Shevington Annual Parish Meeting
Held 15 March 2012
7 pm Crooke Village Methodist Church
Good Evening, everyone and welcome. May I say how nice it is to be in Crooke Village for the Annual Parish Meeting. I would like to thank local residents for their co-operation with the organisation of this meeting and the Methodist Church for their hospitality.
The purpose of this report is to present a review of developments in the Parish and the Council over the past year.
Membership of the Council changed dramatically last May. Four out of the six sitting councillors stood for re-election. Cllrs Ira Whitely, Carole Miles and John Ball were re-elected – Cllr Gareth Fairhurst lost his seat. Cllrs Chris Horridge, Bill McKnight, Callum Chadwick, Roy Bridge, Ken Shaw and Angie Bland were elected for the first time.
At the Annual Meeting of the Council Cllrs John Ball and Ira Whiteley were re-elected Chair and Vice Chair respectively.
2011/12 has been another busy year for the Council. A working party was set up to look into future projects with respect to maintenance and new initiatives. Members of the working party have since been meeting regularly for discussion and have been consulting informally with residents. When they are ready they will formally report back to the Council with their recommendations for the future.
Meanwhile, plans for projects included in the previous Council’s budget have been honoured wherever possible. All of our old stock of open wooden bins have now been replaced by new ones. A further three new bins have been approved for locations in West Ward and these are in the process of being identified and agreed. To match these, Wigan Council’s Neighbourhood Team have secured funding for three new bins for locations in Shevington Moor and the rest of North Ward.
Following the meeting in Shevington Moor last September the Council looked into the possibility of providing a Christmas Tree for the community. Costings having been obtained and a site identified, the project was approved and the Council will be consulting residents over this via the Spring newsletter, which will be out soon.
During 2011 Crooke Village finally got its long-awaited new notice board. We also replaced the small wall-mounted notice boards outside the shops at Woodnook Road (Shevington Vale) and on the forecourt of the Top Shop on the corner of Park Brook Lane and Shevington Lane. Both new boards are larger than the original ones were and the notices are now enclosed in a case. The notice board outside Shevington Library is due to be re-furbished in the near future.
Throughout the year the Council have worked with Shevington and District in Bloom with a view to enhancing the local environment. To this end most of our concrete planters were painted either black, cream or midnight blue and were planted up and maintained by a new contractor. Seven of the Council’s concrete planters remain unpainted. This coming year the Council hope to complete the job of painting them. Funding is also in the process of being secured to provide several trees for the centre of Shevington Village. Money has been set aside in the budget to introduce improvements to the outlying areas of the Parish as the programme rolls out in those directions.
There are still many maintenance projects in the pipe-line. We are currently pricing up new equipment for the play areas in Memorial Park, repairs to the footpaths in the park and the entrance to Shevington Car Park, as well as the wall along the entrance to Forest Fold Bowling Green. The list goes on and, with a precept that has not increased this year as well as reserves that are reducing, finding the funds to pay for projects will become challenging.
Support for Local Organisations and Other Bodies
Cllrs Ira Whiteley and Cllr John Ball have both continued with their roles at the Youth Club. They have been joined by Cllr Angie Bland.
Clls Ira Whiteley and John Ball agreed to represent the Parish Council as Trustees of Shevington Recreation Ground. Mr Jim and Mrs Veronica Maloney and Mr Andy Williams were also appointed as Trustees from the local community.
Most of the members also regularly attend Shevington & District Community Association meetings and are involved in running the Association’s events. Cllrs Ira Whiteley, Bill McKnight and Carole Miles are the Council’s official representatives to the Association. Cllr Chris Horridge acts as liaison with our allotment tenants. Cllrs Chris Horridge and Ken Shaw also monitor the bowling green.
Interests outside the Parish include Wigan Council’s Standards Committee, on which we are represented by Cllr Callum Chadwick. Cllrs Chadwick and Miles are also leading the Jubilee Committee set up by the Parish Council to plan and co-ordinate Jubilee activities. A Memorial stone is being researched and an oak tree for planting in November has been ordered.
Over the past year the Council has been very generous in making donations to a number of local organisations, amongst them the Shevington Gardening Club, St Anne’s Church and Shevington Over 60’s Club. In November our Councillors were amongst those leading the annual Remembrance Day Service at Shevington Memorial. Cllr Callum Chadwick represented the Council at the Memorial at Appley Bridge – a first in recent history.
The ‘Christmas Shop Front’ competition was held for the fourth year running. Last year’s winner was ‘Barnet Fayre’ of Broad O’th Lane, Shevington, who recently received a very good write-up in the paper. Thanks go to our new judge: Geoff Grint of Appley Bridge Artists’ Group. As a one-off, the Council have approved a Jubilee Shopfront Competition, which will be judged during the weekend preceding the Jubilee weekend.
The Council’s new tendering procedures have been in place for more than a year. We now employ a number of different contractors to look after the local environment. Care for the environment is something to which the Council will continue to be committed.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gareth Dickinson and his family for their commitment and the wonderful work that they did for many years in maintaining Council property and the village in general. Their contribution to making Shevington a pleasant area to live in was invaluable.
The Council also remain committed to identifying and securing suitable land for more allotments – our waiting list is ever on the increase.
Planning and other Building Matters
Planning Applications continue to be monitored and commented on, if necessary. A particular interest, especially that of Cllr Bridge, has been the new development at the former Orica site and its potential impact on the flora and fauna that have existed undisturbed for more than a century. Cllr Bridge has been a leading critic of the development and the Council have held discussions on several occasions with the developers to raise concerns.
The Parish Council communicates with residents in a number of different ways via the website, the notice boards and the newsletter. The calendar of meetings, which usually take place at Shevington Library, is advertised on the website.
Members of the public are always welcome and can speak during the first thirty minutes of the Full Council Meeting about any issues or suggestions they have.
This year we have once again included information on the Council Tax bill about the Parish Council and the work it does, although the amount of space we were allowed was very limited.
The Parish Council is always willing to take any matters of concern seriously and works continually with the Community Safety Team and the PCSOs who patrol the village. It will continue to do so until all unacceptable behaviour is under control.
Amongst the highlights of the past year were the parish’s two successful entries in the North West in Bloom Competition and the success of the first ever Shevington Fete. Both initiatives had the effect of bringing the Parish together. The Parish Council is anxious to support and encourage such activities.
Page 1 of 3 Clerk’s Report ~ Shevington Annual Parish Meeting ~ 15 March 2012