ENMO ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2018/19
Jane Carson May 2019
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Although we have yet to complete all the projects which we have started this year, never- the- less, it has been an accomplished year.
Most notably, after the disruptions which we experienced in the previous two years in our clerking procedures, we have introduced order to our records, and have fully adapted to the digital communications now used throughout by government bodies.
Our website has been updated and is able to fulfil our obligations for the national regulations regarding public notices. We are indebted to Liz Clement of Clement Media Design for carrying this out and for the extra support which she has willingly given to our Clerk. I hope you agree that its standard compares well to that of other parishes. We would also like to thank ‘Rocket Sites’ of Carlisle for acting as our reliable host provider.
We have moved to online banking with the Cumberland Building Society where we have retained two accounts, current and savings. The older account has been closed. The system is now working well after some initial confusion.
This year, our accounting procedures as regards AGAR (Annual Governance and Accounting Return) have been completed well ahead of the deadline and audited by Julie Hartley, acting as our internal auditor. We would like to thank her for her guidance. It is expected that we will be given exemption from having to submit the accounts to the national auditing firm, as was the case in the previous financial year.
The above procedures make our Parish Council one which is ‘fit for purpose’ and which should carry us forward in good shape for the next few years.
We have managed to improve the Parish Council’s ‘furniture’, though there are still some outstanding refurbishments to complete. Cllr Graves has put in considerable effort (even wielding his spade and mixing some concrete with a neighbour) to acquire and install a new notice board at Broughton Beck. We have also just managed to have a new notice board of better quality installed at Arrad Foot to replace the previous one which was collapsing. These were both acquired using the funds from the savings account.
We have had a mysterious disappearance of the old, somewhat dangerously positioned, bench which stood in the verge at the ‘T’ junction between the Arrad Foot to Pennybridge road and the road to Milk Stand Wood. Mike Wood of Longbow Forestry has kindly offered to supply us with a new one which he is able to craft from a tree trunk. This will be placed opposite to the wood occupied by him, near the speed limit sign at the top of Pennybridge Hill. This is where we had intended to reposition the missing bench.
Ongoing ‘works’ include the light in the old telephone box at Rosside. We anticipate that this will be carried out during this month. At Spark Bridge, where we investigated the possibility of creating a playground at the request of some residents, it was eventually decided that there was not sufficient interest. However, refurbishment of the two benches on the green near the bridge will be carried out shortly, and a further picnic table added to the site. We are also in the process of acquiring a defibrillator for the village. Cllr Anne Burrow has organised a number of fund raising events; altogether, the village residents have raised £1,062 and with a further £500 donation from District Councillor Butcher’s fund and another £500 donations agreed by the PC in the 2017/18 financial year, the total for the defibrillator fund stands at £2,062.
At Greenodd, the two new lighting poles for the path from the Village Hall are about to be delivered, and they will then be fitted with solar panels and lights. We would like to thank Cllr Campbell for his persistence during the year in this matter. The Parish Council had also hoped to purchase and install new signs for the village traders to replace the potentially dangerous individual ones placed on the green triangle as at present. However, we have discovered that this land is still owned by the Regional Highways Authority which limits the type of sign we are allowed to install. We hope that we will be able to purchase the land and then erect the signs of our choice to guide those coming through Greenodd to our shops.
With persistence from some of the Greenodd residents, we have, after many years, succeeded in getting the County Council to take action regarding the legalisation of the ‘Bridleway Open to All Vehicles’ which will allow access for vehicles from the Main Street to the slipway on the River Crake. This is particularly important for the rescue vehicles. The final legal hurdle should be completed in the next few weeks. Our thanks go to those few determined residents and to Cllr Campbell.
Our other long-standing legal anomaly, that of the Council’s land ownership at Rosside, which came about during the amalgamation of the parishes, is also in the process of being resolved. We have received legal advice from SLDC that this can be rectified by an application to the Land Registry who should be agreeable to the change of ownership from the old Osmotherly Parish Council.
Due to the mild weather this Winter, the highways have remained in reasonable condition. There was a large water leak through the tarmac on the hill at Arrad Foot, which gave rise to concern during a cold period. This has been repaired and the entire hill resurfaced. We would like to thank County Cllr Willis and staff at the Barrow Office of the County Highways Dpt for their diligence.
After a number of quiet years, the number of planning applications coming before the Parish Council has markedly increased. The result of the Appeal against the decision of the Planning Committee of South Lakeland District on the Kirkby Moor Wind Farm will shortly be made public. Also ongoing are the meetings being held by a group of parishes calling themselves ‘The Southern Boundary Partnership’. They are working with the Lake District National Park to investigate the possibility of extending the boundary of the Park in a south westerly direction. Although we had intended to partake in these meetings, it became clear that such participation would be interpreted as our Parish wishing to become part of the National Park. The Parish Council did not consider that it had a mandate for this. At some future date, there will be a formal application and process in which residents of the Parish will have the opportunity to discuss the possibility of an extension.
One of the successful applications this year has come from the Greenodd Croquet Club, which will be undergoing a major refurbishment. The PC has contributed £500 to its refurbishment fund.
This will be Sally’s last meeting with the Parish Council. Her first few months with us were not easy, partly due to missing bills and documents from the previous few months, and also because of complications arising with the Government’s PAYE system. CALC cancelled their course for new Clerks which we had anticipated being there to give Sally information on basic council procedures. We had hoped that, having survived and learnt through this first year, she would remain as our Clerk, but she was not persuadable. We thank her for all her work; I know that as councillors, you have found her responsive and helpful. Sally will remain in post until the end of May, by which time we hope that we may have a replacement. We wish her all the best for the future.
I would also like to thank Cllr Sheila Hobson for rescuing us once again with Minute taking at the meeting in January whilst Sally was absent attending to her father. She also took the Minutes for the AGMs in 2018. As the Council members know, due to poor legal advice, the election procedures were not carried out as we had anticipated, which resulted in 3 prospective councillors standing in the Osmotherly ward for 2 seats, and not enough councillors to fill all 6 seats in the Egton part of the Parish Council. Cllr Hobson has proved to be a dedicated and constructive councillor and I hope that she will stand for co option onto the Council again.
Finally, we have two Councillors retiring this year; Anne Burrow, our Chairman in 2016/17 and myself. Our places are being filled by two new councillors; Rebecca Thomas from Broughton Beck and Colin Richards from Spark Bridge . I’m sure that Anne will join me in wishing them a fulfilling time on the council.
I would like to thank you all for the support and contributions which each of you have made to the PC. Some of you began your service on the council in tentative fashion and it has been a joy to observe the growing enthusiasm as your experience has grown. I believe that our joint parishes are well served by this council, and I wish you every success in the future.
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