The following is my recollection of the main points of last week’s parish council meeting:
1/ After lengthy discussion about the Parish Council’s budget for 2015-16, it was decided to raise the precept by 2%. More money has been allocated to PC office costs, insurance, and allotment ground maintenance.
2/ The Neighbourhood Plan was approved for distribution to residents to invite comment. Patchworkers will distribute the plan from January 30. The schedule is as follows:
- The consultation period is proposed as January 30 to March 13 2015 for the required 6 week period.
- The Parish Council then needs to take account of comments received before make any adjustments and approving the Plan which it should do in April but sufficient time needs to be left for a proper assessment to be made.
- It can then submit it to Ashford with a report showing how it has considered any comments received and taken note of them.
- Ashford will then submit it for a further 6 week consultation period of 6 weeks after satisfying itself that it complies with the regulatory guidance. It is hoped that this will be all right as it has been produced with their guidance as necessary.
- After ABC have consulted they will submit it for public examination on the basis of the comments they receive. The General and Local elections on May 7 will delay this stage.
3/ Councillor Shoults reported continued frustration regarding discussions with Imperial College regarding WYE3. No decisions have been made regarding the school or the heritage centre. The listed buildings are deteriorating.
4/ There was some discussion about the Our Place project. Councillor Bartley reported that it had been decided to prioritise elements of the Operational Plan. The priorities were: the village agent; some form of community eating project; the village hall project (to be brought within Our Place?); and an examination as to how a social care co-op could be set up in the village.
There was some concern that money due from the Department of Communities and Local Government for Our Place still hadn’t been received – but the project was still operating well within budget.