KELVEDON HATCH PARISH COUNCIL


 

Chairman’s Annual Report 2005/6

The Parish Council has continued it policy of seeking ways of providing greater awareness of the Parish Council Services and general information of interest to our community. We continue to seek further innovative ways of engaging with our residents in a meaningful and transparent way. The need to promote greater interaction between residents and the Parish Council continues to be high priority to the parish council members. Whilst individual issues increase public attendance at parish meetings, general interest remains low. ‘Meet your Parish Council’ coffee mornings have proved successful in the past and these will be continued in the future.

Further opportunities of interacting with residents continue through the publication of the monthly Parish Pump and our thanks go to the editor David Smith and to the many contributors to the Parish magazine. Parish news and information is also published in the ‘Brentwood Gazette’ and on our five notice boards located within our village area.

The Internet has now provided a further opportunity for the Parish Council to establish and develop a website dedicated to providing easy access to the Parish Council service information such as its Agenda and Minutes. Our web site is now up and running providing residents with comprehensive information on all parish issues. The website can be found at www.kelvedonhatch-pc.gov.uk

Common to all areas of the Borough speeding traffic through the village continues to be high on the list of residents concerns. Inconsiderate parking outside the School in School Road and in adjoining roads has increased concern over general road safety in this location particularly during school terms. The effectiveness of the double yellow lines outside the school continues to be monitored and the promise by the Borough Council to ensure that the parking wardens enforce the parking restrictions has not, as yet, achieved residents expectations. There still remains constant danger to children, adults and car drivers alike. The parish council will continue to encourage parents to park in the Village Hall car park, which is a short distance from the school.

Environmental issues within the village provide a constant supply of remedial works to be undertaken by the Parish Council including increased litter collection. Monthly monitoring of the village is undertaken by the Parish Councillors and any works are considered by a working party of members with delegated authority to ensure that remedial works are undertaken promptly.

Swan Pond provides a focal point in our village. No reed clearance was undertaken during the last year, as we needed to retain some cover to protect the existing wildlife. However we intend to ask for volunteers again in the autumn to keep the pond clear. However before any major works can be undertaken to the pond a full environmental survey will have to be carried out to ascertain its true condition.

Further improvements to the general environment have been undertaken with further planting of daffodil bulbs being undertaken in various locations within the village envelope. Monitoring of the screen planting in front of the recycling bins at Crown Corner will continue during 2006 as a number of the bushes have failed to thrive despite constant attention.

Eagle field has proved a valuable facility for passive recreational use particularly for dog walkers. A new metal table and chairs were installed following vandalism of the wooden tables and benches which were destroyed and burnt. The Parish Council is endeavouring to negotiate the long-term future of the field, as this would allow additional investment to be made in enhancing the facility for the enjoyment of all residents.

The children’s play equipment on the Village Hall land is continues to be valued by children and their parents. Discussions with the Trustees of the Village Hall who control the field continue, with a view to securing the continued long-term use of the play area.

The Essex County Council youth bus initiative in the parish continues to be supported by the parish council. The vehicle has multi purpose use designed primarily for teenagers. The vehicle has visited Kelvedon Hatch regularly during the last year and provides structured youth activities and information. Our thanks go to the Village Hall Trustees in agreeing to provide a location for the youth bus. The group attending these sessions consists mainly of boys and we need to encourage our teenage girls to participate in this rewarding activity.

Many of you will have noticed the improvements to the area outside the NISA store. The existing seat is to be replaced with a new bench, which will face towards the shop. It is hoped that this will help to preserve the grassed area, which for most of the year looks very sparse.

Whilst the grant fund is limited, the Parish Council continues to look for grant applications from individuals or groups who wish to initiate activities within the village for the benefit of local residents. Whilst it is disappointing that more grant applications were not received the grant fund remains available open to those who wish to apply.

Following a successful ‘Village Sign’ competition, scenes that depict the Church, pond, gate and daffodils with a briar and thorn border are being considered for the final design of the sign. Villagers will be consulted before a final decision is taken.

The Mayor of Brentwood Cllr. Ken Wright was invited to the Parish Council Senior Citizens Christmas lunch in December, which he and the Mayoress graciously accepted. Those present were able to enjoy a delightful meal with live entertainment and good company. The Village Hall has already been booked for17th December 2006 lunch.

Following a decision by the Borough Council to withdraw the supply of black plastic sacks to our parish residents the Parish Council stepped in to provide this much-valued local service. For the second year running the parish council will supply packs of 55 sacks for each residential property for 2006/7 period and each roll pack will be distributed to each household as soon as practicable.

Following representations to the parish council from our local young people and their parents and in consultation with the local Police an open sided metal shelter will be purchased and located within the fenced area in Eagle Field. The Parish Council will consult with the local teenagers so that we can provide a shelter most suitable for their needs.

Along with most local communities these days we are faced with the problems of graffiti and hooliganism. The Parish Council and the local police are determined to cut this out as much as possible. Residents should be encouraged where possible, to identify those who have committed these offences and the Parish Council with the support of the police, can begin to take action to stamp it out. The latest attack on the speed camera in Ongar Road is a good example – lets bring these mindless individuals to justice. Any information given will be treated as strictly confidential.

Despite the increase in the rates by the Brentwood Borough of 3.9% and County Council’s of 4.6% your Parish Council has resolved for the second year running not to increase in its precept for 2006/7. Therefore there will be no increase in the Parish rates for the second year running.

Looking to the future of the Borough Council grant to parish councils, following a question by the Parish Council to the Leader of the Borough Council a question mark now hangs over future funding as he refused to confirm grant funding beyond the financial year 2006/7. Your parish council will therefore need to be ever vigilant in ensuring that the village funds are spent prudently.

Cllr. Alan Davies
Chairman Kelvedon Hatch Parish Council
April 2006