CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2018/19
The following report provides a brief summary of the work of the Parish Council over the past 12 months. Further details can be found in the minutes of our meetings, which are available directly from the Clerk to the Council, or from the website, www.gkpc.co.uk.
The Parish Council continues to actively support the Community Speed Watch (CSW) programme. The latest equipment, which tells drivers how fast they are doing, has proved an effective deterrent and average speed have reduced at all recording points in the parish. However, a small percentage of road users still ignore the posted speed limits; their details continue to be passed to the police. If you would like to take part in CSW, or would like any further information, please contact our Parish Clerk, Ms Arin Spencer (Clerk”gkpc.co.uk / 07484619582)
Although there have still been no developments in our desire to see a 7.5T weight limit imposed on the B4222, which Herefordshire Council are considering, the Parish Council continues to take every opportunity to press Gloucestershire Highways to take this initiative forward. The Parish Council has also written to Gloucester County Council recently to ascertain when we are likely to see the Local Transport Plan initiative to reduce through HGV traffic on the B4221 implemented.
Councillors have not given up on the idea of installing an additional Vehicle Activated Sign, ideally a mobile one similar to that at Highleadon. However, this is not likely to happen until funding by the Police and Crime Commissioner for such schemes becomes available again.
Repairs to Roads within the Parish
The survey of roads in the parish that GKPC carries out and submits to Gloucestershire Highways each year continues to bear fruit.
Work to improve the surface drainage at Kilcot Cross has been carried out, although how effective it has been is open to debate.
In the last year the following 6 planning applications have been considered by GKPC:
Prior notification for the erection of an agricultural storage building – Briery Hill House, Briery Hill Lane Kilcot
Change of use of agricultural land for the stationing of a shepherd hut for holiday letting and for the provision of two car parking spaces - Briery Hill House, Briery Hill Lane Kilcot
Erection of a replacement garage and associated works. Demolition of existing garage – Holmsbury Kempley Road Gorsley
Change of use of agricultural land to domestic curtilage and erection of garage block - Briery Lodge, Briery Hill Lane Kilcot
Erection of a single storey sun room, first floor extension to create additional bedroom, installation of roof lights to kitchen and erection of oak framed canopy with associated works. Demolition of existing conservatory – Orchard House Aston Ingham Road, Kilcot
Limited Building Consent for the proposed replacement of windows in north east elevation and repainting of all other windows - Briery Hill House, Briery Hill Lane Kilcot
GKPC objected to the planning application to build housing on the land opposite the former Gorsley Post Office and shop as although in Herefordshire the proposed development had ramifications for Gorsley residents in Gloucestershire. The original application was rejected at appeal and the new application for a reduced number of houses has recently been rejected by Herefordshire Council’s planning committee.
Registration of Common Land
Despite having assumed responsibility for the Kilcot Green and Aston Common when the Parish Council was formed, the ownership of the land has never been formalised. This year GKPC has successfully completed the formalities to assume ownership of Kilcot Green. Unfortunately, despite GKPC meeting its legal obligations in respect of Aston Common, the Land Registry does not consider we have done enough work on the site to assume ownership. Councillors do not believe any additional expense to Aston Common can be justified, particularly as it might still not guarantee ownership and any costs will have to be met from the precept. If anyone can think of a no-cost way of us carrying out work on Aston Common GKPC would love to hear it.
Community Alerts and comments on the Facebook Page ‘Crime in and around Newent’ continues to provide information that previously was disseminated via the Neighbourhood Watch network GKPC continues to recommend that those who wish to receive this information like the Facebook page and receive the notifications directly. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1721042051523478/?ref=group
Community Alerts is Gloucestershire Constabulary’s free messaging system that enables residents, businesses and community groups to participate in a two-way exchange of information about what is happening throughout the county. If you would like to register: www.yourcommunityalerts.co.uk.
The Clerk will continue to forward any Neighbourhood Watch messages that she receives from Sheila Fowler (Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for Gorsley)
GKPC remains in a healthy financial situation. Unfortunately, the precept has had to be increased again this year, to £5547. Once again the reason for the rise is that we are faced with ever increasing costs.
In March each year Gorsley & Kilcot Parish Council make small grants, normally totalling £100, to organisations that benefit members of the parish. Please contact the Clerk if you are aware of a suitable organisation for consideration.
I should like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Councillors for their commitment and support which has been very much appreciated. Many thanks also go to all those Parishioners and volunteers who have given their time and encouragement to the Parish Council. In particular, thanks to our long serving Parish Newsletter editor, Lee Hines, our Internal Auditor Ruth Warne and our Snow Wardens Mark and Sam Goulding. I would also like to thank our retiring Parish Clerk, Mrs Margaret Highton, for her commitment, enthusiasm and hard work over the 17 years she has been in post; she will be much missed, not least for her in-depth knowledge of the plethora of subjects that the Parish Council has dealt with during her tenure. I hope you will join me in wishing her well in retirement.
Cllr. Nigel Warwick
Chairman, Gorsley & Kilcot Parish Council