allows the Council to do anything an individual can, as long as it is not illegal!

In the current economic climate, many local groups and associations can sometimes find difficulty obtaining funds, and helping the local community is an important part of the work carried out by Parish and Town Councils: investing local money in the local community to cover local needs.

This year, the Parish Council has donated just over £20,000 to various local associations/groups, , including:

  • Bidford Community Library £5,000
  • Bidford Youth Club £5,000
  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau £3,909
  • Sports Pavillion £5,700
  • Jubilee events £1,026.31

However, the Parish Council can also be the recipient of grants, and in Spring 2012 the Parish Council received a cheque for £50,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund, part of a £135 million Places, People, Play Legacy Programme to celebrate to 2012 Olympics. This grant, which has been match funded by the Parish Council, Bidford Cricket Club, Bidford Football Club, Bidford Juniors FC and the Dudley Trust, has enabled a complete refurbishment of the Sports Pavillion on the Big Meadow as a lasting Sport Legacy for Bidford-on-Avon’s community. I can add that, at the insistence of the council and the sports clubs, the refurbishment work was very ably carried out by local contractors.

BIDFORD COMMUNITY LIBRARY

I won’t say too much about the library as they will have the opportunity to give their own report later in this meeting. But I should like to say how pleased I am, at a personal level, that the Parish Council’s efforts last year resulted in Bidford Library remaining as a service to the local community.

It is now just over a year since it became Bidford Community Library, run entirely by volunteers, who carry out a sterling job. There are about 50 volunteers and I can proudly say that not a single one has left.

  • Citizen’s Advice Bureau are one of the library’s 'tenants' - they are there every second and fourth Friday, doing a marvellous job in these difficult times of helping residents with their problems.
  • Customer Access Terminal (CAT) this is another service in the library which allows residents to directly communicate with Stratford -on -Avon DC regarding any issues they may have, without having to travel to Stratford itself. You speak , and see, someone directly (like Skype) and are able to scan and send documents etc. Those who have used it have great things to say about it, so why not come and see what it can do for you – it may save you an unnecessary trip to Stratford!

PLANNING

What can I say? It has been a year when Bidford has been, literally, invaded by developers. The Parish Council has considered the following, major developments:

  • Land to the North of 18 Salford – 150 dwellings, then amended to 137 dwellings and medical centre. This application was refused and went to appeal, which was dismissed on highway grounds. However, the Parish Council expects this application will return!
  • Land to the East of Waterloo Road – 46 dwellings. The Parish Council objected, but the development was granted permission by Planning Committee West.
  • Land to the North of Bramley Way – 45 dwellings. The Parish Council objected, and permission for the first application was refused by Planning Committee West. It has gone to appeal. The Parish Council also objected to a second application, but this was granted by Planning Committee West.
  • Old Railway Yard – the application to enlarge this traveller site was refused and went to appeal, which was dismissed.
  • Friday Furlong – it appears the development of this site is now on the road to happening: 108 dwellings. The Parish Council expects applications for the land owned by Taylor Wimpey, adjacent to this site, will be submitted shortly.

PARISH PLAN UPDATE/NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

In view of the policies implicit in the new National Planning Policy Framework, that planning should favour sustainable development, and what has been occurring in Bidford-on-Avon in the last 12-18 months, the Parish Council has decided that an update to its Parish Plan is essential, as is a Neighbourhood Plan, and it will start work on these in the very near future.

But, be warned, in order for this to be successful, and for the local community to get what it wishes (more or less) it required local community involvement – without the help and commitment of the people of the parish, we will not be able to produce a Parish Plan/Neighbourhood Plan that is acceptable to everyone in the village.

Cllr. Gerrard
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
15 April 2013

Chairman's Report 2011/12

I am very pleased to welcome you to this year's Annual Parish Meeting.

This will be the last Annual Meeting of this Parish Council prior to elections on May 3rd, and I should like to take this opportunity to thank all my fellow councillors for the excellent work we have done over the last four years.

Those you who know me personally are well aware that my personal ambition has been to leave Bidford-on-Avon a better place to live in than when my wife and I first came to live here, and that has also been the strategy of the present council during the last four years – to work to improve the quality of life of all members of the local community, regardless of age, and I hope you all believe that we have succeeded.

Partnerships:

  • Bidford Community Library Ltd. – this is an example of how the Localism can, and does, work - a partnership between: Local authorities: Bidford-on-Avon, Salford Priors and Wixford Parish Councils; Voluntary sector: VASA, CAVA, CAB and others; Local community - volunteers from throughout this parish, from Bidford and from Broom, as well as Salford Priors, Stratford, Welford and Wixford, and not forgetting Cleeve Prior, over the border in remotest Worcestershire. All working together to ensure this vital, life improving service remains available to all. And that is our motto: 'Working with, and for, the local community'.
  • Warwickshire and West Mercia Police – the Parish Council is well aware of the anti social behaviour that occurs on the Big Meadow once the sun is out! It has recently invested in improving this beautiful recreational area that now boasts a much admired play area, catering for young people of all ages – from toddlers to teenagers – and includes a well used skate ramp, 6 metre high netscape and a MUGA. Regrettably, on occasions, this has also attracted the wrong kind of visitor and, with this in mind, the Parish Council has set up regular meetings with Warwickshire and West Mercia Police to discuss the issues and see what can be done, in partnership, to improve the situation. And I am delighted to advise that Warwickshire Police are here today to talk about how this can be done so that the incidence of anti social behaviour is kept to a minimum.
  • Bidford Fire Fighters – as you are all aware, there have been changes throughout the county following the recent consultation that resulted in the closure of several fire stations. Luckily, thanks to a well fought campaign, and working in partnership, we were able to save Bidford Fire Station. The Parish Council is keen to ensure Bidford Fire Station and Bidford Fire Fighters remain at the centre of village life and a have recently met with them to work out how this can be achieved. I am delighted to advise you tonight that both parties are very keen to work together for the benefit of residents. And we have been assured that there is no likelihood of any new threat to Bidford Fire Station in the immediate future.
  • Local Businesses – the Parish Council has been working hard with the High Street independent businesses to see how, working together, we can improve the footfall on the High Street. A new 'tourist map' has been erected as well as locational signs and there ahve been already 3 very successful Buy in Bidford" events at the Crawford Memorial Hall. And, I am reliably informed, the next one, which will have a Summer Fete air to it, is taking place on Saturday 7th July between10.00 am and 3..00 pm Stratford District Council is also part of this partnership, which has resulted in Bidford being invited to participate in Stratford's Portas Pilot Bid project, a competition organised byt he government following Mary Portas's review of local High Streets.
  • I should also mention Destination Stratford (District) – a new local venture in this district, which has replaced the Heart of England Tourist Board, and is a Stratford SDC initiative, in which Bidford Parish Council is closely involved. The Parish Councils of Wootten Wawen and Bidford are part of the Steering Group, as well as both the Visitor Attraction/Welcome Working Group and the Retails and Hospitality Working Group. Part of the remit of this project is to ensure it caters for the whole of Stratford district, and not just Stratford-upon-Avon itself. The aim is to increase the number of visitors to our wonderful village and thus increase the inflow of business for Bidford services and retailers.
  • Bidford Primary School – whenever possible, the Parish Council likes to engage with the school and its activities. Examples of this collaboration has been: Artwork prepared by pupils for the Welcome to the Big Meadow pane; The logo for the new Bidford Community Library Ltd.

Communication:

The Parish Council has an excellent, user friendly, website full of information, from the Council and from local association and groups. The Council also offers a Village email information letter – just ask the clerk to add your email address, and you will receive weekly information as to what is happening in the community.

The Parish Council also includes a monthly Newsletter in the local magazine The Connection, and edits and publishes the quarterly BIG Paper.

All Parish Council are well advertised, and members of the public are welcome - and encouraged - to take advantage on the Public Forum item on the monthly Agenda.

In the last two years the Parish Council has arranged two pre-budget drop in sessions (on a weekday evening and Saturday morning) to give all residents an opportunity to attend and find out what the council is proposing for the coming year. These have not been heavily attended and the Parish Council can only assume local people are broadly content with the way the Parish Council conducts its businesses and uses the public money it raises via the precept (although I must make it clear that there is at least one dissenting voice within the council itself).

The Parish Council also hold regular "surgeries". The present practice is to hold these in Budgens supermarket in Bidford, or Broom Village Hall.

Village Improvement:

Big Meadow:

  • As already mentioned, the Parish Council invested in major improvements to this recreational area, and from the number that visited it last year, it would appear to be a great success.
  • This year, with a grant from Awards for All, we have continued these improvements with the creation and installation of a 'Welcome to the Big Meadow' sign, with Artwork created by pupils of Bidford-on-Avon Primary School, some interpretation panels along the river and round about, Wildlife around Bidford, Crossing the River, Into the Village.
  • 3 further trees have been planted and protected with tree guards.
  • There were clearly some design issues with the Skate ramp, which resulted in the ramp being regularly damaged. Working together with the skate ramp designer, it was decided to re-design the ramp to accommodate scooters, as these were the main users. The work was carried out by a local blacksmith and this appears to have solved the problem – and the ramp is still one of the more popular pieces of equipment.
  • Sport Pavilion – I am very pleased to confirm that the Parish Council has been secured £50,000 of Olympic Legacy funding from Sport England's Inspired Facilities Fund. This, and other funds and grants, will be used towards upgrading the quality of the Sports Pavilion, a key sporting facility in the village which will remain as a fitting local legacy of the 2012 Olympic. The 'handover' ceremony took place on the Big Meadow last Friday afternoon, 30th March.

Signage:

  • Ornamental Gateways have been installed at the entrance to the village on Stratford and Salford Road, as well as the approaches to the roundabout, pointing towards the river – where the High Street and Big Meadow are located. The Parish Council is grateful to Bidford Community Group for their contribution which has allowed the planting of attractive spring flowers underneath the signs.
  • Signs advertising local business have been erected by the traffic lights on the Honeybourne Road (on both sides of the bridge).
  • Tourist maps have been placed in the Anglo Saxon Car Park as well as on the Big Meadow, indicating where the businesses are: they also include advertisements of local shops.
  • The next project will be signs indicating the whereabouts of Bidford Community Library.

Donations:

Donations are an important part of a Parish Council's work: helping their local communities, and I am pleased to advise that this year we have donated £14,354 to various groups, including:

  • St. Laurence Church £2,950
  • Bidford Senior Citizens Party £500
  • Bidford Rural Youth Project £2,120
  • Bidford Community Library £5,000
  • CAB £400
  • Bidford Cricket Club £500
  • Bidford Area Community Choir £500
  • Broom Diamond Jubilee Committee £350

Verge/Grass cutting:– with both county and district council reducing verge and grass cutting maintenance, and knowing how important it is for both residents and visitors that the village looks its best at all times, the Parish Council decided to engage its own contractor and, from comments received last summer, this was appreciable.

Neighbourhood Plan:

Planning continues to be a very hot topic, especially these days when the Core Strategy of the District Council has still to be agreed. The intention of the new Localism Act is to empower local communities and, whereas on paper this sounds truly wonderful, one does have to read the small print!! In the case of Planning, it empowers local communities to build but not to stop development.

We are all aware that Bidford has had its fair share of development in the last 20 years – and the Parish Council regularly represents the local community at Planning Committee meetings at Elizabeth House in Stratford to make coherent comments, whether in support of objection to individual planning proposals and to major developments or plans. Some we lose and others we win, but I assure you that we always attend and represent the opinions of the community as we understand them.

The Parish Council believes the best way to ensure the future of our parish is by producing a Neighbourhood Plan. This is a community led project that needs to involve the whole community: residents of all ages and occupations; the school; the churches; businesses (large, medium and small) as well as the police and fire service. Leisure, sports and the personal interests of every age group in the parish must be represented, and reflected in the conclusions of the Plan. The Parish Council is determined that this should take place and leaflets are being delivered to every household in the community. Our hope as a Council is that you will be as keen as we are to be involved, and we look forward to your active participation in shaping the Parish of Bidford-on-Avon for the coming ten years in partnership with us and our successors. It will be hard work, but together, we can do it! And I believe it will ne for the benefit of us all.

Cllr. Gerrard
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
2 April 2012

Chairman's Report 2010/11

Welcome to you all to this year's Annual Parish Meeting.

I am now coming to the end of my two year term as Chairman of the Council, and would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow councillors, as well as the Bidford members at County and District Councils: your support and assistance have been invaluable.

We were sad to lose two councillors at the end of 2010: Cllr. Mrs. Getgood and Cllr. Hendey, who had so ably represented the Broom Ward since However, two prominent local residents expressed their wish to join the council and were co-opted in January 2011: Michael Atkins and Bill Fleming. Members did express sadness to note that no-one from Broom put themselves forward to represent the village and hope that this will be redressed at the May 2012 elections.

The Parish Council was able to finalise its proposed improvements to the Big Meadow in 2010 with the assistance of monies obtained from S106 agreements and a grant from Play Build:

  • new and challenging play area for youngsters from aged 2 to 18;
  • replanting of 27 trees along the central path, protected by some locally made to order tree guards;
  • skate ramp.

It has also completely refurbished the kitchen at the Crawford Memorial Hall.

Following its programme of implementing the needs assessment as per the Parish Plan (B50), supported by the Housing Survey of 2005, the Parish Council, together with Warwickshire Rural Community Council has been searching for appropriate sites for small development of affordable housing. It has taken some 4 years but two sites, one in Tower Hill, Bidford and the other on Bidford Road, Broom, have been identified as fulfilling the necessary requirements. Drop in consultations were arranged in Bidford and Broom, following which the Parish Council agreed to support both schemes which will go some way to helping local youngsters to remain in the village, as these affordable houses will be restricted, by a legal agreement, to people with direct connections to the parish.

After a hard and well run campaign, Bidford Fire Station was saved from closure at a full Council Meeting at Warwickshire Shire Hall on 20th July, which was attended by a large number of residents from Bidford and Broom. This success was a tribute to what a community can do by effectively working together to produce a viable alternative to what was being proposed. As the spectre of yet another closure of a public service in Bidford looms before us, it is important to remember that the Save our Fire Station campaign was effective because it offered an alternative.

The Local Community must now do the same to save Bidford Library. On Friday 11th February the Parish Council arranged a very successful Community Event to thank the people of Bidford for their support in the Save our Station campaign. At the event, the Parish Council donated a shield to the Young Fire Fighters Association in memory of Gary Williams, and the Crawford Hall Management Committee donated £500 to the Young Fire fighters Association, a donation made possible due to the success of Bidford Rural Cinema which the Crawford Hall Committee run in partnership with the Parish Council.

Exercise Watermark – this nationwide event took place during the week of 7th-14th March. Bidford Parish Council's emergency Plan Unit (EPU), with the help of two students from Coventry University, tested the resilience of its plan whilst taking part in a potential flood emergency in both Bidford and Broom. They found the plan stood up remarkably well, although, as could be expected, improvements were needed and these are being implemented.

Information:

  • The Parish Council has an award winning website: www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk which is regularly updated (approx. twice weekly) and where you can access information regarding the Parish Council as well as of other groups and association in the parish; useful links to other websites; photographs of our lovely area sent in my local residents and updates on local events.
  • The Parish Council has a monthly newsletter published in The Connection magazine, which is distributed to all households in the parish. It is also available online via the Parish Council's website.
  • The Council also edits, publishes and prints a quarterly newsletter The BIG Newsletter, and invites residents – individuals and groups/associations – to contribute. Articles, letters, points of views etc can be e-mailed to bidford.paper@yahoo.com or to info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk. Again the BIG newsletter is distributed to all households by the Bidford Young Firefighters, paid for by the Parish Council.
  • Residents can also subscribe to the Village e-mail group – Information on forthcoming events, weather updates and other pertinent advice is sent by email on a regular basis. Should you wish to be included, please advise the clerk by emailing her on info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk – your e-mail address will not be disclosed.
  • The Annual Report, with information of what the Parish Council has done over the last year is published in June every year.
  • There are three computers in the lobby outside the Parish Council Office available to residents who do not have access to their own computer.

Exciting times are coming to local government and communities. The much advertised Localism Bill is currently in the consultation phase and will probably become a bill in autumn of this year.

The Parish Council, as the grass root representative of the local community, has agreed to set up a steering committee of 3 councillors to follow the progress of the bill and make appropriate comments and reply to consultations, when and where appropriate.

It is also taking a very active part in Stratford District Council's Local Development Framework: Core Strategy and looking into Neighbourhood Plans.

At the same time, the impact of the economic crisis is also being felt, with services at both County and District level being drastically cut. The Parish Council, whilst understanding the necessity for these cuts, urges them to consider alternatives, such as working in partnership, delegating services etc.

Cllr. Hiscocks
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
4 April 2011

Chairman's Report 2009/10

Welcome to you all to this year's Annual Parish Meeting.

I was elected chairman of Bidford Parish Council at the Annual Parish Council Meeting of May 2009 and I should like to extend the thanks from me, and the other members of the Council, to Cllr. Mrs. Keeley, Chairman 2005/09 who very ably steered the Council through some challenging times We were sad to lose Angie Deacon during the year, but she felt her new, and increased, job responsibilities were not allowing her sufficient time to dedicate to Council work, and so she sent in her resignation which the Council, reluctantly, accepted. Luckily, Mrs. Christine Getgood, a leading member of Bidford Community Group, who had served as a Councillor from 2004 to 2006, expressed her desire to rejoin the Council, and was welcomed with open arms.

The Parish Plan, known as the B50, was adopted by Stratford District Council in 2003, and the Parish Council agreed that, after more than 5 years, an update was required to better reflect the current concerns of the local community.

In partnership with Rural Outreach and SDC, an online Questionnaire was prepared for residents to complete, and David Morgan, Project Manager Parish Plans and Rural Outreach made a presentation of how it would work at last year's Annual Parish Meeting.

To cover all aspects, it was agreed to offer three versions:

  • Adults
  • Youngsters
  • Children

Hard copies were, and are still, available for those without computers. And residents are welcome to use the three computers available in the lobby outside the Parish Council Office.

In view of two important consultations currently taking place which will greatly affect the future of Bidford Parish, namely

  • Minerals Development Plan: Revised Spatial Options, which will lay down the policies governing mineral extraction 2026, including preferred sites, of which there is Broom Court Farm in Bidford and proposed sites near Broom.
  • Local Development Plan: Core Strategy - again this will set out the number of houses to be developed in Bidford to 2026. There are three proposed sites, including that of Friday Furlong, which will increase the number of houses by 350; approx. a 20% increase in the next 15 years.

The Parish Council would urge you all to complete the Questionnaire, which is easy and quick to complete and is available on the front page of the Parish council's website. This will allow the Council will to make a stronger and better representation on behalf of the local community.

Over the year, the Parish Council has continued with its village improvement program, and you will find details of this in the Annual report which the Parish council will issue and distribute in the summer.

The rural cinema continues to be a great success; it provides entertainment for residents of all ages, and at £2.50 a ticket, is excellent value for money. Bidford Rural Cinema screens two films a month at the Crawford Memorial Hall: a children and an adult film. Moving Pictures screen one a month at Broom Village.

Information:

  • The Parish Council has an award winning website: www.bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk which is regularly updated (approx. twice weekly) and where you can access information regarding the Parish Council as well as of other groups and association in the parish; useful links to other websites; photographs of our lovely area sent in my local residents and updates on local events.
  • The Parish Council has a monthly newsletter published in The Connect magazine, which is distributed to all households in the parish. It is also available online via the Parish council's website.
  • The Council also edits, publishes and prints a quarterly newsletter: The BIG Newsletter, and invites residents - individuals and groups/associations - to contribute. Articles, letters, points of views etc can be e-mailed to bidford.paper@yahoo.com or to info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk. Again the BIG newsletter is distributed to all households by the Bidford Young Firefighters, paid for by the Parish Council.
  • Residents can also subscribe to the Village e-mail group - Information on forthcoming events, weather updates and other pertinent advice is sent by email on a regular basis. Should you wish to be included, please advise the clerk by emailing her on info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk - your e-mail address will not be disclosed.
  • The Annual Report, with information of what the Parish Council has done over the last year is published in June every year.
  • There are three computers in the lobby outside the Parish Council Office available to residents who do not have access to their own computer. The computer desks and chairs were purchased with the grant made available by WALC under the Quality Parish scheme.

Finally, I should like to thank all Councillors for their hard work and dedication; particularly Cllr. Hill, who, together with the Clerk, has worked very hard to ensure the success of the Big Meadow refurbishment project; as well as the Clerk, the RFO and Agencies who carry out the day to day work.

Cllr. Hiscocks
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
24 May 2010

Chairman's Report 2008/09

In September 2008 the Parish Council was advised that it had achieved Quality Status. As the accompanying Certificate states the Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme is a government initiative for all parish and town councils in England and is a Charter Mark awarded to a Parish or Town Council that is well run and working effectively on behalf of its community.

One of the requirements to obtain quality Status is for the Clerk to obtain a Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) which she successfully did in May, and, with the support of the Council, she is now studying to obtain a Certificate of Higher Education in Local Policy from the University of Gloucester.

I would also like to congratulate the Clerk to Salford Priors, who is a Bidford Resident, and who has also passed his CiLCA with flying colours! Another requirement is that at least two thirds of the Council be elected, and I can confirm that, following the May 2008 elections, ALL members of the Bidford Parish Council are elected.

As Chairman of the Parish Council I would like to thank members of the Council, the Clerk and the Responsible Financial Officer for all the hard work they put into achieving Quality Status and can assure all of you that we will continue to work to improve the village and the quality of life of its residents.

At the Parish Annual Meeting of 2006, I was able to announce that, thanks to the hard work of Bidford residents, the plan to extract sand and gravel from Broom Court Farm, by Marriage Hill, had been withdrawn. However, as you are all well aware, the consultation on the Minerals Core Strategy: Revised Spatial Options is currently on going (the consultation date was extended to 8th May, thanks to our District Cllr. Kim James).

You should all have received a Newsletter, published by Bidford and Salford Priors Parish Councils, explaining the situation and urging you all to write opposing the proposed sites in the very close vicinity of Broom, as well as Berry Coppice by Hillers Farm in Dunnington.

On behalf of the local community, the Parish Council will be writing opposing the sites and also requesting Broom Court Farm be removed from the existing Minerals Local Plan (1995).

Another important consultation that has taken place during this year is the District Council's Local Development Framework Core Strategy 2011-2026 which included proposals for developments in the land between Waterloo and Victoria Road and Bowood Fields, land between Victoria and Salford.

Following a morning of consultation, when residents were invited to give their comments, the Parish Council replied to this consultation objecting to any further developments, at least until such time as Friday Furlong is fully developed, as it does not believe this will be sustainable. Furthermore, these large developments are unacceptable according to the adopted Parish Plan.

Over the year, the Parish Council has continued with its village improvement programme:

  • 5 more streetlight have been replaced.
  • 2 more streetlights were installed in the village centre to improve the quality of the CCTV pictures.
  • At the request of some of our more elderly residents, benches have been placed in strategic places, which allow them to sit and take a rest when returning from Budgens, the village shops, post office and bank.
  • Marleigh Park play area has had a Dragon Fly see saw and a Cone installed and, as requested by residents, will remain a play area for the under 11. A picnic bench was also installed for the benefit of parents and grandparents.
  • Planning permission allowing the change of use to the small site to the rear of the fire station was granted, allowing it to become a much needed youth shelter area. This has now been finalized, with a surrounding fence and lockable gate - and only the landscaping phase remains to be completed. This will take place in September. The area has been declared alcohol free and, as resolved by the Parish Council, the gate will be closed at 10.00 pm during the next 6 months when the situation will be reviewed. In order for the Parish Council to be assured the gate is locked every night, this has been contracted out at an initial cost of £457.50- this being the most competitive quote.
  • A number of picnic benches have also been installed along the riverside on the Big Meadow, which have proved very popular with both residents and visitors.
  • Extensive tree work has been carried out at Millers Bank, in Broom as some of the willow had grown and become a danger to the public. Likewise a poplar tree.
  • Working together with County Council, the Parish Council has supported a Speed Aware scheme for Broom High Street and Mill Lane, as well as a speed reduction to 40 mph from the railway bridge in Broom to Bidford. It is hoped this will ensure motorists will keep to the 30 mph limit within Broom.
  • The Parish Council is also supporting a proposal led by a couple of mothers with young children, to make crossing the road to the south of Bidford Bridge safer. As we all know, we have to cross the bridge on the left hand side - but the Big Meadow and its facilities are on the right, hence the problem - something the monks did not foresee when they built the bridge some 800 years ago!
  • When SDC suspended its green waste recycling during the winter months, the Parish Council agreed to organized five collections : two in November (autumn leaves etc); one after Christmas (trees etc) and two in March (grass etc). These took place on agreed Saturday morning at Wards Lane Car park in Bidford and the car park at the Broom Tavern in Broom (I should like to express our thanks to Mr. Steve Smith of Broom Tavern for allowing us the use of his car park). These were very successful and I know residents appreciated this facility, the cost of which was £1,500.

When preparing the 2008/09 budget, the council agreed to earmark £10,000 for work to be carried out by a 'lengthman'. It took this decision in view of the reduction in the services being carried out by County and District Councils: grass cutting, gully cleaning, verge clearing etc.

The Council had to give the contract to a County Council approved company, as it would often carry out work on highway. During this last year it has carried out the following work:

  • Clearing of the verges along Salford Road - from the roundabout to Budgens.
  • Clearing of the ditch by the Anglo Saxon car park.
  • Gully clearing.
  • Weed killing on the footpath by the school as well as The Bank.
  • Keeping the 'god cakes' by the roundabout clear of weeds.
  • Cleaning of pathway in Millers Bank.

The rural cinema continues to be a great success. There are two screening per month at the Crawford Memorial Hall - on the second and fourth Fridays of the month, and films are chosen to cater for both youngster and adults. Due to the increased administration costs made by SDC, with no consultation with the various venues throughout the district, and after some investigation, it was agreed that Bidford Rural Cinema be formed and become independent from Moving Pictures.

So far this has been a success, particularly with High School Musical 3, which was screened during Half Term, and Slumdog Millionaire, which attracted many from far afield. However, the BIG STAR was, without a doubt, Mamma Mia. It appears you could not get enough of it. Bidford Rural Cinema is here to provide entertainment to the local community and offers excellent value for money. So we look forward to seeing you all at the Crawford Memorial Hall.

Newsletters: the Parish Council has a monthly newsletter published in The Connect magazine, which is distributed to all households in the parish. It also edits, publishes and prints a quarterly newsletter The BIG Newsletter (which resulted from the Intergeneration Workshops we had last year) - and invites residents - individuals and groups/associations - to contribute.

Articles, letters, points of views etc can be e-mailed to bidford.paper@yahoo.com or to info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk. Again the BIG newsletter is distributed to all households by the Bidford Young Firefighters, paid for by the Parish Council.

Residents can also subscribe to the Village e-mail group - Information on forthcoming events, weather updates and other pertinent advice is sent by email on a regular basis. Should you wish to be included, please advise the clerk by emailing her on info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk - your e-mail address will not be disclosed.

Bidford Youth Action Group is working to raise monies to build a new youth club, as the current one is really unfit for purpose. It is made up of:

  • Members of the Parish Council,
  • the Clerk, Bidford Youth Club
  • Members of the Bidford Community Group
  • Baptist Church
  • St. Laurence Youth Group
  • Stratford District Council
  • Village Liaison Officer

Its Chairman is PC Tony Lamberts, Warwickshire Police Liaison Officer.

Cllr. Mrs. Keeley
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
20 April 2009

Chairman's Report 2007/08

As mentioned at last year's Annual Parish Meeting, following the award for Calor Warwickshire Village of the Year 2006, Bidford was entered into the Regional and National competition. Regrettably, Bidford did not win the ultimate prize, but our IT skills were acknowledged, and Bidford was awarded the Calor Central England ICT Award 2006/07, accompanied by the £500 prize.

The summer of 2007 will regrettably, always be remembered as an infamous one: the flooding of both rivers Arrow and Avon caused great devastations to many in the Bidford, Broom and Marlcliff - many residents have only just moved back into their homes and some are still waiting to do so. We have been informed that this was a 1 in 200 year event and we can but pray that this is right.

The Parish Council, together with its partners, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and Stratford District Council (SDC) will continue to do all it can to ensure all the correct information is given to those householders at risk.

The Council is aware that the Environment Agency, together with SDC is looking into whether it is possible to improve the drainage in Marlcliff and Severn Trent are also working to see if they can improve the existing pump. The Environment Agency is also looking into protecting Millers Bank in Broom and the Council is awaiting the latest report on this.

In the meantime, vulnerable householders can obtain valuable information from the Parish Council's website: - under notices, you should be able to locate the National Flood Forum's blue Directory - please note the National Flood Forum is an independent charity. If you prefer a hard copy this is available from the Parish Council Office @ £2.50 ex. P&P.

Over the last year, the Parish Council has continued its improvements throughout the village:

  • New play area in Jubilee Close - with thanks to SDC for its £15,000 grant.
  • Supported the 30 mph speed reduction in Barton, contributing £5000 to the scheme that allowed it to be brought forward by approx. 12 months.
  • 5 more streetlights have been replaced, continuing the rolling programme.
  • 3 new streetlights were erected to improve the CCTV. The Parish Council should like to thank SDC for its assistance in this.
  • 2 solar powered streetlights have been installed in the footpath by Broom Railway Bridge.
  • The new foot/cycle path on The Bank has been cleared of weeds and new shrubs planted.
  • An extensive clearing has been carried out to the St. Laurence Churchyard which should be looking its best this Spring/Summer.
  • Another extensive clearing has been carried out to the field at the rear of Dugdale Avenue - fences have also been repaired and litter removed.
  • 2 benches have been replaced - Jubilee Close and the Big Meadow.
  • A Community Computer was made available to all residents who do not have this facility at home - it is in the lobby outside the Parish Council Office and is connected to the internet.

The Rural Cinema finally came to Bidford in November 2007 with its first screening Shrek 3. Together with the Crawford Memorial Hall Committee it was agreed to screen twice a month: on the second and fourth Friday at 7.00 pm The aim was to offer a children's and adult option every month. Tickets are £2.50 and there are refreshments - sponsored by the local supermarket Warner's Budgens. All who have come have enjoyed there night out at the movies - why don't you give it a try?

Posters for the next film are posted on the website, notice bards, Warner's Budgens, the Crawford Memorial Hall, the library and the Parish Council Office as well as being published in the local newspaper. If you need further information, please contact the Clerk on 778653. One small word of warning,, though - if you want to keep the Rural Cinema, then you have to use it!!

Buried under Bidford - this project which was very ably and enthusiastically, led by Christina Evans at WCC's Museum Dept. took place in and around Bidford-on-Avon and gave people the chance to experience some hands on archaeology and learn more about the heritage of the Bidford area. It included:

  • Fieldwalking
  • An archaeological comic for children
  • Training sessions on how to use documentary sources and how to identify archaeological items.

The project took place between February 2007 and ends next month and has brought together a number of residents interested in the history of Bidford. A number of Roman items have been found and we eagerly await to receive the final verdict!

In the meantime, the Parish Council is being donated all the display panels created for the project. The Parish Council would like these to be permanently displayed - however, there is no room either at the Parish council Office or the library and members would welcome ideas from residents.

Bidford Youth Action finally came into being in 2008, the columniation of many years of working together with various local groups, WCC, SDC, the school and churches, and Warwickshire Police and of taking forward the results of the Village Appraisal process begun in 2001. Bidford Youth Action is independent of the Council, although it has its support; its Chairman is P.C. Tony Lambert and the Treasurer is Di Bennett, who has dedicated many many years to the Youth Club (together with her two brothers James and Jezz plus Brian and Miranda who run the canoe section, due to the lack of volunteers). Its remit is to raise funds to improve the play facilities for the teenagers of the village.

It is currently looking into rebuilding the Youth Club as the present building is not fit for purpose, and to improving its facilities. It has received grants from WCC, SDC and the Parish Council to carry out the feasibility studies as well as for developing the strip of land at the rear of the Fire Station which WCC has leased to the Parish Council for a period of 10 years.

Bidford Youth Action recently held an event in the Parish Council Meeting Room where an 'intergeneration' film was shown - youngsters talking with the older generation of the village. The film, which was produced and edited by the youngsters was a great success.

As a means to minimize anti social behaviour in the village, the Parish Council would like to encourage more intergeneration projects, and is very grateful to Joanne Rooke, Community Engagement Officer at SDC for bringing Prof. Matt Kaplan, to this evening's meeting. Prof. Kaplan, is a member of the Beth Johnson Foundation which aims to support intergeneration practices, and has offered to carry out two work session on this subject in Bidford during June.

During 2007 we regrettably lost two councillors - Cllr. Smith and Cllr. Ms. Varga. The Council was very pleased with the response it got when it advertised the vacancies - 7 residents applied. Members met with the candidates and agreed to co-opt Cllrs. Hill and Williams, letting the others know there was an election on 1st May. I was, therefore, somewhat disappointed to learn no one, apart from the sitting members, had put their name down. So the current Parish Council remains unchanged and I can assure you it will continue to do its best to serve all the communities of Bidford-on-Avon, Barton, Broom and Marlcliff to the best of its ability.

Cllr. Mrs. Keeley
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
21 April 2008

Chairman's Report 2006/07

First of all, and once again, may I take this opportunity to both congratulate, and thank, all residents for achieving the Calor Warwickshire Village of the Year Award 2006. As you all know, this resulted in Bidford being automatically entered for the Regional and National Calor Village of the Year competition and the appropriate entry form was sent. Again, my thanks to all those that made it possible.

We have now been advised of the day when the judges of the competition will be arriving, Monday 23rd April - between 9.30 and 11.30 am. Let us hope that St. George and Will Shakespeare are looking kindly on us that day! I won't dwell too much more on this issue as the manner it which we present the village and its community to the judges is the main subject of this meeting and public participation is most definitely required!

Another important issue that has recently cropped up is the possibility of Bidford Fire Station being closed down. On being advised of this, the Parish Council immediately wrote to:

  • Cllr. Hobbs, Chairman of the Fire Service - Integrated Risk Management Plan Policy Panel
  • Cllr. Chattaway, Chairman of the Community Protection Overview and Scrutiny Committee
  • Chief Fire Officer William Brown
  • John Maples MP
  • Cllr. Barnes, our County Councillor, was sent copies.

The Parish Council attended the Community Protection Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting on Monday 5th February (the day before the Budget meeting) and put the following question to the Committee:

Can the Council give its assurances that, bearing in mind the number of station closures that have already been made in the South of the County, the Fire Service has carried out a full and detailed feasibility study of the consequences of closing down a further six stations, to ensure there are no knock on effects that will endanger the lives of the people of Warwickshire, and that a copy of this study will be made available for full and proper consultation and comment before any final decision is made.

The Parish Council added that the important, vital and essential work carried out by Bidford Fire Station had been proven on numerous occasions; that their attendance record was second to none and that Bidford-on-Avon would not accept the closing down of its fire station without a fight.

All this was noted, and I am happy to advise that a reprieve has been won. An independent review is to be carried out and presented to Warwickshire County Council in October for its consideration for the 2008/09 Budget. The Parish Council has already written to County Council advising them that it would like to be an active member of this independent review.

So, the fight is not over and it most probably will require the local community to act as one to ensure the survival of our local fire station. What we must look for, is a long time assurance as we do not wish to have to face this possibility every year - not even every 2 to 3 years.

Over the last year, the Parish Council has carried out a number of improvements throughout the village:

  • Benches by the War Memorial and by the bus stop
  • Cycle racks by the toilets
  • Car park facilities on the fields at the rear of Dugdale Avenue
  • Repaired the Big Meadow winter car park
  • Trees by the Marleigh Rd play area have had their canopies lifted as have the trees along the Big Meadow avenue
  • The Big Meadow fence along the Honeybourne Road has been renewed, old hedges and trees removed and a new hedge and trees planted
  • Ivy has been cleared from the St. Laurence church wall and the lime trees have had their canopies lifted
  • Underlay in the Big Meadow play area is being replaced
  • New bus shelter and bin on the Bidford Road, Broom
  • 5 streetlights have been replaced in line with the Council's rolling programme to renew the village's streetlights
  • Members of the Parish Paths Partnerships have been doing a lot of work clearing and renewing paths - hopefully many of you are already enjoying the results and more will do so when the good weather arrives
  • Parish Council surgeries are now taking place to give local residents the opportunity to discuss issues that concern them. They take place every 2/3 months on a Saturday morning at the Parish Council Meeting Room - opposite the library - and two members of the Parish Council will be there.

Do you want to be kept informed of what is going on in the village? Then visit the newly redesigned website.

You can also received news, agendas etc. by being part of the Village email group - just send an email to info@bidfordonavon-pc.gov.uk and you will be added to the list. Please note your email address will not be distributed to other parties.

The Open Space area at Millers Bank, Broom, was transferred to the Parish Council in November. One this was finalised, the Parish Council was in a position to start transferring the play area from Millers Bank - which the Parish Council had always opposed as the area is prone to flooding - to Kings Lane. At the same time, it was negotiating the renewal of the lease of this play are with Stratford-on-Avon District Council. In fact, these negotiations have been taking place over a number of years and with different District Council officers.

Members had hoped that, when Heads of Terms were agreed and approved by Committee in October 2006, the contract could be signed before the end of the year. Regrettably, despite a draft contract being sent by District Council, it now appears the whole thing will have to await until the Environment Department carry out a survey as part of the Council's Inspection Strategy to identify land which may be 'contaminated land' as defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Including monitoring, this will take up to seven months - so, to the great concern of members of the Parish Council, there is a further delay in the installation of a play area in Broom. I can confirm, that members are doing everything possible to see if a conclusion to this issue can be found as quickly as possible. But please remember that the Parish Council has to act responsibly.

Midsummer Gardens was finally adopted on 1st February 2007, and street lighting is now the responsibility of the Parish Council - so any lights that are not working, please contact the Clerk on 778653.

To date, no further news on when the development on Friday Furlong will start, but it is hoped it will be sometime in April.

Finally, don't forget that the Minerals Development Framework is still proceeding. Details of how it is progressing, what you can do etc. can be found on the Parish Council's website.

Cllr. Mrs. Keeley
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
5 March 2007

Chairman's Report 2005/06

It is hard to believe it is a year since we agreed to fight the Broom Farm Sand and Gravel Planning Application and I am very pleased to be able to stand here today and say how successful we were. A major part of this success is owed to the many residents who wrote to county Council stating their objections - over 500 letters were received - an impressive number I must say - and to the hard work carried out by members of BARG who ensured no stone was left unturned in their efforts to stop the development.

And now we have just started the next process which is the Mineral Development Framework which will set down the plans until 2016. The consultation period has already started with a road show, organised by WCC, having taken place on Friday 10th March at the Crawford Hall. Due to the very natural interest this item has for all of us, the council is constantly keeping its website updated - any information you may need can be found on the Bidford-on-Avon Council website under the heading Minerals Plan or by using the direct link to WCC.

The Parish Council is playing a very pro active role in this matter and welcomes any comments, information etc. from all members of the community. It has already completed and sent the first questionnaire and some members will be attending the workshop on Saturday 29th April.

Residents from Broom will have noticed little work carried out by the bridge - this is due to work having been halted following the investigation of the Environment Agency and will not restart until the new license has been obtained. The Parish Council is keeping in touch with County Council regarding the existing Marsh Farm extraction and will advise of any developments.

And talking of Broom, I hope residents have noticed the new 'camera enforcement warnings' which have recently been put up, following the request by a number of residents at a meeting last year that speed monitoring was what they wanted.

And still staying with Broom, congratulations to the hard working Broom Village Hall Committee who has successfully raised enough money to bring the project of a new village hall to fruition. The Parish Council will continue to support them as best it can and urges all the people of Broom to make sure the hall is a huge success.

The Crawford Memorial Hall Committee have also been successful in obtaining a Biffaward which will be used to build a toilet and kitchen extension to the rear thus improving the facilities of the rear rooms, the users of which will no longer have to traverse the hall to go to the loo or make a cup of coffee!

Earlier in the year, the Parish Council joined the Parish Paths Partnership, known as P3 - a partnership between the Parish and County Council to both help raise awareness of the footpaths in the parish and maintain them. A dedicated group of volunteers meet once a month in the Crawford Hall, under the enthusiastic leadership of Jason Norledge. They have already tackled The Pleck and done an excellent job and other footpaths will soon follow.

More volunteers are always welcome - look at the notice boards for notice regarding the next meeting and keep abreast of any progress made on the Parish Council's website where the P3 have a dedicated site with all the up to date news, minutes etc.

The Parish Council has finalised negotiations with County Council for the transfer of the playing fields at the rear of Dugdale Avenue. The transfer became final on 13th February 2006. The Parish Council was very keen to take on the responsibility of this land to ensure it is not used for further housing development - instead the intention is for the field to continue being used as a sports field and the Amenities and Play Area Working Group will be looking at ways the area can be used for the benefit of all the residents of the village - any ideas from residents are most welcome.

Currently the field is being used by 7 a side football teams - the older, 11 a side teams having recently moved to the Big Meadow, together with the Sports Association, where a new pitch was marked out for their use.

The Council is also very pleased to note that the basket ball court is being well used.

Approval for the building of 150 dwellings, a nursing home and medical centre has now been passed by SDC, subject to legal agreement. It is hoped this will be the last major development in the village - at the same time the Parish Council would remind the community that it is not the planning authority - District Council is. However, the Parish Council does recognize it has a duty to its residents to curtail any unsustainable development and it can assure you that it will make every effort to do so. In this respect, may I again request residents to send the clerk copies of any correspondence they have with District Council concerning planning to ensure the Parish Council is aware of any opposition or support.

It is hoped that Midsummer Gardens will soon be adopted by County Council - this will mean the Parish Council taking over the responsibility of the street lights of this development as the lighting authority.

One of the main causes of concern in the village in the last months has been the growing amount of anti social behaviour and vandalism throughout the village. Members of the community have written to the council, or visited the clerk at the parish office, complaining about these. Although this is not within the powers of the Parish Council, it does recognize the problems and has contacted the Police Insp. at Alcester, Emma Walton and has held a meeting with her and other officers to discuss this growing problem and what can be done about it. As you can imagine, there is no instant solution to this problem but be assured the Parish Council is doing all it can to help the police tackle it. You can also help by contacting the police whenever you see incidents of anti social behaviour taking place.

Cllr. Mrs. Keeley
Chairman of Bidford-on-Avon Parish Council
19 April 2006

County Councillor Reports

 

Annual Parish Meetings

The reports on this page are delivered by the Chairman of the Parish Council at our Annual Parish Meeting, which usually takes place in April/May each year.

The date of our next Annual Parish Meeting can be seen on our Council Meetings page.