Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 2011 held on Monday 13th. June. 2011at 7.00 p.m. in the Parish Hall, Wittering
Richard Roffe (Chairman)
Philip. Portess (Vice-Chairman)
Mrs. S. Cooper
Ward Councillor Diane Lamb
Hubert Warren (Clerk to the Council)
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Ward Councillor John Holdich OBE
One parishioners was present
1. MINUTES of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Monday 21st.June, 2010 in the Parish Hall
were signed by the Chairman.
2. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR COUNCIL YEAR 2010/2011
Richard Roffe reported that the Council met seven times in the Parish Hall during the year
including the Annual Parish Meeting.
All meetings begin with a declaration of members’ personal or prejudicial interests in any items on the agenda, followed by a session of public participation when parishioners are present.
Members attendance throughout the year was excellent, with the RAF well represented by Wing/Cdr. Paul McClurg and very welcome visits by our two Ward Councillors, John Holdich OBE and Diane Lamb as often as they could fit a visit into their busy schedule.
In May the RAF provided a new very popular games centre in St. Georges Road which was made available for use by Wittering residents and children.
One of the great benefits of the presence of the RAF in the village continues to be the service of MOD Pc Colin Everett as beat officer.
He regularly attends meetings throughout the year and reports detailed local crime statistics. In co-operation with Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Pc Everett helps ensure a secure and safe environment within the village, RAF Station and Services family accommodation.
2010 proved to be the most eventful time for the Parish Council for many years, with the building of the Sports & Leisure Centre replacing the inadequate facilities of Porta-cabins and providing well-equipped changing rooms and showers for Wittering Harriers, visiting football teams and match officials, plus a meeting room for refreshments and Club meetings.
50% of the cost of this project was provided by payments due to the Parish under Section 106 which accumulated from taxes on housing developments including Hillside Gardens. and held by Peterborough City Council on behalf of the Parish Council until required for the project.
In addition to this, a very generous contribution from South West England Environmental Trust arranged by the Thornhaugh Environmental Association was made in respect of grants from Landfill Tax on the Augean site at Thornhaugh as Wittering which is within the eligible ten mile radius of the site.
The new building was completed and in use by the beginning of the football season in September and work was started on the demolition of the derelict bowls pavilion, that raised a few problems due to the necessary safe removal of large amounts of asbestos which was an expensive operation.
The new bowls pavilion is of the same design and construction as the main sports centre and includes a meeting room for the use of the Parish Council and Community societies, instead of the larger Parish Hall, which should reduce expenses of lighting, heating etc.
Landscaping, footpaths with invalidity access and security fencing surrounding the whole complex is now in progress and will be completed later this year.
The financing of these projects was within Council budget and proceeded smoothly throughout the year with all agreed contractual payments of invoices, licences and Architect’s fees promptly met.
The unexpected abandoning of the Wittering Flyover Scheme by the Highways Agency was a considerable disappointment to the Parish after the expectation that it would be installed at last later this year as promised, but politicians break promises and Government cuts prevailed without protest from our MP.
The severe winter weather caused considerable damage and potholes in and around the Village and following a tour of inspection by a City Council highways inspector , the Parish was grateful for the prompt action taken on urgently needed repairs.
In line with Peterborough City Council policy of 20 mph speed limits on rural roads outside schools, the regulation was applied to Church Road this year and parking restrictions with road signage also implemented.
Full and listed building planning permission was finally granted for five barns at Elms Farm after numerous applications over the past three years.
There had been an unusual spate of planning applications during the year for various extensions to houses in many parts of the village, most of which were granted.
The Parish was shocked by the Government decision to take the Harrier aircraft out of commission, which raised renewed fears of possible closure of the RAF Station.
For the immediate future it has been confirmed that it is “business as usual”, with the transfer of RAF Cottesmore going ahead and expansion of accommodation for increased personnel already provided.
The question of participation in regular public meetings of rural parishes in various parts of the area was thoroughly discussed during the year and it was generally agreed that this additional level of local government is not necessary or beneficial, as the Parish Council wish to retain its well established independence in promptly dealing directly with Wittering issues and problems as and when they arise.
An additional area of adjacent wasteland was utilised for more allotments during the year and badger resistant fencing installed. To meet increasing demand, many plots have been divided in two to help reduce an ever-growing waiting list. Great credit is due to Geoff Dunkley for his efficient administration as Secretary of the Gardening Society.
Contractor Simon Hurn has continued providing high standards of maintenance of the churchyard and grassed areas of the Village throughout the year.
The Parish Hall enjoyed another year of near capacity bookings with anniversary celebrations, wedding receptions birthday parties, charity events, karate lessons, slimming world, kick- boxing and aerobic classes all regular weekly events.
Football matches on the playing field are always well attended with the many teams of Wittering Harriers getting enthusiastic support every week of the season. The teams also enjoy the benefits of floodlighting for training out of season.
The Chairman commended the Councillors and Clerk for their continuing support in maintaining the independence of the Parish Council and in the prevailing national financial crisis the future is obviously not likely to get any easier for local authorities, but the Parish Council is in good shape to meet problems as they arise and will continue to serve the Parish to the best of its ability.
There were no oral or written questions.
There being no further business to discuss, the Chairman closed the meeting at 7.35 p.m.
Signed: …………………………………………………………Chairman Dated: ………………………2011