Chairman’s Report – Parish Council AGM, May 2008

The main and most rewarding thing to report is the successful appeal against the tip at Maw Green.  This took a lot of time and patience from so many people and the Action Group gave their all to make sure this plan for the tip did not go ahead.  Thanks are due to all concerned and Councillors Lee Allen and John Hammond who attended the Inquiry every day on behalf of the Parish Council.  As you will know a presentation has been made to Gary Kwant in appreciation of all the hard work he put into making a hard and fast case to ensure the outcome was in the interest of the parishioners.  Thanks are also extended to Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council for making the money available to employ the very best barrister for us.

We are now trying to get the area taken out of the Waste Plan for Cheshire and Councillors David Brickhill and John Hammond are keeping a very close eye on this for us.

Unfortunately we have had our fair share of vandalism during the year with the bus shelters and Christmas Tree taking the lions share of this extremely anti-social behaviour.  The Playing Field at the Gutterscroft has been an area for underage drinking and we hope that now the parish has been declared an Alcohol Free Zone this problem will decrease if not eliminated altogether and bring some relief to the residents who have put up with noise etc for some time.  The people who exercise their dogs on the playing field are also a problem as there is clearly a sign saying ‘no dogs’.  Also the number of dog owners allowing their dogs to foul the pavements and not picking up their excrement seems to be on the increase.  As this is a potential health hazard this practise is extremely selfish. 

Councillor Betts was instrumental in forming a Committee to be responsible for the Parish Plan.  The Walking for Health on Tuesdays is very successful and there is now a web site I was to liaise with two members of the committee with the intention of putting more play equipment on the playing field, and I really wanted the equipment in situ for this summer.  Unfortunately this has not happened to date and I feel that it is important to press ahead with this as soon as possible and essentially before next April when the new Authority comes into being.

I, along with Councillors Chris Betts and Lee Allen, walked part of the village with a representative of Cheshire County Council to share out concerns at the state of the roads and footpaths.  Unfortunately our concerns did not, in many cases, meet the criteria for repairs but we will keep this matter at the forefront when Roads and Footpaths are discussed at out monthly meetings.  I have been in contact on numerous occasions with the County Council regarding the unsatisfactory state they have left one of the ends of the markers of the parking bay at Brook Terrace.  They have promised action but to date nothing has been done.

The Best Kept Garden Competition goes from strength to strength and although many frontages are now paved over, the keen gardeners of the Parish make life difficult for the judges as their gardens get more spectacular.  The prize giving for the winners takes part in September and this is a very enjoyable night for all concerned.

The Remembrance Sunday services were very well attended and thanks are extended to all the organisations who make these very moving and respectful events.  Also the Carol Service that took place on the Village Green was a success and thanks are given to the Red Cross for allowing the use of their hut for the refreshments after the service and to the Rotary Club for bringing Father Christmas to see the children.

PC Nick Moor and PCSO Mike Hubbard are looking into setting up a Youth Club for young people in the area.  This has the full backing of the Parish Council and we hope this will get off the ground very soon.  Councillor Chris Betts has been assisting PCSO Hubbard in the speed watch in Haslington and Winterley.  We have asked for a Smiley Sid speed indicator but this has had to be put on hold for the time being as apparently Smiley Sids needed to be recalled for renovation.

My thanks are also extended to Richard Hovey for this very thorough and fair way he deals with planning applications and for taking on the responsibility for the Finance.

Finally, the accounts for the year 2006/2007 are available for inspection.