Thurlton Parish Council AGM and Parish Meeting 9th May 2011
Chairperson’s Annual Report
Heather Longman welcomed all and introduced the new council, six of us remain in post, with one change as Mike Saunders has decided to stand down. We thank Mike for his contribution to the work of the Parish Council and welcome our new councilor, Martin Ball.
At our AGM the following were elected, (myself as Chair and Simon Hannant as Vice Chair). Jack Berry has served as Vice Chair for the last (4) years and is now standing down as he says, “I am nearly eighty years old, so perhaps it is time for someone younger to step in”. We thank him for his work as vice-chair and look forward to his continuing contribution to the council.
Financial Report 2010/2011: Administration £3000 including our Clerks wages (£1850) and the production of 10 monthly newsletters. Council Insurance was £1200. Maintenance of the Playing Field etc £1400. Capital Expenditure, £750. The precept for 2011/2012 remains the same at £6000.
What we have achieved over the year
It has been a busy and successful year. The affordable local housing has been completed and is fully occupied. Phase 4 of the playing field renovation project, the long awaited children’s play area, has been installed. Our thanks go to the Playing Field Association and all those who have supported the project and worked towards this achievement. The benches outside the pub and opposite the shop and post office have been replaced, planters installed and paving laid and fencing replaced around the playing field. Our heartfelt thanks go to Paul Arnold for the supply of the equipment and materials for these areas, and to all those who worked so hard to install it. The total expenditure for all of these was £600. The rear boundary to the field was cleared of dead trees and scrub growth by a large team of volunteers, and we thank them for their hard work. Following requests from residents during the very icy winter months, we have also provided two further grit bins on College Road and Hampton Avenue.
Other projects we have supported
Nicki wishes to remain in the Post Office but doesn’t want to run the shop any longer. The steering group are currently forming a community interest company and will be offering shares to those who wish to become a part of their community shop.
Community Composting Scheme
We applied successfully for a grant to develop our own community composting scheme in Thurlton
We have transferred responsibility for the management of the allotments to those who use them. The Allotment Association will oversee the allotments and decide on future improvements.
An EU Youth in Action supported exchange is being arranged this year between four EU countries; Spain, Latvia, Slovenia and UK, the first being in Catalonia in Spain, from 26th June to 3rd July, flying from Norwich to Barcelona. Spain has successfully applied for funding for this project so we are still looking for up to six participants between 14-25 years old. The project will run for four years, (five if Moldova gains membership and can be involved), and one of the years we will be the host country. It is a great opportunity to make friends from other rural areas in Europe and over the years up to thirty young people from the Thurlton area could participate in the project.
Plans for this coming year
We plan to finalise the playing field renovation project this year, install access paths, further fencing near the village hall, sign and notice boards and more benches. After ten years of involvement with this project, I now wish to take a back seat after the field is completed. It is a great facility in this small community and future generations will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. I think it would be good if those parents of the children who use the field, (and the children themselves), got involved in the Playing Field Association which was set up to raise funds for the installations and also continue to raise an annual sum to contribute
towards the funding needed for maintenance, insurance, repairs or replacement and future equipment that may be wanted, (adult outdoor gym?).
We will continue to support the steering groups for the Community Shop and the steering group looking at the future of the Church Room.
We will progress the Community Composting scheme, supporting the steering group who will be setting this up.
Parish Plan Update
We will re-visit the Parish Plan through small steering groups and ‘kitchen table’ discussions. The steering groups will be Parish Councillors and other interested residents and each group will look at different topics; Roads and road safety, Access to services, care and jobs, Leisure and recreation and Youth community engagement. The results of the discussions will be brought back to the Parish Council who will hold an open day so that all residents can come and view the proposals for the 2011/12 Parish Plan. If anyone has other ideas or wishes to become part of any of the steering groups please contact us.
Finally I would like to thank all those who have helped the Parish Council over the past year. Kate Cox, our playing field warden, who works diligently to keep the playing field clean and safe, Paul Arnold, for the enormous amount of money he has saved us by supplying re-cycled goods such as fencing, planters and benches, Martin Ball, who patrols and keeps clean our streets and all the other people who regularly turn up at working parties and put in several hours of hard graft. Special thanks must go to our hard-working Clerk, Chris Cook, who, as well as the normal Parish Clerk duties, produces the monthly newsletter, makes grant applications, seeks out resources for the various projects that we are involved in and turns up at all the working parties. Without him, this Parish Council would not have been able to achieve all that it has done over the past year.