Salford Priors Parish Council
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT 2021-2022
It gives me great pleasure to give the Parish Council Chairman’s report.
This Annual Report covers the work of Salford Priors Parish Council for the period commencing 1st April 2021 and ending 31st March 2022.
The last two years of the Covid 19 pandemic have been a challenge to us all but I am pleased to say that during this current year circumstances have gradually improved. We look forward to a return to normality that, for us as a Parish Council includes a return to face to face meetings.
Our last Zoom Parish Council meeting was held in May 2021 and since then all have been held in the Memorial Hall as normal. The experience of virtual meetings during Covid was novel and by no means negative and we will continue to use Zoom virtual meetings for our Working Groups. The Council is aware of the effects that Covid 19 has had on our communities and is grateful for the efforts made by all those key workers, volunteers, and many others, who have contributed to help the residents of our Parish in these difficult times.
Once again, I wish to thank my fellow councillors for the amount of work they carry out to make sure your council runs smoothly and well. They don’t just turn up once a month for a Parish Council meeting but undertake a lot of background work attending working group meetings, representing the council on outside bodies, studying planning applications and carrying out various tasks around the parish. My thanks also go to Mrs Donna Bowles, our Parish Clerk, for continuing to run the Council’s affairs with great professionalism, care and diligence. Donna has been especially helpful and supportive to me, as Chairman, for which I am extremely grateful. This has ensured the smooth running of parish business and has been key to the success of the Parish Council.
During the year three councillors have resigned – Cllr Tom Neale, Cllr Tony Shale and Cllr Clive Hickman and I would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication during their time in office. These vacancies, including a vacancy from the previous year, have been filled and we welcomed Cllrs Satpal Singh, Dave Price, James Meakins and Tracy Holdback onto the Parish Council.
The Parish Council held nine Ordinary Meetings (one by Zoom) and the precept for the year 2022/2023 has been set at £55,000. This is a reduction of £10,000 on the previous year and has been possible without reducing the level of services provided by the parish council. I think you will agree that in these times of unprecedented rising living costs this is quite an achievement. Salford Priors Parish Council is only one of two Parish Councils, out of a total of 87 parishes in Stratford District, that has reduced its precept for this year.
It really is your council working for you.
The precept pays for the following services:
- Amenity and verge mowing
- Planters and flower displays
- Tree planting
- Playing field inspections and maintenance
- General improvements and maintenance in the parish
- Maintaining the extension of the churchyard at St Matthews Church
- Street lighting
- and the following facilities: allotments, TOPs building and the Parish Office.
The two largest items of expenditure in the Council’s budget are the administration and running of the Parish Council, including the parish office, and the Amenity contracts.
Various planning applications have been considered during the last twelve months that included building extensions and alterations, erection of a garage and conservatory, change of use of agricultural buildings, converting a garage to bedroom, and tree work.
The Council carries out most of its important projects through working groups that make recommendations to the Parish Council. These groups are:
Communications, CIL/Section 106, Allotments,Open Space, Road Safety, Neighbourhood Development Plan and the Leisure Trails Group.
Effective communications within the parish is important and the group looks at how we achieve this. Our aim is to reach all residents in the parish via the Parish Council website, E-news, Facebook, Parish
Council noticeboards, and Parish Council Newsletters. During this year three newsletters and several fliers have been sent out to all residents.
CIL/Section 106 Group
One advantage from having new developments in Salford Priors is that the parish receives funding called Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)and Section 106 to spend on projects within the parish. With the CIL funding three projects have been identified:
Traffic Calming Measures, Leisure Trails Development and a New Village Open Space
All the latest information on these projects can be found on the Parish Council website. All updated information on these projects will be put on our website, social media and in future newsletters. Section 106 funding has enabled us to continue to improve the Public Rights of Way in the parish and another 20 new way marker posts have been erected throughout the parish together with two wooden bridges.
During the Covid-19 lockdown demand for our allotments has increased to such an extent that all but one of the twelve full sized plots have been taken with additional half plots being created which have proved to be very popular. This year the Parish Council re-instated the Allotment Competition which proved to be very successful.
A judging and awards day was held in August 2021 where trophies and medals were awarded to the successful allotment holders. For the coming year the Best Kept Village Garden Competition is to be added with trophies and medals being awarded to four categories.
One project that the Parish Council is sponsoring is The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022. As well as providing financial support, a Working Group was set up, that comprised of parish councillors and residents, to organise a four-day event. Everything is now in place for the event that comprises of:
Thursday 2nd June – lighting of beacon and bbq
Friday 3rd June – Church service and refreshments
Saturday 4th June – Family Fun Day on the playing field
Sunday 5th June – Street Parties
I am sure that this will be a very successful event enjoyed by all and let’s hope the weather is kind to us over the four days.
On a more negative note, we still receive many complaints regarding speeding, dog mess, litter and parking on grass verges and open spaces. The Parish Council is supporting the Volunteer Speed Awareness Group and has purchased a speed gun to help with their efforts.
Regarding dog mess, the Parish Council has provided dog waste bins at appropriate sites which are emptied on a weekly basis and has also installed a dog bag dispenser on School Road. Litter has become an increasing problem and litter pickers and bags have been provided at the Memorial Hall where volunteers are able to collect and litter pick in the parish. The Parish Council would ask residents and visitors alike to refrain from parking on the pavements and grass verges around the parish and help make the parish a more attractive and safer place to live.
Finally, I would like to finish as I started by saying that this year has been a very challenging one, but I am sure that, as a community, as we emerge from the pandemic, we will maintain all the support and help for each other and a huge thank you to everyone.
Cllr. Alan Green
20th April 2022