The Council is pleased to present its Annual Report for the year ending 31 March 2015. The current Parish Council has just completed its final year and will stand down in May. The new Parish Council is due to be elected on 7 May. Details of all Parish Council activities can be found on the Parish Council website at: http://community.stroud.gov.uk/northnibley
Parish Council Activities. Your Parish Council has once again been active working on behalf of the Community this year:
met monthly throughout the year;
in April organised and was supported by many volunteers during the fifth “Village Clean–Up Day”. A further “Village Clean–Up Day” was held in late March 2015;
awarded 8 Grants, totalling £1,250, to support local organisations in providing services to people in the Parish;
has continued to regularly contribute to “On The Edge” as a means of keeping parishioners informed of the Council’s activities;
worked with Gloucestershire Highways to ensure they repaired and maintained our road surfaces; repaired/maintained street lighting; replenished all existing grit bins during the winter; and sought advice on vehicle speed through the Village.
commented upon 28 Applications to Stroud District Council Planning;
held discussions with the applicant, his agents and the planning officers about the two contentious applications for a solar farm at Upper Wick. The Council was also represented at one Development Control Committee Meeting of Stroud DC, when they reached decisions on these applications;
worked with Gloucestershire Rights of Way team to maintain footpaths within the parish; arranged for unstable trees on Wood Lane to be dealt with; and continued to work with them to assist in producing a longer term solution.
made representations to British Telecom and our MP about the delays in improving broadband services to the parish;
liaised with Stroud DC Neighbourhood Warden to ensure that rubbish dumped on the roadside was collected. Also promoted the Neighbourhood Warden service to parishioners;
made representations to Gloucestershire County Council regarding the unreliable operation of the 87 ‘bus service.
Parish Council Property. The Council owns land, throughout the Parish.
Land at Nibley Knoll. The Council’s 6 acres at Nibley Knoll are continuing to be managed with the Nibley Knoll Trust to ensure the long term future of the Hill for the Community.
Land at Breakheart Hill. Following completion of the improvements to the Parish Council’s 4 acres at Breakheart Hill, the land was leased for part of the year for use by horses, but is currently unoccupied. The Council has suggested that the new Council might want to explore the potential for selling this land.
The Cemetery. Further work has been carried out to maintain the Cemetery in accordance with the long term Maintenance Plan. Essential maintenance work to a number of the trees was carried out in May 2014. Thanks are appropriate to Mrs Palmer, Mrs Baxter and Mrs Bunn who have continued to work voluntarily in the Cemetery.
Jubilee Recreation Field. The Council, through their representative on the Trust (Mr Keith Larkin), has continued to work with the Recreation Field Trust.
The Closed Churchyard at St Martin’s Church. The Council, having taken over responsibility from St Martin’s PCC for the Closed Churchyard at St. Martin’s Church (Local Government Act 1972 S 215 (2)), was faced with carrying out repairs to the south facing wall of the churchyard. Later in the year, following the removal of ivy growing on the north facing wall, further urgent repairs were identified. The Council arranged for the work to be carried out and instructed a local contractor. From April the Council will also be taking on some grass cutting responsibilities in the Churchyard.
Parish Council Finances.
In 2014/15 the Council maintained the Precept at £13,430.
Looking ahead to 2015/16
In 2014 the Council, working with a representative of Gloucestershire Rural Council Community Council (GRCC) carried out a Housing Needs Survey on the Parish. This revealed that there continues to be a need for affordable housing and other housing development. GRCC will be attending the 2015 Annual Parish Meeting and it is hoped that by working together we will be able to meet these needs in the next few years.
The Council have continued to work with the Gloucestershire Police and County Highways to address the concerns of parishioners about the speed of traffic entering the Village. The police will be present at the Parish Meeting to report back on a recent speed survey.
In 2015/16 the Council will have to increase its proportion of Council Tax in order to meet the additional costs of maintaining the churchyard walls and grass cutting; and carrying out further maintenance work in the Cemetery.
Wood Lane. The Parish Council continues to work with Gloucestershire County Rights of Way to address the long term slippage problems on the bank in Wood Lane. From recent discussions the Council is optimistic that a long term solution will be carried out this Summer.
Parishioners are welcome to attend the monthly Council meetings held in the Village Hall.
Mr David Purnell.
Chairman of North Nibley Parish Council.