Nether Alderley Parish Council Chair’s Report May 2016

I think it is fair to say that when I joined the Parish Council in 2011 I had no idea of all the issues that affected such a small parish. I soon realised just how busy a year in the life of the Parish Council could be and my first year as Chair has been no exception.

The year started with an election process for all Councillors and with the resignation of 2 highly esteemed Councillors – Alan Clarke as Chairman and Sandra Reynolds – both of whom had been long term Councillors. As a result we were able to welcome 2 new Councillors – Yvonne Bentley and Jacquie Wilkinson who joined the team and have worked hard in their first year in many areas.

Apart from all the usual general duties involved in the running of the Parish Council there have been in excess of 30 planning applications that have come before us during the course of the year but of course the most significant application for the Parish was the outline application for the development of Alderley Park. During the course of 2015 there were many on-going discussions and presentations between the Parish Council and Bruntwood/MSP and the community. As everyone will be aware by now an outline planning permission has been granted and as part of that permission we were able to secure a significant amount of money via a S106 contribution for the benefit of the Parish Hall and for this we are very grateful. This has enabled us to address the issue of the refurbishment required to the Parish Hall in order to make our community facility fit for purpose for the next generation. The hall is owned in part by the Parish Council and in part by the Church and a working group has been formed to progress a plan of action. Although we have a very good start money wise with the S106 money we will need to secure additional funding but it is a very exciting project for the Parish. Members of the Bruntwood team are continuing to help us with the project and we welcome their contribution and their involvement as new members of our growing community and the Parish Council looks forward to working with them in the future. We also welcome members of the community to join the working group who can bring valuable skills that we will require.

As a result of the Parish Plan that we produced in 2014 we are pushing very hard for road safety and highways improvements particularly along the stretch of the old A34 by the school. A sub group of the Parish Plan – Safety and Security which is headed by Martyn Bale – has continued to work tirelessly over the last 12 months and together with the School, Cheshire East Highways department are much closer to getting road safety measures put in place. The first signs of this will be that Welsh Row and Sand Lane will have a speed reduction to 40 miles per hour, and the school will benefit from a 20 mph restriction with appropriate lighting at school times which hopefully should be in place within the next 6 weeks. Further measures are being looked at such as speed cameras, road markings etc and we will keep the parish up to date with these as and when. There is a willingness from all parties involved to develop a scheme that will provide safety for user of the school and the roads of the Parish and I am sure everyone will welcome this. I would like to thank Martyn for all his efforts in helping to make our parish safer, and the officers from Cheshire East for their support.

Whilst on the subject of road safety I would like to give a special thanks to our Ward Councillor George Walton for his continuing efforts, and indeed his achievement of getting the speed limits on all the main roads in the area reduced to a 50 mile per hour. This has been a complicated project but is now in place and hopefully it will make our main roads much safer for travel not only in Nether Alderley but throughout his ward. George works very closely with us as a Parish Council, he attends nearly all our meetings and I thank him for his input and support on many of the projects that we are involved with for the benefit of our community.

Another sub group of the Parish Plan is the Pride of Nether Alderley Group which continues to help keep the parish looking clean and tidy with regular road sign washing and litter picking sessions over all the Parish. The last session was done in conjunction with the national Clean for the Queen campaign to celebrate the Queens 90th birthday. Photos of the event can be seen on our website and I would like to thank all the members of the group for their efforts. It is an extremely friendly and enthusiastic group and if anyone would like to join in and give a couple of hours litter picking the reward is lunch at the Wizard afterwards. The group was responsible for the planting of the daffodil bulbs in 2014 and I think you will all agree that they have been a great display again this year and cheer up the Parish for us all no end.

Another area that we are well on with improving is the Nether Alderley roundabout. We have had many discussions as to how we can enhance this and add colour. Again Highways and Cheshire East are working with us and hopefully in the next couple of months we should be able to see the beginnings of the improvements. The plan is to remove the trees, mound the soil and reseed the grass in the first instance. We have heard very recently that Bruntwood/ MSP have offered to work alongside us to bring this roundabout to life and to help with the on-going maintenance and their involvement will be much appreciated. We are very grateful for the co-operation and help that the Highways department at Cheshire East is giving to help us achieve our goal to improve this landmark which we see as a Gateway to our rural parish.

Last year we took delivery of a 3 year old Yew tree sapling derived from a 1000 year old tree as part of the Conservation Foundation in commemoration of the Magna Carta ‘I love yew’ campaign. This has now been planted in the new burial ground and more details and photos are on our website. As many of you will know our burial ground has been maintained and tended by Norman Moore for many years now and I would like to give a special thanks to him on behalf of the Council for all his hard work and efforts. The burial ground is maintained to a very high standard that is much appreciated by both the Parish Council, the Church and all the relatives who visit their loved ones.

I can also report that the Parish Council has now officially adopted the telephone kiosk at the bottom of Bradford Lane. This again has been a lengthy and drawn out process but we are finally there. Future use for the kiosk has not yet been determined but it is good that we have been able to acquire it for the future and heritage of the Parish.

The Parish Council gave a contribution towards a defibrillator that has been purchased by and based at the Primary School and is available for the benefit of the community. I believe that there will be the opportunity for the community to receive training and education on how to use it in the near future.

Over many years we have watched the workings of Mere Farm Sand Quarry which have now been completed and the five year restoration and landscaping programme has begun. The Parish Council has had a representative on the Liaison Committee which has kept us up to date with it’s progress and has given a platform to address any issues that have arisen. We understand that this area is to become a nature reserve when fully restored.

Our Clerk Penny continues to operate and maintain the updating of our website and we aim to be able to give you as much information as possible via this and our noticeboards. We also have a database of email addresses that we can use for Parish updates and of course we welcome more names to join this list. I would like to thank her for all the input that this requires and to anyone who has sent articles or photos for the benefit of us all.

The Parish Council has decided to take part in Operation Shield that has been introduced to us by Knutsford Police Force. This is a home security marking system and although we are in the early stages of being able to make this available to the Parish we have taken delivery of an initial amount of packs to enable us to present this scheme to all residents in the near future should they wish to take part.

Another organisation that has been introduced and presented to us very recently is a Foundation called Life Links who provide personal help to adults in the community in areas where they need a little help. More information about this organisation can be found on our website and notice boards.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Parish Councillors who work alongside me and have worked hard in what I think you will agree has been a very busy year in the life of the Parish. There has been an enormous amount of meetings over the last year and all the Councillors have represented the Council in many ways and without their input and hard work we would not be able to achieve all the projects that we have on-going. They have given me a great deal of support in my first year as Chair and for this I am very grateful.

Penny our Clerk continues to work and guide us in all aspects of the running of the Parish Council and has also been a tremendous support to me over the past year. It is with great sadness that I have to report that Penny will be leaving us in July. She has been the Clerk for 13 years and I am sure that all past Chairman and Councillors as well as the present ones would like to join me in thanking her for all that she has done for us and for the Parish during her time with us. She will be greatly missed but of course we wish her all the best for the future.

Thank you

Jenny Shufflebottom

If you are a resident of Nether Alderley and would like to be included on the mailing list, to receive occasional communications from the Parish Council about local matters, please e-mail the Clerk: clerk.napc@btinternet.com

16. May, 2016Latest News Comments Off on Nether Alderley Parish Council Chair’s Report, 2016