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View from the Chair

 

A Copy of Chair's Report from The ANNUAL PUBLIC PARISH MEETING which was held on 6th April  can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2023 - Chair's Report

This is my first report as Chair of the Parish Council, due to a pre-booked holiday in May.

The Clerk noted in the last edition the stepping down of three long-serving members of the council: Pam Williams; Ian Burgess and Andy Swannell. Pam did a fantastic job in chairing the council for four years and steering through the very onerous work on the Neighbourhood Plan. What can I say about Ian, other than a heartfelt thank you for 22 years of excellent and unstinting service to the community. Andy’s expertise on traffic matters and his connections with Milton Keynes City Council will also be sorely missed.

 

We were joined in May by two very active new elected Councillors: Cllr Ceri Parkes-Brincat and Cllr Richard Pryor and we welcome them warmly. They have made a great start on their respective responsibilities. Whilst we operate as a team, particular areas of responsibility have been assigned to Councillors, as follows:

 

Cllr Phillip Turnbull (Chair): Footpaths, Rights of Way and Litter-picking

Cllr Barry Clift (Vice-Chair): Social Committee and Website

Cllr Carol Langham: Community Speedwatch

Cllr Jemma English: Allotments and Community Book Exchange

Cllr Ceri Parkes-Brincat: Finance and Playground Project

Cllr Richard Pryor: Planning and Traffic/Highways

 

Why not become a Parish Councillor?

 

We would like to appoint an individual from the local community to the remaining Councillor vacancy. If you have an interest in improving the lives of residents in our community and believe, like us, that you can make a real difference, please email the Clerk at haversham.ltlinfordclerk@gmail.com to find out more.

 

Referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan

 

After four years in its development, the Neighbourhood Plan Referendum took place on 20 July. The result showed an overwhelming support for the Plan - 249 in favour and 33 against. The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has been crucial to the success of this undertaking. Thank you on behalf of all residents present and future.

There was some concern about our decision at the June meeting to “encourage a yes vote” in the recent referendum in the Neighbourhood Plan. Having spent four years in developing this plan to meet the expressed wishes of the majority of our residents; and knowing that its adoption would help protect the rural character of the Parish for the future; we felt it would be hypocritical not to support it. However we also agreed that it would not be appropriate to spend any public money on promoting a yes vote.

 

The Plan now forms part of MKCC's planning framework, against which planning decisions are made. It will help guard against both speculative developments in the Parish and provide a level of protection against future large-scale development proposals, including the 584 dwellings proposed at Linford Lakes now subject to Appeal.

The Parish Council will also utilise the 12 Plan policies to help implement other improvements for the benefit of residents.

 

Playground Project

 

We have been meeting potential suppliers for the replacement of some of the older play equipment in the Recreation Ground. We have asked the school and community what they should like to see in the playground and they have helped with short-listing specific items of equipment. We can now start to envisage what it might look like; and we are excited for the plans to become reality.

While this will be an expensive project and beyond the capacity of the Parish Council to fund alone, there are grant funds for which we can apply, provided we can demonstrate that we can fund the remainder. Many will have already seen the banner in the playground to kick-start fund-raising. Please visit our JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/havershamplayground  and add a date to your diaries – Saturday 26 August – from 4pm onwards The Greyhound shall be hosting a fund-raising Hog Roast for the playground. Many thanks to Paul and the team for offering to do this. More details to follow.

 

 

Traffic

 

Many readers will have seen the automatic traffic speed recording devices in Haversham High Street. The data on times, dates, speeds and numbers of vehicles are recorded in a national database to which the Parish Council has access.

In the month of May, speeds travelling along High Street past the Sailing Club turning (site 1) average 25mph; with 85% travelling at less than 27mph. Speeds at the top of the hill entering Haversham High Street from Broadacre (site 2) were somewhat higher, with an average of 31 mph and 85% travelling at less than 34mph.

 

Traffic volumes were 8,000 to 9,000 vehicles per week in both directions, but the proportion travelling over the 30mph speed limit was 50% at site 2 compared with less than 10% at site 1. There has not been much change over the recent past, except for a seasonal decrease in traffic volumes during the months of December and January.

 

The Parish Council continues to petition MKCC to reduce the maximum traffic speeds and it has held encouraging meetings with them on this topic.

 

Community Book Exchange

 

Cllr Jemma English has set up a book exchange or mini library just inside the entrance gate to the Recreation Ground. This has been funded by the Parish Council and it contains both adult and children’s books for residents to borrow and return. Please bring your old books you no longer need to be added to ensure a turnaround of interesting reading material, but no magazines or puzzles. We have already had a fantastic response to this initiative and we hope it inspires readers of all generations!

Other key topics discussed at our June and July Parish Council Meetings

· We agreed the internal audit report on our finances, and the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for 2022/3 – see our website under “Financials/Archive”. Our finances are in a healthy state with bank balances of £37,000 at the end of March 2023.

· The Planning Appeal against the refusal by MKCC of the proposed large-scale development at Linford Lakes (reference 21/02533/OUTEIS) is scheduled to be heard from 5 September (although this date may be delayed). We have reiterated our earlier objections to this development and added it would be in conflict with our Neighbourhood Plan. Cllr Richard Pryor has agreed to attend to represent the Parish Council.

· For several years we have been asking for the gated road across Stanton Low park from Haversham Weir to be closed to road vehicles other than for emergency services or Parks Trust access. We believe we may have started to get traction on this topic, but await more information.

· In recent months Thames Valley Police have run public forums for residents of the parishes in North West Milton Keynes and to date they have been held in Hanslope and Castlethorpe. The next will be held at Haversham (Social and Community Centre) on 28 September and the Police, Ward and Parish Councillors will be in attendance. Crime, anti-social behaviour and traffic issues will be discussed and I would encourage as many local residents as possible to attend and make their concerns known.

· As well as its well established website (havershamltlinford.org) the Parish Council has its own Facebook page (facebook.com/HcLLParishCouncil) so please like the page to follow our content. We want to publicise the work of the Parish Council and share our big (and little) successes with the community – and increasing our social media presence is part of that drive. Hopefully the more individuals that see what we do and difference that can be made, the more that will be interested in becoming involved!

If you have any questions for the Parish Council you can message us via the page as well, and we will do our best to answer.

· This leads me nicely onto a call for volunteers for both the Community Speedwatch and Litter-picking groups. We ask for only a small portion of your time and without volunteers these initiatives would cease; making a discernible difference to the community at large. Please contact on the Clerk on haversham.ltlinfordclerk@gmail.com for more information.

· The Annual Village Show will be held at the Social and Community Centre on 2 September. I hope as many residents as possible will attend to compare their home-grown veggies and jam-making skills!

 

Whatever your plans with families and friends, enjoy the summer. The Parish Council will not be taking a holiday this year as we have decided to buck tradition and hold an extra Parish Council Meeting in August, so there is no hiatus in decision-making. It will take place on Wednesday 30 August at 7.30pm and residents are very welcome to attend.

Cllr Philip Turnbull

If there is anything in this article on which you would like to have further information, please contact havershamltlinfordclerk@gmail.com.

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