Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held at St Johns Ambulance HQ 14 April 2008
Cllrs P Verden (Chair), Mrs Abbott, G Blackwell, M Cahill, Mrs Hadman, M Higham, Mrs Mallard, R Page, Ms Payne, P Wright. Apologise were received from Cllr M Perkins.
6 members of the public were present
Minutes of the Meeting held Monday 16 April 2007
These were adopted as a correct record
Parish Council Report
Cllr Verden reported that May saw the first Parish Council Election in Earls Barton for 16 years. As a result, Cllr Chris Selling lost his seat to Cllr Peter Morrall. Cllr Verden extended his thanks to Chris Selling for all his work as a Parish Councillor. Plans have been put in place to upgrade some of the play equipment on the Recreation Field, chosen with the help of children from the Infant School, and a grant has been put in to replace the safety surfaces. Cllr Verden reported that the Parish portion of the Council Tax was again very low, with Band D paying an increase of £1.35 on last year. EBPC are now coming very close to hitting the ceiling on Precept payments from WBC, and a letter will be sent asking for a review as this ceiling has not changed since the introduction of precepting in 2002/03. There is a very good and close exchange of communication between the police and the Parish Council. Earls Barton now has a regular police beat officer who is supported by PCSOs. The police attend most monthly Parish Council meetings to keep us up to date. Cllr Verden ended by expressing his wish to continue working with the Parish Councillors, in the hope that further improvements can be made to Earls Barton.
Borough Council Report
Cllr Payne reported that the Borough's housing stock have now been transferred to Wellingborough Homes. The Waendal Leisure Centre opened and, following initial teething problems, is now running successfully. WBC continues to support EBPC in our aim to secure permanent and improved sports facilities for Earls Barton. Thanks was expressed to the WBC officers, particularly Joe Hubbard, Robert Vaughan and Bob Entwistle, who has recently celebrated his retirement from WBC. There are planning applications in the pipeline for the expansion of Wellingborough Town at Stanton Cross and for land to the North of Wellingborough. Work is still ongoing on plans to develop the town centre. We have had the pleasure of the Mayors company at the Carols on the Square event, as well as at a recent Parish Council meeting to present Lee Humberstone with a certificate to celebrate his contribution to a WBC meeting. The Embankment Splash Area, the Waendal Weekend, the Carnival and the Party in the Park weekend also continued to prove popular. In addition, an Over 60's Concessionary Travel Scheme has also been introduced. Interested and eligible parties can obtain further information by contacting WBC.
County Council Report
The Empowering Councillors Scheme was introduced. Each councillor was given £10,000 to be given in grant form to causes in their area. Cllr Blackwell was pleased to report that each of the parishes covered by his area were able to benefit from the scheme. The scheme has also been approved for this financial year. Footpath maintenance continued to be an issue, although the footpaths on Streeton Way and Grange Close have been resurfaced, and the bottom of Dowthorpe Hill will be tackled in the new financial year. The Grant for road safety improvements on The Square has not been approved, but Cllr Blackwell will continue to campaign for safety measures. Atkins have been replaced as the contractor for highway works at NCC. New Sand and Gravel applications have been approved, with the possibility of Section 106 agreements to benefit Earls Barton. Both the Infant School and Junior Schools should be congratulated on their successful Ofsted inspections this year, both being graded as Good. Wollaston School continues to be popular amongst parents considering their options for secondary school education. Social Services continue to endeavour to provide care for the elderly and infirm in their home. Cllr Blackwell ended by thanking the Parish Council for their continued support.
Questions & Comments
It was agreed that, in light of the recent serious accident on The Square, Cllr Blackwell would continue to lobby the County Council for road safety improvements in Earls Barton and for a 20mph speed limit in the village centre, particularly outside the schools. The Parish Council's thoughts go out to those involved in and effected by the accident.