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Annual Report 2013~14

WINSTRED HUNDRED PARISH COUNCIL CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT 2013/14

Personnel

2013 has been a relatively stable year in terms of personnel

In Peldon:  Charles Dymond became Vice Chair in 2013 and thank you to Jane Banks who retired from the Parish Council in 2014 ;  Wigboroughs: Jinny Gale, Phil Gladwin, Salcott: Netty Knill-Jones, Lynne Simmons and Andy Beharrell as councillor for Virley and I am very grateful to the whole team for their support and continued hard work for the Parish.

Thanks

We are supported by many in the Parish who give their time to their community, those who do regular and occasional work for us. Our Borough and County Councillors Andrew Ellis, Terry Sutton, Kevin Bentley and John Jowers for keeping us up to speed with wider issues and our colleagues from Essex Police who have regularly turned up to our meetings to report on crime and Speed Watch  results in the area.

We are particularly pleased when our local residents take an interest and come to the meetings bringing ideas and local issues which gives focus to our work. Many actively support in looking after the Parish voluntarily – clearing ditches, cutting hedges, unblocking drains, clearing after flooding and grass cutting.

Our local Zone wardens have been attending most of our meetings and have been a very effective quick response team helping to clear rubbish from ditches, report and assist in prosecution of fly tippers, dog fouling patrols, cutting overgrown areas and linking closely with the community.

A personal thanks from the Chair who has been so well supported by our hardworking Clerk Sue Pullen. Her work load has increased with many more reports from County, Borough and outside agencies – NHS, Voluntary Sector etc all sending more information to the Clerk by email which Sue then has to filter. All those who have had the responsibility of the Chair will realise how much help and information is given by the Clerk, her local knowledge is invaluable.

Finances

The Council has had the benefit of financial worksheets drawn up monthly by our clerk. We continue to scrutinise all expenditure due to the tightening budget as a direct result of CBC withdrawing most of the revenue grant. The accounts have been internally audited and are currently with the external auditor. Thank you to Steve Copeland for his assistance.

Planning

One of the significant changes this year has been the change to electronic viewing of local planning applications which is more difficult to view large scale applications and for everyone to access a computer. This year we have commented on over 25 local applications and would encourage residents to continue to make their views known to us.

Play Areas

These continue to be well managed by Terry Simmons (Salcott) and Barry Gooding (Peldon) and are inspected regularly. The play area at Salcott has improved following the addition of rubber chippings last year and this is also planned for Peldon in the near future. The younger residents helped chose 2 new pieces of Play equipment in Peldon, these were funded using grants – S106 (planning gain) money and Cory Environmental Trust. It is a sad fact that we still suffer from dog fouling and occasional vandalism in these areas.

Broadband initiative.

A huge amount of work has been carried out with particular thanks to John Walker enabled a very successful launch to go ahead in early 2014 and many of us are now benefiting from faster speeds!

Other Activities

Councillors have continued to attend meetings of the Essex Wildlife Trust; the Abberton Reservoir Liaison Group which includes the Abberton Reservoir community fund – Phil Gladwin continues to put a lot of work into this committee on our behalf.

Abberton Reservoir Rights of Way Committee.  Wigborough Village Hall Committee both Jinny Gale and Phil Gladwin are our representatives and the Colchester Association of Local Councils is regularly attended.

There is very close linking between ourselves, Colchester Borough Council and The Environment Agency focusing on resolving local flooding issues.

The clerk attends the Clerk’s forum.

Jinny Gale runs an excellent email service to the residents.

The team continually takes information from our residents forward – reporting on potholes, speeding, litter, missing/broken signs/play equipment and problem areas.

The Parish Council is made up of elected representatives who volunteer their time and support for the residents and parish of Winstred Hundred, I have been very grateful for their help and support.

Nicky Ellis

[Click next for Financial Statements]

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