This report details some of the many issues Wymeswold Parish Council has been concerned with in the last year:
Wymeswold Playing Field and Sports Pavilion
The building work to upgrade, modernise and extend the sports pavilion on the Burton Lane playing field is nearing completion. With funding from Sport England, Biffa Award, Leicestershire County Council, Charnwood Borough Council, the Rempstone Steam and Country Show, Wymeswold Running Club, Wymeswold CC and Wymeswold FC the £80,000 project has been virtually fully-funded, with the Parish Council having covered the costs of the architect’s fees and planning permission. The completed facility will be available for a variety of both sporting and non-sporting uses, so we hope it will be a great asset to the community.
Church Street Splitter Island
For some years there have been problems with HGVs using Church Street despite it being in the weight-restricted zone, leading to the vehicles being unable to negotiate the tight corners. To help combat the problem, the Parish Council lobbied County Council Highways and a ‘splitter island’ has been installed at the top of the street. It is recognised that it has solved some of these problems but not all, so improved signage will be installed at the bottom of Church Street.
The Parish Council wishes to thank the Washdyke Association for its success in developing this superb civic amenity area. The Association will now be winding down its activities and the continued management of the Washdyke will be passed to the Parish Council, which already covers the cost of mowing, insurance, safety inspections and hedge trimming.
Mowing and paths
The Parish Council has now taken on full responsibility for mowing and maintaining areas of the village such as highways, paths, churchyard, cemetery, playing field, Washdyke and around the Memorial Hall. Much of this work was previously done by Leicestershire County Council, but the service levels were due to be reduced and the Parish Council was offered the chance to take over maintaining these areas with a level of subsidy from the County Council. We feel that the new arrangements will provide a better standard of care in the village as areas should be mown more regularly than previously. There is, unfortunately, a financial implication for this which is why the Parish Council had to increase its annual precept slightly – the first increase since 2009.
Wysall Lane / East Road junction
The Parish Council recognises that there are safety issues for both pedestrians and motorists at this busy junction and continues to lobby the County Council over proposed improvements. A traffic survey was commissioned by Leics CC in September of last year, which has given us valuable evidence of the number of vehicles and HGVs using this busy stretch of road.
There was a question over the future viability of Wymeswold Pharmacy but after some active campaigning and representations we are delighted to report that the Pharmacy has been awarded a new support contract by NHS England. The Parish Council made submissions to both the County Council and NHS over this issue and was able to provide valuable evidence of its usage following last year’s village survey. Thank you to everyone who took time to submit the consultation document and help to secure the future of this important village service.
The Parish Council was able to make a grant to the Parochial Church Council to help with improved lighting along the path through the churchyard.
Planning and development
The Parish Council is consulted by Charnwood Borough Council over all new planning applications within the parish. Obviously there is currently much concern over the large-scale developments being proposed on the edge of the village, but the Parish Council will continue to represent the views of our residents to the Borough Council.
The Parish Council was delighted to fund the provision of the bronze plaque at the entrance to the Hall, remembering those of the parish who fell during both World Wars. The plaque was unveiled at a special ceremony on Remembrance Sunday. The Parish Council was also able to provide a grant towards the replacement of the windows in the Hall. We thank the trustees of the Memorial Hall for their time and help in providing such a wonderful facility for the village.
In June of last year the Parish Council conducted a survey of the use of facilities and services in the village. This provided invaluable evidence regarding car usage, which helped us in submissions regarding Wymeswold Pharmacy and also the recent large-scale planning developments. We thank everyone who took time to complete the survey and also the Leicestershire Rural Community Council who analysed the results and produced the report.
Parish Council communication
Apart from regular updates in the ‘Christian Link’, the Loughborough Echo and on the notice board, news from the Parish Council is updated on the village website www.wymeswold.com and also on the Parish Council website http://www.leicestershireparishcouncils.org/wymeswold/.
This report marks the end of the four-year term of office of the current Parish Council. When nominations for the election of a new council closed in April only five candidates had stood for the seven positions available. We will therefore seek to co-opt two new Parish Councillors in the coming weeks.
In the meantime we welcome Lesley Blount to the Parish Council, as well as offering our thanks and best wishes to Councillors Shaun Bokor, Ken Barratt and John Davies, who have stood down.
Ken Barratt has served sixteen years as a councillor and it was with great pleasure that we were able to present Ken with some garden centre vouchers to say ‘thank you’ from the village for all his service over the years.
I hope this summary gives you an outline of some of the many issues we cover as a Parish Council. There are also many other matters regularly dealt with every year including street cleaning, highway maintenance, potholes and rubbish removal.
Parishioners are welcome to attend the regular monthly meetings, usually held on the first Monday of the month at 7.15pm in the Memorial Hall. All contact details are advertised on the Parish Council notice board in the Stockwell, as are the agenda and minutes of the most recent meeting, together with any other relevant information.
As we reach the end of this four-year term I would like to thank my fellow members of the Parish Council – Ken Barratt, Shaun Bokor, Adrian Cooke, John Davies, Jo Ling and Sarah Sturmey – for all their support and hard work over the past year. It has been an honour to chair Wymeswold Parish Council for the last eight years and I look forward to serving the village again for a further four years.
I would also like to record our thanks to our County Councillor, Cllr Richard Shepherd, for his help and advice over numerous matters with the County Council, and similarly to our Borough Councillor, Cllr Jenny Bokor, who also liaises with us over issues with Charnwood BC.
Finally I wish to thank the Parish Clerk, Alice Gardam, for all her excellent work in support of the Council.
Chairman, Wymeswold Parish Council
11th May 2015